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Natural Health => Nutrition & Food => Fermented Foods => : Mama Sita June 07, 2006, 12:59:37 AM

: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mama Sita June 07, 2006, 12:59:37 AM
Hey, I'm so glad you all brought this Kombucha thing up. I've been brewing it for a couple of months now, and we love the stuff, all except for DH. He just likes his sun tea, plain and simple.

OK, here's my dilemma with brewing the Kombucha: What tea do you guys use to make the kombucha that does NOT have fluoride in it? All I have is the Lipton tea bags, and I was told to use organic black tea. Well, we live out in the boondocks and I really dislike ordering stuff online since shipping prices KILL me...soooo, we use what we have.

I don't have the book Nourishing Traditions, but I'd love to get my hands on a copy. Anybody know the best place to get one? (read: cheap)

Thanks!!  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mama Sita June 18, 2006, 04:38:44 PM
What's the difference between "mothers" and "babies" ???

From my experience, the 'mother' is the starter mushroom that you use to start your Kombucha, and the 'babies' are the new mushroom that grow on top of the mother after a few brews.

Actually, I gathered as much, but do they grow?  Do babies become mothers?  Or do they have to produce special "mothers" like bees grow special queens.  Probably a dumb question, but I don't know much about this stuff and haven't had time to fully research it yet.

Ok, no such thing as a dumb question on this board. Yes, babies become mothers when you separate them and send them on their happy way (with about a cup of kombucha tea) to another jar of their own.

Now, this mother will grow a baby on top and you can separate them.

There's really nothing special about a mother...well, about a kombucha mother, anyway  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys July 08, 2006, 06:55:18 AM
I can't find my Kombucha book right now that addresses your questions, but in my own words, yes, white sugar is what you have to use. That and the caffeine in the tea is what the culture feeds on. So if you brew it long enough there is no sugar and caffeine left in the finished product that you drink.

As for the tea, we followed Sally Fallon's recipe in the Nourishing Traditions which asks for organic black tea (most recipes that we have seen ask for black tea) and I have purchased it from several places and it always came as bags.

Sorry if this doesn't explain it well, I'm sure someone else here can do a better job and when if find my book I can maybe make it more clear also. :-\
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: queentea July 17, 2006, 07:47:25 AM
I am so excited about the things that I am learning here!!  We've started making our own kefir and kiddos just love smoothies!

I was thinking of trying the Kombucha, but I thought I'd find a bottle at the HFS first.  Today I found one and WOW it sure wasn't what I'd been expecting.  I thought it would be sweet as so many said it was a sub. for pop and all the sugar that goes in it, but this stuff tasted like a batch of bad hooch :P!  It was almost "vinegary" not sweet at all.  Is the typical or did I get some bad stuff?  I don't think I could stomach drinking the "pickle juice" on a regular basis, let alone as a sub for my morning Java!! :-\  Are there ways of making it more palatable, like kefir (can't drink that plain either)? It sure had some pucker power :o
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SHERRI REEL July 27, 2006, 05:27:29 AM
I got my shroom from lotsaboys and I'm ready to make it but I need to know if I should wash it first or just dump it in as is?
Sherri
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys July 28, 2006, 04:06:52 PM
Hi Sherri, we're back. :)

Yes, you can just dump it in!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 30, 2006, 06:03:39 PM
My babies look just as ugly (maybe uglier) as the mother.

You shouldn't talk about you and your babies in such a way!!!  :o  ::) :D ;D

HAHAHAHAHAHA!   ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: leslieincali July 31, 2006, 07:33:08 AM
How about instead of mother or mushroom, we call it fungus. :o ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 31, 2006, 08:58:48 AM
How about instead of mother or mushroom, we call it fungus. :o ;D

How about "boochies".  SC, you paying attention?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Gabe Rising August 01, 2006, 12:28:02 PM
It doesn't matter... it'll be just fine!

--gabe
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 03, 2006, 03:09:13 AM
Do not disturb the kombucha while brewing - everything will be fine.

Nickole
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt August 05, 2006, 11:19:36 AM
The "mother" or "mushroom"  is called a SCOBY, an acronym meaning Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.  Found it on Dom's Kombucha sight.

My daughter asked me what was in the kefir jar last night.  I told her that I was feeding some "critters" with juice.  Today we had some kombucha for lunch.  I bottle the kombucha and the kefir in the same bottles, so she thought we were having kefir (I suppose) and she told her brother that we were having "critter juice".   ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SHERRI REEL August 07, 2006, 09:56:50 AM
Is it bad to not brew it for 10 days! I feel funny after 2 oz of my brew and, my kids and DH said no way!!!!  I have a headache> :-X
If I brew it less would it still be good for us, and more palatable?
I even tried adding some juice to it and that made it better but still not tolerable.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt August 07, 2006, 10:33:31 AM
Is it bad to not brew it for 10 days! I feel funny after 2 oz of my brew and, my kids and DH said no way!!!!  I have a headache> :-X
If I brew it less would it still be good for us, and more palatable?
I even tried adding some juice to it and that made it better but still not tolerable.

Mine tasted terrible at 5, 7 and 10 days until I adjusted the sugar content.  My shroom was running out of food I think.  I was kinda winging it, because Dom's and every other site I visited listed the sugar in metric and I think my conversion was off.  I started with 1 cup of sugar for a gallon of tea and changed it to 1 1/2 cup sugar for a gallon and it's much more bubbly and it tastes almost like apple juice.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt August 07, 2006, 02:22:46 PM
We've only brewed Kombucha twice, but ours turned out tasting much like grape juice.  We used 2 qts of tea and 2/3 C of sugar. 
So:  Per 1 qt of water
      ~ 2 tea bags (I use green tea)

I use regular Lipton (or off brand) black (orange pekoe) tea.  I want to try some green and some oolong.  Going to try the ginger too.  I have a double batch, so I should have two more babies in a few days.  Woohoo.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: farmmom August 27, 2006, 02:28:33 AM
After reading all of the posts, several times, I really do not know whether I am clear on exactly what is meant by brewing time.  When you refer to that do you mean the time you let it sit out of the fridge while covered, or do you include the time while sitting out which looks like it is usually 5-7 days, then add on the extra 3-5 days in the fridge.  Does that constitute the total brewing time.  I am sorry if this is not really very clear to understand, it seems like the more I read the posts the more confused I get.  I am probably making more of it than need be.  Thanx for all your comments!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt August 27, 2006, 04:03:55 AM
After reading all of the posts, several times, I really do not know whether I am clear on exactly what is meant by brewing time.  When you refer to that do you mean the time you let it sit out of the fridge while covered, or do you include the time while sitting out which looks like it is usually 5-7 days, then add on the extra 3-5 days in the fridge.  Does that constitute the total brewing time.  I am sorry if this is not really very clear to understand, it seems like the more I read the posts the more confused I get.  I am probably making more of it than need be.  Thanx for all your comments!

Brewing time is the time spent with the culture in the tea.  This is what determines the acidity level and invariably the taste of the tea.  You'll have better luck with fizzies if you don't put it in the fridge for storage.  I've been brewing mine for 10 days with the culture and bottling.  After bottling and sitting out of the fridge, the fizz just gets fizzier every day I let it set.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: farmmom August 27, 2006, 04:22:25 PM
Thank you soooooooo..... much HB, that is perfectly clear.  How would you like to come over and teach
Algebra 2, next week to my daughter ? ha,ha,ha,ha.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SC August 28, 2006, 04:05:52 PM
My first batch of Kombucha is done, but my baby (I think it's a baby) is floating and the mama is at the bottom.  They are not and did not start out connected together.  Is that okay?  The baby is really thin.  Should I throw them in the next pot together so the baby can get bigger or should I make two pots?

Baby and mama are fine. Sometimes the mama stays on the bottom and produces an unattached floater baby. I think they have moods. I've seen some of mine float sideways and turn themselves. Today, when I harvested, we had produced twins -- two babies in one jar. My DH says I need to keep "those things" separate.  :D :D I think he's worried that it might be catching  ::)

I've also noticed that the warmer the temperature, the thicker the baby.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 31, 2006, 04:33:05 PM


Is it good even if my new SCOBY is really really dark brown?


Yes, they get darker and darker as they accumulate dead yeast cells from each batch.  As long as it is still making a baby mushroom, it's good!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt September 07, 2006, 08:48:47 AM
Rock on!!! ;D

You must be a child of the 80's.  *snicker*   ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Amey September 08, 2006, 09:10:07 AM
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: mexmarr September 08, 2006, 09:17:33 AM
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?
My guess would be that it is the former, with an accent on the "boo."  Am I right?  We need to hear from somebody who knows what the are talking about
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole September 08, 2006, 09:28:26 AM
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?
My guess would be that it is the former, with an accent on the "boo."  Am I right?  We need to hear from somebody who knows what the are talking about

"kum-BOO-cha"

Now I've got Def Leopard on the brain after "Rock on!"  THANKS!  ::)  ;D  I'm a child of the 80s too. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: mexmarr September 08, 2006, 10:33:18 AM
Yea!  I like to be right! ;D ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ~esposita~ September 09, 2006, 03:05:53 AM
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?

I can't get Hubby to say "kom-boo-cha;"  He says Koom-BAA-cha...so that is what we make and drink, in our house! ;D ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: jammy September 09, 2006, 04:26:13 AM

Well, my Kombucha has been brewing.....oh, let's see...21 days now!  OOPS...hopefully it is ok and not too strong.  BOY the cultures are HUGE now!  :o
 But it looks and smells fine.   I am boiling the water now to make new tea and start cooling it to transfer these monsters ...LOL


Jenn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ~esposita~ September 09, 2006, 07:48:16 AM
...hopefully it is ok and not too strong. 

Yeah...I did that too.  Definitely too strong, even for DH.  If you can handle it, more power to ya!  I sure do have nice big babies now!!!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SC September 17, 2006, 10:57:30 AM
The directions we use say to cover with a clean cotton cloth -- not cheesecloth. The cotton cloth allows the Kombucha to breathe while keeping pests out. We secure the cloth with a rubber band. I use old diaper cloth, handkerchief cloth, and/or old linen napkins. I just make sure that none of it has holes. We live in a very warm climate and the flies are very attracted to the smell of fermentation. It is a necessity here to use a solid piece of cotton cloth and launder it between uses. I use borax and a vinegar rinse.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: amazonmama2five September 17, 2006, 11:40:59 AM
Dear Musicmommy,
Yes, your kombucha is fine, as a matter of fact, you can start tasting it.  If you live in a warm climate, it could already be to your liking.  In the beginning we only "brewed" ours 5-7 days.  Now we like it at 10.
Have a great day,
Lisa
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Clementine September 19, 2006, 06:27:51 AM
I am considering trying a batch, but have some questions.  First, how do you add kumbocha (according to the Nourishing Trad. recipe) to your batch when it is your very first batch?  Also, what is the purpose of the masking tape, except to keep the towel from falling in? 

Does anyone have a mushroom they would like to sell/give away?   ;D

Also, does the ready-made drink compare to the homemade?  I was thinking about trying it before making my own.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt September 19, 2006, 06:31:41 AM
I am considering trying a batch, but have some questions.  First, how do you add kumbocha (according to the Nourishing Trad. recipe) to your batch when it is your very first batch?
Use Apple Cider Vinegar.  This batch will be a bit more tart than your following batches, but without the acidity that the vinegar provides, your culture will mold.

Also, what is the purpose of the masking tape, except to keep the towel from falling in?
I use coffee filters and rubber bands.  This is to keep fruit flies from laying eggs on your culture.

Does anyone have a mushroom they would like to sell/give away?   ;D
  I might in a couple of weeks, but nothing right now.  My babies are a bit skiddish really.  I use them, but I would hate to give them as a starter for someone else.  I'm hoping my mothers will fatten up over the next couple of batches.  I guess we'll see.

Also, does the ready-made drink compare to the homemade?  I was thinking about trying it before making my own.
Can't help you there, never tried store-bought.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt September 25, 2006, 03:46:08 PM
Ok, I used pure organic darjeeling tea--that's black tea, correct?  Would this be why mine tastes very "flat"?  Maybe I didn't brew it long enough...it has been kinda chilly here.  What to do now?  Just start over?  Should I throw my current kombucha away, or is it ok to drink.  I'm experimenting w/ putting my jar of k back in the cupboard w/ less in it...maybe it'll get fizzy then.  Hmmm
I would drink it if it tastes good.  Just brew the next batch differently and see if it's better.  I've never had darjeeling tea, but my black tea just tastes different than my black, but it's not flat.  My green with citron tastes like sparkling white grape juice and my black tastes like sparkling apple juice.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Elbereth October 17, 2006, 07:05:34 AM
I have just received my Kombucha mushroom in the mail.  I am looking at my Nourishing Traditions recipe and it says to use 1/2 cup kombucha from a previous batch.  I read earlier that you use apple cider vinegar for the first batch, but I need to know exacts, like I take my mushroom and put it in the glass container and pour how much vinegar on it and what else?  and for my first batch I leave it for how long?  Call me simple, but I have read through the other posts and I can't seem to wrap my mind around the instructions for the first batch.  ???  Help?!  Thanks!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Elbereth October 17, 2006, 10:54:56 AM
I have just received my Kombucha mushroom in the mail.  I am looking at my Nourishing Traditions recipe and it says to use 1/2 cup kombucha from a previous batch.  I read earlier that you use apple cider vinegar for the first batch, but I need to know exacts, like I take my mushroom and put it in the glass container and pour how much vinegar on it and what else?  and for my first batch I leave it for how long?  Call me simple, but I have read through the other posts and I can't seem to wrap my mind around the instructions for the first batch.  ???  Help?!  Thanks!

BUMP!!!!!! :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Elbereth October 17, 2006, 01:11:54 PM
Thank you so much! ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ForeverGirl October 24, 2006, 01:29:16 PM
Oh, and if there is any liquid at all with your starter - like a couple of tablespoons - it should work fine. I never added vinegar, and mine turned out fine.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mrs. Dugger October 24, 2006, 01:33:24 PM
THANK YOU so much for posting your recipe.  I'm sure it will save me weeks of experimenting!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: wardermom October 26, 2006, 08:06:24 AM
This is a long shot, but can you start a kombucha culture from tea that has kombucha extract in it?

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: gusoceros November 05, 2006, 01:59:19 PM
At the risk of posting something that has already been added, I thought I would link to the Wikipedia info on this drink:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha

Pretty thorough run down.

G
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: leslieincali November 07, 2006, 06:02:59 AM
This is a long shot, but can you start a kombucha culture from tea that has kombucha extract in it?



I don't think you can, according to the above linked article. I don't think they are the same thing.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole November 07, 2006, 02:13:46 PM
Yeeks - I think if I left mine for 14 days I would have a 2 inch thick mushroom and very vinegary tea, too strong to drink.  I've been making k-tea for over three years, and I have never heard of anyone waiting 14 days   ??? :-\ :-[.  7-10, but mine is sometimes done, just perfect and sparkling, in 5 days.  I use about one part starter, 3 or 4 parts sweet tea.  Maybe that's the difference?  The best thing is to check the tea regularly, not disturb it, but when it's just right it has lots of bubbles at the top.  My opinion anyway.  Harvest too late, and it starts to taste like straight vinegar.  Perhaps healthier, but *WOAH!* - I like to drink it by the glassful, as a refreshing beverage.  ;D       
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ForeverGirl November 07, 2006, 04:31:30 PM
Funny, mine is never vinegary. Infact, 14 days is right on the verge of being too sweet. Tea itself is acidic, so I'm guessing more tea content would make it more acidic, and less prone to mold, and less sugar would make it brew faster and less sweet. How much sugar and tea do you use per gallon?
 
Also, I usually use no extra "mother juice" at all - just the mushroom, so maybe that's why mine takes longer to brew. Maybe the kombucha starter tea speeds up the brewing process. The times I have added left over Kombucha tea to my new brew, the next brew turned out cloudy looking, and more "mushroomy". So I usually just put in the mushroom, minus the starter tea.

-Rebekah
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ForeverGirl November 08, 2006, 11:12:43 AM
Interesting, try making a batch without the extra mother juice - and just the mother - according to the recipe I posted above. Mine is totally clear and clean, even before I strain it. I don't have floating "snot" in the jar. I use purified water. I use a cotton cloth to strain. The cloth has a faint fuzz to it because it is older - as opposed to the polished cotton of a hanky. I bottle immediately, and refridgerate 2 weeks to increase the fizz.

I've noticed that a couple of brews were slightly cloudy, and I think this was because the mother was old. I usually trade out the old ones for a new baby. The cloudy brew tastes fine and looks like kombucha I've had from elsewhere... but I prefer the crisp clean look.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SC November 08, 2006, 01:03:13 PM
I don't know why they didn't strain it.

Hey!  I strain mine - through a handkerchief - yet there seems to ALWAYS be a snotty something in each bottle of my bottled Kombucha (I keep it in 1/2 gal containers, after brewing.)  Any ideas why???

Yep, same here. We live in a humid area. I refrigerate mine after straining in glass decanters. I've actually found one that started generating another baby without a mother! We just look on it as a bonus and slurp it down. My take on it is that the starter, coupled with our climate help make the mothers and resulting tea very prolific. Since it is a symbiotic culture, any tiny bits of "shroom" that manage to get through the clean cloth during straining continue to feed off of the bucha tea. I've even noticed that the bit of ginger root I put in the resulting tea tends to change in color and size. All of this, I attribute to the detoxing action of the tea.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole November 08, 2006, 04:58:38 PM
Funny, mine is never vinegary. Infact, 14 days is right on the verge of being too sweet. Tea itself is acidic, so I'm guessing more tea content would make it more acidic, and less prone to mold, and less sugar would make it brew faster and less sweet. How much sugar and tea do you use per gallon?
 
Also, I usually use no extra "mother juice" at all - just the mushroom, so maybe that's why mine takes longer to brew. Maybe the kombucha starter tea speeds up the brewing process. The times I have added left over Kombucha tea to my new brew, the next brew turned out cloudy looking, and more "mushroomy". So I usually just put in the mushroom, minus the starter tea.

-Rebekah

Yes, I see, without starter tea it would take longer to brew.  I use about 1 to 4 ratio of starter and tea and about 1/4 cup sugar per quart.  Mine is cloudy and has some "snots" which I end up eating but hey I had that problem as a kid anyway so what's the diff. now?  No, I'm kidding - but seriously, I pull out the ones I can grab - that are REALLY snotty, but then just drink the other tiny little floaties.  I figure it's healthy!   ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt November 09, 2006, 05:20:41 AM
I don't know why they didn't strain it.

Hey!  I strain mine - through a handkerchief - yet there seems to ALWAYS be a snotty something in each bottle of my bottled Kombucha (I keep it in 1/2 gal containers, after brewing.)  Any ideas why???
It's the beginning of a new mother/culture.  If you leave it in the bottle long enough, the snot will harden and look just like the mother.  I get quarter size SCOBY's from the beer bottles and baseball size from my BALL jars.  We usually strain this out.  It won't hurt you and in fact is very good for you, but it's very difficult to swallow unless you're partial to raw oysters - eeeeeeew.   :P
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ALittleMore November 09, 2006, 03:16:36 PM
Interesting, try making a batch without the extra mother juice - and just the mother - according to the recipe I posted above. Mine is totally clear and clean, even before I strain it. I don't have floating "snot" in the jar. I use purified water. I use a cotton cloth to strain. The cloth has a faint fuzz to it because it is older - as opposed to the polished cotton of a hanky. I bottle immediately, and refridgerate 2 weeks to increase the fizz.

I've noticed that a couple of brews were slightly cloudy, and I think this was because the mother was old. I usually trade out the old ones for a new baby. The cloudy brew tastes fine and looks like kombucha I've had from elsewhere... but I prefer the crisp clean look.

I rarely turn down a dare.   8)

Haha, I'll give it a try. What you said actually made it sound a bit better. And bajusabroad's picture of it (minus the mold of course) didn't look too bad. I had a sort of mucky picture in my head.

And if it's healthy, it's worth at least trying it.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio November 17, 2006, 03:03:33 PM
Does anyone know if you can use green tea kombucha starter tea and use it with black?  Can you switch types during your brewing?  Just curious.  I have some Jasmine green tea Kombucha growing and will use 1/2 cup starter for my next batch and was thinking of trying black tea.  Thanks for any suggestions.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole November 17, 2006, 03:10:30 PM
Does anyone know if you can use green tea kombucha starter tea and use it with black?  Can you switch types during your brewing?  Just curious.  I have some Jasmine green tea Kombucha growing and will use 1/2 cup starter for my next batch and was thinking of trying black tea.  Thanks for any suggestions.

ABSOLUTELY!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt November 17, 2006, 05:03:24 PM
Does anyone know if you can use green tea kombucha starter tea and use it with black?  Can you switch types during your brewing?  Just curious.  I have some Jasmine green tea Kombucha growing and will use 1/2 cup starter for my next batch and was thinking of trying black tea.  Thanks for any suggestions.
I do it all the time.  I don't notice any difference in taste.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio November 17, 2006, 05:06:27 PM
Thanks Nickole and HB!! 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Simply Kristen November 20, 2006, 08:57:31 AM
My first batch has been brewing for 6 days. It is STINKING UP the laundry room.
Does that mean it is done?
I'm kind of afraid of it...... :-\
Should I be?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt November 20, 2006, 11:52:15 AM
My first batch has been brewing for 6 days. It is STINKING UP the laundry room.
Does that mean it is done?
I'm kind of afraid of it...... :-\
Should I be?
Depends on the stink I suppose.  It should smell like vinegar or maybe even a little like alcohol.  Anything else, I'd be leary of.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Simply Kristen November 20, 2006, 12:08:23 PM
My first batch has been brewing for 6 days. It is STINKING UP the laundry room.
Does that mean it is done?
I'm kind of afraid of it...... :-\
Should I be?
Depends on the stink I suppose.  It should smell like vinegar or maybe even a little like alcohol.  Anything else, I'd be leary of.

It smells like sour vinegar.

When I first smelled it.... I didn't think: Kombucha!!
I thought "Oh my....what died in here????"
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 07, 2006, 09:26:34 AM
Boysmama,

I don't know if this will help you or not, but I put mine in a kitchen cupboard, too.  It is very cold in my kitchen.  It probably reaches 66 degrees at the highest.  Mine has done wonderfully.  But that is just my experience.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama December 07, 2006, 09:31:43 AM
Yeah, I just checked that healthyharvest site and they said 60* is fine for a 14 day brew. Most of the other links made it sound like that cool would kill it or cause molding problems?
OK I am pretty sure it is fine, just was very surprised at how cold it was in there.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt December 07, 2006, 04:51:38 PM
I am not sure where I should put my kombucha to brew... The dark,quiet kitchen cabinet I can put it in is 60*. I could put it in a box in the corner of our warmest room at 70* to 80* but who knows how many times a day it will get bumped and jostled :o.

Which is the worst of the two? cold temp or the risk of being shaken? Need to decide before it is time to harvest this batch...

 From what I can see w/ a flashlight it looks like my mother is side ways in the jar w/ a baby floating by it and another ??? baby forming on the top in spite of the cooler temp. So I guess it is fine ??? :-\
It will brew at 60 degrees, but it will take longer than it will at higher temps.  It shouldn't hurt it to get bumped unless you get the cloth wet.  This also shouldn't hurt it, but it will draw more fruit flies.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: quiltnkerri December 13, 2006, 04:54:36 AM
I ordered a mother off ebay. I started a batch 5 days ago following beeyoutiful's directions in a newsletter. The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? It just smells like ginger. Some of the ginger has floated to the top and there's a bubbly film on the top of the tea. I can't see the mother, though last I could see her she was at the bottom of the jar. I used a gallon glass jar and it's on a closet shelf and is 60-70 degrees depending on the time of day. Does it sound like it'll be okay?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: chopchop December 19, 2006, 02:38:45 AM
Ok, I have had an interesting occurrence the past several times I have made Kombucha. :o 
I normally brew two gallons in gallon glass jars.  This does not happen every time, or always to both jars, so it is sorta weird and I haven't figured out what causes it. Especially since it didn't used to happen.   ???
Five to six days into the brewing, the new scoby will rise off the surface of the liquid like a balloon.  It is sealed at the edges just above liquid line and forms a dome shaped top.  Sometimes it is just the new scoby, other times, if the mother and baby are connected it will be both or sometimes half way connected.  Just curios if this happens regularly to any of the rest of you. 

Here is what I have done,
*  Harvest it right away
*  Gently push the one side and let it fall back down on the surface and continue brewing
        -  This tends to make a funny spot on the new scoby, or it forms a thin third scoby, or becomes thin and nearly transparent on one side of the scoby (probably where it was "injured")

The Kombucha tastes awesome (we especially love our Peach Kombucha  8) )  The scoby is nice and thick, unless damaged to much when replacing on the surface.
Any thoughts?   ???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole December 19, 2006, 02:41:34 AM
Everthing sounds totally normal according to my experiences too, Chopchop!  You did very well in describing everything!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 19, 2006, 03:00:16 AM
Just curios if this happens regularly to any of the rest of you. 


I make about five, 4-quart mason jars at a time.  Some of my mothers and their children think they are acrobats!!  LOL!  One is on the top and another is hanging from it perpendicular.  As long as it is "in" the tea, it seems to grow just fine.  And I have had different sized scobies before, too.  It all depends on what they are in.  Just because it is small does not mean that it isn't worth it or won't be beneficial.  Some people try to make that statement on ebay to sell their own.  "Our scobies are nice and big"!!!  OOOhhhh, aahhhhhh.  SO WHAT!!  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole December 19, 2006, 03:04:58 AM


 And I have had different sized scobies before, too.  It all depends on what they are in.  Just because it is small does not mean that it isn't worth it or won't be beneficial.  Some people try to make that statement on ebay to sell their own.  "Our scobies are nice and big"!!!  OOOhhhh, aahhhhhh.  SO WHAT!!  :D

EXACTLY true!  The size depends on the diameter of the jar - conversely, you can buy a humungo one grown in a bowl and make your k-tea in a quart size jar and have a smaller baby.   You are not going to get another humungo one.   
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Badgermom December 19, 2006, 03:45:14 AM
Okay, I've been reading and learning for many months and now its time to join in!  I, too, have Kombucha mushrooms that puff up all the time.  I have to gently push them down almost daily.  I don't mind that so much, but I wonder if that has anything to with the fact that my mothers and babies are always "stuck together".  Sometimes  I can gently pull them apart, but they often tear a little, and most often they are too connected for me to separate.  I have just put the whole thing back into the new batch, but it often isn't much better the next time.  They also seem to be on the thin side to me, but I don't really have anything to compare it to so maybe they are okay.  I usually do 6 quarts at a time (in 2 jars) with purified water, 2 cups of sugar and 10 tea bags.  It ferments in a glass cupboard so it is not in the dark.  Is that a problem?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole December 19, 2006, 03:52:18 AM
Badgermom,

Sometimes the babies do stick to the mothers.  I also just use that new "fused" mushroom for the next batch.  However, if one tears b/c you are separating it that is also not a problem at all.  They do not have to be whole by any means in order to work.  You can make k-tea with just a half of a mushroom - you just need enough of the bacteria in there, and that is plenty.  So you can use those torn ones just as well. 
Also, no need to push the mushrooms down during fermentation.  Best not to bother it at all, and it could be why you are getting thinner babies.  That said, thinner babies are still functional!
Hope this helps!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 19, 2006, 08:29:27 AM
Another funny with kids and kombucha:

I asked my son what kind of soda he wanted the last time we went to our local pizza place.  He replied:  "Kombucha"!!  ;D  Uh...not here, son, sorry!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: craig7 December 19, 2006, 09:29:15 AM
I am new to kombucha and was wondering about the tea part.  Do you need to use black tea bags??  What about caffeine???  If you were making it for the first time for young children, what flavor would you use???  And, does anyone have "Babies" or should I get them off of Ebay???  Thank you for your help.  I have been reading this thread but it is SOOOOOO long it is difficult to get through as a first timer!!!  Laura
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn December 19, 2006, 09:38:33 AM
I agree - it is difficult as a first-timer!  Maybe they could split it up or something.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 19, 2006, 03:24:31 PM


So, can I let it sit on the kitchen counter for the ten days since that's the warmest place?  Or does it have to be somewhere dark?  Also, anyone know if it still contains yeast after it brews?  I want to give it to my son but he's allergic to yeast. 

Rebekah, if I'm just starting my first batch should I use the starter tea or just the baby? 

AH!  :o ???  This is all sorta complicated!  Too much info, I think I'm in overload.  :-\

Do you have a cupboard above or below your counter?  If so, this would work, too.  Mine brews in a kitchen that gets down to 66 degrees.  Pretty chilly if you ask me. It does contain yeast, but I don't know if it is the kind your son is allergic to.  Is he allergic to baker's or brewer's or nutritional yeast?  And how severe?  You could give him a swallow or two and watch him throughout the day.  If he is fine, perhaps, you could give him a little more.  I am not into giving my children a lot of it.  Just sips here and there, because I haven't heard a straight answer on whether or not the residual tea contains caffeine, or not. 
I am not Rebekah, but I would use starter tea.  That is just my own personal preference.  Some benefits of using starter tea is you decrease your chance of mold and you do not have to brew as long.  I brew mine for five days.  I believe beeyoutiful brews theirs for 14?  But don't quote me on that one.  I am trying to remember from all the previous posts, too!!  ;)

The best way to learn Kombucha is to wing it!!  Good luck.  Make it a fun learning experience.  After the first batch, you will feel like a pro and can figure out what method works best for ya.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn December 19, 2006, 03:37:20 PM
healthy in OH - actually those are the two types of yeasts he IS allergic to - brewer's and baker's.  That's a bummer!  I was hoping I could give him some.  And when he gets yeast in his system, he's off the wall (aggressive, irritable, NOT good  :o)  So, if it does still contain the yeast, I won't even try it on him.  Thanks so much for letting me know, ya saved me a really bad day testing it out on him!!

I'll go ahead and put it in the cupboard, that way the kids won't get into it!  But how will I know if five days is long enough?  And what if ten days or more is too long?  Can I taste it without ruining the mother?  Also, do you throw the mother away and use the new baby for next time?  So sorry for all the questions!!  :-\  I appreciate your answers  ;D ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole December 19, 2006, 03:51:00 PM
healthy in OH - actually those are the two types of yeasts he IS allergic to - brewer's and baker's.  That's a bummer!  I was hoping I could give him some.  And when he gets yeast in his system, he's off the wall (aggressive, irritable, NOT good  :o)  So, if it does still contain the yeast, I won't even try it on him.  Thanks so much for letting me know, ya saved me a really bad day testing it out on him!!

I'll go ahead and put it in the cupboard, that way the kids won't get into it!  But how will I know if five days is long enough?  And what if ten days or more is too long?  Can I taste it without ruining the mother?  Also, do you throw the mother away and use the new baby for next time?  So sorry for all the questions!!  :-\  I appreciate your answers  ;D ;D

You can look through the thread and get all your questions answers, but real quick when you when you see bubbles under the new baby, I think that it is perfect!  You can taste but wait a few days so the baby can get nice and formed.  Keep brewing if too sweet for you.  10 days is way too long for me.  5-7 is perfect here.  You can either use baby or mother next time, either way.  Hope this helps!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn December 19, 2006, 04:04:11 PM
Thanks so much Nickole!  I was trying to look through the thread but there's sooooo much info that it was taking forever.   ;D ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole December 19, 2006, 06:34:58 PM
Thanks so much Nickole!  I was trying to look through the thread but there's sooooo much info that it was taking forever.   ;D ;D

Sure thing!  I just prayed for your health situation from another thread  ;).
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn December 20, 2006, 05:45:21 AM
Oh, I just meant for flavoring.  I'm using green tea for a base tea.  :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt December 20, 2006, 04:27:31 PM
Oh, I just meant for flavoring.  I'm using green tea for a base tea.  :)
Green tea tastes great all by itself.  I'd go with it plain if you're worried about allergies and then any flavoring that works will just be an added bonus.  My kids love kombuch in either black or green tea and they drink it even when it's overbrewed, dry and sour.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 21, 2006, 07:06:23 AM
I was just reading and was horrified when I realized in my current batch (only my second) I used decaffinated green tea! Is there any hope for this batch or should I just dump it out?

It should be fine, but try a different tea with your new babies.  Once I forgot to put sugar in mine and I was able to re-use my babies.  They seem to be very forgiving little organisms.  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock December 27, 2006, 07:10:08 AM
Is this just what it tastes like, or am I brewing mine too long also?

When I got mine in the mail, there was some starter tea with it and I tasted some of that  -- it tasted great, just like apple cider (not vinegar).  I could definately drink that with no problem! I just need to figure out when to stop the brewing so it tastes that good.

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 27, 2006, 07:43:24 AM


So I have an additional question....
Is this just what it tastes like, or am I brewing mine too long also?

