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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KB, remember Nadia's dad decided after 5 days that he liked it and was having it like that.  I waited one week, but it's your booch.  Taste when you want!

 

Big news: hubby actually got himself a glass of booch today.  Just half a bottle of the raspberry, but he got of his own accord, with no offering from me.  He liked it.  I think it will take him awhile to get his head around the grossness of the SCOBYs but he hasn't completely lost his taste for it.  We bottled again tonight and he helped me (still no touching the SCOBYs).

 

2nd piece of big news: strong tea fizz theory is looking good (though lots of sugar no doubt helped).  This batch I just bottled was about 4.5 litres (about 1.2 gallons) and I used 12 tea bags and about 300g sugar.  This stuff was fizzing like mad as we poured it into the bottles.  Next batch is 10 tea bags and 1.5 cups sugar. 

 

Here is the fizz in the bigger bottle after it had a bit of time to settle (they all frothed over)

 

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Hey, y'all. Sorry I've been silent on this thread. It's hard to keep up with all the activity!

 

Update: my homegrown SCOBY utterly failed. Guess I started with a bad bottle of GT. So I ordered one online and it's been going like gangbusters! I did my first bottling and second ferments over the weekend and drank my first bottle yesterday: strawberry vanilla lime. Mighty tasty but none too fizzy. It seems the sugar is the thing for fizz, right? Should I add a bit of sugar or honey to the second ferment or add more sugar to the first? Or bottle the second ferment sooner? Any of the above?

 

Today I'll drink a blueberry ginger. Next bottling I'm trying apricot cardamom and cherry lime. We'll see what else I can come up with. I'm excited to taste my raspberry mint lime one, too. These suckers, especially once I figure out the fizz sitch, are better than cocktails!

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I wondered where you'd got to with yours LadyM!  

 

With my first batch I waited 7 days to bottle and then started opening them after 2 days of 2nd fermentation.  They started producing proper fizz on day 4, and the mango was the fizziest and sugariest fruit too I think - others were ginger or berry based.  I should think adding more sugar to 2nd ferment would work based on that.  Or you can try and get your batch fizzier in general which I believe I've managed to do: bottled 2nd batch tonight and as I already mentioned it is way fizzier at this stage than the first: stronger tea, more sugar and more SCOBY working on it as well.

 

Got the stronger tea idea from Nadia and Susan, and Derval's recipe had more sugar so I combined the two.

 

Your flavours sound awesome!  I've only got boysenberry, raspberry and one of each of those with vanilla.  Hubby really liked raspberry so we're sticking with the berries (I'm hoping to draw him in a bit more!).

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So exciting everyone! 

 

I don't see the correlation with sugar for fizz, I always used same amount or less. My guess is stronger tea. Sugary tea will take more time to be ready since the scoby has to eat it up (I am not too interested in drinking white sugar). Yes, Dad drank his after 5 days but it was in a crazy warm place. Now he holds for 7 days to get rid of sugar after my guilt trip talk. 

 

Raisins work fine, D! I added them to other fruits and by themselves. 

 

I have a box of fresh figs, do you think they will work? 

 

My news:

 

White tea is my favorite, so light and fruity. Amazing even plain. 

Black/green batch turned out to be bleeeeh. I don't even thing that flavoring will rescue it. Very harsh taste. I've mixed most of it with different teas - roiboos, herbal Pina Colada, rosebuds/pomegranate and berry tisane.

I got a bag of dried hibiscus. Recipe anyone? Same amount as if I was using black tea? It's bulky and hard to measure. 

Bottled raspberry mint, rhubarb/ginger and pomegranate. All white tea.

 

Other suggestions for rhubarb? I guess apple and strawberry.  

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Nadia the sugar has a lot to do with more fizz...I forget what the science is but its in my "how to get fizz like your favorite brand" email from KK. I'll find the email and paste the bullet points here. I've syarted adding a tiny amount of honey to my more savory 2nd ferments and thar she blows. My hibiscus makes a lot of fizz too. No clue why.

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Oh..two things..I used 1/2 tsp (heaping) hibiscus per 16 oz bottle and I was shocked but it was plenty. I dont know if Hannah concentrates her hibiscus somehow but I doubt it. The figs..this will be my first fig flavor. I may peel them, mush them and shove them in. I feel like they are not the strongest tasting fruit so I may use 1.5 figs per 16 oz bottle? I am going to do fig and dried ginger.

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You're all fierce fancy!

 

2 more bottles put awat for 2nd ferment today

 

Lables by Lily :)

 

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and this is the baby (being held by my baby) - looks pretty good, except for what's the mucky looking stuff on the underside? Should I be concerned?

 

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percypat, you'll have to tell your dh that he can't have a 6yr old girl being tougher than him :lol:

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Wait..beet root powder..as in beet sugar? Did you taste it?

I procrastinated in bottling this batch. I hope I didn't wait too long. I wonder if adding honey to second ferment is okay on W30? The yeast eats away at it which is what produces the carbonation (I remember the science now). Think bread dough.

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Uahaha bring scoby to school! Your scoby is gigantic and perfectly normal, D! Wow. Soon you'll just have to order flavors with the pro like Lily. Alex is grossed out, eh? 

 

Beet root powder looked purple and smelled exactly like beets. It was on the shelf with herbs. I will go there and buy a little bit. 

 

I guess I'll have to mill my hibiscus. 

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