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Old 08-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
brewinginct
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Default Kombucha Culture Not Growing - From GT Bottle

I've been brewing beer for a while and decided to try my hand at making kombucha.

I used the directions from this site http://www.paprikahead.com/2009/07/h...ucha-from.html There is enough discussion in the comments section that I figure this method will work.

I make the starter liquid (1 cup water/2 Tbls White Sugar/1 bag of black tea) but instead of just throwing in 1/2 cup of bottled kombucha I throw in about 1.5-2 cups of kombucha total, from 2 seperate bottles. I figure this way I'll get more pieces of kombucha culture in my starter and I'll have a better chance at success.

Turns out I might have been wrong. It's about 5 days later and I barely have anything floating in my starter. There's one corner of the canning jar that has some definite film growing on it...some of it looks pretty dark but it doesn't look fuzzy so I'm hoping it's not mold. This film is just in one corner, it barely covers 1/8 of the surface.

There's also long tentacles reaching down from the film on top, which I understand is yeast and a good sign. And on the bottom of the jar is some more sediment.

Am I being impatient or should I start over? I used Irish breakfast tea for my starter which I think is straight black tea, maybe it's not and that's the problem? Did I add way too much kombucha to the starter for it to grow proper? Can I even get a good culture from a bottle of GT's, since they had to reformulate their product after the recall?

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Old 08-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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It took mine about a month to fully develop just give it some more time.

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Old 08-03-2011, 08:50 PM   #3
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You're being impatient. Let the wee beasties work for a while; if after two weeks to a month you've got nothing, then you can start worrying.

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Old 08-03-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Warm it up a little!! It gets it going faster!! I had some left over from bottling and started a new batch with all my scoby's and left the rest in an extra pickle jar.. Came back 2 weeks later to toss my scoby's in for cleaning of my main jar and BAM... Another mother... I do like mine sweet, about 2 cups sugar to a gallon so what was in there had a chance to grow off of the remaining sugar... My main jar has a spigot on it so once a week I walk by to check on sweetness.. Sometimes it takes a month to get it down without adding a little heat with my heating pad when I forget to use it..lol

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Old 08-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the replies. I'm used to seeing a nice krausen on my beer within 12 hours of pitching yeast, it's a big change between that and growing a kombucha mother.

Anyways, it's 2 weeks since my first post. I've definitely seen a lot of growth in the mason jar, but it's not anywhere close to where I expected to see it at this point.

The scooby is growing and turning a nice white color, but it is not a single disk yet. About a third of the surface is covered by a scooby that's 1/4'' at it's thickest point. The rest of the surface has random spots of a culture on the surface, but it's not connected and not very thick at all.

Patience has paid off and I have no problem letting the jar sit for another couple weeks. My concern right now is whether I should add some fresh starter liquid.

The jar smells very strongly of vinegar; from what I understand, that means that all of the sugar has been eaten through.

Would my scooby benefit from some fresh sugar/tea starter poured on top? Would it promote quicker growth? Adding extra heat isn't an option at this point. Thanks

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Old 09-13-2011, 05:20 AM   #6
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Well it's about a month since I last posted. I was pretty sure that the project was a bust, that I'd have to buy a culture instead of making one.

I open the paper bag that I have my mason jar in and it's beautiful. Perfect white disk, looks clean, almost one inch thick. It's the last thing I expected to see.

Tomorrow I'm going to kick up the starter. This is the first transfer since I made this starter, what would be a good mix of tea and sugar and amount of tea?

Also, I'm assuming the starter liquid is straight vinegar now. There's also a second mother that looks less solid lurking below the surface. Should I dump everything from the starter into the the new container? I know you want some of that liquid from the starter, and obviously the mother. Not sure about much past.


Any help would be big help.

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