Growing My Own Kombucha Scoby - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 491 Old 04-30-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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So, I might have missed this somewhere, but does it matter (taste-wise) what flavor GT you use? For example, will the raspberry scoby make your kombucha taste more like raspberry? Or, is the flavor totally dependent upon the tea and fruit juiced added later on?
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#182 of 491 Old 04-30-2008, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my experience it was totally dependent on the tea and whatever else I added later for flavoring. I started out with Raspberry GTs and my original Scoby was colored pink from it; that's the only "influence" I noticed from it.
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#183 of 491 Old 05-06-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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I started a new batch of KT about 8 days ago and this time it seems to be brewing very slowly. I did take the scoby out and peeled off my original, much smaller mother (smaller because I started it from some GT in a smaller jar). I figured that the top portion was nice and thick so that wouldn't be a problem, but after 8+ days the mixture is still very sweet and I'm not getting that strong yeasty/vinegary smell from my cupboard. Did I do something wrong, or do the "babies" take longer to brew a batch, even if they are thick and healthy looking? I am out of KT and craving the goodness!!!
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#184 of 491 Old 05-08-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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I need some tips on how to get my tea to taste as "dry" and crazy carbonated as GT Dave. I bought a scoby from the bacteria pimp, and have made several batches of KT, but the first batch we were too impatient to try it (after 2 weeks for a huge glass jar with no 2nd fermentation after we bottled it) and DH liked it, but for me it was too sweet and not fizzy enough.

Second batch DH proclaimed it "closer" to the dry fizzy stuff we are HOOKED on, but still for me the carbonation wasn't enough, and it tasted strongly of vinegar, not quite in the same way that GT dave has that "snappy" taste, but more like a glass of vinegar. So we let 2 small bottles of it ferment on the counter without the scoby for a week and then popped it in the fridge. It's not bad, but we aren't dying to drink it and we keep paying $3.99 a bottle for GT Dave. :

So I just decanted a new batch into the smaller bottles and I have TWO thick pancakes in each of the big jars so now I need to get two more big jars.

But I need to know! Why is my KT not as tasty??? What can I do to increase the bubbles and get rid of the syrupy/vinegary taste? Is it because I am using black tea and Dave uses green? Am I putting too much sugar in? I stuck these two newest small bottles right in the fridge wondering if that will somehow preserve the bubbles I've already got instead of the counter ferment? Should I grate some fresh ginger into it? That's my fave GT flavor.

Help! I'm going broke buying GT Dave and I need my KT to be as crave-worthy.

-Vijay
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#185 of 491 Old 05-08-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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I just took my kombucha out of the cupboard and tried it. I brewed it last Thursday. Its delicious! I bit sweeter than Daves but so good! I noticed that my mother and baby were the same size and had sunk to the bottom and there was a third scoby forming at the top! I had a very fertile run this time! I bottled it and am hoping to create some fizz.

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#186 of 491 Old 05-08-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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so what is this drink called again? I haven't seen it in my area at all (southern bc) I'm wondering if someone can send me a bottle?
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#187 of 491 Old 05-17-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by VijayOwens View Post
I need some tips on how to get my tea to taste as "dry" and crazy carbonated as GT Dave. I bought a scoby from the bacteria pimp, and have made several batches of KT, but the first batch we were too impatient to try it (after 2 weeks for a huge glass jar with no 2nd fermentation after we bottled it) and DH liked it, but for me it was too sweet and not fizzy enough.

Second batch DH proclaimed it "closer" to the dry fizzy stuff we are HOOKED on, but still for me the carbonation wasn't enough, and it tasted strongly of vinegar, not quite in the same way that GT dave has that "snappy" taste, but more like a glass of vinegar. So we let 2 small bottles of it ferment on the counter without the scoby for a week and then popped it in the fridge. It's not bad, but we aren't dying to drink it and we keep paying $3.99 a bottle for GT Dave. :

So I just decanted a new batch into the smaller bottles and I have TWO thick pancakes in each of the big jars so now I need to get two more big jars.