It could be a little of both.  I use 1/2 cup of starter tea and mine takes five days.  It can go up to seven, but at that length of time it gets a little too tart for me.  Also, my instructions said to use 1/4 cup of sugar(for 1quart of tea) and I upped my sugar to 1/3 cup.  Not much more, but a world of a difference in taste.  It is much more sweeter!  Almost like soda.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Lovin'myHoneyinVT December 27, 2006, 08:11:18 AM
I make one gallon with four tea bags and one gallon water.  Then add one cup sugar, the mother, and some left over "tea" from the previous batch when it is finished cooling.  This I leave for 1 and 1/2 to two weeks and my boys love it...we also have added juice but they don't care either way.  I didn't let them see what was making the kombucha until they fell in love with it.  I didn't want to gross them out with the liver like thing  :P

The longer you leave it, the stronger it gets.  If you only do five days, there is still sugar left to taste and digest. 
Melissa
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 27, 2006, 08:30:18 AM


The longer you leave it, the stronger it gets.  If you only do five days, there is still sugar left to taste and digest. 


That may be true if I were using a gallon, but mine is only 1 quart of tea at a time.  It doesn't take as long as a gallon would.  Plus, I use starter tea to speed up the process!!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: blsd2bhome December 28, 2006, 10:30:56 AM
I was reading about the Kombucha, and somewhere it suggested to taste (with a straw inserted into jar, finger over the end to draw it out) every 3-5 days until you get a desirable taste.

Is there less "healthy bacteria" when it does not brew as long?  I want to use it to treat yeast in myself and my kids. And you know how that goes---SUGAR BAD!  But if they refuse to drink it, it doesn't help anyone!

And....
How do you seperate the mother and babies?  I was reading that you have to be really CLEAN and careful not to contaminate the mushroom.  But I have a few babies and the mother in my 1 gallon jar, and some are turning darker in color, and I wanted to seperate them.  Do you need to be extra cautious?  Or can I just seperate them with my (clean) hands and put into new jars?
  I guess I have been a bit paranoid because I am actually MAKING the Kombucha and didn't want to mess up a good thing!

A little reassurance would be helpful!
Thanks!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt December 28, 2006, 01:53:59 PM
How do you seperate the mother and babies?  I was reading that you have to be really CLEAN and careful not to contaminate the mushroom.  But I have a few babies and the mother in my 1 gallon jar, and some are turning darker in color, and I wanted to seperate them.  Do you need to be extra cautious?  Or can I just seperate them with my (clean) hands and put into new jars?
  I guess I have been a bit paranoid because I am actually MAKING the Kombucha and didn't want to mess up a good thing!
The only thing I would be cautious of is touching them after you've handled bleach.  Too much chorine could kill off some of the bacteria in the SCOBY and leave you with a yeast patty.  I don't even think a little dirt would hurt as these organisms seem to be very self decontaminating little guys.  I think a good wash with plain soap and water just like you normally would before cooking would be just fine and then pick these guys up and peel them apart and use them at your will.  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SC December 28, 2006, 03:47:23 PM
How do you seperate the mother and babies?  I was reading that you have to be really CLEAN and careful not to contaminate the mushroom.  But I have a few babies and the mother in my 1 gallon jar, and some are turning darker in color, and I wanted to seperate them.  Do you need to be extra cautious?  Or can I just seperate them with my (clean) hands and put into new jars?
  I guess I have been a bit paranoid because I am actually MAKING the Kombucha and didn't want to mess up a good thing!
The only thing I would be cautious of is touching them after you've handled bleach.  Too much chorine could kill off some of the bacteria in the SCOBY and leave you with a yeast patty.  I don't even think a little dirt would hurt as these organisms seem to be very self decontaminating little guys.  I think a good wash with plain soap and water just like you normally would before cooking would be just fine and then pick these guys up and peel them apart and use them at your will.  ;)

Ahem!

DO NOT WASH MOTHERS OR BABIES!!
The dark stuff is supposed to be there. That's how they age. For heaven's sake! DON'T PUT SOAP ON THEM!

These are living organisms. They detoxify whatever they come in contact with. If you wash them with tap water, they get contaminated with the mineral deposits and/or chlorine from the water. If you (aaaaaah) wash them with soap, you are doing the same thing.

Respect the Kombucha. Let it live free of contaminants. Wash your hands, remove your rings and gently peel the mamas from the babies.

Don't make me come over there.  >:( ;D ::)

Okay, I feel better, now.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock December 28, 2006, 05:53:40 PM
I think HB was talking about washing your hands with soap and water like you do before you cook.  ;)

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt December 28, 2006, 06:50:19 PM
How do you seperate the mother and babies?  I was reading that you have to be really CLEAN and careful not to contaminate the mushroom.  But I have a few babies and the mother in my 1 gallon jar, and some are turning darker in color, and I wanted to seperate them.  Do you need to be extra cautious?  Or can I just seperate them with my (clean) hands and put into new jars?
  I guess I have been a bit paranoid because I am actually MAKING the Kombucha and didn't want to mess up a good thing!
The only thing I would be cautious of is touching them after you've handled bleach.  Too much chorine could kill off some of the bacteria in the SCOBY and leave you with a yeast patty.  I don't even think a little dirt would hurt as these organisms seem to be very self decontaminating little guys.  I think a good wash with plain soap and water just like you normally would before cooking would be just fine and then pick these guys up and peel them apart and use them at your will.  ;)

Ahem!

DO NOT WASH MOTHERS OR BABIES!!
The dark stuff is supposed to be there. That's how they age. For heaven's sake! DON'T PUT SOAP ON THEM!

These are living organisms. They detoxify whatever they come in contact with. If you wash them with tap water, they get contaminated with the mineral deposits and/or chlorine from the water. If you (aaaaaah) wash them with soap, you are doing the same thing.

Respect the Kombucha. Let it live free of contaminants. Wash your hands, remove your rings and gently peel the mamas from the babies.

Don't make me come over there.  >:( ;D ::)

Okay, I feel better, now.
Ahem....I meant wash your HANDS... ::)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: blsd2bhome December 29, 2006, 05:44:32 AM
How do you seperate the mother and babies?  I was reading that you have to be really CLEAN and careful not to contaminate the mushroom.  But I have a few babies and the mother in my 1 gallon jar, and some are turning darker in color, and I wanted to seperate them.  Do you need to be extra cautious?  Or can I just seperate them with my (clean) hands and put into new jars?
  I guess I have been a bit paranoid because I am actually MAKING the Kombucha and didn't want to mess up a good thing!
The only thing I would be cautious of is touching them after you've handled bleach.  Too much chorine could kill off some of the bacteria in the SCOBY and leave you with a yeast patty.  I don't even think a little dirt would hurt as these organisms seem to be very self decontaminating little guys.  I think a good wash with plain soap and water just like you normally would before cooking would be just fine and then pick these guys up and peel them apart and use them at your will.  ;)

Ahem!

DO NOT WASH MOTHERS OR BABIES!!
The dark stuff is supposed to be there. That's how they age. For heaven's sake! DON'T PUT SOAP ON THEM!

These are living organisms. They detoxify whatever they come in contact with. If you wash them with tap water, they get contaminated with the mineral deposits and/or chlorine from the water. If you (aaaaaah) wash them with soap, you are doing the same thing.

Respect the Kombucha. Let it live free of contaminants. Wash your hands, remove your rings and gently peel the mamas from the babies.

Don't make me come over there.  >:( ;D ::)

Okay, I feel better, now.
Ahem....I meant wash your HANDS... ::)

ROFL!!   ;D

Thanks for the wake-up (literally).  A good laugh for the day!
 Luckily, I knew you meant to wash my hands, and not the scoobie. (Don't need a call from the Kombucha Police!;D  ;))  Although, I am glad there is someone willing to stand up for the little guy! (Thanks SC)

Seriously, thank you both for your expert opinion!  :)
I have not had any mold in my brew, and I hope that I won't once I seperate them.  It will be nice to have different jars going to have different flavors!

Can you seperate them anytime you finish a brew?  Or do you need to wait until they are a certain size/thickness?

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt December 29, 2006, 06:06:11 AM
Can you seperate them anytime you finish a brew?  Or do you need to wait until they are a certain size/thickness?
If you wait a bit, the baby will get thicker and more durable, but I have pulled babies off the mother with big gaping holes in the middle because they weren't quite ready to separate and still made a healthy batch of kombucha with them.  I try not to separate them too quickly to make them healthier and nicer looking especially if I am going to share them, but it really doesn't matter.  You could cut a heart shape out of the middle with a cookie cutter and throw the cookie in one batch and the broken edges into another batch and they would both work just fine.  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SC December 29, 2006, 06:15:35 AM
Sorry for the rant  ::)

It was more a response to those who have actually tried to "wash" their mushroom and then asked me why it died or became contaminated with mold, etc.

Regarding questions about separating mamas and babies I'll insert this quote from Betsy Pryor. She retails Kombucha mushrooms and has had her facility inspected. She looses money if people have a bad experience with Kombucha, so it's in her best interest to give the best information out on how to have a healthy, uncontaminated culture.

I've been following her methods and find that they are not diffictult. I have 6 cultures that I keep going at all times. I never "stack" babies and mothers, but separate them when the brewing time is done.

You can check out her web site at www.laurelfarms.com. She even has a little animated video with instructions for the care of Kombucha. There is a printable version available also. These are offered free to web site visitors.

There are a number of misleading and dangerous Kombuchas and "growing" instruction sheets making the rounds. No one means to cause others harm, but most people, no matter how well-intentioned, have not thoroughly researched the growing, harvesting, and continued maintenance of the Kombucha, and are unfamiliar with its unusual chemistry.

For instance, did you know that the Kombucha will try to detoxify its bowl? And that growing the Kombucha in a plastic, ceramic, colored glass or crystal bowl can actually harm you? And that the babies grown from that Kombucha are also contaminated, and most likely will ALWAYS he contaminated, so that starting over with a clear, uncontaminated, Pyrex type bowl will NOT solve the problem?

Or that "stacking" multiple Kombuchas in one bowl starves them? Or that storing them in plastic bags in the refrigerator for more than a week can substantially weaken or even contaminate them? Forever?

Or that the "baby" grows on TOP of the "mother?" Or that you can drink 4 ounces of Kombucha tea

three times a day. Or less? Or more? And it's OK? Did you know that using honey instead of beet or cane sugar can kill or cripple some of the Kombucha's healthy bacteria, turning it into an ordinary yeast patty? And that you can't "bring it back?" No matter what you do?

Or that using most herbal teas, or Earl Grey tea can permanently weaken the Kombucha or even kill it? Now that I've scared you, notice that we've enclosed our own "growing instructions". And if this doesn't help, write us. `Cause we will

God bless
Betsy
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama December 29, 2006, 10:49:25 AM
If y'all aren't liking the flavor of your kombucha you HAVE to try Beka's recipe (pg. 7 reply #191) before you quit! This last batch I tried out some other recipes with extra babies and they do taste like vinegar :P -- so go read her post and see if you can change your process around a little.
Beka's recipe does not use any starter tea and brews longer...  It is tangy, but definitely not vinegary.  My cabinet is cool- below 70*- so some of you might need to harvest before 14 days if your brewing location is warmer. I have harvested after 10 days because we ran out of bottled stuff... I am just using pint jars... do age it in the fridge if at all possible. This lets it get fizzy without getting slimy or sour...
It has been fun experimenting. The test will be when I try a nicely bottled batch on my "unsuspecting" relatives ;)  Good stuff :-*
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: linemansgirl December 29, 2006, 10:56:48 AM
If y'all aren't liking the flavor of your kombucha you HAVE to try Beka's recipe (pg. 7 reply #191) before you quit! This last batch I tried out some other recipes with extra babies and they do taste like vinegar :P -- so go read her post and see if you can change your process around a little.
Beka's recipe does not use any starter tea and brews longer...  It is tangy, but definitely not vinegary.  My cabinet is cool- below 70*- so some of you might need to harvest before 14 days if your brewing location is warmer. I have harvested after 10 days because we ran out of bottled stuff... I am just using pint jars... do age it in the fridge if at all possible. This lets it get fizzy without getting slimy or sour...
It has been fun experimenting. The test will be when I try a nicely bottled batch on my "unsuspecting" relatives ;)  Good stuff :-*


I second that opinion!  I did not like my 5 day plain brew at all, but I LOVE my longer brewed berry zinger kombucha.  I also had to acquire the taste for it somewhat.  It didn't take long though.  Right now I am brewing peach flavored green tea with ginger added in.  I'm anxious to see how that tastes!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: wifey December 30, 2006, 02:54:48 PM
Can I use cane juice crystals or honey instead of white sugar?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio December 30, 2006, 03:02:06 PM
Can I use cane juice crystals or honey instead of white sugar?

You are supposed to use white sugar to get the best health benefits.  Although, some Kombucha users(Dom's site) swear that it is okay to use honey or another sweetener.  The other sweeteners will produce a baby, but it is not as healthy.  I don't know why Kombucha is so confusing, but it is!!  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama December 31, 2006, 08:45:39 AM
Can I use cane juice crystals or honey instead of white sugar?
We just don't have white sugar in our house so I am using evaporated cane juice crystals and it is working fine... I think... I get nice thick babies and great tasting kombucha...No way dh would be happy if I bought white sugar :D so I took my chances with the natural sugar!

I would guess that the good bacteria and antifungal properties in RAW honey might interfere with proper fermentation because it seems to interfere in bread making ???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: wardermom January 02, 2007, 05:40:46 AM
Is it okay to use the scobies that form on your decanted kt to make more? (even if it's been strained?) I've done this, but when I posted it on another message board they said it wasn't okay if it was strained.
I had to throw out my 2 big stacks of scobies because of fruit fly larvae, and I had some smaller ones in a hotel jar. So I started new kt with some of these scobies. Some were made with my original mother scobie and some are from the tops of strained, decanted kombucha. Will it all be good, or have I messed it up after only a month and a half? (There are original and decanted scobies together in the hotel jar I believe, along with the original mother)
I'm concerned about the phrase yeast patty-how do you know if your scobies are good or if they are yeast patties?
Melanie
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK January 02, 2007, 05:50:59 AM
Melanie-

Well,  I have a gallon of what I am calling Kombucha going that is made completely with the growths from my first batch of decanted beverage.  It is behaving as the others have and seems normal to me.  

In previous posts here, it is mentioned that purchased kombucha beverage can be used as the only thing to begin your own home-brewing process - which would indicate that the finished beverage has the elements in it to continue growth of the scoby from which it was harvested.

But - I'm pretty new at this.  There are several folks here that have lots of experience with this.  If your question doesn't get answered here - you could goto the Laurel Farms site that SC mentions above & send a question to the 'pros'.  

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock January 02, 2007, 06:59:57 AM
I am also interested in how to tell if you have a good scoby or a yeast patty.
WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: FollowingHim January 02, 2007, 06:53:13 PM
Would anyone be willing to part with an extra scoby and send it to me?  Of course, I'll pay postage.  I'm ready to dive into Kombucha-land! Thanks to anyone who can take time to do this!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: natural January 03, 2007, 04:30:41 AM
i have used the search and looked throught this thread and find no answer so forgive me if it has been asked...

My newest baby is 2 inches thick...anyone ever used a batch this stong? Do you know if this is good or not?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 03, 2007, 05:04:39 AM
i have used the search and looked throught this thread and find no answer so forgive me if it has been asked...

My newest baby is 2 inches thick...anyone ever used a batch this stong? Do you know if this is good or not?

whoa!  how long did you leave it in the pot?  you should be able to drink it, but I'd bet it might be a little sour.  else you're putting some growth hormones in your tea ;)  You should probably separate them for your next batches and based on your description, I'd say you've got more than one baby.  Mine are usually 1/8 - 1/4 inch when I separate them from the mother.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbalmom January 03, 2007, 05:14:25 AM
i have used the search and looked throught this thread and find no answer so forgive me if it has been asked...

My newest baby is 2 inches thick...anyone ever used a batch this stong? Do you know if this is good or not?


What is the diameter of the container? Is it tall & skinny? It would make the baby thicker if it is. Blessings ~herbalmom
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys January 03, 2007, 05:18:57 AM
i have used the search and looked throught this thread and find no answer so forgive me if it has been asked...

My newest baby is 2 inches thick...anyone ever used a batch this stong? Do you know if this is good or not?


I would think an extra thick baby is still ok to use, but as far as the strong batch of tea, I've read in my kombucha book that you can use it like you would vinegar.  :-\ If you do, let us know the results.  :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn January 03, 2007, 05:20:49 AM
On my second batch of kombucha, the scoby won't float at the top b/c it's the shape of the top of the container.  Should I cut it?  It's sitting vertically in the middle of the pot. 

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: natural January 03, 2007, 05:40:43 AM
My container is a glass gallon jar. The mother is as round as the jar (about 4-5, maybe 6 inches in diameter)

I have been letting it brew for a long time (20-30 days) that is why it is so thick. I read on the back of the KT (? ?brand of kombucha sold in the health food store) that they brew for 30 days so i imagine it is not bad for you, just strong.

Anyway, thanks for your input I would appreciate anything else.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbalmom January 03, 2007, 03:08:00 PM
People in California love to sue.(no offense to any natives ;D)

I'm a California native & it didn't offend me but to be honest EVERYBODY is sue happy nowadays, not just those from CA. Enjoy your Kombucha. I haven't tried it yet but I'm thinking about it. Blessings ~herbalmom
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: chopchop January 05, 2007, 01:18:57 PM
check out Reply #334 on page 12 (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,832.msg39439.html#msg39439)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock January 05, 2007, 02:46:58 PM
I only have 1/2 gallon size jars. Can I cut a mother in half to split b/n 2 jars or should I just make a 1/2 gallon to start and then use two jars for the second batch? Where did y'all get gallon sized jars from?

I did something like that. I actually tore the scoby in half with my hands (you're not suposed to let them touch metal so I didn't want to use a knife) and put each half in it's own 1/2 gallon jar. Each half made a baby that, of course, was just the size I needed for those jars. I'm now on my first batch using those babies and everything seems to be going well. I did put the torn mother in some tea in the fridge just to keep it alive incase this batch went wrong and I had to start over.
WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole January 06, 2007, 03:43:52 AM
Alright, just out of curiosity, has anyone ever taken a bite out of a mother or scoby?  :)
We have some friends that  chop up the scoby and  eat it with their salad.    They say it taste very good!
My sister and her husband  would feed their extra mushrooms to their  horses.  They  really liked them and it  gave them shiny coats.  I myself have never tried to eat them.  :P

I just can't get over a quote I heard once that said something like "Sure you can eat them IF YOU HAVE THE STOMACH OF A CAMEL!"  SOOOOO needless to say, I am not so sure our digestive systems can handle rubber-type material very well, so I ain't eatin' 'em!  Thus far anyway.  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole January 06, 2007, 03:45:44 AM
  You go first.


Ha ha! I already tried it, but wanted to know if anyone else was as weird as I was.  It tasted real sour and made my belly "wiggle" funny.  Like when you don't digest something properly.   :P

Thaaaaat's because you DON'T HAVE THE STOMACH OF A CAMEL!  hee hee   ;D ;D ;D 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Dairae January 06, 2007, 07:33:04 AM
This got me thinking. I did use the starter tea that was sent to me, but since then I have not added k-tea to new batches of tea and they seem fine. I just forgot. Wondering who adds tea to a new batch and who does not.

I drank my first batch that had the starter tea from the plastic bag. Seemed ok, but I guess you can't really know for sure. In the grand scheme of things, I wouldn't fret over it. ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: dara January 06, 2007, 07:33:29 AM
5widdletids- We drank ours in the same case scenario!   :o
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: leslieincali January 11, 2007, 06:38:58 AM
I don't use any liquid from the previous batch, I know Beka doesn't either.  Some people do and some people don't.  It seems that adding liquid may make the process faster, but I think it makes it a bit cloudy and we like ours clear.

Thanks! I tried to make it once before and my batch molded. I followed the direction to a tee. Should I put the liquid in that the scoby was floating around in into the mix?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 11, 2007, 08:04:20 AM
I found the glass jars at walmart. I only got one though. ::) I'm brewing my tea now, but need to read back through and see what can be subbed for the 2 T of Kombucha liquid. I think I have about 1 T that the scoby os floating in. Vinegar?? I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks everyone for the tips.
Yes, you can use vinegar, but your first batch might be a bit on the tart side.  Your 2nd batch will most likely be a bit sweeter.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 11, 2007, 08:06:42 AM
I don't use any liquid from the previous batch, I know Beka doesn't either.  Some people do and some people don't.  It seems that adding liquid may make the process faster, but I think it makes it a bit cloudy and we like ours clear.
Mine is clear when settled and I always use starter tea.  The cloudy is a good thing (I think) as these are more probiotics in the mix.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 11, 2007, 09:11:54 AM
If y'all aren't liking the flavor of your kombucha you HAVE to try Beka's recipe (pg. 7 reply #191) before you quit! This last batch I tried out some other recipes with extra babies and they do taste like vinegar :P -- so go read her post and see if you can change your process around a little.



Okay, I made this recipe on January 1st and 11 days later(3 days before it should be done) it tastes more acidic than vinegar!! Like urine!!!  :P I don't know what happened, but it was awful.  I just tried it last week and it tasted beautiful.   My cupboards are on the cooler side, so it shouldn't have fermented quicker than what it did?  The recipe surely has its rave reviews, so I am not sure what I did wrong. 

I may try it one more time, but I am wasting a lot of tea, sugar, and time.  I think I will stick to my regular recipe using starter tea and Jasmine green tea.  We really like the flavor of this. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock January 11, 2007, 09:25:18 AM
Just harvest it sooner next time. Mine seems to be irregular in the time it takes to get "ripe". LOL! The first small batch turned to strong vinegar within 5 days. I used smaller scobies the next time and harvested one 1/2 gallon batch after about 5 days because it had already made a baby. It tasted great. The other 1/2 gallon batch I left alone for about 3 more days just to see what would happen and it made two babies and tastes stronger but is still drinkable. That last batch was also fizzy straight out of the fermenting jar but the one harvested three days earlier was not. So, at this point, I don't put much stock in the recommended fermenting times. I just check it after about 4 days and go from there.

And I'm really stunned that some of you have kombucha that ferments for almost two weeks!!! Wow!

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 11, 2007, 09:38:32 AM
Did you forget your sugar?

Ha ha! LOL!  You know me too well, HB!  No, I actually remembered this time.  Like I said, I tried it just a few days ago and it tasted great.  So, I thought that if I had harvested it then it would be too early and the scoby wouldn't have processed enough.  I guess it had enough then, but it is always too late to find out!!  Kombucha is an endless learning process! LOL!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie January 11, 2007, 11:36:24 AM
Did you forget your sugar?

Ha ha! LOL!  You know me too well, HB!  No, I actually remembered this time.  Like I said, I tried it just a few days ago and it tasted great.  So, I thought that if I had harvested it then it would be too early and the scoby wouldn't have processed enough.  I guess it had enough then, but it is always too late to find out!!  Kombucha is an endless learning process! LOL!

i hope this doesnt' happen to me!  i have this recipe going, and i smelled it tuesday and it smelled a lot like vinegar.   :P  so i left it and plan on bottling at the 14 day mark.  i figured Rebecca had it down to a science??  sure hope so!   ::) 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 11, 2007, 04:20:00 PM


i hope this doesnt' happen to me!  i have this recipe going, and i smelled it tuesday and it smelled a lot like vinegar.   :P  so i left it and plan on bottling at the 14 day mark.  i figured Rebecca had it down to a science??  sure hope so!   ::) 

I am no expert, but I am willing to bet that if it smells like vinegar........

This is what I am trying to get at.  One says 14 days for a gallon of tea and another says 10 works best.  That is fine, but I am worried that at 10 days it is not done digesting the sugar and such.  How does one know exactly when the perfect timing is?  Is my question  making more sense, now?  ;)
Taste and practice. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: carolinachic January 11, 2007, 05:30:58 PM

For storing the tea, we use a glass decanter which we purchased there also.


Ok I'm looking to start this process, but I want to get some fizz going for DH (see if we can break away from soda's).  So I was wondering SC if you store it in the decanter like that does it build carbonation?  And for all the rest of you out there have you guys found any cheap (maybe even free) ways to store the K to build fizz?

-Heather

In my experience, the earlier you harvest, the sweeter and 'fizzier' the tea is. This is because the culture hasn't had as much time to detoxify the contents and deposit as many of the healthful benefits. You'll see bubbles forming around the baby mushroom when this happens and the tea will make a bit of a foamy head when poured.

The decanters I use have a plastic/rubber gasket that seals the bottle. Sometimes, I find the lid pushed up a little by the pressure from the contents. I store harvested tea in the refrigerator and haven't had any problem with it going flat.

I have found that my former soda drinkers now prefer Kombucha as it seems to quench thirst better and doesn't create gas like sodas often do.

The culture brews much faster in warmer temperatures. In the summer, I have to harvest every week to ten days. In the winter, it's more like ten to fifteen days. The longer it brews, the more acidic/vinegary your tea will become. We like ours almost vinegary, but not quite. It has the taste of carbonated, unsweetened apple juice and is a favorite at our house as the littlest asks for, "Aahhboo?!"

The mushroom is healthier (thicker, more prolific) the more work it has to do. That's why you'll see bigger babies (even twins) when you use regular Lipton Tea and processed sugar. The culture has more toxins to feed on.

When you use green organic teas and alternative sugars, the mushroom doesn't have as many toxins to work on, so it just sits there waiting for something to do. That's when mold starts to grow and your culture is contaminated. Using very clean utensils and distilled water protects your mushroom from contamination as well. You are creating a controlled environment where the Kombucha detoxifies a selected substance and you drink the results. Something very healthy is produced by the culture working on some unhealthy substances. BTW this is my very UNscientific explanation.

So you would suggest using regular tea vs green tea? I just made my first kombucha with green tea a few days ago and it's sitting in my dark pantry. Should I not let it culture the whole ten days if I'm using green tea? also, how long do you let yours sit in the fridge before drinking it, or is that a preference to having a fizzy drink?

thank you :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: linemansgirl January 12, 2007, 04:51:46 AM
Thank you HB for the info on how you make your kombucha.  I still don't have mine down to a fine science & it is nice to hear other's tried & true methods.

Is it OK to use evaporated cane juice or should I just stick with plain ol' white sugar?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 12, 2007, 06:14:43 AM
Thank you HB for the info on how you make your kombucha.  I still don't have mine down to a fine science & it is nice to hear other's tried & true methods.

Is it OK to use evaporated cane juice or should I just stick with plain ol' white sugar?
Everything I've read says to use sugar.  I haven't tried anything else and can't really see a need to, since the sugar is food for them, not me.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 12, 2007, 06:15:31 AM
The first time we went 10 days, one cup sugar and it was too sour.  So then we went seven days, one cup sugar and it seemed tastier b/c it was sweeter.  But the babies weren't very thick.
I had these exact problems with some of my batches as well.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: carolinachic January 12, 2007, 08:30:38 AM
thanks for the tips HB!!! ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 12, 2007, 08:59:04 AM
Just a note.  I have never used plain green tea in my kombucha.  This may or may not be a factor.  I always use the stuff w/Citron.  This is the stuff hubby drinks hot and I always have it around.  I do have some green tea bags and when I remember may try them and see if there is a difference. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK January 13, 2007, 08:57:21 AM
I'm sure the Kombucha Pros here at WTM will have some good answers for you, but I'll give a few of these my input.

Servantgir & Mom24boysl- I think there usually is some sugar left in the tea when you harvest your SCOBY out of it.   The amount of sugar left depends on a lot of things:  Health of the SCOBY, amount of sugar added when the SCOBY is introduced, Temp of the tea during growth period, # of days of growth, and so on.  In a nutshell - a healthy scoby in warm tea eats more sugar than one in a chilly spot.  The longer the scoby eats, the lest sugar is left in the tea. (GROSS over simplication here - but I hope the point is clear.)  All to say, the sugar/calorie content varies.

CKMom-  Sounds like you got a mother/daughter set.  You can put them both in the tea if you like.  You may get one thick momma, one middle sized daughter & one grand-daughter after you brew them this way.  But it should still be effective.  When I add my SCOBY into my tea, about 40% of the time, they stay at the top.  The rest of the time they either hang sideways or go all the way to the bottom.  It all seems to be fine.  And, my poor scoby got lost in St.Paul during the Christmas rush, the padded envelope got torn & the bag leaked so it smelled like yeasty vinegar.  And I let it loose in my surgar/tea it it's done wonderful!  Yours should be OK,too.

We have Bucha with supper every day.  There are 11 of us at our table: Pa, Ma & 1.5yrs to 12 yo children.  The kids have about one cup and sometimes we add water to it for the ones who think it's 'strong'.  My youngest drinker guzzles it down & asks for more.  Some goes over better than others.  They seem to be more interested since I've begun recording our history with it.  I note amount & type of tea, sugar volume, # of brew days, Harvest date & appearance and a bunch of their other observations.  So, when we drink it , they record their thoughts about flavor, bubbles, etc.  Some of them still hate it, but they have a record of what and why that they enjoy.

My experience-
Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: daisey January 13, 2007, 10:40:57 AM
Got my original scoby from Rebekah just after Thanksgiving.   I think I am on my 5th batch.   My first several  scoby's were very much like  the mother.  Since then they are monsters!    :o   I'm sure they are at least 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.   Is that good?   They sure look healthy.   I have used the same recipe every time but the brewing times have varied so none of them really taste the same.   I can't tell if I need to brew longer or shorter.   The first batch brewed 11 days and was wonderful.   The next batch was basically the same only a different location and it was not as sweet.   Third batch was way more acidic and fourth was one day longer to brew and sweeter again.   Can't figure out what makes the difference because brewing time has been only about 1 day difference.   Oh well, I think maybe each batch will be different depending on temp and maybe bacteria that inevitably gets in through the filter or on a persons hands, in the air as we make it etc.   Who knows, we just drink it and reap the benefits.   :)    I have read that you should take a break from drinking it for about 2 weeks once in awhile to get the best results.   Makes sense.
What do you do with old scobys?   I would share but at present with the temps -20 degrees I don't think mailing would be a good idea.   Later when we are at more stable temps I will be willing to share and will post if anybody needs them then.  What to do in the meantime.
God Bless
Daisey
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ~CKMom~ January 13, 2007, 03:05:38 PM
Sarah K, thanks for your tips!  (I still don't know how to do quotes yet! ::)

I'm on my first batch of kombucha, and already I'm making big plans.  Talk about faith that it will turn out!  Anyways, I have bought prepared packages of mix to make beer bread, and I loved them. 

(Walking into a liquor store and trying to figure out which 1  can of beer to buy is another story!  The clerk looked at me (we're in a small, "religious" town), saw my confusion and that I obviously had never bought beer before and was only buying 1 can, and said "Oh, are you making beer bread, too?"  I wasn't the only one in that predicament!

Anyways, does anyone have any guesses if kombucha could be substituted for beer in those recipes?  With the package mix, I had substituted Pepsi before, but I didn't like it as well.  I'm just curious if anyone thinks kombucha would work with a homemade beer bread recipe.  Thanks for guesses!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK January 13, 2007, 03:30:36 PM
(Walking into a liquor store and trying to figure out which 1  can of beer to buy is another story!  The clerk looked at me (we're in a small, "religious" town), saw my confusion and that I obviously had never bought beer before and was only buying 1 can, and said "Oh, are you making beer bread, too?"  I wasn't the only one in that predicament!

Anyways, does anyone have any guesses if kombucha could be substituted for beer in those recipes?  With the package mix, I had substituted Pepsi before, but I didn't like it as well.  I'm just curious if anyone thinks kombucha would work with a homemade beer bread recipe.  Thanks for guesses!

Try going into your home town liquor store while pregnant, carrying a 1 yr old on the hip, and a mit full of the rest of the kids!  They really roll their eyes at me...

Anyway, I'm guessing that the Kombucha bread would bake fine... but the flavor won't be what you would expect in a beer bread.  I think Kombucha is more acidic than the average beers I've had.  That will alter the yeast function, but I'm not sure how much really - if it will be noticed.  I'm guessing it will have a slightly higher rise potential from the sugar of the Bucha, but the acidity may counteract that.....  All to say, "Hmmm, in theory it will bake but I don't know if I would make it often.  I would be the only one eating it I'm afraid."

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn January 15, 2007, 08:14:33 AM
So, if there's still white, processed sugar left in the brew after harvest (especially since we can't drink it when it tastes like vinegar!) how can it be good for you?  I've read that it helps with yeast problems, but that just doesn't make sense if there's sugar IN IT.  Any thoughts on this?  ??? ???

abbilynn

So, does anyone know the answer to this question?  I'm so curious!  ::)  We usually brew ours 7 days, and it's slightly fizzy and kinda sweet when I harvest it.

