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My Kombucha’s Not Bubbly?

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Nothing is more important to me than having my kombucha be bubbly. When it is not.. well, it hurts my feelings. Seriously, it does. I need the fizz. It’s important to me. It also means that I have not given these microbes enough food to do their job. I have to do my part so they can do a good job for me. We are a team whether I can see them or not. They are there working their hardest for me. It’s my job to give them what they need and they will do the rest.

Let me explain to you how it all works. When making kombucha, the tea will form a scoby on top and it will be the size of the opening of your jar. It will form a seal and this will let the yeasts in the kombucha seal in the naturally occurring carbonation. Then, the yeasts will begin to consume the sugars in the tea and the by-product of this is a natural carbonation. Just as yeast makes bread rise, the good yeasts in kombucha make your tea bubbly. One certain yeast found in kombucha is called Saccharomyces boulardii. It is the number one probiotic used in hospitals, called  florastor. It is abundant in kombucha and believe me when I tell you that you need this in your body. It helps a myriad of processes.

We don’t talk a lot about yeasts except for Candida, so most think that yeasts are bad in general and this is not true. Yeasts,just like bacteria, are very important and can help strengthen the body. When harmful yeasts become dominant and the good yeasts are weakened, that is when trouble ensues. Yeasts, when they are establishing dominance within you, do this by shooting at each other until one becomes dominant by destroying the other. Think of it like a shootout at the OK Corral. One yeast will remain and dominate, the other will diminish.

Enough about these good yeasts, and back to how to make your tea bubbly. The yeasts eat the sugar and create carbonation. When they run out of food, they die off. Your kombucha then turns to vinegar and you will lose your carbonation. So, the secret is to get your kombucha right when it is not too sweet but not sour. This is the perfect time to drink kombucha and also has the most benefits. Many think the more sour it is, the better. This is not true, because then you lose the yeasts that help your body flourish because they have died off.

If you want super bubbly fruit flavored kombucha, here is the trick. Make your first fermented kombucha tea. Don’t let it get overly sour. Bottle it with your fruit juice when it is still just a tiny bit sweet. Add your juice and transfer to airtight bottles.   The yeasts will go crazy eating the sugars out of your tea and making you lots of bubbles. When it turns too sour on your first ferment, the yeasts have died and can’t do their job of making your tea bubbly. When you cap off the air in your second ferment they do their job more efficiently. This is why it is usually more bubbly than the first ferment.

One more time:

  1. Make a batch of kombucha. Don’t let it get too sour. It should still be a tiny bit sweet. You can stop here and bottle it or ferment again with juice.
  2. To add fruit flavored. Add your fruit juice to your bottles, then add your kombucha tea and cap. Let this sit for one to three weeks -this depends on the temperature of your home. Sometimes it can be done in a few days, so check it often.
  3. Check your bottles after a few days to a week to see if they are to your liking and bubbly, or leave them to ferment longer.
  4. Place in the fridge when done.
Bubbly Kombucha
Look closely, see the bubbles?

 

Don’t let it get too sour – the secret to bubbly kombucha. Work with these yeast microbes and they will work for you. Give them the food they want and then they will consume the sugars so you don’t have to. In return, they will give you bubbliness for all your effort. I love this so much! They do the work and I receive the benefits.

I am intense about the bubbles. It’s important to me. I  ♥ them.

245 Responses to "My Kombucha’s Not Bubbly?"
  1. Hi, I’ve just made my first batch of kombusha – brewed for 9 days and bottled (in swing top glass bottles) for 4 days. I’ve noticed that each bottle has a little scoby forming on top of it but there are no bubbles yet! How long will it take for bubbles to form before I can refrigerate? or is this batch not going to work? The tea tasted perfect before I bottled it – still a little sweet but tangy.
    .

    • Hi Eikral,

      I am not Donna. However, I will answer your question. Do not us any plastic or metal. The Kombucha will eat those things and then be in your drink and you will be drinking heavy metals or plastic. Always use glass to store them in and wooden utensils when making.

      Happy Kombucha Brewing!

