Drew Budner

Drew Budner's Research

There is an increased interest in understanding the link between perceived flavor and the chemical compounds of fermented beverages such as beer and kombucha. Furthermore, the conditions related to fermentation have been shown to play a critical role in the perceived flavor and experience of these types of beverages. In addition, the use of alternative gluten-free grain bills in brewing is becoming more popular.

Kombucha is a beverage made by fermenting sweetened tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Kombucha is known for its unique aroma and acidic flavor. Kombucha has started to gain popularity for the reported health benefits such as increased weight loss and curing acne to purify the gall bladder and helping to fight cancer. While the composition of kombucha has a wide range of variations, little is known about the impact the water’s chemistry has on the fermentation and the resulting kombucha.

The work this summer aims to identify profiles of chemical compounds that originate from the grain material, how these profiles develop during fermentation, and are affected by brew water chemistry. The fermentation will be characterized by measuring the pH, titratable acidity, color, total polyphenols, total antioxidant potential, sugar concentration, and free amino nitrogen regularly from inoculation to the end of fermentation. In addition, the chemical composition of the volatile and semi-volatile aroma will be characterized using GCMS.