Growing My Own Kombucha Scoby - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 489 Old 11-13-2007, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#2 of 489 Old 11-13-2007, 01:10 PM
 
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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 .
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#3 of 489 Old 11-13-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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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, mama to M (93) B(94) T (05) G (08) and waiting for the arrival of ? on 10/23
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#4 of 489 Old 11-14-2007, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#5 of 489 Old 11-14-2007, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#6 of 489 Old 11-14-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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FWIW, the Lipton brisk is black tea.
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#7 of 489 Old 11-17-2007, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#8 of 489 Old 11-17-2007, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#9 of 489 Old 11-19-2007, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#10 of 489 Old 11-19-2007, 07:27 PM
 
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I used an organic black tea that did have fruity flavors in it and I had no problems at all.
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#11 of 489 Old 11-22-2007, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#12 of 489 Old 11-22-2007, 04:01 AM
 
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Okay, you've baited me out of lurkdom.
I am interested.: VERY interested. Please keep posting.
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#13 of 489 Old 11-22-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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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
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#14 of 489 Old 11-23-2007, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#15 of 489 Old 11-23-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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I'm interested too! Keep posting!
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#16 of 489 Old 11-23-2007, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#17 of 489 Old 11-24-2007, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm interested too! Keep posting!
Cool! Thanks, I will.

Iris
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#18 of 489 Old 11-25-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Just giving you a bump. I just recently discovered Kombucha and I want to try to make my own. What luck finding your thread!
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#19 of 489 Old 11-26-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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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)

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#20 of 489 Old 11-26-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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so fun!! I just got some at the HFS. I will definately try making my own scoby
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#21 of 489 Old 11-27-2007, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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)

Kombucha Log: Stardate 11-26-07

I tasted the kombucha brew again tonight. It's still slightly sweet but with a more tart aftertaste than before.

The scoby looks a bit sturdier but is still thin and fragile. It looks "bubbly" (has white bubbles in certain areas)! From photos I've seen and descriptions I've read online, I think this is normal. I've read that the main thing to watch out for is green mold and I don't see anything like that. Just a bubbly, happy, young scoby.

I'm eager to bottle some of this kombucha tea but I think the scoby is too fragile to be moved. I should probably leave it undisturbed and not count on bottling this batch at all...I should just think of it as a scoby-growing batch, instead.

But oh, the frustration of waiting.

Okay, so I compromised. I used a turkey baster to siphon up some of the tea--about 8 ounces worth. This I put in a clean, empty bottle with about 7 dried tart cherries in the bottom. I put the lid on and am going to leave it sitting out on the counter for a few days to (hopefully) develop some carbonation, then put it in the fridge to chill.

Here's hoping that in a few days I'll have some home-brewed slightly fizzy cherry-flavored kombucha tea to drink!

In the meantime, I think I will just leave the scoby alone to grow thicker and stronger, and not count on bottling any more of this first batch of tea.

Iris
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#22 of 489 Old 11-27-2007, 03:55 AM
 
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So are you buying kombucha at the HFS in the meantime for your drinking pleasure?

And is your little baby scoby still pink?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#23 of 489 Old 11-27-2007, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So are you buying kombucha at the HFS in the meantime for your drinking pleasure?

And is your little baby scoby still pink?
No, sadly, I haven't had any kombucha in awhile. I miss it. I will buy some next time I get to the HFS.

I've been drinking raw milk kefir every day instead.

Yes, Scoby is still a pale pink.

Iris
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#24 of 489 Old 11-27-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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Kombucha Log: Stardate 11-26-07
:


This is so exciting....I cant wait to hear the end result ......

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#25 of 489 Old 11-28-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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WildIris,

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to be a copy cat and follow your process. I swear I am addicted to this stuff and it is too $$ and inconvenient to buy at the store.

Thanks for posting your scoby growing journey.
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#26 of 489 Old 11-28-2007, 01:31 PM
 
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I think I'm going to try too....and I even have raspberry GTS in my fridge. I once made kombucha from a scoby someone gave me and I did really love the taste of the homemade. Next time I tried though it got moldy so I haven't done it since. This is very inspiring!
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#27 of 489 Old 11-28-2007, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! I'm excited that you all are going to try this with me. Now you have to promise to post about YOUR experiences, too, so we can compare notes.

Today I (carefully, so as not to disturb the scoby too much) uncovered my kombucha brewing container and held it up to a window so I could get a better look at what's going on in there. The scoby, while it still looks bubbly (there must have been a lot of carbonation in the tea?), has a nice, uniform appearance and is definitely looking thicker and sturdier. When I held the container up to the window, I could see lots of long yeasty-looking strings hanging down from the underside of the scoby.

Here's a video series I found online that explains, step by step, exactly how to make kombucha; very helpful!
http://www.expertvillage.com/videos/...tea-strain.htm

And another helpful link with instructions and photos:
http://www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/ferme...ha_howto.shtml

Iris
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#28 of 489 Old 11-28-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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If I did not receive a scoby from someone local for $ 3.00 I would definitely try to grow my own. Why not? The prices online seem to be quite outrageous. Or I suppose second best would be to obtain one from the sticky at the top.

I am noticing I am feeling so much better since I started drinking komucha a few days ago.
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#29 of 489 Old 11-29-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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Wildiris, I will add my updates to your thread if that is okay. If you want me to start a new one, just let me know .

I started growing my scoby on Tuesday (November 27). I used GT Dave's Synergy Kombucha (either raspberry or passion flavor) also. I poured 8 oz into a glass measuring cup. It had a lot of stuff floating, but nothing floating on the top.

I put it in my cupboard with a tea towel over it. I just checked it (2 days of growth) and it has a "mass" on it that is about 1.25" x .5".

I think it has started growing.
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#30 of 489 Old 11-29-2007, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wildiris, I will add my updates to your thread if that is okay. If you want me to start a new one, just let me know .

I started growing my scoby on Tuesday (November 27). I used GT Dave's Synergy Kombucha (either raspberry or passion flavor) also. I poured 8 oz into a glass measuring cup. It had a lot of stuff floating, but nothing floating on the top.

I put it in my cupboard with a tea towel over it. I just checked it (2 days of growth) and it has a "mass" on it that is about 1.25" x .5".

I think it has started growing.

Too cool, Dawny -- Welcome to the Grow-Your-Own-Scoby Club!

I am happy to have you add updates to this thread. Anyone else who's doing this is welcome, also. Might as well keep all the info and experiences in one thread... let's see how big it gets.

Iris
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