Author Topic: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information  (Read 208698 times)

Offline Clementine

  • Adept
  • Posts: 408
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #30 on: 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.
"I waited patiently on the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #31 on: 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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #32 on: 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.
  My favorite herb book!!

Elbereth

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #33 on: 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!

Elbereth

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #34 on: 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!!!!!! :)

Elbereth

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2006, 01:11:54 PM »
Thank you so much! ;D

Offline ForeverGirl

  • Global Moderator
  • Master
  • Posts: 1418
  • BoogBug
    • WellTellMe
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #36 on: 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.
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
"JOE!!! You DOUGHNUT COCONUT COCONUT COCONUT!!!"

Offline Mrs. Dugger

  • Adept
  • Posts: 182
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #37 on: 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!

Offline wardermom

  • Learning
  • Posts: 26
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #38 on: 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?


Offline gusoceros

  • Adept
  • Posts: 128
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #39 on: 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

Offline leslieincali

  • Adept
  • Posts: 403
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #40 on: 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.

Nickole

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #41 on: 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       

Offline ForeverGirl

  • Global Moderator
  • Master
  • Posts: 1418
  • BoogBug
    • WellTellMe
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #42 on: 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
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
"JOE!!! You DOUGHNUT COCONUT COCONUT COCONUT!!!"

Offline ForeverGirl

  • Global Moderator
  • Master
  • Posts: 1418
  • BoogBug
    • WellTellMe
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #43 on: 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.
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
"JOE!!! You DOUGHNUT COCONUT COCONUT COCONUT!!!"

Offline SC

  • Guru
  • Posts: 2139
  • Ephesians 5:2
    • Lexington Slim
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #44 on: 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.
I'm no doctor . . .             I'm not even a Post hole Digger! ;)
See what works for me at LexingtonSlim.com

Nickole

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #45 on: 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

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #46 on: 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
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline ALittleMore

  • Adept
  • Posts: 311
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #47 on: 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.

Offline healthyinOhio

  • Guru
  • Posts: 4024
  • Happily Married for 12 years and proud mama of 2.
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #48 on: 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.

Nickole

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #49 on: 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!

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #50 on: 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.
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline healthyinOhio

  • Guru
  • Posts: 4024
  • Happily Married for 12 years and proud mama of 2.
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2006, 05:06:27 PM »
Thanks Nickole and HB!! 

Offline Simply Kristen

  • My weekly podcast that explores all aspects of healthy living.
  • Master
  • Posts: 1851
    • SimplyKristen Blog
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #52 on: 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?

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #53 on: 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.
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline Simply Kristen

  • My weekly podcast that explores all aspects of healthy living.
  • Master
  • Posts: 1851
    • SimplyKristen Blog
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #54 on: 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????"

Offline healthyinOhio

  • Guru
  • Posts: 4024
  • Happily Married for 12 years and proud mama of 2.
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #55 on: 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.

Offline boysmama

  • Global Moderator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 2199
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #56 on: 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.

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #57 on: 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.
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline quiltnkerri

  • Wide Eyed
  • Posts: 2
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #58 on: 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?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 04:56:59 AM by quiltnkerri »

Offline chopchop

  • Adept
  • Posts: 221
Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #59 on: 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?   ???