megmac

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Everything posted by megmac

  1. Bodlon-Funny, my husband and I were just talking about how nervous I was in the beginning. If I could tell you anything, it would be to relax and let it happen. I have found that you really don't have to obsess about the process. Sometimes I have fermented too long, sometimes too short. Some flavors I've loved, others not so much. My scoby keeps having babies and doubles in size every few months. I peel it off and throw it down the garbage disposal. It's all pretty forgiving. Once I had to throw out an entire batch (22 bottles!) because it tasted like vinegar. And I lived to tell the story. My scoby is so big that I ferment in about 8 days, with a 5 day second ferment, burping on day 3. If I have a lot of fruit in it I have to drop that to 4 days because it explodes. Once you have your scoby and the first ferment is underway, I would let it sit for a week and then taste it. (Eventually you can tell by smell.) If it's not ready try it every day or two. Make it convenient. Don't hesitate to make it a hotel for a few weeks if you are busy. Mine is a hotel every other week because I use a 2 gallon jar and it makes 18-22 bottles. I don't measure tea bags or sugar or flavoring anymore. I just wing it and it works out. Have fun and make it work for you, your schedule, and your tastes. That way it won't seem like a big deal to keep going. Good luck!
  2. My husband called me "Breaking Bad Kombucha". That's a reference to a Netflix show about a chem teacher who cooks meth, for those of you not familiar. Last booch batch was only good with tequila. Oh well, that works too.
  3. I do my second ferment for 5 days. Always. I burp on day 3 or 4, whenever I remember. I keep mine in a box as well, and have never had an explosion there. It's only when I go to open them to drink.
  4. Even when I burp mine (I always burp mine) they fizz like crazy and sometimes blow up if I use real fruit. I had a BAD blow up the other morning-front door, ceiling, floors, computer, my clothes of course... I spent about 30 minutes cleaning up and was off to work. About an hour later I got a text from my hubby who had finally gotten up, "is that kombucha on the sliding glass door or is one of the pets bleeding?" Seriously-that's a good 30 feet away. I now open every bottle either with a towel around it, or in the front yard if I'm really worried about it.
  5. Has anyone "downsized" their scoby? Mine is in a 2 gallon jar, and is ENORMOUS. He just keeps getting thicker and thicker. He brews up 2 gallons in about 5 days now. (It used to be 2 weeks.) Last week I just had to "hotel" him for a week. I couldn't fit anymore bottles in my outside refrigerator. (I'm about 50 bottles deep now.) I had a second scoby, but sent it to NY in a suitcase with my best friend so she could brew her own. He survived just fine, if anyone has been wanting to try that. He was in a zip lock in a tupperwear and she opened him up as soon as she got him out of her checked luggage. I laugh at myself for thinking this was so complicated. I have booch coming out of my ears now! Oh-and regarding the burping...I haven't had anything explode in my fridge, but if I don't burp they will hit the ceiling when I go to drink them.
  6. I made one bottle of my last batch strawberry ginger and did it in a GT bottle (I was out of Grolsch bottles). It was disgusting and had no fizz. I dumped it. I am hoping that the others are fizzy-I cut my 2nd ferment from 5 days to 4 to avoid explosions-I hope I didn't make a mistake. (And I hope the strawberry/blueberry ones are better than plain strawberry!) Has anyone ever tried to ferment again after they have refrigerated? I'm thinking of trying this if the other bottles have no fizz-I definitely won't drink them that way.
  7. I'm going to grow a new scoby for coffee today! I wish I had read that before I flushed scooby last weekend.
  8. That's so funny...I never thought of not flavoring mine. You've inspired me-I'm going to do one bottle with no flavoring. I've never even tried a plain GT! I'm also going to try to make something like gingerade. I think I'll try it in a white batch so it's light. Nothing but ginger. Maybe a drop of lemon.
  9. Okay, I'll say it...my booch is better than GT's booch.
  10. I got back from vacation on Saturday and both my batches were ready to go. I have been thinking about the continuous brew option and the comments here about the "constant project". I decided against CB, and will just deal with a few hours of bottling and brewing every few weeks. (2 weeks works great for my first brew, so it's always over the weekend.) I dumped Scooby, who never quite became strong, but my second one is flourishing. I have about 18 bottles in 2nd brew, which I will shorten and burp in 2 days so they don't explode. (Maybe 4 days to the fridge.) I had 2 bottles yesterday of my first batch and so far the blueberry/cherry/ginger is my favorite. This time I did some of those, some strawberry/blueberry/ginger. Of course I didn't label anything, so every bottle will be a surprise.
