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Kombucha Makers Unite; Where to ask and be answered

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13 minutes ago, jenmidge said:

I have spots of light green mould on the baby scoby on top of my 2.5L jar. :( Do I have to throw baby scoby, adult scoby and Kombucha all away? I have moved the jar away from my cb jar in case the mould somehow transfers. 

If it's definitely mold and not stray bits of tea or something, definitely toss it all.  You can read more about mold and see pics of what it looks like here, if you have any doubts.

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I'm new to Kombucha making since summer  Started out with 2 ( one gallon ) jars and quickly moved into a 2.5 gallon CB.

I've bottled approx. 6 batches to date.  So far the only ones I have gotten to fiz  in the 2F are ones that I've added Dried or Fresh/Frozen fruit.

The times I tried pure fruit juice it did not fizz at all.  Is this pretty normal? Perhaps it just takes longer when using fruit juice?

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13 hours ago, ShannonM816 said:

If it's definitely mold and not stray bits of tea or something, definitely toss it all.  You can read more about mold and see pics of what it looks like here, if you have any doubts.

Thankyou. the link was very helpful. It is definitely mould but I now know the probable cause. I'm a bit frugal with my central heating and the brewing environment is therefore colder than recommended.  I thought this would just result in longer fermentation time until I read the info on the link. thanks again.

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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...).

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On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 4:21 PM, ladyshanny said:

@Cathy125 - when you use juice, how long are you leaving it in second fermentation for? I only use juice and mine is always very fizzy, sometimes excessively so. 

 

 

Hi LadyShanny,

I've left my 2nd ferment as long as a week with no real fizz...  It must be the strength of my actual tea.

I'm using a 2 .5 gallon CB that I drain 1 gallon from every 5-7 days and cap off with a gallon of fresh tea.

It tastes to me like it's ready and tests out a 2.3 on my meter but, perhaps if I left it a bit longer I will have

better results. 

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i wonder if the brewing temperature affects fizz. I started using a heat belt around my cb jar on the weekend and have noticed lots of bubbles around the top of my scoby for the first time. From my last batch, only the bottles flavored with fruit tea developed fizz.

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 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.

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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.

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On 10/30/2016 at 2:31 PM, MrsStick said:

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...).

Hi MrsStick, I second ferment with  any size bottles like this: https://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Star-Easy-Bottles-Amber/dp/B013H0257K

Or I use 64 oz growlers like this: https://www.amazon.com/True-Fabrications-Gallon-Clear-Growler/dp/B00PR8232S/ref=sr_1_14?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1479315119&sr=1-14&keywords=growler although this particular example seems spendy. 

Sorry you had an explosion. If I'm not going to be able to burp my 2F daily I will put them in a cooler to contain any explosive situation. Knock on wood, I've never had an explosion.

Good luck :)

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I have my first scoby hotel. Do I need to top it up with fresh sweet tea occasionally and if so, how often? I've read conflicting advice on different websites. Also, I made it with white K tea, will this contain enough tannins for long term storage or should I top up with black tea? It's kept in the back of a cupboard rather than fridge.

My last batch had good fizz after first and second ferment but after sitting in the fridge for a week, seems to have gone flat. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm using flip top old K bottles which seem airtight. 

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1 hour ago, jenmidge said:

I have my first scoby hotel. Do I need to top it up with fresh sweet tea occasionally and if so, how often? I've read conflicting advice on different websites. Also, I made it with white K tea, will this contain enough tannins for long term storage or should I top up with black tea? It's kept in the back of a cupboard rather than fridge.

My last batch had good fizz after first and second ferment but after sitting in the fridge for a week, seems to have gone flat. Has anyone else experienced this? I'm using flip top old K bottles which seem airtight. 

I found that it depends -- if I seal the scoby hotel in a fairly air tight container, there's not a lot of evaporation and the scoby doesn't start looking dried out, so I don't really add to it. If I just have cloth covering it, the way I would for the kombucha I'm brewing,, there is some evaporation and the top of the scoby starts looking dry, so I add some tea occasionally. Either way, I would just keep an eye on it and make sure it continues to look okay.

Mine do lose fizz in the fridge sometimes. Don't burp the bottles before you put them in the fridge, but other than that, I'm not really sure why it happens. Well, I'm sure it's the temperature making it happen, I'm just not sure how to keep it from happening. I sometimes drink mine room temperature instead of putting them in the fridge, but if I know I've got more than I'm going to drink in the next few days to a week, I refrigerate and hope for the best.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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1 minute ago, Crastney said:

I made a strong pot of tea, added a cup of sugar, several cups of water

You want about 6-8 tea bags & between 160-200 sugar for every 2ltrs. Let the tea cool before you add it to the SCOBY, which would probably want to come back up to room temp & out of hibernation before it starts brewing... There are mixed opinions on whether or not the SCOBY will survive it's spell in the fridge...

Good luck!!

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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.

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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.

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59 minutes ago, Crastney said:

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. 

I get good carbonation even in my first ferment - it's from all the excess yeast. See below on bottling day just this past Sunday...

D93D32DE-39E0-4577-BDF9-616CC8A45362.jpg

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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?


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drain, sink, toilet - all the same really - was wondering if there was a problem with it being processed elsewhere?  It's not going to cause an issue in the grey water or sewerage, so probably ok.

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Throw it in the trash.

 

"When she first started making kombucha, someone told her that they were good for septic systems so she was flushing her old mushrooms down the toilet.

A couple years later the septic tank guy came to empty out her tank, and he opened it up to stick the hose in to start draining it, but he couldn’t. He was totally baffled and had to get out his knife and hack away at the large, tannish, leathery thing that was floating at the top of the tank! She was quite sure what it was and she was quite sure she was not about to tell him! Can you imagine? A kombucha mushroom the size of a septic tank! If only someone in the sci-fi industry knew about SCOBYs!"

http://gnowfglins.com/2010/02/15/rfqm-scoby-gone-wild/

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Hello, kombucha homies! I am hoping to revitalize this thread to connect with others who are currently brewing. I am brand new to this craft and should have my first fermentation ready this week. Very exciting! I'm attaching a photo of Toby, which I grew myself from a bottle of raw, unflavored GT's kombucha, and also Maggie, who I purchased over the weekend from a Craigslist ad.

I'd love to see your pics too! I'm sure in the next several days I'll have questions, so I'm hoping there are still those of you out there who are actively booching. :)

IMG_3546.jpg

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