MrsStick

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Everything posted by MrsStick

  1. So I had my first kombucha explosion on Thursday night. Thankfully no one was in the room...it was around 10 at night and hubby and I heard a pop then glass tinkling. That took 45 minutes of cleaning before we could go to bed. What bottles do you guys use for your second ferment? I'm in the market (especially if they can be bought online...).
  2. @purplepadres how much of the flavoring did you use? I'm planning to try to recreate an apple cider booch I bought commercially but am not sure how much juice I should add vs. the spices. Did you use a cinnamon stick? Do you think it could be reused for more than one batch if you did?
  3. Looks like my experiment is working! There are a bunch of little spots of baby SCOBY floating around on the surface of my kombucha!
  4. I'm going crazy and am trying to make kombucha with two baby SCOBYs that had formed in my flavored booch I'd bought a couple weeks ago (apple cider flavored). I don't know if it'll work or not but I could clearly see both the bacteria and yeasts in the little babies so I decided I'd try it. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks if it works.
  5. You can use green tea for kombucha though! I usually do a mix of black and green because I'm not a super huge fan of the flavor of black tea. You can even use plain white tea for a more delicate flavor (you can't let it ferment as long with lighter teas if I recall correctly because there are fewer tannins for the SCOBY to digest) but I haven't found plain white, just flavored whites. As long as there's no flavoring to the tea, you're just fine!
  6. I was there once before! When I first got pregnant I couldn't go near my kombucha without shuddering because of the texture of touching the SCOBY. Three months of kombucha on the counter later I had to rip the SCOBY apart piece by piece...it's harder to do than you'd think.
  7. Thanks! I'm going to buy the plain this week. They didn't have any at the farmer's market but I can visit the store at some point. They had a lavender flavored bottle that I left in my fridge for two weeks and had to strain out a considerable amount of SCOBY but I didn't know if it would be weakened by the non-tea flavoring so I threw it out. One other note - apple cider flavored booch is AMAZING. They used apple juice + cinnamon + cloves to flavor it. I'm going to play around with it to try to get it right because WHOA MAN was it good.
  8. Have any of you used a bottle of plain kombucha to make a SCOBY? I know it's possible but haven't done it before. I had a good colony going...but then had to move across the Pacific Ocean and wasn't about to try to take it with me. There's a farmer's market in town that has a kombucha brewer there and they do sell plain. Any tips?
  9. I definitely recommend the Paleo Parents website - they have 3 Paleo boys so they've found a lot of stuff out that you can learn from. That said, I currently only have a 3 month old so I can't give you any personal advice.
  10. I'm pretty caffeine sensitive and don't get the same rush feeling from kombucha that I do from drinking non-herbal tea or coffee. I avoid real tea/coffee like the plague because it makes me very uncomfortable - racing heart, sweaty palms, I can even smell it on my own body. The SCOBY is supposed to digest at least some of the caffeine from the tea. If people think your kombucha is too sweet, do a longer first ferment. I do 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 gallon tea and go at least 12 or 13 days before I flavor/bottle it. It's much less sweet that way.
  11. My two batches have been sitting untouched since Memorial Day weekend...I checked on them yesterday and the SCOBYs are 2-3 INCHES thick! I am quite impressed. Now to get over the morning sickness aversion and take care of them...
  12. I like it! Sabrina and Josephine. Hubby is drinking some of the kombucha too - this new flavor we can both drink straight which makes me happy. He doesn't drink it during the week but helps out so to speak over the weekends. I might have to get another fliptop bottle so I can make more at a time...or maybe not...decisions decisions! Has anyone used kombucha to help their plants? I've got a couple of pots on my windowsill and the soil isn't that great. I'm wondering if the bacteria/yeasts in the booch would help colonize the soil and make it richer...off to research...
  13. I've been having consistent fizz/bubble over during burping with a combination of frozen blueberries and orange/blood orange juice. I lost half of one of my bigger bottles that way, but I've gotten better at quickly recovering the bottleneck to keep from losing all my precious booch. I have to set up a hotel soon, I've got 3 1/4" thick SCOBYs that are making me a bit too much right now...
  14. Well, Veronica is dead. Long live Veronica! Basically...I went to do a new batch yesterday. When I removed the hair band holding the cover in place, I notice the cover isn't how it was. I open her up to take a look...and she has a MASSIVE bubble and she was filling up the mouth of the jar, dry on top. Around this time I notice a fruit fly buzzing around. I can't tell if it was under the cover or not. Needless to say, I pitched Veronica (to the food trash with you!) to avoid the possibility of maggots in my brew. HOWEVER, there was a smaller baby on the bottom of the bottle...had been down there for the whole brewing time...never had access to the surface. So baby is now working away in my bottle and I'm using a jar ring to hold my cover down, not a hair band anymore. Since baby was so small I gave him/her extra starter to beef up. Now to name the baby... What was left of my first brew is now becoming apple/ginger. I had way too much ginger in the mango and peach gingers, so I just did a very small knob in the larger bottle and just straight apple in the smaller jar. I did find apple juice with apple juice as the only ingredient...but nothing else. I have an orange that will be squeezed for the next batch just to try it.