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: earthymomof2 January 17, 2007, 08:24:30 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm new here, but I must say I'm impressed with the range of topics, all of which I have some interest in.  

I LOVE kombucha and started fermenting my own about a month ago.  I've found it great to bottle it either in large canning jars.  Some friends of mine collected empty beer bottles that have the "clampy" type top with the rubber gasket.  They're great and hold in the fizz if you leave them long enough.  I think that's partly the key to getting it fizzy...unfortunately, you have to leave it bottled without opening it for a week or so.

A great site is:

Kombucha america.  There are lots of FAQ there about who should and should not drink the tea, how much alcohol, etc.

Take care,

Sarah (earthymomof2)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 17, 2007, 09:44:50 AM


A great site is:

Kombucha america.  There are lots of FAQ there about who should and should not drink the tea, how much alcohol, etc.





Hey Sarah, thanks for the website recommendation.  Which one is it?  There is a KombuchaAmerica. com and one that is Titled: Kombucha America but has an earthcalls.com website.  Either one did not work for me?!  HELP!!  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: earthymomof2 January 17, 2007, 10:13:05 AM
Oh, that's such a bumer.  It's the kombuchaamerica.com site but it must be down at the moment.  The man who runs this place is very helpful and his recipe is fuss-free and down to earth.

Do you make kombucha also?

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: bzymom January 18, 2007, 05:56:54 AM
I'm so excited I just had to share.  I've been reading this thread for a few weeks now soaking up all this great information.  But I've been a little wary of making the investment (time wise) without knowing if we would like K.  When I was out last week getting a few groceries I found some "live" K.  I gave soem to the family and they really liked it.  So I dug around in my cupboard and found some green tea.  I made a very srtong batch of sweet tea and poured in the rest of the store bought K.  It had a few stringy things and a larger roundish floaty about the size of a dime, but all curled up.  I put the jar on my yougurt maker heating tray as my house is rather cold this time of year.  I watched every day curious to see if this was actually going to work.  The little piece falttened out and got a little larger, so I figured it was probably working.  Then right befor bed last night I showed my husband and it had arched up and was halfway across the jar!  I had looked at it several times yesterday, and it wasn't that big.  I feel a little silly getting so excited over growing a culture!  But I figured someone on here would appreciate my excitment!

So how long do you think I should let it grow before I try to brew some tea?  Also a few tea leaves are attatched to the culture.  One of my tea bags broke and I missed a few.  That shouldn't harm anything...right?

Thanks!  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Clementine January 18, 2007, 06:48:31 AM
I think I have just completed my first batch of Kombucha successfully.  I used Rebekah's recipe and added some ginger root.  My mother and baby turned slightly brown along the edges, is this ok?  It seems to be where some ginger root stuck to it and I had to scrape it off a little.  They look fine otherwise.  Gross, but fine.  Is the tea supposed to taste a little like a wine cooler?  I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to taste it.  It looked pretty gross while it was "brewing"  :o
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 18, 2007, 01:26:15 PM
Thanks HB.  I did end up transferring it to canning jars with the rubber seal lids.  I haven't opened them yet so hopefully it's still fizzy.  Except I've had them in the fridge and not on the counter, but I'll try that next time.  It just seems like when I leave it sit on the counter it loses some of its flavor.  Maybe from fermenting a little more?  The last time I left it on the counter I had just harvested it and put it in the half gallon glass jar with screw-top lid, so it was slightly fizzy.  I left about 1 1/2 inches of air at the top, but after about 2-3 days it was flat.  I'm thinking the screw-top lids must not be air tight enough. 

abbilynn
You could harvest it a day or two earlier than normal and then if it continues to brew a bit after you switch containers, you should get the same or similar flavor.  I would just experiment with it a bit.  After you drink the stuff every day for months, one day here or there won't bother you a bit as far as the taste goes.  I harvest mine at 13 or 14 days sometimes just because my schedule is busy and it's more tart than it would be at 10 days but we're so used to drinking it now, it doesn't matter, we just make sour faces every now and again.  LOL
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 18, 2007, 03:26:49 PM
Oh, the Beka's recipe saga continues...... :D  I tried it again and I tested it every day from day five to today, day 8.  It was sweet yesterday and is starting to get vinegar-y, so I harvested it.  It tastes okay, but I am really concerned that it did not "digest" enough caffeine and sugar.  I mean, it is a non-starter Kombucha that should take long to brew.  My original recipe uses starter and takes almost the same amount of time.  So, back to the original question a few weeks back:  What kind do you like best?  I would have to say that I like my recipe of Jasmine green tea with 1/3 cup sugar, starter tea, and brew time of 5-7 days. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 18, 2007, 04:59:50 PM
Oh, the Beka's recipe saga continues...... :D  I tried it again and I tested it every day from day five to today, day 8.  It was sweet yesterday and is starting to get vinegar-y, so I harvested it.  It tastes okay, but I am really concerned that it did not "digest" enough caffeine and sugar.  I mean, it is a non-starter Kombucha that should take long to brew.  My original recipe uses starter and takes almost the same amount of time.  So, back to the original question a few weeks back:  What kind do you like best?  I would have to say that I like my recipe of Jasmine green tea with 1/3 cup sugar, starter tea, and brew time of 5-7 days. 
I don't know if this is an issue, but it's been colder where she lives for awhile now and she lives at a higher altitude.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 18, 2007, 05:04:03 PM
I don't know if this is an issue, but it's been colder where she lives for awhile now and she lives at a higher altitude.

Well, my place is terribly cold.  My furnace works when it wants to! LOL!  It shuts down in the middle of the night(of course) or when we leave, so we find it at 60 degrees sometimes.

But I never thought of a higher altitude, before.  You really think that has something to do with it? 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: carolinachic January 18, 2007, 07:17:04 PM
Well, I harvested my tea on day 7...I could not imagine waiting any longer, as it did taste pretty vinegary, but not too bad. My four year old guzzled it down and askes for more :D I kept it in my pantry where it was dark and we tend to keep our house pretty warm ::)  I boiled the lids to my spagetti/salsa jars and put them on after pouring the harvested tea in them and they have worked really great keeping them fizzy! I love the fizziness, but I don't like to drink it without ice :-\

I was wondering with just a starter-no mushroom if you would use less sugar, because you wouldn't have a mushroom yet feeding? Maybe that's how you get it to grow though?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 19, 2007, 05:30:36 AM
I don't know if this is an issue, but it's been colder where she lives for awhile now and she lives at a higher altitude.

Well, my place is terribly cold.  My furnace works when it wants to! LOL!  It shuts down in the middle of the night(of course) or when we leave, so we find it at 60 degrees sometimes.

But I never thought of a higher altitude, before.  You really think that has something to do with it? 
Don't know, just speculating.  Kombucha needs air to reproduce, so maybe where the air is thinner, it takes longer to do it's thing.

Beka also has different taste buds.  ;D  I may just have to drive out there and invite myself to tea (kombucha) then we'll have a taste test.  ;)

Of course komucha tasting might be a spectacular event to add to the WTM gathering.  Have you got that all planned out HIO?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 19, 2007, 07:15:11 AM


Beka also has different taste buds.  ;D  I may just have to drive out there and invite myself to tea (kombucha) then we'll have a taste test.  ;)

Of course komucha tasting might be a spectacular event to add to the WTM gathering.  Have you got that all planned out HIO?

Yes, we are all meeting in New Mexico this summer!!!  LOL!!  I think a Kombucha tasting event would be grand. 

I drank the 8 day brewed tea and it made my stomach really sour.  Another WTM'er said that it means the sugar was not done being digesting.  Smart gal!  So, I am back to my original recipe.  Unless, I can get y'all who have tried Bek's recipe to come to Ohio and SHOW me how it's done!!! 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: tropix January 23, 2007, 03:07:27 PM
Hi,
 I just got a baby from a friend and came home and used your newsletter to make my "moonshine" (kinda what it feels like I'm doing!). Anyway, in the recipe in newsletter, it didn't say to use any special water. So i just jumped in and used our well water.
  Then after it was all set up, I looked on line and in Sally Fallon's book and she said use filtered water, online it said use distilled. Did I just kill it? Hope not, I can't wait to try it!!!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys January 23, 2007, 03:51:59 PM
Well water is all we've ever used and it works fine! In fact, it seems from our experience that if you have a good, healthy mushroom to start with you will have success in spite of not always doing everything perfect.  :) Relax and enjoy!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: natural January 23, 2007, 04:00:38 PM
I use tap water and we have well water...the only problem I would see is if someone had city water which was treated with Chlorine that would have the potential of killing the SCOBY...but even then, you do boil the water before you put the tea in, at least I do...feels more clean that way.

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 24, 2007, 07:29:58 AM
Hi,
 I just got a baby from a friend and came home and used your newsletter to make my "moonshine" (kinda what it feels like I'm doing!). Anyway, in the recipe in newsletter, it didn't say to use any special water. So i just jumped in and used our well water.
  Then after it was all set up, I looked on line and in Sally Fallon's book and she said use filtered water, online it said use distilled. Did I just kill it? Hope not, I can't wait to try it!!!
You're biggest concern with water would be the chlorine in rural or city water (I think), because chlorine can kill the bacteria in the culture and leave you with a yeast patty.  I don't know if there's anything in well water that would cause a problem, but I suppose it's possible. 

However, using bad water once shouldn't hurt your culture.  I used tap a couple of time and my babies weren't developing well, so I switched to purified (not distilled) from the grocery and the babies grow very healthy and I've had no problems since.  The cost of my water is 39 cents a gallon so I consider it a moderate expense for the good effects of the kombucha.  ;D

Hope this helps.

~hb
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ~CKMom~ January 24, 2007, 07:31:28 AM
Ok, I just poured out my first batch of kombucha, and it tastes like fizzy vinegar.  I assume 12 days was too long to brew, but with a memorial service for my grandpa out-of-state and then a sick child, I couldn't get to it earlier.  Now, I will make another batch, but in the meantime, it won't hurt anything to drink it like that will it?  We are not the healthiest eaters in the world, so I'm sure there is some major detoxing ahead!  I would just like to start slow with this to acclimate myself, and then I can drink more of it when I get some better stuff made.  (I probably won't make the kids drink it - I don't want to gross them out before they know what the good stuff tastes like).  (1)Anyways, so is it ok to drink the "carbonated vinegar?"  Also, I now have 2 scobies - (2)do I store them in the frig with starter until I am ready to make more?

Thanks for the help!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys January 24, 2007, 09:24:08 AM
The "carbonated vinegar" is fine to drink, in fact, it sounds perfect to me.  :) You mentioned not being "the healthiest eaters in the world" and that reminded me of the fact that when we give a taste of our kombucha to friends, the ones who eat healthy anyways usually like it and the ones who aren't the healthiest eaters in the world don't care for it or call it "vinegar". ;) So it could be just a matter of getting use to it after other sweeter drinks.

We've stored scobies in the fridge (with some starter) as long as 2 or 3 months and they still worked great!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ~CKMom~ January 24, 2007, 10:52:00 AM
Thank you, Lotsaboys, for the answer!  I will drink it as long as it isn't "bad" for me!  We're making some healthful changes around here, but they're just real slo-o-o-w!  Going from Pepsi to kombucha will take some doing, but we'll get there!  (Please, no lectures!   ;) )

I have 1 scoby to save in the frig for now - does it need to be completely covered with the starter?  I put it in a quart mason jar with the starter, and it fit well; but the top part isn't immersed.  Is that bad?  I'm just starting to collect glass containers around here, and I don't have a lot to fit the bill!

By the way, you brought up an interesting point.  If you want to give someone (who is "un-WTMed") a taste, how much do you suggest giving so there are not detox issues?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys January 24, 2007, 12:30:47 PM
I know all about the sl-o-o-ow process of eating healthier! I'm proud of you for doing it and don't worry, I won't lecture. You don't need it.  ;)

Umm... about the not-totally-immersed scoby, that should be fine as long as the container is covered so the mushroom won't dry out. And a swallow or two shouldn't be enough to give anyone bad detox issues, at least from our experience. But I'm no expert on that...  I do remember now that the first time my bil, who has a major case of Lyme Disease, drank some he had big time detox symptoms. But a relatively healthy person shouldn't.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 25, 2007, 10:21:37 AM
The "carbonated vinegar" is fine to drink, in fact, it sounds perfect to me.  :) You mentioned not being "the healthiest eaters in the world" and that reminded me of the fact that when we give a taste of our kombucha to friends, the ones who eat healthy anyways usually like it and the ones who aren't the healthiest eaters in the world don't care for it or call it "vinegar". ;) So it could be just a matter of getting use to it after other sweeter drinks.
I agree with this observation. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: seekingtruth January 25, 2007, 02:37:40 PM
Answers to some questions- according to the book I have about Kombucha (it is on loan to someone so I don't have the title)- you shouldn't use straight green tea- but mix it with black tea- use white sugar to lesson chance of contamination- the kombucha only eats the glucose. 

About whether it has fermented long enough- the book I have talks about the right ph and that you can test the ph to see where it is- but it suggested like a ph of 3 and I know that would be too acidic for my dh- he doesn't like vinegar at all!  So I figure what I serve him is better than the soda he has given up!!!  so if anyone has a ph tester you could test it and see what is says :)

I am pregnant and haven't found any problems driinking a small glass a day- except I have to drink it before about 3pm or I have trouble getting to sleep.  And I haven't needed naps like I did before.  It has been a nice pick me up.   And I don't give it to my children any later than this too so that it doesn't interfere with sleep- can't imagine serving it with dinner, but maybe mine is too sweet- I am still experimenting to find the right balance.

Tammy
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys January 25, 2007, 02:48:24 PM
  Also, so far all i have done is read about this stuff without any conversations via vocal cords... exactly how do you pronounce it :-\ ? Is it KambuKA or KambuCHA? Maybe a dumb question considering I just spelled it correctly in giving that last written pronunciation.  :P
  Thanks guys!
Heather

I've wondered too and according to my online reading the correct pronunciation is "kum-boo-chuh" or "kom-boo-chuh". We've always said "kom-boo-kuh". :-\

This is one of many words I've only READ and have never HEARD the pronunciation. :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Simply Kristen January 25, 2007, 03:12:39 PM

I've wondered too and according to my online reading the correct pronunciation is "kum-boo-chuh" or "kom-boo-chuh". We've always said "kom-boo-kuh". :-\


We say it like this:

Come-BOO-Cha!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 25, 2007, 03:16:17 PM


We say it like this:

Come-BOO-Cha!

Us, too!!  But we put a little Japanese "Karate-Chop" with it! LOL!  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 25, 2007, 04:42:11 PM
We call it critter juice.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio January 26, 2007, 07:17:28 AM
The new babies are so wimpy that I can't even separate them from the mother.  Any tips? 

abbilynn

This is normal.  There is no such thing as "thick" babies being healthier.  My first baby was paper thin, but after a month or so of using it, it is very thick. Sometimes it takes time!  Don't worry about it!  You can break and tear it and still use it.   ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn January 26, 2007, 07:30:51 AM
Once again, thanks Healthy!  ;) :D  LOL  I'll just keep using the whole mother/baby combo and let it get thicker so I can cut them and share with others.  I've already given out three babies!  So, does this stuff have caffeine in it or not when it's done brewing?

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Melie January 26, 2007, 09:54:46 AM
Nevermind.  I am pretty tough but that is one of the NASTIEST things I have ever tried.  YUCK!  Do you guys actually like this?  Or do you just drink it for your health alone.  GAG! 
Did I mention, GROSS???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: dara January 26, 2007, 10:13:52 AM
I don't brew mine very long- 5 days only, then it's not too bad at all! And flavored green tea, not black! It's one of those things that can be really gross, but doesn't have to be... IMO anyway.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock January 26, 2007, 10:37:05 AM
Nevermind.  I am pretty tough but that is one of the NASTIEST things I have ever tried.  YUCK!  Do you guys actually like this?  Or do you just drink it for your health alone.  GAG! 
Did I mention, GROSS???

Wow. I thought that it would take some getting used to, like kefir, but the first time I tasted it I was so suprised! It tasted so much like yummy apple cider that I counldn't believe it. (And it was made with back tea.)

Maybe its just the store-bought stuff that tastes bad.
WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama January 26, 2007, 11:16:39 AM
Nevermind.  I am pretty tough but that is one of the NASTIEST things I have ever tried.  YUCK!  Do you guys actually like this?  Or do you just drink it for your health alone.  GAG! 
Did I mention, GROSS???
I had some nasty stuff too recently. :P... Now understand we make and drink kombucha regularly and love it so it was either just this persons recipe or a bad batch that was sooo gross... sorry you had such a bad intro :'(
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Melie January 26, 2007, 11:26:20 AM
Okay, this was story bought.  Raw though.  Maybe I should try it again, I just don't want to go to the effort of learning something totally new if it isn't better than that.  I'm glad to know I might be wrong!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: hjm January 27, 2007, 01:21:08 PM
Kombucha is very easy to make.  I have had great success.  We all like the homemade better than the storebought.  If you can get started for little, give it a try.  I also like ginger kombucha better than regular.  I would brew your kombucha a little sweeter (shorter time) at first until you get used to the taste and then brew it longer.  I find now that I miss my kombucha drink if we run out before the next batch is ready.  I also have 8-10 gallons going at a time.  They are staggered so that they are ready as we need them.
hjm
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Melie January 27, 2007, 01:25:21 PM
Can you describe what it is supposed to taste like to me?  What I have just tastes so awful I wonder if it is spoiled.  Did you find it was an aquired taste?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock January 27, 2007, 04:49:30 PM
The first taste I had tasted almost exactly like apple cider. The next few batches varied from apple cider to apple cider vinegar. I've only had one batch that we couldn't drink because I let it go too long and it tasted like a real strong vinegar.
WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Melie January 28, 2007, 06:55:57 PM
Nevermind.  I am pretty tough but that is one of the NASTIEST things I have ever tried.  YUCK!  Do you guys actually like this?  Or do you just drink it for your health alone.  GAG! 
Did I mention, GROSS???

It's me, not the drink.  All my kids and my husband loved it.  I bought a strawberry flavored one and thought it was tolerable but not enough to "tempt me".  I might go ahead and make some for my family, maybe I will get a taste for it.  Thanks for the advice though.  At least I know that what I bought is not rancid like I first thought.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 28, 2007, 08:02:45 PM
Okay I tried it and failed. Mine just turned into a moldy mess. I was sure the items were thouroughly cleaned. I had it covered with a cloth. I just don't understand why it didn't work. I honestly am kinda scared to try again. I mean is there a way I will know its safe to drink and I haven't messed it up again. I am so jealous others can get it to work. Maybe I need to just get some from the health food store and taste it and see if I like first before I give it a try again. Anyone have any hints for not to have it moldy next time?

Marie
Are you sure it was mold?  The mushroom produces brown stringy things which are not mold or a sign of a failed batch.  This is normal.  Mold is usually on top and spotty.

If it is mold, your tea is probably not acidic enough.  Did you add the starter tea or vinegar?  If not, try adding 1 cup of vinegar or tea from a previous batch to your next batch.  If you use vinegar, it will produce fine, but might taste a bit off.  It may take a batch or two before it tastes as sweet as it should.  Also, if you're sure it's mold, you should probably throw it out and get a new SCOBY.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: jbbabyslings January 28, 2007, 08:08:34 PM
I was trying to grow my own and didn't have a starter. Yep was mold. All different types and colors. Was kinda pretty in a weird way. Maybe I just need to buy a mother and try it that way.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: hjm January 28, 2007, 08:18:36 PM
I have kombucha from two sources.  One was a true SCOBY and one was from a non pasteurized bottle of kombucha from the health food store.  They both worked but the  kombucha from the store took longer to take off.  I bought a bottle that already had a little SCOBY in it. 
hjm
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: leslieincali January 29, 2007, 02:27:56 PM
My second batch of Kombucha was a success!!! The first one molded. The only 2 things I did differently this time is use a linen cloth instead of a coffee filter and I used the liquid that my scoby came in. It was fizzy right at the 14 day mark. Mine does taste a bit vinegary, but I started out drinking GT's which is quite vinegary and I've grown to like the taste. I would think that if it still tastes sweet then your drinking sugar?? One question. My scoby was perfectly round. My baby was roundish but a bit more rough around the edges. Will my new scobys eventually get that perfect cookie cutter look?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 29, 2007, 02:50:21 PM
My second batch of Kombucha was a success!!! The first one molded. The only 2 things I did differently this time is use a linen cloth instead of a coffee filter and I used the liquid that my scoby came in. It was fizzy right at the 14 day mark. Mine does taste a bit vinegary, but I started out drinking GT's which is quite vinegary and I've grown to like the taste. I would think that if it still tastes sweet then your drinking sugar?? One question. My scoby was perfectly round. My baby was roundish but a bit more rough around the edges. Will my new scobys eventually get that perfect cookie cutter look?
The shape of your SCOBY depends on the shape of your container and the amount of food it gets.  It doesn't really matter though, you can throw chunks of SCOBY into a batch and you'll get the same results.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie January 31, 2007, 09:10:22 AM
« Reply #346 on: December 30, 2006, 09:22:30 PM » by fivewittletids
hi all!  i am going to be trying my first batch soon, and was planning on trying beka's first from the beeyoutiful newsletter.  before i do, would you girls tell me which varieties your kids like best??  i would really like them to drink it!  thanks!  c.

We really LOVE peach! Our favorite is Bigelow's Green Tea with Peach. Our Kombucha tastes like peach juice (as to flavor). Yum!

(I don't buy it online, but this is what it is: http://www.bigelowtea.com/shop/details.cfm?si=1&sc=3&pi=00130 (http://www.bigelowtea.com/shop/details.cfm?si=1&sc=3&pi=00130))

this is awesome!!!  we only brewed 7 days, but i figure it's better to drink it at 7 than to NOT drink it at 10 -14!  my kids are actually asking for more!   :D  think i will try the berry brew for less time too.  my hubby loved the ginger brew at 15 days  :o  holy cow!!!  it was potent!!!  he asked me to make more!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: dara January 31, 2007, 09:25:54 AM
Maybe we're chickens, but we only brew for 5 days... we think it's perfect! Otherwise my Dh teases I'm servin' up hooch!   ;)  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie January 31, 2007, 09:40:41 AM
Maybe we're chickens, but we only brew for 5 days... we think it's perfect! Otherwise my Dh teases I'm servin' up hooch!   ;)  ;D

LOL!  ;D 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: tropix February 01, 2007, 08:04:21 AM
I have been keeping my bucha in a closet for the last 11 days. It isn't super toasty in there but i keep the door propped open and there are not any outside walls. I thought it would be "done" when there is another scoby on top. Well, there is definitely small blobs here and there but they're all disconnected at the moment. I don't know if waiting for more of a scoby will make it really vinegary? I won't like  that! However, i really want to brew two batches the next time around. Should I wait? Can you cut a scoby in half (it is pretty big) and use it in two different gallons? Will the little blobs be enough to start a brew of another gallon but may just take longer? I guess i could use my yogurt warmer to try to encourage there growth? I don't want to ruin my first batch!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn February 01, 2007, 11:08:43 AM
I'm still wondering how in the world it can be good for you if it still has white sugar in it?!?! ???  It's supposed to help yeast issues but seems like it would make them worse with the processed sugar and all.  Ours is always sweet.  I brew it 7-9 days.  The last batch I harvested, canned, and left sit out for another week and another baby grew in one of the jars so there must have still been enough sugar in there to feed it.  Anyone ever use less than 1 cup, like maybe 1/2 cup sugar and brew 7 days???  Do you think it would turn out and then contain less sugar?  I'm just concerned about the kids consuming the white sugar (myself also  ;)).  I mean, it sure tastes good, but seems like it's really sweet.

thanks,
abbilynn

What do you think HB?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK February 01, 2007, 11:38:14 AM
I have been keeping my bucha in a closet for the last 11 days. It isn't super toasty in there but i keep the door propped open and there are not any outside walls. I thought it would be "done" when there is another scoby on top. Well, there is definitely small blobs here and there but they're all disconnected at the moment. I don't know if waiting for more of a scoby will make it really vinegary? I won't like  that! However, i really want to brew two batches the next time around. Should I wait? Can you cut a scoby in half (it is pretty big) and use it in two different gallons? Will the little blobs be enough to start a brew of another gallon but may just take longer? I guess i could use my yogurt warmer to try to encourage there growth? I don't want to ruin my first batch!

I would reccommend tasting your Bucha if you are concerned it's getting vinegary.  Get a straw or turkey baster (or something else that will work) and be sure it is quite clean.  Get some of the liquid & taste it.  This won't hurt the process unless you stir it around.  If you have some sort of a baby, you can use that to make a second batch - but you are right, it may take longer to get the effect you want.  Consider getting a thermometer of some kind that will measure temps in the 60 to 75degree range & set it in your Kombucha area.  Then you will know.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt February 01, 2007, 12:50:08 PM
I'm still wondering how in the world it can be good for you if it still has white sugar in it?!?! ???  It's supposed to help yeast issues but seems like it would make them worse with the processed sugar and all.  Ours is always sweet.  I brew it 7-9 days.  The last batch I harvested, canned, and left sit out for another week and another baby grew in one of the jars so there must have still been enough sugar in there to feed it.  Anyone ever use less than 1 cup, like maybe 1/2 cup sugar and brew 7 days???  Do you think it would turn out and then contain less sugar?  I'm just concerned about the kids consuming the white sugar (myself also  ;)).  I mean, it sure tastes good, but seems like it's really sweet.

thanks,
abbilynn

What do you think HB?
I think I've been drinking it for months and I'm not too worried about the sugar content.  I've also been battling yeast my whole adult life, but with all the other cleansing I've done since April, Kombucha nor any other sugar has given me any grief.  If you are just beginning a candida cleanse, it might be wiser to avoid sweeter kombucha the first 2 weeks.  Good enough?

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn February 01, 2007, 02:34:56 PM
Thanks guys.  :)  I wasn't implying that it wasn't healthy, just wondered about the sugar content.  We really like it, and are very excited about the health benefits of it.  ;D  There just seems to be alot of different opinions on how to brew it.  The kombuchaamerica site says only 7 days, and some say 10-14.  I'll let it go longer though so that it is healthier and contains less sugar.  We've been treating yeast for awhile so I suppose they shouldn't have any issues with drinking it.  The stuff I harvested the other day sat out and today I strained it and it tasted alot like wine.  But they drank it nonetheless!!  ::) 

(sorry HB, you've probably answered that somewhere already.  :-\)

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: daisey February 01, 2007, 02:37:26 PM
I just wanted to throw a new thought out here.   I have read that there are a lot of things that can affect the taste of the Kombucha.  I have never had 2 batches taste the same and I basically make them all the same.   The article I read said that different bacteria in the air, fluctuation in temperature etc all affect the taste and time it takes to make.     One other thing~~~if you don't like the taste of one batch use it as hair rinse.  Sort of like vinegar.
God Bless
Daisey

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: tropix February 02, 2007, 08:45:00 AM
  Well, my first batch is almost ready and I have some questions! I posted earlier with a few and had one reply (thanks so much!) but still have some unanswered questions plus a few more that i brewed up- ha!  ;D
  I tasted my bucha (on day 12 now) and was pleased that it didn't taste bad compared to the smell, whew!  :o I may want to add some stevia when I am done, is that ok?
  It was my first time to open it and I was surprised at the lack of anything else really growing on it. Just a few tiny blobs. The scoby is floating on top. There is what appears to be a lot of sediment on the bottom, is that normal?
  Also, my scoby is quite big, is it possible to divide it in half to use as two starters since I do not have another one really growing, or would I kill it?  ???
  I noticed that a lot of you say that you pour it through a coffee filter, is this in addition to pouring it through a cloth or instead of pouring it through a cloth? That sounds a lot easier and less messy if I can just use a filter!
  Finally, I may be splitting hairs but in case it matters; should I remove the scoby and some starter before I pour into my containers to store or leave it in the brewing jar and just leave some bucha with it on bottom to start a new batch?
  I think that covers it. Sorry to be so unsure of myself but, well, I am! I am so excited to try it I don't want to ruin it!!  ;) Thanks for any help you experts can offer!
Heather
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: goingforten February 02, 2007, 09:02:18 AM
Ive split my first huge mushroom several times to give to people that really wanted one. for some reason my scoby has never produced ababy even though i let it cultures seven days in a very warm  room 85* or near that.My kombucha turns out though. Also both ladies ive given it to have no problem producing babies  ???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK February 02, 2007, 09:19:04 AM
  Well, my first batch is almost ready and I have some questions! I posted earlier with a few and had one reply (thanks so much!) but still have some unanswered questions plus a few more that i brewed up- ha!  ;D
  I tasted my bucha (on day 12 now) and was pleased that it didn't taste bad compared to the smell, whew!  :o I may want to add some stevia when I am done, is that ok? r

Yep - that's fine.  I even add fruit juice sometimes.


  It was my first time to open it and I was surprised at the lack of anything else really growing on it. Just a few tiny blobs. The scoby is floating on top. There is what appears to be a lot of sediment on the bottom, is that normal?

Hmm... I think it will be ok.  I had really thin Bucha babies at first and now they are much better looking.  Don't know why though...

I have sediment in the bottom of my jars too.  Like dust sort of.  That's normal for what I get anyway.


  Also, my scoby is quite big, is it possible to divide it in half to use as two starters since I do not have another one really growing, or would I kill it?  ???

Should be OK.

   I noticed that a lot of you say that you pour it through a coffee filter, is this in addition to pouring it through a cloth or instead of pouring it through a cloth? That sounds a lot easier and less messy if I can just use a filter!


I use a cloth cuz I can use a big colander with it.  Cloander in big bowl.  Towel in colander.  Pour big jug into towel.  Walk away & wipe a nose, correct spelling words, redirect the adventurous child sneaking off with the scissors.  Come back to check on it (that's the hard step to remember) & continue bottling.

  Finally, I may be splitting hairs but in case it matters; should I remove the scoby and some starter before I pour into my containers to store or leave it in the brewing jar and just leave some bucha with it on bottom to start a new batch?
  I think that covers it. Sorry to be so unsure of myself but, well, I am! I am so excited to try it I don't want to ruin it!!  ;) Thanks for any help you experts can offer!
Heather

You want to take everything out of the jar & give it a good rinse/cleaning between batches... if for no other reason than to get that sediment out of the bottom.  You could have a big pile of it there after a few batches.

Far from an expert (so keep that in mind)-
Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn February 02, 2007, 09:31:42 AM
Just wanted to comment, we got a new coffee pot for christmas and it came with a permanent reusable filter.  It works great for straining our kombucha!!!  It's shaped almost like a funnel so it's not too messy and really works.  Then I just wash it out and put it back in the coffee pot  ;D  Anyway, I saw you can buy those types of filters by themselves next to the coffee pots at Meijer (so probably Walmart too.)  I'm probably not saying anything new here, just was glad it was working so well.  ;)

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio February 02, 2007, 09:37:23 AM
Ive split my first huge mushroom several times to give to people that really wanted one. for some reason my scoby has never produced ababy even though i let it cultures seven days in a very warm  room 85* or near that.My kombucha turns out though. Also both ladies ive given it to have no problem producing babies  ???


How are you making yours?  Do you use starter tea?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: goingforten February 02, 2007, 11:40:43 AM
I've made it with and without starter tea. i make my tea according to all the directions                   ive seen so far.what puzzles me is this i also made the tea for the other two ladies i gave part of my mushroom to and they had babies in 4-5 days.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: kamom February 02, 2007, 01:26:52 PM
  I have my tea brewed and to my disappointment I can't find the gallon jar that I thought I had :(   Can I use half gallon jars and just follow the same directions? I would have some tea left over but I don't reallyy mind that.
  Can someone help me? Can I use a half gallon jar and just put the mushroom on top and leave it for less day?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: RB February 02, 2007, 01:30:59 PM
  I have my tea brewed and to my disappointment I can't find the gallon jar that I thought I had :(   Can I use half gallon jars and just follow the same directions? I would have some tea left over but I don't reallyy mind that.
  Can someone help me? Can I use a half gallon jar and just put the mushroom on top and leave it for less day?
Divide it between two half gallon jars and put a mushroom in each jar.  If you only have one mushroom tear in half and use a half per jar.   The tea  will still require eight to fourteen days to ferment.  Unless you want to drink sugar tea.
Blessing's,
   RB
I also wanted to add that disturbing the tea before eight days could slow/ interfere with the fermenting process.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: tropix February 03, 2007, 09:00:41 AM
Thanks a bunch "Sarah K" for taking the time to answer my questions  :)!
I know what you mean about remembering to come back to something you start in the kitchen... sometimes it works the other way around too! Get busy making something and forget to go back to the school schedule, kids don't seem to think it is necessary to remind me that I have gotten sidetracked!!!   ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ~CKMom~ February 07, 2007, 07:08:51 AM
Thanks for the tips!  I've got to brew this a little shorter, I think.  Maybe if I can get them started on it a little bit sweeter, than I can start brewing for longer periods of time so they can adjust.  We'll see!  I know it will take some time to find the recipe that "works" for us.

