Momma Kombucha is different from other store bought brands because it is LIVING on continues to grow and ferment in the bottle. Many commercial brands are required to be shelf-stable and to extend their shelf lives, so big supermarkets can keep them on the shelf for months without worry of them expiring. To do this, many kombuchas are pasteurised, or filtered until no living bacterias remain.
We are not shelf stable. Momma Kombucha needs to be refrigerated at all times, or the kombucha over ferment.
Take the SCOBY Challenge…
You can grow a fresh SCOBY from any of our bottles of kombucha. All you need to do complete fill a 500ml glass jar, cover with a cloth and elastic band and wait. In only 2-3 weeks and you’ll have a nice healthy looking SCOBY. This is how you can tell our kombucha is living. We tried this same test with some sugar free alternatives we bought from our local supermarket, lets just say, they didn’t grow a SCOBY.
Or, save your Momma Kombucha for drinking and leave the fermenting to us 🙂
I’d like to start by inviting anyone who has never tried our products to come down to one of our markets and try, because the taste alone is enough to convert any commercial-kombucha drinker, and many adamant non-kombucha drinkers to start drinking our kombucha.
Commercialised kombucha could be compared to ‘instant coffee’ where craft kombucha is like a fine, locally roasted, fresh shot of strong, delicious coffee. Both are called coffee and both have their place, but if you want to be converted to drinking the real thing, you need to look for a craft kombucha. And what better place to start, but right here?
Many years ago, I started brewing in my kitchen and today, we still keep that same recipe, made in the same way, but just increased to 400L tanks. We ferment in imported Italian stainless steel tanks. We do not use any plastic.
Many commercialised kombucha companies don’t even ferment to make their kombucha. Instead they buy in a kombucha vinegar, dilute it with up to 80% water, filter it, flavour, sweeten and carbonate over night and bottle into plastic bottles. The result is a shelf stable, fizzy drink that has a 1 year shelf life, or more. It lives in a warehouse for many, many months. Then it’s delivered to the grocery store and packed into a fridge to make it look like it’s real, but it’s not. Real kombucha needs sugar as food. When you have sugar free kombucha, it is not kombucha.
Our kombucha on the other hand has been fermenting between 4-7 weeks. We boil up organic rooibos tea and organic black tea and sugar, then add in our kombucha starter (which is our old kombucha) and SCOBY and let it sit and ferment. We just wait and taste and wait until we are happy with the amount of sugar that has been consumed by the bacterias.
When we’re happy with the acidity and the sweetness, we pipe it straight into bottles and we add pieces of fruit. Resulting in a slightly effervescent, rich & fresh tasting kombucha. Then we deliver it to you, or to our stockists. This happens every week, so our kombucha is fresh, tangy, delicious, packed with actual kombucha, and real probiotics and all those good gut healthy bacterias.
So, when people ask, what is the difference, the question is really, what is the same? Nothing, well except, they both are called Kombucha!
** Unlike those store commercialised brands, our kombucha must be refrigerated at ensure the sugar and alcohol levels remain the same.
For more information about our kombucha, check out our FAQs
At Momma Kombucha, we do not pasteurise with heat, or filter out all the bacterias, and we do not kill our beautiful bacterias with chemicals. All we do is refrigerate to slow it down.
Our shelf life is only a matter of weeks. Once our fermentation process is complete, we bottle it up and get it delivered to you within a few days and then you have a few weeks to enjoy your fresh Kombucha (not that you will need that long!).
Does it go off? First, let me give you some background. Kombucha is sweet tea that is fermented using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). It looks a bit like a big white jellyfish. Over time the Bacteria and Yeast on the SCOBY penetrate the tea and the tea starts to sour and become fermented.
Fermenting kombucha can go very sour and it can REALLY FIZZ! During the second ferment pressure builds up within the bottle. If it was left unrefrigerated for an extended amount of the time the gas would be forced to escape. That’s why we keep really close tabs on all our bottles. Each bottle is tracked with batch code, which tells us exactly when it was brewed, bottled, and then refrigerated. We only deliver fresh Kombucha to you that is safe to drink. Each bottle has a refrigeration and best before dates, to help you know when your kombucha will be carbonated and ready to drink.
We ferment our kombucha until almost all the sugar is gone and then reintroduce the sweetness by adding natural fruit, berries and spices and nothing more. Once our fruits have been added, we seal the bottle for the second ferment. This only takes a day or two to create the natural slight carbonation.