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Old 08-21-2012, 06:59 PM   #21
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Some people will send out free scobies for cost of a priority mail box.

The problem with the new GT's or most any storebought kombucha is that they changed the formulation back around 2007 to minimize the possibility of alcohol production. So that tells me they probably either removed one or more strains of yeast or substituted them with some other yeast. I did not have very good luck trying to form a scoby from GT's. And even when it did, the brew was always slow to ferment, and didn't seem to have the robust flavor. A friend sent me a scoby from KT she had been brewing for many years made from GT's before the formulation change and that is the one I stuck with.
I recently grew my own scoby from a 2 bottle starter of plain GT's, and once I had developed a large enough (typical size) scoby, it ferments wonderfully, with complex brett/lacto/pedio/aceto qualities to the flavor. With respect to fermentation time, I've found that's more of a function of temperature, scoby size, sugar, what type of tea you're using, etc.

If I let it ferment at ambient summer temps in my house (low to mid 80's), it ferments lightning fast. I'm not a fan of the super acedic (vinegar) flavors and aromas that develop at high temps, so I usually temperature control it in the mid 70's and get a more lactic sour along with the acedic sour. You can't keep the acetobater at bay, so you'll still get the acedic acid, but I try to increase the lactic aspects as much as possible to balance out the sour complexities.


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Old 08-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #22
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That's good, I'm glad it is working. I have heard some people say they do prefer the taste of the new GT's formulation. So I imagine it's like all other beverages where some people like one thing and others like something different. I forget for sure what year GT's revised their formulation, I thought it was around 2007.



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Old 08-21-2012, 08:01 PM   #23
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That's good, I'm glad it is working. I have heard some people say they do prefer the taste of the new GT's formulation. So I imagine it's like all other beverages where some people like one thing and others like something different. I forget for sure what year GT's revised their formulation, I thought it was around 2007.
I have no idea. If they made revisions to reduce alcohol production, I'm a fan of the change. I brew beer for that I like my kombucha with as little alcohol as possible, so I can see how they would want to reduce anaerobic fermentation in favor of aerobic fermentation, and homofermentative lactobacilli in favor of heterofermentative lactobacilli. If the ABV was above 0.5% it would have to be sold as kombucha wine, not tea.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:25 PM   #24
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I think that's what happened, some inspector saw bulging bottles, then when analyzed it was above .5%. So GT's made the 'enlightened' version, to prevent that from happening. Though I was looking around and it looks like GT's has an AP5 version 'above .5%' maybe marketed in Socal, that would likely still be the traditional formula.

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Old 02-07-2013, 10:55 PM   #25
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Hey all, Just wanted to share a lil info on culturing a Scoby from GT's, i am in no way an expert, But i did a little test run with 3 different sugars. I used Honey,Molasses and White table sugar, with one great value iced tea bag and 4 Herbal tea bags per quart jar. I split a bottle of GT's Synergy Trilogy between the 3 quart jars, Each had 3 table spoons of one of the three sugars above. Here are the 10 day results.

White Sugar- thin Scoby not thick enough to transfer

Honey- A bit thicker than the white Sugar but still to thin to transfer

Molasses- Nice firm Scoby that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick not flimsy and easy to transfer.

My conclusion is that if you want to culture from a bottle of GT's it is best to use Black Strap Molasses for your first culture then move your nice thick Scoby to whatever your preferred sugar source and tea blend is.

The Herbal teas i used were all from Yogi, The Molasses was used with their Woman's Moon Cycle tea.

The white Sugar was used with their Healthy Fasting Tea.

The honey was used with their Skin Detox tea.

It was a blend of 4 herbal tea bags and one Great value Iced Tea bag that is a blend of black tea and Orange Pekoe tea.

Just the results i had. But from now on if i culture any more Scoby's it will be using Black Strap Molasses! The moving they scoby to a 5-1 blend of Dextrose and Sugar in the raw. 5 parts Dextrose 1 part Sugar in the raw.
Im noticing a pattern and im not sure if it's just me or not...

The white sugar/fasting tea suggests a conflict of biological processes- refined sugar combined with a tea designed for fighting the effects of consuming refined junk sugar.

But the molasses and womens cycle thing has me totally confused, anyone see a reason the two would be a great biological combination?

The honey/skin detox combo seems a bit better since honey is used in skin treatments and the two seem to go together.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:17 PM   #26
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Well I don't think you can infer too much about the combinations for several reason. First, if the difference is related to the combination, you can't really be sure which of the items in the combination had that effect. Second, you'd really need more than one sample to say conclusively that it had an effect on the scoby. Basically it would need a design of experiments.

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:03 AM   #27
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Makes sense. Im just about to brew another batch and slide my little scoby into it.

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Old 02-10-2013, 02:44 AM   #28
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A SCOBY is not necessary for brewing KT and SCOBY thickness has little to do with the health of the brew; it's mostly dead yeast and bacteria cells.

The differences you cite in the products would be one of taste and aesthetic perception (i.e. honey is more than likely used for the skin product because the amino acids and antiseptic properties of honey are topically good for skin cells. Of course, it's exactly many of those qualities that are either pasteurized out when the honey is used in KT so that it doesn't kill the yeast or else don't survive the biological process of becoming KT. That said, there is gluconic acid in honey as well as KT.)

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Old 02-28-2013, 06:00 AM   #29
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Just had a bottle of GT kombucha the other day and it was good! I sure would like to start making some of this. Can it (the GT scoby) ferment in cooler temps between 55-65?

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Old 02-28-2013, 01:14 PM   #30
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I would say probably not. I find if the temp is below about 75F the brew goes flat from the yeasts going too dormant. Then it tastes funny from overdominance of the bacteria. Maybe the GT's can still be successful at that low of a temp but I doubt it.



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