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Growing My Own Kombucha Scoby - Page 8

post #141 of 489
Discarded or otherwise used. I've been advised to squeeze the juice of the mama over my head -- really. Makes your hair as soft as a baby's. :
post #142 of 489
Hey there! I started growing my scoby on Feb 17. I put in in the back of my pantry, only disturbed it once a week (because I'm nosy and wanted to look!) til today. Today, I brewed up some green tea and am now waiting for it to finish brewing and I'm going to put my scoby in. The old tea was vinegary, I'm planning on using it as a rinse for my hair, not drinking this batch! My scoby looks very strong - it's thick (about 1/3 of an inch) and just seeps strength! DH is finally on board - he's the one with the digestive problems, why I started this - we heard a presentation on Kombucha today at our local Whole Foods and he's (tentatively) signed on. Wish me luck as I start my fermentation journey!

post #143 of 489
OK, here is a pic of my baby...
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2...o/HPIM0740.jpg

Is it lookin good?
post #144 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jojo F. View Post
OK, here is a pic of my baby...
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2...o/HPIM0740.jpg

Is it lookin good?
looks like one of my creations.. lol

I find this website helpful... theres a few pics of scobies on the side..http://www.kombuchaawareness.blogspot.com/
post #145 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by majazama View Post
looks like one of my creations.. lol

I find this website helpful... theres a few pics of scobies on the side..http://www.kombuchaawareness.blogspot.com/

Thank you for the link!!! I'm just so happy it worked
post #146 of 489

try again

Ok it was so dead I waited 2 weeks and it smelled like Ktea but a scoby never grew......I have since obtained a warming plate (free on craigslist)

now I have 2 brews going. one with a bottle of GTs that had a tiny scoby and I think i see a baby, there is lots of foam. The second is from a health food store scoby just started today
post #147 of 489
just bumping... I'm interested in trying this but have never tasted it. I am considering buying something from the HFS to taste and then deciding. Does anyone want to weigh in on the accuracy of these answers?
http://www.wonderdrink.com/kwd_faq/faqs.asp
post #148 of 489
Thread Starter 
Kombucha is a strange thing, IMO. The first time I tasted it was in a HFS; I asked the employees what it tasted like, because I was curious. They cracked open a bottle of some kind of fruit flavored GT's kombucha and poured some in a cup for me. I drank it and thought, "Hmmm.. that's... just weird. I don't really like it." And I went on my merry way.

Later that week I found myself thinking more about it, and wanting to taste it again. I still wasn't sure I was crazy about it, but I liked it more... and oddly enough, even though I didn't instantly love it, my body seemed to crave it.

Now I'm crazy about it.

I don't like all flavors, though, so keep in mind that you may try some and hate it...but give it another try with a different flavor.
post #149 of 489
So, I realized by scoby was dead after it wasn't growing after awhile.

nuts.
post #150 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by majazama View Post
So, I realized by scoby was dead after it wasn't growing after awhile.

nuts.
That is disappointing. Are you going to try again?
post #151 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildIris View Post

I don't like all flavors, though, so keep in mind that you may try some and hate it...but give it another try with a different flavor.
Thanks - so, if I really dislike regular black tea, is there no way I'll like it? For the homemade, is it flavored differently depending on the tea used? I'm feeling dense about this....
post #152 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess View Post
Thanks - so, if I really dislike regular black tea, is there no way I'll like it? For the homemade, is it flavored differently depending on the tea used? I'm feeling dense about this....
I don't like black tea, and I prefer kombucha made with green tea. It just has a "lighter" flavor to me. More like non-alcoholic champagne. I brew mine with green tea and then when I bottle it, I add in flavorings like fresh diced ginger root and lemon, or orange, or some kind of berry concentrate and let it do a "second fermentation" in the bottle for a few days (or weeks) before drinking.

When I first tried store-bought kombucha, I tried GT's Synergy... you would probably like those. They come in all kinds of different flavors.
post #153 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildIris View Post
That is disappointing. Are you going to try again?
well, I want to, just have to find another scoby.
post #154 of 489
I've been having fun experimenting with making my own kombucha cultures from purchased kombucha.

I have used only the plain flavor--no flavored tea or tea with juice added, etc. because I don't want to contaminate my culture.

A lot of people seem to be using mostly the sediment left at the bottom of the bottle, and that works. I've grown a couple of SCOBYs now by just leaving the last half or third of the kombucha in the bottom of the bottle and leaving it out, covered, at room temperature for a few days. The thin little SCOBYs that grew had no trouble coming out when I poured them through the neck of the bottle into a larger container.

Many bottles of the GT's kombucha have a pretty good start at a SCOBY in them already. Look in the bottoms and try to find a bottle with a pretty good chunk of almost transparent cloudy stuff--it looks like sediment at first, but the difference is that it stays all in one piece when you swirl the tea around in the bottle.

When you take off the lid, the rising bubbles will carry the little SCOBY right to the top. Wait a few minutes, and you can watch it rise slowly to float as a little film or clump of cloudy stuff at the top. If it doesn't float up, put the lid back on and gently turn the bottle upside down a couple of times, and then try again. Or you can just shake the bottle very gently a bit before you open in in the first place. Just don't shake it too hard, or you'll have an exploding bottle on your hands when you open it.

