Home Brew vs Commercial Kombucha
I first tasted Kombucha in Germany in 2016. I bought 3 bottles from a supermarket, bringing 1 back to Singapore with me. I finished this last bottle before I learnt how to make it. I tried to look for more in Singapore, there was none. I even looked for it online, but none would ship to Singapore at the time.
In June 2017, my aunt introduced me to Fatiah of Rikh’s Brew, who taught me how to make Kombucha. Fathiah gave me the SCOBY to start my brewing. I have been brewing Kombucha since then.
By the end of 2018, Kombucha was being sold practically everywhere in Singapore! It became a booming product and retailers were cashing in on the demand which seemed to be exploding. Not only that, loads of people had started making it in Singapore. I would bring Kombucha to social gatherings. One lady told me she was getting it from her neighbour. I taught my cousin, who taught it to her sister, who taught it to her colleagues. I see Kombucha at pop-up fairs, locally made and beautifully packaged. I think back to the times not long ago when I couldn’t even get one delivered to Singapore.
Commercially made Kombucha is now so easily found in Singapore. But, hand on heart, nothing tastes as good as a home brew. Friends have given us commercially made Kombucha just to compare. While on holiday, I look for bottles to keep the gut happy. Commercially bought Kombucha tastes like fizz has been pumped in, the fizziness lacking that seamless, synergised experience. The flavour is also never as deep, mellow and smooth as a home brew.
When making Kombucha at home, you’re watching over a living thing. I believe that connection with the SCOBY makes a difference, like love that goes into cooking, like talking to plants. You watch it breathe and grow. You make sure its healthy and refreshed. When its worked hard, you rest it. You think about the flavour infusion and you buy the best ingredients for it. You choose the best available water. A long enough second brew is what creates the pop. Different infusion ingredients have varying degrees of pop. Everyday you burp it, testing for the quality of the pop. You watch the naturally occurring fizz come to live when the pressure is released. And everyone knows that a good pop is reason for celebration!