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Kombucha Makers Unite; Where to ask and be answered

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She got quite a bit thicker I've the past 3 days so I'm going to give it a go. I can't wait!

That looks perfect, good luck!!!

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Its only been 4 days, and I can see the fermentation happening! Last night I came home and the fermentation vessel has a bit bubbles around the rim where the liquid meets the glass, and the tea looks lighter. Smelled it this morning and I can smell the yeasty goodness. I'm going to taste-test tomorrow (day 5) and see if I'm ready to bottle my first batch. So excited!!

 

Looking through this thread for more flavor ideas today, too.post-68926-0-72865400-1437064425_thumb.j

 

 

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Its only been 4 days, and I can see the fermentation happening! Last night I came home and the fermentation vessel has a bit bubbles around the rim where the liquid meets the glass, and the tea looks lighter. Smelled it this morning and I can smell the yeasty goodness. I'm going to taste-test tomorrow (day 5) and see if I'm ready to bottle my first batch. So excited!!

 

Looking through this thread for more flavor ideas today, too.attachicon.gifday 4.jpg

Make sure you let it go at least 7 days, Jen, otherwise the full fermentation process hasn't taken place.

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I bottled my first batch yesterday and am on 2nd Fermentation. 3 with Raspberry, 2 with blueberry/ginger and 2 plain. I have a nice sparkle as of bottling and I'm sure I'll be fizzy in 2 days at the longest. Now I just have to remember to burp the bottles and hope I don't get any explosions!

 

Here's a pic - please excuse my repurposed GT bottles - I left the labels on and put plain in Original, ginger/blueberry in Gingerberry, and raspberry in any of the red color-labeled bottles. I decided I'm too lazy to remove them for now.

 

post-68926-0-02303700-1437422094_thumb.j

 

Added a gallon to my mother vessel to keep it going strong. I can't believe how exciting this is! :)

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Careful when burping the screwtop style bottles.  The pressure of the fermentation can cause the screws to tighten on so much that "burping" is nearly impossible and you lose a whole bunch of the liquid.  I started with the screw tops also and very quickly moved to flip tops.  If there is an Ikea near you, they sell the flip tops for a reasonable price.

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I still use the old GT's bottles, have for like a year and a half now. I get fizz most of the time, I've never had a bottle explode (I've had some leak, but never all out explosion with breaking glass, and never the kind of pressure on opening where I ended up with booch on the ceiling either), and if I can't get a lid to loosen, I stick it in the fridge for a while and I can usually get it off then with minimal loss of booch. I keep thinking someday I'll get the swing top bottles, but I'm cheap, and these work, so I'm not too concerned.

 

I will say, because I've had some bottles leak, I do set them down in a plastic cooler now until I move them to the fridge, just to contain the mess in an easy-to-clean area. I sometimes forget to burp them and I fill them a little fuller than I should and I leave them out at room temp for 2f for a lot longer than the usual 2-3 days, all of which probably contribute to the leaking, so you probably won't have any problems, but if you have a plastic box or cooler around, it's not a bad idea. 

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Great idea Shannon, thanks! Burped everyone last night and the raspberry ones are already super fizzy. Put them in the fridge this morning and I look forward to going home and cracking one open this evening.

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Jenx (or anyone with second ferments in GT bottles) - how much second ferment "food" do you add to each GT bottle?  My second ferments practically never get fizzy anymore.  I'm not really doing anything different - I've tried whole fruit (maybe 2 tbsp blueberries or 3-4 strawberries per 16 oz bottle), fruit juice (maybe 1/4 c) and then my old standby - sliced ginger with 1 tsp sugar and they barely get fizzy.  

 

Thanks :)

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Jenx (or anyone with second ferments in GT bottles) - how much second ferment "food" do you add to each GT bottle? My second ferments practically never get fizzy anymore. I'm not really doing anything different - I've tried whole fruit (maybe 2 tbsp blueberries or 3-4 strawberries per 16 oz bottle), fruit juice (maybe 1/4 c) and then my old standby - sliced ginger with 1 tsp sugar and they barely get fizzy.

Thanks :)

That sounds like about the amounts I use, although I don't really measure.

One thing I found is that mine will be fizzy, so I stick them in the fridge, and they lose most of their fizz within a day. I drink a lot of them at room temp instead of refrigerating to avoid that.

If you're still reusing the original lids from the GT's bottles, you might look into replacement lids -- maybe your lids have warped a bit and aren't as air tight anymore. Kombucha Kamp sells the replacement lids.

Do you continuous brew or batch brew? I cb, and mine's pretty fizzy straight from the container without a 2f. I know I've read of people who batch brew rinsing their scoby every time and getting rid of the yeast strings -- don't do that, or at least don't get rid of all the yeast. It helps with the fizz.

You might also check the temperature wherever you're putting your 2f -- warmer temps in general give more fizz, not super hot but maybe mid to upper 70s? I can't remember for sure the ideal temp, but in winter, if I want good fizz, I need to warm mine a little somehow, I usually warm One of those reusable heat/ice packs and stick in the cooler with them and close it. I try to remember to change it out a couple of times a day.

Hope you figure it out, flat booch is just not as tasty.

