Author Topic: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content  (Read 124553 times)

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2007, 11:14:55 AM »
Cherri-

Do you remember the units on that measurement?

Sarah K
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Offline shesaidthis

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2007, 11:18:34 AM »
Then we decided that since my husband works for our local sherriffs office , he took some to work and ran it through the alcohol tester.  It registered at .03 , and .08 is considered drunk. 

Isn't the .08 % that is "considered drunk" referring to blood alcohol content, and not food content?  If  0.08 is referring to food content, we should all give up eating fruit, as well, lest we get pulled over after eating a ripe bananna (.2 %) ;)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2007, 12:52:01 PM by shesaidthis »
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2007, 12:17:28 PM »
Isn't the .08 % that is "considered drunk" referring to blood alcohol content, and not food content? 

That's the same thing my dh just said. He said you would have to drink A WHOLE LOT of a .03 content drink to reach a .08 blood alcohol content. So he'd like to know how the bucha was tested (did you drink a couple bottles and take a breathalyser, or is there another kind of test that can be done on the liquid itself, or ??).

Thanks,
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« Last Edit: April 01, 2007, 12:20:30 PM by Whiterock »
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Offline shesaidthis

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2007, 12:51:23 PM »
Yeah, I wonder what a glass of wine or beer would have tested at, because I know they are in the .8 and higher range (food content) and they say that most people can drink 2 or 3 glasses of it before they test at the illegal .08 blood alcohol level.
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Offline cherri

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #64 on: April 03, 2007, 06:34:10 AM »
No, he did not drink a bunch and  breathe into it, it has a place where you can pour in liquids.  My dh is doing more research and seeing what a beer would register.  They have confiscated alcohol that they dump out, the next time he is going to pour into the machine.  I will let you know what he learns.  Cherri

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2007, 07:07:17 AM »
I have recently purchased a hydrometer.  Mine has 3 scales: Balling, Potential Alcohol by Volume & Specific Gravity.  The Man & I have hit a bunch of home brewing "test your own alcohol content" sites (I can PM them if you are interested) and have made the pre-brew measurements with adjustments for our temperatures for 2 one gallon batches of my kombucha.  I brew for 13 days, so tune in later for the rest  if the findings when we 'harvest' and then again after we open to drink the Bucha.  (assuming I remember to post & that life doesn't get away from us before then...)

Sarah K
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Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #66 on: April 10, 2007, 03:31:26 AM »
Any Kombucha Geeks out there?  I'm looking for some ideas.

I have recently purchased a hydrometer.  Mine has 3 scales: Balling, Potential Alcohol by Volume & Specific Gravity.  The Man & I have hit a bunch of home brewing "test your own alcohol content" sites (I can PM them if you are interested) and have made the pre-brew measurements with adjustments for our temperatures for 2 one gallon batches of my kombucha.  I brew for 13 days, so tune in later for the rest  if the findings when we 'harvest' and then again after we open to drink the Bucha.  (assuming I remember to post & that life doesn't get away from us before then...)


I'm looking for some brainstorming here before I harvest this Bucha on the 14th  ... or there abouts cuz this ended up being a very busy week/weekend.

I am doing some testing with specific gravity.  I have a hydrometer that is used to test specific gravity, potential alcohol by volume & the Balling scale (not sure why I need to know that yet).  When making wine you measure the specific gravity of the juice & add sugar to it to increase the specific gravity.  That, in turn , increases the potential alcohol.  So far my test seems to indicate that the amount of aclohol is less that .5%.  We know that cuz the specific gravity isn't going down more than a few thousandths (1.034 to 1.030).  In wine that means very little sugar was converted to alcohol. But I don't know how that really translates with Bucha.  Is the specific gravity still up because the amount of sugar is relativly un-altered?  Or is it up because, though the sugar is decreased a bunch, the bi-products of the SCOBY are increasing the specific gravity so it measures as if the sugar is unaltered?

I have ordered 2 books (the one by the Laurel Farms lady & the one by the German guy that does the multi-language page Gabe posted in the very first Kombucha topic) & hope they will shed some light.

