home made hard kombucha

Is Hard Kombucha better than beer? Health benefits and drawbacks

What is Hard Kombucha? What is it made of? Is it healthy? Is it good for you? What about precautions? Don’t worry, we answer all these questions in this post!

Also! You may want to read until the end to learn how to make hard kombucha at home.

But firstly, let’s go over what is the actual Kombucha and how it is made.

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a sweet and fizzy tea with a surprising health kick. It comes in variety of flavours. For instance, Remedy Raw Kombucha drinks come in ginger and lemon, raspberry lemonade, cherry plum and apple crisp flavours.

This tasty and refreshing drink is actually an ancient Chinese drink made hundreds of years ago but it is presently becoming very popular in America.

This is probably due to its health benefits and gut-friendly bacteria called probiotics that support a healthy digestion system.

Wait what? Does Kombucha have probiotics? Yes! You heard that right. It’s actually crazy to think that a fizzy drink contains probiotics but it’s made of either black or green tea, yeast, sugar and bacteria. The drink is normally mixed with a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). During the fermentation process, the yeast in SCOBY breaks down the sugar in tea and releases gut-friendly bacteria.

Kombucha Tea Products

Loving Foods Certified Organic with probiotics – View on Amazon.co.uk

Booch and Brew award winning vegan Kombucha – View on Amazon.co.uk

Captain Kombucha Certified Organic with probiotics and no artificial flavourings-View on Amazon.co.uk

What is the difference between Kombucha and hard Kombucha?

The original Kombucha is a fizzy and refreshing tea whereas hard Kombucha is an alcoholic drink with the same alcohol content as a beer or cider.

How is it made? Just like the original Kombucha, the alcoholic Kombucha is made of simple ingredients – green or black tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria. However, they differ in the amount of added sugar, type of yeast that’s used and the length of fermentation.

This alcoholic beverage includes more added sugar and yeast, and the length of fermentation may be longer in order to increase the alcoholic content. Due to the alcohol content, you may notice that some Kombucha products are labelled as ‘beer’ as they need to be due to the taxation laws on alcohol.

Does Hard kombucha have probiotics?

This is an alcoholic drink, the probiotics are normally destroyed by alcohol. Therefore, unlike the original Kombucha, Hard Kombucha does not contain probiotics. If it does, it will be in very small amounts.

Is Hard Kombucha good for you?

Although the content of probiotics is questionable, it can still provide a number of health benefits compared to other alcoholic drinks.

May fight or prevent infections

the alcoholic beverage contains acetic acid which is created during the fermentation process. Acetic acid has shown to kill bad bacteria that cause infections and therefore, it  may prevent infections or fight them when started [1] [2].

May improve digestion

This drink contains lactic, acetic and butyric acids which have shown to improve digestion [3] [4]. The butyric acid actually supports proper intestinal function [5].

So, is Hard Kombucha a healthy option? Not necessarily. It may be a better option to some alcoholic drinks, but overall it is still an alcoholic drink and does not really compare to the ancient Kombucha tea that provides so many more health benefits including improving heart health, managing type 2 diabetes, improving mental health and liver health.

How to make Hard Kombucha at home?

Step 1 Make your own SCOBY

The first thing you need to do is create the yeast and bacteria known as SCOBY. You can do this by heating up water and mixing in either black or green tea, sugar, and raw and dry premade kombucha. You can take a look at the Mad Millie Kombucha starter kit, it gives you everything you need to start making your own Kombucha.

Step 2 Keep SCOBY at room temperature

Once you’ve finished the SCOBY, pour it into a jar but don’t close the jar with a lid. Simply put a cloth over it so the SCOBY can breathe. Leave it in the jar at room temperature for 6-12 days. It is up to you how long you want to keep it in there, the longer you keep it fermenting, the bitter it becomes.

Okay, you now have an ordinary Kombucha tea. To make it alcoholic follow the next steps.

Step 3 Remove SCOBY from the tea

It is important to remove the SCOBY from the brewed Kombucha tea. SCOBY is that weird-looking orange, rubbery and slippery mixture that you’ll find in the brewed tea after fermentation for the initial 6-12 days.

Step 4 Add yeast and sugar

Once the Kombucha tea has finished fermenting, we need to create a ‘yeast slurry’. To do this, we will mix two teaspoons of yeast, sugar and warm water together. Let it cool down for approximately 20-30 mins. Once this has cooled down, add it to the Kombucha tea and mix it well.

At this stage you may be wondering how to flavour the Kombucha!

Step 5 Add flavouring

Add any flavour you like to give it the desired taste. This can be in a form of a fruit juice.

Step 6 Fermentation

Once you’ve added the yeast, sugar and flavouring then you can place the mixture again into a jar and let it ferment over another 7-14 days. This time, make sure to close the jar with a lid so it is air tight.

Step 7 Pour the mixture into a bottle

Once you have fermented the tea, you can then pour it into bottles and place it into a refrigerator.

Most commonly asked questions

What does it taste like?

It depends, you can get it in different flavours but whatever flavour you choose it will taste like any other flavoured fizzy drink with alcohol.

Is it gluten free?

Yes, it is gluten free. However, always check labels as some companies may add ingredients containing gluten.

Is it a type of beer?

This drink is not a beer, but it is sometimes labelled as that due to its alcoholic content.

Is it keto friendly?

Unflavoured Kombucha is keto friendly as it is naturally low in sugars and carbs. However, flavoured kombucha may be high in sugars and carbs. Overall, choosing the unflavoured drink usually contains only 2-3g of sugar making it great for anyone performing the keto diet.

Summary

This alcoholic drink is not a healthy alternative but it is a healthier alternative to some other alcoholic beverages. You can enjoy it in variety of flavours, make your own and enjoy some health benefits! Don’t forget to share this post with a friend who’d appreciate a healthy alcoholic option! Make the recipe together and let us know what you think below in the comments.

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