I've had success with pouring the top half of the tea, complete with the little SCOBY, into a sterilized quart jar. I then cover the jar with a natural (brown) coffee filter secured with the metal band that comes with the jars (I take out the flat metal lid, of course, and replace it with the coffee filter).

The first time I tried making kombucha from a jar of purchased kombucha, it didn't work very well. I added the baby SCOBYs from two jars of kombucha along with a cup or two of kombucha into a full-sized batch (2-3 quarts) of sweet tea in a gallon-sized jar. But the ratio of tea to kombucha and SCOBY was too much. The tea went bad before the SCOBYs grew enough to really start turning it into kombucha.

What has worked really well for me is just leaving the purchased kombucha with nothing added at room temperature for a few days. This way the SCOBY starts to develop within 2-4 days (I think I let mine go for about a week before adding anything else). I've let it culture this way for a week with a few of my experiments, and the tea was pretty sour but it made a good-looking SCOBY.

I start out with about a cup of kombucha in a quart jar and just let it work for a few days, and then tilt the jar to the side and add about a cup of cooled sweet tea. I pour it down the side of the jar to try to avoid disturbing the SCOBY too much, but the SCOBYs I've been really rough with, jostled around, played with and poured stuff on top of seem to be surviving also--they seem to be pretty sturdy little critters.

I made a new batch of sweet tea last night with 6 tea bags and 1.5 cups of sugar to 3.5 quarts of water (I boiled a little more than 2 quarts of filtered water for 10 minutes, steeped the tea for 10 minutes, dissolved the sugar in it, then added bottled spring water to cool it to room temperature more quickly--enough to make 3.5 quarts total tea).

I started a new batch with part of a fresh bottle of GTs tea, but this time I added about 1/4 of the amount of my cooled sweet tea to the prepared kombucha and the baby SCOBY from the jar. I am thinking that might give the SCOBY some extra food to give it a good start without over-diluting the culture.

The other cultures, I have had going for a week or two. To these I added new tea so that the uncultured tea was about half to three-quarters of the liquid in the jars. I'll be interested to see how quickly the various proportions work, and how they taste and look. Right now I have 5 quart jars and 1 gallon jar culturing, all at different stages, started from 5 different bottles of kombucha.

I did end up using the very old bottle of High Country Kombucha that I'd had sitting in my refrigerator for months. It worked, but I think that it has a much higher proportion of yeast in it. There is a lot of dark cloudy stuff hanging down from the SCOBY and sinking or floating suspended in the tea, and a much more yeasty smell and taste than in my GT cultures.

I've been writing notes on the edges of my coffee filters so I can keep track of which culture is which. Here are the cultures I have at the moment:

1: The culture from the SCOBY on top of the really old bottle of High Country tea.

2. Another culture from the dregs at the bottom of that same bottle. It's now in its 3rd batch of tea.

3. A culture from the last bit of tea in a bottle of GTs kombucha.

4. A hybrid baby SCOBY that grew from adding culture #2 to a GT culture that had been going slowly because I put the baby GT SCOBY in too much sweet tea.

5. A new culture from a fresh bottle of High Country.

6. A new culture from a fresh bottle of GTs.

After culture #2 got going, I added it to a slow-going GTs kombucha in a gallon-sized jar to make culture #4.

Culture #1 had TONS of yeast in it, and I tried to gently scrape off and fish out as much of the yeasty stuff as I could with a spoon when I transferred it to a new container yesterday. The kombucha from this was pretty much undrinkable, so I'll try it on my hair.

When I switched things around yesterday, I peeled the gallon-sized baby SCOBY (#4) off the quart-sized #2 SCOBY and put the smaller one into a fresh quart jar filled about 1/3 of the way with the resulting kombucha. Then I filled it almost up to the shoulders of the jar (before the narrowing) with fresh sweet tea.

I put the #4 SCOBY back into the gallon jar with a good share of the kombucha it had made and filled it up the rest of the way (slightly more than half of the total) with sweet tea.

The #3 culture has made the best kombucha tea so far, I think. I took out about half the tea it had made and replaced the amount with fresh sweet tea.

With the two new cultures I just added about 1/4 the amount of fresh tea. I put the remainder of my sweet tea in the refrigerator and plan to add it to these two new cultures in a few days once the SCOBYs get a little bigger.

Once my SCOBYs get more established, I plan to use a higher proportion of fresh tea to the cultured kombucha in some of the jars. But I also want to try at least one gallon-sized jar as a continuous-ferment kombucha culture.

I bought a glass jar with a plastic spigot at a thrift store yesterday. It didn't look like it had been used much if at all, but once I took the spigot apart there was some gunk inside it that wasn't all that easy to get off. I took it completely apart scrubbed it well and then sterilized all the parts and the jar, but I'm still not sure I trust it.

I can buy a gallon glass jar with a plastic spigot new for about $6, or one with a metal spigot for about $22. I'm trying to figure out which would be better to use for my continuous ferment.

