Kombucha Brewers

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by amd, Apr 4, 2018.

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  1. Apr 4, 2018 #1

    amd

    amd

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    I know there are several threads about kombucha soap, but I'm really curious how many kombucha brewers are in the forum. So who's out there?

    I have been drinking kombucha off and on for 2 years, just started brewing my own about a year ago, taking a small break at the beginning of summer when we moved, and December/January while I was getting my mental poop in a group. I make about 3/4 gallon at a time, because I'm the only one who drinks it at my house.

    Tea: I usually brew mine with black and green tea, but I did do a few batches with oolong that I brought back from a China trip. (I'll be leaving more room in my bag on next trip. That was the best carbonation I have ever gotten!)

    Sugar: I usually use regular old table sugar, but did my first batch with raw sugar just last week.

    Flavors: Mostly plain, but I have experimented a bit with pumpkin, strawberry & rhubarb, and my last batch was strawberry & lime, which is my new favorite. I use my sister's homemade strawberry syrup for the strawberry part. It's too runny to be a decent ice cream sauce, and too rich for panpakes (pancakes), but works well for booch because I don't have to use alot.

    ...and no... I haven't tried to make soap with booch, but it is on my list.
     
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  2. Apr 4, 2018 #2

    dibbles

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    DH brews kombucha. He uses black tea and isn’t very adventurous so no experimenting with flavors. IMO he lets it ferment too long. It’s pretty acidic compared to what I’ve bought.
     
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  3. Apr 4, 2018 #3

    amd

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    I have a work friend who also makes booch (she actually started because I had an extra SCOBY) and hers are too sweet for me, mine are too sour for her. It's such an individual taste! Although mine have gotten too sour even for me once or twice, I try to get mine just a bit past "store tang".
     
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  4. Apr 4, 2018 #4

    Misschief

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    I've been making it for almost 2 years. I tend to experiment with teas but lately, I've been tending towards a blend of black and green teas. As for flavourings, my favourite so far has been Ruby Daydream from Kombucha Brooklyn (https://kombuchabrooklyn.com/blogs/kombucha-brooklyn/kombucha-recipe-ruby-daydream). Unfortunately, with one of the meds I'm on now, I've been told to avoid grapefruit.

    I've just bottled my first batch after putting it on hold for the winter (our house temps vary too much from day to night as we turn off all the heat at night). It's been flavoured with blueberry lavender. My batches are 1/2 gallon at a time and, like you, amd, I use white sugar mostly. I do have cane sugar in the house, in addition to turbinado and palm sugar but I like the flavour best with plain white sugar.

    I still have to learn when to bottle it for my taste; I tend to let it go too long and I really don't like it when it's too sour. I also make water kefir and it's more popular around here than kombucha; even my husband likes it.
     
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  5. Apr 4, 2018 #5

    dibbles

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    We got this as our house temps are kept very cool in the winter months. We've had since Nov 2016, and have had no problems with it. Also
    this to keep an eye on the temp.
     
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  6. Apr 4, 2018 #6

    Obsidian

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    I'd love to make my own but I like it real sour. The brand I buy almost tastes like it has vinegar in it.

    The brand that is made local is barely fermented with very little flavor. Is there good recipes for a nice sour blend?
     
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  7. Apr 4, 2018 #7

    Misschief

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    The longer you leave it to ferment, the more sour it becomes.

    That's a good price. I'm in Canada, though, and on Amazon.ca, they're a LOT more expensive. I do have the temperature strips already.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
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  8. Apr 5, 2018 #8

    amd

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    @Misschief I bought some seedling heat strips (I think they were) from a green house when I first started. They can wrap around the jar much like the one that @dibbles posted. You might check at a greenhouse or gardening center. I kept my old house quite chilly and turned the thermostat down when I wasn't at home/at night because I was cheap, lol. Our new house my husband keeps everything at a set temp, which helps, but also we have an old radiant heat boiler system, so my booch stays toasty warm by the boiler. I've also seen people wrapping them in christmas lights to keep warm.
     
