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Growing My Own Kombucha Scoby - Page 24

post #461 of 489
A friend of mine just told me she was brewing kombucha and has a SCOBY (didn't know that was the name until coming here!!) to give to me. I was so excited but also a little nervous. Here are some questions I have:

*I don't think she uses organic tea. Is that a problem?
*I don't think she uses organic sugar. Is that a problem, too?
*I think she uses one bag of flavored tea...not sure if that's a no go, either.

Thanks in advance! I had no idea I could make my own from a store bought bottle...I will do this if using her's doesn't sound like a good idea.

Also, is there a way to control the amount? It seems she brews such a large amount and I'm not sure I can get through all of that in two weeks time.
post #462 of 489
swampangel - I'm not sure how much it will matter TBH. I prefer to use organic tea, but I use regular white processed sugar. I guess it just depends upon your level of comfort with it. It is really easy to start your own scoby. You just get a jar of your preferred organic kombucha, pour it off into a glass container, cover with cloth and set it in a warm dimly lit place. I keep mine on top of my kitchen cabinets. It takes about 2 weeks to get a scoby and then from there you brew your first batch of tea to let the scoby grow again.
post #463 of 489
Thanks, Theia! I really want to do it but I am a little nervous about doing it wrong somehow and poisoning myself! Not sure if that's possible, but that is ultimately my concern.

I took a look at laurelfarms (I think they sell cultures online) and it seemed a bit complicated, so I wasn't sure if it could really be this easy and safe.

Has anyone heard of issues with safety? Are there things you would notice if there were a problem?
post #464 of 489
I am bumping this great thead back up. I have a question about mold that I hope someone can answer. I started my second batch over on Monday after a perfect 6 day long brew with a new scoby (very little compaired to the one I have now). I just checked it and noticed that in addition to the whitish looking thing on top that looks like a new scoby forming it has some brownish parts that are on top. Now, to me it looks like what was/is around the edge of the scoby but I was afraid that it might be mold. There's nothing fuzzy or anything like that but I was just afraid because it's brownish and not all creamy colored. Is this normal or should I toss it?
post #465 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniepaige View Post
I am bumping this great thead back up. I have a question about mold that I hope someone can answer. I started my second batch over on Monday after a perfect 6 day long brew with a new scoby (very little compaired to the one I have now). I just checked it and noticed that in addition to the whitish looking thing on top that looks like a new scoby forming it has some brownish parts that are on top. Now, to me it looks like what was/is around the edge of the scoby but I was afraid that it might be mold. There's nothing fuzzy or anything like that but I was just afraid because it's brownish and not all creamy colored. Is this normal or should I toss it?
Brownish stuff is totally normal, it's just excess yeast. It's actually a good thing!
post #466 of 489
Yep. It gets strange looking. Sounds normal.
post #467 of 489
if in doubt: always, always smell before tasting and IF it passes the smell test, then put a little in your mouth. if it tastes good to you, it is probably not contaminated

i agree that the brown sounds within the normal range, but without seeing it I can't be sure
post #468 of 489
Thanks ladies. It smells fine. LIke kombacha. Just looks ugly. I almost wonder if it's about ready already. It has a new scoby forming but it has like a break in the middle. Wonder if it's because I moved it, but I was very careful.
post #469 of 489
Bump!

In complete desperation as GT's is still pulled from the shelves I dumped a un-opened bottle that I had sitting in the back of the fridge for a couple months in my old brewing jar with some fresh tea and sugar. I am hoping for a healthy SCOBY as its still too hot to ship one where I am and I can't find one locally. Send me some healthy SCOBY vibes ! I have'nt made Kombucha in years!
post #470 of 489
Hi! After drinking store-bought kombucha forever, I finally decided to take the plunge and brew my own! A local restaurant sells locally-made kombucha. I got a cup of it to go, brewed about a cup of black tea, added about a tablespoon of turbinado sugar, let it cool, and then added the kombucha! It's in a quart jar with a thin kitchen towel held in place with the ring part of the canning lid. I just did this last night, and there's already brown yeasty bits clumping together at the top of the tea!! I live in Florida, so I don't think it will take long to get a nice, pretty scoby! Very excited!
post #471 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by wombjuice View Post
Hi! After drinking store-bought kombucha forever, I finally decided to take the plunge and brew my own! A local restaurant sells locally-made kombucha. I got a cup of it to go, brewed about a cup of black tea, added about a tablespoon of turbinado sugar, let it cool, and then added the kombucha! It's in a quart jar with a thin kitchen towel held in place with the ring part of the canning lid. I just did this last night, and there's already brown yeasty bits clumping together at the top of the tea!! I live in Florida, so I don't think it will take long to get a nice, pretty scoby! Very excited!
Just wanted to update and let you all know that my homegrown scoby is now about 1/4 inch thick!! And very healthy looking!!
post #472 of 489

Hey, Chris in Canada..........are you still brewing Kombucha. Since your container has a tap, do you just empty it from the tap and continue with the next batch or do you wash it everytime. Is it okay to use a container which has some metal tap on it. My baby mushroom is always very thin. I made new batch with the baby and still got another one on top but they r both same size. Can I continue throwing them all in to the next batch and hope over the time they will get bigger. My kambucha is never bubbly eithereven though after brewing for two weeks, I still keep it out on my kitchen counter and strings and some gel keeps on forming in it. My mushroom took a month to arrive from States which I ordered from Ebay. I'm from Cambridge, Ont, I will see if I can find that type of container here in Super store..........