But, until the books get here, does anyone know the answers to these questions?  Or if these questions are even addressed in the books I'm getting?  Or how about things I'm totally missing in my thought process here (like who is supposed to be making supper while this is going on?)?

Sarah K
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2007, 03:38:58 AM »
  In wine that means very little sugar was converted to alcohol.

If what your saying is true about the wine situation, then that would mean your bucha is not digesting enough sugar?  Am I wrong?  That means there is more sugar left in it than we are thinking.  No?

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #68 on: April 10, 2007, 03:46:00 AM »
  In wine that means very little sugar was converted to alcohol.

If what your saying is true about the wine situation, then that would mean your bucha is not digesting enough sugar?  Am I wrong?  That means there is more sugar left in it than we are thinking.  No?

That's zactly what I'm thinking - but there are a bunch of factors that I can't measure/predict so far:

Is my scoby really a Gen-U-Ine Kombucha scoby that is undamaged by whatever else I did to it/was done to it over time?  And does that mean my findings are not gonna be the same as Real Kombucha and it's reported/documented contents?  How about...?

Ya Know?  Just opens up a bunch of questions I don't have the answers for...

I would have been a very happy, terribly careless employer-liability techy person as a  biochemist.

Sarah K
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #69 on: April 10, 2007, 03:48:30 AM »


Is my scoby really a Gen-U-Ine Kombucha scoby that is undamaged by whatever else I did to it/was done to it over time? 

Are you thinking that I sent you a bum scoby?  HUH?!  ARE YOU DOUBTING MY SOURCES, NOW?!!!   ;D
Kidding, everyone.

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #70 on: April 10, 2007, 03:50:29 AM »


Is my scoby really a Gen-U-Ine Kombucha scoby that is undamaged by whatever else I did to it/was done to it over time? 

Are you thinking that I sent you a bum scoby?  HUH?!  ARE YOU DOUBTING MY SOURCES, NOW?!!!   ;D
Kidding, everyone.

NO!  I wouldn't question YOU... but I have heard about where you got your scoby from originally and.... well.... uh....

Just Kidding, Too!

Sarah K
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2007, 03:51:26 AM »


NO!  I wouldn't question YOU... but I have heard about where you got your scoby from originally and.... well.... uh....


LOL!!!  :D

Offline Kati*did

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2007, 04:12:39 AM »
Ok, I don't really understand specific gravity testing, so I decided to look it up.   I still don't REALLY understand it, but I found this conversation on a kombucha forum.  The guy who's explaining why the SG test won't work on kombucha used to work in a winery...making wine.   ::) ;D 

Quote
A:  It seems to have a slight alcohol content to it, my beer-brewingroommate offered to do specific gravity next transfer

B:  Maybe you were just being sarcastic,but if not...that wont work.
Calculating alcohol from original SG and final SG is based on the assumptions that the majority of the solids in solution are fermentable sugars,and that as these sugars are consumed,the main product is alcohol.This would not be the case with Kombucha.

A:  I think you might be right about the solids/fermentable sugar. I thought that table sugar, completely dissolved, would give SG readings that would change as it was converted. Now that you mention 'solids' I think you might be right.
I am pretty sure that table sugar can be converted to ethanol. It's not much ethanol if any, though.

B:  About the SG readings-
Sure,table sugar can be converted to ethanol-I'm just saying that in a mixed culture,most of the sugar is NOT being converted to ethanol,whereas in beer or wine,it is safe to assume that (virtually) all the sugar that is used is being coverted to alcohol (and CO2).

So-you could use SG readings as some measure of the vitality of a culture maybe...

(from here: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/907845 )

I don't entirely understand that either, but I thought maybe those of you who are science oriented could make an opinion of it.  How do "solids" make a difference?
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Offline Pastorswife2B

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2007, 04:43:31 AM »
Ok I don't know all that much about SG, but my little brother and I with a friend did some uhhh 'brewing' experiments in highschool and after some VERY interesting results using different yeast agents ( BTW if trying to make alchohol NEVER, NEVER use baking yeast  :-X).  We came to find out that different types of yeast produce different by-products, not all of them alchohol, so if the Boucha is a symbiot of many different cultures, not all of them yeast the sugar is going to be used to create lots of different things, not just the ethenol, e.g. the new Scoby floating on top, the crud that collects in the bottom, in all probability that special acid that's supposed to help the liver etc. are all going to be by-products of the sugar eating. 