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  9. Apr 6, 2018 #9

    wardbond

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    Kombucha Brewer here
     
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  10. Apr 6, 2018 #10

    Misschief

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    Christmas lights I have. I may just dig them out today.

    I have a question for those of you who make it... what's your favourite flavour? I'm always looking for new ideas.

    Also, what's the size of your batch? I make 1/2 gallon at a time because I (and my granddaughter, occasionally) am the only one who drinks it.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2018 #11

    amd

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    I thought strawberry lime was my favorite, until this morning. Blackberry ginger is my new favorite, lol. I also like the master cleanse recipe from the Big Book of Kombucha.

    I do 3/4 of a gallon. I like that about booch, I can make as much or as little as I want!

    Also, I am totally sold on using raw sugar in the big brew. I bottled my first batch using it last night, and it was already carbonated! I've never had carbonation in my big brew. As I was filling the bottles, I had to stop and let the carbonation head go down.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
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  12. Apr 6, 2018 #12

    homesteaders

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    I've always used organic raw sugar, but my kombucha is never carbonated, even when I bottle it with ginger or fruit/juice and let it brew longer. Does the kind of tea affect carbonation? I love the carbonated kombucha from the store, but $$$$$. :)
     
  13. Apr 6, 2018 #13

    amd

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    I think the type of tea has something to do with it too - I never had carbonation until I added green tea, but then only after bottling. When you bottle, you should leave some of the bottle unfilled too. I've read anywhere from 1/2" to 1" of head room. Temp may play a big part of it too, my kombucha stays at a toasty 85-90°F on the boiler, which is probably a bit warmer than most people can brew at.
     
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  14. Apr 6, 2018 #14

    BrewerGeorge

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    I've never made this stuff, but I've fermented lots of other things.

    Carbonation should be higher when ferment temperatures are lower because more CO2 will stay in solution that way. But unless you contain pressure somehow, it will always equilbrate to one atmosphere's pressure at whatever temperature it is. And since CO2 is only produced during fermentation, warming it up later will drive off CO2 which may not be replaced after it's cooled down.
     
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  15. Apr 6, 2018 #15

    Misschief

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    One suggestion I've encountered is to fill one plastic bottle (i.e. pop bottle or water bottle) with your kombucha. When it's hard, refrigerate the entire batch.
     
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  16. Apr 6, 2018 #16

    BrewerGeorge

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    That's what people do with home made soda or sparkling cider. Naturally carbonated home brew is somewhat similar, as well.

    One caution, though. Use soda bottles for this, as they are meant to safely contain pressure. Water bottles are much, much weaker. Whatever you do, don't use glass!
     
  17. May 9, 2018 #17

    amd

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    Back story: I make a maple bacon onion jam type thing that my kids love on french toast. On Saturday night I was bottling booch, and I thought "I wonder how this would taste in booch" so I threw some in with some pineapple. It wasn't the worst booch I've ever tried, but it wasn't for casual drinking. So I made the best dang bread with it. I usually make this recipe with beer (whatever my hubs has on tap), but it worked with booch too!

    3 cups self-rising flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    12 ounces beer/kombucha (and now the kids want me to try Dr. Pepper...)

    Mix everything together. Place in greased pan (ha, I almost said "mold"). Bake at 375 degs F for 40 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, allow to cool on wire rack before slicing.

    I wish I would have thought of this when I was trying to drink the banana pb booch I made last week...
     
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  18. May 9, 2018 #18

    Obsidian

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    What does hard mean? I don't know terms yet.

    I finally got my scoby grown and need to get the kombucha going.
     
  19. May 9, 2018 #19

    Obsidian

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    @amd
    I need help! I've been reading through recipes and they all require 2 cups starter tea or store bought kombucha, can I use the liquid I grew the scoby in instead of having to buy another bottle?
    If you have to use starter tea, whats the point of using scoby? Isn't it supposed to get the culture growing in the tea?
     
  20. May 9, 2018 #20

    Misschief

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    You know how a pop bottle feels hard when you purchase it? That's because of the carbonation. Once opened, it's soft. Same thing with kombucha; when the bottle becomes hard, it's fermented and bubbly... naturally carbonated.
     
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