 

post #473 of 489

Hey all. I have a question. After researching on many other sites/threads/etc. I have decided to grow my own SCOBY using a bottle of traditional/original GT's kombucha.  I also brewed one strong cup of Oolong tea and added about 2TBSP of sugar.  Then I diluted the cup of strong tea in cool filtered water, about 1-2 cups (but failed to add more sugar).  I combined the bottle of kombucha with the tea when both were at a safe cool temp.  That was yesterday. They are sitting happily together on top of my refrigerator with a checkered cloth/rubber band covering.  I am now worried after my reading and studying that I may not have provided enough sugar for the SCOBY to grow.  Would it be safe for me to take this 1/2 cup of filtered water that I dissolved 4-5 TBSP of sugar into and am now cooling, covered, on my countertop to the mixture later this evening when it is room temp?  Or will changing the mix/disturbing the small growth that has already started ruin my attempt? As long as it won't kill the SCOBY I would assume that providing it with more food will accelerate its growth as well as its size.  Will this be safe?

post #474 of 489

Hi.

You can start/make your own kombucha tea by making sweet tea with about 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

I use 5 little bags of Liptons Brisk Tea, 2 cups of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup to make a gallon of tea.

Brew the tea and add to a wide mouth gallon jar that has the sugar and syrup in the bottom so that they will dissolve when the warm tea and water is added up to just below the bottom of the neck.

Add the organic apple cider vinegar and mix with a wooden spoon.

Cover with cheesecloth/tee towel and set in a corner out of direct sunlight and check on it in about 8 days depending on how warm it has been. 6-7 days if it's been real warm. No more than 10 if it's been in a cool climate.

After these days, depending on where you are, it starts to get stronger.

Do not store in the refrigerator in plastic containers as it will start to "leech" the chemical from the plastic.   

I make sure that my hands are very clean and use Pyrex bowls to place the mushroom in while I strain the tea into another gallon jar, leaving about a 1/4 cup of tea in the bottom for the catalyst of the next batch that I have ready to go before I pull the mushroom.

I pour it in, mix it, and place the mushroom on top of the next batch with the light side up and dark side down.

Repeat process and pull mushroom in 7 days. HTH.  

 

post #475 of 489

This is a great thread, really helpful information here.

 

I've been growing my kombucha scoby and have run into a potential problem. The scoby is making great progress and it's almost big enough to attempt a gallon batch.  But recently I've noticed this one patch on top of the scoby...it's about the size of a thumb and has a wrinkled texture. It's the same color as the scoby and isn't fuzzy so I'm assuming it isn't mold. 

 

I uploaded a couple of pictures here http://imgur.com/a/Eozqh

 

Is this normal or should I toss the whole thing? Thanks!

post #476 of 489

Hi BB.

Yes, those are normal. Your scoby just filled in the holes as it grew. You'll be fine.

You can have a gallon batch made up and put your smaller scoby on top and it will grow a new scoby to the diameter of your gallon container surface, be it short and round or tall and round.

I've even had some scobies that would sink to the bottom because I made chunks,by cutting them, from using them to make a few batches and were an inch or more thick, and they still grew a new scoby on top. I just made sure that I had enough brown sugar and pure maple syrup in there to feed them. HTH. Have a great day! 

post #477 of 489

Hi everyone!!! redface.gif  I am new here but wanted to say how much I've enjoyed these posts.  I grew kombucha for about a year then stopped but recently started again.  I really LOVE kombucha but my husband didn't and he was tired of all my bowls sitting around growing scobys so I got rid of them.  Now, I've promised I will only grow 2 at a time. shy.gif  I'm very interested in the Continuous Brew Method and think that would really simplify things.  Has anyone been doing the CBM for a while and have any thoughts on it?  TIA!!!

 

I know most of the posts are a couple years old but I'd love more discussion on this topic because I really LOVE kombucha!!!  joy.gif

post #478 of 489
I have been seriously considering CBM. I want to find the right container. Kombucha Kamp says to use porcelain, glass or stainless but when I went to the local place that sells water containers, they said there's no way that anyone is making the containers (the ones that you put a big thing of water to dispense...) out of porcelain, it's way too fragile. They said that people throw that term (porcelain) around a lot. So now I don't know what to do. Because the Kombucha Kamp site says specifically not to use ceramic. I do want to get one of the heat strips from kombucha kamp, those look helpful!
post #479 of 489
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolip View Post

I have been seriously considering CBM. I want to find the right container. Kombucha Kamp says to use porcelain, glass or stainless but when I went to the local place that sells water containers, they said there's no way that anyone is making the containers (the ones that you put a big thing of water to dispense...) out of porcelain, it's way too fragile. They said that people throw that term (porcelain) around a lot. So now I don't know what to do. Because the Kombucha Kamp site says specifically not to use ceramic. I do want to get one of the heat strips from kombucha kamp, those look helpful!


Have you checked at Happy Herbalist?  Here's the link...

 

http://www.happyherbalist.com/accessories.aspx

 

They have lots of options.  BUT...  I have read not to use plastic but they have a couple of plastic gallon buckets with spigots. dizzy.gif

So I'm pretty much confused. I really want the glass 2 gallon container that they "have" but it's out of stock. So, now I'm looking at the plastic but I am SO concerned that I would be drinking something toxic. greensad.gif   I want a 2 gallon with a heating pad or belt to use with it. 

 

I haven't ever looked at Kombucha Kamp so I'm to their website now. orngbiggrin.gif

post #480 of 489

I lost my homegrown scoby to mold!  Now that GT Dave's Kombucha has been re-formulated does anyone know if I can use the same technique to grow a new scoby?

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