Just getting into Kombucha,

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MajorJC

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I've recently learned that I really like the tart bite of Kombucha. My first two batches started growing green mold on top of the pellicle and I was advised to throw them out and re-sanitize and start over. After the second batch became moldy, I moved them from my laundry room to my office and so far they look really great.

10875FB6-80B2-44F8-B469-CF51B2E2B752_1_105_c.jpeg


It will take a little longer to get a finished product in my office because the temp is staying around 68-70 F.
 

cgriffith

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I too am just getting into Kombucha. I am in the "trying to grow my SCOBY" stage from a store bought bottle. Been fermenting for like 3 weeks and very close to a full thin layer. Waiting is very hard to do, lol. I like those NB fermenters. When I go to make my first batch I am gonna try to use a food grade bucket I have with a plastic spigot. I like how you went all in with like 6 gallons instead of starting small like me. Keep us posted.
 

eric19312

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I dedicate one of the taps on my keezer to kombucha. It lasts a lot longer than the beer (fewer kombucha drinkers at my house) but seems to have very good shelf life in the kegs. I make it in old brew bucket with a spigot. Usa a tee-shirt streteched over top and held on with a bungee cord and a heating mat with inkbird controller wrapped around to keep it at about 80F. When it is done I transfer into keg with whatever flavoring I am going for. I've done shredded ginger and lemon zest+juice, elderberry syrup and spiced elderberry syrup so far. I look for the flavoring addition to add some sugar for a secondary fermentation to carbonate at room temperature.

I started out with one mail order scoby and made a half gallon in a mason jar. Then I made a gallon in two mason jars using about a quart from first batch as my starter and then used that entire gallon as a starter for a 5 gallon batch.
 
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MajorJC

MajorJC

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I too am just getting into Kombucha. I am in the "trying to grow my SCOBY" stage from a store bought bottle. Been fermenting for like 3 weeks and very close to a full thin layer. Waiting is very hard to do, lol. I like those NB fermenters. When I go to make my first batch I am gonna try to use a food grade bucket I have with a plastic spigot. I like how you went all in with like 6 gallons instead of starting small like me. Keep us posted.
Yep, that is what I did after having to throw out the SCOBY that came with my kit from NB. I used a bottle from Kroger and poured it into two quart mason jars with an equal amount of sweet tea in each jar. Actually I used three bottles of Kombucha and six mason jars. The pineapple one didn’t do very well. Trilogy did the best. My Kroger didn’t have any of the unflavored ones.
A77733A7-9E05-4EB2-A5BE-3A663205DF7E.jpeg

I dedicate one of the taps on my keezer to kombucha. It lasts a lot longer than the beer (fewer kombucha drinkers at my house) but seems to have very good shelf life in the kegs. I make it in old brew bucket with a spigot. Usa a tee-shirt streteched over top and held on with a bungee cord and a heating mat with inkbird controller wrapped around to keep it at about 80F. When it is done I transfer into keg with whatever flavoring I am going for. I've done shredded ginger and lemon zest+juice, elderberry syrup and spiced elderberry syrup so far. I look for the flavoring addition to add some sugar for a secondary fermentation to carbonate at room temperature.

I started out with one mail order scoby and made a half gallon in a mason jar. Then I made a gallon in two mason jars using about a quart from first batch as my starter and then used that entire gallon as a starter for a 5 gallon batch.
Yes, that’s why I have 9 gallons of Kombucha going. I want to put it in one spot of my Keezer. Maybe even two taps.
 

cgriffith

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So I have read about kegging Kombucha, but there is a detail I am missing maybe you can help @eric19312 . When in the keg with flavoring addatives, how do you keep that stuff from clogging up the liquid line?
 

eric19312

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So I have read about kegging Kombucha, but there is a detail I am missing maybe you can help @eric19312 . When in the keg with flavoring addatives, how do you keep that stuff from clogging up the liquid line?
yeah I used a hop bag with the ginger and lemon peels. For the elderberries I make syrup and filter it with a kitchen strainer before adding to the keg, no containment needed.
 

pvpeacock

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I ferment kombucha is a 7 gallon stainless conical fermenter with a heating pad and inkbird temp. controller. I try to keep it in the mid-70's. Once it gets close to the right tartness, I transfer 2/12 gallons to an Anvil 4 gallon jacketed/heated Brew Bucket where I add fruit, ginger, spices, etc. for flavor and a secondary fermentation. I modified the lid on the Anvil as shown below. After 5-7 days, I keg the flavored kombucha in a 2 1/2 gallon keg, throw it on the hump on my keezer, carbonate and tap it. Delicious! It does last much longer than a keg of beer. Then again, it takes 5 gallons about 5-6 weeks in primary fermentation to reach the right tartness for secondary.
6.jpg
 

haygood

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So I have read about kegging Kombucha, but there is a detail I am missing maybe you can help @eric19312 . When in the keg with flavoring addatives, how do you keep that stuff from clogging up the liquid line?
I remove the pellicle, save any extra raw kombucha to my hotel, add my flavoring to my fermenter, add lid, airlock and put in my keezer. I'll let it sit a few days before transferring to the keg.
 
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pvpeacock

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After secondary fermentation, I filter the kombucha going into the keg. My thought is that all the sugar in the fruit is fermented by the time I keg, so I'm not too worried about further fermentation. In addition, putting it in the keezer at cold temperatures stops or greatly slows any additional fermentation in the keg. I have yet to see a pellicle/scoby inside any of my empty kegs. So I have not had any clogging issues from kegging.
 

eric19312

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After secondary fermentation, I filter the kombucha going into the keg. My thought is that all the sugar in the fruit is fermented by the time I keg, so I'm not too worried about further fermentation. In addition, putting it in the keezer at cold temperatures stops or greatly slows any additional fermentation in the keg. I have yet to see a pellicle/scoby inside any of my empty kegs. So I have not had any clogging issues from kegging.

my understanding is that the bacteria in the scoby are only active in presence of oxygen (aerobic fermentation). In a closed keg you mostly get a yeast driven fermentation converting sugars added at time of kegging into alcohol and CO2 just like when we ferment beer. Yeast and bacteria will take up oxygen introduced at the time of kegging for a little bit of early cell growth, but the oxygen should be depleted pretty fast. After that the yeast will eat the sugar until it is gone but the bacteria will not really do anything and without both active yeast and bacteria populations you don't make scoby.
 

pvpeacock

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Sounds right to me. That is why I do a secondary ferment open to the air when I add fruit and before kegging so that the yeast will convert the sugar to alcohol and the bacteria will convert the alcohol to acetic acid to minimize alcohol in the kegged kombucha.
 
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MajorJC

MajorJC

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I don't know a zilch about kombucha.
But just curious what's the average ABV brewers aim for in kombucha? Is it similar to beer or wine?
Kombucha will have trace amounts of alcohol, but it is not considered an alcoholic beverage. The acetic acid bacteria converts the ethanol into acetic acid, which is vinegar. This is what gives kombucha it's bite. The acetic acid bacteria is also the one responsible for forming the cellulose mat, or pellicle, that floats on top. This cellulose pellicle is loaded up with the yeast and bacteria, or probiotics, and is what we refer to as the SCOBY. Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.
 

haygood

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So I have read about kegging Kombucha, but there is a detail I am missing maybe you can help @eric19312 . When in the keg with flavoring addatives, how do you keep that stuff from clogging up the liquid line?
I flavor (F2) in my carboy after the primary (F1).
First I pull out the pellicle and collect any extra raw kombucha for future batches. Add my flavoring and let it sit for a few days. Then into the keg.
 

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