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Old 05-18-2009, 08:01 PM   #451
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[COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"]oh where or where did my little post go?

So this morning, I posted that out of my 3 jars (that are taking forever) one of my jars is much cloudier than the other 2. I have tasted it several times and it tastes fine (albeit too sweet) but fine. Opinions on cloudy Kombucha?[/COLOR]
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:03 PM   #452
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[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Well, I just met a cloudy kombucha - I bought the gingerade one and it's cloudy. And I can't say that I care for it much - not because it's cloudy, but I am just not crazy about the ginger. Oh well, I know what I won't be putting in my brew.[/COLOR]
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:04 PM   #453
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Love this thread!

I run into Metqa in all the cool spots it seems. I started following you guys about a month ago. I picked up a few bottles of GT's and got started. I started my first brews in a few pint glass jars and the scobies formed within a week. Very exciting to watch - I bothered the poor things everyday checking on progress.

I now have three very healthy 1" thick (although small diameter) scobies ready for business. I rehomed one into a gallon container this morning. The other two are still working in their original pint jars until I find more gallon jars. I got the first one by force feeding my hubby pickle spears daily and I don't think he is going to go for that again!

The mini brews I've turned out over the past couple of weeks have been ok. The taste was right but the fizz was not there. Hopefully it will improve with the larger brewing vessel. I plan to start adding some fruit juice concentrate in with the second ferment. Maybe the fruit sugars will help with the fizz?

I look forward to following along and improving my technique. Thanks for all of the helpful info and links here. You guys are great!


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Old 05-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #454
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:43 PM   #455
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:43 AM   #456
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For some reason we lose our fizz after bottling and I'm not sure why yet.
I like bottling til it's about sugar free (vinegary) and I can deal with it being as sour as it gets *IF* it has fizz. From what I've read you should bottle 3 days before it's quite ready and I bottle couple days after. I had several batches that had no fizz after 5 days, I kept opening them up and rebottling with newer batch (second time I added quart of cranberry juice) and after a couple batches no fizz and had new 2 gallon batch, I added half gallon of grape juice to the mix of old and new and rebottled 18 liters (Total 4 gallons). They all had fizz after 3 days and after another few days, the grape juice's sugar had all been fermented away leaving the essence of grape (like a dry wine) with geysers of fizz lol.


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Old 05-20-2009, 09:28 AM   #457
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Cindy thanks for responding!! I want to understand your process better b/c we're still fizz free here...

Are you saying that you're directly adding your juice to the container that holds your scoby? Or do you mean you're adding it to another bottle? I can only fantasize abour "geisers of fizz"!!

I need a step by step breakdown if you please!!
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:37 AM   #458
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Cindy thanks for responding!! I want to understand your process better b/c we're still fizz free here...

Are you saying that you're directly adding your juice to the container that holds your scoby? Or do you mean you're adding it to another bottle? I can only fantasize abour "geisers of fizz"!!

I need a step by step breakdown if you please!!
Well just wanted to drop in and say I am excited to know we have a kombucha thread on LCF!

I have been hanging out at curezone learning about brewing my own for a couple of months.
I have been saving Synergy bottles but have not started my own batch yet.

Got allot of reading to do here now!!

Kamalam,
is that a sculpture in your Avi? I love it! If it is would you by any chance know who the artist is?
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #459
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[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]Scoby & coyotes?! Better keep an eye on that little yorkie![/COLOR]
She is never out of our site... and in her mind that princess would take on the whole pack!!! She's a trip!
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:34 AM   #460
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Well just wanted to drop in and say I am excited to know we have a kombucha thread on LCF!

I have been hanging out at curezone learning about brewing my own for a couple of months.
I have been saving Synergy bottles but have not started my own batch yet.

Got allot of reading to do here now!!

Kamalam,
is that a sculpture in your Avi? I love it! If it is would you by any chance know who the artist is?
Hi Daisy,

Can't wait to hear all the wonderful things you've learned at Curezone... it's a great site, even though sometimes it overwhelmed me a little, lol. Whenever I need to know more about something, I know I can drop in there and learn a ton.