This is of course my understanding and synthasis of some info gathered from experience and varius sources which could or could not be all that reliable...  Oh and if anybody wants the recipe that we tried using nutritional yeast and oranges that stuff ate through metal and could be used to clean engine parts!!!  ;)

-Heather

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #74 on: April 10, 2007, 07:37:22 AM »
Ok, I don't really understand specific gravity testing, so I decided to look it up.   I still don't REALLY understand it, but I found this conversation on a kombucha forum.  The guy who's explaining why the SG test won't work on kombucha used to work in a winery...making wine.   ::) ;D 

Quote
A:  It seems to have a slight alcohol content to it, my beer-brewingroommate offered to do specific gravity next transfer

B:  Maybe you were just being sarcastic,but if not...that wont work.
Calculating alcohol from original SG and final SG is based on the assumptions that the majority of the solids in solution are fermentable sugars,and that as these sugars are consumed,the main product is alcohol.This would not be the case with Kombucha.

A:  I think you might be right about the solids/fermentable sugar. I thought that table sugar, completely dissolved, would give SG readings that would change as it was converted. Now that you mention 'solids' I think you might be right.
I am pretty sure that table sugar can be converted to ethanol. It's not much ethanol if any, though.

B:  About the SG readings-
Sure,table sugar can be converted to ethanol-I'm just saying that in a mixed culture,most of the sugar is NOT being converted to ethanol,whereas in beer or wine,it is safe to assume that (virtually) all the sugar that is used is being coverted to alcohol (and CO2).

So-you could use SG readings as some measure of the vitality of a culture maybe...

(from here: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/907845 )

I don't entirely understand that either, but I thought maybe those of you who are science oriented could make an opinion of it.  How do "solids" make a difference?


YES!  That's Exactly what I was thinking!  (pause for Kati*did to smile poudly at her great find.)

Distilled water has a specific gravity of 1.000 at 62 degrees F.  As you add sugar to the water, you increase the specific gravity to levels like 1.110 or more or less.  (This, in practical view, means that the glass floating measuring tube -hydrometer- floats up higher in the solution as if it is being held up higher in the 'water'.)  When the sugar is converted to alcohol in beer/wine with a specific "alcohol-only producing culture", the amount of sugar in the liquid decreases and the specific gravity will lower to approach the original 1.000 of distilled water.

Let's say we start with 1.110 sugared juice.  At that level you have a Potential Alcohol by Volume of nearly 15% (Wowzers - but wait! That's only potential.) Add your alcohol producing culture and let it go to work.  Measure specific gravity again.  Say it's 1.030 now.  That's a drop of .080.  Now is when you measure the approximate actual alcohol by volume.  That amount of drop indicates only a bit over 10% alcohol by volume.  (OK, that's still a lot, but it's only 2/3 of the potential we measured on day one.  AND I'm not making wine here & it certainly wouldn't get that way overnight.  This is just an example of how the #s work to indicate with wine/beer.)

But, though I took the measurements to measure my Bucha this way - I don't think it's gonna be accurate cuz Kombucha is not just a liquid with sugar & an alcohol byproduct in it after fermentation.  It has a variety of acids (I can taste them - I know they gotta be in there.) that each have their own specific gravity on their own that alter the overall specific gravity.  Because I can't identify each of them (along with their SpGr), I can't say what alcohol volume REALLY is. 

Still thinking.... but I really gotta get some laundry done too.

Sarah K
« Last Edit: April 10, 2007, 08:24:38 AM by SarahK »
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Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #75 on: April 10, 2007, 07:59:01 AM »
Ok, I don't really understand specific gravity testing, so I decided to look it up.   I still don't REALLY understand it, but I found this conversation on a kombucha forum.  The guy who's explaining why the SG test won't work on kombucha used to work in a winery...making wine.   ::) ;D 

Quote
A:  It seems to have a slight alcohol content to it, my beer-brewingroommate offered to do specific gravity next transfer

B:  Maybe you were just being sarcastic,but if not...that wont work.
Calculating alcohol from original SG and final SG is based on the assumptions that the majority of the solids in solution are fermentable sugars,and that as these sugars are consumed,the main product is alcohol.This would not be the case with Kombucha.

