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Kombucha Makers Unite; Where to ask and be answered

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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!

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Looks like everyone is rolling along nicely.  I have missed my booch buddies!  I am in booch heaven now that I am back from vacation.  Just before I left I bottled 16 16oz grolsch bottles then stored a few SCOBYs in a hotel and made a fesh 2 gallons.  Now I am home and I have those 16 bottles in the fridge AND I have to bottle the 2 gallons I made before leaving.  Out of bottles though, oops!  Looks like I will have to use mason jars (hope I have enough for that and canning veggies).  I am happy though, I can drink booch till my hearts content (never)!  I think I may just go simple with this bottling though and make mostly ginger and some cherry lime.  I have too much else to do to catch up from vacation  :P   

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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!

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I had started another thread asking what to do with some overripe cherries in my fridge. I finally figured it out! I pitted and pureed them with my home-made vanilla extract and some almond extract and put it in the freezer. Once my kombucha is ready for it's second ferment, I'm going to thaw it out and use the cherry puree to flavor it!

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Bottled 2 gallons of booch yesterday.  I don't know if anyone else has this brand, but Martinelli's makes a pure apple juice and it comes in really awesome glass bottles.  I keep them for what reason?  I didn't know until now!  I can bottle large batches of my favorite flavors in them.  So I did a large batch of ginger and one of lavender.  With the rest I made a few cherry lime and I had a cuke that I let go on the vine a little too long, the flavor was good but texture not so much.  I chopped a bunch of that up and mixed it with basil in some, lime in some, and plain cuke in others.  Really excited to try this, it sounds super refreshing for a hot summer day.  Speaking of, I consumed 3 16 oz bottles of the stuff yesterday, lavender peach, it was so cold and delicious while i was turning my kitchen into a sauna canning beets and beans.....I hope you can't drink too much!!!

 

Has anyone tried making the 1F with hibiscus?  I know we chatted about it but wanted to know if there was ever any success?  I am getting a bit bored of my assam base and don't love green tea or white tea.  Maybe I will try mixing green with assam for a fruitly flavor but light on the tannins.....just want to change it up somehow :)

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I have been finding my batches are less and less fizzy over time, despite doing my continuous brew and the second ferment the same each time. Does SCOBY get old? I actually bought a new bottle of original GT to start a new SCOBY from scratch. Is there anything I can try before starting all over? More sugar or more tea when I add in my next sweet tea?

I miss my fizzy booch. Flat booch tastes, well, flat!

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I'm worried about my first batch...I have it brewing in a 1.8 gallon drink dispenser, filled about 3/4 of the way full. I had two small scobys that I grew with GT's in a mason jar. I put them in with all 3 cups of the liquid they had grown in (16oz. GT's original, plus 1c. sweet tea) and about 5 quarts fresh sweet tea. It's been 5 days and I still don't have a new skin forming over the top. Both my scobys sunk to the bottom at first, but now they are floating and the yeast looks like it's taking over, there are globs of yeast floating on top of the tea : /  Is this ok or should I try starting again? The tea smells fermented, but not "bad" and still just tastes pretty much like sweet tea, maybe a little fermenty flavor.

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Vian, I am no expert, but I would say as long as you have no fuzzy mold growing, you should be okay!

 

I tried a new GT flavor (new to me at least) called bilberry.  Oh how I would love to know where to find bilberries because this just became my new favorite flavor!

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Vian, I am no expert, but I would say as long as you have no fuzzy mold growing, you should be okay!

I tried a new GT flavor (new to me at least) called bilberry. Oh how I would love to know where to find bilberries because this just became my new favorite flavor!

Kb..you are an expert. I agree with the bilberry flavor. Love it. Off to google bilberries.

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Please help.  I have two questions.

1.  I brewed my tea for 7 days.  Now I took out my scoby and added 4 oz of mixed berries to my brewed tea which I will leave alone for 4-7 days.  Was I suppose to add the fruit to individual smaller jars or is it okay I left in the original large jar?

2.  How do I store my scoby until I am ready to brew again?

Any help would be appreciated.

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Please help. I have two questions.

1. I brewed my tea for 7 days. Now I took out my scoby and added 4 oz of mixed berries to my brewed tea which I will leave alone for 4-7 days. Was I suppose to add the fruit to individual smaller jars or is it okay I left in the original large jar?

