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General and Off Topic => General Discussion => Topic started by: Sunshine on February 16, 2016, 09:28:41 pm

Title: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Sunshine on February 16, 2016, 09:28:41 pm
Hey seedians,

I did a quick search and found that we've yet to sprout a kombucha thread here on our lovely forum so I figured I'd plant one myself for everyone to dicuss everything kombucha related; from brewing to drinking and everything inbetween.

I'm always looking for a 'project' to keep myself occupied in my spare time. I have a bit of an addictive personality and I'm a bit impulsive so I frequently come up with new and interesting projects to keep myself occupied. I recently became intrigued by kombucha. After doing some research on it's potential health benefits and how to brew it, I took the plunge and bought the supplies! Mind you, I'd never tried kombucha until today.

The best way I can describe it is it tastes like hard cider without the 'hard'.  It tastes like hard cider but with no alcohol....tastes like....soft cider. Its as if someone tried to brew hard cider but didn't use enough sugar and it got slightly contaminated with acetobactera. Like virgin hard cider with a splash of cider vinegar and a ever so slight hint of alcohol.

So anyway, to save some time I'm going to copy and paste a post I made on the kombucha facebook group;

Quote
My 1 pint of mother culture just arrived in the mail. It has 1pint of liquid along with a nice 1/2 inch fat disk of scoby included. I went and picked up several different types of teas from the local heath food shop. Included are;

Green Jasmine flavored Tea (smells amazing)
Green Sencha Tea
Black Ceylon Tea
Black Assam Tea
Black Darjeeling Tea (Fancy Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe)

(Note- It is said that bergamot and some flavoring oils can be harmful to scoby)

They didn't have any white teas unfortunately so it looks like I'll be using a combination of green and black for now. I also picked up a gallon of distilled water, a 2 gallon glass jar, a bottle of original flavor GT's enlightened kombucha(to get a ballpark baseline for what my tea should taste like when it's finished),and some reusable tea bags. I forgot to get organic raw cane sugar so I'm just going to use regular bleached white granular, which I've heard works just as well.

I'll start by cleaning my vessel and brewing up my tea with 1 gallon of hot near-boiling water; 2tblsp = 6tsp. Since I have 5 different teas I'll just double up on the Jasmine since that smells the best imo. I'll also add 1 cup of granular white sugar.
After it cools I'll pour into my 2 gallon vessel and add my scoby. Then I'll put a cloth over it with a rubber band and place it in a place where it won't be disturbed. After a week I plan on adding ~3/4 gallon of fresh tea to 'fill' my 2 gallon vessel along with ~3/4th a cup of sugar. After another 5 days I'll give it a taste test.

At this point I'm waiting for the tea in the 2 gallon vessel to cool so I can add my scoby mother culture. :)
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: TBM on February 17, 2016, 12:27:22 am
I love me some kombucha! I buy a bottle from time to time, there's this one variety I've tried that adds ginger juice to give it a bit of a bite :P Where'd you get the SCOBY from?
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: FewTrueSeed on February 17, 2016, 02:17:10 am
I have had my Scooby for two plus years now. I haven't fed it in a while.  >:( . I'm happy to send out a culture to anyone who is seriously interested.
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: oplopanax on February 17, 2016, 03:31:55 am
I had to quit drinking it when I quit drinking booze cuz it triggers me out...
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Sunshine on February 17, 2016, 03:40:21 am
Ah that's understandable. It defiantly has an alcohol-y-ness to it. That's a shame. Good to hear you're still on the wagon though! :)

I got the scoby from some girl on etsy. It came packed in one of those vacuum seal freezer bag things. I added it to my gallon of tea earlier....now we wait. O_O

I saved a swig of the store bought kom to make a different micro batch to compare and see if it has different bacteria.
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: LIBERTYNY on February 17, 2016, 04:37:54 am
Ever try sauerkraut, it can have many of the same benifits as kombucha and is simple to make. I make mine with horseradish greens thow, and carrots

Best part about krout is it's fairly stable

Entho/krout can be great to as it tends to change many flavors for the better
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Sunshine on February 17, 2016, 06:57:17 am
I'm a huge fan of kraut. Especially on rubens...mmmmmm  ::)
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: MadPlanter on April 16, 2016, 04:14:42 pm
I have been brewing Jun kombucha for awhile now. Super easy and as good or better in taste than regular. The difference being traditional kombucha is black tea and sugar and Jun is green tea and honey.

