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Old 05-24-2009, 10:05 AM   #511
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It's good to hear that the HH guy really investigated the effect plastic might have on his scoby. Getting it analyzed! That really makes me feel better about it.

Oh, and the steps I listed for making the tea were not written very well... we don't boil the tea for an hour, I think that's just for ten minutes; we let it steep for an hour. Still, steeping for an hour! On the other hand, we tried the "quick" method Dave gave as an alternative - kind of making a concentrate of tea, then adding distilled water later, and for some reason, that batch was not as good.
I may have misled you, I said he had containers tested & scoby analyzed, those were 2 different actions and I don't know if he went that far, he never suggested that he did, just my bad rewording. I don't know the details of the "5 Gallon Food Grade, Tested for kombucha compatibility" and/or if scobys brewed in one were analyzed. He has posted the results of the analyzation of various different scobys to show that they are not all the same and that some teas give different gluconic producing results.

I remember reading Dave's tea making instructions originally and said, "Nawwwww, not doing that" I was putting a couple of 3x5 muslin bags (reusable 10x) with a mixture of green, black and rooibos and every batch I'd drag out the old ones and add one more fresh one and dump them in the boiling water 10 min & til water cooled (hours) With the Yerba mate disaster, I started reading on tea instuctions about time, temperature, etc, etc, etc. So now I separate my green, black, rooibos into their own little 3x5 bags and only add the green tea for 5 min. after boiled water is off the heat. I do the black tea for longer 10-15 min (s/b 7 min max.) and then I leave the bag of rooibos in til it cools. (I still drop in the older bags also for 5 minutes) My "tea" is not a delicate liquid lightly infused lol, it becomes reddish/black & opaque. I am highly sensitive to caffeine and I bet this would keep me up for days if I drank it prefermentation. Luckily the caffeine in KT hasn't effect me at all.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:54 AM   #512
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Has anyone tried adding calcium to KT bottles to increase fizz and nutritional value? If so, what type of calcium and how does it affect the flavor? I read it nutralizes KT's acidic quality (but wondering if that's a good thing)??
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:50 PM   #513
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Woot! We have fizz!



We bottled last wednesday, on saturday we put one of the half teaspoon ginger bottles in the fridge. Opening that today we had just a hint of fizzy taste, and slight accumulation of bubbles on the sides of the mug. We put the remaining 3 bottles (plain, 1/2 tsp, and "about" 2 tsp) in the fridge and after an hour or two opened the other 1/2. There was audible gas upon breaking the seal and visible fizz while pouring, also a more pronounced ginger taste and more fizz.

We plan to bottle again on this coming wednesday, probably play with ginger lemon or ginger raspberry (match the synergy we bought last week). Next month we are contemplating getting a hydrometer to be able to measure sugar content before and after fermenting. Probably play it mostly by taste, but we'll have numbers to shoot for if we get a batch that turns out really good.

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Old 05-25-2009, 03:37 PM   #514
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Faia, would you clarify - which of the bottles had the most fizz and how did you get there? Meaning how long did you leave the bottles out before putting them in the frig - and did you add any sugar to the ginger? Thanks!! And Congratulations!
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:32 PM   #515
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Faia, would you clarify - which of the bottles had the most fizz and how did you get there? Meaning how long did you leave the bottles out before putting them in the frig - and did you add any sugar to the ginger? Thanks!! And Congratulations!
No sugar in any of them.

Primary ferment started monday 11th, bottled on wednesday 20th. One bottle chilled saturday 23rd, remaining 3 chilled today. Bottle with more fizz was one of the 1/2 tsp chilled today. Plain and 2 tsp still chilling.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:48 PM   #516
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No sugar in any of them.

Primary ferment started monday 11th, bottled on wednesday 20th. One bottle chilled saturday 23rd, remaining 3 chilled today. Bottle with more fizz was one of the 1/2 tsp chilled today. Plain and 2 tsp still chilling.
Thanks! So hmmmm - adding sugar to the secondary ferment is not necessary for fizz.

