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-   -   Kombucha - Safe to brew? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f167/kombucha-safe-brew-374362/)

iamperplexed 12-15-2012 05:07 AM

Kombucha - Safe to brew?
 
So, is it entirely safe to brew kombucha? In other words, if something goes wrong and I end up with an infection, is it dangerous? I worry a lot, about everything... a lot. I like the fact that if my beer ends up with an infection it might taste horrible, smell awful, scare the neighbors, etc. but it won't kill me.

Is the same true for kombucha? I just started my first batch today and already I'm nervous. No airlock???? What is this nonsense?

Any info is appreciated, thanks.

jambafish 12-18-2012 05:10 AM

Make sure everything is clean and keep the temperature up and stable in your primary and you should be fine. I'd worry more about the excess fluoride and aluminum in the caffeinated teas than anything going wrong with the SCOBY.

iamperplexed 12-24-2012 04:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jambafish (Post 4692873)
Make sure everything is clean and keep the temperature up and stable in your primary and you should be fine. I'd worry more about the excess fluoride and aluminum in the caffeinated teas than anything going wrong with the SCOBY.

I treated everything like it was a beer brewing day. Clean water, sanitized jar, etc. however I think temperature is going to be too cool for me in this house. I'm trying to grow my own SCOBY from a bottle of GT's and so far it's very slow going, if at all. I've got my jar in the warmest area of the house but we're lucky to hit 66 - 68 degrees with the heater cranked. We'll see, thanks for the encouraging words.

JRub 12-24-2012 05:32 PM

You may want to check out a Kombucha Mat to keep the brew warm, or stick it in your oven, with the oven light on. You will get much better results with a temp closer to 80.

jambafish 12-24-2012 06:12 PM

SCOBY grows slowly from bottled KT, but they are typically excellent once you've harvested them. Remember it's going to be thin at first and you'll need to grow it up over the course of a few graduated brews. 66-68 isn't bad, but I agree with JRub and the idea of keeping it inside the oven. The SCOBY will not love the light so you might want to wrap the bottle in a small towel and a couple rubber bands.

Also, keep in mind that with the temperature hovering around 70 you'll probably be harvesting KT ~7 days with a full size SCOBY. It's only been 9 days and you're trying to grow culture, which for me has taken a little more time. If it's not getting beyond the mucus stage you might dissolve half a teaspoon of sugar in distilled water and add that to get the yeast active.

JRub 12-26-2012 03:42 AM

Jambafish - with temps near 70 you say 7 days? I have temps near 80, and I am doing 7 days. Most people can't drink my stuff though. I don't have PH strips, so I don't really know, I am just going by taste. How long are you doing yours?

I taste almost no tea flavor, only bucha, if you know what I mean!

jambafish 12-26-2012 04:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRub (Post 4715770)
Jambafish - with temps near 70 you say 7 days? I have temps near 80, and I am doing 7 days. Most people can't drink my stuff though. I don't have PH strips, so I don't really know, I am just going by taste. How long are you doing yours?

I taste almost no tea flavor, only bucha, if you know what I mean!

I would guess you'd only need 4 days at those temps, but its totally personal preference. I prefer lower alcohol tea and don't like adding a lot of juice so I don't let it ferment as long.

Good thing about your method is the scoby will digest some of the fluoride from the tea--so you can expect some darkening of the spent yeast--whereas I have to work at it a little.

iamperplexed 01-14-2013 04:34 AM

Well it's officially been a month and I almost forgot about it. I just checked and it looks like I've got a very thin scoby in the jar. Also, lots of sediment(?) at the bottom of the jar. I'm guessing this is all normal. My question now is, should I build up a batch from this scoby or let it ride?


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