And yes, my av is a sculpture that I photograhed while up in Big Sur. I will pull out my brochure and see if I can find out who the artist is. When we walked through the outdoor gallery we were just blown away by the power in those angels. What talent. Actually all the sculptures there were amazing.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:48 AM   #461
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Watching for tips on fizz factor myself!

I saw that Happy Herbalist sells tablets to add at the point of bottling for fizz - you control how much by how many tablets are used. Does anyone know anything about these?

Grape is my favorite Synergy flavor so I might try adding the grape juice to mine too.

Hi Metqa!

Love the "My little Scoby" ditty! (Pepperette's scoby graphics rock too!)

Have a great day all ~


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Old 05-20-2009, 01:01 PM   #462
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Watching for tips on fizz factor myself!

I saw that Happy Herbalist sells tablets to add at the point of bottling for fizz - you control how much by how many tablets are used. Does anyone know anything about these?

Grape is my favorite Synergy flavor so I might try adding the grape juice to mine too.

Hi Metqa!

Love the "My little Scoby" ditty! (Pepperette's scoby graphics rock too!)

Have a great day all ~


Terri
Terri,

Organic Concord Grape added is great - I did the 2nd ferment for 4 days before testing and it was perfect... I waited another day and it started to lose the good taste - too fermented I guess - so you may want to experiment with the 2nd fermenting timing. I put them in the fridge to stop the process (or slow it way down). They are good but not as good as the first fizzy bottle...mmmm..

This is the only flavor I have had go off tasting a bit - just to ripe tasting I guess is the way to say it with juice. I noticed the same thing with fresh strawberries.

All my other 2nd ferments are in the cool basement and I only refrigerate when ready to drink them.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:51 PM   #463
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Thanks for the tips Laurie.

I added some minced ginger to a couple of bottles and it definitely got funky looking. On another couple I added dried cranberries and that worked a little better. I'm thinking juice concentrates are the way to go now. I have a couple of bottles that I let go a day or so too long. I like it tart but they hit the mild vinegar stage. I added some organic apple juice concentrate (all I had on hand) to see if they could be salvaged. It's been two days on the counter so I'll try them tonight.

So far I've just been playing with mini brews from my 3 pint jars. The 3 pints turn out enough for 2 bottles and enough starter tea to go again. My first "real" gallon got started yesterday and I'm so excited.

Your Yorkie princess looks a lot like one of my Mom's girls named Amanda Lynn. They are a trip aren't they? They look like these fussy little things but they are holy terrors! My Mom's are in the process of tearing down her brand new 6 ft. privacy fence. They are ticked off about it and working board by board.

Take care ~


Terri
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:56 PM   #464
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Cindy Are you saying that you're directly adding your juice to the container that holds your scoby? Or do you mean you're adding it to another bottle? I can only fantasize abour "geisers of fizz"!!
I need a step by step breakdown if you please!!
No, no, everything I've read says to be careful not to contaminate your scoby. I had several brew containers going and removed from the scobys all the KT that was to be bottled into another container, I opened up all my unfizzy bottles and dumped them into this batch and added a half gallon of grape juice, stirred well and rebottled everything into 18 one liter bottles. (My first batch with added grape juice ended up having 25% juice but that's wasteful, this one was 15% - commercial brewers only put in 5%.) I would suggest you start higher though and work your way down in future batches. Got to have the fizz and grape juice will make it happen (cranberry juice didn't do it for me only time I tried). I also used crystalized ginger liquified in the blender in a yerba mate KT batch that had a subtle fizz (no geysers). Make sure you wait 3 days (in summer) before testing a bottle. Hmmm I use liter bottles, I wonder if size matters.

and to the other poster:
I don't even think I could get GT's Kombucha in my area and no clue where to find it online but it supposedly has the Lactobacilus bacteria that most scobys don't and I would think that creating a scoby from it would be well worthwhile.

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Old 05-20-2009, 04:04 PM   #465
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Get's popcorn to watch the battle . . .

"Slap Him with a Scoby!!!"
I hope you brought the big bucket...

A newsreel before the main feature:

We bottled today. 4 pint bottles; 1 plain, 2 with 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger, and one with a full teaspoon of ginger. No added sugar for any of them.

