* Please note that this blog remains up as a resource. However, this blog is currently on hiatus until further notice. For more information, please read this blog post. Thank you and happy kombucha brewing, drinking, and SCOBY trading! Lots of love. ~Annabelle *

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Brewing Containers and Kombucha Cautions

Although glass brewing containers are best for brewing kombucha tea, you may use other containers.

Because kombucha tea is acidic, it should not be made or stored in certain ceramic and painted containers or containers made with lead crystal, which can contain toxic components that may leach into the tea. You should also not store tea or cultures in metal containers, and some plastic containers may leach chemicals into kombucha (1). However, food grade plastic, which have a number 1 or 2 inside a triangle on the bottom, and containers that are used to brew beer may be used (2).

According to Harald W. Tietze in his book Kombucha: The Miracle Fungus (1996), porcelain is another suitable brewing material.

Brewing containers with large surface areas will ferment and brew more quickly, because more of the tea is exposed to oxygen. However, containers with large surface areas will also increase the loss of liquid to evaporation (3).

Some cautions about kombucha:
-If you think something is wrong or that the kombucha tea may have been brewed in unsafe conditions, DO NOT DRINK THE TEA! Better to be safe than sorry- whether it's by brewing a new batch with new starter tea or by starting with a new/back-up culture (1). Excessive consumption of kombucha tea may be linked to unexplained lactic acidosis, and the CDC reported a serious illness in 1995 that could have been due to improper brewing practices (4). (However, no known human pathogens or toxin-producing organisms were identified!)
-The FDA acknowledges that kombucha tea and home brewing can be safe but also lists some warnings here.

However, under sanitary conditions, kombucha tea is perfectly safe! Problems such as mold are rare. Proper cleanliness practices in the kitchen are usually good enough to brew. In addition, kombucha cultures have antimicrobial properties, helping them to resist infection and contamination. More info on that later!

1 comment:

my 'Bucha said...

I brew Kombucha in the Vancouver WA and would love to share my babies locally. I blog at http://adventuresbrewingkombucha.blogspot.com/