Argh.... ok, I think I'm still off on my timing then. Our most recent batch is not as fizzy as our last batch; I'm guessing we must have waited too long again before bottling.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:01 PM   #517
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Thanks! So hmmmm - adding sugar to the secondary ferment is not necessary for fizz.

Argh.... ok, I think I'm still off on my timing then. Our most recent batch is not as fizzy as our last batch; I'm guessing we must have waited too long again before bottling.
I read somewhere that you should bottle 3 days before it's ready. I bottle way after and usually always have fizz with no additions.

How much sugar are you putting in? I'm wondering if you're doing enough, but then again you said you were following David's recipe. hmmmm If you start doing the continuous brewing method, you shouldn't have any problems with yeasts under developing. They say there comes a point of them overtaking the brew and the need to clean the pot of the overage.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:03 PM   #518
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[COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"]I tasted one of my bottles - no fizz and still a bit sweet. Tasted another one - still a bit sweet, but it has fizz!!! I was so excited!! Will some of the sweetness still go away or am I stuck with sweet kombucha with this batch?[/COLOR]
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:57 PM   #519
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[COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"]I tasted one of my bottles - no fizz and still a bit sweet. Tasted another one - still a bit sweet, but it has fizz!!! I was so excited!! Will some of the sweetness still go away or am I stuck with sweet kombucha with this batch?[/COLOR]
I am not 100% sure on this, but I think during the aerobic process (primary ferment) the yeast converts sugar to alcohol and the bacteria convert alcohol to vinegar. During the anaerobic process (secondary ferment) the yeast will still work on the sugar for alcohol and carbon dioxide, but the bacteria stop working.

Depending on how much sugar and how active your yeasts are, you will probably reduce the sugar by a small margin, but not significantly.
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:02 PM   #520
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[COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"] still a bit sweet, but it has fizz!!! Will some of the sweetness still go away or am I stuck with sweet kombucha with this batch?[/COLOR]
Let it sit out in bottles longer and it will continue to sour. To speed up the process you might want to consider if there is no airspace, draining some off. The bacteria create the sourness and they need some air for their process. You might lose your fizz, but i would assume as sweet as it is, the yeasts will stay in full production. Or you might want to add it to a more sour batch and rebottle.

Happyherbalist site says, "One big advantage of a secondary fermentation is that it reduces the sugar without sacrificing the taste." But I can tell a huge difference in raw sugar versus fermented sugar.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:11 AM   #521
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Depending on how much sugar and how active your yeasts are, you will probably reduce the sugar by a small margin, but not significantly.
I don't know about sugar, but I do know I rebottled completely flat (inactive yeasts) KT and added grape juice. The sugar was very pronounced for my low carb palate during the taste test before bottling. Even the first bottle after waiting 3 days was a lil too sweet but by the 8th day on counter, the KT was sugar free like a dry wine. I bottle all the way to the tippy top, I do not use an airspace. Just going by my taste though, no hydrometer or other testing devices.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:16 AM   #522
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[COLOR="Sienna"]I don't mind it fizzy and sweet (not hugely sweet, but sweeter than Synergy), but that kind of defeats that low carb aspect of kombucha. So it looks like it might lose some more sweetness as it sits out on the counter for the 2nd ferment...[/COLOR]
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #523
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Has anyone tried adding calcium to KT bottles to increase fizz and nutritional value? If so, what type of calcium and how does it affect the flavor? I read it nutralizes KT's acidic quality (but wondering if that's a good thing)??
I never tried it officially, but one night I wanted to take my Cal Mag Powder and added it to Kombucha and it nearly flew out of the cup, it had foam like a the pictures of beer in a mug! I haven't tried it to many times since then and never tried adding it to the second ferment. I think Happy Herbalist has more info on that.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #524
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I never tried it officially, but one night I wanted to take my Cal Mag Powder and added it to Kombucha and it nearly flew out of the cup, it had foam like a the pictures of beer in a mug!
How funny - I'm visualizing the mentos/pepsi fountains I joined the original_kombucha yahoo group and asked there. The answer I got there was that adding calcium might be counter productive to the health benefits (which surprised me) BUT everything I've read said that calcium NEUTRALIZES the acetic acid and that doesn't sound like a good thing lol. Acetic acid will leach the vitamins and minerals from bones and such (which is why you want to add vinegar to your stock pot - the stock not the pot).