A short primer on city of Heroes:

A blaster at level 50 has about 1400 hit points. Blasters as a class are generally the highest damage output of all classes, but have the lowest resistance and defense. The most common colloqualisms for blasters is "glass cannon" or "squishie". FaiaTaka (my avatar) is a Fire Blaster.

A tanker at level 50 has about 2300 hit points, and can temporarily go higher. Tanks have high resistance, and a "taunt" effect which forces enemies to target them. The tank runs into a group of enemies and goes "these are not the squishies you are looking for" (while said squishie lines up the perfect shot).

A level 50 Arch-Villain has 25,000 to 35,000 hit points and is capable of taking out entire teams, but with careful tactics (and maybe some luck), two people can take them out.

And now our feature:

A friend in the game runs a tank and has a mission to defeat Battle Maiden. She wears Valkyrie type armor and wields a battle axe. Mostly melee attacks, but can throw the axe for a ranged attack.

Within the first 15 seconds of the fight, my friend runs in and smacks Battle Maiden in the face. She hits him with two attacks and he goes down. She turns to me, almost takes me down with the thrown axe, but I manage to get her immobilized before she can run up and hit me at melee range.

Before she can cycle her thrown axe again, he uses a self-resurrect power and manages to taunt her away from hitting me a second time. In about 3 minutes we take down about 30% of her hit points.

I run out of endurance. I have to keep up the immobilize effect on her, but can no longer use my high end attacks. My friend can't actually run up and hit her, as her hits back at melee range will take him out again (and his resurrect takes time to recharge). Battle Maiden's hit points (ever so slowly) continue to drop.

At about 20 minutes, the tank invites another blaster to join the team. Said blaster has to cross 4 zones to get to where we entered the mission (about 5 minutes), has a crash/disconnect trying to load into the mission. Has to reboot the game (about 3 minutes) and try again to load into the mission.

Finally succeeds loading in, crosses the mission map to where we are fighting, and is in time to fire one shot before Battle Maiden finally goes down.

Total time was about 30 minutes.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:07 PM   #466
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No, no, everything I've read says to be careful not to contaminate your scoby. I had several brew containers going and removed from the scobys all the KT that was to be bottled into another container, I opened up all my unfizzy bottles and dumped them into this batch and added a half gallon of grape juice, stirred well and rebottled everything into 18 one liter bottles. (My first batch with added grape juice ended up having 25% juice but that's wasteful, this one was 15% - commercial brewers only put in 5%.) I would suggest you start higher though and work your way down in future batches. Got to have the fizz and grape juice will make it happen (cranberry juice didn't do it for me only time I tried). I also used crystalized ginger liquified in the blender in a yerba mate KT batch that had a subtle fizz (no geysers). Make sure you wait 3 days (in summer) before testing a bottle. Hmmm I use liter bottles, I wonder if size matters.
Cool... that helps me understand your process much better! I think, based on your explanation, that we have been using the wrong concentrates. We started with grape, and loved our brew - not real fizzy, but tasted great. Then we bought a berry blend and a cherry concentrate. I think the problem is that there isn't enough fructose in those...

Back to the drawing board! I think we'll take the too-tart batch, put into a big container, add new KT from our recent brew, and add grape... does that sound right? Then maybe wait a couple of days? Then rebottle??

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:19 PM   #467
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Drinking Time

[COLOR="DarkGreen"]Since it has been really warm the past 2 days, I put my kombucha in the frig this morning. Just got home at 6:30 pm and decided to open one of the ginger ones. Man-oh-man! This stuff is delish! It is not as strong as the store bought GTs, but it gives enough of a tangyness that I like. Probably could have gone a day or two more before chilling, but that's what this is about- trial and experimenting till I get it just right, and then maybe decide to change it a little. Next time I might get some fizz, too![/COLOR]
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:49 PM   #468
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Pepperette - do you place a little piece of ginger in the bottle or do you dice it first? I have a grater and I wondered what would work better...
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:38 PM   #469
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]I peeled a corner and sliced a bit off, then diced it up small before putting it in the bottles. I filled them afterward.
I am really having fun doing this! Next jug is going to be flavors and I will let them brew longer both times- 1st and 2nd ferment.[/COLOR]

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Old 05-20-2009, 08:33 PM   #470
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Cool... that helps me understand your process much better! I think, based on your explanation, that we have been using the wrong concentrates. We started with grape, and loved our brew - not real fizzy, but tasted great. Then we bought a berry blend and a cherry concentrate. I think the problem is that there isn't enough fructose in those...

