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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > Mother from GT's Ginger Kombucha
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:25 AM   #11
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As strong as this round smelled of vinegar I was very hesitant to drink it, I'd recently read someone did sip their batch and it burned their throat for a few days, lol, that's not an experience I want.

I did end up adding more sugar, (before your latest reply) 1-1/4 cup. The surface already looks more as I'd expected it to look by now, initial expectations. It has that yeasty smell again...If, in a week or so, I end up stunted again, I will change my approach and note your suggestions.

What gets me is a friend of mine does the exact process and consistently produces scobys quickly, and I operate in much more sanitary conditions!

As for the temperature range, I can't be sure, I would estimate approx. 70 degrees. That is why I let it sit for so long, assuming the temp calls for longer fermentation time. I do not use a thermometer, I feel risking contamination by often sticking a thermometer into the brew is senseless.

I store it in the dark basement where I do not disturb it. The windows in the basement are actually plywood, (long story) hopefully explaining why temp keep-up is nigh impossible and expensive in this Colorado "winter".

And I am a bit suspicious, can scobys form at the bottom or always on the surface?

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:06 AM   #12
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I grew my scoby from a bottle of comercial. I started with 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 gal, and added 1/2 gal with 3/4 cup sugar every 2 weeks until I had 2 gallons total. In two months I had a 1" thick healthy, happy pad, but the tea underneath wasn't pleasant (pure vinegar). Since then I've been able to peel off layers for friends, and turn out a 2 gal batch every couple weeks.

I also tried with a bottle in 2 gallons, and that thing took forever to grow. I really think that the stepped feedings is the way to go. Just be gentle when you add to the brew, as the thin film likes to tear and you won't get a pretty, flat mother like in the pictures.

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:19 AM   #13
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OK, I just finished bottling my first batch of Kombucha. It had been fermenting since the 11th of February, 1 gallon.

The scoby is very thin on one side and one side is roughly 1/4 inch thick. The reason for that is I'd add sugar and tea on one side to maintain the process.

I tasted the tea, which smelled very vinegary, and it had a very sweet feel and taste, then I swallowed it and, for a fraction of a second, felt like pins and needles, though not painful, if that makes sense. The tea is very strong and now sits at room temp with slices of peach in 16 oz. bottles, I suppose 3-5 days while I try and build carbonation.

How does this sound as a decent process? All input is greatly appreciated!

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:12 PM   #14
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When I make my kombucha tea I taste by drawing off with a straw at 7 days and about every 3d thereafter, that way I can either stop fermentation or move it to the next phase for secondary fermentation if I am going that route.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:15 PM   #15
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In regard to scoby formation, they usually form on the top BUT I have had them form on the bottom too. Also, my dogs LOVE chewing on dried scoby, which can be done with dehydrator or low oven or the hot sun(covered with a net). Their coats are gorgeous.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:37 PM   #16
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Thank you.

I added 1 gallon to my starter quart yesterday and will utilize your suggestion on tasting. Already seems to be moving along nicely. I did 1 cup sugar this time around instead of 5 cups, lol.

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:39 PM   #17
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Oh, regarding carbonation...anyone have a sure-fire process? I left an inch or so headroom.

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Old 03-04-2011, 08:48 PM   #18
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I carbonate by removing the scoby, adding some sugar back to the kombucha and put it in bottles. Then I let the bottles sit at room temperature for a couple of days (no more than 3) and then stick them in the fridge.

Maybe this is a recipe for bottle bombs but I've never had an issue since I only let it continue fermenting for a few days before refrigeration which pretty much stops the yeast.

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Old 03-05-2011, 01:08 AM   #19
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Any thoughts about using flip top bottles for carbonation?

I guzzle this stuff (the GT brand, ginger) like water when my stomach starts acting up (H pylori - yuck) and the lactobacillus usually knocks it back so I thought I would brew my own.

What tea have you folks used? My favorite black tea is PG Tips (UK) but I'm wondering if green tea or herbal tea would be better.

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Old 03-05-2011, 05:18 AM   #20
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From what I know, Black, Green or a mixture of both work for making Kombucha, no herbal teas due to their oils. I think the oils kill the scoby or cause mold.

I use organic green tea and had recently started a black tea brew. Have not consumed either yet.

As for the bottles, I had read quite a bit about the flip-tops and their ability to regulate the pressure carbonating has due to their rubber seals. I would like to try using them but was in a hurry to start brewing so I ended with mason jars with rubber sealed lids and the screw-tops, we'll see if they work well or not.

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