A:  I think you might be right about the solids/fermentable sugar. I thought that table sugar, completely dissolved, would give SG readings that would change as it was converted. Now that you mention 'solids' I think you might be right.
I am pretty sure that table sugar can be converted to ethanol. It's not much ethanol if any, though.

B:  About the SG readings-
Sure,table sugar can be converted to ethanol-I'm just saying that in a mixed culture,most of the sugar is NOT being converted to ethanol,whereas in beer or wine,it is safe to assume that (virtually) all the sugar that is used is being coverted to alcohol (and CO2).

So-you could use SG readings as some measure of the vitality of a culture maybe...

(from here: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/907845 )

I don't entirely understand that either, but I thought maybe those of you who are science oriented could make an opinion of it.  How do "solids" make a difference?


YES!  That's Exactly what I was thinking!  (pause for Kati*did to smile poudly at her great find.)

Distilled water has a specific gravity of 1.000 at 62 degrees F.  As you add sugar to the water, you increase the specific gravity to levels like 1.110 or more or less.  (This, in practical view, means that the glass floating measuring tube -hydrometer- floats up higher in the solution as if it is being held up higher in the 'water'.)  When the sugar is converted to alcohol in beer/wine with a specific "alcohol-only producing culture", the amount of sugar in the liquid decreases and the specific gravity will lower to approach the original 1.000 of distilled water.

Lets say we start with 1.110 sugared juice.  At that level you have a Potential Alcohol by volume of nearly 15% (Wowzers - but wait! That's only potential.) Add your alcohol producing culture and let it go to work.  Measure specific gravity again.  Say it's 1.030 now.  That's a drop of .080.  Now is when you measure the approximate actual alcohol by volume.  That amount of drop indicates only a bit over 10% alcohol by volume.  (OK, that's still a lot, but it's only 2/3 of the potentila I measured on day one.  AND I'm not making wine here & it certainly wouldn't get that way overnight.  This is just an example of how the #s work to indicate with wine/beer.)

But, though I took the measurements to measure my Bucha this way - I don't think it's gonna be accurate cuz Kombucha is not just a liquid with sugar & an alcohol byproduct in it after fermentation.  It has a variety of acids (I can taste them - I know they gotta be in there.) that each have their own specific gravity on their own that alter the overall specific gravity.  Because I can't identify each of them (along with their SpGr), I can't say what alcohol volume REALLY is. 

Still thinking.... but I really gotta get some laundry done too.

Sarah K

You know, I really don't think you're qualified to homeschool.   ;)

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2007, 08:01:15 AM »


Is my scoby really a Gen-U-Ine Kombucha scoby that is undamaged by whatever else I did to it/was done to it over time? 

Are you thinking that I sent you a bum scoby?  HUH?!  ARE YOU DOUBTING MY SOURCES, NOW?!!!   ;D
Kidding, everyone.

NO!  I wouldn't question YOU... but I have heard about where you got your scoby from originally and.... well.... uh....

Just Kidding, Too!

Sarah K

Oh, wow, so our scobies are all cousins, like FIRST cousins then, huh?  So that makes us all kinda like family!  Awww...... 

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2007, 08:06:51 AM »

Distilled water has a specific gravity of 1.000 at 62 degrees F.  As you add sugar to the water, you increase the specific gravity to levels like 1.110 or more or less.  (This, in practical view, means that the glass floating measuring tube -hydrometer- floats up higher in the solution as if it is being held up higher in the 'water'.)  When the sugar is converted to alcohol in beer/wine with a specific "alcohol-only producing culture", the amount of sugar in the liquid decreases and the specific gravity will lower to approach the original 1.000 of distilled water.