      -Travis

  2. This place is awesome! I hope you can answer my questions. One, I just found out I have too much yeast in my gut and just in case my Dr. Recommended that I stay away from the tea for a month. I just made a batch and have some left from the other. How long can it stay in the fridge for and how can I keep my Scoby fresh ( I have the Scooby I some tea on the counter covered with a cloth).
    Second, I too have not had much fizz, ever. I found out Not to use Masson jar lids, am I putting enough sugar? 1, 1/3 1 gallon water 10 black tea bags… For 5-7 days right? It taste good, just no fizz.
    3, I have to split my Scoby and I don’t want to throw it away and know one at this time wants any…. Can I dehydrate it in my dehydrator or freeze it? How long can I hold the Scoby in the “hotel”?
    Thanks so much
    Terry

  3. I have been making Kombucha for probably 10 years and lately, my brews aren’t as good as usual. I always give a second ferment and it has never taken more than 3 days but the past 2 brews have been flat and second ferment didn’t do anything. I wonder if the screw lids could be worn out and letting air in or my starter tea too old. I clean the brown yeast/tea strings off the scobys in the hotels occasionally. The scobys look fine but they don’t grow very thick babies anymore. Any suggestions?
    Thanks…love your website.

  4. I am new to Kombucha home brewing and need some advise.
    If I use flip top brew bottles do I need to release some pressure during the second fermintation on the counter? I would like get it as fizzy as safely possible, some bottled with fruit juice and some plain.
    You have a great website
    Thanks,

  5. In the article you talk about that if you let fermentation go to long that it will kill off the yeast. If that happens, will they come back the next time you brew? If not, how can you fix that other than buying a new scooby.

    I purchased one that came in liquid. I brewed 1 qt getting ph to 4.5 with apple cider vineagar. I took 8 oz out to try and then put it in a gallon jar with 2 qts and have grown it through 4 batches to 4 qts now. My mother is pretty huge and I’ve always fermented it ~7-10 days. I can tell it’s fermenting (as I can see it and taste the difference), but my secondary ferments have never made it bubbly. The bottles always wind up making a tiny scoby at the bottom. I am using glass beer bottles with the metal beer screw top lids. I’m just wondering if I killed off the yeast in the first few times.

  6. How do you check whether your first fermentation is not too sour or sweet? do you taste it and then decide? Thank you.

  7. Hello,

    I have a scoby in my fridge that I probably got 11-12 months ago. I tried to make kombucha with it when I got it but it didn’t turn out because there was mold growing on the top of the liquid. So I put it back in the fridge, letting it sit in a little of the liquid from the last batch and haven’t touched it since. So its gotta be almost a year old, in the fridge in a glass container with the lid not tightly on. Is it too late to do anything with it or can I bring it back to life some how? Also when I did the last brew it didn’t make a baby at all. Thanks!

  8. Is there a certain ph that you should bottle kombucha at? I am not getting much carbonation on my second ferment. I think it is still a sweet when I bottle it. I like to bottle it at around 2.9 ph. Also, when I use lemon and ginger for the second ferment I don’t get any fizz. Is that because there isn’t any sugar in the lemon or ginger?

    • the ph strips don’t work very well which is why I don’t recommend them. Yes this can be the case with lemon and ginger and it you second ferment it when its still a little sweet it will be more bubbly.

  9. How thick should we allow the scoby to get before separating it? And how long will it keep in some tea in fridge? I regularly have friends wanting to start and I give it to them but sometimes sits for awhile before that happens. I want to make sure I give them a living scoby. Thank you so much for all your valuable information.

  10. This is my first article I’ve ever read here and it directly answered my question!!! I am on a site online and I’m almost afraid to ask questions. Other fermenting sites just tell newbies to read the files…..read the files….. Thanks for being humane and so very helpful!!!

  11. Donna can the carbonation, which is strongest from the second ferment, cause problems for the enamel on teeth? Is it healthier, at least from that perspective, to not do a second ferment? I want my teeth to last!

    • Usually when people are having trouble with their teeth it is due to an imbalance in the gut which is causing acid in the stomach too come up through the esophagus. If you fix the stomach with probiotics none of these problems will occur. Its not the food is the imbalance in your gut.

  12. Hello Donna, I really appreciate all the info you provide! thank you!! I have a question for you. I have already ran a couple of Kombucha fermentations on my kitchen counter. The first ones gave me new scobys right away and the taste was great, I didn´t find them very bubbly but I didn´t know I should be looking for that! now I do!. But the last fermentation is different, the scobies look normal, the smell is similar to the last ones, but they are not building the new scoby on top, I have 6 bottles next to each other, and not one of them is behaving like they did before. I feed the kombucha to my whole family and would like to make sure that it is safe to drink …. how should I know that is ok ???!!! I would really appreciate any feedback you could give me, thank you

  13. Donna, after I have decanted my Kombucha. I place it in air tight jars on the counter for 3 days to increase the carbonation, but each bottle forms its own mini-scoby. Is there a way to prevent this? This has happened with every batch so far. It’s delicious, but you must fish the scoby out or you end up with a surprise in your swallow. Thank you for any advice.

