Author Topic: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information  (Read 65658 times)

Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #480 on: April 25, 2008, 08:01:22 AM »
I recently found out that there isn't Fluoride in tea, it was an urban myth.  After talking at length with an expert on the Kombucha (Betsy Pryor who brought the first Kombucha to the U.S. in the early 90's), I've just finished a couple posts with info on the correct way to make it - she said there are many bad recipes floating around.  http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #481 on: April 25, 2008, 09:04:53 AM »
Interesting, Kelly. And amazingly we don't do any of the "don'ts" except brewing in a cabinet. May not be able to change that though... our house is too small. Hmm...

Offline herbs girl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #482 on: April 25, 2008, 10:41:25 AM »
Ok, I started my first Kombucha tea batch on Wednesday night. I got my starter from Gem cultures. I followed the directions pretty closely, and It isnt doing hardly anything now. No baby is forming. It is not real warm in here.  Our furnace did not work until today, and the repair man said not to use it unless we had to because of Co2.(Carbon Monoxide) So it is not real warm in here. I have it sitting on a desk in an old glass coffee pot covered with paper towel. It has 1/2 cup sugar for 4 cups black tea.

How quick does it form a baby, when can I tell its working?



Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #483 on: April 25, 2008, 11:21:01 AM »
Lotsaboys, that's great!
Herbsgirl, take a look at my post (link is in my comment above), and that will help you a lot. 
Kelly

Offline herbs girl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #484 on: April 25, 2008, 11:59:04 AM »
Lotsaboys, that's great!
Herbsgirl, take a look at my post (link is in my comment above), and that will help you a lot. 
Kelly

I read through Betsy's 15 guidlines, thanks, I moved my kombucha out of the closet!




Offline Whiterock

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #485 on: April 26, 2008, 05:07:08 PM »
I recently found out that there isn't Fluoride in tea, it was an urban myth.  After talking at length with an expert on the Kombucha (Betsy Pryor who brought the first Kombucha to the U.S. in the early 90's), I've just finished a couple posts with info on the correct way to make it - she said there are many bad recipes floating around.  http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html

I believe that there is fluoride in tea (how much depends on the source). The Tea Council of USA says there is and the USDA has a chart that shows the average amounts. I didn't even think it was debated, so I'm curious where to find info on this being a legend.

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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #486 on: April 27, 2008, 06:49:22 AM »
Ok, I started my first Kombucha tea batch on Wednesday night. I got my starter from Gem cultures. I followed the directions pretty closely, and It isnt doing hardly anything now. No baby is forming. It is not real warm in here.  Our furnace did not work until today, and the repair man said not to use it unless we had to because of Co2.(Carbon Monoxide) So it is not real warm in here. I have it sitting on a desk in an old glass coffee pot covered with paper towel. It has 1/2 cup sugar for 4 cups black tea.

How quick does it form a baby, when can I tell its working?
Leave it alone for at least 7 to 10 days.  It may take as many as 14 if you have cooler temps. 
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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #487 on: April 27, 2008, 09:55:41 AM »
Interesting, Kelly. And amazingly we don't do any of the "don'ts" except brewing in a cabinet. May not be able to change that though... our house is too small. Hmm...

I have been brewing in my pantry for 4 years with never a problem.  So if you haven't made mold by now, you can probably continue, for convenience sake.  Her tips were good, but not all of them are necessary.   ;)

Offline herbs girl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #488 on: April 27, 2008, 12:36:02 PM »
Ok, I started my first Kombucha tea batch on Wednesday night. I got my starter from Gem cultures. I followed the directions pretty closely, and It isnt doing hardly anything now. No baby is forming. It is not real warm in here.  Our furnace did not work until today, and the repair man said not to use it unless we had to because of Co2.(Carbon Monoxide) So it is not real warm in here. I have it sitting on a desk in an old glass coffee pot covered with paper towel. It has 1/2 cup sugar for 4 cups black tea.

How quick does it form a baby, when can I tell its working?
Leave it alone for at least 7 to 10 days.  It may take as many as 14 if you have cooler temps. 