Recipe:

Obtain a Jun kombucha culture or grow your own from a already made Jun drink. I grew mine from a drink bought at ECHO global organic farm on their festival day recently in which they had a seminar on Jun kombucha. Before I could obtain a culture they sold out as I stood waiting in line. So I figured I'd at least buy a drink to try it since I had only tried regular. It was great! Then I thought could I grow a scoby from just the drink? So I brewed a thing of green tea and added honey as per direction then added some of the purchased done Jun tea. It totally grew in just a week or less!

So now brew a concentrate with 8 green tea bags(organic) in 4 cups water. Allow to cool to room temp. Mix in 1 cup raw honey and pour into a gallon glass(only glass! No metal or plastic!) jar and add your already prepared culture. Then fill gallon jar with pure unfiltered spring water to fill to a full gallon. Spring water only too!

Allow culture to ferment tea for 1.5-3 days for best taste. It can go longer but it will get significantly alcoholic and then turn to vinegar if left even longer.

Refrigeration is a must to stop the fermenting once you decant the finished tea that's bottled. Retain 2 cups tea with your culture(do not refrigerate the culture. It sits out indefinitely.) and repeat tea making process as needed. Culture can sit for a long time if need be. At least several weeks if you don't need more tea right away.

There y'all go an even healthier version of a healthy awesome drink!

MP
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: TBM on April 16, 2016, 05:01:13 pm
With this method you were able to produce your own SCOBY just from the cultures out of a store bought bottle!? Does the mother culture look the same as what you almost bought (but couldn't cause they sold out)?

I wonder how effective it would be to buy a bottle from multiple organic Kombucha brands and mix them all together to make a highly diverse SCOBY... or maybe the different strains would become competitive and ineffective?
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: MadPlanter on April 16, 2016, 05:15:01 pm
Yes I produced my own scoby from a drink purchased from the people at the seminar. Online it said it'd take 4-6 weeks to grow but I seriously had a fully developed thick scoby in a week maybe less.

I hear you can do this from a regular kombucha as well such as GT's synergy brand or whatever. Just have to get an unflavored original not a flavored one. The tea has been at least partially compromised if its been flavored. This is because when you flavor a batch of kombucha you brew as normal but when its finished mix in a separately prepared tea of choice flavor at around 25% flavor tea to 75% kombucha. Idk for sure but I'd figure some of the flavor additives will introduce something that may kill the beneficials in the kombucha.
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Mr. seeds on June 01, 2016, 01:47:06 am
i wanna try it! i wonder how it will taste ??? aside from being akin to some kind of "soft cider" drink. Is it frothy? Sweet? sour? Aftertastes? texture? (just curious) I'll have to make some someday :) i know it's fermented... But i'll ask anyways; the general shelf life? i assume if it's fermented it should last a while but just curious.

We need a canning/jaring maniac's thread too! Kombucha is cool and all but where's the can-love at my peeps? No cans for me? ??? I'm all about that lacto-fermentation process and vinegar! And i'm talkin posting pics cause that's the best part! plus recipes, pics of said pickled foods being used in other recipes/meals, and all that jive! I'll devote hours to crafting the perfect narration of my pickle-love experiences. I could fap to such a thread a wee bit... a wee much... alot. I have problems... haha but seriously... canning thread you guize!
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Sunshine on June 14, 2016, 03:41:01 pm
i wanna try it! i wonder how it will taste ??? aside from being akin to some kind of "soft cider" drink. Is it frothy? Sweet? sour? Aftertastes? texture? (just curious) I'll have to make some someday :) i know it's fermented... But i'll ask anyways; the general shelf life? i assume if it's fermented it should last a while but just curious.
Slightly sweet sour astringent. Not as foamy as beer but still quite a bit frothy. Nothing like tea at all. I'm guessing it can be stored indefinatly since bacteria has a hard time growing in such an acidic enviornment.
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: ONandONandON on January 04, 2017, 08:56:22 pm

Thanks for making this post.. reminded me to check on my Kombucha..
(https://files.shroomery.org/files/17-001/355764550-100_2850.jpg)

Looks kindof scary, i've had it setting almost two months.. haven't even taisted it until now..  :o
it's quite vinigary, but taisty, sweet and sour, very strong flavors.. i'll have to try a fresher batch.

