Profile: Cultured Analysis, Shippensburg, PA
As a home brewer I’m well aware of the challenges of fermenting consistent kombucha, and accept that my batches vary throughout the year. I’m impressed by commercial brands that are able to produce a standard product week after week. Larger companies have invested in expensive equipment for an in-house testing department. But what’s a small company to do?
Enter Cultured Analysis.
The founders were associated with the chemistry department at Shippensburg University, located in scenic the Cumberland Valley of the Appalachian Mountains of southern Pennsylvania. When they were approached by Undone Kombucha in nearby Chambersburg for help in testing their commercial kombucha they realized they were able to offer services that companies across the States could benefit from.
As analytic chemists, they appreciated the complexity of the beverage. The science behind how kombucha ferments fascinates them.
Lauren was a student in Dr. Richardson’s department. They invited Dr. Jeb Kegerreis to join them and head up R&D. They launched the company in 2021.
This video explains the method of determining the identities of individual organic acids in a kombucha sample with High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). This information is useful for understanding the flavor profile of the beverage.
Other videos from Cultured Analysis explain measuring pH, TA (titratable acidity), and ABV.
Critical to successful commercial brewing is a metric-based approach. The measurement of ABV, sugar levels, pH and TA over time reveals the numbers to hit. Cultured Analysis offer reasonably priced testing packages that range from $235 for quarterly testing to $600 for monthly testing.
Beyond giving accurate numbers, they offer consulting services that dig into process specifics. Each brewer has their own formula, production environment, and challenges. While running tests is easy, putting data to work to solve problems is much harder. Their scientific knowledge of brewing is paired with technical expertise to offer a comprehensive solution that pinpoints reasons for inconsistency to achieve the best product over time.
An extensive menu of tests includes shelf-life and nutritional information, and helps maintain compliance with labeling regulations and the all-important ABV levels.
Listen to the podcast to hear the analytic chemists at Cultured Analysis explain their services.