Bucha Buddha’s Hoppy Kombucha Recipe

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Do you love the taste of beer but hate the carbs, calories, and hangover? This recipe is for you. With this hoppy kombucha recipe, you can experience that deliciously bitter hoppy taste without the high alcohol content.

Hop cones contain alpha acids, which are released during fermentation during the brewing process (in this case, the second fermentation). This gives the healthy drink a bit of a bitter taste, similar to craft beer.


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Hoppy Kombucha

  • Total Time:
    2 days

  • Yield:
    16 Servings 1x


This hopped kombucha will give you the taste of hoppy flavors without the discomfort or guilt of drinking beer. You will love this kombucha flavor if you love IPA or other hoppy beers.




  1. Pour the kombucha into a gallon-sized fermentation vessel and add the dry hops.
  2. Cover the vessel with a clean white cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
  3. Leave the kombucha at room temperature for 8 hours and then strain the kombucha with a wire mesh strainer to remove the hops.
  4. Use a funnel and pour the kombucha into bottles (make sure to leave a 1-inch space in each bottle) and tightly cap.
  5. Place the bottles in a warm location to ferment for 48 hours.
  6. Place one of the bottles in the refrigerator for 6 hours, ensuring it is thoroughly chilled. Then, try your kombucha to see if the carbonation is to your liking. If it is, you can refrigerate the remaining bottles and serve them when chilled. If not, leave the bottles to sit for another day or two and try again.


Unlike when brewing beer, the hops are added after the first fermentation. When making homemade hop tea, ferment your kombucha first and then add the hops for the second fermentation.

Different hop varieties can be used in your homebrew. Rather than using dry hops, you may opt for hop pellets or even a simple syrup created by boiling the hops to extract more flavor.

  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Fermenting Time: 48 hours

What Does Hoppy Kombucha Taste Like?

Hoppy kombucha has a bitter taste and slight pine, floral, and citrus notes. The kombucha base adds a subtle vinegary taste with some sweetness. Think kombucha meets craft beer.

What Are Hops?

Hops are the flowers (also known as hop cones) of the Humulus Lupulus plant that have been used for centuries to flavor beer and prolong its shelf life.

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There are many different hop varieties to choose from. However, some of our favorites for hoppy kombucha include:

  • Centennial hops: This type of hop has citric characteristics, a depth of bitterness, and a forward aroma. Its flavors are earthy and floral, with an element of citrus.
  • Cascade hops: One of the most widely used hops by craft brewers in the US, this hop gives off a distinct spicy citrus aroma with a hint of grapefruit.
  • Amarillo hops: This variety is excellent for making hoppy kombucha. It gives off a delicious orange citrus flavor and is high in acidity, giving your homebrew a delightful taste.

Does All Kombucha Have Hops?

No, all kombucha does not contain hops. Kombucha is made by fermenting sweet tea using a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The kombucha SCOBY is made of lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, and yeast. It feeds on the sugar from the sweet tea and transforms the liquid into the tangy, fizzy drink we love.

Kombucha only has hops if you add them.

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Essential kombucha ingredients

Health Benefits of Hoppy Kombucha

The health benefits of kombucha are widely known. One of the most significant benefits of kombucha is its abundance of probiotics, which are a mix of good bacteria and yeast that live in our bodies and can contribute to a healthy gut. Kombucha may also help to boost your metabolism, reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and even help prevent cancer.

Hops add additional health benefits, including the following:

  • Can reduce anxiety and nervousness
  • May help with insomnia
  • May aid with restlessness
  • Can help with excitability and ADHD
  • Can be used to improve appetite
  • Can help with indigestion

How Much Alcohol Is in Hoppy Kombucha?

Hoppy kombucha has the same amount of alcohol as typical kombucha— less than 0.5% ABV. However, if you brew at home, it isn’t easy to know the exact ABV of your brew. To keep the alcohol content to a minimum, don’t over-ferment your tea.

Hops do not add alcohol to the drink, so hoppy kombucha tastes somewhat like beer but does not contain enough alcohol to be considered an alcoholic beverage.

Should You Make This Recipe with Young, Sweet Kombucha or Older, Sour Kombucha?

This recipe should be made with young, sweet kombucha. Hops will add a slight bitterness to the drink, so making the drink with older, sour kombucha will give it an even more bitter, vinegary taste.


Margaret has been drinking kombucha for its health benefits since 2010. Not only does she love drinking it, but she also enjoys brewing her own homemade booch. Her favorite combination so far is mint-strawberry, but she is always experimenting with new recipes.

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