I just got a couple of gallons of Braggs raw Apple Cider Vinegar and I am going to add one tablespoon or it and aloe vera (and lemon & manuka honey when it gets here) 3X a day to 8 oz. of Kombucha. I am going on a 30-60 day synergy program (lol made that up) of taking these & bee pollen, brewers yeast, kelp, liver, probiotics, resveratrol & vitamins & minerals. I am desperate to make a change in my health.
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:34 AM   #525
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Cindy, just curious, what kind of change are you hoping for... (don't share if you're uncomfortable ). I wondered if this was a kind of kombucha fast or if you're eating food as well... (Hugs). I've got some liver capsules that I ordered when considering a coconut diet (the "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" book) but never ended up taking them. To this day, I still don't know what they're for!

Oh, and the manuka honey is part of my yet-to-be-bought Amazon cart. Will you use it as a possible kombucha flavoring (can't remember all the benefits)?

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Old 05-26-2009, 01:30 PM   #526
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Cindy, just curious, what kind of change are you hoping for...
I was hit overnight with something (dang it's been almost 20 years now) I went from doing aerobics 3 hours 3x week to being barely able to move. My first symptoms (which they morph every few years) was in my gut. I had all the symptoms of pregnancy but hadn't been sexually active in several months. My stomach became swollen, hard & distended and BM were very different (TMI). I had taken antibiotics for years for constant UTI. (I considered the yeast connection, but I've never had a yeast problem - I don't think) I *personally* think I was poisoned by Aspartame, no proof of course. I live in Texas and when Aspartame gets to a certain heat it turns into poison. (I *think* that is also the cause of the Gulf War Syndrome - coincidence that the sick soldiers drank diet coke, hmmmmm) I wasn't allowed to drink soda because of the UTI but then they came out with caffeine free diet coke and I drank it exclusively (no water etc) for years. The doctors kept dismissing me as a hypochondriac til my adrenal glands etc started shutting down. My thyroid tests have always been "normal" even the free t3 & t4 but my morning body temp has always been 95F (and dozens of other things that aren't "normal" - all my life not just since I became disabled.) hmmmmm I started taking Armour thyroid (thyroid hormones are only normal, over or under) and got up to 13 grains a day & never went "over" into hyperthyroid. I am still slowly trying to find a dosage. Unfortunately I've run out and won't go into that saga. lol

So my latest venture (and there has been way too many) has been kombucha (and probiotics) AND Sylvia Browne's suggestions, which I've always known, always believed but since I had no clue what was wrong with me didn't know where to begin. The body is a self healing unit and the brain/subconscious controls the activity of healing. YOU do have control over that process and tapping it *should* "cure" (almost) anything *IF* your will is strong enough. I believe this with every fiber of my being! With every sip of Kombucha, I will my cells to accept that as a healing elixir and to transform every cell in my being into one that is healthy strong and vibrant - for my pituitary, adrenal, thyroid and pancreas to function at their highest level. I think this same theory will work with water, but KT is my focus of choice at the moment. Now KT may of may not be health promoting and some call it the placebo effect. I don't care.

I have been low carbing now for over 5 years and KNOW that is best for my health. I took adrenal cortex extract for a couple of years and my adrenals are now working. So I've gone from not being able to function at all, to barely being able to function but life trudges on and I *have* to reach a higher level of functioning. That is my goal.

TMI I know, lol, but it does help to publicly proclaim your mission statement.

