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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on my second batch, the first one was too sweet after 2 weeks, so I decided to let this one sit for a longer time, and I used less sugar and just a touch of vinager. I started it July 14th. I decided to taste it today, but we have been having a real heat wave here in Seattle (it has been 87 degrees in my house for 3 or 4 days) and I think it may have ruined my kombucha!!! It is tasting flat, and thin and kind of vinagery, and the mushroom on top is thin(only about 1/4 inch thick)I read that sometimes you can end up making tea wine and I think maybe that is what I did.
I know high temps are not good, should I throw this out and start over? Do I wait until the new mushroom on top is thicker? Should I use any of this old batch in the new batch? Guide me, oh Kombucha Goddesses(you know who you are!) Is it OK to use the mushroom from a ruined batch?
 

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I dunno about your kombucha, but it sure has ruined my weekend!! *shakes fist at weather*
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kallyn
I dunno about your kombucha, but it sure has ruined my weekend!! *shakes fist at weather*

Oh, my God, I was dying!
: And I was making a fermented sage/lime drink, and this morning, after only 24 hours, it had this white mold on top. I think I'm going to have to throw it out!

Others from the rest of the country may think we're whining too much about four 90 degree days in a row, but since our normal temps at this time of year are in the mid 70's, very few places are actually air conditioned!
:

Ann
 

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I just started making kombucha too and I live in Renton. I brewed my first batch July 2-16 and it turned out okay, but didn't seem quite as strong as the commercial variety (GT Dave's). It seemed to mellow a fair amount after I bottled it (I let it sit room temp for five days before refrigerating). I started my second batch on the 16th, so only a couple days after you. It turned out great. It is a bit stronger and more vinegary (is that a word?) but I expect it will mellow after bottling too. I am going to bottle it tonight. I think the hot weather helped my kombucha- 90 to 100 degree temperatures should be good for fermenting. I thought about making yogurt just by setting it on the back porch, but I knew the temp wouldn't stay consistent enough.


My daughter culture wasn't super thick when I brewed my first batch, but on my second batch I brewed it with the daughter and the mother culture together. I did this because I am trying to reproduce cultures to give away and I read that that was the way to do it. Now I have a gloriously thick "daughter" that is ready to give away as a "mother".

I found a helpful troubleshooting guide for kombucha at this link:
http://www.kombuchatea.co.uk/kombuch...ha-culture.asp
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, people from other parts of the country do not understand why this is such a big deal here- like the other mamma said- NO AC!!!!!
Plus my dd had a 103 temp all weekend due to some viral crud, so an 87 degree house and a 2 year old with a high fever do not make for good times.

I just do not understand what is going on with my K brew. I am going to leave it for a few more days, I guess it can't hurt. It just tastes like maybe I made tea wine. It is not sweet at all(that was my problem with my first batch, too sweet) but just tastes flat and sour.

Thanks for the link, too, I am going to check that out. I know from searching this thread that people say the heat is good for fermenting, but I also read that heat can kill the bacteria that K needs. So I dunno.

It is a lot cooler today, I am happy to say!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnC
Others from the rest of the country may think we're whining too much about four 90 degree days in a row, but since our normal temps at this time of year are in the mid 70's, very few places are actually air conditioned!
:
I know!! We moved here from NJ and I remember when we were looking for apartments I was like "No AC??? Are you kidding???" and they'd be like "oh, you don't need it in Seattle." I ended up sitting around in my swimsuit all this weekend, parked in front of the fan with a spray bottle full of ice water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, they are right, you don't need it in Seattle, MOST of the time. But almost every summer there is about a week where you suffer.

Welcome, hope you like the west coast!
 

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I just noticed you said you use vinegar in yours -- I don't use any vinegar. Just the tea, sugar, 1/2 cup kombucha from previous batch, and the mushroom. Maybe you should leave the vinegar out?
I think the heat probably just made it ferment faster. I put my sage/lime soda in the fridge, and will check it tonight. It had white on top, but I realize there was some milk/kefir solids in my whey, and that might be what it is. I'll have to see how it came out.

In the 60's right now, whew!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, AnnC. I used only a tablespoon or so of vinagar in this batch, but maybe I should leave it out.

I wonder if it just hasnt sat long enough to get fizzy yet? Maybe that is why it is so flat tasting.
 

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When I did my first batch, I removed the cultures when it was no longer sweet and poured it in a bottle and let it sit without the culture for another 5 days. That is what made it fizzy. It formed a very thin layer/daughter culture on top of that bottle, but I have just pushed it aside to pour the kombucha out of the bottle. I am using a 1 gallon glass apple juice bottle for the bottling stage. Also as it sat in the bottle it lost some of the very strong vinegar taste and mellowed a bit. I bet if you bottled your batch, removed the culture, and let it sit at room temp for 5-7 days it would have mellowed a bit and gotten fizzy. If your first batch was too sweet you probably needed a little vinegar to get the next batch started. The vinegar environment helps protect your culture from mold while it does its work. Your kombucha is probably ready for bottling right now. Try to bottle it and see if that works. There is good info on that FAQ about bottling.

Speaking on the AC issue- I wish no place had AC, but then I am a washington native and it makes me feel ill to walk in a store or someplace with AC and then out into the hot weather
: I think it would be so much better not to have any at all.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
GT's mama,
Ok, maybe I will try that. I have saved all my storebought Kombucha bottles, I will fill them right up to the very top and let them sit at room temp for the next week or so.
I guess I can always add something(juice or whatever) if it is too sour for me, right?
I just want it to taste like the expensive kind at the co-op, you know?

The vinagar issue confuses me, I added vinagar to my first batch, and just a tablespoon full or so to my second (the one I am worried about) but the recipe I used said it was optional. I did add someof the tea from the first batch in my second. Some people say to add it, others seem to say it is just for the taste.

