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Old 06-21-2012, 03:33 AM   #1
jenjusjen
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Default kombucha question

Can you freeze a scoby, and then reuse it? Anybody know the shelf life on these guys? Just got into making kombucha, and I have quite a few babies.. also why does black tea have such a nasty tannic acid taste, no I didn't steep my bags any longer then fifteen minutes, and I used seven tea bags for a gallon, instead of tea.

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Old 06-21-2012, 03:16 PM   #2
TheMan
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I have no clue what the answer is to your question, but I am sure you will get more feedback if you post in the Kombucha section...as opposed to the announcements and feedback section...

Maybe a moderator will move this there for you.

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Old 06-29-2012, 05:13 AM   #3
ChessRockwell
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I'm not a super expert kombucha genius, but nobody else is answering (after a week!?) so I'll give it a shot!

As far as freezing a scoby, I'd say no. Of course you could try it and prove me wrong, I've never actually heard of anyone doing this kind of experiment. But it will probably just kill it, especially if it's frozen for any length of time.

Shelf life on scobys? Who knows, I just let a gallon sit brewing for about 6 months, until almost the entire thing evaporated and it didn't show any signs of death. I'd be willing to bet if I tried to brew a batch with the scoby now it would work fine. A lot of places say to refrigerate with a small amount of tea and they're good for a few weeks to a month or so, but I'd be willing to bet they'd go longer, they're pretty tough.

For the black tea, "tannic" taste, I would agree, although I couldn't really tell you why. I think there's just more tannins IN black tea, by nature. It's never bothered me and I like black tea kombucha, but if you want a more user friendly kombucha definitely go with a green tea, something like kukicha works great (seems to me to make thicker, healthier looking scobies as well).

Hope this helps some...

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Old 06-30-2012, 02:40 AM   #4
onipar
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Most people use something called a SCOBY hotel. It's basically just another glass vessel that you keep all your extra SCOBYs in with some Kombucha. The Kombucha in this vessel won't be very drinkable as it'll basically be vinegar after a while (though you could use it for plenty of other things). As long as the SCOBYs are in a solution of kombucha to keep them safe, you can leave it out indefinitely. Possibly just topping off with new "nutrient solution" (sweet tea) now and then.

If you have way too many SCOBYs, people usually start giving them away, composting them, eating them or blending pieces of it into a smoothie (yeah), brewing more than one batch at a time or using more than one SCOBY per vessel, and I've even read things about using it as a skin mask of sorts, or to help heal cuts.

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Old 06-30-2012, 05:06 PM   #5
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Default Small cup from SCOBY

I heard about making 'leather' from SCOBYs, so I made this cup!

I put a paper towel, then plastic wrap over the bottom of a beaker, then rinsed a SCOBY and pressed it over the beaker. I let it dry and then added another, for a total of 3 SCOBYs in thickness. It's pretty funny feeling, sticky and very water-absorbent.

The first two tries failed, as I didn't think to line the beaker with removable stuff. The SCOBY stuck to the glass. So I used plastic wrap, but the was difficult to slip off. The paper towel/plastic wrap worked well!

I am going to try to figure out a way to tan or seal it and use it on my desk as an interesting paperclip holder!

komburcha-cup.jpg  
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Old 06-30-2012, 06:56 PM   #6
onipar
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Wow, that's pretty awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHERYLinND View Post
I heard about making 'leather' from SCOBYs, so I made this cup!

I put a paper towel, then plastic wrap over the bottom of a beaker, then rinsed a SCOBY and pressed it over the beaker. I let it dry and then added another, for a total of 3 SCOBYs in thickness. It's pretty funny feeling, sticky and very water-absorbent.

The first two tries failed, as I didn't think to line the beaker with removable stuff. The SCOBY stuck to the glass. So I used plastic wrap, but the was difficult to slip off. The paper towel/plastic wrap worked well!

I am going to try to figure out a way to tan or seal it and use it on my desk as an interesting paperclip holder!
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
porcupine73
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Freezing the scobies I doubt that would be a long term viable solution. Right the hotel is a good solution. I use a couple gallon jars as hotels just to keep backup scobies in case I screw up my main continuous brewers, which I have been known to do a few times.

I have noticed certain types of tea can become quite bitter as well. I have managed to mitigate the bitterness by paying attention to these factors:
1. proportion of the 'bitter' tea in the mix in relation to other types of teas.
2. Brew temperature - some teas only want maybe 170F for the brew temp. Hotter may bring out their bitterness.
3. Brew time - Sometimes leaving the tea to brew for too long brings out bitter aspects
4. Amount of tea - Sometimes using too much tea all around results in a bitter brew.

I have noticed though, that even KT that tastes horrid after the first ferment, if you leave it to second ferment long enough, which could be several months or longer at low temps like 50-60F, it will actually taste extremely good and smooth after that. It will still have a bitter edge, but it won't be that nasty biting bitter edge.

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