Kombucha

For discussion of non-alcoholic fermented drinks
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MashBag
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Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:00 am

About a week ago I ordered a kombucha starter.

Has anyone else tried it ?

guypettigrew
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Re: Kombucha

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:25 am

Errm--did you look in the cunningly titled 'Kombucha' section on here?!

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MashBag
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Re: Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Wed Jan 19, 2022 12:26 pm

Errm. How did I miss that! Thanks.

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:59 pm

If you'd posted asking on here I'd have sent you one.
I've been doing Kombucha for years.
Feel free to ask for advice.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

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MashBag
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Re: Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:44 pm

Cheers Charlie.

First run was really nice, so I have split it into two and used it as a starter.

Are they any tips/tricks I should know.

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:42 pm

Here's what I find best, it's really easy:
Bottle last weeks Kombucha and save the latest scobie and some of last weeks if it hasn't grown very well with a small amount of last weeks brew.
Green tea, not black - it produces a much lighter, more refreshing flavour.
Two kettles of boiling water, 6 teaspoons tea and 6 tablespoons white sugar.
I put the ingredients in a strainer and leave to steep until cool.
Add the scobie and saved kombucha.
Put a cloth over it and keep it somewhere warm. An airing cupboard is ideal.
After seven days repeat - forever.

I've stocked up on swing top bottles, I don't bother sterilising properly just fill them with really hot water for a while.
I drink about 3 bottles a week, 1 glass morning and night, and it seems to take a few weeks to come to best condition and flavour, so use 13 bottles in rotation. 12 in the shed and 1 in the fridge

My current set up isn't ideal I don't have room in the house so I brew it in the shed with an aquarium heater. I get too much evaporation and end up have to top up the bottles with cold water but results are fine and taste just right.

At my last house it was always fizzy after a few weeks but not now, I might try to perk it up with some spare yeast next time I make beer.

You never have to buy a scoby - my original I got from asking at a health food store if they knew anybody that made it.

After I moved a had a hiatus for a while and when I wanted to start again I bought a bottle of live kombucha and added it all to the tea mixture. After a couple of weeks I had a good healthy scoby that is still going strong.

I've never had any problems other than once last summer when some fruit flies got in and started raising families on top of the scoby but I started again cultivating a new one from one of my bottles and was back to normal in a couple of weeks, just drank a bit less for a while until stocks were replenished.

It sounds bad but I've been making it for about 20 years and that has been my only problem.

Please ask any questions that occur to you. Any at all.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

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MashBag
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Re: Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:11 pm

Does the continuous method work OK. Ie.. 5 litre jar when you take a 1 litre you replace it. Straight away.

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:52 pm

MashBag wrote:
Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:11 pm
Does the continuous method work OK. Ie.. 5 litre jar when you take a 1 litre you replace it. Straight away.
I don't fancy it.
It will work fine but I think that it tastes better after a few weeks maturing so you would always have 20% of inferior stuff in it.
I also prefer it fizzy and while I'm not currently getting fizzy using fliptop bottles will be the best way to achieve it.

Do you mean continuously brewing and drinking- I definitely don't fancy that because it needs time to settle before drinking.

If you mean brewing and keep topping up the dispensing vessel you'll constantly be disturbing it and putting young kombucha in it.

But, I've never tried it so I may be irrationally prejudiced like I am about Morris Dancing and Country and Western.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

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MashBag
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Re: Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:48 pm

I have read about running a 8 litre jar with a tap.

Once a week you draw off enough for the week.
Typically filling one or two flip top bottles, and replace.

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:53 pm

that would work.
it's a lot easier to keep my bowl clean though.
It would be fine if you've got somewhere warm and safe to keep it.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:12 pm

my scoby had been pretty dismal looking for ages, thin, lumpy, hardly growing and ripped when you picked it up.
And my kombucha was always flat. still tasted great though.

The last time I brewed beer I thought I would perk it up with a little slurry from the bottom of the fermenter.
This week my scoby was the healthiest I've seen it and at least half an inch (13mm) thick.

I'll see if it gets fizzy now.

I'm a happy Charlie
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

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MashBag
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Re: Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:24 pm

Ooo. Are we thinking trub/lees are nutritional then?

If you need another scoby, I can send you some of mine.

I other news... Discovered priming bottles isn't a good idea.

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:32 pm

I've got a beautiful healthy looking scoby now thanks.
My thinking was that I can't help the bacteria but I can help out the yeast a bit.

Last week the yeast was only in for a couple of days, the scoby improved a bit and I got some very cloudy kombucha.

no yeast added this week, all back to normal and a lovely healthy scoby.

I'll see how it fizzes and drinks in a few weeks.

When I had a peaky scoby I did try priming the bottles but I just got sweet, flat kombucha.
That's why I thought the yeast might be knackered.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

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Re: Kombucha

Post by MashBag » Mon Feb 14, 2022 3:51 pm

My airing cupboard gets about 24c. Kombucha seems to like that.

Priming grows 2p size scobies. Doh, obvious now!

charlie
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Re: Kombucha

Post by charlie » Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:53 pm

Never mind the tiny scobies.
Years of necking pints means that I don't even notice them going down.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
Cumbria

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