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Controlling the temperature of your kombucha brew is the easiest ways to insure that you bottle your kombucha when it is at its tastiest. The temperature of the brew is directly related to how long the brewing process takes.
It also impacts the health of the SCOBY. Brewing kombucha at too cold a temperature results in weak SCOBY growth, and weak flavor. It also makes your SCOBY susceptible to mold – your worst kombucha brewing enemy.
You will likely discover that there is a certain sweet spot in the brewing process at which time the kombucha is exactly to your liking – slightly tart, with a hint of sweetness. To find this sweet spot each time you brew requires that the fermentation process occurs at a consistent temperature.
A quality digital thermometer and taking the time to record the brew temperature at regular intervals will make sure your kombucha brewing process results in a delicious brew every time.
The SCOBY will be happiest and produce the best kombucha at its optimal temperature of between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If you keep the room where your fermenter is located at that temperature, then you are all set. However, if the room is much colder than that, it is best if you have a way to keep your brew warm.
There are a few ways of accomplishing that. You can purchase specially designed heating units, but they are pricey. Also, most of them are designed for brewing wine and beer, not kombucha. But if they are within your budget, they reportedly work well.
These fermentation heaters have excellent ratings from customers.
The easiest and most inexpensive way we have found (and one that has worked for us for years) is something called a seedling warming mat. It is a plastic mat that is large enough to wrap about halfway around the fermentation jar and creates a small amount of heat. It will warm the brew evenly.
The only drawback we have found to using an inexpensive heater is that there is no easy way to control the temperature exactly. However, by using an outlet timer, you can set the heating mat to go on and off at regular intervals. With a little experimentation, it is easy to control the kombucha brew within a couple of degrees.
We have found, that using this method, we can control the brewing process so that it takes about one week for the SCOBY to finish its job and produce kombucha that is exactly the way we like it, every time.
Below is our selection of low cost heating mats that will keep your brew at the correct temperature.
Any of these outlet timers will turn your heating mat on and off at set intervals. With a little experimentation, it is easy to find the correct amount of heating to keep your brewing temperature between 78 and 82 degrees.
Products from Amazon.com
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If your kombucha brewing is taking too long, if your SCOBY is getting moldy, or if your kombucha is not coming out as tasty as you’d like, you are surely brewing at too low a temperature. Add a heat mat to your brewing process and make your best home brewed kombucha ever.