So, now to do my next batch, should I use both my original mushroom I made from the culture I was sent as well as the new baby in one batch, or can I try doing two different batches simultaneously by seperating them?

By the way, a doctor friend of mine told me that there is new research coming out connecting air conditioning with obesity somehow! Scarey!
 

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I should have saved my bottles, but I recycled them. So right now I am bottling my batch in mason jars with plastic lids. Mine turned out just like GT Daves, perhaps a bit mellower after I let the first batch sit. I also lost the fizz after a day or two because there was too much airspace in my bottle.Report back when you are ready to drink your tea and let me know if it is too sour after it sits a few days.

What I have read is that it is important to add either the vinegar or a bit of the kombucha from the last batch. This helps keep the environment unfriendly to bacteria and mold until the tea starts culturing. This makes some sense to me because there is a lot of sugar in the tea when you first set it up.

I also read that if you plan to use a daughter culture as a mother you take the newly formed culture from one batch and then brew a second batch with both the mother and daughter. Then the daughter is ready to brew its own. I am making cultures to give away, so that is what I did and after the second batch I got a nice thick, beautiful culture that I just gave away last night. We will know in a couple weeks if that culture is doing well in making its own batch, but I think it will be just fine. You can also strengthen your daughter culture by leaving it in the tea for an extra couple of weeks- but then the tea is not drinkable.

As for the AC- when I am in the AC my body isn't used to the heat outside and it's a huge barrier to get out there and do anything. Could that be the reason, I wonder?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by G&B'sMama
As for the AC- when I am in the AC my body isn't used to the heat outside and it's a huge barrier to get out there and do anything. Could that be the reason, I wonder?
That's great information on kombucha -- I didn't know all that!
As for AC, it might be fine to leave it off for the brief (relatively) heat waves we have here, if you could open the windows. That's why I never got AC for home, because heat waves are rare here, and I don't like the air quality of AC. But at work, where the windows don't open, the stuffiness is horrible, and the heat just builds up to where I have a headache that stays until the heat wave is over. So the AC we just got at work seems the lesser of the evils when we have temperatures like 97!
I remember when I lived in Rhode Island, we would have weeks where it was in the 90's and 90 percent humidity -- hellish! Then they would have the AC on at about 68 degrees. People did get summer colds a lot from the drastic change in temperature, but I have to say I would not have given up the AC!
:

Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, when I lived in Virginia a summer without AC was absolutly unthinkable. No way I could have survived the muggy awful summers.

My friend was saying that the possible obesity connection with AC had to do with the bodies temperature and metabolism, something to do with how many calories we burn and don't burn based on the temperature. I think it may all be a theory, but it had the ring of something that could make sense. She was saying that many people live in areas where their bodies temps are constantly regulated artificially as they don't get outside much and are always in either air conditioning or heated environments, the internal thermostat and metabolism gets off. Hmmm...

About my kombucha, I was talking to a lady at PCC (our local coop) and she said to leave mine longer to sit(it has sat for 13 days) but I have also read that if it tastes like vinager it has been sitting too long. I did add some tea from my first batch to this batch, plus a bit of vinager. So I am not sure what to believe. Although my first batch was a little too sweet, it was just better tasting, like a cider kind of. This just tastes like a weak, thin, flat vinager now, with no sweetness. Oh, and I did put the mother and the daughter culture in this batch. So I think I am doing everything right, so do I bottle it now and hope it gets better, or do I let it sit longer?? And if I have to throw this batch out, do I use both cultures again in the next attempt, or seperate them?
 

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The batch I started on Tuesday night was already done last night and it may have gone a bit too long, but I am going to bottle it and see how much it mellows. I gave away my daughter culture, so I was brewing just the mother. I read you are supposed to start tasting after 5 days, but my first batch took two weeks and the second batch a week (during the heat)- so it sort of suprises me that this one is done already- and its so cool out.

For some reason, this batch also is fizzy already. The only thing I did differently is that I really did not disturb this batch at all. The first two I would take off the cover and peek in on it daily to watch the daughter culture form. This time I put the cover on and didn't think about it for a whole week... hmm food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow! That was quick. I do not know why mine is taking so long this time.

I still have not bottled the batch that I posted about originally! I decided to wait and just let it sit, and in 3 days it will have been sitting for a whole month! I think that will be bottling day.
But, it is finally getting fizzy and it tastes so much better now. So I guess it just needed a lot longer. I decided that since the stuff that I buy in the store sits for a month, I would try that too.
I think I am going to fill all my kombucha bottles from the store that i saved, and not leave any air space, and let it sit for another week out of the fridge to get even fizzier. I havnt tried this before, I will be interested to see what happens. I hope thew bottles don't explode or something, that would be just my luck.
Now I will have a daughter and a mother, so I am going to do two batches this next time. My goal is to always have some brewing.
I think there is something to the idea of not messing with the K brew too much, or disturbing the culture. i think I read that somewhere, that it is best to just leave it alone. Maybe there is a way to taste it without disturbing the Mother. I use those sun tea jars so I just get some out of the spout, but I still have to slide the jar around some.
Thanks, G&B's Mamma for letting me know how it is going! We are brew buddies now.
 

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I think the flat taste is because you didn't have enough sugar. but I am not sure. as for the heat..I don't think it effects it really except for how long it takes to brew. The yahookt group is a really good group you can ask all your questions too. I have some good links but they are on my other puter..will find them later.
 

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I'd love any links!

I decided to leave my brew for a month too. For one thing the brew has been going so fast that I have a lot of tea in my fridge, and for another thing, I just want to see what happens!

This k-tea is like my little science experiment- it is so fun!!
 
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