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Old 05-26-2009, 02:00 PM   #527
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Ow Wow,Cindy. You really ARE on a journey for better health. I hope all the remedies and the new Kombucha concoction work in your favor!
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:24 PM   #528
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the manuka honey Will you use it as a possible kombucha flavoring (can't remember all the benefits)?
Kombucha (KT) vs Raw Apple cider vinegar (ACV) - makes me go hmmmm - both touted as health promoting items. Are they based on the same base for healing?? And if a KT mother can be transformed to a vinegar mother by innoculating it with ACV, why not? ACV is 5% acetic acid - KT is 1% but ACV has NO gluconic acid and they say that is the healing benefits of KT. In 1958, Dr.Jarvis touted ACV, raw honey and kelp as a healing elixir. The low carb folks on this board are pftttting ACV as useless for them after giving it a try but low carb folks are using stevia etc. to sweeten not honey. What is the healing aspect of honey? Gluconic acid - hmmmmmm - wouldn't that & ACV give you a super potent version of KT??? Maybe a synergy exists that is more powerful than either of the components, hmmm. I have lots of questions and this is a whole new field that I know nothing about. Unfortunately KT nor vinegar will ever be studied, there is no $$ motivation in either one, so there is no research for one to access only anecdotal information.

Check out this thread -
http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ma...ss-wonder.html

(9/2008 orig post -(update 5/2009 = My MIL lost 20 more lbs - total 60#) and attributes it to the ACV she takes 3x a day. Her hunger have been significantly curbed, her type 2 diabetes is completely gone, and her overall energy has improved.) - My MIL, who has always been around 200+ lbs for the past 4 years, has recently lost almost 40 lbs and 8 inches off her waist by supplementing her diet with a tonic of Apple Cider Vinegar. She hasn't even changed her eating habits--which are rather bad usually. Another claim she has is that she has energy that she has missed for over 10 years. All this has happened in a 30 day period. I can look at her and just see the energy, how slim she is now, and the fact that she looks YOUNGER. Her skin is rosy and pink again, where it used to be such an ashy, splotchy color and full of wrinkles. Her hair is lustrous and getting thicker! Her 3x daily tonic includes 2tsp of Braggs Pure Unfiltered ACV (must contain the "Mother"), 2 TBLS of LOCAL Honey, and 8 oz of pure filtered water.

Manuka honey - A lot of touting going on about the health benefits of this stuff, how it is effective in destroying many bacterial and fungal microorganisms. For my trial, I wanted raw unpasteurized honey and came across this as being highly acclaimed. I don't know about the claims, but if I'm going to blow my carbs on this experiment, I want it to be on the most healing option. I'd really rather have LOCAL honey but I didn't find that possible online or didn't try hard enough.

So now I'm suspect of Manuka honey, people are making money off the health claims and possibly they are a bit enthusiastic in their claims to sell this product. Vinegar on the other hand is relatively CHEAP, even the expensive stuff. Jarvis and others weren't motivated by the sale of this item only their enthusiasm. Jarvis experimented on a lot of people before going public with his claims. The poster above has no motivation other than to share a miraculous change and her symptoms sound suspiciously like a thyroid finally working. I lost 30# poof after being stuck for years when I first started thyroid meds and I was cheating on my low carb WOE was shocked when I got on scale.

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Old 05-26-2009, 02:49 PM   #529
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Cindy, thank you for sharing your healing journey. I'm sending you streams of light to aid in your health. I know you will get better! And I think your focus on KT is great - I think it's perfect, actually. Life healing life...

Now I remember about the manuka honey... thanks for the description. I originally heard about it because, mixed with water, it becomes a natural peroxide - and is considered a natural hair lightener (and I've seen some great pics of women's hair on the long hair forum. Of course, I have a pixie haircut now, oh well, lol).