I like the idea of a spout at the bottom of the jar so I would have to disturb the culture a little less often. But both plastic and metal spouts are going to have plastic or rubber washers, anyway, and I'm worried about the metal corroding or the plastic leaching chemicals into the kombucha. So I may just end up using a gallon-sized jar and using a spoon to hold back the SCOBY while I pour some out the top, and then gently pouring in enough fresh tea to replace what I took out.

If the continuous fermentation system works well, I'll probably end up choosing the best culture to keep in that, and going down to just one culture and maybe a backup.

But for now I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with the different cultures. Each one has its own completely unique personality, flavor and look so far. The High Country kombucha does seem to maybe have a higher yeast content than the GTs kombucha even in the fresh cultures, from what I can tell so far. But neither has cultured enough to really tell yet.
post #155 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotus.blossom View Post
I've been trying to grow a scoby from GT's multi-green (my favorite flavor) and its not working too well. All I have after 10 days is a thin partial layer of slime. Not a recognisable scoby. Has anyone made it with this flavor before? I have done it with the synergy before but I was doing it for someone else so I don't have much experience with it. It did form a scoby but I doubt this person kept it up.....

Anyway, I'm thinking that I will buy a bottle of synergy again and not drink it and just dump it into a glass. It may have been contaminated by me drinking half of it out of the bottle. I'm soooo anxious to start! I hate that I have to wait another 10 days. I've been wanting to do this for a while and now that I am almost done nursing I feel confident that I can drink it daily.
Slimy green stuff doesn't sound good at all. I would be really worried about the multi-green spoiling. The Synergy teas have had flavors and things added after brewing . . . everything I've read says not to add anything to your tea during/before the brewing process, because it will contaminate it. If you want to make your own version of the multi-green I would suggest that you get a bottle of Original flavor GT's kombucha (not the Synergy version, which is GT's with added flavors/juices/etc) to make your starter with, and add only tea and sugar to feed it. Then you could buy the spirulina and other ingredients separately and add them to your finished tea when you bottle it, and then refrigerate it right away.

Even if you did succeed in getting a SCOBY out of one of the synergy flavored drinks, I'm pretty sure the spirulina and other added ingredients wouldn't reproduce. So you wouldn't be making more kombucha of the same flavor, KWIM? You'd eventually just be making potentially contaminated original (plain) flavored kombucha.
post #156 of 489
I'm going back to read those last two posts in a minute. Here's my update:

6 weeks ago I bought some GT's. I drank half and left half in a glass cup covered with a towel. After 3 weeks, I finally had a strong-looking scoby.

I made the tea (NT directions: 3 quarts water, 1 cup white sugar), let it cool in a gallon glass jar, then added my scoby.

After one week, it was too sweet, still tasted like sweet tea. After two, it started to have a slight change. After three, it tastes almost exactly like the GT's from which it originated! I decanted a glassfull, added some ginger, and am waiting for it to ferment. And I'm leaving the original gallon to keep going another few days till it's just right. Today I started a second gallon to ferment while we drink the first.

I'm amazed that with such a sweet tooth as I have, I really don't like it sweet. I love it tart & bubbly!

Thanks so much for this thread!
post #157 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by majazama View Post
well, I want to, just have to find another scoby.
Find one? Why not grow your own? That's what this thread is all about. :-)

Hopefully the second time will be the charm for you.
post #158 of 489
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NatrlCatholicMama View Post
I'm going back to read those last two posts in a minute. Here's my update:

6 weeks ago I bought some GT's. I drank half and left half in a glass cup covered with a towel. After 3 weeks, I finally had a strong-looking scoby.

I made the tea (NT directions: 3 quarts water, 1 cup white sugar), let it cool in a gallon glass jar, then added my scoby.

After one week, it was too sweet, still tasted like sweet tea. After two, it started to have a slight change. After three, it tastes almost exactly like the GT's from which it originated! I decanted a glassfull, added some ginger, and am waiting for it to ferment. And I'm leaving the original gallon to keep going another few days till it's just right. Today I started a second gallon to ferment while we drink the first.

I'm amazed that with such a sweet tooth as I have, I really don't like it sweet. I love it tart & bubbly!

Thanks so much for this thread!

Sounds great! I really love kombucha flavored with ginger, also. That's my favorite.
post #159 of 489
My "baby" has done so well that I've started to brew my first big batch with it. I bought one of the $6 glass cookie jars that a pp mentioned (anchor hawking or something like that) and added Scoob and the stuff she's been growing in for the last couple of weeks into the jar along with 2 quarts of strong sweet tea. Scoob's much smaller in diameter than her new house, but I assume she'll grow to cover the top. I'll let you know how it all turns out in about a week!
post #160 of 489

Thank You For All The Posts

I finally got the brew to work...:

I used a bottle of GT's and dumped it in a gallon jar w/tea&sugar and it worked fine. I even have 2 new scobys from the empty jar and a bottle with a bit of K-tea in the bottom, in only about 3 days. I bought a large scoby from the store, it was from "Chaparral Purification Products" in Palm Springs and it went bad and didn't do a thing even after 10 days (I would not recommend that brand). Using a bottled version worked great, and it was fun.

Happy Brewing
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