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Growing My Own Kombucha Scoby - Page 19

post #361 of 489
Tabstha~ I have been using for a gallon batch 3 bags of green tea and 2 of the black-- from some of the reading that I have done online- it seems that green tea = fizzier finished kombucha and black tea = stronger finished kombucha-- I do like the mix of the two.
I'm such a coffee-aholic I keep wondering what would happen if I made a batch with coffee and sugar? hehehe- would probably make me more skitzy than I already am!
post #362 of 489
Hi there! I've been lurking on this thread for awhile.

I tried a few times, but couldn't get a scoby started from the GT's. So I told my friend about it and she was able to get it going. I just put in my third batch to brew and was hoping someone could help me trouble shoot. First batch was not so great, but I've heard that happens with the first one. The second was better, but I couldn't get it fizzy. I did the first brew for about 8 days then bottled it and left it out to ferment another 2 days before sticking it in the fridge.

Here's what I'm thinking...
1) I filtered it before bottling so maybe I took out too much of the culture?
2) I need to add more sugar to the sweet tea initially. (I've been doing 1/2 c. to 1.5 qt water)
3) Or I need to let it brew longer in the bottles.

I didn't want to let it brew longer because it was already getting too vinegary and sour tasting.

post #363 of 489
Mama K NJ I'm no expert but have read a lot and had a good first batch from reading it seems that if you add more sugar it would not turn as vinegary as fast. Not sure but I would think that. Also I did find when I did a secondary ferment and bottled it my kombucha got A LOT more carbonated sitting in a dark warm place.

I let mine sit for 10 days before I bottle it. Then I let it sit for another 2 - 5 days bottled before I drink it.

The recipe I use is 4 green tea bags and 2 black tea bags. I also use about 2 cups of sugar. That if for a little over a gallon. I had a really good first brew.

I also added about 8 - 10 blackberries (fresh) in the brewing and filtered it out before adding the mother. It gave it a great color and a nice taste. It took some of the vinegar taste away. I read after the fact that you should not add the fruit until second ferment but didn't know it at the time and it still turned out well.

Good luck brewing. For the scoby I am growing its been going for almost two weeks and is finally starting to form. It's a long process I am finding to grow one yourself!
post #364 of 489
why is it that you can't add fruit to the first ferment? I know lots of websites say not to - but just wondering what that does.
post #365 of 489

I tried to find the links this morning where it said it is bad to add fruit to first ferment. But I do remember reading that adding fruit and/or herbal tea has oils that can throw off the PH and disturb the ferment. Also I believe it said you have a higher risk of mold. Sorry I have no links but thats what I remember reading. Anyone can correct me if I am wrong.
post #366 of 489
Posting my progress here...

For awhile my kombucha was getting too vinegary... I had kept forgetting to transfer it to bottles after seven days and it seemed that 8 days was just too long. Also, I wanted more fizz and a little sweeter finished product. With some help from this thread I adjusted my recipe and here is what I am now doing:

1 gallon water
4 bags of black tea
1 cup white sugar

brew and let cool
ferment for seven days
transfer to individual bottles - I have been adding a little bit of syrup from my fruit canning at this point which makes the finished product really fizzy with a taste of peaches or spiced pears.
ferment for five days then put in fridge

I am letting the extra kombucha and the scoby sit for a day to help the bacteria grow stronger before I add a new batch of sweet tea to it.

My kombucha has been so yummy and fizzy this way. Mmmmm.
post #367 of 489
I mostly lurk here, but I think I have posted before..... anyway, I'm wondering if a dense scoby dissolves eventually or what? I grew a scoby from GT's and it took me too long to find gallon jars to transfer it to, so it became very dense. It nearly ran out of tea, I never thought to brew a small amount of sweet black tea to replenish it.... but anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone else has had experience with this? I just peeked on my KT and could see a solid scoby formed across the top of the tea and then something closer to the middle that looks like the original scoby. This will be the second time I have seen this original scoby in the 10 days its all been brewing in this jar. It seems to make periodic appearances.

I'm getting ready to split the scoby(s?) into 2 1 gallon jars. Should I keep the big scoby in one jar and take the original scoby for another? I'll split the tea in half. I'm just not sure about scoby. Any advice? There are a few pics and info in the link on my name in my siggy.