  15. I'm having a really hard time finding any juice that doesn't have additives. It makes me mad that "100% juice" means juice AND citric acid AND whatever else. I have one compliant apple juice (ingredient: apples) but that's it for now. What are your favorite fruit-based flavors for the second ferment? I tried strawberry vanilla but it didn't taste that good (although I add it to my morning smoothie and it's delicious there) and I now have a peach ginger bottle and a mango ginger on 2F. I use a 50/50 mix of green/black tea for now and this time I am finally starting to see some little bubbles... Edited to add: Peach/ginger bubbled over when I burped the flip top bottle after only 24 hours. I'm still weaning myself onto kombucha so as not to have too terrible of gut symptoms in response. I'll try it tomorrow - I'm excited for bubbles! Even my mango ginger one seems to have some bubbles but it didn't bubble over (it's in just a plain jar, though, and the lid's press for safety button was harder to push than when I sealed it up).
  16. Okay. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry, so oh well on the throwing it out. I'd rather not poison myself. The berry juice might have made them darker - they certainly looked black until I strained them out. Question - if you flavor your second ferment with juice, what kind/brand/type do you use?
  17. I noticed today that one of the bottles of kombucha after secondary fermentation had what I thought was a baby SCOBY on top but it had stringy dark stuff that was darker than mold hanging from a clear baby SCOBY on top. Being afraid it was mold, I strained it out/dumped it out. The dark strings were purple-ish but still darker than the yeasts I've seen so far. Do you think it could have been mold? Why did this baby SCOBY come out clear instead of whitish like the others? Had the yeasts decided to somehow move out of the SCOBY? The juice I used was an Ocean Spray Concord Grape/Blueberry/Blackberry 100% juice mix but it did have citric acid and a few other things in it. Was that the problem? Any ideas?
  18. Aww, sorry to hear about your moldy scoby! Veronica has been quite the busy girl in my kitchen - I checked her this morning and she had a baby! Veronica's been exclusively on the bottom of the jar but there's a thin little baby floating at the top (not on the surface, but just below it)! I'm stoked...it's been 6 days since the initial making of the tea she's in so I'm going to do my first brewing! I have several bags of English Breakfast tea in my tea chest - no flavors - and the Cultures for Health website says that it's fine to use (Earl Grey, another I found several bags of, isn't okay). I'm going to make English Breakfast/green tea combo this time and pick up some plain black tea at the store. Here goes nothing!
  19. Okay...question that I feel like I know the answer to but don't want to kill Veronica (or Judy, not sure which I'll go with). Can I use flavored black/green full-caf teas as my initial ferment? So the entire box of vanilla black tea in my tea chest that hasn't been touched in years...can I use that to use it up? I feel like that would be delicious with some sort of herby flavor added to second ferment...
  20. I finally went and got a SCOBY from my friend. I have yet to decide on a final name for him/her. Veronica perhaps? Maybe. Regardless, I have a half gallon jar full of tea with this alien in it. I am now the weird person with strange foods...and have finally become as close to the mom described in Kid History's Healthy Eating video...minus the kids!
  21. I'm planning on starting with half-gallon mason jars, nothing special. We'll see how it works (waiting until late August, since I know I'll be gone for 3 straight weeks that month)!
  22. One other question - I saw a lot of people talking earlier in the thread about adding honey to second ferments to help the fizz. Honey (at least raw) has antibacterial qualities - wouldn't that harm the kombucha instead of help it be better for you?
  23. Thanks for all the encouragement, folks! I took the last few days to read the thread (yes, ALL of it) and glean as much as I could from your expertise. My questions after all that: I have half gallon mason jars. Is that too small? I can justify getting bottles to put the flavored booch in for its 2F, but not sure getting bigger mason jars will fly with the hubster. How much flavoring do you guys put in? I have a feeling that I'll do a lot of juices, since it sounds simple. But if I were to try, say, a melon-mint one, how much melon/mint? I'll see the friend tonight to be able to tell her I will want a scoby. I know that she offered to teach me the wild ways of brewing, but some of your ideas sound awesome and I'd like to know for when I'm confident enough to experiment. Thank you!
  24. Okay. I've heard of kombucha, but never bothered to try it or anything. I've done water kefir before, but that was because it was so easy - add sugar to water, drop in grains, wait three days, filter, mix juice, wait two days, drink. Easy. But. BUT. Just found out that a new friend here (I moved to Korea 2-ish months ago) makes her own kombucha. She gave me a little bottle to try. It's lightly fizzy, and kind of lovely. I want to do it. I have NO IDEA what I'm doing, or if it's worth it. Or if it's time consuming. I should've been more careful when I poured some for myself tonight, because the little baby SCOBY ended up in my glass and I've drank it. Oh well, it was lovely mixed with cranberry juice. Who needs wine? She's offered me a SCOBY and...I want to. But...BUT...I'm scared. I work full time. I live in Korea, where electricity is so expensive that I don't leave my A/C on when I'm out of the house or at night (so far). I don't know how long I'd need to do any of this...and I kind of want one of you expert-sounding people, in your 60 page thread, to reassure me. I have half gallon mason jars and a plastic strainer, but I would have to pick up some grolsch-type jars to put it in. Aargh. I'm sure it's great for me. I just...am not sure. Any ideas from you all?