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Posts posted by Crastney

  1. it depends on how you like it, but ideally if it still tastes sweet then there's still sugar, so you probably should leave it a bit longer.  After the first 7 days, just keep trying it everyday.  at some point it will no longer taste sweet, and then as you leave it longer it'll get more and more vinegary.  stop and bottle at whatever point you feel comfortable with the amount of vinegar taste.  Add sugar to the bottles, and that will then ferment in the bottles to produce the fizz (I use around a half to one teaspoon per litre bottle), leave for maybe a couple of weeks warm for that sugar to completely convert.  I do tend to make a batch which takes probably three weeks or more to make and then I might drink it all before getting another batch on so I don't always have some around.  Strictly speaking, whilst on W30 you shouldn't be having any added sugar, so you can add apple juice, or some other naturaly sweet addition to the bottle for conditioning, and if you leave it long enough the sugar will be converted, and there'll be some fizz.  or you can avoid that step by bottling whilst still slightly sweet.

    with this process you shouldn't get bottle bombs, but if there's a lot of sugars to ferment, and you have deficient bottles, and you fill too full, and you leave too warm for too long, well, then you might get an explosion - but it's incredibly unlikely.

  2. I've just finished the last bottle of my third batch - probably didn't leave it long enough in first fermentation, as it was still sweet when bottled, and each bottle grey it's own little layer of SCOBY - which I felt terrible about when I put it in the compost.  The initial one, still in the tapped kilner jar will be ok to start the next batch.  If I got my arse in gear I'd start making a new batch as I started the last bottle, then wouldn't run out - oh well.  it's all good.

    calling a SCOBY Toby makes sense, but why Maggie?

  3. I ended up bottling the kombucha that had mould on it (but only a smidgen) - 1 tsp sugar in each litre bottle, left somewhere warm ish, and since my last post I've drank the whole lot - 3 x 1litre bottles of it.  they were all slightly fizzy, with a nice taste - I added a slice of lime to each bottle.  so the mould wasn't ever an issue.  now though I didn't want to re-use that original scoby, so it went down the drain and I've brought some more 'live' kombucha from a shop, and I'll culture that up as a starter, then produce another batch.

    is it ok to dispose of an old scoby down the drain?

  4. my kombucha got mould!  to start with there were just a few blue mouldy spots, which I lifted out, but they came back, and I tried to lift them out as well but they ended up getting sucked into the SCOBY underneath, and then sinking.  I will have to ditch the entire batch.  just when it was starting to get interesting flavour too.  I've been draining off a small amount each day or two to see what the flavour is like, and when it's no longer sweet, for bottling.  I knew that I wouldn't necessarily get a proper scoby from this one as it was from an old batch from the fridge.  I don't have any white distilled vinegar, and didn't want to use ACV like before, so maybe this was the issue.  If I ditch this I won't have a started SCOBY so will have to go out and buy a bottle of kombucha that's still 'live' - that's easy enough.  this morning when I tasted it it had started to get a fizzy tingly sensation on the tongue as I drank it - not sure what this was, as it should not have carbonated as the container wasn't sealed.  anyway - back to square one.

  5. yes, the scoby was out of the fridge before I started washing the new jar.  then I made the tea, which i let cool down to about 25C.  I think I used about 8 teaspoons of loose leaf tea, and made a full pot, and I think that was about 1 quarter of the jar - so I added three times the water as the tea.  we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

  6. The wife got me one of those brewing/serving glass containers with a clip lid, and a tap on the bottom - ideal for continuous brew of Kombucha.

    I found my old SCOBY in the fridge, I made a strong pot of tea, added a cup of sugar, several cups of water, and the scoby to the glass jar and hopefully it'll start to ferment again.  I can use the tap to draw off a sample each day, so that I don't overbrew it this time.  When I have the right flavour I'll bottle about two thirds, and make up some more sweet tea.  then I'll have to see how quickly I drink it.

  7. I threw away my bottle of kombucha.  it was half full, and very acidic.  tasted far too much like apple cider vinegar, just not drinkable even when watered down 1tsp to a pint of water!  I still have my starter/scoby in the fridge so might make some more at some point.  I have a couple of DJs of cider that I'll probably use as drain cleaner, so when I do I can start a kombucha brew in one of those.

  8. CO2 is absorbed into liquids easier at cooler temps, so therefore in the fridge there will be more dissolved CO2, and therefore less CO2 as gas in the air gap, so less pressure, so less likely to burp.  kept at room temp, the scoby will continue to feed off any sugars, and continue to produce CO2 as a by product, so pressure will slowly build up if left long enough. hence bottle bombs if too much sugar added and left somewhere warm (if bottles are air tight).  to make it fizzy on purpose, leave somewhere warm for two weeks, to produce the co2, then somewhere cold for another week for the co2 to be absorbed back into the liquid.

  9. temperature definitely affects fermentation activity. There will be an optimum value, above and below which the scoby will perform a lot slower, far too hot and you'll kill off the scoby, too cold and you'll just stun it till it warms up again (unless you have experimental grade equipment cooling to temps near absolute zero, with liquid nitrogen etc). from my home brew knowledge, fermentation happens best at around 20 degrees Celcius, but happily within a range of about 18 - 22. of course this varies depending on yeast strain used, so scoby might be different, but 'room temperature' - around 21, should be fine.