Yay for KT! DP and I are also going to get creative and make 2 little 3x5 cards each with a word..... peace, love, bliss, health, vitality, longevity.... something along those lines. But we will tape one card to each jar to raise the fermenting vibrations.... I'll update that on my blog when it happens too.

I also want to say that I am so glad all of you are here, cuz this thread is one of the most informative places to interactively learn about fermenting your own KT.
post #368 of 489
I have an odd question/thought here-- Are all Scobys not created equal?? I started one from the GT raspberry and one from the GT grape. The Raspberry one made a nice thick mother and the grape one just kinda dawdled around and never really got nice like the raspberry one. Flavor wise the Raspberry mother (I have made three different batches with) great flavor and very nice and fizzy- the Grape mother- very vinegary tasting and flat-- no fizz whatsoever-- while it didn't make me sick to drink some of it, it just wasn't great at all-- soo This morning it and the tea it made went out to the Chickens, Who loved it!! they just guzzled it right down. I then just split my Raspberry mother into two different gallon jugs... I feel like I let that poor grape mother down somehow / Has anyone run into that before? Having one mother make better kombucha than another one?
Oh and neither one of the mothers that I started still taste or look like the raspberry/or grape that was just how I kept track of which mother was which-- now they are number one and number 1-2. just so I know who is who.
post #369 of 489
Help! I think there may be mold on my SCOBY! I transfered him for the first time to a gallon (half the sugar and half the tea cuz he's still a baby) and he had some brown on him. When I flipped him over it was from the long strands of yeast. but it had discolored the SCOBY where the yeasty strands were hanging. Is this mold?! Do I have to start all over?!

Thank you
post #370 of 489
Originally Posted by *Aimee* View Post
Help! I think there may be mold on my SCOBY! I transferred him for the first time to a gallon (half the sugar and half the tea cuz he's still a baby) and he had some brown on him. When I flipped him over it was from the long strands of yeast. but it had discolored the SCOBY where the yeasty strands were hanging. Is this mold?! Do I have to start all over?!

Thank you
Nope not mold-- they sometimes just discolor-- I was looking at one of the links to a kombucha site and it shows all kinds of differernt mothers/scoby's and some just get brown spots, Mine has a "blowhole" right in the middle that bubbles every so often-- normal. Mold will come in little round circles and grow furry. But mold is many different colors like pink and gray.
This link has good explanations of the hows and whys of kombucha.
And here is a link with pictures of what mold on Scoby would look like-
I hope it helps-- I don't want you to throw out the mother when she is just having a bad "hair" day.
post #371 of 489
YAY!!! Thank you so much. My family is for sure I'm going to kill them all with poisoned kombucha!
post #372 of 489
YAY!! I started my own scoby 3 days ago from Strawberry Kombucha from the store. I poured about half the bottle in a glass measuring cup, and put a towel over it and set it in the cupboard. My baby scoby started out on the bottom, and today he has floated to the top! I'm soooo excited!!!!:
post #373 of 489
Sieren, Yay for baby scoby!

I ended up transferring my new large scoby to one jar and the small thicker scoby I peeled it in half and it has it's own jar. I call it peeling, but it was much more akin to ripping. I did this on Saturday or 4 days ago. I checked in on that jar this morning and there is a nice scoby on top again, but I can't tell how much of it was from the old split scoby. For me it requires taking a chair halfway across the kitchen to stand on because I ferment my KT on top of my kitchen cabinets. Then I carefully have to take it down and I do a complete inspection on the table or counter. I'm in a small place and with cooler weather, up near the ceiling is probably the warmest of my options.

I haven't checked the other jar. I have slight concern for the other scoby. I peeked, which is simply lifting the cloth, a few days ago and all appeared well. But I made a silly mistake and I'm hoping that it was really nothing. At one point in the process of peeling scoby, tranferring KT into both jars and all that goes on....... *I don't have a glass bowl large enough to hold the freshly brewed tea, so it is in a steel pot.* This is pure sweet green/black tea, and I think, "ah, it'll be OK if I set scoby B in this tea...." I needed to put it down and I was going to pour the existing KT between jars and didn't want the scoby to be in the mix. Do you think it's ok? This was a full gallon sweet tea, but I'm not sure if it ever touched the bottom. I'm hoping that the fact that it was simply scoby that hopefully the tea somehow protected it...... one can wish can't they? Any thoughts?

I have two questions......

