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Old 05-14-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
Sdaji
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Unhappy Brewing Kombucha From Old Cultures

Hi all, quick question for you.

If you leave kombucha until it turns to vinegar, does it still have enough yeast and bacteria to start a new colony or does one or both of the microbes get wiped out? I have only just tried for the first time, and the brews started with old kombucha and SCOBY are taking longer than usual to get started. They began smelling alcoholic with no new SCOBY, so I thought perhaps the bacteria was dead and I was making wine, but now little SCOBYs are growing, so I'm guessing it just might have been a case of the bacteria being dormant or partly killed off or the yeast having continued to multiply for much longer than the Acetobacter.

Anyone know anything about the above?

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Don't know - I have wondered about this and done some searches about this to no avail. Here is my opinion based on my experience ...

Depends on how old the scoby actually was. If you put it in a container that was much larger than it was used to, or at a hotter or colder temperature it will take longer to get going. If you are really worried and are just using a tired scoby (meaning you used fresh tea and a sanitized glass container), you can get a commercial bottle of raw, unpasteurized, unflavored kombucha and add it to the tea.

Don't know if this helps you or not ...

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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I have a scoby that's been sitting for about 6 weeks in a shallow pool of leftover KT. I'll take the top scoby and about an oz. or two of what is now kombucha vinegar... all will be fine. lol heck i probably wont get around to it for another 3 weeks

I haven't tested to verify but i think you can even take a couple oz. apple cider vinegar and toss it and it's mother in to a KT starter and it will produce KT + scoby

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Old 05-16-2012, 04:34 PM   #4
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I've never seen commercial kombucha. I'm not sure if it's available down here (I'm in Australia), so it's not really an option for me. I can easily enough get a kombucha culture from someone else if needed, but I get a bit sentimental about keeping my own colonies or cultures of things going.

I think people are a bit fanatical about kombucha and tend to think it's a bit more mystical than it is. It's basically just yeast and Acetobacter, so yeah, you could just stick some raw vinegar into some sweet tea and voila, you're making kombucha (it might take two or three cycles to start working like normal kombucha).

I keep at least half a dozen cultures going all the time so there's always something I can use. My cultures do end up working if I use old stuff to start them, I was more just curious about learning anything other people knew.

Thanks for the responses

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Old 05-25-2012, 12:57 AM   #5
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I just dropped a scoby into a one gallon batch today. It was in a zip lock in my fridge for about 3 1/2 months. It looked great coming out of the bag. I will post the results in about ten days when I go to bottle it up!

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