I think our last batch of KT was a bomb b/c Stan told me he bottled after only 3 days of brew time (!). Nooooooo. So this time around, we will brew til at least the 5 day mark, test, and bottle according to the sweet/sharp taste. But after this brew, I'm going CONTINUOUS! You and the HH guy have totally convinced me this is the way to go. It means waiting a month and being diligent about replacing the feed-tea every couple of days, but I think it will be worth it. It seems as if the consistency will also be much better, so all in all a win-win.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:13 PM   #530
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I wondered if this was a kind of kombucha fast or if you're eating food as well... (Hugs). I've got some liver capsules that I ordered when considering a coconut diet (the "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" book) but never ended up taking them. To this day, I still don't know what they're for!
I'm not planning on it being a fast but do plan to eat functional foods primarily. Kombucha, raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera, raw honey drink 3x a day. Maybe make a "porridge" with coconut milk, whey protein, chia seeds, honey, kelp, brewers yeast, wheat germ and bee pollen (doesn't that just make your mouth water ) and take liver caps., B complex, resveratrol. I would love to add spirulina and other algaes but they block the effectiveness of guaifenesin and without that the lymph fluids build up around my nerves and cause pain & I'm not willing to be in constant pain. I'm a big proponent of coconut products for health and use a lot of coconut oil & coconut milk.

I just got Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and haven't read it all but there is a listing of "superfoods" and that's where I got the bee pollen, liver caps, kelp, wheat germ (oops s/b oil), probiotics & yeast (I hope brewers yeast is same as nutritional yeast)

I normally only try one thing at a time to isolate what works and what doesn't, but I thought this time I would try the synergy approach and see if that made a difference. I've been trying KT for 4 months and added probiotics twice a day. I don't feel ANY better or different and am hoping maybe it's just a slow process.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:35 PM   #531
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But after this brew, I'm going CONTINUOUS! It means waiting a month and being diligent about replacing the feed-tea every couple of days, but I think it will be worth it.
Metqa & Kamalam -- Thank you both for your kind thoughts.

WAITING A MONTH???? Why wait a month, for what. Start your continuous brew at 5 days but instead of bottling 80% only bottle 30% (and add 30% fresh) and do this every day. You may not fully reap the benefits of a 21 day cycle yet, but waiting won't change that only time will do that.

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Old 05-26-2009, 06:31 PM   #532
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Metqa & Kamalam -- Thank you both for your kind thoughts.

WAITING A MONTH???? Why wait a month, for what. Start your continuous brew at 5 days but instead of bottling 80% only bottle 30% (and add 30% fresh) and do this every day. You may not fully reap the benefits of a 21 day cycle yet, but waiting won't change that only time will do that.
Oh! Duh.... Ok, so basically if we have a 2.5 gallon brewing crock (meaning we're probably only brewing 2 gallons or less), we'll take out 2.5 quarts everyday, and then replenish by the same amount everyday... which when you think about it, isn't too big a chore. Especially for totally rocking kombucha!

Definitely I'm sending you LOTS of warm fuzzies. You are a strong woman!
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:19 PM   #533
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so basically if we have a 2.5 gallon brewing crock (meaning we're probably only brewing 2 gallons or less), we'll take out 2.5 quarts everyday, and then replenish by the same amount everyday...
I'd suggest only 2 quarts a day, scobys cut into volume, but you got it
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:53 PM   #534
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Metqa & Kamalam -- Thank you both for your kind thoughts.

WAITING A MONTH???? Why wait a month, for what. Start your continuous brew at 5 days but instead of bottling 80% only bottle 30% (and add 30% fresh) and do this every day. You may not fully reap the benefits of a 21 day cycle yet, but waiting won't change that only time will do that.
Heh, I wouldn't have to worry about waiting a month, my leftover kombucha from the last batch might already be a month old. I just added fresh tea to it. so who knows what's going on in there. I need to get back into continuous mode. Bottling hasn't been going too well for me lately and I enjoyed drinking right from the tap.

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Old 05-26-2009, 09:14 PM   #535
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Heh, I wouldn't have to worry about waiting a month, my leftover kombucha from the last batch might already be a month old. I just added fresh tea to it. so who knows what's going on in there. I need to get back into continuous mode. Bottling hasn't been going too well for me lately and I enjoyed drinking right from the tap.
Metqa, sounds like you have the perfect scenario for coninuous mode! Please let us know how your KT goes... I am so curious!