Back to the drawing board! I think we'll take the too-tart batch, put into a big container, add new KT from our recent brew, and add grape... does that sound right? Then maybe wait a couple of days? Then rebottle??

Thanks for all your help!
Whether the secondary ferment forms fizz or not depends on the amount of sugar remaining in the brew when bottled. Not enough = no fizz, too much = exploding bottles.

With a hydrometer and a pile of equations you can determine the sugar content after your primary ferment and then determine if the juice concentrates have enough sugar on their own or more has to be added. Lacking the scientific apparatus, we more or less have to guess. It is probably better (for the bottles and potential mess) to err on the side of less fizz.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:25 PM   #471
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Whether the secondary ferment forms fizz or not depends on the amount of sugar remaining in the brew when bottled. Not enough = no fizz, too much = exploding bottles.

With a hydrometer and a pile of equations you can determine the sugar content after your primary ferment and then determine if the juice concentrates have enough sugar on their own or more has to be added. Lacking the scientific apparatus, we more or less have to guess. It is probably better (for the bottles and potential mess) to err on the side of less fizz.
Ahhhh. Thank you. If I discover that the primary brew doesn't have enough sugar (e.g. we waited too long and it is too tart when bottling for the second ferment) can I simply add sugar to the individual bottles? Would that help the secondary ferment to have more fizz factor or have I blown it by then?

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Old 05-21-2009, 04:05 AM   #472
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If I discover that the primary brew doesn't have enough sugar (e.g. we waited too long and it is too tart when bottling for the second ferment) can I simply add sugar to the individual bottles? Would that help the secondary ferment to have more fizz factor or have I blown it by then?
No, it's not blown. I've bottled after a long ferment at the stage of it being nearly sugarless. Sugar (sucrose, dextrose or glucose sugars) will work - it's my understanding that fructose sugar won't work (as well/not at all/I don't know) if your GOAL is fizz.

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Old 05-21-2009, 04:24 AM   #473
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Then we bought a berry blend and a cherry concentrate. I think the problem is that there isn't enough fructose in those...

I think we'll take the too-tart batch, put into a big container, add new KT from our recent brew, and add grape... does that sound right? Then maybe wait a couple of days? Then rebottle??
I would suggest take the too-tart batch, put into a big container, add new KT from recent brew, add grape juice, stir it all together well and rebottle to the tippy top IMMEDIATELY. Wait minimum of 3 days at room temperature (74-84F) for it to ferment in the bottles (this is the yeasts eating sugar and farting bubbles which are then trapped in the bottle) and try it. Refrigerate when it's perfect - at this point or more if needed.

It will continue to ferment (use up the sugar) in the bottle and I've had the grape juice nearly sugarless bottled at a warm room temperature for 8 days. So I would suggest bottling it too sweet and refrigerating when it gets to just right and only you know what you like. I prefer sugarless but some people don't. Temperature is a big variable (warmer faster, cooler slower) it will continue to even ferment in the refrigerator but just at a much slower rate.

The reason grape juice works so well for fizz, it has the highest proportion of GLUCOSE sugar compared to fruits high in fructose sugar. Kombucha's end resulting sugar is fructose, if you give it that up front, it has nothing to work with (this is my understanding and may have nothing to do with the truth lol) If your goal is *flavor* then sugar content isn't a factor, but for fizz grape juice (or sucrose, dextrose or glucose sugars) is the best. I personally believe in the health benefits of grape juice but (especially low carbing) didn't want all the sugar content. Now I feel I have both!

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Old 05-21-2009, 07:42 AM   #474
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:31 AM   #475
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Cindy, thank you so much! I think I'm starting to get it, lol.

Unfortunately, my partner said he forgot to add some new KT that too-tart batch! All he did was add some grape. Sigh. I don't know if it's too late for me to pour in some of the new batch or not... well, it's a learning process.

The good news is that he said our latest batch tasted great. At least now I understand why grape works so well. I'll keep you updated. And thanks again!
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:41 AM   #476
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Thanks for the tips Laurie.