  10.  I'm back from hols, and have bottled what was there in the jar.  I'm not sure how much I'm going to be making so therefore I've left about an inch of liquid in the jar, with what appear to be two scobys now, and stuck them in the back of the fridge.  the liquid that I took out, I put into a sterilised bottle, the same one that I bought the original kombucha in, with about an inch of ginger, peeled and cut into thin slices.  after a couple of days it has gone a bit fizzy and sweet ish, and actually tastes ok.  Once I have a DJ free I will start a bigger batch.

  11. I was in Hackney Fresh this morning getting my coconut milk latte, and noticed that they have kombucha tea scoby starters for sale - £4.99 in round plastic containers.

    also went back to Sainsbury to look at jars with taps, and the one at £18 is only 5 litres, the bigger on, at 8 litres is £24 - still a good price, so if I enjoy the concoction that I make I might get one.

    [edit to add] - are there problems if you leave it too long? does it get too acidic?

  12. I used the turkey baster to get half of the liquid out - it tastes a lot like cider vinegar...  then added another mug of strong tea (2 tea bags, 2 tbsp sugar) into the jar.  unfortunately the scoby sank during the operation, and now it's slinking around the bottom of the jar, and the top is going fuzzy again, so maybe another scoby growing?

    time will tell...

  13. 14 minutes ago, jmcbn said:

    Just fill it up as far as the widest part allows....

    What you've got right now may not taste great so don't let it put you off - the 2nd ferment gives it a little fizz (& flavour depending on what you add to the bottles), although sometimes it takes a while even for that to build up as the bacteria builds up as the SCOBY matures.

    yeah, ok fill to the shoulder, but what about when I attempt to get the drink out, or get the scoby out?  there's not tap on the bottom of any of my DJs.

    first tastings of my kombucha might not be great - ok.  I'll we aware of this, and might bottle some to see how it tastes in a week or two.

  14. my culture scoby starter is certainly looking like it'll be a goer!

    I was worried that it was going slowly, so I did another mug of tea, 4 tsp of sugar, left to steep and cool down, then added that to my starter jar.  this morning there is definite circle of scoby floating on the top!  hurrah!

    I obviously need to multiply it up into a bigger jar, then let it ferment and then bottle.  Obviously the caffeine will be less - normal tea is one tea bag per 330ml mug, roughly.  this is x tea bags per litre, and you only have a small glass at a time, and you drink it with another glass of water anyway.  I don't think any caffeine is lost during fermentation though.

    how soon can I start a continual brew in one of those jars with a tap?

  15. well I found some loose leaf tea in the cupboard, assam I think, and I made a couple of spoons of that, with a couple of spoons of sugar in one mug, left it to cool, added all of that to a kilner jar, with a tbsp of organic cider vinegar, and the shaken up remains of my purchased kombucha - covered with a clean cloth and elastic band, and left in the cupboard above the cooker (next to the rumtopf from last year that I've not started yet...)

  16. thanks, I know about culturing yeasts to re-use, I've done that with ginger beer, cider, ale, and sourdough.  I wasn't sure about culturing my own from a store bought bottle as the one I've got says that the scoby has been removed...?  so it probably wouldn't work.  as my fruit teas are delabelled I don't know what the ingredients are...!? so I'll have to use 'normal' tea, and add a bag or two of the fruit ones for flavouring.  (fairly sure that they're complient though....)

    bottle I'm drinking is 'Love Kombucha' ginger and lime - ingredients are "filtered water, organic sugar (of which only traces remain in the finished product), organic green tea and Kombucha culture (removed before bottling), organic juiced root ginger and a dash of organic lime juice.  That's all!"

    as the culture is removed, I'm not sure there would be enough in there to grow my own, but with yeasts, you only need a very small amount for a starter, and there is sediment in the bottle, and it's carbonated, which implies bottle fermentation, so maybe I can use this... it's worth a try.

  17. I bought some Kombucha on the way into work, a 500ml bottle, and drank about two thirds of it.  Then started looking up online about it, and realised that most people suggest only aving 1/4 or 1/2 a glass a day to start with... side affects can be quite dramatic, so hopedully I've not done too much damage!

    I'm going to try to make my own, but when they say 'tea' does it have to be tea, or can it be those sachets of fruit teas that don't actually have tea in them?  I bought a large amount of delabelled packs of 20 from 'approved food' and was going to make wine (before I started W30, so a while ago), now I'm thinking of making Kombucha from them.  Do I actually need the tannins from the tea for the thing to work properly?

    in terms of the SCOBY - do I have to buy one, or can I make one up fresh from natural yeast and bacteria?  is it a specific yeast, or any floating around in the air - the sort hat you'd make sour dough from?  or will wine yeast work? or breadmaking yeast? - i have these already, so if I can I'd ilke to do that rather than buy a new one.

    also I've just realised that 'booch' mentioned on W30 a lot, is short for Kombucha... who knew! :)

  18. I've substituted Rooibos for tea, can't remember the make, and also got some chai tea bags too, I'll check the make when I'm back as they're compliant.


    We get an A&C fruit and veg box, I'm thinking of changing it to just veg, and maybe more, as we've suddenly started using it all up with a few days to go, and having to buy more veg in Sainsbury.  We always used to have leftover veg each week, and never sure what to do with it.