I think I have a taker for my scoby!  Any suggestions on if it is ok to mail in the bitter cold?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn February 07, 2007, 07:30:12 AM
It really does help the kids to start them off a little sweeter and work them into the more bitter stuff.  Now my kids love it, even if I let it go 10-11 days!  ;D  I bought that Celestial Seasonings fruit sampler and tried all those flavors - they're yummy!!  (Black Berry Cherry, Cranberry Apple, Tangerine Orange, Raspberry, and Peach) ;D  I didn't like the ginger so much, DH thought it tasted like soap.  :P  But the kids' favorite so far is peach/apricot.  It really does become an aquired taste!  :D ;)

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK February 08, 2007, 10:04:28 AM
I don't that that would be a problem- I've done that sort of thing.  Could be some other bacteria that got into/onto your scoby.... could be temperatures cooler or warmer than the past brewings.  I know that my first 3 batches were one taste/consistancy and then the rest of mine have been about the same until this week when they are needing longer brew times.... the temp in my Bucha room has dropped with the 0 or below zero temps up here (SE MN) this week.

All to say..."Hmmm, I don't know for sure."

Sorry-Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie February 08, 2007, 10:34:07 AM
would anyone know if it's ok to just plop a very large round scoby into a smaller square jar?  i sure hope so, cuz i bought two 1 gal. jars instead of my large 2 gal. jars.  also, my scoby's were stuck together and i couldn't get them apart, so i left them like that.  will they be square when they are done?   ???  :-\
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK February 08, 2007, 10:46:18 AM
My experiences says shorter brew time and square scoby baby.  I'm not totally certain on the shorter brew time though since it is based on a batch that I did that was also effected by cold weather here.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sierra February 09, 2007, 06:00:46 AM
I received my scoby yesterday and I started my first batch last night.  When I looked at my tea this morning I saw that it is Lipton's decaf...I swear it said caffenine when I bought it yesterday:)  Do I need to start all over?  Thanks for your help.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Myjoy February 09, 2007, 12:53:08 PM
I received my scoby yesterday and I started my first batch last night.  When I looked at my tea this morning I saw that it is Lipton's decaf...I swear it said caffenine when I bought it yesterday:)  Do I need to start all over?  Thanks for your help.


I wouldn't want to use decaf because of the process they go through to get decaffeinated tea. Just my opinion... I use bulk black tea.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK February 09, 2007, 01:32:56 PM
I received my scoby yesterday and I started my first batch last night.  When I looked at my tea this morning I saw that it is Lipton's decaf...I swear it said caffenine when I bought it yesterday:)  Do I need to start all over?  Thanks for your help.


Read this post by Kati*did:

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,832.msg52507.html#msg52507 (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,832.msg52507.html#msg52507)

If you can use 100% herbal that naturally has no caffeine- I would say decaf is fine IF you are OK with the decaffeinating proccess the company uses.  (I use decaf myself sometimes, but prefer 100% herbal.)

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock February 10, 2007, 03:23:07 PM
Just wondering why  you keep your tea in a cupboard?
I, too, have been wondering about everybody brewing in a dark place. The info I read said they need light, just not direct sunlight. So I've been brewing mine on a shelf in the laundry room. There is a window in there but I don't put them in front of the window. I put them on a shelf to one side of it so they get indirect light. They're doing great. I get two babies at a time most of the time, and some times even three.

So did I miss something? Why are so many of y'all putting yours in a cupboard?

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio February 10, 2007, 03:27:34 PM


So did I miss something? Why are so many of y'all putting yours in a cupboard?


According to many websites, putting it in the dark is fine:

Light is not necessary. The culture also works in darkness. The culture may be damaged by exposure to bright sunlight. Half shade is better.
http://www.kombu.de/anleit-e.htm

I put mine in a cupboard right now, because it is warmer there.  I may put it on the countertop in the spring when it is not so cold. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: murfette February 12, 2007, 03:31:33 AM
Is Kombucha an actual mushroom or is it like a mushroom?  The Nourishing Traditions book just calls it a "mushroom" in quotes so I don't know what that means.

I ask because my husband and I bought a bottle to try and we love it.  So I am going to try to make it but only if it isn't a real mushroom.  If my husband consumes too much mushrooms he'll get canker sores so he just avoids them.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock February 12, 2007, 03:44:35 AM
It's not a real mushroom, it just looks kinda like one so that's what it's usually called. I think the "proper" name for it is a scoby.
WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt February 12, 2007, 06:57:05 AM
Is Kombucha an actual mushroom or is it like a mushroom?  The Nourishing Traditions book just calls it a "mushroom" in quotes so I don't know what that means.

I ask because my husband and I bought a bottle to try and we love it.  So I am going to try to make it but only if it isn't a real mushroom.  If my husband consumes too much mushrooms he'll get canker sores so he just avoids them.
It is not a mushroom, it does however contain strains of yeast.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sierra February 28, 2007, 05:35:09 PM
I did not strain the kombucha when it was done.  Each bottle has started growing it's own scooby.  Can that scooby be given to someone to start their own?  Or does it need to grow off the mother for best results?  Will the tea ingredients say "oil" in them or is there a list of teas not to use?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kati*did March 01, 2007, 08:39:43 AM
This guys mother is so FAT!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7JOfL0Sgf0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FcwSEIZbBo&mode=related&search=
this is a movie of making kombucha.Part one and part 2.
em

Hey...that's really cool.  That visual is really helpful for me.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 01, 2007, 09:05:54 AM
This guys mother is so FAT!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7JOfL0Sgf0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FcwSEIZbBo&mode=related&search=
this is a movie of making kombucha.Part one and part 2.
em

Hey...that's really cool.  That visual is really helpful for me.
A little humor in there.  I thought it was interesting that he said 10 1/2 cups of sugar to 5 gallons.  That means a little over 2 cups of sugar for 1 gallon.  That might be why the babies don't grow well or why it's so sour.  I use 1 1/2 cups and they do okay, but I got nothing like those mothers' he's growing.  They were monsters.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama March 01, 2007, 10:23:11 AM
I did not strain the kombucha when it was done.  Each bottle has started growing it's own scooby.  Can that scooby be given to someone to start their own?  Or does it need to grow off the mother for best results?  Will the tea ingredients say "oil" in them or is there a list of teas not to use?
Just for kicks I left a few inches of kombucha in the bottom of the last gallon I fermented and left that jar in the cupboard. It has been a almost two weeks and it grew a Scoby about 1/8" thick so far. It is still pretty clear instead of tan...it has been a neat experiment and now I want to see if it will work to ferment the tea.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Pastorswife2B March 01, 2007, 12:00:55 PM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 02, 2007, 06:24:56 AM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
My green kombucha is pretty bubbly, but I use green tea with citron.  Don't know if it matters or not cuz I've never used plain green tea.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: linemansgirl March 02, 2007, 06:29:41 AM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
My green kombucha is pretty bubbly, but I use green tea with citron.  Don't know if it matters or not cuz I've never used plain green tea.
My green kombucha takes quite a bit longer to brew than black.  He said that the brown sugar speeds up the process, so maybe it does.  Especially since he is adding over 2 cups of sugar per gallon & only brewing 7 days! 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys March 02, 2007, 07:17:41 AM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
My green kombucha is pretty bubbly, but I use green tea with citron.  Don't know if it matters or not cuz I've never used plain green tea.
My green kombucha takes quite a bit longer to brew than black.  He said that the brown sugar speeds up the process, so maybe it does.  Especially since he is adding over 2 cups of sugar per gallon & only brewing 7 days! 

Sure would love to taste his kombucha! Can't imagine a week gives enough time for it to "eat" all that sugar. Maybe its different with green tea....?? ???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Pastorswife2B March 02, 2007, 07:49:32 AM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
My green kombucha is pretty bubbly, but I use green tea with citron.  Don't know if it matters or not cuz I've never used plain green tea.

My green tea is bubbly, but my black boucha is almost to bubly for me.  I prefer the green in part to the fact the carbonation is cut down a bit.  More just wondering if that meant it hadn't done all it's 'thing' tho.. Since i have several nice shrooms I might try next time with some brown sugar and see how it comes out!

-Heather
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock March 02, 2007, 09:11:36 AM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
My green kombucha is pretty bubbly, but I use green tea with citron.  Don't know if it matters or not cuz I've never used plain green tea.
My green kombucha takes quite a bit longer to brew than black.  He said that the brown sugar speeds up the process, so maybe it does.  Especially since he is adding over 2 cups of sugar per gallon & only brewing 7 days! 

Sure would love to taste his kombucha! Can't imagine a week gives enough time for it to "eat" all that sugar. Maybe its different with green tea....?? ???

I remember reading that you are not supposed the keep that many scobies in one jar because they would starve, but I quess that's why he brews his tea so strong and havests so frequently. With that many mothers all stacked together the job probably gets done a lot faster!

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys March 02, 2007, 09:17:16 AM
ok so I'm a little skeptical of this guy...  But do you think there is any truth to the 'adding brown sugar to green tea'?  I have noticed there are less bubbles and different flavor and color to my green tea bucha compared to my black.

-Heather
My green kombucha is pretty bubbly, but I use green tea with citron.  Don't know if it matters or not cuz I've never used plain green tea.
My green kombucha takes quite a bit longer to brew than black.  He said that the brown sugar speeds up the process, so maybe it does.  Especially since he is adding over 2 cups of sugar per gallon & only brewing 7 days! 

Sure would love to taste his kombucha! Can't imagine a week gives enough time for it to "eat" all that sugar. Maybe its different with green tea....?? ???

I remember reading that you are not supposed the keep that many scobies in one jar because they would starve, but I quess that's why he brews his tea so strong and havests so frequently. With that many mothers all stacked together the job probably gets done a lot faster!

WR

Makes sense...
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery March 02, 2007, 07:17:27 PM
Anyone ever made kombucha with turbinado sugar?  Thats all we use. should I buy white sugar for this?

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama March 03, 2007, 11:28:43 AM
Anyone ever made kombucha with turbinado sugar?  Thats all we use. should I buy white sugar for this?


We use our evaporated cane juice crystals because we just don't buy any white sugar anymore  ;) ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery March 03, 2007, 11:43:08 AM
Thanks!  Thats what I will use.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama March 04, 2007, 08:34:50 AM
Is this a primer on kombucha somewhere in this massive digest?  ???

I don't have time to flip through 25 pages.  :o  Can we split to a Kombucha basics thread, or is there one?  I'm "expecting" my 1st SCOBY baby, soon. :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 04, 2007, 08:54:31 AM
Is this a primer on kombucha somewhere in this massive digest?  ???

I don't have time to flip through 25 pages.  :o  Can we split to a Kombucha basics thread, or is there one?  I'm "expecting" my 1st SCOBY baby, soon. :D
Most of the basic stuff is in the first 5 pages or so.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama March 04, 2007, 09:12:36 AM
Thanks for the heads up, HB!   :-*
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: screasy March 04, 2007, 10:26:30 AM
I started by first batch last night.  I peeked at it this morning and the scoby is floating vertically in the tea.  Is this normal?  Will it "right itself" or is this the sign of a problem?  All the videos I have seen show the mother floating in the top of the jar.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole March 04, 2007, 10:28:41 AM
I started by first batch last night.  I peeked at it this morning and the scoby is floating vertically in the tea.  Is this normal?  Will it "right itself" or is this the sign of a problem?  All the videos I have seen show the mother floating in the top of the jar.

It doesn't matter at all if the shroom floats, sinks, is vertical or horizontal.  Every brew is different I have found.  So don't worry about that at all.
 :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama March 04, 2007, 12:02:30 PM
I made my 2nd batch.  I had put the 1st baby back in with the mother and it grew another baby, but it didn't look like the mother.  It looked like some monstrosity from ... who knows.  I know it's not supposed to look like that.  It wasn't flat.  It wasn't white and it wasn't a uniform color.  Very nasty looking.  Also, my mother was white when I got it and now it's tea colored.

Is my mother healthy?

How am I ever supposed to get any baby's if all I get is a ball of slime on top?

Also, there are no layers on the mother to peel off.  It's all one piece.

I am just dying laughing reading all of your posts from page 24 about your foray into kombucha, HB!  :D  That's enough to keep me going on to more pages!  Thanks!   :-*
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Laura L. March 07, 2007, 08:16:07 AM
You don't need a very dark place. Find a shelf in your kitchen where you can observ the transformation of the Kombucha, and feel the smell. Just no sun and shady.

love

Laura L.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery March 07, 2007, 10:15:59 AM
I am making my first batch of kombucha.  I was making the tea and started thinking about the recipe. I made tea in a pan with a nonstick coating.  (It fit the gallon of water). I also just used 5 green tea bags for the gallon of water.   Have I already messed up?  I also forgot to buy a new wooden spoon.  Can I stir the sugar in with a stainless steel spoon?

Im nervous!!!!!!  Can you tell?

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie March 07, 2007, 10:20:06 AM
I am making my first batch of kombucha.  I was making the tea and started thinking about the recipe. I made tea in a pan with a nonstick coating.  (It fit the gallon of water). I also just used 5 green tea bags for the gallon of water.   Have I already messed up?  I also forgot to buy a new wooden spoon.  Can I stir the sugar in with a stainless steel spoon?

Im nervous!!!!!!  Can you tell?



i think it's ok to use any spoon before you put your scoby in.  i just use a plastic one.  also, you can use a smaller pan and just add water up to a gallon to cool the tea after steeping.  i boil my water in a stainless pan, but i think yours is probably fine.  just don't forget to stir in the sugar!!!    ;D  then move the whole batch and water to make a gallon, stir and when not steaming any more add your scoby.  you are doing fine!!! 8) 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery March 07, 2007, 10:30:59 AM
Thanks a bunch!!  I can breathe again.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie March 07, 2007, 11:54:56 AM
OK next question.  Where do you store your tea during those 5-10 days??  We have alot of people in the house and I cant think of a quiet place here!!!!  Can I just keep it in my cabinet, or on my counter?  Will kitchen cooking smells effect it?

it doesn't have to be quiet.  it is very loud here!  we keep it on the counter (in fact i can't really see it any more!)  my friend keeps hers in the basement on top of a frig.  it's really very forgiving stuff and i don't think it absorbs any smells either.  any place you can find room should be fine, i think it should be above 70*.  happy tea making!   
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery March 07, 2007, 12:04:11 PM
   OK next question.  Where do you store your tea during those 5-10 days??  We have alot of people in the house and I cant think of a quiet place here!!!!  Can I just keep it in my cabinet, or on my counter?  Will kitchen cooking smells effect it?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mom_to_12 March 07, 2007, 09:55:09 PM
   OK next question.  Where do you store your tea during those 5-10 days??  We have alot of people in the house and I cant think of a quiet place here!!!!  Can I just keep it in my cabinet, or on my counter?  Will kitchen cooking smells effect it?


I'm only on my first batch, which should be ready tomorrow ;D so I may not be the best to answer, but I keep mine on top of the cupboard above my fridge.  It is undisturbed there, and warm from the motor in the refrigerator.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: twitterpated4hubby March 09, 2007, 12:33:16 PM
Ok, i have my scoby, but i have a very silly question. When i received it, there was a note that said to add the gallon of tea (made with 5 tea bags) into the big gallon pickle jar with the sugar. My question is do i make the tea like you normally make tea? Like put some water on the stove and the tea bags and boil, then add the rest of the water when its done, or do i put a gallon of water on the stove with the tea bags? I ask because it says to add it to the jar HOT. Sorry if that sounds stupid, but i don't want to mess this up.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK March 09, 2007, 12:41:57 PM
I'll let others answer this one too - but I would just make the tea as you like it and stir in the sugar whenever you can before adding the Bucha.  I put the sugar in when the tea is hot cuz (1) the sugar dissolves faster and (2) I'm up north & I just pop the jar outside for 10 minutes to get it cold enough for the kombucha to be added.

The person who wrote your instructions can be kinda confused sometimes - so she naturally gets kinda confusing....

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: twitterpated4hubby March 09, 2007, 12:43:49 PM
I'll let others answer this one too - but I would just make the tea as you like it and stir in the sugar whenever you can before adding the Bucha.  I put the sugar in when the tea is hot cuz (1) the sugar dissolves faster and (2) I'm up north & I just pop the jar outside for 10 minutes to get it cold enough for the kombucha to be added.

The person who wrote your instructions can be kinda confused sometimes - so she naturally gets kinda confusing....

Sarah K


LOL!!! Thank you Sarah :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: amazonmama2five March 09, 2007, 02:36:07 PM
Ok, i have my scoby, but i have a very silly question. When i received it, there was a note that said to add the gallon of tea (made with 5 tea bags) into the big gallon pickle jar with the sugar. My question is do i make the tea like you normally make tea? Like put some water on the stove and the tea bags and boil, then add the rest of the water when its done, or do i put a gallon of water on the stove with the tea bags? I ask because it says to add it to the jar HOT. Sorry if that sounds stupid, but i don't want to mess this up.

Twitterpated,
I add the sugar to the boiling water and dissolve.  Remove the water from the stove and add the tea bags.  I have to let it sit overnight because it is so hot here..........  The next morning, I remove the teabags and transfer the liquid to a glass container and add the SCOBY.  Cover, put in my cupboard and wait  ;)  In about 10 days we bottle it and store it in the pantry until we open the bottle and then it goes in the fridge or on the counter (depending on how tart and fizzy I want it).
Have fun!
Lisa
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock March 10, 2007, 07:53:44 AM
If you harvest it earlier it probably wont. I've learned you can't just trust in the time list in "recipes" for kombucha. Too many variables can cause it to ripen faster or slower. I start tasting mine after about five days and harvest it when it tastes good to me.
WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mom_to_12 March 12, 2007, 04:18:01 AM
It seems that my batch is pretty strong  :o (8 day brew), so I may reduce brewing time.  Or maybe I will dilute it before bottling.  With this batch, it is more palatable (esp. for the kids) if I dilute it with sugar water before serving. :D

Also:
Is there any way to test the alcohol content of my kombucha?  I had my first glass (4oz.) and about 15 min. later I was a little light headed.  This is my first batch, so I wonder if  this is normal.  I had a little more about 10 minutes ago (diluted), and I am slightly light headed again.  I brewed this batch in a glass gallon jar, but I put it in plastic bottles (for 3 days).  Is  that a problem?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn March 13, 2007, 05:53:47 AM
WE LIKE THIS STUFF ALREADY!   ;D

It's only Day 5, but we checked in on it on you all's recomendations...that pond scum turned into one huge SCOBY! (or whatever you call it now  ;))

It tastes like peach iced tea right now...hard not to drink it all up after our walk outside in this BEAUTIFUL SPRING WEATHER!   ;D

We'll let it cogitate more...and I'm SURE we'll report the results.

Thanks to all for getting us here...to Kombucha Land!   :D

PS mom-to-12...I thought we were supposed to avoid plastic b/c the kombucha will work on detoxifying it.   ???

YAY!!  So glad you guys like it.  ;D  I'd let it go a little longer though to make sure you're not drinking a ton of nasty white suger.  You want it to taste kinda sour, like have a "kick to it."  But when the weather really warms up, five days would probably do it!

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: wifey March 13, 2007, 06:19:10 AM
How thick should my Baby be? I am on day 7 and hes pretty thin. Should I put him back in with the next batch to thicken him up or is Thin good enough?
Thanks!
Mary
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama March 13, 2007, 06:40:27 AM
YAY!!  So glad you guys like it.  ;D  I'd let it go a little longer though to make sure you're not drinking a ton of nasty white suger.  You want it to taste kinda sour, like have a "kick to it."  But when the weather really warms up, five days would probably do it!  abbilynn

We couldn't wait!  ;)  It's definitely not sour-ish yet...can I take out one of the mushrooms and start a new batch?  I can see it won't last long!  Thanks for sending such of a "viable" starter!  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: abbilynn March 13, 2007, 07:41:38 AM
YAY!!  So glad you guys like it.  ;D  I'd let it go a little longer though to make sure you're not drinking a ton of nasty white suger.  You want it to taste kinda sour, like have a "kick to it."  But when the weather really warms up, five days would probably do it!  abbilynn

We couldn't wait!  ;)  It's definitely not sour-ish yet...can I take out one of the mushrooms and start a new batch?  I can see it won't last long!  Thanks for sending such of a "viable" starter!  :D

No problem!  ;) :D  I wouldn't separate the mother/baby until you're completely ready to harvest and strain it.  Then separate them and make two new batches.  It's okay if the new baby is thin, it will still work.  Then the more you use it, the thicker it becomes.  It never lasts long here either.  We go through about 3 1/2 - 4 gallons a week!!  :o ::)  You can harvest and drink it whenever you want, it just doesn't have as many good things in it if you harvest it too soon, plus it will still contain the sugar and some caffeine.  I used to harvest it at 7 days (it was also cold here) and it was fairly sweet.  Then I "worked up to" 10 or 11 days and the sourness doesn't bother us at all now.  Not even the kiddos!  Anyway, glad you're enjoying it!  ;D ;)

abbilynn
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 15, 2007, 03:58:27 AM
OK, got my first scoby (Thanks, Sarah!)

We live in the SOUTH, and make our regular sweet tea as follows:

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil containing
2 Lipton Decaf Family-Size Tea Bags
As soon as it boils remove it from the heat and add a "pinch" (approx. 1/2 tsp. of baking soda.  This makes the color MUCH darker, and takes away any bitter taste.
Add to tea pitcher with 1 1/2 cups sugar and bring water to 1 gallon total.
(This is actually a secret of sorts.  EVERYONE around here raves about our sweet tea...I think it's the baking soda!)

Anyway, would this recipe work for Kombucha?  I don't plan on making the first batch with the baking soda.  I want to get some feedback from the bucha professionals here first!   ;)

My main concerns are about using decaf, and also just regular old Lipton for the tea.  Also, has anyone mixed regular tea and herbal?  What are your favorite combinations?  Thanks in advance!

Baking soda is not a good idea.  This will lower the acidity of your brew which might damage the SCOBY and cause mold to grow.

Decaf and flavored teas should be fine as long as they do not contain any essential oils.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 17, 2007, 07:12:16 AM
This topic and other related topics have been unlocked.  I've split related replies into smaller, and hopefully more appropriate, topics for easier reference.

This was a very long  & many legged thread and you may find some replies/comments in odd or incorrect locations.  Feel free to let me know if you find one. 


Kombucha SCOBYs & Kefir Grains - Available/Wanted (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5403.0.html)
Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5998.0.html)
Kombucha:  Health Benefits (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5712.0.html)
Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,3749.0.html)
Kombucha:  Troubleshooting (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,2986.0.html)
Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.0.html)
Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5698.0.html)
Kombucha: Water Sources (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,7139.0.html)
Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6258.0.html)
Kombucha: Alternate Uses for Brew & SCOBY's (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5982.0.html)


For ease of reference in each thread, please attempt to keep your replies and/or comments on topic, so that others may benefit from your experiences and information provided without unnecessary confusion.

Thanks for your patience while these topics were unavailable - Enjoy!

~hb


: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama March 17, 2007, 11:43:56 AM
Thank you sooooo much!  :-* I've already benefitted from the containers one!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: shesaidthis March 23, 2007, 09:47:35 AM
Herbfever,
     Mine is great!!  My whole family loves it and we have run out already!  I harvested mine at 7 days (I knew my family would want it sweeter rather than more tart.)  I also took Beeyoutifulgirl's advice and added a couple bags of berry zinger (I know Betsy wouldn't approve :-[)  But it was sooo yummy.  Rather than do it in bowls, I made mine in a gallon jar that I purchased from Walmart for about 6 dollars.  It made a great baby that was a bit more manageable in size (Again, I know Betsy wouldn't approve).  I don't have room for lots of big bowls all around, and at the rate my family drinks it, I need to be making 5 gallons at a time ;)  I currently have 2 batches growing and they both have lovely babies forming ;D  I can't wait for my second batch on Monday!!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: shesaidthis March 23, 2007, 10:05:05 AM
I think I was more afraid my husband wouldn't like it.  He was starting to wonder what weird concoction I wanted to grow on the counter this time.  If he didn't like it, then I would have felt like I wasted money that could have been used elsewhere.  Now the whole family is excited about Kombucha (the kids run around saying it like they are doing karate :D)  I went from the weird mama who grows molds and fungi to the cool mom whole knows how to home brew yummy drinks ;D Yippee! 8)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Julia March 23, 2007, 11:37:02 AM
I thought this question would have been asked already but I skimmed through the 9 pages and didn't see it. I have my first scoby as of today, from SarahK, and I was going to brew it in an iced tea jar, but then I realized my jar has one of those faucet things at the bottom which is made of plastic. It sounds like some of you are making it in smaller containers, like quart mason jars - so when you are just starting do you tear your mushroom into fourths or what?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama March 23, 2007, 12:30:50 PM
I think that would work...it was only my 2nd time making it, so I halved it!   ??? I'm probably the last one to answer this question correctly!   :D

We should flag down Gabe on this one... ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK March 23, 2007, 12:50:55 PM
I thought this question would have been asked already but I skimmed through the 9 pages and didn't see it. I have my first scoby as of today, from SarahK, and I was going to brew it in an iced tea jar, but then I realized my jar has one of those faucet things at the bottom which is made of plastic. It sounds like some of you are making it in smaller containers, like quart mason jars - so when you are just starting do you tear your mushroom into fourths or what?

Yes - just tear/cut into pieces to meet your proportions. 
Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery March 24, 2007, 06:55:17 AM
Just found this video on Kombucha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU0EqIZX-mI
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Isaacsmama March 24, 2007, 07:39:28 AM
Just found this video on Kombucha

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU0EqIZX-mI
I just watched the video: is that how you pronounce kombucha?  I've been saying it wrong all this time  :-\
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: twitterpated4hubby March 26, 2007, 04:38:47 AM
Why does Betsy say not to use flavored tea? Is it OK if you use a few flavors and a few black? Thats what i do. My babies always turn out nice.

My husband tells my family that I'm like going to bed with an herb garden. LOL!!! Vinegar in my hair, sour cream on my face, smelling like GOOT, body slathered in coconut oil, baking soda under my arms and on my toothbrush, and drinking mushroom tea.  :D He loves the tea more then anyone though.  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK March 26, 2007, 08:09:38 AM
I'm looking for a kombucha book.  I'm getting questions about calories, history, long-term effects, studies, and such.  I know almost nothing except my experience & annecdotal stuff from here on WTM and a few other places that don't supply any sources for their claims.  Anyone know of some books with "Just the facts, Mam"?

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: daisey March 26, 2007, 08:23:11 AM
I'm looking for a kombucha book.  I'm getting questions about calories, history, long-term effects, studies, and such.  I know almost nothing except my experience & annecdotal stuff from here on WTM and a few other places that don't supply any sources for their claims.  Anyone know of some books with "Just the facts, Mam"?

Sarah K
http://www.kombu.de/english.htm
Check out this site.  There is a book listed at the bottom of the page. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: shesaidthis March 26, 2007, 08:49:38 AM
My husband tells my family that I'm like going to bed with an herb garden. LOL!!! Vinegar in my hair, sour cream on my face, smelling like GOOT, body slathered in coconut oil, baking soda under my arms and on my toothbrush, and drinking mushroom tea.  :D He loves the tea more then anyone though.  ;D

ROTFL :D :D  I need to tell my husband about you!  He might think I am normal ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio March 29, 2007, 01:56:02 AM
I'm looking for a kombucha book. 

I am pretty sure that Nickole has one.  You can ask her.  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole March 29, 2007, 02:26:22 AM
I'm looking for a kombucha book. 

I am pretty sure that Nickole has one.  You can ask her.  ;)

Kombucha Phenomenon: The Health Drink Sweeping America   by Betsy Pryor & Sanford Holst.  This is the little book I happened upon at a used book store.  It had been marked down SEVERAL times!  I grabbed it up, had already been making the tea for years before I found the book, but it's been a great help answering those simple questions.  I have quoted it many times on this thread.  This is probably what you are looking for Sarah.     
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK March 29, 2007, 03:20:18 AM
I'm looking for a kombucha book. 

I am pretty sure that Nickole has one.  You can ask her.  ;)

Kombucha Phenomenon: The Health Drink Sweeping America   by Betsy Pryor & Sanford Holst.  This is the little book I happened upon at a used book store.  It had been marked down SEVERAL times!  I grabbed it up, had already been making the tea for years before I found the book, but it's been a great help answering those simple questions.  I have quoted it many times on this thread.  This is probably what you are looking for Sarah.    
I'm looking for a kombucha book.  I'm getting questions about calories, history, long-term effects, studies, and such.  I know almost nothing except my experience & annecdotal stuff from here on WTM and a few other places that don't supply any sources for their claims.  Anyone know of some books with "Just the facts, Mam"?

Sarah K
http://www.kombu.de/english.htm
Check out this site.  There is a book listed at the bottom of the page. 


I ordered both of these on Amazon last night.  Will take a while for me to get them according to their dates, but thanks for the tips.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Isaacsmama March 29, 2007, 05:38:00 AM
Anyone ever made kombucha with turbinado sugar?  Thats all we use. should I buy white sugar for this?


We use our evaporated cane juice crystals because we just don't buy any white sugar anymore  ;) ;D
Does it turn out OK with non-white sugar?  The link gabe posted at the start says to use refined white sugar.  I only buy organic unrefined cane sugar (kind of tan coloured). 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole March 29, 2007, 05:40:07 AM
Anyone ever made kombucha with turbinado sugar?  Thats all we use. should I buy white sugar for this?


We use our evaporated cane juice crystals because we just don't buy any white sugar anymore  ;) ;D
Does it turn out OK with non-white sugar?  The link gabe posted at the start says to use refined white sugar.  I only buy organic unrefined cane sugar (kind of tan coloured). 

That'll work fine.  Sucanat works good too.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ShabbyChic March 30, 2007, 09:04:15 AM
Okay a friend of mine recently gave me a kombucha baby and I was about to get started with it and my hubby said we won't be drinking kombucha because a different friend of ours gave it to their dog and that's how their dog died.  I'm SO not making this up...  So if it was bad for the dog, then my husband says he is not sure it is good for us.

So I know chocolate is bad for dogs but okay for people, is kombucha bad for dogs?  The friends of ours are into natural living and treat their pets herbally.  They didn't give him a lot of kumbucha, as it's slightly alcoholic, just a little.  And he'd been getting a little for the duration of his life.  I think it's very possible he just died of old age, but they say it was the kombucha for sure.  Yet they were drinking it and are fine... 

I KNOW this is SO weird.  I am just wondering if anyone has any knowledge on this for my hubby. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: daisey March 30, 2007, 11:09:08 AM
I don't have any answer to this but we did give our new little puppy a tiny little bit and she is fine.  It was a one time thing so far. 
Just another question though~~~my son drank some Kombucha and his eyes got all swollen up and it was the only thing he had to drink.  He was driving back to school and didn't eat anything or drink anything else but the Kombucha and had the reaction within about an hour.   Do you suppose there are people that are just allergic to it?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kati*did March 30, 2007, 11:24:37 AM
About the dog -- I don't know.  I was looking something else up, and Dom's site talks about possible toxicity if the brew is contaminated.  Just a thought.
It's here...scroll down to "Precaution -- Please Read"

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: daisey March 30, 2007, 11:27:37 AM
About the dog -- I don't know.  I was looking something else up, and Dom's site talks about possible toxicity if the brew is contaminated.  Just a thought.
It's here...scroll down to "Precaution -- Please Read"

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm

Thanks.  Wouldn't there be some sign that the brew was contaminated?   I will read the site.   Thanks
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kati*did March 30, 2007, 11:31:54 AM
About the dog -- I don't know.  I was looking something else up, and Dom's site talks about possible toxicity if the brew is contaminated.  Just a thought.
It's here...scroll down to "Precaution -- Please Read"

http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm

Thanks.  Wouldn't there be some sign that the brew was contaminated?   I will read the site.   Thanks

It seems like you'd notice it since it's fungus...especially if you've been making it for years.  Anyway...this is what I was really looking up and going to ask/mention:  On the same link I posted above, Dom uses raw honey to make kombucha!  I remember HIO asking what they used "before granulated sugar" to make this stuff, and it's been on my mind ever since.  All the other sites I checked said raw honey wouldn't work...but his seems to.  Anybody know why? 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole March 30, 2007, 11:39:07 AM
It seems like you'd notice it since it's fungus...especially if you've been making it for years.  Anyway...this is what I was really looking up and going to ask/mention:  On the same link I posted above, Dom uses raw honey to make kombucha!  I remember HIO asking what they used "before granulated sugar" to make this stuff, and it's been on my mind ever since.  All the other sites I checked said raw honey wouldn't work...but his seems to.  Anybody know why? 

