blog - How we brew
At Yugen, we are on a mission to create the most inspiring healthy alternatives to regular soda's. Thanks to our proprietary fermentation (backed by centuries of Belgian brewing expertise), the use of premium organic ingredients and a state-of-the-art brewing facility, we are able to deliver a world-class product.
Learn more about the different steps in our production process and join our culture shift.
Keep it simple
Unlike the complex flavour profile of our finished product, our ingredient list is surprisingly simple. Yugen Kombucha is a natural drink and we want to keep it that way. No artificial or 'natural' aroma's, no concentrates, no preservatives, no chemicals, no added probiotics, no nonsense. All we care about is creating extraordinary flavour sensations that do good, both to your body & the planet.
Brewing great kombucha starts with sourcing excellent ingredients. Yugen takes pride in using only the highest quality organic tea leaves and organic cane sugar to brew its tea. Just like you would at home, we start by steeping tea leaves into fresh, filtered water at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time. Tea leaves release their flavour and aroma's quick. In order to avoid a bitter aftertaste, controlling this step is important to create the perfect base for our kombucha.
This crucial step distinguishes kombucha from other fermented beverages like beer or wine. Instead of using just one type of yeast or microbe to create the flavour pallet, kombucha is made with a whole array of microorganisms. We call these the scoby, which stands for 'symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast'. This culture 'eats' the sugar in the sweetened tea and turns it into tasty & tart kombucha. Additionally, it produces a variety of other compounds, which can nourish and detoxify the body, such as gluconic acid, lactic acid, and acetic acid.
Crafting premium authentic kombucha takes time. Unlike regular sodas, brewing kombucha is not just mixing a couple of ingredients. From start to finish our brewing process takes about one months. After about one months of magical fermentation the final mixture is high in bioavailable antioxidants, vitamins and a wide range living microorganisms. Yugen honors the long-lived tradition of kombucha brewing, but we definitely do not stop there.
Every Yugen is brewed to perfection using 4 powerful herbs and fresh organic juice, skillfully balanced to create wildly inspiring flavours.
The herbs are carefully sourced for their flavour and aroma profiles, but also for their added benefits. Many herbs have been used for centuries for their healing properties. While creating a recipe, Yugen always searches for functionality amongst complementary herbs. That way the overall potency is raised and true synergies arise. We take great pride in our quality ingredients, that's why we never use aroma's (natural of artificial) but always start from pure dried leaves to create our flavours.
At the very end of the flavouring process we add loads of pure organic juice to our fermentation tanks. Needless to say we would never use concentrated juice. We go through great lengths to source the freshest and highest quality juice on the market. Whenever possible we cold press the juice to preserve the maximum amount of vitamins and nutrients. In some cases, there is only a few hours between pressing the fruit and pumping the juice to our tanks. Now, that's fresh!
After all of the action above, we give our precious kombucha a moment to settle and relax. During this stage we check various quality indicators such as ph, alcohol and sugar levels, to make sure our kombucha meets our high standard. To preserve quality we cold crash our kombucha to temperatures just above freezing. This locks in the flavours and prevents further fermentation. This is also the time when we carbonate our kombucha to perfection. Not too much, not too little, but just enough. All that's left now is the final push to the bottles and cans.
At Yugen we package our kombucha in cans, bottles and kegs. Authentic kombucha is unpasteurized, which means the billions of living microorganisms are still active when they enter our packaging. Amber glass and opaque cans are used to protect these cells from harmful UV-light, keeping the full-strength of this raw brew as fresh as possible.
Because our kombucha is a fresh product which contains living cultures, it will start fermenting again if kept out of the refrigerator too long. Continued fermentation produces more alcohol and excessive carbon dioxide, which could cause the kombucha to rapidly overflow ("explode") upon opening. That's why we cold-chain our products to ensure the quality is perfect when you open it up and reach for that glass. Cheers!