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Old 05-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #1
Zapped
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Default Flavoring suggestions?

Hi everyone - first post here. After getting a scoby off craigslist here in Austin, TX, I'm brewing my 2nd batch of Kombucha now & looking for flavoring ideas.

For my first batch, I experimented with a clear fruit juice and some crystallized ginger. I tried three flavor combinations, adding them in to my clear 1-liter Ikea flip-top bottles before 2nd ferment:

Flavor A - 2 oz cranberry-pomegranate juice

Flavor B - 4 oz cranberry-pomegranate juice

Flavor C - 2 oz cranberry-pomegranate juice plus 2 TBSPN finely chopped crystallized ginger

Honestly I didn't notice a difference in flavor between the three experiments. Maybe a hint of the ginger in my "C" attempt. The resulting taste was dominated by the Kombucha itself - a little fizzy, a little vinegary, all good. Should I need more juice or ginger added to each 1-liter bottle if I really want to taste the added flavorings?

I'm looking for other flavoring suggestions and recommended concentration per liter of Kombucha tea. GT Dave's Botanical No 9 (with Billberry, Honeysuckle, and Red Clover) is my favorite, and I'd love to duplicate that taste. Thanks!

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Old 05-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #2
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Hi, this is my first post too!

A friend of mine loves to add flavourings to his kombucha brews, but I just can't see the point really. If you want to you can add anything from cocoa to make a chocolate brew to vanilla essence to, well, you could mince up some bacon and add it toward the end of fermentation if you really wanted to. If you do it that way, it's up to you, knock yourself out, experiment with whatever your imagination comes up with and have fun.

I have experimented using different things from the start. To me that's what's interesting, rather than throwing other flavourings on top of a normal brew. For example, I currently have a celery kombucha (no tea, just celery leaves, water, sugar and starter culture) just about perfect. I've been trying it as it nears my preferred level of fermentation. I thought it would be terrible, but it is actually pretty good.

Another one I have brewing is a mint kombucha. Again, no tea, just mint (which I picked and dried myself) and sugar. I'm very excited about that one! Should be great.

I have a list of things I want to try as long as my arm, but also keep a line of standard recipe tea kombucha all the time as well, just to make sure I have a culture to fall back on. I'm probably just being too conservative though.

Have fun and experiment with anything you can think of! It's probably worth becoming very familiar with standard brewing though, so you'll know what's normal and recognise if anything isn't.

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Old 05-20-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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I've made about 8 batches of kombucha. Most have been just the tea, but last week I added ginger. It was very refreshing. This week I juiced some strawberries and added them to the pitcher before using a small funnel to bottle them. I am hoping they carb up a little. The taste I had as we bottled was amazing! If you like strawberries, definitely give it a try.

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Old 05-21-2012, 01:44 AM   #4
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I'd like to try doing it with fruit from the start of the brew.

Ginger is awesome, one of my favourite kombucha brews was a ginger one (no tea).

My mint one was fantastic! Possibly my favourite ever. I set up a new mint one last night (with store bought mint teabags this time).

I'm considering not bothering with my tea cultures going any more, I think I'm just wasting my time with the for the sake of maintaining a 'traditional' culture.

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Old 06-26-2012, 04:48 AM   #5
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I thought you had to use real tea leaves to feed the SCOBY (because of enzymes and what not). What would you suggest as a herbal tea to start with? Is there any particular kind that doesn't work?
Thanks,
SCOBYfiend

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Old 06-28-2012, 07:35 AM   #6
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They told me you had to use tea too. I was sceptical, so I challenged it by experimenting and proved them wrong.

Try whatever you like! There are possibly types which don't work, but who cares? The worst that can happen is your batch fails and you have to throw it out. Hasn't happened to me yet. I'd start with black or green tea, once you've done a couple of cycles of that and know what you're doing, play with whatever you like. My favourite so far has been fresh ginger.

I do maintain cultures of black and green tea, and usually use green tea kombucha to start my trial batches. If I like a different type and want to make more of it, I'll use that one to inoculate my next batch, say, starting a mint batch with my previous mint SCOBY and starter tea.

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Old 06-29-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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I've tried several fruits and so far my favorite is a mix of fresh blueberries and strawberries. My wife LOVES it.

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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The most common bottle additions I have seen are blueberries, ginger or ginger juice, elderberries, goji berries, and different types of herbs (elder flowers, rose hips, lavender, hibiscus, etc).

Then you can do combo things, like ginger and lemon. I think I'll end up enjoying that one the most.

Really, anything you like you can probably toss in in small quantities. Any tpyes of fresh berries, or juice, herbs, dried flowers.

Oh, you can dehydrate fruit and put it in.

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