Mannanova Solutions: Commercial kombucha production experts

I recently interviewed Mannanova Solutions‘ founder and president Sébastien Bureau. He spent several years as VP of R&D for Rise Kombucha, the biggest Kombucha company in Canada, and played a critical role in its growth. He left in 2014 to start a kombucha consulting business. Mannonova Solutions, based in Montreal, offers consulting services, online masterclass training, and product.

Sébastien is the author of Fermentation Revolution and a new book on kombucha – currently available in French Révolution kombucha Tout ce qu’il faut savoir pour le brasser vous-même. An English translation is planned.

Consulting

Mannanova offers worldwide consulting services and solutions. Their expertise is in the production of natural, fermented beverages and food, as well as the development and implementation of production lines.

Sébastien highlights three of the main recommendations he makes as a consultant.

  1. Addressing the conflict between the needs of a “happy culture” and “happy clients” — a culture that thrives might be unstable and inconsistent. Clients want a beverage with a predictable flavor and guaranteed levels of alcohol.
  2. Encouraging new brewers to invest in pumps as an essential step on the road to becoming a professional operation. Stop carrying around buckets.
  3. Helping ensure the safety of your crew in the brewery. People are around boiling liquids and cleaning products and need to make safety their main priority.

“We address the many mistakes new brewers can make. The main issue people have to deal with, especially when they start producing larger quantities, is excess alcohol, which is where we go from being useful to being indispensable.”

Kombucha masterclass

The Kombucha Masterclass is an online class with 60+ lessons and 14 hours of video, Itt provides the methodologies, tools, and techniques to brew kombucha successfully on a commercial scale.

Manna-K

Manna-K is a highly-fermented, alcohol-free, high-density, green tea kombucha. With its high tea concentration and six-month-long fermentation time, Manna-K is a blend used to prepare kombucha. It can be stored at room temperature for six years because all the fermentable sugars have already been eaten up.

The inspiration was the technique used by Belgian brewers who take old, mature beer and blend it with younger beers to produce gueuze. Only 6-10% of Manna-K is needed to achieve the desired results.

Benefits include

  • Reducing the alcohol in kombucha: Manna-K prevents refermentation, which causes alcohol in kombucha (which is naturally up to 2% ABV). Manna-K guarantees your product stays under 0.5% ABV, and doesn’t go over the legal limit.
  • Increasing existing production capacity by 10x: Just a bit of long-fermented Manna-K packs a flavor punch. This means you only need to add a small percentage.
  • Reducing the production cycle: Because the brew won’t require secondary fermentation to be ready, you can brew and package in one day.
  • Solving supply issues: The product allows brewers to scale up and fill a big order.

Trends

I asked Sébastien for his thoughts on the future of the industry.

He saw the rise of hard kombucha as “interesting, it will have it’s run, but will not become as big as standard kombucha.” He’s convinced that local craft brands have a healthy, sustainable future. “People think the market is saturated, but there’s always going to be room for small, taproom-style brands that have a local identity. The farm-to-glass products are basically where kombucha came from. That’s where it was born. And that’s the beauty of kombucha, these artisanal brands. The KBI Code of Practice Standard of Identity enables these small brewers to be recognized as delivering high-quality kombucha, made with local ingredients.”

Podcast

Listen to the podcast to hear the Mannanova Solutions story in Sébastien’s own words.

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