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Old 10-05-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
jimmystewart
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Question Can you culture a MOV / SCOBY from unpasteurized apple cider vinegar?

Hi all. Short time lurker, first time poster here. I had never heard of kombucha before stumbling across these forums and I'm excited to learn about and maybe try something new. I've read a bit over the past couple of weeks about kombucha, vinegar, and fermenting in general.

I understand that the ideal way to start to make kombucha would be to get a daughter or a mother from someone else. Apparently, the second best way is to start with a bottle of commercial kombucha. I have been wondering: if you did not have either one of those resources available, could you start with unpasteurized apple cider vinegar? (I'd imagine it would be much easier to find unpasteurized apple cider vinegar at a regular supermarket.)

Has anyone tried this before, or is there any consensus of opinion on whether or not it might work?

Thanks in advance for any replies!

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Old 10-14-2010, 07:49 PM   #2
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I don't think this would work, as it would not contain the yeast needed, only one of the strains of bacteria.

You can always mail-order a scoby online.

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Old 10-15-2010, 02:27 AM   #3
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Good point. The bottle of apple cider vinegar I found (Fleischmann's) says "with the mother". I guess that contains the beasties that would convert ethanol to vinegar, but not the fungus that would convert sugar to ethanol.

It had crossed my mind to throw some Red Star or some other brewing yeast in the mix, but I figured if that was a good idea I would have turned up something on the 'net where someone else at least gave it a try.

Where can one mail-order a SCOBY? I think I'd be way too creeped out to get one on Craigslist from someone who doesn't have, say, some sort of health license.. Are there any commercial sources, or maybe even a microbrew company that might offer them?

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Old 11-08-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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If you have access to commercial bottled kombucha (GT, etc) it's pretty easy to culture a SCOBY from a bottle of unflavored 'buch.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:20 AM   #5
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I have finally been able to track down some GT's in my area. It seems it just became available again. While I couldn't get the unflavored one this week (hopefully I will be able to when they get more in) I grabbed some of the "green" flavor. I figured it would be better than any of the funny berry flavored ones for getting started.

It's currently festering in a couple of large Ball jars in a cabinet.. I'll brew some weak green tea and throw that in with some sugar in a day or two and see what happens!

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