Kombucha wine.

topic posted Sat, March 19, 2011 - 12:38 AM by  Thandiwe
So I'm about to start my very first continuous brew cycle! It's really exciting! I'm a seasoned single stage Kombucha brewer, but I've never done continuous before. If that's not enough, I got this crazy idea to make Kombucha wine by adding champagne yeast to the second stage fermentation process. My question is what's the importance of using an airlock? I never used one before (with swing top beer bottles. They got pretty fizzy, and never exploded.) But now I'm wondering if adding yeast to the second stage ferment necessitates an airlock. Basically, If I don't use an airlock will I have a lot of exploded bottles on my hands?

Any guidance would be appreciated!
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • Re: Kombucha wine.

    Fri, April 1, 2011 - 1:03 AM
    Adding champagne yeast to kombucha would not produce wine. Wine is grape juice that is fermented in oak barrels. All you would succeed in doing is increasing the speed of already existing fermentation. From what I understand, champagne yeast are known for being able to ferment sugars even further than other kinds of yeast because of its high tolerance to alcohol and vinegar.

    One thing to note here is that there is a trace amount of alcohol in kombucha as it is. Adding yeast would not boost this level, as the yeast first produce ethanol and then that ethanol becomes acetic acid, or vinegar. That is where kombucha gets its sour bite from. So if you really wanted a more alcoholic kombucha, you would just remove the SCOBY from your batch in about half the time you normally would leave it in there. I have tasted half-fermented kombucha, and could best describe it as really sweet green tea with one hell of a kick. However, you would probably gain only minimal nutritional benefit from it.

    if you are looking for ways to make booze, there are far easier ways
    • Re: Kombucha wine.

      Sun, April 3, 2011 - 9:09 PM
      sorry for being unclear. you're totally right, with this process i would also be adding additional sugar to the second stage ferment.
      • Re: Kombucha wine.

        Sun, April 3, 2011 - 9:11 PM after the second stage, where i add yeast and sugar, there's a third stage of bottling. i've read this works well, just takes some time.
        • Re: Kombucha wine.

          Mon, April 4, 2011 - 8:21 AM
          I am really interested to hear how your wine turned out? I am 6 days into a kombucha brew and looking to add yeast and sugar around day 9 or 10 (before it gets that vinnegar taste). I am wondering what kind of yeast you used and how much additional sugar? Did you use the airlock? I was going to try wine bottles with balloons on top.... I heard it should do the same thing as the airlock but cheaper. Thank you for any feedback.
          • Re: Kombucha wine.

            Tue, April 5, 2011 - 9:53 PM
            I haven't yet tried this. I still need to get a couple of one gallon carboys for the second stage ferment. I bought three airlocks, but yeah, I hear balloons would work just fine. I know very little to nothing about different kinds of yeast and how they affect taste. I'm lucking enough to have a beer/wine supply store near me so I was planning to go down there, pick up some carboys, and talk to them about which yeast might be best, maybe buy a couple of different kinds to try in multiple batches. Champagne yeast is what I hear would work well.

            I've gotten some information form this guy


            Don't know him but he seems to know what he's doing. He suggests one packet of yeast to up to five gallons of brew, and a cup of sugar for every gallon!

            This process will take at least 4 months, so as soon as I've completed it I'll post my results.

            Hope this helps.

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