Kombucha

For discussion of non-alcoholic fermented drinks
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Jim
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Kombucha

Post by Jim » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:29 pm

Anybody here into making this stuff?
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Trefoyl
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Re: Kombucha

Post by Trefoyl » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:48 pm

They have growler stations in the US where you can take several different varieties home. I'm not interested myself but I warned my T-total sister who is interested making in that sort of thing, that homebrewed kombucha is alcoholic :lol:
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Re: Kombucha

Post by Jim » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:39 am

I'm liking the sound of it even more! :lol:

It's not much though, from what I understand.
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steviebobs83
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Re: Kombucha

Post by steviebobs83 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:58 pm

Jim wrote:Anybody here into making this stuff?
I've made it myself in the past, Jim. It's a bit of an acquired taste, can get very sharp and vinegary the longer you leave it.

I cultured my own scoby (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) from an unpasteurized bottle I bought from an organic shop on Heaton Road. You can buy them online for a reasonable price if you can't be bothered with the hassle of culturing.

I ended up knocking it on the head because I'm the only person in my house who likes it and it's not really worthwhile making in anything less than 1 gallon batches.

There's loads of online tutorials on YouTube and it's pretty straightforward to make, with tons of variations on flavour and it's supposed to be really good for your gut "biome"

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Jim
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Re: Kombucha

Post by Jim » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:05 pm

Thanks Steve. I've been googling it like mad and watching videos, so I've got an idea of how to go on.

I was more after tips on the best places to get a scoby from and whether or not getting a cheap vs expensive one made a huge difference. I'm looking at it from a brewer's perspective obviously, but I'm assuming it's similar to yeast, and that getting the right culture might make all the difference in the world to the finished product.

Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to come by good commercial examples in the UK and the only stuff I've tried is supermarket bottles, which are really just like fruit juice with a slightly unusual flavour and a big price tag.
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Re: Kombucha

Post by steviebobs83 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:13 pm

Jim wrote:Thanks Steve. I've been googling it like mad and watching videos, so I've got an idea of how to go on.

I was more after tips on the best places to get a scoby from and whether or not getting a cheap vs expensive one made a huge difference. I'm looking at it from a brewer's perspective obviously, but I'm assuming it's similar to yeast, and that getting the right culture might make all the difference in the world to the finished product.

Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to come by good commercial examples in the UK and the only stuff I've tried is supermarket bottles, which are really just like fruit juice with a slightly unusual flavour and a big price tag.
Well one thing I do know is, a scoby can be (and in fact must be) split once it's done a few brews as they get large and divide a bit. So if there's anyone on here that makes the stuff, I'm sure they'd be willing to share.

Otherwise, see if you can get hold of an unpasteurized bottle and give it a go culturing it up. It doesn't take too long and you'll end up with your own "house blend".

Another thing worth noting is to use loose tea or organic (plastic free) teabags, if you're conscious of all that plastic malarkey.

Your timing is really poor actually as my friend just tried to make some, not knowing what it actually tasted like, and he chucked the lot, scoby included.



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Re: Kombucha

Post by Trefoyl » Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:00 am

Is scoby anything like ginger beer plant?
https://delishably.com/beverages/How-t ... Beer-Plant
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Re: Kombucha

Post by asd » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:14 am

I've been making it commercially on and off for a couple of years now. I stick it in Keykegs and a couple of pubs locally sell it as an alternative to more commercial, sugary, unhealthy, fizzy drinks. I also serve it in my taproom at times.

I don't think it makes any difference which scoby you use.

I've made it with a few litres of wort as the source of fermentable sugars, and that went really well, although it is not gluten free.

I prefer it not too sour, flavoured with herbs and fruit, and with a bit of fizz to it. Its very refreshing.

I'll happily send you a chunk of scoby.

Cheers,

Simon.
Last edited by asd on Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kombucha

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:27 am

Trefoyl wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:00 am
Is scoby anything like ginger beer plant?
https://delishably.com/beverages/How-t ... Beer-Plant
I think it's similar. Scoby actually stands for 'Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast'. EDIT: I see looking back that Steve already mentioned that though.
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Re: Kombucha

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:28 am

asd wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:14 am
I've been making it commercially on and off for a couple of years now. I stick it in Keykegs and a couple of pubs locally sell it as an alternative to fizzy drinks. I also serve it in my taproom at times.

I don't think it makes any difference which scoby you use.

I've made it with a few litres of wort as the source of fermentable sugars, and that went really well, although it is not gluten free.

I prefer it not too sour, flavoured with herbs and fruit, and with a bit of fizz to it. Its very refreshing.

I'll happily send you a chunk of scoby.

Cheers,

Simon.
Simon, that would be great, thanks. :) I'll get in touch once I have acquired the necessary large jam jar, which will probably be next week if that's OK (I understand a demijohn is no good as you need a large surface area for gas exchange - I would be happy to be corrected on that though, as I already have some).
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Re: Kombucha

Post by asd » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:47 am

Hi,

Yes, you definitely need a large area, open to the air. The SCOBY will grow to fit the diameter of your vessel. The bigger the surface area for gas exchange the better. You will also need to be able to remove it for division, etc.

I've made it in a big stainless saucepan or stockpot, which I guess you might have knocking about.

Cheers,

Simon.

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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:30 pm

PM me Jim,

I'll send you a scoby.
I make 3 bottles a week.
Green tea tastes best imho.
6 tablespoons sugar
6 teaspoons green tea
2 kettles hot water.

keep covered and warm.
A large mixing bowl will do fine.

I use an aquarium heater in the shed but I get too much evaporation really.

repeat weekly.

most health food shops sell raw unpastuerised Kombucha and thet's where I grew my current scoby.

I find 4 weeks in a champagne bottle tastes about right to me.
The last time I made it approx 10 years ago it was nice and fizzy but it's flat as anything these days.
Don't know why.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
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Re: Kombucha

Post by Jim » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:40 pm

charlie wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:30 pm
PM me Jim,

I'll send you a scoby.
I make 3 bottles a week.
Green tea tastes best imho.
6 tablespoons sugar
6 teaspoons green tea
2 kettles hot water.

keep covered and warm.
A large mixing bowl will do fine.

I use an aquarium heater in the shed but I get too much evaporation really.

repeat weekly.

most health food shops sell raw unpastuerised Kombucha and thet's where I grew my current scoby.

I find 4 weeks in a champagne bottle tastes about right to me.
The last time I made it approx 10 years ago it was nice and fizzy but it's flat as anything these days.
Don't know why.
Thanks Charlie. I'll take note of that recipe, though I've already got an offer of a scoby from Simon (above). I have a load of flowery orange pekoe, so I'll try that in my first batch. :)
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Re: Kombucha

Post by bryanferry » Wed Feb 05, 2020 3:16 pm

I've been making kombucha for a while now and try to get it like Asd. Base liquid mixed well with fruit juice or hibiscus/ginger.

Wilkinson's do a 6 litre beverage dispenser with a wide opening that make a good (easily cleanable) vessel. The tap is rubbish so bought a stainless steel alternative. Grew up my Scoby from a purchased bottle of Kombucha at a health food shop.

Far easier to brew a batch than ale and quite a good production rate.

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Re: Kombucha

Post by Jim » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:55 pm

Great post @bryanferry. :)

I've already got my eye on that Wilkinsons glass jar, but I did wonder about the supplied tap. Which tap did you replace it with?
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