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Old 06-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
BennyDarko
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Default Kombucha/Beer Blending - Anyone tried it?

Vanberg and DeWulf produces a commercial blend of kombucha and lambic called Lambrucha (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/22399/56855). I was able to taste it last weekend in Philly and I was impressed. It's pretty much like a session champagne.

Has anyone has ever tried making a batch of kombucha and blending it with homebrew? I'm definitely gonna try it soon, but I'm not sure yet what style of beer to use or any quirks I should look out for. Any thoughts?



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Old 06-14-2012, 02:15 AM   #2
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I would expect that a bitter ale like an IPA would not be a good one to try it with as when making sours you don't want to start with a highly hopped bitter beer since they don't mix well. That is from what I have heard though, only been dreaming I could have time to experiment with sours anyway.

Are the yeasts and bacteria found in scoby's and sours not very similar? I would expect the same idea applies to sours and kombucha since you can do either usually by letting the fermentible sugar(wort/sugar tea) sit out long enough to get some wee beasties to inhabit.

Just my .02.....good luck when you try and let me know how it turns out!



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Old 06-14-2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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A friend of mine and I were just discussing this very thing! I have successfully made Kombucha and am now looking to do a secondary fermentation with a beer. Let me know how your goes and I will do the same!

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Old 06-16-2012, 09:38 PM   #4
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I've done a little more searching and came across a couple posts from the mad fermentationist. This guy is awesome.
http://www.themadfermentationist.com/search/label/Kombucha

There's also this thread which discusses pretty much exactly what I'm going for (shame on me for not searching for this before I started this thread... my bad).
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f167/brewing-kombucha-add-beer-263554/

I'm gonna start the blending experiment tomorrow. I've also been looking into doing a smash beer for a while too so I figured this would be a good chance to kill two birds with one stone. Here's the recipe:
12 lb dark munich
.75 oz Glacier hops (6% AA) (60 min)
.25 oz Glacier hops (flameout)
OG should be around 1.060ish. At the end I'm gonna peel off 1 gallon and pitch a scoby and let it ferment in an open container. The other 4 gallons I'll rack onto an existing safale-05 cake. After 2 weeks I'll pasteurize the kombucha and add it to the beer and leave it in secondary for another week or so. The reason I'm pasteurizing is to prevent it from getting too dry and also to avoid bottle bombs. I'm hoping to end up with something flemishy

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Old 06-29-2012, 05:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyDarko View Post
After 2 weeks I'll pasteurize the kombucha and add it to the beer and leave it in secondary for another week or so. The reason I'm pasteurizing is to prevent it from getting too dry and also to avoid bottle bombs. I'm hoping to end up with something flemishy
Forgive me for ignorance, but I've never understood this. Doesn't pasteurization completely destroy any possible benefits of kombucha? Probiotics, etc? I just don't see the point of growing these wonderful live cultures and then killing them before consuming. Unless it's solely for the benefit of any taste effects it might have on the beer...?

And yes, I know they sell pasteurized kombucha in stores. Again, why?
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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Pasteurizing doesn't kill all of the microbes, just a lot of them. It lowers the bacterial count, increasing shelf life. It also destroys potential pathogens. You still maintain populaitions of microbes. This is why pasteurized milk still eventually spoils.

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Old 06-29-2012, 09:49 PM   #7
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Once my first batch is done, I was going to experiment with blending (w/ beer, juices, etc).

I'm planning on doing post-fermentation blending, like a black and tan.
I'm thinking wheat beers would be a good bet, and blonde ales. Maybe cream ale as well. Basically light, low hop profile beers, especially ones that do well with fruit (because of how tart it can get) or sour yeast strains.

Beyond beer, I've watched some videos of people blending (in cup) with all manner of fruit juices.

I'm just going to do test mixes in a 4 oz "taster glass" to see what proportions of what beers and juices work best. That way I don't waste a whole beer at a time.

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Old 06-30-2012, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessRockwell View Post
Forgive me for ignorance, but I've never understood this. Doesn't pasteurization completely destroy any possible benefits of kombucha? Probiotics, etc? I just don't see the point of growing these wonderful live cultures and then killing them before consuming. Unless it's solely for the benefit of any taste effects it might have on the beer...?

And yes, I know they sell pasteurized kombucha in stores. Again, why?
There are many other benefits to fermented foods/beverages besides the probiotic effects. Many fermented foods are cooked following fermentation (sourdough being the main one that comes to mind) and are still quite healthful. In the case of kombucha there is a wide variety of organic acids produced during fermentation that can be very beneficial healthwise; namely glucaric acid, butyric acid, malic acid etc... and let's not forget about all those b-vitamins that are little friends synthesized for us before I decided to boil them away.

In this case however, I'm doing it entirely for flavor. I generally don't brew/drink beer with health in mind and this batch is no exception. I've got my normal pipeline of kombucha/kraut/kefir still going and that should continue to satisfy my probiotic needs.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:11 PM   #9
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It's been two weeks since brew day so I went ahead with the pasteurization/blending stuff. The kombucha side tasted really great, but was still kinda sweet. I measured the gravity and it was still at 1.041 (OG was 1.051)... I don't normally measure the gravity of my kombucha batches so I don't know if that's normal, but I figured two weeks at about 75 degrees should have fermented away more than 10 points of gravity. The pH was a little less than 4 (started around 5) and it had a healthy lookin scoby growing on top so I know that the malt provided enough yeast nutrient to ferment normally.
I ended up heating it to around 150 degrees for 10-15 minutes and then pouring it into the fermenter with the other 4 gallons of sac-fermented beer. I figure I'll probably get a little more activity now since I just added a gallon of 1.041 wort so I'm gonna leave it for another week and think about bottling then.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyDarko View Post
In this case however, I'm doing it entirely for flavor. I generally don't brew/drink beer with health in mind and this batch is no exception. I've got my normal pipeline of kombucha/kraut/kefir still going and that should continue to satisfy my probiotic needs.
That's cool, sounds like an interesting experiment anyway. So I'm not sure I understand correctly, you're going to pitch just a scoby to the 1 gallon to ferment it? Are you using any starter tea to keep it acidic enough?


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