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  #1  
Old 03-20-2015, 05:53 PM
emerelaino emerelaino is offline
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Default Kombucha

Is anyone here a regular consumer of Kombucha? What does it do for you personally? Does anyone brew their own? I have recently started drinking it regularly and have been thinking about looking into more local producers and possibly brewing my own, but I am still pretty new to it and would love to discuss .
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Old 03-21-2015, 12:51 AM
jlynn12 jlynn12 is offline
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I love it, but I don't drink it regularly. We have a local woman who brews and sells at the farmer's market in the summer. Tastes good, I always get a few. So i drink 3 bottles a week or so in the summer
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:39 PM
debcita429 debcita429 is offline
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I brewed it for about a year and a half. I found it to not be a hypoallergenic enough source of probiotics for me, so I just use supplements now. But imo, it is super easy to brew your own, especially if you are just doing the basic sugar and molasses kind. If you want to add anything (e.g., ginger and cinnamon or fruit), I would first separate out a certain amount of the grains for a new batch, as the stuff you add to it can ruin or compromise the kombucha grains. HTH.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:25 AM
debcita429 debcita429 is offline
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It occurred to me that I had a total brain fart in replying to this earlier. My reply dealt with kefir grains. I also did brew kombucha and found it to be pretty easy. Paying attention to the tea's temperature and not using any metal utensils are just about the trickiest parts. Occasionally I found the kombucha shroom to be a little freaky looking. It's not just a plain tan blob but irridesces other colors and can look like it has some areas that are white or darker. I think this is especially the case if you are using smaller jars where the shroom gets to become quite thick. Since it is possible to mold your kombucha, these were naturally of concern. But I quickly grew comfortable with how weird a healthy kombucha looks like. I ultimately stopped both kefir and kombucha due to high histamine levels and use other probiotics. But I might try one or both again some day.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:09 PM
emerelaino emerelaino is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I am really contemplating trying to brew my own as I ideally would drink it daily but it is very expensive to do so buying it by the bottle. I think my biggest fear is also not getting the temp or something right and getting mold growth or something else icky. Did you ever develop mold or know what is key in preventing it?
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:19 PM
debcita429 debcita429 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emerelaino View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am really contemplating trying to brew my own as I ideally would drink it daily but it is very expensive to do so buying it by the bottle. I think my biggest fear is also not getting the temp or something right and getting mold growth or something else icky. Did you ever develop mold or know what is key in preventing it?

Although they occasionally looked questionable by nature of how weird they look in person, mine were healthy to the end (when I tossed them). I saw a blog post from someone who's been brewing kombucha for years. She had one of her batches mold over once. It was a very obvious thing when it happened, not subtle at all-white fuzzy patches on top of the shroom.

The key to avoiding mold is to wash the mason jars well and then do a white vinegar treatment on them and let them dry. That way you have a very sterile jar that's not going to add any new microbes to your shroom.

The main issue with temperature is patience. If you think the tea still feels a little warmer than the room temp, then wait to add the shroom even if it messes up your plans a bit to wait. Also, don't use fancy flavored green teas. Other flavor ingredients might mess up your balance. Stick with the basics unless/until you feel confident in how the spices or flowers or what have you in the flavored tea would effect the microbe balance.

I was very concerned about eradicating most of the sugar and would let my kombucha get vinegary. But then I would pour it (minus the shroom and its reserve) into bottles that had a tiny bit of tart cherry juice concentrate (good for the bones) in them and let those sit out a little bit longer before drinking.

HTH.
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Old 03-24-2015, 10:53 PM
emerelaino emerelaino is offline
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Thank you, that does help. Good info and I will keep that in mind regarding the flavors too. I really want to take the plunge but I think I just need a little more research time to make sure I have all of the steps and the key stages and phases straight in my head!

Did you use ph strips and test for ph at certain points, and if so when?
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:38 AM
debcita429 debcita429 is offline
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Yeah, a lot of spices are antimicrobial and can effect the shroom balance, so flavored teas is a typically place for someone to err.

Never used pH strips. A bunch of people I knew online were going through a kombucha phase at once, and none of the others nor my sister from whom I received my shroom saw a need to use them. But when my kombucha was done, it smelled nearly like apple cider vinegar, lol, so it was a tad acidic .

Kombucha shrooms get thicker and thicker, and layers can be peeled away. Or if your shroom is dunked to the bottom of the jar, a new thin one will glaze over the top. That's all to say that it replicates itself well enough that I wouldn't personally worry about having it all figured out first. You'll quickly have some shrooms in reserve in case one of them does somehow go bad. Especially if you have a friend whose spare shroom you could take off her hands, I would just go for it, you know? But whatever makes you comfortable.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:17 PM
emerelaino emerelaino is offline
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What did you use for your brewing jar/pot? Did you continuous brew or do batches?
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:46 PM
WildflowerJLH WildflowerJLH is offline
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We have been brewing booch for about a year. We do it in batches, and it is super easy. We love the Kombucha Mamma/Kombucha Kamp website. It is my first stop for any questions that come up! I have never lost a batch to mold.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:54 AM
debcita429 debcita429 is offline
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Since I was interested in reducing the sugar content as much as possible, I did it in batches and just used mason jars, not those glass ice tea jars where you can deplete the reserve from a spout on the bottom. I've known people who've done both.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:16 PM
emerelaino emerelaino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildflowerJLH View Post
We have been brewing booch for about a year. We do it in batches, and it is super easy. We love the Kombucha Mamma/Kombucha Kamp website. It is my first stop for any questions that come up! I have never lost a batch to mold.
Thanks for that site info, looks like some good information. Where did you get your first SCOBY? Do you do 2nd ferments and flavors? Where did you get your brewing jar?

Quote:
Originally Posted by debcita429 View Post
Since I was interested in reducing the sugar content as much as possible, I did it in batches and just used mason jars, not those glass ice tea jars where you can deplete the reserve from a spout on the bottom. I've known people who've done both.
I am thinking I will do batches too. How did you get it out of the jar when you were done with the brew? And do you take everything out and clean the jar after every batch? Where did you get your jar?

Clearly I am probably over thinking this before I just jump in, but that is what I do, lol. I have read some about being careful about lead content in the fermenting jars so was curious about your jars.
Did you both bottle each batch, and what did you use for bottles if so?

Thanks for any and all info!
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:25 PM
debcita429 debcita429 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emerelaino View Post
Thanks for that site info, looks like some good information. Where did you get your first SCOBY? Do you do 2nd ferments and flavors? Where did you get your brewing jar?



I am thinking I will do batches too. How did you get it out of the jar when you were done with the brew? And do you take everything out and clean the jar after every batch? Where did you get your jar?

Clearly I am probably over thinking this before I just jump in, but that is what I do, lol. I have read some about being careful about lead content in the fermenting jars so was curious about your jars.
Did you both bottle each batch, and what did you use for bottles if so?

Thanks for any and all info!
I tend to over-research a lot of things myself. I was lucky enough to have some bottleneck glass jars with plastic tops that a supplement I used to purchase came in. I would add a little tart cherry juice to these and pour the bulk of the liquid into it. I sometimes used a plastic strainer to tame the slippery scoby, but usually I could pour without an issue. All my brewing jars were mason jars. Then I would pour the reserve liquid and the scoby into a clean jar, clean out the one just used, start the tea in another jar (all of them having dried with a thin layer of white vinegar rolled around on them), and when all was room temp, pour the scoby and its reserve into the tea-containing jar to start a new brew. I got the scoby from a sister but had previously bought kefir grains off eBay.
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