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Old 03-05-2013, 02:49 AM   #1
japroto
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Default Weird Science

I happened to be at CVS this evening and I saw a 1 gallon bottle of Arizona Sweet Tea for about $3, when I got home I added 1 and 1/3 cup of regular table sugar and 1 and 1/3 cup of brown sugar to the Tea (after removing about 1 pint glass full to create some head room), shook it up then added some bakers yeast and shook the jug again. I put a plastic sandwich bag over the top of the jug then tightened the lid over the bag and placed the jug in a dark cabinet to ferment for 2 weeks.

The Sweet Tea is pretty delicious and has a strong "Tea" flavor to it because it is made with black tea, I am curious to see how the "Tea" taste transforms after fermentation. I have no real expectations with this project, its merely an experiment using high fructose corn syrup.

I will update in 2 weeks. In the mean time has anyone tried this before?

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Old 03-05-2013, 05:05 AM   #2
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Well I doubt you'll get kombucha sice there's no acetobacter, but you'll probably get some kida of hard iced tea simlar to this one. Good luck! Don't expect much after two weeks. Try it, but don't throw it out if it tastes bad. Let it go for a month to six weeks at least, then bottle it for a few weeks. I'd say mid May, Early June it should be tasting pretty good.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
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Thanks Kingogames for the link to the other article and I'll try a longer fermenation of 4-6 weeks. I should have taken an OG reading but oh well, this is just an experiement. I wonder what flavors the bakers yeast will impart compared to brewers yeast...

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #4
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Day 2 Update:
I loosened the cap on the jug this afternoon and there was already a good amount of carbination that had built up. I tightened the cap again and put the jug back in the closet. When I released the built up pressure I could detect a "bready" aroma, similar to fresh baked bread, most likely due to using bakers yeast.

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Old 03-06-2013, 04:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by japroto View Post
Day 2 Update:
I loosened the cap on the jug this afternoon and there was already a good amount of carbination that had built up. I tightened the cap again and put the jug back in the closet. When I released the built up pressure I could detect a "bready" aroma, similar to fresh baked bread, most likely due to using bakers yeast.
I would actually keep the lid loosely attached for a while. Is no different than the concept of fermenting in a primary container with a cover/lid just loosely covering. If you leave it tightly capped you will eventually come across an exploded jug of tea because you simply cannot predict the build up of CO2 in a sealed container. Worse case scenario put a strong latex balloon over the opening of the gallon Arizona jug and you have an improvised airlock, or splurge and buy an actual bung plus airlock.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc View Post
I would actually keep the lid loosely attached for a while. Is no different than the concept of fermenting in a primary container with a cover/lid just loosely covering. If you leave it tightly capped you will eventually come across an exploded jug of tea because you simply cannot predict the build up of CO2 in a sealed container. Worse case scenario put a strong latex balloon over the opening of the gallon Arizona jug and you have an improvised airlock, or splurge and buy an actual bung plus airlock.
I totally agree, should have put an airlock on it but I'm being lazy about this and wanted to test out my Macgyver fermentation skills to see how simple of a setup one could use, worst case scenario I loose $3 on this experiment.

The jug was quite swollen this morning with a little krausen at the top and is producing very bready aromas now.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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Day 5 update:

I checked the jug today and it has a noticable amount of trub at the bottom and a discernable frothy krausen along the top. I don't detect any more bready aroma and fermentation seems to have slowed down as there is not much carbonation built up. So far so good...

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Old 03-14-2013, 03:25 AM   #8
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Day 10 Update:

I have been tightening and loosening the cap since the last update instead of leaving it loose. When the cap is tight a good amount of carbonation builds up and the jug swells considerably. I can still visibly see gas bubbles forming which surprises me at this stage. I am leaving the cap loose now since so much activity is still visibly noticeable. I am definitely going to let it ferment for another week or two. No aroma can be detected at this point. Will update soon.

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Old 03-17-2013, 03:56 AM   #9
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Day 13 Update:

I tasted the fermented sweet tea today and it is still very sweet. It has a mild tartness and bite to it, almost like a cider. I am going to let it ferment for 2 weeks more and dry out a bit.

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