I added some minced ginger to a couple of bottles and it definitely got funky looking. On another couple I added dried cranberries and that worked a little better. I'm thinking juice concentrates are the way to go now. I have a couple of bottles that I let go a day or so too long. I like it tart but they hit the mild vinegar stage. I added some organic apple juice concentrate (all I had on hand) to see if they could be salvaged. It's been two days on the counter so I'll try them tonight.

So far I've just been playing with mini brews from my 3 pint jars. The 3 pints turn out enough for 2 bottles and enough starter tea to go again. My first "real" gallon got started yesterday and I'm so excited.

Your Yorkie princess looks a lot like one of my Mom's girls named Amanda Lynn. They are a trip aren't they? They look like these fussy little things but they are holy terrors! My Mom's are in the process of tearing down her brand new 6 ft. privacy fence. They are ticked off about it and working board by board.

Take care ~


Terri
I don't mind the funky look to the boocha - try using odwalla green food - mmm fizzy but funky color. I don't like the over ripe fruit taste - strawberry and grape have been the only ones that I've noticed.

Yeh = Reese is a trip - she is the boss and bosses around our 50 lb labradoodle.. Tearing down a fence - WOW... Yes they are very determined little things and when they set their mind on something - watch out!
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:47 AM   #477
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Unfortunately, my partner said he forgot to add some new KT that too-tart batch! All he did was add some grape. Sigh. I don't know if it's too late for me to pour in some of the new batch or not... well, it's a learning process.

The good news is that he said our latest batch tasted great. I'll keep you updated.
Bad thing is, you'll do like me & drink half your bottles before bubbles even start forming lol, but that's ok too. Go ahead & bottle up the new batch now (don't worry if you don't have grape juice) and start more. IF you don't get fizz, you can always add more grape juice later & rebottle.

You need to experience the fizz, then you can experiment with timing, flavors and all that stuff. It is NOT the same with flat sour batches, I know. You are probably bottling too late, but the grape juice will fix any problems and with the grape juice it's ok flat but it is awesome carbonated!!!

Must keep me updated lol! I was ecstatic when I finally got the taste and fizz balanced.

Last edited by cindy_cfids; 05-21-2009 at 09:22 AM..
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:41 AM   #478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoSkids View Post
"this is the yeasts eating sugar and farting bubbles"
I think this is how it works...
In the SCOBY there is BACTERIA and YEAST. Both are eating sugar, and making their byproducts in the first batch, because the SCOBY has oxygen. Yeast is alcohol and CO2, and the bacteria is acids and vitamins. Once you bottle, you limit the oxygen so the bacteria quits doing it's thing and making acids. BUT the yeast isn't too particular if there is oxygen or not, so it keeps making it's alcohol and co2. That's why there is a small amount of alcohol in kombucha. If the kombucha is acidic at the second ferment, there isn't much sugar for the yeast to make their bubbles. It's been mostly used up by the bacteria. Adding fruit juice to the second ferment gives a little more sugar for the yeast to work on. I try to burp my bottles every day or so, because I like them like a dry wine-taste, but even with that little bit of extra sugar, there can be a LOT of fizz!! I actually had one explode kombucha all over the place yesterday when I opened it. I like the fizz, so when I do my ginger I add about 1/3 t or so of honey for a little extra sugar for the fizz, then there are all the goodies of the honey without the sugar (the yeast gets the sugar).
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:06 AM   #479
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Angela... wow exploding kombucha! If only that was my problem, lol. I think the honey idea is great - I'm still working on the fizz factor here - ugh. I think we are definitely waiting to long for that second bottling... though we have noticed slightly more fizz today from the bottles sitting on the counter.

I notice that when we put them in the frig, they tend to get flat again... So this time we're not going to do that since we drink them so quickly anyway. Boy the fine tuning is interesting...
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:09 PM   #480
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]Not sure I want enough fizz to 'splode a bottle! Just make tingles under the tongue! I could seriously drink this stuff all day, it is that good. I've taken one to work for lunch the past two days and wished I had another each day. I only have 1 left. Think I might start a two jugs when this batch is ready to bottle.[/COLOR]
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