Yes, mold is very obvious on contaminated kombucha mushrooms.  It's fuzzy and greenish, and forms on top.  I know, b/c I grew mold once b/c I mistakenly used Earl Gray tea.  VERY obvious. 

I'll have to look up the honey thing.  That's curious b/c I had always heard not to use it.   








.............
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: daisey March 30, 2007, 12:16:00 PM
 Well, is sounds like contamination would be obvious so that wasn't the case with my son because I have never had any problem with mold or any kind of weirdness in my batches.   Guess I will just have to hope it was a fluky thing.
Good to know though.   
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 26, 2007, 04:45:14 AM
OH MY!! I am so overwhelmed by all this information on Kombucha! I want to make it so bad but now I am unsure of what to do! I have a starter on its way (thanks healthyinOhio ;)) but I don't have 2 qt. jars. I have 1 qt. jars. And I don't have any bottles. Do I have to have 2 qt. jars and bottles? Can anyone calm my nerves with a simple recipe/instructions for a newbie?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys April 26, 2007, 04:52:50 AM
You can use 1 qt. jars and cut your scoby in pieces. If you decide to make a lot on a regular basis, you may want to buy gal. jars. (Wal-Mart has them for around $5)

As for bottles, a mason jar tightly closed can work too. Just leave them sit out on your counter a few days and it becomes deliciously fizzy. In fact much of ours never makes it to the refrig. Everyone likes it fresh n fizzy.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 26, 2007, 05:02:48 AM
THanks! ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 26, 2007, 05:30:57 AM

Here's our simple recipe for kombucha:
In a stainless steel kettle, boil 3 qts filtered water for 5 min. Add 1 c. sugar into hot water, stirring with a NON-metal spoon. Bring back to boil. Remove from heat and put in 4 Lipton black tea bags. Cover and set on a back burner to cool way down. Should be almost room temp before you add your scoby and a little starter kombucha. Also, remove your teabags at this point.

Put into your glass jar, cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter secured with a rubber band, put in a dark place (I cover mine with a paper bag "blanket" around the jar so no light can get in), and wait about a week to check your kombucha. In cooler temps, it will take a little longer to brew.

MS

I can handle that 8) Thanks for your help!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 26, 2007, 11:22:39 AM
I got my scoby today and I made the tea... Only I couldn't wait for the tea to cool down so I took the lid off the pot so it would cool down quicker.  :-\ Then it was still taking too long so I took out the tea bags and poured it into three mason jars. It got luke warm and thats when I cut up and added the scoby. I hope that my impatience hasn't ruined it? I covered them with a cloth diaper and a rubber band and put them in a closet. How will I know when it is done?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio April 26, 2007, 01:58:59 PM
How will I know when it is done?

It all depends on how much tea to sugar that you added and also personal preference.  For one quart of tea, I use 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup starter tea,  and it is ready in 5-7 days.  I would start to sip your after a few days and keep sipping until it is no longer "sugar sweet".  You can keep brewing until it gets that vinegar taste, if you like that sort of thing.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 April 27, 2007, 02:46:47 PM
Our first batch is on it's way, we tasted it yesterday and NUMMY! I can't wait till it is done! We are very impatient to try it. We went to our local Co-op and bought 6 bottles of kambucha to drink while we wait. (drank three on the way home too! :P )
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 27, 2007, 06:57:55 PM
How will I know when it is done?

It all depends on how much tea to sugar that you added and also personal preference.  For one quart of tea, I use 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup starter tea,  and it is ready in 5-7 days.  I would start to sip your after a few days and keep sipping until it is no longer "sugar sweet".  You can keep brewing until it gets that vinegar taste, if you like that sort of thing.

I used a 1/3 cup of sugar for each quart and I cut up the scoby into 3 equalish parts. and divided the tea that you sent with the scoby into the three jars. I cant wait to try it.... maybe I will have a sip now! Its been one whole day :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio April 28, 2007, 03:11:01 AM
and divided the tea that you sent with the scoby into the three jars.

Okay, I sent you about 1/2 cup of starter tea, and that is the amount that you would want in one quart.  So, don't be surprised if yours takes longer because you have less starter tea in each one.  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Julia April 28, 2007, 03:24:42 AM
I have an interesting new recipe for.... Ant-Infused Kombucha! I made 2 gallons of kombucha in 6 different jars and put them in the basement. I was checking on them last night and a couple had dark stuff on the scoby - ok, right? Well, one had A LOT of dark stuff, little black dots - so I got to looking at it real close and realized they were ANTS! They must have smelled the sugar and found a way to climb in under the rubber band holding my coffee filter! I was about to dump it all out, then just hated to waste an entire quart of kombucha, so I threw out the scoby (which had ants enclosed throughout) and put a lid on the remaining jar (no ants anywhere else). So someone please tell me it's okay to drink and the scoby would have detoxified anything gross from the ants!! Please soothe my conscience about drinking it.  :D Unless you really think it's bad.

I'm double-rubberbanding from now on.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: twitterpated4hubby April 28, 2007, 05:33:05 AM
I never make my tea hot. I just add cool water to the boiled tea and try to get it to room temperature like that. Is that OK or will it hurt the scobie.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys April 28, 2007, 10:51:58 AM
I never make my tea hot. I just add cool water to the boiled tea and try to get it to room temperature like that. Is that OK or will it hurt the scobie.

I'm sure that is fine. I know some people do it that way.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 30, 2007, 04:19:53 PM
I tried my Kombucha today. It was already really vinegary tasting! It has only been 4 days :o our home is usually around 80 degrees. It got up to about 87 in here today. We have been trying not to use the air. :P
I have a question. My scoby is floating around in the tea and another is on top. The one floating on top is filmy looking. Is this normal or is it moldy? 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole April 30, 2007, 04:28:39 PM
I tried my Kombucha today. It was already really vinegary tasting! It has only been 4 days :o our home is usually around 80 degrees. It got up to about 87 in here today. We have been trying not to use the air. :P
I have a question. My scoby is floating around in the tea and another is on top. The one floating on top is filmy looking. Is this normal or is it moldy? 

That's the baby!  Have a cigar!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace April 30, 2007, 04:34:06 PM
I tried my Kombucha today. It was already really vinegary tasting! It has only been 4 days :o our home is usually around 80 degrees. It got up to about 87 in here today. We have been trying not to use the air. :P
I have a question. My scoby is floating around in the tea and another is on top. The one floating on top is filmy looking. Is this normal or is it moldy? 

That's the baby!  Have a cigar!

yippee!  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 01, 2007, 07:55:03 AM
We decided to harvest our first batch a couple days early, it is still slightly sweet tasting, very very good tasting, much better than the store bought! Right now we are waiting for it to carbonate, how long does that take?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 01, 2007, 08:44:38 AM
The longer the better- we've had some bottles that popped the corks off after about 3 days. Normally its quite fizzy within 12- 24 hours. And if yours is still slightly sweet, its good to let it sit a couple days yet.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 02, 2007, 03:44:39 AM
OK, My DH is chomping at the bit to drink some, he has already drank a whole bottle. I am wondering though, ours doesn't seem to want to "fizz" up very much, could it be the bottles that we are putting them in? They are the bottles that the store bought kambucha came in, so I would asume that they are good.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 02, 2007, 04:09:18 AM
It helps to leave some space at the top. An inch or two at least.
HTH :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 02, 2007, 06:18:03 AM
Oh hehe I thought I had read somewhere to not leave any space. lol

'Nother question, should I wash the cheesecloth I use any special way? Is it alright to wash the way I would normally wash a white cloth, bleach and regular "All" soap? I haven't been able yet to find the time to look for the products to make my own home soaps and bleaches.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt May 02, 2007, 06:32:56 AM
Oh hehe I thought I had read somewhere to not leave any space. lol

'Nother question, should I wash the cheesecloth I use any special way? Is it alright to wash the way I would normally wash a white cloth, bleach and regular "All" soap? I haven't been able yet to find the time to look for the products to make my own home soaps and bleaches.
Cheesecloth is probably not your best choice as the holes in it are not small enough to prevent fruit flies from getting to your SCOBY.  You should use cotton or muslin (breathable) fabric - like a bandanna or kerchief or you can use a standard coffee filter as well.  It's recommended that you iron your cloth for decontamination.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 02, 2007, 06:37:36 AM
OK, I have it layered around 6 or more times, will that still stop the buggies? Also what about washing it? Or whatever type of fabric I end up using.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 02, 2007, 06:49:57 AM
We've always used a washcloth type of cloth and washed it like normal, sometimes with homemade detergent, sometimes with All or other. We haven't had any problems with this. so far... :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace May 02, 2007, 08:13:14 AM
Ok, now Im confused ??? I thought when you bottled it to make it fizz you wanted to keep the air out? Like with an airtight cap of some sort?

We decided to harvest our first batch a couple days early, it is still slightly sweet tasting, very very good tasting, much better than the store bought! Right now we are waiting for it to carbonate, how long does that take?

'Nother question, should I wash the cheesecloth I use any special way? Is it alright to wash the way I would normally wash a white cloth, bleach and regular "All" soap? I haven't been able yet to find the time to look for the products to make my own home soaps and bleaches.
We've always used a washcloth type of cloth ...
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 02, 2007, 08:28:24 AM
I'm sorry for the confusion. :P You DO want to have a tightly closed bottle but leave head room between the kombucha and the lid or cork. That is where it can build up the carbon dioxide that carbonates it. Am I confusing you more? I'm not always good at putting my explanations into good words... :-\
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt May 02, 2007, 08:31:53 AM
Ok, now Im confused ??? I thought when you bottled it to make it fizz you wanted to keep the air out? Like with an airtight cap of some sort?

We decided to harvest our first batch a couple days early, it is still slightly sweet tasting, very very good tasting, much better than the store bought! Right now we are waiting for it to carbonate, how long does that take?

'Nother question, should I wash the cheesecloth I use any special way? Is it alright to wash the way I would normally wash a white cloth, bleach and regular "All" soap? I haven't been able yet to find the time to look for the products to make my own home soaps and bleaches.
We've always used a washcloth type of cloth ...
Brewing (with SCOBY) phase calls for cloth.  Bottling after harvest (removing SCOBY) should be airtight.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace May 02, 2007, 08:33:46 AM
Thats what I was thinking... Thanks for putting me back on track :-*

I'm sorry for the confusion. :P You DO want to have a tightly closed bottle but leave head room between the kombucha and the lid or cork. That is where it can build up the carbon dioxide that carbonates it. Am I confusing you more? I'm not always good at putting my explanations into good words... :-\
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 02, 2007, 09:27:36 AM
Thanks for differentiating, HB.  :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 03, 2007, 10:52:37 AM
I think our bottles must not be airtight, there isn't much carbonation. I will have to try and get better bottles for the next batch.

Does the carbonation have any health affects or does it just make it better tasting?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK May 03, 2007, 11:02:15 AM
I have a son who is sure the only benefit to Kombucha is it's great burp potential.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 05, 2007, 08:31:28 AM
Hehe, I noticed that without it being carbonated, plain kambucha tastes kinda like vinegar water without the nasty taste.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom May 09, 2007, 02:44:20 AM
Okay, now I am completely overwhelmed and have to forewarn you to get ready for some probably ignorant ????'s

Thanks to 4myhoonie I have my first scoby coming and am excited/nervous to give this a go - I have read so many things on all these Kombucha threads that my head is spinning!!! :o

so keep all this good advice and experiences coming............. us newbies are keeping track  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace May 09, 2007, 02:58:17 AM
Okay, now I am completely overwhelmed and have to forewarn you to get ready for some probably ignorant ????'s

Thanks to 4myhoonie I have my first scoby coming and am excited/nervous to give this a go - I have read so many things on all these Kombucha threads that my head is spinning!!! :o

so keep all this good advice and experiences coming............. us newbies are keeping track  ;D

HA! I felt like that 2 weeks ago and now I think its almost as easy as making sweet tea! I read so much that I thought it would be equivalent to some impossible rocket-science experiment! hee-hee Now my current problem is too many babies! What do I do with all these babies!! :o If only having a youngin was this easy! ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom May 09, 2007, 03:50:45 AM
wow, its here - it's huge, I don't know what I was expecting, but this thing looks, well strange, but much bigger than I thought.  It's the "Blob"

okay, now here I go!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom May 09, 2007, 04:44:28 AM
If y'all aren't liking the flavor of your kombucha you HAVE to try Beka's recipe (pg. 7 reply #191) before you quit! This last batch I tried out some other recipes with extra babies and they do taste like vinegar :P -- so go read her post and see if you can change your process around a little.
Beka's recipe does not use any starter tea and brews longer...  It is tangy, but definitely not vinegary.  My cabinet is cool- below 70*- so some of you might need to harvest before 14 days if your brewing location is warmer. I have harvested after 10 days because we ran out of bottled stuff... I am just using pint jars... do age it in the fridge if at all possible. This lets it get fizzy without getting slimy or sour...
It has been fun experimenting. The test will be when I try a nicely bottled batch on my "unsuspecting" relatives ;)  Good stuff :-*

I cannot find this recipe of Bekas - it's no longer on page 7 or #191 - does anyone know where to find it?  I've spent about 40 mins looking for it...have printed out some others fav recipes - I have my scoby now and am ready to brew......any one else want to share....I have a glass gallon jar to use, will I put the whole scoby into it - it looks big to me, but then this is the first time I've laid eyes on one :-\

thanks, Angie
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace May 09, 2007, 05:06:48 AM
If y'all aren't liking the flavor of your kombucha you HAVE to try Beka's recipe (pg. 7 reply #191) before you quit! This last batch I tried out some other recipes with extra babies and they do taste like vinegar :P -- so go read her post and see if you can change your process around a little.
Beka's recipe does not use any starter tea and brews longer...  It is tangy, but definitely not vinegary.  My cabinet is cool- below 70*- so some of you might need to harvest before 14 days if your brewing location is warmer. I have harvested after 10 days because we ran out of bottled stuff... I am just using pint jars... do age it in the fridge if at all possible. This lets it get fizzy without getting slimy or sour...
It has been fun experimenting. The test will be when I try a nicely bottled batch on my "unsuspecting" relatives ;)  Good stuff :-*

I cannot find this recipe of Bekas - it's no longer on page 7 or #191 - does anyone know where to find it?  I've spent about 40 mins looking for it...have printed out some others fav recipes - I have my scoby now and am ready to brew......any one else want to share....I have a glass gallon jar to use, will I put the whole scoby into it - it looks big to me, but then this is the first time I've laid eyes on one :-\

thanks, Angie

This thread got too big so they split it up into different subjects. I think the recipe they are referring to is now in the "Kombucha: Tasty Variations" thread and here is a link to the recipe that -maybe- the one she meant? Beka's recipe (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5698.msg29329.html#msg29329)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: hedy May 10, 2007, 07:13:44 AM
Well I just pulled out my mushroom that's been sleeping in the back of my downstairs fridge. It's been down there months, since my last discouraging Kombucha try. Sorry if this question's been asked before, but how do you tell if the scoby is bad? It's been in a quart jar of Kombucha. It still smells like it always did.

Never liked the vinegar taste I always got so this time I am trying Beka's recipe. It's also in the Beeyoutiful brochure/catalog.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Julia May 10, 2007, 09:38:31 AM
I don't know but let us know if you find out! I'm going to be gone part of the summer and was wondering how to keep at least one scoby alive.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: The Spaminator May 10, 2007, 12:19:53 PM
Put it in at least a cup of kombucha and store it in a cool place.  In theory you can keep it in the fridge to slow down the mushroom, but we haven't tried it for long term storage yet.  For more information you can check out this website http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm (http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 10, 2007, 12:49:46 PM
We had our mushrooms in the fridge for over 3 months one time and they still worked. They didn't grow great babies at first, but in a batch or two we had fat, healthy ones again. And the kombucha tasted fine!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 May 10, 2007, 03:12:34 PM
We are loving our Kambucha! Our second batch was very carbonated and tasted much better. We decided to keep all the scoby's and mother together so our batches are done faster. They seem a lot better this way.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Julia May 10, 2007, 03:50:11 PM
Put it in at least a cup of kombucha and store it in a cool place.  In theory you can keep it in the fridge to slow down the mushroom, but we haven't tried it for long term storage yet.  For more information you can check out this website http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm (http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kombucha.htm)

Thank you. I was thinking they would probably sort of hibernate if I just kept it them the fridge.

So, HB's hubby a moderator now! We know all about you! 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: freshisbest May 14, 2007, 01:52:08 AM
OK ladies this thread is too long for me to go over and I have to leave this morning...I just put my first batch in the fridge after brewing about 10 days downstairs. One big mother and one very healthy baby! The baby and mother are sitting in their own bowls on the counter with a little kombucha keeping them wet. Do I just repeat the original tea, sugar, vinegar and dilute into a gallon jar with the mother? Another with the baby? I thought I read someone DIDN'T use the vinegar the second time around?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK May 14, 2007, 02:00:16 AM
Do I just repeat the original tea, sugar, vinegar and dilute into a gallon jar with the mother?

You don't need the vinegar.  Use the Kombucha you just made.

Another with the baby?

Right.

I thought I read someone DIDN'T use the vinegar the second time around?

I only use the scoby, sugar, and 1/2 to 1 cups of the Kombucha liquid I just harvested in a new batch.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: freshisbest May 14, 2007, 02:12:48 AM
Thanks Sarah K. A major sense of accomplishment is a great way to start this day. We're getting ready to move soon...you would carry your SCOBYs in their own jars in the back of your car to the new place, yes?? Guess you know you're a WellTell-er when you care most about a clump of mold in a mason jar...
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK May 14, 2007, 02:19:57 AM
Right.  They'll be fine - just don't want them to break.

My Dad calls them "Pond Scum".  Now if you believed that and evolution, I would be consuming my ancient relatives....  They're real refreshing on ice after working outside.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: PrairieSunrise May 14, 2007, 06:15:44 AM
I just wanted to share how much my family loves Kombucha!

I've been making it for a couple months now and we LOVE the stuff! So far, the only flavor we've really liked has been 6 green tea bags, 3-4 True Blueberry (Celestial Seasonings), 1 c. sugar and 8 c. water.  It takes all different brewing times though, sometimes only 7 days, other times 14+. I've found if I just keep an eye out for the bubbles collecting on the top edge I can get a fairly good ideah of when it needs harvesting.

The thing I don't understand is, my babies come in all shapes and sizes. One batch I just brewed for 13 days has a scooby about 1/3 an inch thick. Yet, the batch before that, which had brewed for 14 days only had one about 1/8 inch thick? And a batch I forgot about and left for 4 weeks grew 1 inch!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio May 18, 2007, 04:09:13 PM
Found this on youtube about Kombucha by Laurel Farms founder Betsey Pryor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU0EqIZX-mI&mode=related&search=
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie May 19, 2007, 05:38:11 PM
Found this on youtube about Kombucha by Laurel Farms founder Betsey Pryor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU0EqIZX-mI&mode=related&search=

hi HIO!  thanks for sharing that video!  i am sharing it with my MIL who is brewing too.  good stuff!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: violet7 May 20, 2007, 03:29:52 AM
I just started brewing a batch on Wednesday, thanks to Annabanana sending me a great healthy SCOBY. I put in my glass containter with black tea and Tangerine Orange from Celestial seasons.  And how do I seperate the babies from the momma? Do I just use a knife to cut them apart? Also is there a certain length of time to use the mother, and then I should stop using the mother and only use babies? I am assuming I can just use the momma forever.
Thanks for answering these questions. Sorry if it has been answered there, I ready through tons of posts, but didn't find the answers to these questions.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 20, 2007, 10:57:32 AM
I just started brewing a batch on Wednesday, thanks to Annabanana sending me a great healthy SCOBY. I put in my glass containter with black tea and Tangerine Orange from Celestial seasons.  And how do I seperate the babies from the momma? Do I just use a knife to cut them apart? Also is there a certain length of time to use the mother, and then I should stop using the mother and only use babies? I am assuming I can just use the momma forever.
Thanks for answering these questions. Sorry if it has been answered there, I ready through tons of posts, but didn't find the answers to these questions.


You can pull the baby and mother apart easily with your hands.

And the mother can be used dozens of times, but once you have as many scobys as you want, you can toss or give away the mothers and use the babies for your fresh batches. Or you can keep the mother and baby together for a new batch. Eventually you'll have to pitch some or they will take over your house! ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: brightspot May 21, 2007, 04:36:42 PM
I tried to go to the thread: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings, last week and again today but it tells me I'm not allowed there or it is missing. Am I not allowed there or am I doing something wrong? Anyway, I now have a starter on the way and just wanted to check this out before I make it and feed it to my kids.

Thanks
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom May 21, 2007, 05:04:47 PM
brightspot

am not sure why you are being denied access other than maybe you are a "newbie" - try posting 3 more times so you have a total of five postings - then you will be able to PM, private message the moderator if you still can't access it.

HTH
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbalmom May 21, 2007, 05:16:37 PM
I tried to go to the thread: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings, last week and again today but it tells me I'm not allowed there or it is missing. Am I not allowed there or am I doing something wrong?

That is the message that comes up when a thread has been merged with another one or moved if HB didn't put in her "this thread has been moved" notice- it means the thread no longer exists under the internet address you are using. If your trying to get to it from a link, then it was moved or merged after the link was posted. Try this one:

Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,3749.0.html)

HTH Blessings ~herbalmom
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: nomadicjcfollower May 22, 2007, 03:26:49 AM
What kind of bottles do you all use after the fermentation time?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom May 22, 2007, 10:06:38 AM
okay...tomorrow is bottling day for my first BREW (14 days)

from what I have gathered most bottle, put in fridge and wait two weeks? 

also couldn't help it but went into the "big city" and was able to stop in at a HFstore and bought a bottle of raw kombucha, citrus flavor, everyone tasted it and over all (and a few funny faces later) we decided we couldn't wait to taste ours!

the "baby" looks so good, so much cleaner and young looking than the mother ::)

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Isaacsmama May 22, 2007, 02:15:56 PM
OK, wondering if anyone knows what is going on here.  I brewed my kombucha like normal (I do a batch of green tea with cranberry apple zinger)  and after pouring off the brewed kombucha, left it in some plastic bottles on the counter for 2 days.  Ive never done this, I always put it in glass jars or bottles and stick it right in the fridge, but I was hoping that this would make it get more carbonated.  (Im talking about the brewed tea, after it has been sitting with the scoby for about 7 days) Anyway, today I thought the tea was getting moldy but when I looked in the bottle, the 'snot' is getting thicker, looks like a jellyfish, clear and thin, and it has what looks like off white fish eggs on it.  Looking closer it does not look like mold, just clumpy fish-egg look.  Strange.  Im not going to drink it but was wondering if anyone knew what was growing in my bottle.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 22, 2007, 02:37:06 PM
okay...tomorrow is bottling day for my first BREW (14 days)

from what I have gathered most bottle, put in fridge and wait two weeks? 


It will get more fizzy, which IMO makes it SO much yummier, if you leave it sit at room temp for 3-5 days or more before refrigerating.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 22, 2007, 02:42:10 PM
What kind of bottles do you all use after the fermentation time?

We like to use a glass bottle (wine type) that can be corked tightly. In fact we've had some get so carbonated that way that it shot the cork off. When that happens everyone comes running to drink it.  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio May 22, 2007, 02:43:43 PM
  and after pouring off the brewed kombucha, left it in some plastic bottles on the counter for 2 days.

Just so you know, you are not suppose to brew or store Kombucha in anything plastic.  The scoby will detox the plastic into the tea.  Gross, huh!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys May 22, 2007, 02:47:10 PM
OK, wondering if anyone knows what is going on here.  I brewed my kombucha like normal (I do a batch of green tea with cranberry apple zinger)  and after pouring off the brewed kombucha, left it in some plastic bottles on the counter for 2 days.  Ive never done this, I always put it in glass jars or bottles and stick it right in the fridge, but I was hoping that this would make it get more carbonated.  (Im talking about the brewed tea, after it has been sitting with the scoby for about 7 days) Anyway, today I thought the tea was getting moldy but when I looked in the bottle, the 'snot' is getting thicker, looks like a jellyfish, clear and thin, and it has what looks like off white fish eggs on it.  Looking closer it does not look like mold, just clumpy fish-egg look.  Strange.  Im not going to drink it but was wondering if anyone knew what was growing in my bottle.

We often get the jellyfish looking snot when it sits at room temp for a few days, and it can look real weird, but I've never inspected it close enough to know if it looks like "off-white fish eggs". :) Ours gets little bubbly looking things attached to it. Maybe its the same thing? :-\ Hmmm... I'll look closer at our next batch.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt May 22, 2007, 02:53:37 PM
I tried to go to the thread: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings, last week and again today but it tells me I'm not allowed there or it is missing. Am I not allowed there or am I doing something wrong? Anyway, I now have a starter on the way and just wanted to check this out before I make it and feed it to my kids.

Thanks
Maybe a broken link, try again from here.

Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,3749.0.html)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom June 03, 2007, 05:04:03 PM
We are all so loving this stuff!

First batch done and gone, waited 14 days, Beka's recipe - YUMMY

Second batch waited for 7 days - way too sweet, but still, gone  ;)

Now we have three batches brewing (gal sizes) - with CS True Blueberry, Cranberry Apple Zinger and a combo of the two.

We are enjoying drinking it and also having FUN with the process!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery June 04, 2007, 01:28:25 AM
I have three gallons brewing as we speak.  One more gallon is ready to drink and I left it on the counter because the fridge was full. It has grown a complete  pretty white scoby. I have never had one do that before. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: kimberlee June 04, 2007, 08:02:10 AM
I was just wondering if anyone knows if it is okay to drink kambucha just before a surgery? I am scheduled to have a c-section at the end of June and had heard that kambucha was a blood thinner (although others say it is not).  Has anyone drank the kambucha thoughout their pregnancy and then had a c-section? Or has anyone else drank it right up until their surgeries? Thank you!!!

Kim
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SunRose June 04, 2007, 08:11:02 AM
 It's recommended that you iron your cloth for decontamination.
[/quote]


LOL, I read this statement quickly and it took me completely off-guard!
I thought she wrote:
"It's recommended that you IRON your cloth for DECORATION."

I had to share with you how I pondered the importance of having the cloth look like a lovely decoration on top!

smiles!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom June 04, 2007, 08:32:32 AM
I have three gallons brewing as we speak.  One more gallon is ready to drink and I left it on the counter because the fridge was full. It has grown a complete  pretty white scoby. I have never had one do that before. 

how long did you have it out on the counter? 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys June 04, 2007, 10:44:26 AM
I have three gallons brewing as we speak.  One more gallon is ready to drink and I left it on the counter because the fridge was full. It has grown a complete  pretty white scoby. I have never had one do that before. 

We've had lovely white ones, snotty brownish/whitish ones and dirty-looking dark brown ones. ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama June 08, 2007, 03:47:37 AM
Kombucha found it's way into our science experiment this morning.  :D   8)

We were doing the red cabbage acid test...the boiled water over red cabbage turns purple...then you add things (milk, vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, etc) to it to see if they are an acid (turns it pink), base (turns it blue/green) or neutral (no change).

Our kombucha turned the water a lovely pink.  I'm trying to remember now what kind of tea I used...if it was citrus based or not!   ::)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: mishy June 15, 2007, 05:39:52 PM
I did not read through this whole post, but a friend told me I should post this. 
I quit trying to keep up with the 7-10 day thing.  I just let it go til I needed more.  I think it was around 2 weeks.  This produced a yummy sweet drink that was not too fizzy (we prefer it that way).  Before it was always the "grow hair on your chest" vinegary burn your nose gulp it down fast.... you get the idea. 
My mom said that the HFS lets theirs age for 30 days, but I forgot to ask her if that is brewing or aging time. 
So once it gets past the vinegar stage it then becomes sweet.  It is SO yummy , so I really hope someone out there isn't going to tell me that this is bad!  LOL 
Also we have found that with our extremely healthy scobys (THICK!!!) that they drink up a lot of our tea.  I put in 3 qt and get out 1.5 qts.  My mom didn't have this prob until she let it go for longer and the scoby got really thick.  So that is another thought too if you don't want to be getting only 1/2 of what you put it.  She said her scoby is millions of layers and they peel off (mine didn't "just peel" off). 

So for whatever its worth.  Now you know.

 8)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 June 16, 2007, 05:36:37 AM
[Doesnt mint have oil?I have wanted to try it but was afraid  to ruin my scoby.What kind did you use?

Em

I used the brand that we get from our local health food store that comes in a white, tall box. I can't think of the brand right now and it is packed away at the moment, it has unmarked bags, that have two bags together with a line in between them to tear it off.

My DH at first didn't like it at all, but I loved it, after it aged a bit (we can never get our Kombucha to stay long in the fridge, we are always too anxious to drink it!) my DH agreed that it was the best batch yet.

Question, how long can my Kombucha mushroom stay in a plastic baggie? Because we are moving I put it in a baggie, but that was almost 2 weeks ago, we thought we woiuld be "in limbo" for a much shorter time and it may be about 3 or 4 weeks before we are able to make another batch again.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: kathyhcotton June 16, 2007, 07:49:57 AM
HI I AM NEW TO THE FORUM AND NEW TO KOMBUCHA....HAVE ORDERED MY STARTER KIT AND AM ANIXOUSLY WAITING....WHAT DO ALL YOU LADIES USE FOR MAKING THE TEA (AFTER BREWING)  THE LAUREL FARMS SITE SEEMS TO IMPLY THAT EVEN THE GLASS THAT IS USED SHOULD BE 'SPECIAL'  (NO SUN TEA JARS....)  DOES ANY ONE USE GALLON  GLASS JARS THAT ARE TALL,  IS IT ESSENTIAL TO HAVE A WIDER TOP OPENING THAN 6 OR 7 INCHES?  ALSO WHAT IS A SCOBY...I AM NOT UP ON THE LANGUAGE OF KOMBUCHA YET.... :o THANKS  KATHY
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SagorFamily1611 June 16, 2007, 08:49:31 AM
Hi Kathy,
Welcome!
I haven't even been to Laurel Farms or anything but we bought a gallon glass cookie jar for ours and we really like it.

A SCOBY is the "baby" that the "mother" mushroom "gives birth" to every time you make a new batch of Kombucha.

You want to have a jar or container in which the opening is almost the same size as the whole jar for easier removal of the SCOBY and mother. It isn't necessary though.

As far as flavoring the Kombucha after brewing, I don't know a whole lot about this part but I think that the only time you need to worry about what you are adding to the Kombucha to flavor it is when it is brewing. My husband really likes to add ginger, and haven't tried this yet but I want to add concentrated juices for mine.

Also, typing in all caps in forums and chatting is considered yelling. :)
Have a great day!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: savedbygrace June 16, 2007, 03:20:21 PM
I made the ginger brew and 3 out of 4 quarts turned out great! One was moldy :-X I wonder what the difference was!?

I quit trying to keep up with the 7-10 day thing.  I just let it go til I needed more.  I think it was around 2 weeks.  This produced a yummy sweet drink that was not too fizzy (we prefer it that way).  Before it was always the "grow hair on your chest" vinegary burn your nose gulp it down fast.... you get the idea. 
My mom said that the HFS lets theirs age for 30 days, but I forgot to ask her if that is brewing or aging time. 
So once it gets past the vinegar stage it then becomes sweet.  It is SO yummy , so I really hope someone out there isn't going to tell me that this is bad!  LOL 

I wont tell you its bad!! ;D But when I let mine go, (it was over a month) they just got more and more vinegary! My husband was like, "I wouldn't mind putting it on my fries but I'm not drinking it!"  :P  When I let mine sit for about 7 days it was great. Much more palatable... For what its worth!

HI I AM NEW TO THE FORUM AND NEW TO KOMBUCHA....HAVE ORDERED MY STARTER KIT AND AM ANIXOUSLY WAITING....WHAT DO ALL YOU LADIES USE FOR MAKING THE TEA (AFTER BREWING)  THE LAUREL FARMS SITE SEEMS TO IMPLY THAT EVEN THE GLASS THAT IS USED SHOULD BE 'SPECIAL'  (NO SUN TEA JARS....)  DOES ANY ONE USE GALLON  GLASS JARS THAT ARE TALL,  IS IT ESSENTIAL TO HAVE A WIDER TOP OPENING THAN 6 OR 7 INCHES?  ALSO WHAT IS A SCOBY...I AM NOT UP ON THE LANGUAGE OF KOMBUCHA YET.... :o THANKS  KATHY

I found this on another thread. Hope it helps! ;D

 Re: Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006, 02:55:33 PM » by jenny4wen
The "mother" or "mushroom"  is called a SCOBY
, an acronym meaning
Symbiotic
Culture
Of
Bacteria and
Yeast. 

