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Growing My Own Kombucha Scoby

post #1 of 489
Thread Starter 
IT'S WORKING!

About a week ago I posted that I was attempting to grow my own SCOBY from a bottle of GT Dave's Synergy Kombucha (raspberry flavor). Here's my detailed report on the experiment:

Day 1 -- I poured about 8 ounces of the bottled Kombucha into a clean, quart-size glass measuring cup. It had a nice blob of "stuff" floating in there, about 1" diameter, hanging out close to one side of the cup. I covered the measuring cup with a thin towel, secured with rubber band, and set it in a cupboard.

Day 5 -- I peeked and saw a very thin translucent "film" floating above the darker blob of stuff, and expanding outward by an inch or so. There was also some thin filmy stuff floating along the opposite wall of the measuring cup. The level of liquid in the cup had decreased to about 6 ounces.

Day 8 (Today!) -- I checked tonight and, to my surprise, the entire surface of the measuring cup is already covered with a translucent film in a layer approx. 1/2 inch thick. The level of liquid in the cup has now decreased to about 4 ounces.

It's definitely a SCOBY in there! I'll have to give it a girl name, as it's a lovely pale pink color.

Now what should I do?

I wasn't expecting it to be "born" quite so soon! I feel unprepared!

I raided my cupboards looking for tea, and the only non-herbal tea I could find was five individually wrapped teabags that just say "Lipton 100% Brisk Tea." Is this black tea? I have no idea how old it is... years, probably. Will it still work if it's old tea?

Should I go ahead and make a whole batch of tea as per NT instructions, and put my baby SCOBY in there? Or start with a smaller batch of tea since it's just a delicate baby?

The birth of a SCOBY...so exciting.

Iris
post #2 of 489
Good going!!!! I have no experience with kombucha, but I think its great that you got a "baby" started. I'm intimidated by kombucha, quite honestly and have been sticking with water/juice kefir. Please keep us updated, maybe this will give me the inspiration I need .
post #3 of 489
Congrats on your new baby!

I would start with a small batch in the container you plan on brewing your kombucha in, that way your scoby will grow to the width of your container. I would do a smaller batch because it's a small scoby so it might take a LONG time if you use a full size brew.

I have always used organic tea for my kombucha, in NT it talks about toxins when you use regular tea, so I would recommend getting organic. I got mine here, it's a great price if you will be making a lot of kombucha!
post #4 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki98 View Post
Good going!!!! I have no experience with kombucha, but I think its great that you got a "baby" started. I'm intimidated by kombucha, quite honestly and have been sticking with water/juice kefir. Please keep us updated, maybe this will give me the inspiration I need .

Nikki, this made me laugh, because I am really intimidated by the whole idea of making Kefir!

Iris
post #5 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaTessa View Post
Congrats on your new baby!

I would start with a small batch in the container you plan on brewing your kombucha in, that way your scoby will grow to the width of your container. I would do a smaller batch because it's a small scoby so it might take a LONG time if you use a full size brew.

I have always used organic tea for my kombucha, in NT it talks about toxins when you use regular tea, so I would recommend getting organic. I got mine here, it's a great price if you will be making a lot of kombucha!
Tessa,

Thanks for reminding me to use organic tea. I forgot about that part.

Yesterday I bought a one-gallon jar that has a wide mouth--picture a glass cookie jar. It should be perfect for making a nice little starter batch of Kombucha.

Today I stopped at the HFS to pick up some organic black tea. They didn't have any! The closest thing was black Earl Grey tea but I remember reading specifically not to use Earl Grey, or any flavored or herbal teas. I have one more HFS in town I can check, or the regular grocery store. Otherwise I will have to order some online. I just didn't want to wait that long to start my first brew.

If I can't find organic black tea, what's the next best thing? They did have organic green tea at the HFS.

