I have tried Kombucha for the first time today. I've been leery of it for a long time since I generally taste alcohol in anything and have my throat refuse to swallow it most of the time without a major effort. I have understood Kombucha to be alcoholic (they even put warning labels on it at the stores), yet when I drank a little, my throat didn't lock. I did taste something that seems alcohol in nature, but without the standard effect. Mind you, I haven't decided how I feel about the taste and mouth-feel yet, but it is interesting that I am not reacting to it like other alcohols.
Is there something about the type of alcohol produced that is different from most other forms of alcohol? Why is it I am not reacting to this the same way I have to every single other form of alcohol I have ever come across? If I make it through the whole bottle without having my throat lock, I might have to try developing a taste for this stuff!
From what I can tell it is the same alcohol but can contain 0.5 - 3% ABV.
A Coors light contains 4.2% ABV if you want to test that it is the amount of alcohol you will need to dilute the beer.
For example 12oz of beer and 88.8oz of water will be 0.5%.
Here are a few easy conversions for you using ratios
1:7.4 is 0.5%
1:3.2 is 1%
1:1.8 is 1.5%
1:1.1 is 2%
1:0.68 is 2.5%
Each batch of Kombucha is different. Even so it is never more alcohol by volume than single digits. It can be in there but it is very little. It would be interesting experiment to try and get the alcohol percent up, but I digress....
Alcohol is usually an anaerobic ferment (without air) while vinegars are aerobic ferments. And as you know 'K' is usually not sealed during fermentation (aerobic) so it can go vinegar if left to long. But this vinegar is great stuff!
I've made batches of Kombucha that made the drinkers feel light headed. This was because I would cover my jars with thick heavy towels to hold in the heat; this made a stronger brew than when I covered them with cheese cloth in the summer. That said, it never has tasted like alcohol, not even a little.
I'm glad your not finding the bit of alcohol troublesome.
Jami McBride wrote:... That said, it never has tasted like alcohol, not even a little.
I am that oddball person who can taste the alcohol in just about every drink it exists in. The stuff everyone swears up and down you won't taste the alcohol in is usually bearing the taste of the alcohol clearly to me and still undrinkable. I do taste it in this, but it is faint and doesn't seem to be affecting me like most alcohol does.
Kombucha brewing consists of using a culture of both yeast and bacteria. This process first takes the sugar in the brew and converts it to alcohol with yeast (the same why beer is made), and then the bacteria takes that alcohol and converts it to a vinegar. The process isn't perfect and, depending on your culture, you are left with small amounts of both sugar and alcohol afterwards. In my experience, the minute amounts of alcohol is completely overpowered by the vinegar taste and probably the left over unfermented sugars. But it is the exact same type of alcohol, which is to say ethanol.