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Old 06-28-2012, 11:17 PM   #1
onipar
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Default Bottling Kombucha

The lack of definitive bottling information worries me. With beer, I never worry about bottle bombs because everything is calculated out, I know how much sugar is in the beer, etc.

With Kombucha, it seems all of the bottling info says something like, "Bottle it, leave it out for a couple days, then refrigerate it so it doesn't explode."

Is there any more definitive, scientific info on bottling Kombucha, so I don't have to worry about bottle bombs? I'm having a hell of a time finding any solid info.

Thanks!

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Old 06-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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I have't had any problems with bottle bombs. I just leave the bottles out for a couple days for the secondary fermentation. The only explosion that I have had is when I used wine bottles with used corks -- then I ended up with kombucha on the ceiling -- after two days it just blew the corks off, no broken glass or anything. Messy though . . .

good luck!
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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I have't had any problems with bottle bombs. I just leave the bottles out for a couple days for the secondary fermentation. The only explosion that I have had is when I used wine bottles with used corks -- then I ended up with kombucha on the ceiling -- after two days it just blew the corks off, no broken glass or anything. Messy though . . .

good luck!
SCOBYfiend
Thanks for the info. Yeah, I only left my "test bottle" out for 2 days, then fridged it. I tried it today and it had no carb whatsoever, so I guess I need to do it longer.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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I'm also on the hunt for more exacting methods of brewing Kombucha. After having the rules of beer brewing drilled in over time, the general casualness is starting to wear on my OCD side :P

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Old 07-01-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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I'm also on the hunt for more exacting methods of brewing Kombucha. After having the rules of beer brewing drilled in over time, the general casualness is starting to wear on my OCD side :P
The closest thing to actual "science" I've heard for this is testing it with PH strips and waiting till it reaches "3." I've also read about some people using the hydrometer on it, but I haven't quite figured out the range you'd be looking for with Kombucha, or how well that works.

Please post back if you find any new info out.
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. Yeah, I only left my "test bottle" out for 2 days, then fridged it. I tried it today and it had no carb whatsoever, so I guess I need to do it longer.
Did you flavor your kombucha with something for the second fermentation? I have found if what I flavor it with has very little sugar, the carb is much less. In addition, if your brew is less vinegary, you will have less carb.

Hope this helps,
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scobyfiend View Post
Did you flavor your kombucha with something for the second fermentation? I have found if what I flavor it with has very little sugar, the carb is much less. In addition, if your brew is less vinegary, you will have less carb.

Hope this helps,
SCOBYfiend
Really? I would have thought it was the other way around (the less vinegary the *more* carb, because less vinegar means more sugar). Interesting that it'd be the other way around.

I did bottle it with a few whole blueberries that I crushed slightly with my fingers. So you're saying hat would actually cause there to be less carb?

My next batch will be a whole gallon; I'm hoping it works out better than my starter batch did.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #8
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I have heard a hundred different opinions on what creates more or less carb...looking for some definitive information, also, so if you all discover anything, please post it. I'm in the process of growing a scoby from a bottle of GT's, so I haven't yet had the chance to do much. My husband is usually the brewer in the house, and he keeps asking me questions about kombucha brewing to which I have no real answers.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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I have heard a hundred different opinions on what creates more or less carb...looking for some definitive information, also, so if you all discover anything, please post it. I'm in the process of growing a scoby from a bottle of GT's, so I haven't yet had the chance to do much. My husband is usually the brewer in the house, and he keeps asking me questions about kombucha brewing to which I have no real answers.
Well, I'm still very new at this, but here's what I've done/found.

My first bottle ever, I added some blueberries and left out for 2 days, then refrigerated. There was NO carbonation. I relate this to the short time I left it out. It was in a glass bottle, and I was afraid it would explode.

My first full gallon batch I bottled in PET plastic beer bottles I had on hand from an old beer kit. In these I added something different to each bottle: Ginger and lime juice, blueberries, cherries, and cherry berry juice (100% natural).

These I left out for four days, testing each day by squeezing the bottles. On the fourth day they all were pretty hard, with only a tiny bit of "give." I probably could have left them another day, maybe even longer, but I stuck them in the fridge at that point.

Yesterday I tried the bottle with cherry berry juice, and it was PERFECT. It had a very nice "smooth" effervescence to it, and the flavor of the juice was subtle and tasty.

The amount of days you should leave it out will vary, depending on what additions you use (if any), the amount of residual sugar in your Kombucha, and the temperature in the house.

Since there are so many variables, I'm always going to bottle at least one bottle in plastic, so I can test it by squeezing. This way I won't have to worry about exploding bottles.

One last note: each of the different flavorings definitely carbed at different rates. For instance, the bottle with cherries got hardest the quickest, and the one with ginger and lime took the longest. But they were fairly similar (enough so that I stuck them all in the fridge at the same time).

I will say though that the ones that would have had more added sugar seemed to carb more, which is what I would expect.

Cheers!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info! I'm going to try to keep detailed logs and take pH readings, brix, etc., and try to pin down a few things on which the community seems to disagree. I might cave and buy a scoby, but until then it's just planning and plotting - and impatiently checking the culture.

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