Found it on Dom's Kombucha sight.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Isaacsmama June 16, 2007, 07:52:20 PM
I think our bottles must not be airtight, there isn't much carbonation. I will have to try and get better bottles for the next batch.

Does the carbonation have any health affects or does it just make it better tasting?
Our isnt very carbonated either.  But, we use these bottles called EZ Cap, they have a tight clasping lid on them (used for brewing beer at one time). 
http://www.ezcap.net/

So, any ideas on what else might be the problem?  Is carbonation directly related to the amount of glucaronic acid?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kati*did June 29, 2007, 05:15:30 AM
I did not read through this whole post, but a friend told me I should post this. 
I quit trying to keep up with the 7-10 day thing.  I just let it go til I needed more.  I think it was around 2 weeks.  This produced a yummy sweet drink that was not too fizzy (we prefer it that way).  Before it was always the "grow hair on your chest" vinegary burn your nose gulp it down fast.... you get the idea. 
My mom said that the HFS lets theirs age for 30 days, but I forgot to ask her if that is brewing or aging time. 
So once it gets past the vinegar stage it then becomes sweet.  It is SO yummy , so I really hope someone out there isn't going to tell me that this is bad!  LOL 

Hey Mishy...I was letting mine go for about 3 weeks and it was getting pretty vinegary.  Anyway, I read your post and decided to let it sit around until I decided to get to it.  It's been a little over a month and you're right.  It's less vinegary than it was at 3 weeks!  It's not sweet at all -- which was my goal -- but it tastes pretty good.  I made it with peach tea, and the peach flavor is still strong.  I'm so excited!  Thanks for the tip.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie June 29, 2007, 05:11:36 PM
I did not read through this whole post, but a friend told me I should post this. 
I quit trying to keep up with the 7-10 day thing.  I just let it go til I needed more.  I think it was around 2 weeks.  This produced a yummy sweet drink that was not too fizzy (we prefer it that way).  Before it was always the "grow hair on your chest" vinegary burn your nose gulp it down fast.... you get the idea. 
My mom said that the HFS lets theirs age for 30 days, but I forgot to ask her if that is brewing or aging time. 
So once it gets past the vinegar stage it then becomes sweet.  It is SO yummy , so I really hope someone out there isn't going to tell me that this is bad!  LOL 

Hey Mishy...I was letting mine go for about 3 weeks and it was getting pretty vinegary.  Anyway, I read your post and decided to let it sit around until I decided to get to it.  It's been a little over a month and you're right.  It's less vinegary than it was at 3 weeks!  It's not sweet at all -- which was my goal -- but it tastes pretty good.  I made it with peach tea, and the peach flavor is still strong.  I'm so excited!  Thanks for the tip.

hey Katie--are you getting healthy looking scoby's this way?  i have been letting mine go 21 days, and they have all these funky brown holes around the edges.  they look rather gross, and kinda wrinkled around the edges too.  they make babies, though.  i use 1 gal tea, and 1 c. sugar per batch, then usually a handful of ginger.  what do you think?   :-\ 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: mishy June 29, 2007, 05:58:36 PM
I did not read through this whole post, but a friend told me I should post this. 
I quit trying to keep up with the 7-10 day thing.  I just let it go til I needed more.  I think it was around 2 weeks.  This produced a yummy sweet drink that was not too fizzy (we prefer it that way).  Before it was always the "grow hair on your chest" vinegary burn your nose gulp it down fast.... you get the idea. 
My mom said that the HFS lets theirs age for 30 days, but I forgot to ask her if that is brewing or aging time. 
So once it gets past the vinegar stage it then becomes sweet.  It is SO yummy , so I really hope someone out there isn't going to tell me that this is bad!  LOL 

Hey Mishy...I was letting mine go for about 3 weeks and it was getting pretty vinegary.  Anyway, I read your post and decided to let it sit around until I decided to get to it.  It's been a little over a month and you're right.  It's less vinegary than it was at 3 weeks!  It's not sweet at all -- which was my goal -- but it tastes pretty good.  I made it with peach tea, and the peach flavor is still strong.  I'm so excited!  Thanks for the tip.

Oh good, I am glad it worked for you too!  My mom is also thinking there is something with using the babies and making sure they are relatively thin.  THe thicker the scobys are, the more tea they drink up.  (I started with 3 qts of tea and ended up with 1.5 qts of kombucha!).   I don't know if this ties in too or not, but at least the scoby isn't drinking 1/2 my kombucha!  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: miff aka Missi July 02, 2007, 07:07:05 PM
... The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? ...
I never saw an answer to this question.  Is there one?  I need this answered too. 

Anyone?

Thanks,       Missi
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK July 03, 2007, 02:58:10 AM
... The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? ...
I never saw an answer to this question.  Is there one?  I need this answered too. 

Anyone?

Thanks,       Missi

I have done this.  It is possible to cook them, but the temps would need to be above... well.  If I give you a number - it's just gonna be something out of my head.  My rule of thumb is that if it is only as hot as a summer day.  Warmer than that may damage them in theory.  But I havnen't read anywhere were it is willing to give a number of degrees where damamge can occur.

Sorry - no good, researched data.  Just my experience.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: miff aka Missi July 03, 2007, 03:14:04 AM
... The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? ...
I never saw an answer to this question.  Is there one?  I need this answered too. 

Anyone?

Thanks,       Missi

I have done this.  It is possible to cook them, but the temps would need to be above... well.  If I give you a number - it's just gonna be something out of my head.  My rule of thumb is that if it is only as hot as a summer day.  Warmer than that may damage them in theory.  But I havnen't read anywhere were it is willing to give a number of degrees where damamge can occur.

Sorry - no good, researched data.  Just my experience.

Sarah K
SarahK,
If I did "cook" mine, will you send me another one?   :'(  I promise to take better care of the next one. 

Missi
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK July 03, 2007, 03:27:33 AM
... The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? ...
I never saw an answer to this question.  Is there one?  I need this answered too. 

Anyone?

Thanks,       Missi

I have done this.  It is possible to cook them, but the temps would need to be above... well.  If I give you a number - it's just gonna be something out of my head.  My rule of thumb is that if it is only as hot as a summer day.  Warmer than that may damage them in theory.  But I havnen't read anywhere were it is willing to give a number of degrees where damamge can occur.

Sorry - no good, researched data.  Just my experience.

Sarah K
SarahK,
If I did "cook" mine, will you send me another one?   :'(  I promise to take better care of the next one. 

Missi

HA!  They're just slimy tea loogies.  No one will be offended if you kill 'em.  Just don't name them.  That makes it easier.  "Well, we won't be having any more Bucha from Sophia Scoby.  She's bound for the compost pile."

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: miff aka Missi July 03, 2007, 03:38:39 AM
... The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? ...
I never saw an answer to this question.  Is there one?  I need this answered too. 

Anyone?

Thanks,       Missi

I have done this.  It is possible to cook them, but the temps would need to be above... well.  If I give you a number - it's just gonna be something out of my head.  My rule of thumb is that if it is only as hot as a summer day.  Warmer than that may damage them in theory.  But I havnen't read anywhere were it is willing to give a number of degrees where damamge can occur.

Sorry - no good, researched data.  Just my experience.

Sarah K
SarahK,
If I did "cook" mine, will you send me another one?   :'(  I promise to take better care of the next one. 

Missi

HA!  They're just slimy tea loogies.  No one will be offended if you kill 'em.  Just don't name them.  That makes it easier.  "Well, we won't be having any more Bucha from Sophia Scoby.  She's bound for the compost pile."

Sarah K
ha ha ha ha   I hope I haven't killed my "slimy tea loogie".  Just have to wait and see.  I suppose if the scoby doesn't change and a baby doesn't grow then I've killed it? 

No naming around here.   ;)  Well, we once named a steer, but it didn't seem to matter here- he tasted really great.

Missi
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 03, 2007, 04:12:31 AM
... The one thing I did wrong is I put the mother in the tea before it was "barely lukewarm". The tea was not hot but it was warmer than lukewarm. I'm worried that I hurt it. I'm wondering how to know if its working? ...
I never saw an answer to this question.  Is there one?  I need this answered too. 

Anyone?

Thanks,       Missi

I have done this.  It is possible to cook them, but the temps would need to be above... well.  If I give you a number - it's just gonna be something out of my head.  My rule of thumb is that if it is only as hot as a summer day.  Warmer than that may damage them in theory.  But I havnen't read anywhere were it is willing to give a number of degrees where damamge can occur.

Sorry - no good, researched data.  Just my experience.

Sarah K

Let the sugared tea cool down to a temperature not higher than 20° - 25° Centigrade = about 68° - 77° Fahrenheit (lukewarm). The culture dies when it has been placed in a hot nutrient solution.

from http://www.kombu.de/anleit-e.htm (http://www.kombu.de/anleit-e.htm)

Hey, Sarah, I thought you had this guy's book ???   ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: InEverything July 03, 2007, 05:37:52 AM
ha ha ha ha   I hope I haven't killed my "slimy tea loogie".  Just have to wait and see.  I suppose if the scoby doesn't change and a baby doesn't grow then I've killed it? 


I have put my scobies in tea that was a bit too warm, the jars were almost hot to the touch, and they did fine.  Sorry I can't give you an exact temp.
Let's hope your scoby survives!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 03, 2007, 05:58:40 AM

I always say not to name anything until you know it's gonna live. I get too attached once things are named. Since SCOBY seem like they are all real "FunGuys", I think they need 1970's midlife names like Hap and Guy.

This morning I put two scoby in the compost bucket myself. They were in with an attempt to make ginger bucha. Not sure what happened. By the taste I am wondering if I forgot to add the sugar. No fizz at all and not pleasant tasting at all.

I would wonder if something in the fresh ginger does something harmful, but Bekah said she makes it and loves it. I followed what she said to do...unless I did forget the sugar. I will try again today so we'll see in a couple days.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 03, 2007, 06:01:02 AM

I always say not to name anything until you know it's gonna live. I get too attached once things are named. Since SCOBY seem like they are all real "FunGuys", I think they need 1970's midlife names like Hap and Guy.
How about Scooby & Shaggy.  LOL   ;D ::)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK July 03, 2007, 06:28:45 AM
Sorry - no good, researched data.  Just my experience.

Sarah K

Let the sugared tea cool down to a temperature not higher than 20° - 25° Centigrade = about 68° - 77° Fahrenheit (lukewarm). The culture dies when it has been placed in a hot nutrient solution.

from http://www.kombu.de/anleit-e.htm (http://www.kombu.de/anleit-e.htm)

Hey, Sarah, I thought you had this guy's book ???   ;D

Uh... well.... yes... it's around here somewhere... let me think... There it is.  It's stuck between last weeks grocery sale ad & Robin Hood by H. Pyle.  I'm gettin' to it... soon.  yeah. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 05, 2007, 06:32:58 AM

We sell it by the bottle at the local flea market  8)

Rebekah

Bekah, or anyone else who may sell kombucha somewhere,

I have bene researching selling it at Farmer's Market and have run into tons of complications on permits, getting licensed, etc. If I made it on site it wouldn't be a problem. However, obviously it has to brew for a week or so making that impossible. Any tips? I am sure each state is different but maybe I could learn a few things.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 05, 2007, 07:24:23 AM

We sell it by the bottle at the local flea market  8)

Rebekah

Bekah, or anyone else who may sell kombucha somewhere,

I have bene researching selling it at Farmer's Market and have run into tons of complications on permits, getting licensed, etc. If I made it on site it wouldn't be a problem. However, obviously it has to brew for a week or so making that impossible. Any tips? I am sure each state is different but maybe I could learn a few things.
Maybe, if you had enough SCOBY's you could offer a sample and then make it, and sell the whole jug with the SCOBY included to take home and brew themselves?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: likemanywaters July 05, 2007, 07:27:34 AM
I'd also like to know what you sell it in at the flea market, Bekah. Capped beer bottles? How much do you charge? (if you don't mind my asking  ;))

The vanilla bean I am definitely reusing. I've used it twice now. The vanilla flavor is good when I first bottle it, but seems to lose a little strength after sitting for a week, but the bucha is still good. I think next time I'm going to try slitting it down the middle to brew. Also I might slip it into the HOT water with the tea to steep. I also think it would help if I put it directly into a new batch after harvesting instead of back into the fridge. I'm usually not that on top of things & have to refridgerate the scoby & bean until I can get a new batch ready...
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 05, 2007, 08:07:35 AM
Thanks LMW and HB:)

HB, they won't let me even sell it bottled unless I get a bottling permit or license or some such thing. Selling by the glass has other hoops. My one hope right now is there is some sort of convection loophole for soda and candy. If I can get them to let me use that, I won't need a permit at all. Two words: FAT CHANCE

LMW, I can't wait to try vanilla bucha!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: ForeverGirl July 05, 2007, 08:35:28 AM
We sell it in capped beer bottles for $2 a bottle. We don't sell a lot - about 6 -8 bottles in a morning. Mostly I sell ice Jasmine tea. Last week we sold watermelon slices.

(The guys (it's two families) sit behind a sign that says "What does the Bible say about _______?" and answer questions. The show people how to study the Bible and find answers to their questions. Us ladies sell baked goods and drinks to help bring people to our booth and make a little money to pay for the day...)

Anyway, we actually had a food inspector a couple weeks ago that said we can't sell anything that isn't made on the spot or prepackaged. The Kombucha, bottled, looks prepackaged (and is???) so they didn't even ask if I made it - they assumed it was bought from a company to resell. I also have printed info on the benefits of Kombucha, and give SCOBYs to anyone that wants to make it themselves.

That's the scoop. You can also just put up a sign that says "Ask me about Kombucha" and then offer to sell it to whoever stops to ask. But technically it's not "for sale."


Rebekah
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 05, 2007, 10:34:06 AM

Thanks Bekah~

At our farmer's market things are regulated pretty closely. Here I am in beautiful, yet very governed ( and liberally, I might add) Oregon. I could definitely not sell any baked goods unless I had a certified kitchen OR bought them from one.

I'd be opening myself up to trouble if I made claims about the health benefits of bucha. Though I could probably have literature that has info about it and let people decide themselves.

I think I could sell alot if I sold it by the glass, over ice, after letting people taste it. When it gets hot it is nice to have something new to try.

At the least, I will definitely have to find someone with a certified kitchen (a restaurant) that would take me in and allow me to make and store it there. Geesh.

I have some different ideas of other things to sell if this doesn't work out, so we'll see.

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 05, 2007, 10:48:21 AM
You could sell toothpicks for a dollar each and give a bottle of free Kombucha with every purchase.   ;D ::)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 05, 2007, 11:00:44 AM


Only a buck? :)

HB, I live in Oregon. Prices are HIGH here -- especially for wood items since we can't harvest trees due to the Spotted Owl habitat. Plus I'd probably also get picketed.

Maybe I could sell plastic ones.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 05, 2007, 11:16:25 AM
Only a buck? :)

HB, I live in Oregon. Prices are HIGH here -- especially for wood items since we can't harvest trees due to the Spotted Owl habitat. Plus I'd probably also get picketed.

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/zippyboot/Fighting/fight20.gif)

Okay, okay, it was only an idea.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 05, 2007, 11:54:25 AM
HB, it does seem like that is the way one has to "go around" things though!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SunRose July 09, 2007, 11:00:05 AM
Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is my first time brewing the kombucha tea. I've had the brew fermenting for 10 days now in a dark closet in several jars. Just tasted some today for the first time, and it tasted like PURE VINEGAR! Nothing sweet or yummy about it. Actually, it had a fermented taste, like something has gone wrong!

Someone please be kind enough to help me. I live outside of the U.S. and had this flown in to me.

Thanks so much for your help..
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SamsGirl July 09, 2007, 11:05:01 AM
Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is my first time brewing the kombucha tea. I've had the brew fermenting for 10 days now in a dark closet in several jars. Just tasted some today for the first time, and it tasted like PURE VINEGAR! Nothing sweet or yummy about it. Actually, it had a fermented taste, like something has gone wrong!

Someone please be kind enough to help me. I live outside of the U.S. and had this flown in to me.

Thanks so much for your help..


don't panic - we tried ours once before 14 days and it was pretty nasty -  :P  we ended up waiting 15 days and it was good.  did you see any nice babies? 

if you did all the right steps, it should be fine - I notice ours smells very vinegary about days 8-12 - part of the process.  someone else might have better more professional sounding advice - I've only been doing this for a couple of months.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama July 09, 2007, 12:39:17 PM
I did not read through this whole post, but a friend told me I should post this. 
I quit trying to keep up with the 7-10 day thing.  I just let it go til I needed more.  I think it was around 2 weeks.  This produced a yummy sweet drink that was not too fizzy (we prefer it that way).  Before it was always the "grow hair on your chest" vinegary burn your nose gulp it down fast.... you get the idea. 
My mom said that the HFS lets theirs age for 30 days, but I forgot to ask her if that is brewing or aging time. 
So once it gets past the vinegar stage it then becomes sweet.  It is SO yummy , so I really hope someone out there isn't going to tell me that this is bad!  LOL 
Hey Mishy...I was letting mine go for about 3 weeks and it was getting pretty vinegary.  Anyway, I read your post and decided to let it sit around until I decided to get to it.  It's been a little over a month and you're right.  It's less vinegary than it was at 3 weeks!  It's not sweet at all -- which was my goal -- but it tastes pretty good.  I made it with peach tea, and the peach flavor is still strong.  I'm so excited!  Thanks for the tip.
OK.  Let me see if I get this. ;D
If you brew kombucha less than 7-10 days, it's sweet b/c the SCOBY hasn't quite done all of its "work" yet w/ the sugar.  Then it gets to a vinegary stage.  You all are saying that there's another sweet stage AFTER the vinegary stage?   ???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SunRose July 09, 2007, 12:55:42 PM
Yes YooperMama,
I want to know the same thing!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kati*did July 09, 2007, 01:36:14 PM
OK.  Let me see if I get this. ;D
If you brew kombucha less than 7-10 days, it's sweet b/c the SCOBY hasn't quite done all of its "work" yet w/ the sugar.  Then it gets to a vinegary stage.  You all are saying that there's another sweet stage AFTER the vinegary stage?   ???
Mine wasn't sweet at all.  It just wasn't as vinegary as it had been.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: mishy July 09, 2007, 08:16:44 PM
Yes, Yooper and SunRose, that is what we have found. 
I can't give you a time frame though.  I just wait until I am ready for more (we don't drink it that fast) then I stick a straw in there and see if it is good yet.  If not, let it sit longer.  My mom has brewed hers for 30 days.  We also think having thinner scobys helps, but we haven't completely proven our theory yet.    :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery July 10, 2007, 02:32:53 AM
I would love to have a time frame.  I brewed mine for 14 days and it was vinegar!  I threw it out.  I should have kept it for salad dressing but didn't think.  I have been brewing mine for 7 days, harvest and wait another 5 days to drink.  I will have to start another gallon this morning and try to leave it alone for longer.

 Has anyone notice a difference in their hair?  I am telling you my hair is changing color.  My gray is going to a strawberry blonde color! People are asking me if I colored my hair!  I have been drinking it for about four months now. YIPEE!!!!!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 10, 2007, 05:25:37 AM
Has anyone notice a difference in their hair?  I am telling you my hair is changing color.  My gray is going to a strawberry blonde color! People are asking me if I colored my hair!  I have been drinking it for about four months now. YIPEE!!!!!
Yes, mine is getting grayer than it was before.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom July 10, 2007, 09:38:20 AM
I would love to have a time frame.  I brewed mine for 14 days and it was vinegar!  I threw it out.  I should have kept it for salad dressing but didn't think.  I have been brewing mine for 7 days, harvest and wait another 5 days to drink.  I will have to start another gallon this morning and try to leave it alone for longer.

 Has anyone notice a difference in their hair?  I am telling you my hair is changing color.  My gray is going to a strawberry blonde color! People are asking me if I colored my hair!  I have been drinking it for about four months now. YIPEE!!!!!

I have read from one of my Kombucha books that it has been known to restore graying hair - sorry about the reversal on yours HB ???

We harvest ours at about 15 days - most of the sugar is gone - but that is the way we like it - tried it at 7 days and it was too sweet - I have a batch right now that I'm gonna harvest at 21 days for fun. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 10, 2007, 11:23:27 AM
I would love to have a time frame.  I brewed mine for 14 days and it was vinegar!  I threw it out.  I should have kept it for salad dressing but didn't think.  I have been brewing mine for 7 days, harvest and wait another 5 days to drink.  I will have to start another gallon this morning and try to leave it alone for longer.

 Has anyone notice a difference in their hair?  I am telling you my hair is changing color.  My gray is going to a strawberry blonde color! People are asking me if I colored my hair!  I have been drinking it for about four months now. YIPEE!!!!!

This is the main reason I am drinking it! But I am dark haired naturally so strawberry blonde won't work. And I haven't noticed any changes after about 2 months of drinking it.

I am also wondering about it going sweet again. I have some stored with my extra SCOBYs (is that the plural form?) and I would definitely NOT say it is sweet!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie July 12, 2007, 05:13:02 PM
Yes, Yooper and SunRose, that is what we have found. 
I can't give you a time frame though.  I just wait until I am ready for more (we don't drink it that fast) then I stick a straw in there and see if it is good yet.  If not, let it sit longer.  My mom has brewed hers for 30 days.  We also think having thinner scobys helps, but we haven't completely proven our theory yet.    :D

i just harvested 35 day ginger brew and it was terribly vinegar and gave hubby a "colon blow"!   :o  going to have him try the 31 day soon, but so far it looks to me like it is not tasty this way. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 12, 2007, 06:18:30 PM
Yes, Yooper and SunRose, that is what we have found. 
I can't give you a time frame though.  I just wait until I am ready for more (we don't drink it that fast) then I stick a straw in there and see if it is good yet.  If not, let it sit longer.  My mom has brewed hers for 30 days.  We also think having thinner scobys helps, but we haven't completely proven our theory yet.    :D

i just harvested 35 day ginger brew and it was terribly vinegar and gave hubby a "colon blow"!   :o  going to have him try the 31 day soon, but so far it looks to me like it is not tasty this way. 
Just dump it in his chili.  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: berthday July 19, 2007, 03:29:34 AM
My bucha has been brewing for 5 days (Thanks Sarah)! How do I know when it is done--it smells real vinegary now. Where do I get the beer bottles to store them in?  After its done do I put it in the bottles and let it set for 5 days? Do I then put it in the fridge or just set out?
This is my first time making bucha and am really excited!!! ;)
Thanks
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt July 19, 2007, 03:47:16 AM
My bucha has been brewing for 5 days (Thanks Sarah)! How do I know when it is done--it smells real vinegary now. Where do I get the beer bottles to store them in?  After its done do I put it in the bottles and let it set for 5 days? Do I then put it in the fridge or just set out?
This is my first time making bucha and am really excited!!! ;)
Thanks

Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,832.0.html)
Kombucha:  Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.0.html)

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama July 24, 2007, 03:50:50 PM
Yes, Yooper and SunRose, that is what we have found.  I can't give you a time frame though.  I just wait until I am ready for more (we don't drink it that fast) then I stick a straw in there and see if it is good yet.  If not, let it sit longer.  My mom has brewed hers for 30 days.  We also think having thinner scobys helps, but we haven't completely proven our theory yet.    :D 
Well.  I have been experimenting!  I have a batch about 21 days old and a 10 day old one (in HOT weather).  They both are delightful and more like GT's stuff at our co-op.  They pour and bubble and we like it.  One was decaff'd (poured off initial water) and the other was stuff I had in the frig, but pulled out to ferment longer.  We were definitely missing the "real" thing!  Thanks everyone!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 25, 2007, 05:54:48 AM
Do they taste like vinegar or are they sweet? Someone on here said it goes back to sweet after some time has passed but I haven't had that happen yet.

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama July 25, 2007, 03:51:12 PM
They aren't quite "sweet" (yet), sort of...but not vinegary...this is getting into "wine cooler" territory, I think.  Very pleasant balance.   :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: amazonmama2five July 25, 2007, 04:06:46 PM
I have some that is about 3 months old and it is definitely more tart but I like it  :o  We have a supporting pastor's wife on this site so should I admit that?  ;)  I would like to know what experience any of you have with Chinese green tea.  I just got some jasmine flowers (dried) also and would like to make Kombucha with a mixture of those.  Anyone??
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: NotLuckyButBlessed July 26, 2007, 04:16:53 AM
My batches since June have all fermented too quickly. Mostly they turn vinegary rather than tart. I think my yeast/bacteria ratio is out of whack so am going to follow something I read and add vinegar to my next batch rather than past tea and see if that evens it out.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: WithLoveAndJoy July 26, 2007, 03:08:04 PM
Well, I started my first batch today, wish me luck!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One August 19, 2007, 06:15:45 PM
I often wish I was a chemist or whatever it would be so that I could test different kombuchas and answer a bunch of the questions that seem to float around out there.  Like, how much sugar is left?  How much caffeine is left?  Which one has the most glucoronic acid?  Do the oils really cause mold?  And, are the benefits of cranberry juice still found in kranbucha?  Even better, are they increased?  (This is my hope!)  What are the changes in harvesting at 21 days vs. 10?  Or 30?
 
Sarah K just responded to my post on another thread that they often add juice to their kombucha.  She did warn that it seems to cause greater carbonation.  So if you bottle it, she cautions that you not leave it too long.  Because their son was in the hospital for 4 weeks, they had a number of bottles explode.  :(  Unfortunately, I can't seem to keep kombucha around long enough.  I have bottled it a few times, but even then it disappears within 2-3 days.  We pretty much devour it as soon as we harvest it.  :(   

Which leads to another question:  Are we missing out on greater benefits by not letting it sit after harvesting?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys August 20, 2007, 05:45:39 AM
I can't answer all your questions, youthful one, but from what I've read I don't think there is any benefit to leaving it sit after harvesting except for carbonation. I believe you'll get the same health benefits drinking it right away.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK August 20, 2007, 07:55:23 AM
LotsaBoys-

You are right again!  (Print this and you'll have it in writing...)

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One August 20, 2007, 08:13:26 AM
LotsaBoys-

You are right again!  (Print this and you'll have it in writing...)

Sarah K

You are GREAT!  SO funny!   :D :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys August 20, 2007, 09:15:20 AM
LotsaBoys-

You are right again!  (Print this and you'll have it in writing...)

Sarah K

HA HA! Why do I need it in writing? JK! :P
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Simply Kristen August 26, 2007, 06:57:39 AM
Has anyone else seen this?

It's okay....Just kind of annoying.

ww.foxnews.com
scroll down to health... 'Kombucha Craze" video
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 26, 2007, 07:44:52 AM
Has anyone else seen this?

It's okay....Just kind of annoying.

ww.foxnews.com
scroll down to health... 'Kombucha Craze" video

I can't help but chuckle when I hear doctors tell us we shouldn't do something b/c "they" have not given us the ok, and that everything needs to be dead (pasteurized) to keep us safe.  Oh, brother  ::).  But I think it's cool that it was on Fox news still.  Maybe people will start looking into it.         
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Simply Kristen August 26, 2007, 08:56:24 AM
I can't help but chuckle when I hear doctors tell us we shouldn't do something b/c "they" have not given us the ok, and that everything needs to be dead (pasteurized) to keep us safe.       

ditto
That's the annoying part I was talking about.  :D :D

Did you notice the reporter's (a woman) disgust when she looked at Kombucha?
 :D :D :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 26, 2007, 09:39:32 AM
I can't help but chuckle when I hear doctors tell us we shouldn't do something b/c "they" have not given us the ok, and that everything needs to be dead (pasteurized) to keep us safe.       

ditto
That's the annoying part I was talking about.  :D :D

Did you notice the reporter's (a woman) disgust when she looked at Kombucha?
 :D :D :D

Ha ha, funny, no I didn't but I did notice how rich and comfy the kombucha seller looked and thought, now how can I manage to bottle my bucha and sell it....Seriously.   
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sweetestday August 26, 2007, 09:51:13 AM
I know you all talked about this earlier in the thread, but was wondering if you think I am safe with making my kombucha after finding a fruit fly in it. I took off the three layers of "mushroom", and threw away the top two. Then I strained the finished tea, and have been drinking it. I started a new batch with that one layer I had left from the bottom of the mushroom layers. It should be done on Wednesday. It's my first attempt at kombucha, and I hated to throw away everything right away. Do you think it's OK?
This time I really made sure the cover is fruit fly proof!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 26, 2007, 11:05:08 AM
I personally would feel fine drinking it.   :)  I'm sure I have fished out a fly or two in my time. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sweetestday August 26, 2007, 11:32:29 AM
I personally would feel fine drinking it.   :)  I'm sure I have fished out a fly or two in my time. 

Thanks! I figured it was OK, but sometimes it's reassuring to hear it from someone else. ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: stebs7 August 26, 2007, 11:33:44 AM
I personally would feel fine drinking it.   :)  I'm sure I have fished out a fly or two in my time. 

In our 14 years of drinking Kombucha, we have fished out a fly or two also!  However, if it got to the point where you haven't been paying attention and the fruit flies have gotten in there and their larvae are all around - then definitely throw it out - you could get sick (my girlfriend did - she hadn't looked at the Kombucha - was just drinking it and wondering why she was feeling sick in the stomach everyday - after looking in the Kombucha pot (clay) and seeing all the larvae- it made her even sicker!)

We drink about 16 litres per week - warts disappear, my gray hairs get brown again (if I am away for a month or so - like when I go to the States for a visit, then my gray will start coming out again!)

We have raised 5 kids on Kombucha and they all love it - when I nursed, I would have twice as much milk - drank tons during 2 pregnancies and they are the ones that love the Kombucha the most!

Just my 2 cents.  Blessings, Nancy in Poland

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 26, 2007, 03:17:54 PM
stebs7, I have a question about the gray hair thing. I am not sure if this is a new thing, but I do have a few gray hairs, not many at all, and my hair is pretty long.  Well, some of the gray hairs are only gray on the ends.  Does gray hair START getting gray on the ends, or does it grow OUT gray?  I am wondering if my gray hairs are turning brown too?  Is this what your hair has done?   
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: DawnsEarlyBirds August 26, 2007, 03:38:28 PM
I have a new Kombucha miracle to report.  My older German father-in-law was here a few weeks ago, tried the Kombucha and didn't like it.  He was here last week and was eying the bottles on the counter.  Finally he asked me if he could have some and I reminded him he didn't like it.  He looked at me funny and said that after he had it last time he left .... and he could HEAR better.  He is totally deaf in one ear, very hard of hearing in the other ear.  I kind of laughed and he shook his head and was dead serious, "Ja, I could hear better."

 ??? :) ??? :) ???
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK August 27, 2007, 05:04:36 AM
  Does gray hair START getting gray on the ends, or does it grow OUT gray?   

Your hair is turning brown again if the ends are grey and the roots are brown.  Just like your roots start showing their original color as they grow out after it's been dyed. 

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole August 27, 2007, 05:26:05 AM
  Does gray hair START getting gray on the ends, or does it grow OUT gray?   

Your hair is turning brown again if the ends are grey and the roots are brown.  Just like your roots start showing their original color as they grow out after it's been dyed. 

Sarah K

 :-* :-* :-*  Oh goody goody!  I am so excited!  In the last couple months I have been drinking the kombucha more regularly, so I give credit to the bucha!  Thank you!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sweetestday August 27, 2007, 05:33:02 AM
I'm enjoying all these testimonials....
Anybody else?
The lady I got mine from said she has never in her life had such healthy cuticles, and she thinks the arthritis in her hands is improving.
Oh, I bet this goes with a different thread, huh?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: stebs7 August 27, 2007, 01:35:44 PM
stebs7, I have a question about the gray hair thing. I am not sure if this is a new thing, but I do have a few gray hairs, not many at all, and my hair is pretty long.  Well, some of the gray hairs are only gray on the ends.  Does gray hair START getting gray on the ends, or does it grow OUT gray?  I am wondering if my gray hairs are turning brown too?  Is this what your hair has done?   

With mine, its like this - if I am not drinking Kombucha regularly (mainly if I am traveling) - I will have lots of gray hairs all over my head - but when I am drinking it regularly - the gray disappears and it is brown again - so it is not as if the brown hair is growing in but that the gray is disappearing and brown returns - maybe the graying is a lack of something and when we receive what it needs - it comes back to its natural state???

Also, my knee joints are clicking when I don't drink Kombucha regularly - I think that Kombucha is helping my PH balance - and therefore no arthritis like symptoms when drinking it.  (Many of you may know the old book, Vermont Folk Medicine about apple cider vinegar and arthritis)

Another thing that may or may not be attributed to Kombucha is that I am now 52 years old - my menses stopped 3 years ago in June - and I have yet to experience any symptoms of menopause.