  14. Been making Kombucha for a few months now, but didn’t have time to let the tea get to room temperature and just added more water and then the starter. This last time the one had quite a bit of bubbles and fizz when I transferred to my mason jars for storage. But the second had this hard Scoby or whatever it was on the top. Both batches lost their fizz by the end of 2 weeks. And they have a bit if a weird taste. I guess my question it is this all due to me not allowing the water to go back to room temp before adding the Scoby or is it something else?

      • I’ve been using mason jars with metal jars with the other batches and they’ve always gotten stronger, even in the fridge. I found that it didn’t get stronger when I used plastic lids but the metal ones kept it sealed better.
        What do you suggest I use instead?

  15. My Kombucha is bubbling a lot and it is only day 3. Is that ok or is something wrong? My previous batch was too vinegary tasting and I don’t want that but only brewing for 3 days seems way too short. Thanks for your help, glad I found you!

  16. this is my third batch.of kombucha..i used orgainc green tea ,coconut sugar just like the other batches.it been 12 days and the tea its cloudy.its been cloudy from day 4….don’t look like any mold just brown spots on the scooby.it looks alittle dry,,the new scooby don’t look like the other scoobys..is that normal

  17. I have just purchased your new book and have got some really great ideas and info, thanks. I am accustomed to brewing alcoholic mead and wonder if you know what the approx final specific gravity should be for perfect kombucha. I am trying to avoid sugar so I would like it to be as low sugar as possible before it turns into vinegar.

  18. Donna, My kombucha is vinegary even on the first fermentation. I use distilled water. Could that be a factor? I use 1/4 c sugar per quart. Is that sweet enough? I have recently starting using a bottle with a smaller opening hoping that will help. Any ideas?

  19. Hi Donna!
    I received a beautiful scoby with about a half cup of liquid. I followed your instructions and read FAQs–my original scoby sank and a beautiful new one formed on top. Then the Mother floated up and joined the new one. The tea was amazing–but always tasted sweet. I let it go for 14 days and then bottled it anyway and put it in the fridge. It never got fizzy or acidic so I wondered if it was still beneficial? It tastes like sweet tea! I saved the scoby with about a cup and a half of liquid in a sealed mason jar on my counter on July 28–is it still good?
    Thanks so much for all you do! You have taught me more about bacteria than I learned in nursing and naturopathy school! You’re in my upcoming book with Balboa!

    • I think the scoby and tea are still good but you didn’t let it ferment long enough to remove the sugar and get bubbly. You can put those bottles out on the counter and let them ferment longer. It really shouldn’t taste sweet because then your not getting the benefits.

  20. My Kombucha has been quite carbonated for about 6 cycles now (I do continuous brew). But all of a sudden my last two batches have barely been fizzy, even after leaving it bottled with fruit juice for 2+ days. I haven’t changed any of the recipe. Any ideas?

  21. Hi Donna! Is it okay to use coconut palm sugar instead of regular sugar when making the tea? Thank you…Kate

  22. My bucha loses its fizz during second fermentation in the bottles. How much juice are you supposed to add to feed the critters to create fizz? I don’t think I’m adding enough extra juice. Help!

  23. Three Questions
    1. Are my second fermentation bottles ok on the counter or do they need to be out of the sunlight?
    2. I’m not seeing new scobys with each batch. Could it just be my mother is getting thicker instead?
    3. Since I’m having problems getting good carbonation can I brew the first batch with an extra half cup of sugar? I keep getting a slightly rotten taste on my second ferment when I use fruit and very little bubbles.

    • Yes you can leave them on the counter this is fine.

      Your mother is proabably just getting thicker which is normal

      You should follow the measurements exactly and less the time it ferments. Changing the amounts can throw the fermentation off.