Quote

I wonder how effective it would be to buy a bottle from multiple organic Kombucha brands and mix them all together to make a highly diverse SCOBY... or maybe the different strains would become competitive and ineffective?
@TBM; cool idea someone should.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There is also 'water kefir', and 'milk kefir' which are similar but different to kombucha.. i've been using water kefir often..
it's quite a unique flavor, kindof like a type of beer, slightly achoholic, acidic and sweet.. kefir crystals sink to the bottom.
i use it in tea extracts to add flavor, and the acidity helps with extracting.
Also you can ferment in a sealed bottle and get fizzy carbonation, yay bubbles!
When ready to refill, just add more sugar water, ive been using coconut water..
(https://files.shroomery.org/files/17-001/355764130-100_2857.jpg)

i ordered a kombucha scoby, a spoonful of water kefir crystals, and half a spoon of milk kefir for about $8.50 on ebay  8)
the milk kefir pack got thrown away by someone, but i had enough bottles of fermenting liquid sitting around anyways,.
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Kamadeva on July 21, 2017, 07:11:15 am
 ;D

(http://i67.tinypic.com/1zy99nl.jpg)
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: Jansch42 on January 01, 2019, 09:07:24 pm
This stuff is beautiful but STRONG!
Defenitely one of the best experiences i have ever had.
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: nugninja on January 02, 2019, 12:10:45 am
Madplanter, I have used store bought flavored and unflavored with great results. Can't say I noticed a difference but I could just have been lucky Idk.

Also, if anybody needs a new flavor, I'd say go for blueberry+ginger. Of all the batches, that one is always incredible.

 hops and lemon coming in second when theres enough hops and sugar used, otherwise its kinda bland.

EDIT: I just noticed how old this thread was lol
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: pastanostra on February 04, 2019, 05:52:59 am
Kombucha is great !

i remember having some pain with herbs like thyme or hysop that did not fermented, the scobby was hardly affected too by this batch.
A tastefull recipe i made with bissap :

Make a tea with bissap flower until very red / purple
add your black tea or green tea for infusing
filter & put to ferment for a week or so
bottle & ferment for few days more
drink  8)



I felt the acids present in bissap  went very well with kombucha tea
if some needz, there are some scobby sleeping at home that can be shared

Peace
Title: Re: Kombucha - Drinking, Brewing, and everything in between!
Post by: medolon on February 10, 2019, 01:09:36 am
Yes I produced my own scoby from a drink purchased from the people at the seminar. Online it said it'd take 4-6 weeks to grow but I seriously had a fully developed thick scoby in a week maybe less.

I hear you can do this from a regular kombucha as well such as GT's synergy brand or whatever. Just have to get an unflavored original not a flavored one. The tea has been at least partially compromised if its been flavored. This is because when you flavor a batch of kombucha you brew as normal but when its finished mix in a separately prepared tea of choice flavor at around 25% flavor tea to 75% kombucha. Idk for sure but I'd figure some of the flavor additives will introduce something that may kill the beneficials in the kombucha.


I've been drinking kombucha since I was a baby - so I second what MadPlanter said - you never need to buy a scoby - it's all a money making ploy.

The secret is to buy alive kombucha drink - some of them are pasterized and thus are dead - they taste like kombucha but they have 0 kombucha benefits since the culture is dead and you are drinking a sugar soda-like drink instead.

I have never had a problem with flavored kombucha to use as a starter. I usually buy a few bottles to speed the process up, add strong black tea and lots of sugar and the scoby appears usually overnight or the next day when left at the room temperature under the cheeze cloth (to avoid fruit flies laying eggs in your scoby).

GT brand is a proven live kombucha, at least it formed a scoby every time I tried.

If you are using a different brand and the scoby doesn't form within a few days - don't ever buy that brand again - most likely they sold you a pasterized dead kombucha.

Finally, you can store your culture in the fridge easily for 6 months or longer, just put a nice concentrated tea and sugar in it before you store it - it hybernates nicely but it does consume some of the ingredients over time. I usually don't like drinking kombucha in winter, so I park it till spring time.