We make our own apple cider vinegar - when it is finished (about 40-60 days), a thin film grows as if to say, Okay, I am finished and am going to cover myself to keep the bad things out.  This film will grown and get thick and is exactly as the Kombucha mother.  When years ago, I asked on a Kombucha forum if Kombucha comes from the mother of vinegar, they said no, that they had tried to make Kombucha from MOV (mother of vinegar) in a laboratory and it did not become Kombucha.  I wrote back and said, of course it wouldn't - there has to be yeast in the air to form Kombucha - in the old days here in Eastern Europe and Russia - when people made apple cider vinegar - they also baked bread naturally - so there was always yeast in the air- needed to turn apple cider vinegar along with black tea and white sugar into Kombucha.

Blessings, Nancy in Poland
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One August 31, 2007, 09:16:56 PM
Nancy,

THANK YOU so much for this insightful and interesting information!   :)

I've been wanting to make my own ACV as well, and have been fascinated at the similarities to kombucha.

Now I'm also looking forward to the youthfulness that comes from both!  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: pljammie September 03, 2007, 04:16:11 AM
Dear Healthy in Ohio,

I'm new to this forum and really enjoying all the information.  I'm making a small batch of kombucha for the first time and I'm directing this question to you as I read you make small batches...however, anyone can help...I need lots of it...lol.

My hubby has been making bucha for almost 6 months.  However, it tastes something like a sweaty gym sock flavored vinegar.  So after reading many of these threads I am making the next batch and increasing the sugar and checking it before his normal check at 14+ days.  I decided to try a small batch with the baby, but I think I have already messed it up.  I put 2 bags of black tea, 1 bag of wild berry zinger, 1/3 c. sugar and boiling water to the 4 cup mark.  I think that I may have too much tea.  I was trying to aim for a 1 quart batch.  It is in a 1/2 gallon glass jar.  I'm not sure how much head space I need to leave.  Reading about the shrooms doing flips had me worried...lol.  Anyway, right now it is just tea sitting there cooling off, so maybe I can save it.  I thought that if I had too much tea, then I could just add more water and sugar, but don't know if my container will be big enough.  I do have a glass gallon jar, but currently it is full of dehydrated blue bonnets for soaping, so I'll have to wash it and find them a new home...

Thanks for any ideas,
Jammie
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio September 03, 2007, 10:09:29 AM
Dear Healthy in Ohio,

I'm new to this forum and really enjoying all the information.  I'm making a small batch of kombucha for the first time and I'm directing this question to you as I read you make small batches...however, anyone can help...I need lots of it...lol.




I will try to help as much as I can, but your Bucha symptoms sound the same if it were to come from a gallon or a smaller batch. 
Sounds like you may be steeping yours too long for a sweet tasting bucha, especially in the summer.  The warmer the weather(unless you have central air) the quicker it will ferment.
Here is the recipe that I use that I got from Nickole.  She has been making this stuff forever!!

Boil 4cups water and add 1/3 cup sugar.  Stir until dissolved and add 2-3 bags tea.  Steep until cooled.  Put your starter tea and mushroom in a container and pour your sweetened tea over(you will have more tea than you can use because of the space of your starter and scoby).  Ferment for 5-7 days, tasting a little starting on day 3.  If you get a really strong vinegary "gym sock" tasting one  :D just mix it half with juice or water it down.  No need to throw it out.  Good luck.  There are plenty of other recipes here to try, too!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One September 03, 2007, 10:55:07 AM
Dear Healthy in Ohio,

I'm new to this forum and really enjoying all the information.  I'm making a small batch of kombucha for the first time and I'm directing this question to you as I read you make small batches...however, anyone can help...I need lots of it...lol.
Jammie,
I brew in half gallon jars every time. 
I started with the recipe in the book Nourishing Traditions

Here's my basic recipe/ratio:
1 cup of sugar
4 bags of tea (our favorite is Earl Gray)
8 cups of water (or enough to bring water level up to the bend in the glass near the neck)

I heat my water in the microwave and pour it over the sugar and tea bags in the brewing jar.  I stir as necessary to dissolve the sugar.  Then I let the whole thing sit (usually overnight) until completely cooled to room temperature.  Then I squeeze out the tea bags and add the SCOBY.  Our favorite average brewing time is 9 days.  That varies with type of teas and our taste buds.  ;)

I have added 1/2 cup of prepared kombucha to the batch in the past, but I no longer do that and still get wonderful results.

The main reason I put the water in up to the bend in the neck is so that the new SCOBY that forms is smaller around- the diameter of the neck.  Since the new SCOBY floats on top, it grows to the diameter of the jar at the top of the liquid level.  Of course, it also means we get just a little more yummy kombucha too!   :D

HTH,
YO
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: pljammie September 07, 2007, 05:45:35 AM
Bucha Update....

Whippee!  I have yummy kombucha.  I just checked and it has been 5 days and it tastes like something I can drink.  I just bottled it and put it in the fridge so it will get bubbly.  Now, I will make another batch.  Is it right that I leave the mother and baby in this one to make the baby a little bigger and thicker...he is quite whimpy with only 5 days brewing.  Thanks for all of your help.  The next batch I am going to brew a little longer so I can see how it changes.

Just an FYI...I have a thing called Mike's Famous Yogurt Cheese Maker.  It has been an excellent tool for straining the kefir and kombucha.

Jammie
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys September 07, 2007, 05:48:57 AM
Glad you're getting the hang of it Jammie! If you want the bucha to get fizzy faster, leave it sit out at room temp. for a couple days. At least that is how it works for us. :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One September 07, 2007, 10:30:43 PM
Bucha Update....

Whippee!  I have yummy kombucha.  I just checked and it has been 5 days and it tastes like something I can drink.  I just bottled it and put it in the fridge so it will get bubbly.  Now, I will make another batch.  Is it right that I leave the mother and baby in this one to make the baby a little bigger and thicker...he is quite whimpy with only 5 days brewing.  Thanks for all of your help.  The next batch I am going to brew a little longer so I can see how it changes.

Jammie
FANTASTIC!  :D
Yes, I'd say if the baby is wimpy, keep it with the mama in the next batch.
So glad you found success in this batch.  (http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/18.gif) 
Now you can figure out at which day you prefer to harvest.  Congrats!  (http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/41.gif)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: MamaSong October 02, 2007, 11:42:24 AM
Okay kombucha brewers...I thought you'd get a chuckle out of seeing what happens when you ignore your batch of kombucha for nearly 2 months (7 weeks, to be exact).  A little background...I discovered that I was pregnant with #4 in early August.  Within a couple days the queasiness and vomiting arrived.  It has been my hardest pregnancy so far, so I've let a lot of things slide.  I kept thinking that I should just throw the whole thing out and give up on kombucha for good, but then I would think about the fact that I'd want to try again at some point and then I would have to get my hands on another SCOBY.  So, I let it go, tucked away in my pantry, waiting for the day when I would get around to dealing with it.  Jump forward to this week.  I'm starting my 2nd trimester and feeling much better, and my husband keeps asking when I am going to do something to that "thing" stinking up the pantry, so it was time to face the music.

I always put the date on my kombucha batches.  This one was made on August 15th.  It's a half-gallon size, so usually a week is plenty of brew time for it.  I took the pictures of the jar last night and the ones of the SCOBY out of the jar today.  (I didn't realize that my husband had the camera set to "military" time, so the date reads "2/10/2007"...which means 2 October, 2007....just in case you were wondering!)

I had quite the time getting the thing out of the jar.  I poured off the liquid, which resulted in about 1/2 the liquid that it had before, as you can see in the photo.  In the process of squeezing it to get it out, it released more liquid, hence the two plates.  You can see the mother (orginally from a quart-sized jar, thus the size) that fell off while I pried it out of the jar.

I was starting to wonder if it would take up the whole jar.  You'd think it would run out of food at some point and just die, but it looks good.  The true test, of course, will be the batch I'm working on now.  I'll be chopping off a slice to use.  I'm afraid to taste the results from the current batch...anyone for some moonshine??  :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: MamaSong October 02, 2007, 11:45:40 AM
Oops...files were too large to fit into one post.  Here's the 2nd one:
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: mom24boys October 02, 2007, 04:59:24 PM
I'm speechless, MamaSong!  Impressive... I think... or just freakish!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock October 02, 2007, 05:08:59 PM
You would think it would starve if left that long. I'm surprised that it just kept growing.  ??? Makes me wonder what a scoby would do if it were just left in a jar of spring water. People make water kefir, so... maybe water kombucha is possible??

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One October 02, 2007, 05:28:35 PM
I'm afraid to taste the results from the current batch...anyone for some moonshine??  :D
I'm OH so curious as to how it tastes!
Is this when it turns back into sweet?
How does it smell?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: MamaSong October 03, 2007, 02:18:53 AM
It didn't really smell any different than normal kombucha that had gotten to the vinegar stage, just a little on the strong side.  Out of curiosity, I did finally take a sip last night.  Pure vinegar...not a hint of sugar!   :P

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys October 03, 2007, 06:39:33 AM
I too am impressed that it is so healthy-looking after all that time! You can definitely use that for more batches. Good bloodline. :D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HOMEFree October 04, 2007, 06:22:32 PM
...I had quite the time getting the thing out of the jar.  I poured off the liquid, which resulted in about 1/2 the liquid that it had before, as you can see in the photo.  In the process of squeezing it to get it out, it released more liquid, hence the two plates.  You can see the mother (orginally from a quart-sized jar, thus the size) that fell off while I pried it out of the jar.

I was starting to wonder if it would take up the whole jar.  You'd think it would run out of food at some point and just die, but it looks good.  The true test, of course, will be the batch I'm working on now.  I'll be chopping off a slice to use.  I'm afraid to taste the results from the current batch...anyone for some moonshine??  :D

Okay- I am brewing kombucha right now for the first time and we are on day 7, I believe. I checked it yesterday and saw that there was a layer across the whole surface of the liquid (and over the top of the mama) and was a bit concerned but saw no mold and figured it must be doing what it does best! But really, I do not know! LOL!
Seeing your photo definately makes me feel better because that huge chunk of Jello stuff is what that layer across the tea looked like. Obviously my jello layer was not so ginormous though!
My question is- what IS that?
Will I be keeping it?
The question makes me laugh out loud just asking it!! I mean really!! The thing is nasty. But made by the Lord none the less and doing a good thing! I am not sure if I can get the nerve up to taste anything that came out of that jar!!  ;D
Thanks for putting up with me! 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One October 04, 2007, 06:47:50 PM
My question is- what IS that?
THAT, my friend, is your brand new baby SCOBY.  ;D

Will I be keeping it?
(http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/71.gif)

(http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/24.gif)

The question makes me laugh out loud just asking it!! I mean really!! The thing is nasty. But made by the Lord none the less and doing a good thing! I am not sure if I can get the nerve up to taste anything that came out of that jar!!  ;D
Thanks for putting up with me! 

If you are planning on making more than one batch after this first batch, you will definitely be keeping it.  If you are planning on making only one batch after this one, you can choose to keep it or the original SCOBY.

CONGRATULATIONS!  (http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/mesg/emoticons7/41.gif)
Sounds like it's going well so far.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: MamaSong October 05, 2007, 03:03:27 AM
That layer across the top is referred to as the "baby".  It sounds like it's doing exactly what it's supposed to do.  Once you're done with this batch, you can split up the "baby" and the "mother" SCOBY and make a new batch with each of them, or keep them together in one batch or toss one and keep the other.  It's up to you.  Sometimes the "mother" and "baby" will be stuck together (you can usually easily pull or cut them apart), sometimes the baby is on top while the mother floats below...it's different for different batches.  There is a wide range of "normal".
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: MamaSong October 05, 2007, 03:06:13 AM
I didn't check to see if anyone else responded before I did...okay, so I'm pregnant and not altogether with it!   ::)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HOMEFree October 05, 2007, 05:22:49 AM

Oh you all are so funny!
I knew that that "layer" had to be a good thing, but it was not a little pancake shape so I figured it was not a baby scoby. But now I know that it actually is.

I suppose I will start getting up the gumption to try this concoction out.
I have only had kombucha bottled from the store. LOL!

Thanks so much! You ladies are great!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sarahmontgomery October 05, 2007, 07:48:52 AM
Question????   Is Kombucha better for you when harvested after 7 days or for a month or so?  The taste to me is MUCH better at a month.  I know some of you have a book about it, thought it might say.

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt October 05, 2007, 02:10:52 PM
Question????   Is Kombucha better for you when harvested after 7 days or for a month or so?  The taste to me is MUCH better at a month.  I know some of you have a book about it, thought it might say.


The longer it brews the less sugar content and the more lactic acid and lactic acid bacteria will be present in the brew.  As far as I know, that's a good thing.  ;) 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: MamaSong October 09, 2007, 03:26:04 AM
An update on the monster SCOBY I posted pictures of on page 14...I think it's dead after all.  I guess a dead SCOBY looks just the same as a live one!  It's been a week since I made my new batch of tea, but it hasn't really developed a real baby yet.  There is a layer of "snot" floating about an inch above the old SCOBY (at the bottom of the jar), as well as a very thin layer that doesn't quite cover the top, but I think that's because I spiked the starter with some kombucha that I had sitting in the frig, just to be safe.  It was too vinegary to drink, so I had left it in the frig to use as starter and had almost forgotten it was there.  It was full of thick "snot" (for lack of a better word), so I think that's what's making my thin layer.

Anyone on here ever grow a SCOBY from "scratch" so to speak?  I was thinking I should fish the old SCOBY out and add some more of the proven kombucha and see what happens.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt October 09, 2007, 07:29:50 AM
An update on the monster SCOBY I posted pictures of on page 14...I think it's dead after all.  I guess a dead SCOBY looks just the same as a live one!  It's been a week since I made my new batch of tea, but it hasn't really developed a real baby yet. 
Read this.

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,2986.msg112891.html#msg112891 (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,2986.msg112891.html#msg112891)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: purewellspring October 10, 2007, 05:07:57 PM
ok, so I've joined the Kombucha band wagon, and I'm really excited. But I have a question for you experienced brewers. What do you brew in? I have some maybe 1 qt. size jars, and I've been scrounging for more, and a couple of larger bowls, but it seems that using bowls would create ginormous Scobys...

I have my first ever kombucha brewing in my largest jar, but I think the scoby is still too big for it, so I want to make sure to separate it and brew more soon, so I don't starve it by keeping it in something too small.

any suggestions?

(and I live in the one place in metropolitan America without easy access to Wal-mart ::) ;D...anyone found suitable brewing containers elsewhere?)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: miff aka Missi October 10, 2007, 05:49:17 PM
ok, so I've joined the Kombucha band wagon, and I'm really excited. But I have a question for you experienced brewers. What do you brew in? I have some maybe 1 qt. size jars, and I've been scrounging for more, and a couple of larger bowls, but it seems that using bowls would create ginormous Scobys...

I have my first ever kombucha brewing in my largest jar, but I think the scoby is still too big for it, so I want to make sure to separate it and brew more soon, so I don't starve it by keeping it in something too small.

any suggestions?

(and I live in the one place in metropolitan America without easy access to Wal-mart ::) ;D...anyone found suitable brewing containers elsewhere?)
I'm not so experienced, but may have some suggestions for you.

I use a glass 1-gallon jar that I bought at Wal-Mart, but I have seen them at Target also.  You could try K-mart or some other store that has a kitchen supply area.  It is actually a cookie or cracker jar with a lid.  I just tossed the lid in the basement.  There is a picture of a smaller one here:
http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6258.msg114961.html#msg114961
This one is 1/2 gallon, but there are several sizes in the same jar.

You can brew kombucha in anything glass, but you were right- if the top of the tea is large, so will the baby be.  When I don't fill the jar up enough, the baby is a big square.  When I fill it very full, it is a small circle.

You can brew in quart canning jars.  Just brew up the tea and divide it between the jars.  I have heard of people just tearing the mother and using a piece for each jar. 

Missi

 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt October 10, 2007, 06:57:35 PM
(and I live in the one place in metropolitan America without easy access to Wal-mart ::) ;D...anyone found suitable brewing containers elsewhere?)

Kombucha:  Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.0.html)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: cinmama October 20, 2007, 04:12:29 PM
I hope this is the right thread to post on.......

I bought some kombucha in a health food store this weekend to see if we would like it.  I have never had it before, and i was so excited to try it.  but, i really didn't.  It was made with Oolong tea and cane sugar.  it was not sweet, kinda tasted like bandaids to me (the last time i chewed on them, that is  :P)

My question is to anyone who has tried store-bought and home made 'bucha:  Does the store bought taste similar to the home-made?

I don't want to get all of the stuff to make it if no one but me will drink it, and only for the health benefits.  Thanks!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: miff aka Missi October 21, 2007, 05:15:43 AM
I hope this is the right thread to post on.......

I bought some kombucha in a health food store this weekend to see if we would like it.  I have never had it before, and i was so excited to try it.  but, i really didn't.  It was made with Oolong tea and cane sugar.  it was not sweet, kinda tasted like bandaids to me (the last time i chewed on them, that is  :P)

My question is to anyone who has tried store-bought and home made 'bucha:  Does the store bought taste similar to the home-made?

I don't want to get all of the stuff to make it if no one but me will drink it, and only for the health benefits.  Thanks!
When you make kombucha yourself you can control the sugar and the strength.  It may take several batches to get it to the flavor that you like.  I know the store bought can have some strange flavors.  Some of those are just gross.  I definitely like mine better.  A 16 oz. bottle here is about $4.00.  I can make several gallon batches batches for that.  You can get a SCOBY for pretty much just postage here on this thread-
http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5403.0.html

Look around for a glass container, get a SCOBY, and you probably have the rest right there in your kitchen.

Missi
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: sweetestday October 21, 2007, 08:35:15 AM
I hope this is the right thread to post on.......

I bought some kombucha in a health food store this weekend to see if we would like it.  I have never had it before, and i was so excited to try it.  but, i really didn't.  It was made with Oolong tea and cane sugar.  it was not sweet, kinda tasted like bandaids to me (the last time i chewed on them, that is  :P)

My question is to anyone who has tried store-bought and home made 'bucha:  Does the store bought taste similar to the home-made?

I don't want to get all of the stuff to make it if no one but me will drink it, and only for the health benefits.  Thanks!

I was pretty scared to try mine the first time someone gave me a sample, so I left it in the fridge for a few days. When I finally built up the courage to taste it, I was surprised... it tasted like sweetened iced tea that you'd get out of a soda fountain, with a bit of fizz to it. It took me some tries to get the recipe right so we can enjoy the taste each time, but now everyone in my family loves it! I've never tried the store bought kind.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: AllinHisTime November 22, 2007, 03:29:28 PM
It's been 10 days since I made my first batch, I've let it sit and only taste tested it at 7 days and then again today.  I think my Kombucha tastes great :)  I am really excited to say the least.

Here's my question:

The new scoby formed on top is huge and is formed to the diameter of where the gallon-sized jar curves.  How do I get this out safely without "ruining" the new baby....or is it now a mother?  I see the old one underneath and the new one still looks snotty.  Is it too soon?  Will it just come out in a big, slimy clump or do I have to pick it out with a fork or something?  Or cut it out?  (i feel like i'm about to perform surgery here! LOL)

Thanks :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys November 23, 2007, 06:37:19 AM
It's been 10 days since I made my first batch, I've let it sit and only taste tested it at 7 days and then again today.  I think my Kombucha tastes great :)  I am really excited to say the least.

Here's my question:

The new scoby formed on top is huge and is formed to the diameter of where the gallon-sized jar curves.  How do I get this out safely without "ruining" the new baby....or is it now a mother?  I see the old one underneath and the new one still looks snotty.  Is it too soon?  Will it just come out in a big, slimy clump or do I have to pick it out with a fork or something?  Or cut it out?  (i feel like i'm about to perform surgery here! LOL)

Thanks :)

Hmm, ours always just kinda squishes up and slides out. We had a really fat one last time and it took a few extra shakes to get him to slide out, but it doesn't seem to faze them. :D They are pretty durable. I'd just dump both mother and baby out in a bowl together procede as you wish. hth :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: AllinHisTime November 25, 2007, 01:05:03 PM
It's been 10 days since I made my first batch, I've let it sit and only taste tested it at 7 days and then again today.  I think my Kombucha tastes great :)  I am really excited to say the least.

Here's my question:

The new scoby formed on top is huge and is formed to the diameter of where the gallon-sized jar curves.  How do I get this out safely without "ruining" the new baby....or is it now a mother?  I see the old one underneath and the new one still looks snotty.  Is it too soon?  Will it just come out in a big, slimy clump or do I have to pick it out with a fork or something?  Or cut it out?  (i feel like i'm about to perform surgery here! LOL)

Thanks :)

Hmm, ours always just kinda squishes up and slides out. We had a really fat one last time and it took a few extra shakes to get him to slide out, but it doesn't seem to faze them. :D They are pretty durable. I'd just dump both mother and baby out in a bowl together procede as you wish. hth :)

Thanks.....I will give it a try :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt November 27, 2007, 08:07:25 AM
It's been 10 days since I made my first batch, I've let it sit and only taste tested it at 7 days and then again today.  I think my Kombucha tastes great :)  I am really excited to say the least.

Here's my question:

The new scoby formed on top is huge and is formed to the diameter of where the gallon-sized jar curves.  How do I get this out safely without "ruining" the new baby....or is it now a mother?  I see the old one underneath and the new one still looks snotty.  Is it too soon?  Will it just come out in a big, slimy clump or do I have to pick it out with a fork or something?  Or cut it out?  (i feel like i'm about to perform surgery here! LOL)

Thanks :)
just pick it up with clean fingers and throw it in another glass container.  they are very sturdy and bendy.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: AllinHisTime November 27, 2007, 12:42:26 PM
So I successfully did not "harm" the new SCOBY :) 

I have another question.....

I know I can use the "new" one in a gallon jar for another gallon of K-tea but what do I do with the older two on the bottom?  Can I use those for another gallon of K-tea?  Or do I throw the whole shabang in one gallon jar to make another batch?  Is there such a thing as too many "mothers" (and not enough babies)??? 

Thanks,

Joni
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt November 27, 2007, 12:56:58 PM
So I successfully did not "harm" the new SCOBY :) 

I have another question.....

I know I can use the "new" one in a gallon jar for another gallon of K-tea but what do I do with the older two on the bottom?  Can I use those for another gallon of K-tea?  Or do I throw the whole shabang in one gallon jar to make another batch?  Is there such a thing as too many "mothers" (and not enough babies)??? 

Thanks,

Joni
Use'em all. ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys November 27, 2007, 05:45:22 PM
So I successfully did not "harm" the new SCOBY :) 

I have another question.....

I know I can use the "new" one in a gallon jar for another gallon of K-tea but what do I do with the older two on the bottom?  Can I use those for another gallon of K-tea?  Or do I throw the whole shabang in one gallon jar to make another batch?  Is there such a thing as too many "mothers" (and not enough babies)??? 

Thanks,

Joni
Use'em all. ;D

You can do either or. I find that it doesn't need as much brewing time if you use more than one.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt November 27, 2007, 07:31:28 PM
So I successfully did not "harm" the new SCOBY :) 

I have another question.....

I know I can use the "new" one in a gallon jar for another gallon of K-tea but what do I do with the older two on the bottom?  Can I use those for another gallon of K-tea?  Or do I throw the whole shabang in one gallon jar to make another batch?  Is there such a thing as too many "mothers" (and not enough babies)??? 

Thanks,

Joni
Use'em all. ;D

You can do either or. I find that it doesn't need as much brewing time if you use more than one.
I didn't mean in the same jug ;D  Although, you can do that too.  Sorry, I wasn't clear.  :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: AllinHisTime November 27, 2007, 08:21:08 PM
Thanks......I'm just really excited about making "new" things out of other things :) 

I will probably make two gallons this time because my husband asked "how much can you make and can I take it work?" after he tasted it.  I think quantity has suddenly become an issue  ;)

Thanks for all your help!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: wyomama3 December 14, 2007, 10:53:29 AM
Question????   Is Kombucha better for you when harvested after 7 days or for a month or so?  The taste to me is MUCH better at a month.  I know some of you have a book about it, thought it might say.


The longer it brews the less sugar content and the more lactic acid and lactic acid bacteria will be present in the brew.  As far as I know, that's a good thing.  ;) 
Do you think this produced enough lactic acid? lol!
I made 2 gallon jars of bucha in June.  I harvested one as normal and forgot I had 2.  This jar was hidden behind a chair in my room.  In the meantime we finished summer, and had a baby.  The end of Nov, I moved the chair and whoa, here was a scoby with some bucha. :o  We had been smelling a vinegar smell.  Dh thought it was another of my experiments, how right he was, only I didn't know this experiment was taking place.  I dumped out the liquid, and took this pic.  I did try a small spoonfull, it was okay (vinegary), I just didn't know if it was good for me after that long.  I started a new batch with one of the scoby layers and threw the rest away.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: smalltown mom December 28, 2007, 07:38:28 AM
Hey, just searching through some of the posts here to find out if you absolutely have to have some kombucha tea to start your very first batch. The instructions on Laurel Farms say you have to, so any help would be appreciated. I just got my scoby in the mail--and am kind of nervous to start. Afraid it will turn out gross.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: morningglory December 28, 2007, 07:43:33 AM
As long as your SCOBY is alive and well, starter is not necessary.  The starter just speeds up the brewing process.  Just make your sweet tea, and plop your SCOBY in!  Kinda freaky at first, isn't it? :o
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom December 28, 2007, 08:05:58 AM
Hey, just searching through some of the posts here to find out if you absolutely have to have some kombucha tea to start your very first batch. The instructions on Laurel Farms say you have to, so any help would be appreciated. I just got my scoby in the mail--and am kind of nervous to start. Afraid it will turn out gross.

Nope, no starter necessary - I have been brewing ours for 8 mos and when I started I had only one scoby - I remember being afraid it would be nasty or I would mess it up - my family loves it, especially hubby.  My kids still think its pretty "cool" in a gross way  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt December 29, 2007, 06:57:15 AM
As long as your SCOBY is alive and well, starter is not necessary.  The starter just speeds up the brewing process.  Just make your sweet tea, and plop your SCOBY in!  Kinda freaky at first, isn't it? :o
Not using starter increases the risk of mold.  The high acid content of the starter helps to prevent this problem.  So it is not necessary, but a safety precaution.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Deb January 19, 2008, 03:05:18 PM
ok. I have made so many batches I can't count and I have a couple questions. Is this an Aquired taste? I know Gabe wrote an early post saying "my wife hates this stuff" and now Beka loves it. When and what changed your mind? Everyone says it is like a strong apple cider (which I love) but mine always tastes like vinegar. Always!! Sometimes a fizzy vinegar but always vinegar. So I broke down and tried GT"s and it tasted like vinegar too, even stronger than mine! I have to admit that when I used Beka's recipe it was the best of all my batches but it was still so vinegary. So, what to do for an apple cider fizzy kombucha with fantastic health benefits? Thanks!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 20, 2008, 05:20:18 AM
ok. I have made so many batches I can't count and I have a couple questions. Is this an Aquired taste? I know Gabe wrote an early post saying "my wife hates this stuff" and now Beka loves it. When and what changed your mind? Everyone says it is like a strong apple cider (which I love) but mine always tastes like vinegar. Always!! Sometimes a fizzy vinegar but always vinegar. So I broke down and tried GT"s and it tasted like vinegar too, even stronger than mine! I have to admit that when I used Beka's recipe it was the best of all my batches but it was still so vinegary. So, what to do for an apple cider fizzy kombucha with fantastic health benefits? Thanks!

Kombucha Tastes Like Vinegar: Preferences & Solutions (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,7452.0.html)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HeyMom January 20, 2008, 12:48:54 PM
ok. I have made so many batches I can't count and I have a couple questions. Is this an Aquired taste? I know Gabe wrote an early post saying "my wife hates this stuff" and now Beka loves it. When and what changed your mind? Everyone says it is like a strong apple cider (which I love) but mine always tastes like vinegar. Always!! Sometimes a fizzy vinegar but always vinegar. So I broke down and tried GT"s and it tasted like vinegar too, even stronger than mine! I have to admit that when I used Beka's recipe it was the best of all my batches but it was still so vinegary. So, what to do for an apple cider fizzy kombucha with fantastic health benefits? Thanks!

I am no expert at this.....but doing ours trial and error it seemed brewing time made a difference for us....I also use Bekas recipe as it was our "favorite"  and we brew it for 7 days only and the taste is less vinegary i'm sure because more of the sugar is still hangin around  hth
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: stebs7 January 20, 2008, 02:03:22 PM
We have been making/drinking Kombucha since 1994 - almost 14 years.  I always leave my new scobies on (we just call them mushrooms - I've never used the word scoby - or we call them medusa which is Polish for jelly fish:) - I never pull off the baby - I just leave them on and they grow thick - and from time to time I will pull a thick layer of them off if it looks kind of ugly looking:)  Sometimes, I will pull off a piece to give a friend (lots of people in Poland have gotten scobies from us) with some starter.  We always start Kombucha with starter - that passes on the yeast.

As for taste, we all love it and drink about 18 litres per week (right now its half of that because one of my pots broke somehow).  I have two 10 litre pots - one that we change on Tuesday, one of Friday.  In the winter, we leave them in longer than 7 days because the house is colder than in the summer - so it takes about 9 days to get to the taste we like - mainly I wait until it gets fizzy - that to me is the sign that the sugar has been eaten up and fermented!

I also rinse the pot out about once a month so the yeast build up does not get overwhelming which changes the taste (and gets very cloudy).  We do rinse off the scoby each week. 
We don't fiddle around with different types of tea etc. - just plain black with white sugar.....years ago they discussed how it white sugar was the only sweetener we are supposed to use because the others have molasses in it and that changes the process.  I am not sure what they would have used then hundreds of years before they started refining sugar - but there was a big discussion on a forum about it many years ago because us health nuts couldnt stand the idea of using white sugar in our houses:)  People wanted to use turbinado and rapadura or honey, etc. but the conclusion was that for some reason the white sugar was the one that worked best.

If you don't have starter, you can use a bit of real unfiltered apple cider vinegar that has the mother in it.

Blessings, Nancy in Poland (here many people tell me that they know Kombucha from when their grandmother used to make it before the war - during the war with rations on sugar and tea - it could no longer be made)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys January 20, 2008, 02:59:04 PM
That is interesting info, stebs7. We've been leaving our baby and mother mushrooms together too until they get too thick and are taking up too much room in the pot and we only wash our container every few batches too. So, its good to know my laziness is ok. JK. ;) It just didn't seem necessary to bother with all that every time.

And we've been very happy too with only black tea and always white sugar.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt January 21, 2008, 05:52:37 AM
As for taste, we all love it and drink about 18 litres per week
  That's about 4.75 gallons for anyone who's interested.  ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: stebs7 January 21, 2008, 08:16:25 AM
Thanks, I have gotten so used to the metric system that I don't remember how to work without it anymore :)  Everyone drinks some of it each week but there are 3 of us that drink alot each day!  However, with one pot down, we finish it long before the next batch is ready and keep dipping a cup in the pot to get some out even though its not ready because we miss/crave it so much!  My husband forgot that the pot was leaking and put some raw bacon slab in there to marinate before smoking it and we had liquid all over the floor!

I still never have figured out why the info that started in the States (to the best of my knowledge because I never heard of that before I saw the Kombucha fad start over there some years ago) said to only drink about 2 glasses a day (or something like that) - I just ignored that because I can drink 8 glasses a day or more of it and have done so for years and never had a problem - in fact while nursing it doubles my milk supply.

Blabbering on again.............

Blessings, Nancy in Poland
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: romance9398 February 20, 2008, 07:15:43 AM
Ok, not sure if I am using proper procedure or not.  I can't seem to find a way to post without replying.  I know, scary that I homeschool isn't.  So please forgive me if I am using bad manners.  I just made my first batch of Kombucha.  I lurked and read and got a scoby from a friend of mine.  My recipe called for 8 tea bags (I used regular decaf tea), 1 to 1.5 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar (to maintain the ph level) and water to make 1 gallon.

 It has been brewing for 8 days now.  All I had to brew in was a 2 gallon old fashioned pickle jar.  Covered it with paper towels and a rubberband.  My SCOBY is spreading to the edge of the jar because it is a much bigger jar than the mother was grown in.  Smells vinegery (is that a word).  Anyway, I am scared to taste it.  I scalded my jar with boiling water before using, used spring water you get at the store for my water.  To my knowlege did everything right.  So....has anyone ever died from this stuff.  I drink the kind in the health food store.  But have never made my own.  Any words of encouragement.  Mother and Baby look good, no fuzz.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: YoopreMama February 20, 2008, 08:15:13 AM
It sounds to me (not a 'bucha pro, by any means, but there are lots here ;)) like things are going well.  What temperature is it at?  If you got a baby SCOBY it sounds like it's "working".  It seems like everyone has a slightly different rule of thumb for harvesting, depending on flavor preferences...the longer it goes, the drier it gets, I believe.  If it's still sweet, it may not be "fully" ready, but some like it that way?  Correct me if I'm wrong, here, 'bucha experts!  :D  Mine goes in our warm basement for about a week.