  24. Donna,
    You have a wonderful web site. Thank you. I probably will join your club later. Right know we are in the middle of moving.
    I just recently started to make combucha.
    It is doing it’s job. I finish the fermentation when it is still a little sweet. It is fizzy, and bubbly, but when I put in a bottle it loose all the fizzy. it is just a regular tea. The second fermentation is good, and bubbly. However, I would like to enjoy it without a second fermentation too. Every suggestion of yours is appreciated. Also I have an other question: Which combucha has the more good stuff in it: the original one, or the second fermented one?
    Thank you very much
    Erika Juhasz

    • Bottle it when its less sweet but not tart if you not going to second ferment it and then it might stay more bubbly, or leave it on the counter for a day or two if you want to bottle it a little sweet and let it ferment a couple days before you put it in the fridge. The second ferment seems to be a little more probiotic but not always just depends on how active the good yeast are.

      • Thank you for your help. I will follow your advice.
        I have just one more question.
        I have reflux. Do you thing that combucha tea triggers it or safe to drink? I like it and I want to enjoy the benefits, but I do not want my reflux to get worse. I really appreciate your help.
        Thank you again.
        Erika

  25. I brew my kombucha for 7 or 8 days and when I decant into bottles it is super fizzy and frothy on top. But once these bottles are refrigerated it goes totally flat. Even after just a few hours. I use recycled Braggs ACV bottles. Some people are suggesting that it shouldn’t be refrigerated to retain that fizz. Any help would be appreciated!

      • I love this. I have found a bottle I left in for God only knows how long and because I don’t like to waste I toasted myself to maybe sitting on the pot for an hour or so and then down I drank. Still tasted as good as the first time I cracked it open. I’ve been continuous brewing for a little over a year now. As long as I keep the mother happy (sugar + tea) will it continue to make the same strength and quality of brew or do I need to eventually retire the mother and start over with a new SCOBY? As you can guess, I am here because my kombucha has lost its fizz. Thought I was practically out of the rookie stage of kombucha but I guess a year experience is only the beginning!

        • You need to always use the new scoby because the old one loses its strength after a while. I have a new blog I am writing soon about how to make your kombucha really bubbly. hould be next week but I am still tweaking it. Stay tuned!

  26. My very first batch of Komucha with my first scoby I let got for 21 days, on accident! Now every batch I make no matter how long or short I brew it, and after the second ferment with fruit, it still won’t get bubbly!!! Did I ruin it the first time? I store my second ferment in GT kombucha glass bottles, I feel the seal is pretty good and carbonation is not escaping! HELP!!!!!!

    • You need to stop fermenting when it is still slightly sweet and add some juice. If the first ferment is to tart it doesn’t get bubbly when you add the second ferment.

  27. Can the fruit juice used in Kombucha and in cultured veggies be from concentrate? I hope no one’s asked this already…

  28. Second ferment with juice…it has been a week. Just starting to get a few bubbles but, all the bottles have a Scoby ?….forming on top? It is in swing top bottles and I filtered it through a coffee filter. It is from 1/2 to 1″ at the top of the Kombucha. What is happening? Maybe just need better filtration? If I open it and remove whatever? Will it continue to form carbonation?

    • You can just leave it and let it ferment longer and remove the little scoby before drinking. Its ok it’s just what happens sometimes it means you have a lot of active culture and thats a good thing. Leave them till they get more bubbly.

  29. I understand that letting it ferment longer during the second fermentation will increase carbonation but I’m worried about the increased alcoholic content as well….is this a legitimate concern? I don’t want Kombucha wine 🙂

    • You have to add a lot of fruit for this to happen and usually your only adding a small amount. Each day as it ferments the alcohol content which is very small diminishes.

  30. Can I use wine bottles with screw tops for second fermentation. If so should I tighten securely. I have some swing tops, but not enough. Also what do I do with my kombucha when we are gone south for 9 weeks?

  31. On my second fermentation (still plenty of sweetness, not too vinegary, pulped fruit added, scobies removed and safely installed in their ‘hotel’), the brew isn’t fizzing at all after 24 hours. What can I do to get the fizz and sparkle going? Would adding a bit of scoby help?

  32. Hi, Does the starter SCOBY need to be the same size as the jar you use? Mine is smaller than the dispenser I am using. I just realized that this might be why mine is not getting bubbly nor does my SCOBY seem to be growing. Help!! : )

  33. Brew belt….can it be adapted for a 1-2 gallon jar? And where can you find a 2 gallon jar with plastic spigot? Everything I am finding on Amazon has a metal spigot.

  34. Making my first batch of kombucha….this is the 4th day of fermenting and there appears to be a cloudy film on the top of my kombucha. I’m afraid to taste it. Is this OK?

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