Author Topic: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information  (Read 208575 times)

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #60 on: December 19, 2006, 02:41:34 AM »
Everthing sounds totally normal according to my experiences too, Chopchop!  You did very well in describing everything!

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #61 on: 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

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #62 on: December 19, 2006, 03:04:58 AM »

Quote

 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
Quote

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.   

Offline Badgermom

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #63 on: 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?

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #64 on: 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!

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #65 on: 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!

Offline craig7

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #66 on: 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

Offline abbilynn

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #67 on: December 19, 2006, 09:38:33 AM »
I agree - it is difficult as a first-timer!  Maybe they could split it up or something.
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #68 on: 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.

Offline abbilynn

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #69 on: 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
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Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #70 on: 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!

Offline abbilynn

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #71 on: 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
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Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #72 on: 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  ;).

Offline abbilynn

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #73 on: December 20, 2006, 05:45:21 AM »
Oh, I just meant for flavoring.  I'm using green tea for a base tea.  :)
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #74 on: 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.
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #75 on: 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

Offline Whiterock

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2006, 07:10:08 AM »
Quote
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.

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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #77 on: 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.

Offline Lovin'myHoneyinVT

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #78 on: 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

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #79 on: 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!!

Offline blsd2bhome

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #80 on: 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!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #81 on: 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.  ;)
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Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #82 on: 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.
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Offline Whiterock

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #83 on: 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.  ;)

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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #84 on: 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... ::)
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Offline blsd2bhome

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #85 on: 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?


Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #86 on: 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
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Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #87 on: 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.

Quote
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
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Offline boysmama

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #88 on: 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 :-*

Offline linemansgirl

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #89 on: 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!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.    Galatians 6:9