2. How do I store my scoby until I am ready to brew again?

Any help would be appreciated.

It doesn't matter the size of your second brew jars. You should store your SCOBY with a couple of cups of first stage booch.

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I have been finding my batches are less and less fizzy over time, despite doing my continuous brew and the second ferment the same each time. Does SCOBY get old? I actually bought a new bottle of original GT to start a new SCOBY from scratch. Is there anything I can try before starting all over? More sugar or more tea when I add in my next sweet tea?

I miss my fizzy booch. Flat booch tastes, well, flat!

 

Kb, mine decided to relax too. I get it it's summer time, she wants to chill, but it's not even growing to fill the surface of the jar. Time to bug Dad for one. 

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I have been finding my batches are less and less fizzy over time, despite doing my continuous brew and the second ferment the same each time. Does SCOBY get old? I actually bought a new bottle of original GT to start a new SCOBY from scratch. Is there anything I can try before starting all over? More sugar or more tea when I add in my next sweet tea?

I miss my fizzy booch. Flat booch tastes, well, flat!

 

Kb -I have read that adding a bit of sugar to your 2F will help with the fizz.  I have found that when I use candied ginger or tamarind my fizz is crazy, probably due to that added sugar.  You might could try that, I also find that if I leave it sit longer it will get fizzier too ;)

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Kb -I have read that adding a bit of sugar to your 2F will help with the fizz.  I have found that when I use candied ginger or tamarind my fizz is crazy, probably due to that added sugar.  You might could try that, I also find that if I leave it sit longer it will get fizzier too ;)

 

You know, I have been so used to my brewing routine I never considered letting it sit longer!   I actually poured some booch down the sink tonight :(.

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You know, I have been so used to my brewing routine I never considered letting it sit longer!   I actually poured some booch down the sink tonight :(.

 

Oh Geeze!  Sorry to hear that, definitely let it sit for a bit.  None of my rooibos flavored brews like to get fizzy for at least 2 weeks, practice in patience for me because they are some of my favorite.

 

Opened a cucumber booch tonight and it was crazy fizzy but not a ton of flavor.  Gonna keep burping them and hope a bit of time will infuse more flavor, either that or I just don't like it :mellow:   I have higher hopes for the cucumber basil.

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Bottling up my first batch of booch! I poured about 26 ounces each into two quart mason jars. I decided to use mason jars my first couple tries, that way if it explodes, I won't be sad that I ruined my nice bottles. It smells fermenty and tart, and tastes nice and tart, but not vinegary at all, so I think it's perfect. I'm going to add a puree of bing cherries with vanilla and almond extract. Also, I put the jars in an ice chest in my bedroom to contain any explosions >.>

 

Here's how much carbonation it already has...and this is after a minute or two while i ran and grabbed the camera.

 

DSCN2287_zpsadd54716.jpg

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don't worry too much about how much it is or isn't fizzing...my cousin gave me a scoby last fall and i've been brewing with the original and some of the babies since and some batches just seem to have more fizz while others have less .i find that in the winter i brew for 2 weeks to get it to the strength i like and in the summer i can't go much more than 7 or 8 days or it starts to loose some fizz and taste a bit too much like vinegar, but it really depends on the weather we've been having...the warmer it is the faster it ferments. and i thought i was not going to be getting fizzy boocha anymore, since i had 3 or 4 batches that weren't, but the last 2 have been perfect.

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This is good to hear Simonec!  With lizzard's advice I am keeping my second ferment going a lot longer. My SCOBY is beautiful and large and it will sadden me to have to retire her after such faithful service!

 

I did start a new "make your own SCOBY" yesterday just in case!

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Just outside of town we have an area called greenbluff. It's basically a collection of small family farms that grow lots of fruits and veggies and also make wine and other neat things. Several places offer "pick your own" fruit, where you go out into the orchard and pick your fruit, then they weigh it for you. We go there every year for peaches and get a huge box and make at least one pie and freeze what we can't eat right away. Mom and I went out there this morning and got a box. We got a lot that were blemished and getting over-ripe to make pie with and I pureed some to flavor my next batch of kombucha. It's so tasty...I think I might add some ginger to it, maybe just a hint of cloves. I can't wait :D

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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.  :)

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My cherry vanilla kombucha isn't half bad! I had to strain out the cherry pulp because it was gross to drink (i'm picky about texture!) but the flavor is pretty good. Next will be peach ginger!

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