Lets say we start with 1.110 sugared juice.  At that level you have a Potential Alcohol by volume of nearly 15% (Wowzers - but wait! That's only potential.) Add your alcohol producing culture and let it go to work.  Measure specific gravity again.  Say it's 1.030 now.  That's a drop of .080.  Now is when you measure the approximate actual alcohol by volume.  That amount of drop indicates only a bit over 10% alcohol by volume.  (OK, that's still a lot, but it's only 2/3 of the potentila I measured on day one.  AND I'm not making wine here & it certainly wouldn't get that way overnight.  This is just an example of how the #s work to indicate with wine/beer.)



Okay, my brain just said:  "Blah, blah, blah" out loud!!  :D

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2007, 08:48:25 AM »

Distilled water has a specific gravity of 1.000 at 62 degrees F.  As you add sugar to the water, you increase the specific gravity to levels like 1.110 or more or less.  (This, in practical view, means that the glass floating measuring tube -hydrometer- floats up higher in the solution as if it is being held up higher in the 'water'.)  When the sugar is converted to alcohol in beer/wine with a specific "alcohol-only producing culture", the amount of sugar in the liquid decreases and the specific gravity will lower to approach the original 1.000 of distilled water.

Lets say we start with 1.110 sugared juice.  At that level you have a Potential Alcohol by volume of nearly 15% (Wowzers - but wait! That's only potential.) Add your alcohol producing culture and let it go to work.  Measure specific gravity again.  Say it's 1.030 now.  That's a drop of .080.  Now is when you measure the approximate actual alcohol by volume.  That amount of drop indicates only a bit over 10% alcohol by volume.  (OK, that's still a lot, but it's only 2/3 of the potentila I measured on day one.  AND I'm not making wine here & it certainly wouldn't get that way overnight.  This is just an example of how the #s work to indicate with wine/beer.)



Okay, my brain just said:  "Blah, blah, blah" out loud!!  :D

OK.  How's this?
Speciric Gravity

Water is clear & empty.  That measures 1.  A liquid like water with solid stuff dissolved in it can hold things up or suspend them in the middle of a glass.  (Like those Galileo thermometers.) These 'thicker liquids' measure more than 1.

In wine, the sugar is converted to alcohol.  Specific Gravity measures alcohol in wine by figuring out how much sugar is gone from the juice you started with. 
Less sugar = less solid stuff dissolved in it 
Less stuff dissolved in it = lower Specific Gravity

But Bucha has more than just sugar & alcohol involved here.  It also has a bunch of acids.  And a variety bacteria colonies growing in there.  That's more solids dissolved in the liquid.  Those kinds of solids I can't measure when I make Kombucha...... (1.5 cups sugar, 1 cup lactobacillius, .75 cups kombuchy-woochy critter, 4Tb microbiotic goodie)

Is that better?

Sarah K
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Offline Kati*did

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #79 on: April 10, 2007, 09:02:08 AM »
OK.  How's this?
Speciric Gravity

Water is clear & empty.  That measures 1.  A liquid like water with solid stuff dissolved in it can hold things up or suspend them in the middle of a glass.  (Like those Galileo thermometers.) These 'thicker liquids' measure more than 1.

In wine, the sugar is converted to alcohol.  Specific Gravity measures alcohol in wine by figuring out how much sugar is gone from the juice you started with. 
Less sugar = less solid stuff dissolved in it 
Less stuff dissolved in it = lower Specific Gravity

But Bucha has more than just sugar & alcohol involved here.  It also has a bunch of acids.  And a variety bacteria colonies growing in there.  That's more solids dissolved in the liquid.  Those kinds of solids I can't measure when I make Kombucha...... (1.5 cups sugar, 1 cup lactobacillius, .75 cups kombuchy-woochy critter, 4Tb microbiotic goodie)

Is that better?

Sarah K

That was awesome!  Now I understand the "conversation" I posted, too.  Thanks a million, Sarah.  8) 8) 8)
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Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #80 on: April 10, 2007, 09:44:07 AM »
You know, I really don't think you're qualified to homeschool.   ;)

Waddya mean?  This IS homeschool today..... and my boys just pointed out that my posts are full of mis-spellings.

