What’s in Finished Kombucha
Probiotics: Bacteria & Yeast
The specific bacteria and yeast strains in the kombucha are what make it act the way it does, and what produce the fizz and flavor of kombucha. Not all kombucha cultures will contain the exact same strains, but these are some that have been recorded in studies:
Acetobacter – is an aerobic (requiring oxygen) bacteria strain that produces acetic acid and gluconic acid. It is always found in kombucha. Acetobacter strains also build the scoby mushroom. Acetobacter xylinoides and acetobacter ketogenum are two strains that you might find in kombucha.
Saccharomyces – includes a number of yeast strains that produce alcohol and are the most common types of yeast found in kombucha. They can be aerobic or anaerobic (requires an oxygen-free environment). They include Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Saccharomycodes apiculatus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Zygosaccharomyes, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Brettanomyces – is another type of yeast strain, either aerobic or anaerobic, that are commonly found in kombucha and produce alcohol or acetic acid.
Lactobacillus – A type of aerobic bacteria that is sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha. It produces lactic acid and slime.
Pediococcus – These anaerobic bacteria produce lactic acid and slime. They are sometimes, but not always, found in kombucha.
Gluconacetobacter kombuchae – is an anaerobic bacteria that is unique to kombucha. It feeds on nitrogen that is found in tea and produces acetic acid and gluconic acid, as well as building the scoby.
Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis – is a yeast strain that is unique to kombucha. It produces alcohol and carbonation as well as contributing to the mushroom body.
Kombucha also contains a variety of other nutrients, particularly various acids and esters that give the drink its characteristic tang and fizz. Included in these components is gluconic acid, which is the primary difference between the makeup of kombucha and the makeup of apple cider vinegar.