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bluerdg 02-10-2011 05:09 PM

Kombucha Newbie
 
Hello all, I'm new to the forum and have been scanning the Kombucha section and done a few searches but not finding much on particular issue. Quick rundown - New to Kombucha - started my first scoby using GT Dave's - first batch of Kombucha made with Green Tea using a recipe found in the Washington Post- Basically 1 gallon tea, 3 cups of sugar, scoby and 1 cup of kombucha. My attempt at making the scoby produced the typical thin film, translucent scoby mentioned in a variety of posts. That scoby has since developed in to a very healthy looking mother (looks like a white jellyfish) as it works on my first batch of Kombucha. It's been sitting for just over 2 weeks and the scoby appears to have matured very well, however the Kombucha seems to be lagging. It's in a gallon glass container, covered with papertowel rubber banded to the rim. After 2 weeks it has the familiar vinegar like aroma (very similar to GT Dave's), has a definite carbonated bite forming but is still overly sweet. I taste tested it last week, and there hasn't been any noticable change in sweetness between then and today. With the sugar content and scoby development, there's obvious nutrient available, but CO2 production seems to have stopped. Just looking for any input as to what I should do with what I have.

Lookin4space 02-10-2011 06:21 PM

The one other factor that might affect your batch is temperature. Kombucha will brew nicely in that "sweet" range, which is between 70-84 degrees. The optimum temp is as close to a constant 84 degrees as possible. You might want to taste it again. Sometimes there is a slight sweetness, but does it have a strong vinegar odor when you first take the cover off? If so, all is probably going okay. Another suggestion is to just start a new batch and, if the stuff looks and smells okay, bottle it.

hicknalden 02-10-2011 07:23 PM

I've made a couple of batches of kombucha over the last month or two, and three cups of sugar per gallon seems like a lot. That's three tablespoons of sugar per cup. I've found that using one cup of sugar per gallon results in a slightly sweet kombucha after 10-12 days.

Hope that helps!

bluerdg 02-10-2011 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lookin4space (Post 2633170)
The one other factor that might affect your batch is temperature. Kombucha will brew nicely in that "sweet" range, which is between 70-84 degrees. The optimum temp is as close to a constant 84 degrees as possible. You might want to taste it again. Sometimes there is a slight sweetness, but does it have a strong vinegar odor when you first take the cover off? If so, all is probably going okay. Another suggestion is to just start a new batch and, if the stuff looks and smells okay, bottle it.

Temperature might be the issue, I'm going to have to find another place to let it set. I've got it in the same area I use my wine and 84 degrees will shut them down. We're experiencing colder than normal temps for our area which isn't helping but 84 in the house would run us out as well. The fridge is built in so on top of it won't work. I guess I'll have to find a heater.

bluerdg 02-10-2011 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hicknalden (Post 2633410)
I've made a couple of batches of kombucha over the last month or two, and three cups of sugar per gallon seems like a lot. That's three tablespoons of sugar per cup. I've found that using one cup of sugar per gallon results in a slightly sweet kombucha after 10-12 days.

Hope that helps!

I'm new to Kombucha, if i were to draw about half of the mix off and replace with unsweetened tea, it would definitely address the sweetness issue, but probably dilute the carbonation as well. I suppose I could let the diluted mix set longer to see if it would carbonate. What are your thoughts of dividing what I have and adding half a gallon of unsweetened tea to each?

hicknalden 02-10-2011 08:44 PM

Diluting with unsweetened tea should work just fine. Since there's still plenty of sugar in the mix, the SCOBY will continue processing and generate more CO2 over time.

Lookin4space 02-11-2011 04:09 PM

If it is still doing what it needs to do it will eventually use up the sugar and solve the problem. Sure, you can dilute it, but if it hasn't gone through the process by now there's another problem going on that needs to be addressed.

Lookin4space 02-13-2011 10:09 PM

Oh! I didn't notice that you used 3 cups of sugar because I use 3 cups as well, but I make a 2 gallon batch! That's the problem, you're overfeeding the sugar. A cup and a half per gallon is plenty. You might want to find a bigger container and thin the batch down. Walmart has these great 2 gallon glass jars (look like big glass cookie jars) for $11 each. Target has the same thing for $15. 1/4 inch glass, which is nice.


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