Sarah K
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My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #81 on: April 10, 2007, 09:46:39 AM »
You know, I really don't think you're qualified to homeschool.   ;)

Waddya mean?  This IS homeschool today..... and my boys just pointed out that my posts are full of mis-spellings.

Sarah K

I meant that as a *DUH!*  That went way over MY head...  Perty smart gal.     

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #82 on: April 10, 2007, 10:27:58 AM »
Some interesting stuff, ladies. Kinda over my head, but I'll have hubby and sons read it and I'm sure they can explain it all to me! ;D

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #83 on: April 10, 2007, 04:01:38 PM »
Hmmm....  There are 'dissolved solids' in nearly every home brew beer I have ever seen.  It's a sediment/sludge on the bottom of the bottle by they time it has set for a while, but it's definately in there.  Wouldn't that also alter specific gravity?

My whole theory is mess up here I think.

Sarah K
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Offline boysmama

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #84 on: April 11, 2007, 04:43:01 AM »
Interesting thread here ladies...
SarahK have you been adjusting for temp when you take the SG reading? just wondering...wait does your hydrometer have a built in adjustor on the Balling scale? so then do you have a sacchrometer too? the one on the Plato scale...

Bunch of other stuff I'd like to bring into the discussion if/when I get the time and the assurance that I actually understand this stuff.  ;)

Great job so far...I think we aren't going to be able to accurately judge alcohol levels by this method but we should be able to find out how much of the sugar is still in the finished 'bucha.
...Like to know how it factors in that the kombucha culture is not turn the sugar into straight ethanol but is actually splitting the sucrose into glucose and fructose and other acids... do I have that straight?  :-[ I might actually get my foot in my mouth here :P BIG probability ::)

Also since these cultures are not all standardized isn't it possible that one of mine might have more of the ethanol producing yeasts and one of yours have more acetic acid/other acid byproducts coming off?

And one more thought...a longer brew time should ensure that any ethanol (alcohol) that is produced would change into acetic acid as in vinegar making. Right? Cause when you do vinegar you have to turn the sugars into ethanol and then the ethanol into acetic acid. The amount of alcohol in the "pre-vinegar" juice establishes the acidity level of the finished vinegar.
OK got to quit for now and get this figured out would you?  ::) It's killing me.  ;)

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2007, 07:37:17 AM »
Interesting thread here ladies...
SarahK have you been adjusting for temp when you take the SG reading? just wondering...wait does your hydrometer have a built in adjustor on the Balling scale? so then do you have a sacchrometer too? the one on the Plato scale...

Yep - adjusting according to the scale posted on one of the zillions of home brew sites.  Its at aroudn 1.034. (the exact stats are written down & I've got measurements on 2 batches).  I don't have a sacchrometer - would be fun but just grabbed the hydrometer off the shelf at the home-brew store on a whim after buying more Bucha bottles.

Bunch of other stuff I'd like to bring into the discussion if/when I get the time and the assurance that I actually understand this stuff.  ;)

I know - there is just SO much to alter/consider in the factors.

Great job so far...I think we aren't going to be able to accurately judge alcohol levels by this method but we should be able to find out how much of the sugar is still in the finished 'bucha.
...Like to know how it factors in that the kombucha culture is not turn the sugar into straight ethanol but is actually splitting the sucrose into glucose and fructose and other acids... do I have that straight?  :-[ I might actually get my foot in my mouth here :P BIG probability ::)

I don't think we're gonna get exact alcohol amounts - but I'm guessing we should be able to address the general question of "can I get drunk off this stuff? Yikes!", I think we can at least address it.

I'm still kinda puzzled about measuring the sugar via specific gravity.  I've got some beginning theories.... but I'm just not sure they can really be right.  I'm holding back my cards on this one.  I'll test my theory on Sat or Sunday.

Anyway, the other floaties in the solution are my hangups.  Can I accurately assume I am measuring the changes in sugar concentration in the Bucha because there are so many byproducts being added/altered?  It's not as simple as "all you Sucrose Mols!  Ready, Set, Switch Your Carbons! Great.  We're done now."  There are several different microbes in there with their own replication rate, concentrations, blah, blah, blah (inserted for HIO).  So - do these alter the SpGr in such a way as to mask the mount of sugar left in the solution?