You'll get more responses, soon, I'm sure--it's a VERY helpful forum!   :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys February 20, 2008, 08:49:01 AM
Yup, Yooper. You're right. (Of course) ;)

And to romance9398, kombucha isn't hard to do. We were nervous doing our first one too and anymore I'm not as picky about the sterilized container and things like that and its doing just fine.

So relax. ;) Since your baby is growing so well I'd say you're off to a good start. Once the sweetness and tea flavor is gone and replaced with fizz and has vinegary sting it should be ready to drink. If its too "vinegary" for you I'd try making it without adding vinegar as I'm assuming you used some starter kombucha with the scoby. I've never added vinegar so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about- I'm just thinking it may not be as strong without it and esp. when you're new and just getting used to the taste.

And btw, I'm not an expert- we just been making 5-6 gallons a week for almost 2 yrs.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: romance9398 February 20, 2008, 09:00:52 AM
Thanks for the replies.  I got my recipe from the friend that gave me a SCOBY.  She got the recipe with the one she got and so forth.  I tasted hers and really liked it.  I have been drinking the kombucha they have at the health food store.  But it is expensive.  Can't afford it all the time.  Hers was a little stronger.  But I liked it.  I don't see any fuzzy mold or stuff that looks bad.  And it smells like vinegar.  My dh is picking me up a glass container to keep it in the fridge in so I will let ya'll know how it tastes.  This is day 8 of the brewing process.  I am excited but I probably read too much.  I worry about us getting sick from it.  But I read how great you all feel.  So here goes......
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: romance9398 March 09, 2008, 05:35:57 PM
I'm so excited!!!  I brewed my second batch of kombucha.  I didn't die from the first but it didn't taste right.  I don't think I used enough tea.  It tasted kind of weak.  This time I used 3 organic green tea bags, 3 white tea bags and 2 peach herbal tea bags, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 gallon water, and 2 tbs. of apple cider vinegar.  It tastes great!!!  My baby was beautiful and much thicker than the last one.  And it tastes really good with just a hint of peach!!!  I am so glad.  I know this is silly but it makes me feel so good to do this stuff right.  Now I am trying sour dough bread with kefir.  Hope it works out.  Have a great week.  Christy
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys March 10, 2008, 05:08:32 AM
Hey, I understand your excitement, Christy. :) Way to go!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 10, 2008, 05:20:35 AM
I know this is silly but it makes me feel so good to do this stuff right.  Now I am trying sour dough bread with kefir.  Hope it works out.  Have a great week.  Christy
Accomplishment is always a good feeling.  I agree. ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mrs_H March 10, 2008, 07:32:19 AM
it's just chat right?  Ok I've been wanting to ask this question-
What is a scoby? I saw the pictures in a another thread and it looks kind scary :o
and it has veins ???
I want to try this drink but can I really stomach it?  I am pregnant right now.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK March 10, 2008, 08:51:18 AM
it's just chat right?  Ok I've been wanting to ask this question-
What is a scoby?
Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5998.msg12885.html#msg12885)
I saw the pictures in a another thread and it looks kind scary :o and it has veins ???

Well, that was possibly my SCOBY pictures you saw.  HERE (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,832.msg98445.html#msg98445)  The scoby doesn't really have veins, but it does often have darky, stringy yeast cells on it and the whole thing is wet.  The texture of a scoby in hand is a lot like holding a giant canned mushroom.  It gives a little bit, but it's mostly firm.

I want to try this drink but can I really stomach it?

Most 'Bucha drinkin' families around here like it, of course!  At my house, we started with a 5 day brew and green or black tea.  Now we brew for 14 days and like it a bit more zingy/acidic than we did at first.  Best things about starting bucha are that the materials and ingredients are pretty cheap or free.  And you can experiment to get the beverage just the way your family likes it.

I am pregnant right now.....

I drink it pregnant or nursing (I seem to be either or both quite often).  Here is a post in a topic that mentions pregnancy and I know there are other posts about that very question later on in the same topic.

Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,3305.msg9240.html#msg9240)

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mrs_H March 10, 2008, 10:34:22 AM
I'm glad to know a scoby it isn't some wierd organ :o

thanks for the reply- I will think about it more... .Maybe if someone else made it and I didn't have to watch it being made I could drink it. 
Or I will wait until I'm done with pregnancy, mostly I heard this is a good alternative to soda for my hubby.
 ;)

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: marksgirl March 19, 2008, 10:05:27 PM
I just started my first batch tonight!  Got started late...couldn't wait until morning  ;D (it's now 1am ::))  I bought the 1 gallon square glass container at WM, used 6 tea bags, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and then put in 3 Tbl ACV b/c I didn't bother to open up my package containing my newly-received SCOBY until the tea was cooling and discovered there was some "starter" tea in there.  Oops!  Oh well, if it turns out too vinegary, then we'll just use it as vinegar!

I liked SarahK's idea of keeping track of recipes and how people liked it, so I decided to start right off with a chart in Excel (I love that program!)  Now we'll see if I keep up on it as I go along... ;)

Oh, and I'm pregnant, too, but it sounds like it's safe to drink.  I'll probably try to not drink more than a glass a day, though, for starters, if only for the reason that dh and I won't want to run out too soon if we really like it!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: homeschooling madre March 24, 2008, 05:26:05 AM
Here's what I just found in the April 2008 Edition of Prevention Magazine:

"Skip Kombucha - Traditionally home brewed by fermenting yeast and bacteria in sweetened black tea, this hot health-food store pick (devotees say it's a cure-all) can bring on side effects from nausea to lead poisoning.  The drink can become contaminated with microorganisms, making it especially dangerous (and potentially fatal) for people with compromised immune systems."

Okay, where in the world does the lead poisoning come in?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys March 24, 2008, 06:06:45 AM
Sounds like someone wrote that who doesn't know a whole lot about kombucha. ;) I can't think why lead poisoning should be an issue unless someone is using bad water or the wrong material for a container. :-\ And microorganisms aren't all bad.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: diaperswyper March 24, 2008, 06:10:37 AM
 Yeah, skip kombucha, drink soda. Diet soda, of course, so you can "prevent" weight gain.  :-X  :-X
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mrs_H March 25, 2008, 08:44:43 AM
 :o      Diet soda??? I hope your joking!!! no you must be..
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: diaperswyper March 25, 2008, 08:56:22 AM
 Yup, joking, we can go  through 5 gallons of kombucha a week. My dh bottles it and then lets it sit out for another 2 wks. Gets as fizzy as a soda and a whole lot more satisfying.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: burlsgirl April 14, 2008, 02:12:35 AM
Hey HB, question for ya!

[/quote]
Mine tasted terrible at 5, 7 and 10 days until I adjusted the sugar content.  My shroom was running out of food I think.  I was kinda winging it, because Dom's and every other site I visited listed the sugar in metric and I think my conversion was off.  I started with 1 cup of sugar for a gallon of tea and changed it to 1 1/2 cup sugar for a gallon and it's much more bubbly and it tastes almost like apple juice.
[/quote]

So, after adjusting the sugar content, how long do you brew it? Also, as that was an old post, are you still making it this way?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt April 14, 2008, 03:24:51 AM
Hey HB, question for ya!

Mine tasted terrible at 5, 7 and 10 days until I adjusted the sugar content.  My shroom was running out of food I think.  I was kinda winging it, because Dom's and every other site I visited listed the sugar in metric and I think my conversion was off.  I started with 1 cup of sugar for a gallon of tea and changed it to 1 1/2 cup sugar for a gallon and it's much more bubbly and it tastes almost like apple juice.
[/quote]

So, after adjusting the sugar content, how long do you brew it? Also, as that was an old post, are you still making it this way?
[/quote]Yes, I still make it this way.  In the winter (colder months) I brew it about 14 days.  In the hotter months 10-12.  I think we have more tolerance for less sweet these days, but I still get a good strong fizzy effect and healthy baby SCOBYs from most of my batches.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: bizymum April 14, 2008, 08:58:29 AM
So how does everyone keep the 'bucha fizzy?  Mine is really fizzy when I first test it out of the jar, but then I strain it into a pitcher and then pour it into bottles to sit for a few more days and its just not as fizzy.  Am I doing something wrong?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys April 14, 2008, 09:45:07 AM
You will find some tips in this thread (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.0.html), like this post (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.msg38142.html#msg38142) for instance.
Basically it boils down to the tighter the lid/cork/cap, the better. :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: burlsgirl April 19, 2008, 02:18:50 PM
You will find some tips in this thread (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.0.html), like this post (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,6003.msg38142.html#msg38142) for instance.
Basically it boils down to the tighter the lid/cork/cap, the better. :)

Ok, after pouring it up into containers & "lidding" it tightly, does it go to the fridge or should it be kept out? My goal is fizz.

Thanks!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK April 19, 2008, 02:31:57 PM
The FIZZ comes from the continued growth of the critters - the warmer it is the more they will grow & the more fizz you will have.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: burlsgirl April 19, 2008, 02:38:36 PM
The FIZZ comes from the continued growth of the critters - the warmer it is the more they will grow & the more fizz you will have.

Sarah K

Thanks! So, tell me if I'm doing this right: I let it brew in the gallon jar for 7 days (didn't want it too vinegary), then took the baby & started a new batch. Then, I strained the bucha into three quart-sized mason jars with lids. It is now sitting on my counter. Good so far?

Now what? Two days? Three? And does it go into the fridge then, or ever?

I have to say that I fixed a glass over ice just to try it. My two yo dd took it from me & guzzled the whole thing! I have at least one bucha fan in the house!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK April 19, 2008, 05:12:10 PM
Thanks! So, tell me if I'm doing this right: I let it brew in the gallon jar for 7 days (didn't want it too vinegary), then took the baby & started a new batch. Then, I strained the bucha into three quart-sized mason jars with lids. It is now sitting on my counter. Good so far?

Yep!

Now what? Two days? Three? And does it go into the fridge then, or ever?

Yep - all of the above.  It's up to your preference here.  I let mine sit 5 days in the bottles - but I have bucha comin' out my ears 'round here, so we can easily wait.  If you are are just dyin' to chug that bucha - go ahead.  But the wait will make it more likely to be fizzy.  You can fridge it at any time.  We don't cuz I don't have the space so I serve it on ice.

I have to say that I fixed a glass over ice just to try it. My two yo dd took it from me & guzzled the whole thing! I have at least one bucha fan in the house!

Cheers!  Our 2yo loves Bucha Belches...
Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: jessica April 20, 2008, 09:17:25 AM
can you use cane juice crystals to make Kombucha?  I have always used regular sugar, but I do not have any sugar right now.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole April 20, 2008, 10:10:51 AM
can you use cane juice crystals to make Kombucha?  I have always used regular sugar, but I do not have any sugar right now.

Absolutely!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: firecattx April 22, 2008, 06:20:34 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.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Roehrmomma April 22, 2008, 06:28:28 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.....

Could but not necessarily. You can make kombucha taste so many different ways.Peach tea tastes like a wine cooler. Black tea is boring. Etc.

I say make some and see it is cheap and easy.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kelly the Kitchen Kop 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys 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...
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbs girl 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?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kelly the Kitchen Kop 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbs girl 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!

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Whiterock 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.

WR
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt 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. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole 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.   ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbs girl 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kelly the Kitchen Kop 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys 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. :-\
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kelly the Kitchen Kop 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: burlsgirl 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?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Siege 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kelly the Kitchen Kop 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: morningglory 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mrs. Dugger 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Kelly the Kitchen Kop 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)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: burlsgirl 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: DHW 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: anb 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 (http://www.anchorhocking.com/prodd_3613_cat_25_heritage_hill.html)
Thanks in advance!
Andrea
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: marksgirl 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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: DawnsEarlyBirds 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys 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 (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. ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbs girl 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??
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: blessedmama 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!! 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbs girl 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?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys 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.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: anb May 07, 2008, 09:09:00 AM
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
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Nickole May 07, 2008, 09:11:15 AM
I have been keeping my jars in my cupboard for 4 years now, brewing weekly, and never had a problem yet.  ;) 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbs girl May 07, 2008, 10:18:23 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.

Yes it is transparent and cloudy. Thanks for all your help, lotsaboys!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Leah IL May 12, 2008, 07:51:59 AM
Forgive me if this has been mentioned already...today we made strawberry slushies with kombucha and they were SO good!!!

frozen strawberries
ice
honey
kombucha

Fill the blender about 1/3 way with ice, add 1/3 cup raw honey (more if you like), add 1/2 bag strawberries and then fill the blender with kombucha.  Blend until smooth.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: valwhite1 May 12, 2008, 09:15:59 AM
Hi!  I have recently started brewing Kumbucha tea and I have a few questions:

I use Rooibos tead because I don't tolerate caffeine well at all.  Does anyone else here use Rooibos??

That being said, I experimented a little on my second batch and made 1 gallon with Rooibos and 1 gallon with black tea.  The black tea one seems to be much more fizzy (yummy!) and have much more zing!  I really like it.  The Rooibos one is too sweet for me and has very little fizz.  Is this the way it is with the Rooibos?  If I just let it ferment longer, will it get more fizz and zing? 

Also, when I bottled my first batch and came back later to drink, it had a film (scoby-like) covering on the top.  Is that normal???  It also has kinda slimy looking stuff floating around in it and sometimes little squiggles.  From what I read on this site,  I think it's okay but want to make sure.


Thanks for your help.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt May 12, 2008, 01:25:20 PM
I made sour/hot pork chops with Kombucha.  Here's the recipe.

http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,2045.msg175142.html#msg175142 (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,2045.msg175142.html#msg175142)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie August 19, 2008, 11:57:05 AM
ok, girls.  after reading the comments about the article on the other thread, i want to know:

1.  do you all REALLY cool the tea for exactly 1 1/2 hours?  after trying to do that for a while (months) i switched to just adding cool water to the sweet tea, then the scoby, then covering it.

2.  do you really brew in a bowl??  i found a bunch of 1 gal. jars (old pickle jars) and thought they were awesome, so have been using those, but i have always used 1 or 2 gal. jars from walmart.  now, after reading the do's and don't's it seems like i shouldn't be using those. 

3.  i've been brewing for 2 or 3 years with carbon block filtered water and never had mold.  i really don't want to switch, but i am concerned because my 21 day ginger kombucha has had no real benefits to my hubby that we can tell and i know he has too much Candida.  i would like to know for sure that there are benefits to my kombucha.  it has good fizz and flavor when it's done.  anyone?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: natural May 30, 2009, 02:53:40 AM
Hi all, I have a question

I have had a quart jar full of Kombucha and a small scoby floating around in it , in my fridge for prob 6-9 months....does anyone know if it is still good to use?

Sandra
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: boysmama May 30, 2009, 10:51:34 AM
I'd make a nice strong, extra sweet tea and try it out. It may be ok with a little TLC. Sometimes though when I resurrect and unused, aged scoby the balance of yeasts and bacteria are off and it is very vinegary or bitter.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: natural May 30, 2009, 11:31:26 AM
I'd make a nice strong, extra sweet tea and try it out. It may be ok with a little TLC. Sometimes though when I resurrect and unused, aged scoby the balance of yeasts and bacteria are off and it is very vinegary or bitter.

thanks I went ahead with it.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HappyWifey May 31, 2009, 02:57:13 PM
I have been reading here and there about kombucha, and I am wondering about hearing how people brew theirs for 2 weeks at a time? As some of you have seen on Fb I have 2 3 gal crocks that I brew mine in, and they are ready in three days (no longer sweet, but sour) and then I pour a little bit of grape juice (or other) into a bottle (like a Grosch (sp)) and cap them and let them sit another 3 days before moving them into cold storage.

Are you just waiting 2 weeks until the taste changes or am I missing something?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys June 01, 2009, 02:18:17 PM

Are you just waiting 2 weeks until the taste changes or am I missing something?

I've answered this here (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5998.msg52592.html#msg52592), here (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5998.msg52883.html#msg52883), and here (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,5998.msg52928.html#msg52928) but the entire thread should have some helpful info for you.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HappyWifey June 01, 2009, 03:49:34 PM
Ok so I read part of the whole discussion on the first link, but it sounds as though everyone elses is not getting sour until after that long of time. Ours if I left it until 5 days would be extremely vinegary as in like drinking pure raw acv! I asked my mom about hers and she said that when she first got her scobies that it took 10 to 14 days to ferment, but now we are down to 3 days. Mine that I just got from her the first one was done in three days and the two batches right now were and will me four days.

Sorry a obout my typing skills I am on our iPod and typing isn't the easiest!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: aflora June 24, 2009, 12:59:08 PM
I am pretty sure amazon carries it. It is worth buying though! It is guide for everything related to WAPF and a great resource for literature to show people in your life who are maybe a bit skeptical about our diet...
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: FarmWife June 24, 2009, 01:13:34 PM
I make mine in a gallon jar.  I use water from my Berkey.  I let the tea cool and sit sometimes all day.  I have been doing this for about 4 months. 

I did find that I was drinking about a quart a day.  I was having some kidney pains, so I backed off.  Has anyone else experienced this?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: hi_itsgwen June 24, 2009, 03:34:32 PM
Ok so I read part of the whole discussion on the first link, but it sounds as though everyone elses is not getting sour until after that long of time. Ours if I left it until 5 days would be extremely vinegary as in like drinking pure raw acv! I asked my mom about hers and she said that when she first got her scobies that it took 10 to 14 days to ferment, but now we are down to 3 days. Mine that I just got from her the first one was done in three days and the two batches right now were and will me four days.

Sorry a obout my typing skills I am on our iPod and typing isn't the easiest!
We had a bad experience with using a second hand scoby that had weakened and became contaminated.  So, if it's not acting right that could be a consideration.  Heat also plays a part in how quickly it brews.  Also, it could be that the crocks collect the bacterias in the rough surface, and spout areas, so it's brewing much quicker.  Sort of like if you don't rinse your kefir jar between batches...the second batch sets up much quicker.

HTH!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: eightofus July 18, 2009, 09:29:44 AM
I have made kombucha, but am reluctant to drink it because of the mixed messages I've been getting about it's safety.  If I am drinking kefir, why do I need to drink kombucha?  What are the different benefits of both?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie March 03, 2010, 05:54:12 AM
i'd like to hear from lotsaboys & SarahK & anyone else who's brewed Kombucha successfully for a long time!   

do you use flavored teas in addition to black?  what is your ratio of teabags/water/sugar?  how do your scoby's look after brewing for many years?  do you actually leave the tea cool & for how long? 

i have been breaking several of the said "rules" mostly using flavors, and not leaving it cool, but just adding the sugar, then cool water, then the scoby cuz it's faster and i'm done quick.  my ratio is 1 gallon, 4 black, 3 flavors, & 1 c. sugar.  my scoby's aren't very thick, maybe cuz i've been brewing from 7-9 days.  they usually look rather ugly, with holes and dark spots.  i've not had great results healthwise, for those drinking it, but it used to be more obvious what it did for my son's digestion.  not so much now.  looking for input! thanks!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mama Sita March 03, 2010, 08:24:34 AM
Well, I'm not lotsaboys or SarahK, but we've been brewing Kombucha for around 3 years. I've definitely learned my lesson: I ALWAYS boil all my water for my tea (1 gallon or a little less) instead of adding cool water to my already boiled stuff. Does that make sense? Inotherwords, I ALWAYS boil all my water!!

Here's what happened: Being in a hurry, I tried the boil + add cool water technique. After our regular brewing time of about 2 weeks (we're cold here, so it takes longer), I opened my lovely batch of kombucha tea only to discover that the entire batch had gone gooey on me! It was thick and slimey, like a big batch of snot (sorry, TMI!) I immediately threw it out, along with the scoby and vowed to NEVER do that again! Yipes! :o

Sooo, when I do things properly and boil the entire gallon of water, then add the heaping cup of sugar, boil again, throw in 5 tea bags (Lipton black only, we are not fond of the flavors), let steep and cool overnight, then strain + add scoby in the morning, we never have any problems. And I have nice thick, happy scobies!! I always play by the rules with kombucha!!! ;D
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie March 03, 2010, 09:21:19 AM
he Mamasita! how many days do you brew?  i thought because my water was filtered w/ a carbon block it didn't all need to be boiled.  hmmmm.....
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Mama Sita March 03, 2010, 11:46:01 AM
Um, we probably brew close to 2 weeks, only b/c our house is kept at about 60 degrees, on the cool side. We use a Berkey water filter and I still insist on boiling the water.....don't want to grow anything 'cept kombucha, KWIM??  :P
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: SarahK March 04, 2010, 02:30:44 AM
I'm anything but conventional, I guess.

I often (but not exclusively) use 4 bags Celestial Seasonings Herbal tea (or some other herbal) and 1 bag green tea boiled in 3 c water.  Put that in gallon jar with 1.25-1.33 c sugar and dissolve sugar.  Add cold water right from the faucet from the well to the amount I want.  Add scoby & 1-2c of bucha from before.  Cover with filter & let it sit.  We're brewing really weird day amounts now.  It seems to be either 7 or 14+.  Nothing inbetween.  But that will likely level out to about 10 days when summer hits and we are drinking more kombucha.

My batches vary.  Right now, I have one scoby that gives a really, really fizzy variety and 2 others that are just kinda fizzy.  I've been thinning out the 'kinda fizzy' ones in favor of the fizzier scoby.

My scobys are usually pretty thick.  The thin ones at 7 days are till 1/4 inch or more and could easily stand alone in a gallon - though I usually just leave them all together unless the mass is getting huge or I'm shipping one off.

I believe we are still getting the benefits we were experiencing however many years ago.  Now, it's not growing my hair back ultra thick or making my kids' teeth grow straight, but it seems to help with GI regularity like it always did.  AND it keeps us out of the Coke/Sprite which is our greatest benefit that we brag about.

Sarah K
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: lotsaboys March 04, 2010, 07:15:49 AM
I'm a stick-to-the-rules-for-bucha person too. We have lovely, thick scobys and every batch is perfect, although varying in fizziness as SarahK mentioned.

I do 2 gal. at a time usually...but for 1 gallon the ratio would be:
Boil 4c. water
Add 1c. sugar, stir and leave on heat a couple min.
Turn off heat and put in 4 bags black tea (we use the Tetley brand)
I do this before going to bed so in the morning its cool for pouring in my jars.

In winter each batch takes a good 2 weeks to get done and in the summer a week is all that's needed. Either way the scoby's are always thick (1/4-1/2 "), smooth and uniform in color.

I've never tried flavored teas as we like it so well with black and didn't see any reason to change. Besides I don't like playing around with it and not really knowing what product I'm actually ending up with.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Leat March 04, 2010, 07:46:14 AM
We've been making a gallon at a time.

 I bring 3 qts water to rolling boil, stir in 1 cup sugar todissolve, then add 2 bags black tea and 4 bags herbal tea. Turn off heat, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove lid and let cool to room temp. Transfer to gallon jar with 1 cup old brew and scoby, cover and store.

 I can tell a huge difference in time depending on the weather. Fizzier in the summer. 10 days to even up to 28 days in winter.

 Our current  favorite flavor is herbal black cherry! Also like peach and raspberry zinger.

Leat
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 04, 2010, 08:51:20 AM
I have made kombucha, but am reluctant to drink it because of the mixed messages I've been getting about it's safety.  If I am drinking kefir, why do I need to drink kombucha?  What are the different benefits of both?
kefir and kombucha do not contain the same species of probiotics. 

kombucha is also non-dairy (some have issues with casein/lactose, etc.), and it's cheaper by far to make than kefir. 

this is really a judgment call on your part.  variety is good, but kefir is great.  if you're afraid of kombucha, you might want to try something else (kimchee, kvass, kraut, etc.) to add some variety. 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthybratt March 04, 2010, 08:55:19 AM
i have been breaking several of the said "rules" mostly using flavors, and not leaving it cool, but just adding the sugar, then cool water, then the scoby cuz it's faster and i'm done quick.  my ratio is 1 gallon, 4 black, 3 flavors, & 1 c. sugar.  my scoby's aren't very thick, maybe cuz i've been brewing from 7-9 days.  they usually look rather ugly, with holes and dark spots.  i've not had great results healthwise, for those drinking it, but it used to be more obvious what it did for my son's digestion.  not so much now.  looking for input! thanks!
i had the same problem when i started.  to fix the problem i upped my sugar to 1.5 cups per gallon and my brewing time to 14 days.  nice thick healthy scobies and great flavor.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: 4myhoonie March 06, 2010, 05:36:42 AM
i have been breaking several of the said "rules" mostly using flavors, and not leaving it cool, but just adding the sugar, then cool water, then the scoby cuz it's faster and i'm done quick.  my ratio is 1 gallon, 4 black, 3 flavors, & 1 c. sugar.  my scoby's aren't very thick, maybe cuz i've been brewing from 7-9 days.  they usually look rather ugly, with holes and dark spots.  i've not had great results healthwise, for those drinking it, but it used to be more obvious what it did for my son's digestion.  not so much now.  looking for input! thanks!
i had the same problem when i started.  to fix the problem i upped my sugar to 1.5 cups per gallon and my brewing time to 14 days.  nice thick healthy scobies and great flavor.

hmmmm..............i'll have to give give this a try! thanks gals!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: anb May 12, 2010, 09:00:35 AM
I know I've read the answer to this somewhere, and I've searched high and low...but can't find it.  I have several mason jars of kombucha that got pushed to the back of a closet and never opened.  They may be as old as 1 1/2 - 2 years old.  Are they still good?  I'm inclined to think they'd be fine (once I strain out all the scoby-bits that have grown in them), but don't want to chance it.  Anyone have any experience with this?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HappyWifey May 12, 2010, 11:11:26 AM
So long as there is no mold, insects, and they haven't disintegrated they should be fine. :)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Sheila July 16, 2010, 01:29:12 PM
Hi everybody!  I went to all of the grocery stores in our town today and found that all the kombucha was pulled off the shelves.  I called one of the natural food stores and was told it is recalled due to the alcohol in it.  She said it was found to ferment further after sitting on the shelf.  Does anyone know anything about this?  I'm wondering if I'll need to start making my own.  Thanks!!
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One July 16, 2010, 06:49:39 PM
Hi everybody!  I went to all of the grocery stores in our town today and found that all the kombucha was pulled off the shelves.  I called one of the natural food stores and was told it is recalled due to the alcohol in it.  She said it was found to ferment further after sitting on the shelf.  Does anyone know anything about this?  I'm wondering if I'll need to start making my own.  Thanks!!

Locally (here), one brand (GT Dave's) was pulled from the shelves of our major local natural grocery chain because they couldn't prove it was consistently below 5% alcohol level.  They were still stocking 3 other brands, two of which are made in our area.  I'm not certain what spurred the recall.  You might see if the stores in your area will bring in other brands.

However, making your own is cheaper, pretty easy, and kinda fun.  Some people prefer the flavors you can come up with in homemade over store bought.  And you can customize it to taste just how you like.  IF you like to experiment, that is. ;) 
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Missy July 16, 2010, 07:18:45 PM
Hi everybody!  I went to all of the grocery stores in our town today and found that all the kombucha was pulled off the shelves.  I called one of the natural food stores and was told it is recalled due to the alcohol in it.  She said it was found to ferment further after sitting on the shelf.  Does anyone know anything about this?  I'm wondering if I'll need to start making my own.  Thanks!!


I saw this article online concerning the recall:    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fermented-tea-kombucha-apf-340175706.html?x=0  (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fermented-tea-kombucha-apf-340175706.html?x=0)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: charisma July 26, 2010, 07:54:24 AM
Hi, I have been creeping on this site for a long time. Reading about kombucha.  I purchased my first scoby and started my first batch.   I think my tea is just about ready, but not the baby.  It is a thin clear layer on the top of my jarwith a little bit of white tinge to it.  Can I brew a gallon with this tiny thin non scoby like baby?  Or is there a way to boost this baby quick?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One July 26, 2010, 01:23:28 PM
Hi, I have been creeping on this site for a long time. Reading about kombucha.  I purchased my first scoby and started my first batch.   I think my tea is just about ready, but not the baby.  It is a thin clear layer on the top of my jarwith a little bit of white tinge to it.  Can I brew a gallon with this tiny thin non scoby like baby?  Or is there a way to boost this baby quick?

Personally, I'd just keep the baby with the mother for another batch or two until the baby appears thick and healthy and ready to brew it's own batch.   :)

Anybody else out there with a different recommendation?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: healthyinOhio July 26, 2010, 03:22:02 PM
Just because a baby is thin doesn't mean it isn't healthy. It's just a newbie, that's all!  ;)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: drfalk July 30, 2010, 02:55:40 PM
I was wondering if anyone noticed if their kombucha lost fizz after it has been fermenting for 30 days?
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: Youthful One August 03, 2010, 10:52:24 AM
I was wondering if anyone noticed if their kombucha lost fizz after it has been fermenting for 30 days?
Do you mean one batch has gone 30 days?  Or one scoby has been brewing two or more batches in a 30-day period and after 30 days it's no longer producing fizz?

(I'm asking more to bump the topic, as I can't answer.  ;)  Only recently have I had fizzy kombucha - I went many years with un-fizzy.)
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: motherhen7 August 24, 2010, 05:16:44 PM
I was wondering if anyone noticed if their kombucha lost fizz after it has been fermenting for 30 days?
Do you mean one batch has gone 30 days?  Or one scoby has been brewing two or more batches in a 30-day period and after 30 days it's no longer producing fizz?

(I'm asking more to bump the topic, as I can't answer.  ;)  Only recently have I had fizzy kombucha - I went many years with un-fizzy.)

drfalk, what did you do to make it fizzy after so long?  Did you change your recipe?  Ours isn't fizzy yet.  It's nearing the end of winter, so it's taking ages for each batch to be done, but still hardly a bit of fizz.  I use 1.5 Cups  of sugar to a gallon (4lt) of water.  The last batch I used 3 green tea bags with on black tea, and over a month of brewing not much action.-  Thin baby, and went vinegary.  I actually used less sugar in that batch as well so I'm sure that made it slow.  I find the 1.5 cups too sweet for my taste buds, but I really want some fizz.  I bought my first scoby in mid April, so I don't know if it will just take a while to get it working well.  

WE mostly drink the tibicos fermented water and add that to juice for a day or two and it gets lovely and fizzy.  I can make 2 gallons of Kefir water every 3 or so days.  Wish Kombucha was this quick!  I do want several sources of ferments for probiotics to have a good balance of gut flora.

This batch of Kombucha is back to black with a couple of celestial seasonings chai- smells really good.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HOMEFree October 21, 2010, 01:45:14 PM
Someone on an elist somewhere said I could make my own using GT Kombucha. ( :o ? )

How on earth would someone be able to make a scoby without a mama on the kombucha? I would think GT Kombucha would be too diluted, for one thing. It just does not make sense to me.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: herbalmom October 21, 2010, 03:59:37 PM
Check this thread:  Kombucha Chaining: How to Create a SCOBY (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,8366.0.html)

Also Google Kombucha Chaining & you'll get lots more info.
: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: HOMEFree October 24, 2010, 05:04:42 AM
Check this thread:  Kombucha Chaining: How to Create a SCOBY (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,8366.0.html)

Also Google Kombucha Chaining & you'll get lots more info.

THANK YOU, Herbalmom! You are so sweet!

: Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
: WI Cheesehead May 15, 2011, 01:25:33 PM
I just made my 2nd batch of kombucha.  I am not a tea drinker, but I love this!  How much alcohol content do you think is in it?  I brew mine about 10 days, and it's a strong apple cider taste.  I follow Laurel Farm's recipe.  It's so easy to follow, esp. with all the pictures!  :) 

My baby scoby is much larger and thinner than the mother I received, I think due to my using a bowl to brew in.  I ended up removing the baby, but now think I wouldn't use the baby alone.  It's wide and thin and ripped in the middle (where it attaches).  Would it be okay alone in a gallon brew?  I'm thinking of giving one to a friend, but keeping the mother.

Does it get more alcohol the longer you brew it?  I read about so many people that give it to their kids (even 2 yo's) and I gave about a 1/2 cup to my DD's 16 yo friend.  She liked it, but after that said she almost couldn't think straight.  Would the alcohol content affect someone that much?

Could you warm the done stuff to remove the alcohol, or would that kill all the good bacteria anyways?

If you strain it well and tightly cork/cap it and leave on the counter, does it continue to brew?  Is that what happens when it 'gets fizzy'?

I'm deciding whether to give this to my kids or not, based on the friends' reaction to it.