My friend recently gave me the idea of making a kombucha-inoculated beer. Having never done it before, the principle seems fairly straightforward to me (this is my own guesswork):
- Ferment kombucha as normal (done!)
- Prepare base beer recipe/wort, let it cool
- Pitch enough kombucha starter to inoculate wort (for my 8L batch, about 1L of starter according to normal kombucha ratios)
- Let it ferment normally as with any other yeast pitch
It seems that this would inoculate the wort with the bacteria and yeast I want (Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces). It, in theory, should slightly sour and acidify the wort, and of course ferment it. Let's assume I have an OG of about 1.060 using primarily 2-row malt, nothing too high.
There are a few things I'm not sure about:
- Is approximately 1/8 wort volume enough kombucha starter to get fermentation going (1L for 8L of wort)?
- Can the kombucha SCOBY actually ferment down the beer appropriately (e.g. below 1.020) - or do I need to pitch additional yeast?
- Will hop additions during the boil later kill the bacteria in the SCOBY when I pitch?
- Am I doing this all wrong and there's a better way?
I think that the end product should be a fermented, slightly sour and acidic wort with more or less the same qualities as kombucha in terms of flavor, but with a slight malt backbone.
PS - I could use some other Lactobacillus-laden product to sour the wort, but I thought that since I have mature kombucha sitting on my counter I may as well use it!