But I need to know! Why is my KT not as tasty??? What can I do to increase the bubbles and get rid of the syrupy/vinegary taste? Is it because I am using black tea and Dave uses green? Am I putting too much sugar in? I stuck these two newest small bottles right in the fridge wondering if that will somehow preserve the bubbles I've already got instead of the counter ferment? Should I grate some fresh ginger into it? That's my fave GT flavor.

Help! I'm going broke buying GT Dave and I need my KT to be as crave-worthy.

-Vijay
Hi Vijay,

I've found that green tea makes a much tastier kombucha than black tea; just my opinion/preference. So that might be a place to start if you don't like the way yours tastes.

I don't know if you're using too much sugar; what recipe are you using to mix up the sweet tea? I use 3 quarts water with 1 cup of sugar and 4 or 5 tea bags per batch. I let it sit with the scoby for approx. 10 days, then bottle it with "flavorings" such as diced ginger root, frozen fruit, etc. and do a second fermentation. I find that the second fermentation is what really does the trick as far as getting a nice amount of carbonation in there. And I really like the mix of ginger and fruit.

It just takes playing around with the mix, lots of trial and error to get it to taste the way you prefer.
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#188 of 491 Old 05-17-2008, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lotus.blossom View Post
I just took my kombucha out of the cupboard and tried it. I brewed it last Thursday. Its delicious! I bit sweeter than Daves but so good! I noticed that my mother and baby were the same size and had sunk to the bottom and there was a third scoby forming at the top! I had a very fertile run this time! I bottled it and am hoping to create some fizz.
LotusBlossum, it sounds good! I'm glad you're having success with your kombucha.
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#189 of 491 Old 05-26-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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Hi Vijay,

It just takes playing around with the mix, lots of trial and error to get it to taste the way you prefer.
Thanks for the tips! That's what my DH keeps saying, that each batch tastes a little better than the one before... but I love that GT fizz! Still going to keep trying. I'm going to try the method that the OP did to start a new scoby from some store-bought KT and see if the balance of bacteria and yeast is different/better than the one I bought from the pimp.

Thanks guys! So many people would think I was nuts for doing these sorts of science experiments and then drinking them! But I find that I used to get terrible "hangovers" if I consumed too much sugar or starch... now I find that if I know I'm going to be "bad" a little KT before and/or after the indulgence completely neutralizes the yucky aftermath of too many sweets.

Not sure how it works, or if it would be the case for anyone, but it definitely does for me.

-V.
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#190 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by VijayOwens View Post
Thanks for the tips! That's what my DH keeps saying, that each batch tastes a little better than the one before... but I love that GT fizz! Still going to keep trying. I'm going to try the method that the OP did to start a new scoby from some store-bought KT and see if the balance of bacteria and yeast is different/better than the one I bought from the pimp.

Thanks guys! So many people would think I was nuts for doing these sorts of science experiments and then drinking them! But I find that I used to get terrible "hangovers" if I consumed too much sugar or starch... now I find that if I know I'm going to be "bad" a little KT before and/or after the indulgence completely neutralizes the yucky aftermath of too many sweets.

Not sure how it works, or if it would be the case for anyone, but it definitely does for me.

-V.
Hi again Vijay,

Sorry for the delayed reply. I haven't had much time recently to keep up with this forum. But I'm very interested in how your experiment turns out if you try growing your own Scoby, and if the resulting brew will taste different than what you're doing now. (I am the OP who started this whole thread, by the way, and am still brewing kombucha with only the scobies that grew from that original home-grown scoby from the store-bought KT!)

Also, I find your comment very interesting about kombucha neutralizing the aftermath of too many sweets... I haven't noticed exactly the same thing, as I don't really eat sweets. However, I am dealing with multiple food allergies/intolerances, and recently I noticed that when I have a reaction to an allergen exposure, if I drink kombucha afterward it seems to help minimize some of the reaction. It's like it gets the allergen out of my system faster...or something. Maybe it's just psychological but it seems to help.
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#191 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 09:23 AM
 
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That is so interesting about allergies. It kinda goes along with the whole healing the gut thing, and how the gut is such and important part of our immune system. One would think that a healthy system (picturing a very fit person in a "gi" karate kicking) would just knock out invaders without any side drama... I know that's not always the case, and sometimes allergies are just allergies and one may suffer with them all one's life, but you can at least try to stack the deck in your favor, right?