Thanks HB, I will try to be more patient ;D



Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #489 on: April 28, 2008, 08:37:58 AM »
Whiterock, I'm glad you posted your reply on Fluoride in tea, it got me researching more and I found that you are right, I had misunderstood and was wrong - there is NATURAL Fluoride in all tea - from the soil it's grown in.  I added a correction at my post on how to make Kombucha correctly (http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html).
THANK YOU!
Kelly
« Last Edit: April 28, 2008, 08:42:31 AM by Kelly the Kitchen Kop »

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #490 on: April 28, 2008, 08:45:34 AM »
Thanks Kelly, hubby and I were a little  ??? at that. ;)

We're still not sure about not keeping it in a cabinet, esp. if there is a decent amount of ventilation. In our experience, we've had moldy results when it sat out in the open and none since keeping in a cabinet. :-\

Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #491 on: April 28, 2008, 08:59:16 AM »
Hmmm, that's interesting.  I'm no expert myself, so all I know is what Betsy has taught me.  If ever you'd like to discuss that specific issue with her (just to be sure), she's great about responding to questions.  She's told me many times that the best way to reach her is via fax - fax number is listed at the Laurel Farms site:  http://www.laurelfarms.com/contact_laurel_farms.html

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #492 on: April 28, 2008, 09:12:50 AM »
I offered a scoby to a friend today who liked my tea, and she said, no. Said she'd researched it and it was one of those 50/50 things, where half says it's good for you, the other 1/2 says it's not. I told her I'd not run into the "bad for you" group yet. She said she usually defaults to Mayo Clinic, and that they had mentioned anthrax...My very first try @ googling it came up with this article. I'm assuming this is at least one that she read:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kombucha-tea/AN01658

What are your thoughts?

Offline Siege

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #493 on: April 28, 2008, 09:22:14 AM »
I have NEVER tried Kombucha. I think I would like to, but I would want to try someone elses before I tried to make my own (what if I don't like it?). Personally, the article mentioned seemed a bit "off" to me. Where is the proof of anthax being reported with the kombucha? Where are any of the REAL evidence of anything said?

Even here, on an unofficial site called WTM, we have to back up what we say with proof. The proof has to be either personal, a study, or second hand even. There was no proof whatsoever in that article. Show me the studies, news reports, and stories, then I MIGHT listen to your article....

(That is directed at anyone trying to tell me something, not at Burlsgirl, and not at anyone here either, as everyone here usually proofs their stuff.) CJ

Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #494 on: April 28, 2008, 10:03:31 AM »
Hi Burlsgirl,
According to Betsy, this is why it is important to follow the correct recipe and make sure you're getting a "good" starter, to avoid contamination from whatever it might be.  I was glad to get a fresh starter from Betsy, then I always know for sure that my "babies" were grown safely. (http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html)
Kelly

Offline morningglory

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #495 on: April 28, 2008, 10:31:48 AM »
Someone else posted this elsewhere, but I thought it was a good point.  We're supposed to believe that the Kombucha cultures that Betsy Pryor (or anyone else who makes such claims) has is from a perfectly pure culture, handed down by generations of people who all followed every one of those directions to a tee for several hundred years?  I don't think so.  And even if they did, there would be no way of knowing it.  If I had to follow all of those guidelines, I would not be able to make kombucha, and we wouldn't be getting any health benefits.  I'm sure it's all good advice, but not necessary.

Offline Mrs. Dugger

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #496 on: April 28, 2008, 11:11:47 AM »
I offered a scoby to a friend today who liked my tea, and she said, no. Said she'd researched it and it was one of those 50/50 things, where half says it's good for you, the other 1/2 says it's not. I told her I'd not run into the "bad for you" group yet. She said she usually defaults to Mayo Clinic, and that they had mentioned anthrax...My very first try @ googling it came up with this article. I'm assuming this is at least one that she read:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kombucha-tea/AN01658

What are your thoughts?

I personally wouldn't worry about getting anthrax from Kombucha, unless you (or the person you got it from) lives near infected livestock (according the CDC, rare in the U.S).  In that case, if anthrax is getting into your kombucha, it's probably contaminating other stuff in your house, too, and you have other problems to deal with!  People who have mold allergies have died from common mold spores in an old box of Bisquick, too.  And people have died from raw spinach.  You have to use basic care, cleanliness and caution with all things. 

From what I can gather off the internet, the anthrax and kombucha rumor started when someone in Iran had kombucha growing near contaminated livestock, he gave the culture to a friend, and the friend rubbed the SCOBY on his skin to alleviate pain  ???  Wah-lah, an anthrax breakout.   I think it's pretty irresponsible for the Mayo Clinic and other sites to use that to say that growing kombucha [esp. in the U.S.] can give you anthrax.

Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #497 on: April 28, 2008, 01:54:02 PM »
Morning Glory, I understand what you're saying, and I guess the reason this all clicks for me is because talking to Betsy you realize how extremely knowledgeable she is on the topic of Kombucha.  I certainly don't know anything about them, only what I've learned from her.  And if I'm going to do it, I want to be sure I'm listening to someone who knows (and who has grown them for 15 years), so that I can be sure I'm getting all the benefits. 

Someone else had commented about how nit-picky her instructions are, and Betsy's reply was this:  "although we try to make the instructions that come with the Kombucha starter very simple to follow, this really is a scientific process that must be done correctly. The growing medium has to be consistent in order to prevent toxicity and to get all the health benefits from the broad range of B vitamins, glucuronic acid, and other beneficial nutrients."

Once you gather the right supplies, it is really simple to make.  I've got 2 batches going at once right now, since my family goes through it so quickly.

Hope this helps.
Kelly         (http://www.kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/04/kombucha-tea-part-2-15-tips-for-making.html)

burlsgirl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #498 on: April 28, 2008, 03:45:35 PM »
I offered a scoby to a friend today who liked my tea, and she said, no. Said she'd researched it and it was one of those 50/50 things, where half says it's good for you, the other 1/2 says it's not. I told her I'd not run into the "bad for you" group yet. She said she usually defaults to Mayo Clinic, and that they had mentioned anthrax...My very first try @ googling it came up with this article. I'm assuming this is at least one that she read:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kombucha-tea/AN01658

What are your thoughts?

I personally wouldn't worry about getting anthrax from Kombucha, unless you (or the person you got it from) lives near infected livestock (according the CDC, rare in the U.S).  In that case, if anthrax is getting into your kombucha, it's probably contaminating other stuff in your house, too, and you have other problems to deal with!  People who have mold allergies have died from common mold spores in an old box of Bisquick, too.  And people have died from raw spinach.  You have to use basic care, cleanliness and caution with all things. 

From what I can gather off the internet, the anthrax and kombucha rumor started when someone in Iran had kombucha growing near contaminated livestock, he gave the culture to a friend, and the friend rubbed the SCOBY on his skin to alleviate pain  ???  Wah-lah, an anthrax breakout.   I think it's pretty irresponsible for the Mayo Clinic and other sites to use that to say that growing kombucha [esp. in the U.S.] can give you anthrax.

Mrs. Dugger,

I didn't buy the anthrax argument when I read it, either. Just wanted to see if anyone else had run up on any "flack" about it, as this was the first negative I'd heard.

Offline DHW

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #499 on: April 28, 2008, 06:01:27 PM »
http://www.fungi.com/info/articles/blob.html

Under the Recipes heading there is some helpful information about maintaining a healthy SCOBY.  There is apparently a distinct risk of contaminating your culture, particularly if you don't use enough sugar. 

One caution that is implied in this article is that if you know you have mold or bacteria problems in your home you should NOT be making kombucha. 

This author does not recommend homemade kombucha for those who are immuno-suppressed.  Actually, he does not recommend kombucha at all, he is a skeptic.

I have to say, though, that the idea of pure, uncontaminated food and drink is not well-founded.  There is a plethora of microorganisms, good and bad, in every natural food.  Well, in every living thing.  And in every thing that is meant to sustain life.  (Not ding-dongs.)

This is pretty much the same controversy surrounding raw milk and unpasturized fermented products.  Healthy if properly produced, otherwise to be avoided.

Offline anb

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #500 on: May 06, 2008, 09:04:52 AM »
Hi, ladies!  I have a couple of questions for you.  I don't think I've seen this anywhere else, but forgive me if I'm wrong. 
What's the average lifespan of a mother?  And how can you tell when it's dead, if it does?  Or do they just go and go forever? 
My kombucha jars have glass lids that sit loosely on top.  There is no seal, just glass on glass.  Do you think it would be okay to put this lid on top, or do I have to use the cloth and rubberband method?  It's all good if I can't use them, I just wondered.  These are the jars I use:
http://www.anchorhocking.com/prodd_3613_cat_25_heritage_hill.html
Thanks in advance!
Andrea

