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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > General Chit Chat > Have you guys ever brewed up some Kombucha?
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:28 AM   #1
Anbrew
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Default Have you guys ever brewed up some Kombucha?

I've recently become addicted to this tonic:
Kombucha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However, you can only buy it at organic stores and it's very expensive (~$3 for 16oz). It's very low in calories (about 35 calories in 8oz), contains caffeine, and a tad bit of alcohol (~.5% or less). It is carbonated and has a quenching tart, almost sour taste (reminds me of Gueze in a way).

I've been looking into homebrewing it and it seems incredibly easy. You simply make a tea (any kind), add a bunch of sugar, pitche your "SCOBY" (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, including a lambic wild yeast strain) and let it ferment for a couple of days.

The problem is finding a SCOBY. It looks like a pancake/mushroom that floats on top of your tea "wort". The easiest way is to buy one pre-cultured, but I"ve heard you can also culture one from commercial kombucha (with mixed results).

Here's a decent resource on homebrewing it:
Kombucha Mushroom Tea

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Old 10-02-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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A friend of mine did this before. Never tried it and I think he stopped after a while. It looked nasty.

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Old 10-02-2008, 07:06 PM   #3
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My SWMBO's roommate makes that stuff. It smells TERRIBLE!

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Old 10-02-2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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It does look and smell pretty nasty(even the commercial stuff), but it tastes great

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Old 10-02-2008, 10:50 PM   #5
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I found someone selling a SCOBY on craigslist a while ago. It might just be a crazy seattle hippie thing though.

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Old 10-05-2008, 01:24 AM   #6
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LOL, ive been making kombucha for about 3 years now. its good, especially with ginger. it only takes about 7 - 10 days to brew, then you can either drink or bottle. if you bottle at the right time it will get nice and carbonated. it supposed to be real good for you. it kinda makes you feel weird if you drink a lot of it.

cheers

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Old 10-05-2008, 05:59 AM   #7
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The kombucha mushroom people,
Sitting around all day,
Who can believe you,
Who can believe you,
Let your mother pray, (sugar)

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Old 10-05-2008, 06:37 PM   #8
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my grandma used to make this stuff. bleh it was nasty. Mushroom decomposes and regrows in there. yum!

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Old 10-23-2008, 09:25 PM   #9
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I've been brewing my own KT for the past couple of months and it's a lot of fun. Also much easier than brewing beer. A lot of people complain about the taste but it all depends on the type of dried fruit you toss into the grolsch bottles for the secondary fermentation. My best successes have been using dried cherries and ended up with something tasting like a cross between sparkling wine and apple cider. Most worst experience was using white raisins and it tasted like feet. The primary fermentation by-product is acetic acid (vinegar) and a bunch of B vitamins, so don't drink it right before you go to bed.

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:54 PM   #10
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It's not that bad. My coworker was into it for a while. This like those other things you have to 'care for' like sourdough, etc. are fun for a stint but you have to be committed to keep it going ad-infinitum. I second the ginger in it.

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