I think listening to your body is so key with TF and so many of us have to re-learn how to do that after years of ignoring it. When I first started drinking KT I would down a whole bottle in less than an hour. Now I can't finish more than half a bottle in an entire day. So it seems like at first my body was like YES! We need this! And then after drinking it 2 or 3 times a week for a few weeks my need for the whole bottle decreased to just needing a few sips here and there.

I think the green tea/black tea may be the key here... something about that fermented black tea taste just wasn't doing it for me.... Also I think my scoby was so thick and so healthy (and I was leaving the baby in) that with the high sugar content it converted everything so much faster than I expected that I got too strong of a vinegar taste and not enough bubbles...

-Vijay
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#192 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Just wanted to stop in and say that my scoby is going strong and is very thick now

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#193 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with everything you say about listening to your body. Very important for healing.

I definitely like kombucha made with green tea far better than black tea. The black tea just makes it too "heavy" for me.

Recently I brewed a batch with WHITE tea. I just bottled it a few days ago for a second fermentation (flavored with frozen raspberries and diced fresh ginger root) and we are going to taste it this afternoon. I bottled it in three tall clear glass bottles, and it looks absolutely beautiful...it has turned dark pink and has the raspberries and bits of ginger floating around in there. I can't wait to see how it tastes with the white tea.

I don't think you said before, but have you tried doing a second fermentation with your kombucha? That is the best way to get the fizziness factor.
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#194 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to stop in and say that my scoby is going strong and is very thick now
Awesome. Have you started brewing batches to drink yet, or are you just trying to grow your scoby strong enough to start making big batches?
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#195 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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Awesome. Have you started brewing batches to drink yet, or are you just trying to grow your scoby strong enough to start making big batches?

Definitly making batches now, the scoby is almost an inch thick now and making about 2 gallons but I'll have to cut back now that I'm pg.

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#196 of 491 Old 05-31-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, congratulations on your pregnancy. How are you feeling so far? Are you going to avoid drinking kombucha while pregnant, or just limit the amount?
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#197 of 491 Old 06-01-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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Wow, congratulations on your pregnancy. How are you feeling so far? Are you going to avoid drinking kombucha while pregnant, or just limit the amount?
Thank you

I used to drink 16oz/day but have cut back to 8oz. I have been asking around if I should cut back more but I probably should have asked here!

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#198 of 491 Old 06-01-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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HI!

This is my first post here, but I have read the WHOLE thread and I've started growing my own kombucha babies. So fun! I feel like a mad scientist!

I started two batches, one with 1/2 a bottle of plain GT and one with 1/2 of a synergy GT bottle. The synergy bottle is making beautiful scobies and I already drank a bit of kombucha from it yesterday.

The kombucha from the plain bottle isn't doing so good though. First no scoby grew at all, then I fed it a bit of sweet tea and finally a tiny thin scoby grew but very slowly. I tried a sip of the kombucha with a straw and it doesn't taste so good, it may even have gone a bit bad!

Interesting how different the two are behaving. I'm glad I didn't only try the plain one or I might have been terribly disappointed with the whole thing!
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#199 of 491 Old 06-01-2008, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I can't believe you read the whole thread... that's something I would do. So welcome, kindred mad scientist. :-) That's very interesting about how your two different kinds of kombucha are behaving. Must be something "magic" about that Synergy. Maybe it's all in the name?!

Keep us posted on your experiments.
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#200 of 491 Old 06-03-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Hi! I can't believe you read the whole thread... that's something I would do. So welcome, kindred mad scientist. :-) That's very interesting about how your two different kinds of kombucha are behaving. Must be something "magic" about that Synergy. Maybe it's all in the name?!

Keep us posted on your experiments.
he he, I might have even read it twice....

My synergy baby is growing like a champ, the other one, well, let's just say he's a bit challenged (I'm not giving up on him yet, let's see how think he grows and then I'll try a new tea feeding).
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#201 of 491 Old 06-04-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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When you do your second ferment is it without the scoby? Do you just transfer the "tea" to a container with the fruit and no scoby? Just 5 days ago I started my own scoby from a bottle of brew I bought at the HFS and it is growing slowly, but still growing. I'm sure the fact that I have to look at it every day isn't helping (you know, a watched pot never boils). But, I am anxious to start my own brew and I love reading about everyone's adventures here!
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#202 of 491 Old 06-04-2008, 11:34 AM
 
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You have it right, the second ferment is without the scoby.

