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Old 08-31-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
Fuzzymittenbrewing
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Originally Posted by n240sxguy View Post
Is there even a way to measure the alcohol content of kombucha. I was under the impression that the bacteria ate it all up.
A vinometer will probably work. You can get one at your lhbs for about $6
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Old 08-31-2013, 06:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fuzzymittenbrewing

A vinometer will probably work. You can get one at your lhbs for about $6
This is what I found out about how they work. I don't think it would work at all due to the alcohol content and co2.

This is a very simple way to check the alcohol content of your home brew wine but remember - it is very approximate and you need to know how it works to avoid the common pitfalls.
It works on (still) wine only, not beer or spirits.
It will only work if there is no CO2 left in your wine.
It will only work if your wine is 8-13% or around these values.

The homebrew wine alcohol meter uses the capillary effect in the liquid to determine the alcohol. This will only work on "normal" strength home brewed wines. Unfortunately most meters are graduated between 0-25% but the error outside 8-13% is too large, it simply doesn't work there.

Trick: If you have a very strong wine, dilute it with equal amount of water, then take a reading. If reading ends up inside the interval 8-13% you know you can trust it and in reality it is twice as high.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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Yeah, a shot of vodka and kombucha would do the trick :P

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Old 09-04-2013, 12:26 AM   #14
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When you put kombucha under airlock many of the bacteria go dormant, not all of them. So you still have conversion of present alcohol to acids, albeit slower, plus the yeast shift to anaerobic and continue to produce alcohol. Want a higher alc content, introduce a strain of cultivated yeast after removing the scoby. Step feed it sugar, proceed to make kombucha wine. Remember you started at 1.020 if using one cup sugar per gallon but a hydrometer will not give you adequate readings, false positives due to the conversion of alcohol to acids and all that. I think the Honneyman Method is the most reasonable way to check ACV of your finished batch. Maybe do it on your base kombucha before adding yeast and more sugar. Happy Herbalist website has a great overview of what happens when and reference articles, etc.

And there is definitely alcohol being produced in primary ferment. Scoby can hang in anaerobic state as long as you keep it in base kombucha, pH below 4, feed it occassionally with some sweet tea. People call them kombucha hotels, and can be aerobic or anaerobic. Scoby are produced in aerobic and anaerobic mode, many bottles have been opened with developed scoby inside.

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Old 09-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #15
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Wow, thanks for the info! I finally cracked into my experiment and it did taste/smell slightly beery to me. But it also still sweet, which was fine, cause when I tasted it before finally bottling it it was way way sour, so I added some honey to it. Anyhow, I will try this again, but I think I will invest in some yeast to make a wine, and look into that method of ACV measurement.

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