Again, I can't tell if I'm gettin' hungup on the details that won't really make a difference on the way to answer the general question.  I am certain I'm no geonna get specific enough to be exactly right but I do want to be close enough to be confident when I am asked about the intoxication levels or the diabetic-friendly-ness of the stuff I'm makin'.

Also since these cultures are not all standardized isn't it possible that one of mine might have more of the ethanol producing yeasts and one of yours have more acetic acid/other acid byproducts coming off?

RIGHT!  EXACTLY what I'm thinking! 

But can I get enough general measurements (some from a scoby you send me and one from a HealthyBratt scoby & a BabyMakers Scoby & a Mishy scoby & AmazonMamaTo5 scoby - gotta get me some plane tickets here) THEN do I have a method that is accurate enough to make the right generalizations?  I took math statistics as a night course - not good.

And one more thought...a longer brew time should ensure that any ethanol (alcohol) that is produced would change into acetic acid as in vinegar making. Right? Cause when you do vinegar you have to turn the sugars into ethanol and then the ethanol into acetic acid. The amount of alcohol in the "pre-vinegar" juice establishes the acidity level of the finished vinegar.

I think that depends on the brewing conditions and the varieties/concentrations of microbes involved... treading into foreign territory here.  You can age that corn mush moonshine for quite a while and only get stronger alcohol - not ever vinegar.  Eventaully the alcohol level in that stuff gets so high it kills the bacterias in it that made the alcohol in the first place.  You can only brew alcohol so far and then you have to distill it to get higher alcohol concentration at that point.  Golly - I just don't know.

OK got to quit for now and get this figured out would you?  ::) It's killing me.  ;)

I hear ya.  I feel compelled to crack open the crayons and do some coloring to rest my brain.

Sarah K
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline SarahK

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2007, 07:43:37 AM »
Alright.I have a friend that I gave a scoby and she said that she made the green tea Kombucha let it set for 7 days.She said that it makes her feel buzzed.She gave it to her grandson(4)and his attitude changed he was more irritated.Is this possible that it was alcohol already?Strong enough to give a buzz?She says she feels it right away.I told her just to drink a lot more water.

What do you think??Em

I don't think it is possible that there is intoxicating amounts of alcohol in it.   All the reputable websites seem to agree - but I don't have the data on my own stuff at this point.
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline Kati*did

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2007, 07:46:30 AM »
Alright.I have a friend that I gave a scoby and she said that she made the green tea Kombucha let it set for 7 days.She said that it makes her feel buzzed.She gave it to her grandson(4)and his attitude changed he was more irritated.Is this possible that it was alcohol already?Strong enough to give a buzz?She says she feels it right away.I told her just to drink a lot more water.

What do you think??Em

I don't think it is possible that there is intoxicating amounts of alcohol in it.   All the reputable websites seem to agree - but I don't have the data on my own stuff at this point.

I was thinking the same thing, and wondering if it couldn't have been some kind of mild detox?  I've had detox that made me kind of light-headed, foggy, and drowsy....or "buzzed".   ;)
"...plain Kate, and bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst..."

Offline all2Jesus

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2007, 07:58:15 AM »
 Emily Jean,
 I drank the 5day Kombucha, from the scoby you sent me, no buzz.
It taste just as described in the thread, and I'm looking forward to being healthier. I used organic sugar and lipton black with black mint.
   It's spicey !
« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 02:34:51 AM by all2Jesus »
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Offline cherri

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Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #89 on: April 12, 2007, 04:32:11 AM »
Hey everyone, my husband was able to run some wine that was confiscated through the breath analyzer  and it tested out at .1, if you remember the kombucha that brewed 14 days was .03.  I have tried to read the other posts about all the pre-vinegar acidic and alcoholic content going down.  Alot of it was more confusing to me than helpful.  ???, I guess it went over my head. Anyways, I just thought I would throw this information out there.  Then everyone can mull it over themselves. I am not sure if this is a help or just more confusion, still too much gray area for me and my family. :-\  Cherri