I'm the same way, I HAVE to look to see how things are going

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#203 of 491 Old 06-05-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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Yes, my impatience is aweful sometimes, then I feel like the scoby should be bigger than it is, but then I count the days and realize that I am just being very impatient. I would like to say though that when I checked it yesterday (day 5) there was a thin film growing and today the film looks much thicker. So, so far so good with the experiment.
I can't wait to brew my own tea. The HFS is a half hour drive from my home and with the gas prices and the price of the store bought kombucha brew, it is out of the question. So, brewing my own will be a great blessing.
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#204 of 491 Old 06-10-2008, 01:21 PM
 
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I started my first batch ever 3 days ago and since I didn't have any organic sugar, I used honey. Has anyone ever done this? Has it changed the outcome much?
The scoby grew really fast after I started it, to the size of the new jar. I had started it from a store bought bottle and it was in a large mouth canning jar, but when I started the brew I put it in a gallon size pickle jar. It seems to like it's new home and it's exciting for me to watch it grow! I have to share with someone since all my friends say "kombu? what??" They think I am nuts to love this stuff. lol
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#205 of 491 Old 06-10-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I used honey
I think honey can kill part of your culture since it's has anti-bacterial properties. Something to look into. If your final brew smells OK and tastes OK then enjoy, but use sugar next time and hopefully the culture will move back towards the original balance of bacteria and yeast.

Good luck and happy brewing!
Whitney
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#206 of 491 Old 06-11-2008, 03:26 AM
 
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Wow! I just read the whole thread too. I've never done that before. Started with page 1 and just couldn't stop.

I started growing my scoby 8 days ago when I first discovered this thread. I started with about 6 oz. and I've been checking the jar nearly every day but not much is happening (copy watched pot).

Tonight I decided to add a little sweet tea to see if that would help. When I took the paper towel off the jar I saw some spiderwebby stuff floating around in the old Kombucha. No film on the top yet. Is this how it starts? I didn't drink out of the bottle or anything so I'm not really worried about it being contaminated... but this seems different from what other people are reporting.
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#207 of 491 Old 06-11-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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I think spiderwebby stuff is a good sign. When I started mine, I made sure I had a bottle of GT's with a good blob in it, and then made sure that the blob made it into my jar. I think it took me almost two weeks to get a substantial enough film on top that I could lift it out, and even then it was pretty thin. Then I did a half batch of tea to grow my scoby the size of my brewing vessel, and then a whole batch, but I took it out too soon(7 days), it was way sweet. My second batch I let go 12 days, and it was much better. I think I need to let my current batch go even longer though.

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#208 of 491 Old 06-12-2008, 08:12 AM
 
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So far the brew I started with the honey is doing well. It spread out to the size of the jar and is now almost half an inch thick and bubbly and smelling good. So, either I got lucky or the honey is just pasturized enough to kill the antibiotic properties in it. It has been 5 days now. But, just to be safe, I am going to get some organic sugar for my next batch.
I had that spiderwebby stuff all over mine too, so I think that is a good sign. It took a while for the film to start, then it seemed to go wild. We had cooler weather here and then it got really hot (in the 90's - that's sweltering in PA). When the hot weather hit, that was when things grew faster.
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#209 of 491 Old 06-12-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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Yeah, it's been unusually cold so far this year. In fact last night we actually had sleet. I had wondered if that was slowing it down.

This guy has a lot of info on diferent kombucha and vinegar brews. He says he's been doing honey brews for years:
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/...m#Kombucha-tea

Thought you might find it interesting.
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#210 of 491 Old 06-16-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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Oh, great. Thanks, I love reading those kind of websites. I'll have to go look at the honey ideas.
I finished the honey kombucha brew on Saturday (2 days ago). It brewed for a week, then I filtered it and put it in a glass bottle with a couple chunks of ginger and it is delicious!! I crave it and am excited that I finally have some more to drink.
But, thanks again for that website.
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