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-   -   Quick questions from a new brewer (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f167/quick-questions-new-brewer-342268/)

Sparklepaws 07-18-2012 09:15 PM

Quick questions from a new brewer
Hello everyone! I'm new to brewing Kombucha, and to the forums. As such, I decided it would be best to combine my introduction and questions into one post. So, here are the queries!

1. I've brewed twice now, and every time I add new cultures to my hotel a baby begins to form on top. It doesn't end there though, sometimes a baby will form on my bottled tea as well. Is this normal?

2. I have some baby scobys from my last batch that didn't fully grow before the brew was ready. Is it okay to put them in the hotel to continue growing? Do they NEED to be on top of the brew to continue growth?

3. How does one know when a "baby" has become an "adult"?

4. I stored my most recent batch in Mason jars, but after only an hour all of them had a metallic taste. What are the best jars to store Kombucha in? Any brand names I could look up?

5. How many times can I re-use a scoby?

I'm looking forward to those answers, so don't be stingy!

Zapped 07-21-2012 03:41 AM

1. Usually the tea in a hotel (scoby storage jar) is so depleted of sugar that a new baby won't form. How long is your primary fermentation? I'll only get a small baby scoby at the top of the bottle if I haven't filled them all the way to the top. You don't want to leave airspace in the bottle.

2. If the baby isn't formed, maybe you haven't fermented enough. What pH do you get to?

3. Adult?

4. I don't know how you could get a metallic taste from a glass jar, and why would you be sampling the batch after only an hour?

5. I reuse the mother until she gets more brown than light beige, then send her off to the garden soil.

Sparklepaws 07-21-2012 12:42 PM

My primary fermentation is normally about 5 to 6 days with the heat around my kitchen.

The baby forms to about 1/4 to 2/4 of an inch, which is pretty thick and heavy. So it's not a thin film, it's actually got substance, but by the time the tea is actually ready it doesn't look at all like my mothers.

The "adult" question links into my baby question. Is there any specific way my baby scoby should look so I know when it's stopped forming? (I haven't been testing my PH levels, mainly because everything looks and tastes perfectly fine.

While Mason jars are glass, the lids are made of metal. For this reason, I tasted my completed batch after an hour to double-check the flavor. It had become very metallic, and upon testing the other jars I found the same to be true.

porcupine73 08-21-2012 06:03 PM

Hi. Your first ferment might not be quite long enough, leaving quite a bit of sugar in the KT when you can it for the second ferment. I've used mason jars for the second ferment without any trouble, you might try another container as well to see about the metallic taste. What is your water source? Sometimes that will affect the taste, especially if it is getting air into it when you transfer to the second ferment containers.

The baby vs adult scoby question I don't think is really a concern. The scoby's seem to continue to grow almost forever. If I start a new batch, I usually keep the top most portion of the scoby (or the most recent growth).

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