Iris
post #6 of 489
FWIW, the Lipton brisk is black tea.
post #7 of 489
Thread Starter 
I still have not found any organic black tea to start brewing kombucha. When I looked at the Scoby tonight, there is very little liquid left underneath it. I am concerned about it drying out. Should I move it into the fridge until I can use it? Or add more liquid (I have an existing bottle of the same store-bought kombucha I used to grow the Scoby)? If I add more kombucha to it, should it be at room temp or is cold okay?

Iris
post #8 of 489
Thread Starter 
Update:

Day 13: Since I couldn't find any organic black tea, today I bought some organic green tea to brew my first little batch of kombucha. I followed the NT recipe but cut it in half, since my scoby is still small. It looks like a little pancake: about 5 inches in diameter, and about a half-inch thick. It's still a pretty pale pink since it was grown from raspberry kombucha. I wonder if it will change color after floating in the green tea for a week or so?

I hope this works. I am really looking forward to being able to have Kombucha on a regular (hopefully daily) basis, without paying $3-4 per bottle at the HFS!

Iris
post #9 of 489
Thread Starter 
Ever since I moved my scoby into the batch of tea, it has been floating at an angle instead of floating on top of the liquid. Is that okay? I'm also seeing some white foam on the surface of the tea. Wondering if that's normal?

Thanks,
Iris
post #10 of 489
I used an organic black tea that did have fruity flavors in it and I had no problems at all.
post #11 of 489
Thread Starter 
Update: today I see that my scoby is no longer floating at an angle in the brew, but is now straightened out and floating across the surface of the tea. There's a thin film across the entire surface now.

I'm so excited.

(I know I am mostly talking to myself every time I post on this thread, and probably noone else is interested...but I think I will keep updating anyway. There may be curious souls who come along later searching for kombucha info, and might find this interesting.)

Iris
post #12 of 489
Okay, you've baited me out of lurkdom.
I am interested.: VERY interested. Please keep posting.
post #13 of 489
Hi,

I came across an old thread that gave instructions on how to grow your own scoby. Its similar to what you are doing.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...your+own+SCOBY
post #14 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsparrow View Post
Okay, you've baited me out of lurkdom.
I am interested.: VERY interested. Please keep posting.
LOL, Lilsparrow, thanks for telling me of your interest. I will keep posting for you. :-)


To Gina: thanks for the link to the old thread; very helpful.

Iris
post #15 of 489
I'm interested too! Keep posting!
post #16 of 489
Thread Starter 
Today's Update: Taste-Testing the Kombucha Brew

Scoby has been floating in her sea of tea for six days now.

Tonight I decided to take a taste test. I slipped a drinking straw down the side of the jar, pushing past the thin film that now extends to the very edges of the jar. I did this several times, each time filling the bottom of the straw with liquid, putting my finger over the top, and transferring the liquid into a little cup so I could taste more than just a few drops.

The brew *smells* yeasty and vinegary, so I expected it might taste vinegar-y, too. Instead, to my surprise, it tasted fairly sweet--but with a little bit of tang to it. It tasted GOOD! Which makes me that much more eager to bottle it and drink it. But, I don't think it's supposed to taste this sweet. And I think the process is supposed to take longer (NT says 7-10 days).

Also, the growing scoby is still quite thin and fragile. I am not sure if it will be thick enough in another week to lift it out of the jar and bottle the tea.

Maybe I should just consider this first batch of tea as the "growing medium" for the Scoby to get thicker and stronger?

Well, I will see how it looks/tastes in another 4 or 5 days...

Iris
post #17 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaska_Dog View Post
I'm interested too! Keep posting!
Cool! Thanks, I will.

Iris
post #18 of 489
Just giving you a bump. I just recently discovered Kombucha and I want to try to make my own. What luck finding your thread!
post #19 of 489
Every time I read your updates, I keep hearing in my head, "Captain's log....."

This is so cool.....I cant wait to hear what happens....:

(where's the Kombucha drinking lurker smilie...lol)
post #20 of 489
so fun!! I just got some at the HFS. I will definately try making my own scoby
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