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Old 10-04-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
ernie85017
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Default High alcohol?

Hi, new kid here. I have been reading myself crazy on this forum.

I am shooting to recreate grape chia kombucha.

I followed the instructions and flavored with grape juice for the second ferment. The taste is very different from the GT's. It has a harsh taste, like alcohol, and I feel a bit funny very soon after drinking, actually before finishing it. It's tart and fizzy, which I want, but how do I get rid of the harshness?

Could I have made an error which made the alcohol taste?

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Old 10-05-2013, 04:54 PM   #2
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Default alcohol

Anyone?

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Old 10-05-2013, 08:03 PM   #3
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When you performed the second ferment, was it aerobic or anaerobic?

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Old 10-08-2013, 04:41 PM   #4
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Where did my reply go?

The second ferment was in closed jars, so anaerobic? I learned later that most of them were not as airtight as I thought, so I lost some of the fizz.

I stopped the first ferment on the 7th day, as it tasted just right. The second was only 2 days because the alcohol taste was already present and I didn't want it to get worse. Wrong? I had added grape juice for flavoring before starting the 2nd ferment.

I appreciate your help.

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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Are you using GTs bottles for the 2F? I think all of mine are leaking UGH!
An anaerobic second ferment will keep the yeast active but retard the bacteria.
Sounds like your yeast are staying really active. It may be that they were not done with the first ferment at 7 days and still going strong. How much sugar was in your starter solution?
Refrigeration will drastically retard fermentation of all organisms. You could try splitting the batch up for 2F. Bottle half with your juice, and put in the fridge. Bottle the other half with the juice and let sit out for half the time (~1day).
If the 1day 2F bottle is almost where you want it, then that's what you want to do. Wait 1 day then put in the fridge. They won't go to sleep right away as it will take a while for the bottle and the liquid to cool, so they'll continue to ferment in the fridge.
The bottle you put in the fridge right away is your control. So you'll know what it tastes like without being left out at all.
If what you're looking for is a little in between these two, you could try bottling with the juice and storing them in a cooler location. Cool enough to retard the process some, but not as much as the fridge. Like in a basement. You can draw this time out over several days until you get where you want to be.
For the bottles you've already made, you could uncap them, and cover. The bacteria will start to convert the alcohol again, and some will evaporate. But you'll lose carbonation too.

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Old 10-09-2013, 12:44 AM   #6
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I used 3 GT's bottles.
1.5 c sugar to just over 1 gal water, 10 tea bags. This is the recipe I rec'd with the scoby.
I just decanted my next batch, so will go stash some in the frig. I'll open one of the others tomorrow. It's good to have someone with "experience" to answer these questions. I read that it's not a hard science, but to do what works. But I don't want to waste KT on failures.
Thanks for the great information!

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Old 10-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #7
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Most welcome.
It's not easy to fail, but it happens lol
With sugar, if you feed the yeast too much you may experience the Crabtree Effect. However, if you're getting a lot of alcohol, a yeast byproduct, then yours are not napping on the job. You may want to consider backing off on the sugar. The generally accepted volume is 1cup/gallon. If you add more fuel, you'll get more fire, to a point. Try your next batch with only 1 cup, and slowly increase the amount if necessary/desired. The bacteria convert the alcohol, so if you make too much you could sterilize them, or kill off some you want and end up with some you don't. Different strains have different tolerances.
Check out the first Technique here, to decrease yeast and increase bacteria:
http://users.bestweb.net/~om/kombucha_balance/

10 tea bags to a gallon is a lot, if that's what you like, it's fine. I've got batch that use 3 to 6 bags. Some people use 7 or 8. 10 is a little on the high side lol you're going to really burn through some tea!

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Old 10-11-2013, 08:57 PM   #8
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Thank you for explaining all this. I nearly flunked chemistry in school.
Next time I will cut back both tea and sugar.
The alcoholic batch seemed to mellow after being in the frig for about a week. Much improved, but a big bottle still gave me a little buzz in my elbows (where I feel alcohol first, just in case you really needed to know that).
The control I put in the frig with no second ferment was awful. Too sweet, too fruity. No fizz. Love that fizz. A 3-day second ferment worked well.
I will have to investigate your above references when I get back from the dentist.
Thanks for being helpful. I was disappointed to not receive replies at first.

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Old 10-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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Lol no problem. I cant answer every question but I'll answer everyone I can. Sometimes I only have time to get on occasionally.
kombucha is a ggood exercise in patience ;-)

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