  11. My CB project is up and running and I've already got a new film across the top, in addition to the original scoby that is at the bottom. I have another gallon in my closet from Scooby. He is still a rather strange animal, and behaves very differently. I tasted one of the bottles that exploded on me and it's delicious! I am leaving on vacation tomorrow and will have a lot of bottling to do upon my return. I may drain most of my CB project to bottle since it will be 2 weeks in, and then start a real CB process after that. I'll have to see how it tastes. My hubby assures me he can drink Grolsch as fast as I can bottle my booch! Thanks for checking in Liz-it was getting a bit lonely out here!
  12. Okay, I'll try that. I live in FL and my house is a constant 78 degrees. Maybe that is a little warm for fermenting, but I think my husband will draw the line at cooling the house for my science experiment. Thanks!
  13. MAJOR BOOCH EXPLOSION! So today is day 4 of my second ferment. I had 8 Grolsch bottles to burp. 3 of them totally exploded. (The first one caught me off guard...as in blueberries in my hair and on my ceiling.) What did I do wrong? Were they too full? Did I wait too long to burp? I can deal with the mess (okay...my hubbie can), but I lost most of the booch in those bottles. :( Help!
  14. Awesome!! Nicely done! Bottled today-blueberry ginger, and working on setting up continuous brew. I'm going to come up with an easy way to do this Derval!
  15. Derval-Can I make a gallon of sweet tea and keep it in the fridge to use to refill the CB container every other day? I hadn't really thought about what a commitment the CB is. My new scoby is already thicker than my original (Scooby). I will be interested to see if he ferments faster. Scooby has been in a gallon of tea for 2 weeks and it's still not ready. I thought it would happen faster since it's summer in Florida, but it's still too sweet for me.
  16. For me, the Grolsch bottles had more fizz than the GT bottles, and the ones that had dried cherries (versus just grape juice and ginger) did the best. Still learning and experimenting...
  17. I would worry more about the plastic. The first one I tried in plastic didn't grow at all. Everything I have read talks about glass, but maybe that's just coincidental? I bought a glass one with a spigot at Target for $22 because I am going to try CB once I've got this process down. I'll be curious what the experienced brewers think. How much do you plan to take out at one time? That part has confused me-some sites say to remove a bottle or 2 every day or 2, others seem to take a lot more.
  18. For anyone who has not yet vomited, I also googled whether or not vinegar eels were edible by humans. They are. Or at least they do no harm. In fact, what the article actually said is that compared to the other bacteria we accidentally ingest, the eels are nothing to worry about. This one is going to take me some time.
  19. It's what came up when I Googled Scoby Hotel. It bummed me right out.
  20. OMG - you lost me at "vinegar eels". Just when I had stopped obsessing, too...
  21. Thanks-that's what I was guessing. I was thinking 3 berries per jar (using old GT or Grolsch bottles)-does that sound about right?
  22. I grew mine with Earl Grey, which is an "oily" tea. It did work, but it took about 3 weeks, and wasn't as solid as other people's scoby. I have another one started with plain black tea and it's doing MUCH better, and is only about 10 days in. So I wouldn't throw it away, but maybe start a second one with plain and see what happens. My Earl Grey scoby is just about done fermenting his first real batch. I'll be able to tell you more once I see how that turned out. It's been 11 days and I think I'm within a day or two. Flavoring question-I bought some blueberries for this round. Do I mash them up or put them in whole?
  23. This morning my hubby was staring at my 2 scobies in the closet and he said, "This really isn't what I was hoping we'd be growing in the closet."
  24. Holy cow...it's magnificent! I need to work on the flavoring a little, but I love it! Woohooooo!!!!!
  25. My first batch (tea from growing Scooby) is ready. I put it in the fridge last night. I will try it tonight! It's grape/cherry/ginger/lemon. It sounded good at the time. I will post a pic tonight! I have a feeling it's going to be pretty sour, but we'll see.