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I batch brew.  Maybe I'll pick up a flip top and see if it helps for second ferments.  I put the lids on really tight - sometimes I have to tap the bottle on the counter because I can't even open it :)  I have one GT bottle size second ferment that has been sitting there for 3 days now I think... a little mini SCOBY is forming on top.  But when I opened it... no fizz.  Any idea what that means?

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I had to replace a couple of my cheaper flip tops because they weren't keeping their seal and will be eventually changing them all out with brewery quality growlers. The KT that I second ferment in the growlers is the fizziest. I find it also matters to some degree what I use in my first ferment; English Breakfast seems to work the best for me.

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That sounds like about the amounts I use, although I don't really measure.

One thing I found is that mine will be fizzy, so I stick them in the fridge, and they lose most of their fizz within a day. I drink a lot of them at room temp instead of refrigerating to avoid that.

....

Hope you figure it out, flat booch is just not as tasty.

this happened to me too - I was so disappointed! They still tasted good but I was expecting way more fizz.  I am doing CB so hope the yeast content goes up. Everything I've read is that the amount of yeast is what gives you fizz (since it's mostly yeast that does the fermenting of the fruit).

 

Amazon has flip-top bottles on a pretty good price and now that I got paid I can go check out Ikea to see who's price wins.

 

Even without the fizz, it has been so nice to come home after work and crack a bottle of my very own homebrewed booch! I'm very thankful for this forum giving me the idea and the knowledge to make my own.

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I am thinking about making my own.  I am a bit nervous about it.  What should be my biggest concern?  Is there anything I could do that would make it harmful to drink?  (yes, I know this is a crazy question)

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Is there anything I could do that would make it harmful to drink?  (yes, I know this is a crazy question)

 

The primary mistakes I have seen are people trying to reduce sugar too much or to use sugar substitutes (like stevia or coconut sugar). The scoby needs sugar to feed off and to keep everything in balance. When things do get off balance you are likely to get mold, which could be harmful. If you see mold, toss the whole lot and start again with a new scoby. Luckily, mold is pretty easy to detect. If something is furry or powdery, there is a good likelyhood it is mold.

 

Slimy brown globs are normal yeast and nothing to worry about.

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http://smallnotebook.org/2009/07/27/how-to-make-kombucha-tea/

I just started making my own Kombucha a little over a month ago. I've also made two perfect Scoby's following the information in the link above (I hope it works). Super easy, and my Kombucha is delicious. Thanks for getting this started.

Lisa

Ok, I am lost. How can we drink it when on of the ingredients is white granulated sugar?

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Ok, I am lost. How can we drink it when on of the ingredients is white granulated sugar?

You have to have sugar for the tea to ferment. During that process the SCOBY eats the sugar and converts it into enzymes, probiotics, etc.  What we are not allowed to do is add sugar during the 2nd fermentation process, only fruit or unsweetened fruit juices. That sugar would not be eaten so would remain in the beverage.

 

It's the same concept as making wine. the yeast eats the sugar from the grapes and ferments the juice.

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Hi y'all....I've been reading this topic for days and when i got to page 30 I decided to just quit reading and see how many pages there are: 65!!!   So perhaps what I'm wanting to know is answered in the pages between 30 and 65, so forgive me if I'm repeating.  Two questions:  1: Is the caffeine content the same in a cup of Kombucha as though it were a cup of tea?  2. Is there any way to measure the sugar content in kombucha that has gone through the first fermentation?  People tell me that my booch tastes sweet...and it's plain!  Thx for your responses.  :)

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Hi y'all....I've been reading this topic for days and when i got to page 30 I decided to just quit reading and see how many pages there are: 65!!!   So perhaps what I'm wanting to know is answered in the pages between 30 and 65, so forgive me if I'm repeating.  Two questions:  1: Is the caffeine content the same in a cup of Kombucha as though it were a cup of tea?  2. Is there any way to measure the sugar content in kombucha that has gone through the first fermentation?  People tell me that my booch tastes sweet...and it's plain!  Thx for your responses.  :)

 

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.

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 So I grew my on scoby successfully from a plain, store-bought kombucha. My first batch tasted good, but no carbonation. I reused kobucha bottles that I purchased (sterilized them first). I added 1/4 cup fruit juice to a 16 oz bottle, no added sugar, 100% juice. It does not taste bad, but part of my love of kobucha is the carbonation. Any suggestions??  (also, cannot thank all that contribute to this forum -- it was super helpful!!)

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 So I grew my on scoby successfully from a plain, store-bought kombucha. My first batch tasted good, but no carbonation. I reused kobucha bottles that I purchased (sterilized them first). I added 1/4 cup fruit juice to a 16 oz bottle, no added sugar, 100% juice. It does not taste bad, but part of my love of kobucha is the carbonation. Any suggestions??  (also, cannot thank all that contribute to this forum -- it was super helpful!!)

What tea are you using?  I use English Breakfast tea and have always had copious amounts of carbonation (less so if I use green or white tea).  Some second ferments that help with carbonation are anything lime/lemon, ginger or the tropical juice mixes that have mango/kiwi etc.  Do you leave your filled bottles out for a couple days after adding the juice?

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I used organic black tea (8 bags/1 gallon - 1 C sugar).  The juice was a blueberry/pomegranate. They were bottled for a little over 2 days - room temp.  Maybe I did not have the lids tight enough, just not sure.  I am not giving up though.  Second batch is currently in first fermentation.  Maybe I will try lemon or lime.  Thanks!

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