Oh, and btw, I answered good, old Dave's request for feedback on his 7 day kombucha course and told him I really think he's doing a disservice to kombucha by marketing his system as "continuous," rather than "batch" brewing. I wonder if he'll answer me or make any changes?! Somehow, I doubt it...
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:05 PM   #536
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[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]I am drinking some of my first brew - it was pretty bubbly looking in the bottle so I thought what the heck. I was a bit concerned that it was going to explode all over the kitchen upon opening, but it only frothed over a bit. It's still a bit on the sweet side. We will see what kind of affect it has on my weight loss tomorrow since there is no telling what the carb count is on these bad boys...

I best not get to accustom to the sweetness - although it tastes good, I think it will be better for me in the long run if I drink it when it is more "dry" - like Synergy and the way I like it best, actually. Feels healthier that way too.[/COLOR]
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:35 PM   #537
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[COLOR="Teal"]Oh my dh is so clueless about health... I am not saying that I am a "fawn" but I do some research and I am making changes to better my health. So I am sitting her sipping my brew and dh comes in and he says, "you drinkin some of that stuff? Here let me take a sip, I need something for my digestion." Like a swig is going to cure all his ails. The Synergy bottle says that a serving is 8oz's. I would guess that a serving is what would give you the benefits listed on the label (digestion, metabolism, immune system, appetite control, weight control, etc., etc) not likely that swig is going help much, but I guess he thinks so... He also thinks that taking fish oil (not even sure how many capsules - most likely 1-2/day) is going to magically lower his cholesterol sheesh![/COLOR]
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:03 AM   #538
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[COLOR="Teal"] not likely that swig is going help much, but I guess he thinks so... [/COLOR]
baby steps lol At least he's trying it! I bet he'll take 2 sips next time lol
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:21 AM   #539
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[COLOR="RoyalBlue"]I best not get to accustom to the sweetness - although it tastes good, I think it will be better for me in the long run if I drink it when it is more "dry" - like Synergy and the way I like it best, actually. Feels healthier that way too.[/COLOR]
I agree. When I ordered the new 5 gallon brew system, I also ordered 6 pints of their ready to drink brew (for starter & curious) It was so sweet it was revolting. I've been low carbing for many years and maybe my taste buds have changed (doubt it though, at least once a year I pig out at all you can eat dessert bar with no problem) but I couldn't imagine anyone being happy with it like that. I ended up rebottling each pint with 2 pints of near vinegar KT and it was still too sweet for my tastes.

I am still concerned with all the sugar, it's not like I switched from soda or juices to KT. I know the scoby is suppose to reduce the sugar to 5% but Dom's site has a pic of before & after & it looks like more than 5%. I haven't & not going to track my weight right now. Guess I should measure - all my other measurements are on another computer somewhere. One day I feel bigger & another I feel smaller. I'm still too big that +/-20# doesn't make that much difference lol.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:08 AM   #540
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the manuka honey. Will you use it as a possible flavoring (can't remember all the benefits)?
I have been trying to think what AM I going to do with the honey for the optimal benefits. I would think heat would make it lose effectiveness and this stuff I bought looks to be more of a solid. I think I'm going to put some/most of a jar (1 part honey to 3 parts ACV) in a gallon more or less of raw Apple Cider Vinegar and let it ferment like KT for a week or a month. Neither require refrigeration after opening and won't oxidize, so why not hmmm. I am SO anxious to receive Jarvis book and his thoughts and methods.

per Sally Fallon "What is less well known is the fact that honey itself can ferment, if it contains enough residual moisture and is left in a warm place--honey ferments but never spoils! Fermented honey actually expands somewhat, and develops rich flavors. It is an even better aid to digestion than regular honey."

My Yerba Mate batch had gone too far (new bottles should have been here a week ago) so I added 2 gallons of fresh (4 gal. YM OMG) expecting bottles any day. I tracked UPS, said they delivered last week. Someone stole delivery off my porch - I thought it was roflmao funny that they stole 2 cases of EMPTY bottles but they also stole the refurbished electric pressure cooker I ordered, both were replaced by vendors but the thieves around here are as bad as the fruit flies. (Hell they stole the gate off my fence and broke in my house while I was here)

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