Offline marksgirl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #501 on: May 06, 2008, 11:48:19 AM »
Andrea,
I've only been making K for a short while, but I think there needs to be plenty of air flow for oxygen, hence someone's warning about not putting them into cupboards.  I did have an extra "chunk" of a thick mother (didn't want to separate nicely!) that I didn't want to throw out, b/c I was looking for another large brewing container.  I stored it in a small glass jar (maybe pint size) with some "starter" and just left the plastic lid sitting atop, but not screwed down.  It grew a really nice thick baby before I got my other jar, so it seemed fine for storage.  I have a limited towel/cloth supply right now, so I am using coffee filters on top of my brewing containers, held on by rubberbands to keep out any dust or critters.  Seems to be working just fine!  HTH

Offline DawnsEarlyBirds

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #502 on: May 06, 2008, 12:26:09 PM »
We bottled some berry recipe kombucha last November.  It has been sitting in our root cellar since then.  Starting bringing some up last week and it is INCREDIBLE!  The slow aging in the cold seems to have been the trick.

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #503 on: May 06, 2008, 01:03:44 PM »
Hi, ladies!  I have a couple of questions for you.  I don't think I've seen this anywhere else, but forgive me if I'm wrong. 
What's the average lifespan of a mother?  And how can you tell when it's dead, if it does?  Or do they just go and go forever? 
My kombucha jars have glass lids that sit loosely on top.  There is no seal, just glass on glass.  Do you think it would be okay to put this lid on top, or do I have to use the cloth and rubberband method?  It's all good if I can't use them, I just wondered.  These are the jars I use:
http://www.anchorhocking.com/prodd_3613_cat_25_heritage_hill.html
Thanks in advance!
Andrea

I would agree with marksgirl not to use the glass lids as the mushroom needs to "breathe".

As for the mother- she'll live forever! But since she makes so many babies she is generally not needed after a while. ;)

Offline herbs girl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #504 on: May 07, 2008, 03:37:19 AM »
I have my seconed batch of Kombucha brewing now, and It is forming this globby looking stuff on top of the Mother.  I take it that it is the baby, right?  So I need to wait until the baby is covering the whole surface of the jar before I do another batch? I want a strong baby so I can maybe have two batches going at once, in case one goes wrong.  So to get a strong baby, I need to let it set longer than normal??



Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #505 on: May 07, 2008, 05:09:59 AM »
How long has this batch been brewing? By the time its ready to harvest the baby should be plenty "strong" enough to do its own batch. Of course the longer you brew the thicker the baby will grow. Hope that answers your question.

Offline blessedmama

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #506 on: May 07, 2008, 05:41:29 AM »
Does store bought kombucha taste the same as what you make at home? I bought some organic, raw kombucha from HEB and ---yuck! I am wondering if I should even bother to learn how to make it at home.  Based on the storebought taste, I don't think anyone in my family would drink it.....
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I found that the store bought raw stuff I've bought is vinergary and strong.  Mine that I make at home is much much better plus, I add things like my homemade grape juice about 1/2 to 3/4 cup at the beginning of the brew and it is yummy, also chai tea makes a wonderful KT!! 
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Offline herbs girl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #507 on: May 07, 2008, 06:40:29 AM »
How long has this batch been brewing? By the time its ready to harvest the baby should be plenty "strong" enough to do its own batch. Of course the longer you brew the thicker the baby will grow. Hope that answers your question.

It has been brewing scince Last Saturday night, so not quite 4 days.  The blob thingy I was talking about is the baby, right?



Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #508 on: May 07, 2008, 06:49:26 AM »
How long has this batch been brewing? By the time its ready to harvest the baby should be plenty "strong" enough to do its own batch. Of course the longer you brew the thicker the baby will grow. Hope that answers your question.

It has been brewing scince Last Saturday night, so not quite 4 days.  The blob thingy I was talking about is the baby, right?

Should be. Is it kinda transparent and cloudy looking? It'll eventually turn brownish.

Offline anb

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #509 on: May 07, 2008, 09:09:00 AM »
Quote
I think there needs to be plenty of air flow for oxygen, hence someone's warning about not putting them into cupboards.

That's what I thought.  Anyone have a good use for four glass lids with no jars?   ;D  I hadn't thought about a cupboard, though; I keep mine in the closet.  I open the door several times a day, though, so do you think it will still be okay?  I'm on like my fifth batch or something there abouts.  Enough to finally have four jars going and near constant supply.  Thanks for help!
Andrea