Kombucha Makers Unite; Where to ask and be answered


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Hi! Susan had a wonderful idea of having one place where it is all things related to making/brewing Kombucha could be asked and answered. There are several of us that are newbies at this (me) a

Awesome idea! Plus one for the n00bs right here ... Three weeks ago I didn't know what kombucha was, and now I (hopefully) have a pet SCOBY growing in my kitchen. Either that or I am farming mould.

Just thought I'd share a pic of my 2 1/2 gallon SCOBY and brew, Denver, started by a dear friend and jazz musician several years ago from a bottle of GT's. He passed it along to me when he moved

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I asked my company & they told me to use boiled tap water, that the scoby might not like the stuff in mineral water. Is mineral water & distilled water the same thing?

 

Picture time!

 

Lily loved opening the tap :)

 

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I opened it to top it up again (I used slightly less sugar in the top up tea) to replace the drawn off litre and here's how it looked.

I think the film on the top is the beginnings of a new baby, yeah?  And the 2 darker semi-circles you can just see underneath are my orginals.

 

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The brew is already pleasantly sparkling, as you can see. I have put this in the press (cupboard) overnight, will burp it in the morning & then put in fridge tomorrow night, does that sound right?

 

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Just wanted to jump in on the herbal tea flavorings here, I have been brewing for about a year now and my favorite flavors have come from herbal teas.  My top favorites are ginger chamomile (nighttime), Provence Rooibos,any kind of rooibos or bush tea taste great with the booch, Earl Grey is awesome, hibiscus, Numi chocolate puehr, chai (I used whole spices), I could go on and on....  I have given up on fruit unless it's a complimentary berry because the teas taste so darn good.  I am up to about 2 gallons every few weeks and still can't keep up with my drinking habit :)

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Derval great photos. Love the look on Lily's face. Booch lover in the making. :)

Mineral is different than distilled. Mineral actually has salts and minerals in it. I use tap water that I run through my brita. Oregon has fairly good water. I also heard from Kombucha Kamp that you can use tap water but you should boil it first or let it sit overnight.

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I boil tap water. I have brita, but it's a small filter, so it will take forever to clear 2 gallons. Lizzard, hey there. Plus one expert more, so we can pick your brains now. Proportions please ;)

Nadia do you think Lizzard means flavor the second ferment with the herbal teas. As in just sprinkle loose tea into the bottle and stick it on the shelf? Dying to flavor with my Chocolate Puerh, but Robin suggested not do the first brew with it because it has things like orange peel. I may experiment with one of my now many baby SCOBYs.

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Just to add something about boiling the tap water- make sure to do that for 15 min with no lid so the chlorine can off-gas. So if you need a gallon, start with more to allow for evaporation. I have made many brews this way. Now I use a filter on my sink.

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Yes, great note, Mo.

I am not sure, Susan. i guess so. I would just make little teabags (cloth + thread?) and leave them in the booch for a day/overnight. Michele's friend uses it as second ferment flavor booster too. I have chocolate pu-ehr too ;) It's called chocolate rocket, heh.

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Susan, I add the tea to my second ferment.  I have swing top bottles and just dangle the bag right in there.  It's really delicious, I noticed on another thread that you were a fan of it as well, a must try! 

 

I brew my 1F with Assam or sometimes even Lipton.  In the beginning I was combining black and green teas but wasn't a fan of the final flavor.  I only add other teas or flavorings to the 2F. 

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Susan, I add the tea to my second ferment.  I have swing top bottles and just dangle the bag right in there.  It's really delicious, I noticed on another thread that you were a fan of it as well, a must try! 

 

I brew my 1F with Assam or sometimes even Lipton.  In the beginning I was combining black and green teas but wasn't a fan of the final flavor.  I only add other teas or flavorings to the 2F. 

 

Omg the quote box is back!! Hurray!

eta - boo it's not, only shows in the reply box.

 

I have a huge selection of fruit & herbal teas - good to know I can pop one in once it's bottled. Anything one should avoid or does it not matter once it's had it's first ferment?

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Nadia, by proportions do you mean for the 2f or for the whole brewing process?

 

I bring 1/2 gallon of filtrd water to a boil then add 1 1/4 cup sugar, dissolve and off heat.  I then add my tea, 10 tea bags or 6 Tbsp loose.  I let it steep for a number of hours, sometimes over night.  When I am ready to bottle I fill 'em up with my flavorings then add my strong tea to the container and add the next 1/2 gallon of filtered water, set my scobys on top, cover it, and move the happy little family back to their cupboard.  I do not continuous brew, just batch.  Hope that's helpful!

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Susan, I add the tea to my second ferment. I have swing top bottles and just dangle the bag right in there. It's really delicious, I noticed on another thread that you were a fan of it as well, a must try!

I brew my 1F with Assam or sometimes even Lipton. In the beginning I was combining black and green teas but wasn't a fan of the final flavor. I only add other teas or flavorings to the 2F.

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I am so excited. Good idea to dangle the bags. I use Assam to do my first brew too.

By the way..how were the baby octopi?

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"By the way..how were the baby octopi?"

 

Actually we are having them tonight, hubs wanted chicken last eve.  The grill is heating currently and the little guys are marinating.  Excited, Thanks!

 

"Yes, I meant proportions of herbal flavor tea to the regular fermented booch for the second fermentation. Just one tea bag per bottle?"

 

Yes, I use 1 tea bag per 16 oz bottle or approx 1/2 Tbsp loose tea.

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Derval, the FIZZ!!!  And that's without a second ferment?  You lucky lady.  If mine doesn't fizz, I'm trying your recipe next time.

 

KB, that's awesome news.  You must have a shy little late bloomer who is finally blossoming and will accomplish awesome things.  (Tell it I said that.  Late bloomers need lots of encouragement).

 

Love the herbal tea flavouring.  So many things to try.  Come ooooon Frankie.

 

Also, Frank has turned himself into a taco.  Really, he's folded himself in half, but pointing up not down.  He's so busy.  I hope he's not distracting himself with acrobatics when there is kombucha making to be done.

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Sophie, I love you. Taco scoby. You are hilarious :D

My hard working scoby says hi from the booch factory aka kitchen. post-12442-13708274293029_thumb.jpgpost-12442-13708274375122_thumb.jpg

I've made two with beets/orange, several regular stuff and the rest tea flavors (exotica with cardamom/lemongrass/pink peppercorns/pineapple/orange peel/coconut and strawberry rhubarb parfait with apple/hibiscus/raisins/carrot/beetroot/strawberry/rhubarb). I have more washi tape, so fancy bottles to come.

Second batch of white tea brew will be bottled plain.

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