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Thread: kombucha?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    Default kombucha?

    I was given a Kombucha starter with cryptic info. I made nearly a gallon of sweet green tea, added 1/4 cup of vinegar, pitched the starter, and am waiting to see what happens. Anyone have experience in what to expect/do?
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    Default Re: kombucha?

    I make a great deal of kombucha. What do you want to know? It needs oxygen but also to be protected from contamination; cheesecloth or fine screen to cover the top. Keep at room temperature and a pellicle, kind of a clear, jellyfish-looking slime, will grow out from the mother. Eventually it'll thicken and turn tannish, covering the surface. It'll smell sour as the sugars are converted to organic acids gradually, turning from sweet to sour. Bottle when the sourness is to taste, and the occlusion of oxygen will stop the progression. In the bottle the organism will use its remaining oxygen to carbonate the kombucha. Reserve a starter, a mother with some finished kombucha, for the next batch.

    I bottled for years before biting the bullet and dedicating a keg and faucet in my beer fridge to kombucha.

    There are a skillion websites on kombucha: here's one that's pretty factually-based though I haven't looked in a while. I also prefer green tea kombucha; as you know it has to be real tea (green or black). I bite the bullet and use sugar rather than honey, though I'm sure one of these times I'll get courageous enough to scale down to a smaller batch size and try it (I do 5-10 gallons a time). The honey, I suspect, would be harder on some elements of the scoby, unbalancing the multi-cultural inolulant.

    Enjoy! I love kombucha as a healthful alternative to sodas. If I'm not drinking homebrew (or Scotch), it's usually kombucha.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    Default Re: kombucha?

    You answered most of my Q's, thanks! I started in my fermentation bucket, and did place the lid on, which I will promptly replace with cloth this afternoon. I only have about a gallon in the 7gall bucket, so there should have been plenty of air...
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Eagle Creek, Oregon
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: kombucha?

    Ben,
    is it safe to use the same equipment for kombucha that you will later use for beer? Is there the same sort of "permanent contamination" issue that lambic brewers worry about?

    George

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    Default Re: kombucha?

    Strictly biohazard brewing: all plastic components must be strictly segregated. I (personally) use metal equipment for both routinely, but my sanitization regimen is born of a biology geek whose parents were a surgeon and a public health nurse .

    Tip: I use my red queen-marking pen (Testor enamel) for indicating the biohazard racking tubes, keg fittings, etc.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: kombucha?

    I hope someone in the know responds to that. I was planning on sterilizing the life out of the bucket before the next beer batch, but maybe I'll second guess that...
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: kombucha?

    brewcat- your ears must've been burning...
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

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