Do you always taste your tea, even during the ferment process? Is it weird that I've not tasted my KT even though I've had tea fermenting with scoby for a month? I've promised DP that we are going to bottle some from each of these jars when it's ready. It's only been 4 days, so that's a little soon, but I'm guessing in maybe 6-7 days I'll bottle?

Where are some of the unique places you use for the fermenting process? I have my KT covered with a thin, white, cotton kitchen towel. Is that enough, should a thicker, more light blocking towel also be used? Where and with what do you ferment?

Long Live KT and those who Love KT Live Long
post #374 of 489
I brew mine for 10 days at a time then bottle and let get fizzy for another couple of days. I found it hard to wait at first but once you get it going its easy to wait.

I use a mesh cloth on one of the jars and I cut up a t-shirt and it tops the others. It seems to be totally fine. I do also keep mine on top of a cupboard in the kitchen it doesn't get much natural light there and its the quietest place in the townhouse I live in.
post #375 of 489
Just to add an update...... in my previous post I expressed concern because I accidentally had placed a scoby in a pot full of freshly brewed teas that were in a metal pot. : I am happy to report that I took a good look at this jar yesterday and OMG! It is so beautiful! There is no harm to report from the brief contact of metal at this point. I am so happy! Of course, I wouldn't recommend placing any part of KT into contact with metal pots or utensils, but I am happy to report that in this case, it was harmless. Hopefully this update will be useful for someone if they ever accidentally expose a scoby to metal.
post #376 of 489
Originally Posted by Rawa View Post
why is it that you can't add fruit to the first ferment? I know lots of websites say not to - but just wondering what that does.
I think it is because the skin of most fruits has its own yeast and bacteria on it, and you may not want to introduce them to your scoby. I was just reading at the Wild Fermentation site that you can use a piece of plum or grape to help a sourdough starter get going, due to the wild yeasts on them.

Someone had a question about getting fizz, and so far in my limited brewing experience I think you need a sweeter tea to begin with then bottle before it gets too tart, using an airtight container, and you will get good fizz.
post #377 of 489

First time scoby

Hello all, I'm pretty much new to this whole area and stuff. Anyway, I was quite amazed and captivated by this thread that I had to experiment on my own. Here goes it:

today at about 2:50p.m. (cst) I purchased two bottles of G.T.'s Kombucha, one Trilogy, and the other 100% Kombucha. OK, i drove home. Oh yeah, i did purchase some cheese cloth too. Apparently Whole Foods Market is the way to go for me.

3:25 p.m. I had to go pick up the kids from Music school...I rushed to my kitchen and saw a glass pitcher. I said to myself, "this will do." I had to decide on which kombucha to use. it was a hard decision, but i finally decided to use the 100% kombucha.

3:49 p.m. I had cheese cloth, kombucha, and glass pitcher all ready. i poured half the bottle in the glass pitcher and covered it with cheese cloth. Finally, i placed the kombucha in a safe place.

now, my question...where do i go from here? any info would be great

post #378 of 489
Just wait and forget about it for a few weeks. make sure it is in a quiet place
post #379 of 489
today i recieved a scoby in the post from a friend.

i was expecting a small thing, but no it was quite big, way too big for me to use as is today as i dont have any wide necked large jars. so i am using 2 cleaned out cooking sauce jars. the scoby came with a "baby" so i peeled it off then cut the mother in half and put half in one jar, the "baby" in another and the other half back in teh bottle it came from untill i can get another bigger jar. so i now have 2 jars brewing.

post #380 of 489
I'm ready to bottle my KT finally. The bottles and lids have all been washed, and I'm getting ready to brew a new batch of sweet tea for the refill.

As far as flavors, I'm sure I'll use ginger alot. We use it in cooking, and I love a good gingery GT's GingerBerry. I also have some fresh pears that I'm considering using. But most of the posts here talk about using frozen fruits, so I'm not sure how different using fresh or frozen fruits might be. I also have some other frozen fruits, mango for one and I'll make at least one with that cuz DP's mentioned "mango" several times lately when I talk about bottling. And I think I'll also use frozen strawberry. I'm gonna run DP to work and then come back and get brewing.

So, does anyone have advice on using fresh or frozen fruits in the bottling ferment? Do you have to adjust portions depending on that or do you use the same amount regardless of fresh or frozen, or do you just not use fresh at all?

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