Is it possible to make sugar-free kombucha? We have the answer!
First of all, you should know that homemade kombucha is already a very low-sugar beverage, with about 12g of sugar per 250ml (compared to 27g for a soft drink).
However, by increasing the fermentation time, you could produce a kombucha almost completely sugar-free!
The longer the fermentation time, the more time yeast has to eat the sugar. Eventually, there will be no sugar left.
Our recipe will please everyone who wants to drink a low-sugar or sugar-free kombucha!
And if you want to be able to measure the sugar content of your kombucha, a refractometer is the right tool for you!
Is Sugar Required to Make Kombucha?
It is possible to make kombucha with honey (jun), or with maple syrup, as these sugars are practically identical food for yeast.
Also, it is possible to make kombucha with little or no sugar (as in the recipe below).
However, do not try to substitute the sugar in a kombucha recipe with stevia, xylitol, or erythritol! It won’t work.
There is no way to produce kombucha without using sugar. It’s quite simple: without sugar, there is no food for the yeast, so no kombucha!
Indeed, to grow, yeast needs to eat sugar. The preparation will automatically go mouldy if you replace the sugar with a sweetener.
How to Make Sugar-Free Kombucha
To make our kombucha less sweet, we rely on a much longer fermentation time: 50 days versus 12 days for a regular kombucha recipe.
It will be possible to flavour it afterwards with a sweetener or herbal infusions to provide a sweet and less acidic taste (but without sugar!).
In this recipe, kombucha concentrate (similar to vinegar) is first produced and then diluted and flavoured.
This method takes longer than the classic method, but the health benefits are greater.
For more tips on how to make kombucha with less sugar, check out our 6 tips for (almost) sugar-free kombucha.
Recipe for Sugar-Free Kombucha
- 1 Kitchen scale
- 1 Kettle
- 1 kombucha scoby and its liquid culture
- 12 g plain tea (6 tbsp)
- 500 ml hot water (85°C or higher)
- 150 g cane sugar
- 2.5 L chlorine-free or filtered water
- 12 g tea, or herbal tea (6 to 10 tbsp)
- 500 ml hot water (85°C or more)
- 8 to 12 sachets stevia sachets (or another sweetener)
- 2.5 L cold filtered water
- 500 to 750 ml sugar-free kombucha concentrate
- 30 g finely chopped ginger
Preparation of the kombucha concentrate
- Pour 500ml of boiling water into the jar and add the tea. To facilitate the infusion, use tea bags or the nylon filter.
- Let it infuse for about 15 minutes. Remove the tea.
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add water to make a total of 3 litres (your tea should now be lukewarm).
- Add the kombucha scoby with its liquid culture.
- Cover the container with the cloth and rubber band.
- Ferment for 50 to 60 days at room temperature and in a ventilated space.
- Set aside in the fridge 500ml of kombucha as well as the scoby. These will be used to make your next kombucha.
- This sugar-free kombucha can be stored for several years in a tightly sealed jar at room temperature.
- Pour 500ml of boiling water into a jar and add the tea.
- Let it infuse for about 15 to 45 minutes. Remove the tea.
- Add the stevia and stir to dissolve.
- Add cold filtered water.
- Add 250ml (1 cup) of the kombucha concentrate prepared earlier.
- Stir, taste, and repeat the addition of kombucha concentrate until you have a perfectly acidic product to taste. Normally 500 to 750ml is enough.
- Add the ginger.
- Attach the cloth onto the mouth of the jar and let it sit for 24 hours at room temperature. The sediments from the infusion will sink to the bottom of the jar and the taste will become more rounded.
- Filter if desired.
- Bottle. No need to refrigerate, sugar-free kombucha is stable at room temperature.
With almost no sugar, your kombucha may struggle to produce fizz. The yeast is responsible for creating the CO2, after all!
If you want bubbles, there is a solution! Simply add ¼ sachet of champagne or bread yeast and 20g of cane sugar per 3.5L (dissolve well), just before bottling. Let it ferment for 2 weeks and store at room temperature.