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Old 05-28-2011, 01:12 AM   #1
mccann51
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Default Other types of tea

Is it possible to ferment kombucha in the absence of Camellia sinensis tea, or is this absolutely necessary? I'm interested in trying rooibos or some herbal teas for kombucha brewing, but am concerned that there might be something essential only found in Camellia sinensis for the SCOBY.


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Old 05-30-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
sherfumarcus
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I believe the main deterrent in using herbal teas is the oils. Oils will kill your SCOBY. I'd use 75% black and/or green, and 25% other tea. Next on my list is 25% elderberry, very good for you and has some natural sugar. Have you experimented with white tea? Not sure about the Camellia sinensis thing.


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Old 06-11-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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Good to know, thanks. I'll probably just stick with green and black tea to be safe; I'd give white tea a try if I knew of any local sources for it.

You adding the fruit in primary or secondary (ie after you remove the kombucha from the SCOBY)?
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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Sorry, white tea DOES have Camellia sinensis. You can most definitely use it safely. What I was saying was I wasn't sure how important camellia sinesis was to the kombucha brewing process. I'm guessing pretty important. Kombucha likes blends of tea so you can try different kinds together. I add fruit/other flavors in the secondary process. But like I said, I add elderberry to the primary process. About 25% of the total amount of tea used. So if I'm using 20 grams of tea for a gallon brew, 5 grams will be elderberry. Elderberry is typically dried and can be use like any other tea. It's taste is subtle, adds a beautiful purple red hue to your brew, and It's very good for you - having a lot of immune supporting properties among other things. If you'd like more info check out this awesome site: http://www.happyherbalist.com/elderberry.aspx

happy brewing!
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:48 PM   #5
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Despite all the pseudo-scientific kombucha literature I've read, I don't really believe tea is important to the process. Maybe it helps slightly to regulate bacteria growth like hops?
Then again, I never experimented with mine - I just didn't need an extra headache like a ferment gone wrong :P
I have always loved hibiscus tisane iced, and I think it would be a nice candidate for experimentation since it's full-bodied and cheap. Rooibos is probably the safest bet, but I'm not 100% sure whether it has any oil content to worry about.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:11 AM   #6
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My first batch of Kombucha was made using White Tea. It turned out great, tasted like a light pear cider. I would be really interested to know and accumulate a list of other acceptable teas/ingredients to use. I like my Kombucha rather dry, so the idea of controlling flavor through primary ingredients is great. Maybe I'll start a thread if there isn't one already on alternative ingredients. I have read that Kombucha should strictly be made with green and black tea, however, I don't see the supporting evidence for this and most "scientific" knowledge on Kombucha seems vague. That being said, I feel safe experimenting with my recipes.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:20 PM   #7
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I've seen an YouTube video where a guy showed kombucha brewed on Yerba Mate. I'm new to brewing (on my 2nd batch) but I will test 100% Yerba Mate in my next batch.


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