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Old 06-05-2009, 05:51 PM   #631
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I was reading on some kombucha site that said kombucha shouldn't come in contact with plastic (it can leach and contaminate the scoby and babies, forever). Is that true? I have a glass sun tea jar with the plastic spigot but I'm just worried about the plastic contaminating it. Not sure if it's even something to worry about.

[COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"]I have read that food grade plastic is ok. I am assuming that they are marketing these jars (sun tea & others) as beverage containers, that they should be fine.

bottles made of plastic used for bottling is discouraged due to the carbonation deforming the bottles...[/COLOR]
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #632
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I was reading on some kombucha site that said kombucha shouldn't come in contact with plastic (it can leach and contaminate the scoby and babies, forever). Is that true? I have a glass sun tea jar with the plastic spigot but I'm just worried about the plastic contaminating it. Not sure if it's even something to worry about.
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[COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"]I have read that food grade plastic is ok. I am assuming that they are marketing these jars (sun tea & others) as beverage containers, that they should be fine.

bottles made of plastic used for bottling is discouraged due to the carbonation deforming the bottles...[/COLOR]
plastic designed for food storage would be safe. but disposable plastic food containers are not desinged to withstand. those big white thick plastic buckets you see in kitchens are food safe and could brew kombucha. the hard plastic spigot on my brewer is the same. I' dont know about the ones on sun tea, but a good suntea jar might have a good hard food grade plastic spigot and would be fine. I mean Vinegar comes in a plastic bottle . . .

When folks claim Kombucha shouldn't come in contact with plastic or metal, I cringe at the "oh my gosh it touched it Oh Horrors" mood they often put on it. It's prolonged contact that is harmful not instant death touch Mua hahaha. but how would we know unless someone explained it.

Kombucha's pH is so low that a metal (or clay) container that is safe for regular tea may have its alloys leached from it by Kombucha's acetic acids. That doesn't mean the scoby will die instantly, it just mean that you may die sooner from contamination! Same with non durable plastic. that's why glass or porcelain, or sealed ceramic is recommended because they can hold acids without degredation so there is nothing to worry about.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:02 PM   #633
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[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Ok, we know that I am so unscientific, but my son asked me a question tonight about kombucha that I was not able to answer. He wanted to know why, if kombucha ferments, why does it not turn into alcohol?[/COLOR]
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:35 AM   #634
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[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Ok, we know that I am so unscientific, but my son asked me a question tonight about kombucha that I was not able to answer. He wanted to know why, if kombucha ferments, why does it not turn into alcohol?[/COLOR]
It does turn to alcohol. but only ".5 to 1.5%". Close enough for government work
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:47 AM   #635
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Part of the process turns alcohol to vinegar.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:36 AM   #636
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[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]my son asked me a question tonight about kombucha that I was not able to answer. He wanted to know why, if kombucha ferments, why does it not turn into alcohol?[/COLOR]
Because of the bacteria (the mother) when you bottle you deprive the bacteria of oxygen and they slow their actions way down, but the yeasts can continue on fermenting. Adding sugar feeds them and can create alcohol and carbonation. It can be dangerous bottling at this point, because of the expansion & concern of bottles exploding. (That's main reason why I use plastic for bottling and I don't normally add sugar. Have turned some into bowling balls.)

from happyherbalists site -

"The yeasts produce alcohol from the glucose which the bacteria than convert to acetic acid. ... In the typical kombucha ferment (9 days at 80F/26C) very little alcohol remains (less than 1/2 of 1%).

If your desire is to create a higher alcohol content a la Kombucha Wine add additional sugar (glucose or dextrose) just prior to the air lock or balloon or fruit syrups for flavoring to increase the alcohol potential. ... Adding fructose at this point will mainly increase the sweetness without adding additional fermentation or potential alcohol."

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Old 06-06-2009, 07:56 AM   #637
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I was reading on some kombucha site that said kombucha shouldn't come in contact with plastic (it can leach and contaminate the scoby and babies, forever). Is that true? I have a glass sun tea jar with the plastic spigot but I'm just worried about the plastic contaminating it. Not sure if it's even something to worry about.
I purchased plastic buckets with plastic spouts to brew my KT (and plastic bottles). I know that would give some people heart flutters. I bought the 5 gallon buckets from the happyherbalist and he says the food grade buckets have been tested for kombucha compatibility. I feel he wouldn't sell them if he didn't have confidence. Your only option left is wooden casks.

"Plastic is affordable and versatile. But many claim that the kombucha leaches toxins. (In actual testing by independent researcher Michael Roussin kombucha is safe when made in Food Grade 1 or 2). ... Glass is considered the best by “experts” yet glass may contain impurities as well that may be yet leached by an active ferment. Hard woods, like American Oak or French Oak really stand-alone. Here the actual leaching process of an active ferment is encouraged and studied."
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:59 AM   #638
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I purchased plastic buckets with plastic spouts to brew my KT (and plastic bottles). I know that would give some people heart flutters. I bought the 5 gallon buckets from the happyherbalist and he says the food grade buckets have been tested for kombucha compatibility. I feel he wouldn't sell them if he didn't have confidence. Your only option left is wooden casks.

"Plastic is affordable and versatile. But many claim that the kombucha leaches toxins. (In actual testing by independent researcher Michael Roussin kombucha is safe when made in Food Grade 1 or 2). ... Glass is considered the best by “experts” yet glass may contain impurities as well that may be yet leached by an active ferment. Hard woods, like American Oak or French Oak really stand-alone. Here the actual leaching process of an active ferment is encouraged and studied."
I wanted a wooden cask!! They look SO COOL!! But everyone was out of stock when I wanted to buy! Wouldn't it look great to tap a barrel!
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:11 AM   #639
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I wanted a wooden cask!! They look SO COOL!! But everyone was out of stock when I wanted to buy! Wouldn't it look great to tap a barrel!
I would love to use a cask instead also! happyherbalist has a 5 gal cask for $150 +shipping cost I'm afraid I just couldn't spend that kind of bucks, after I had already spent $130 for glass - sigh. Should have started with suntea jar til I invested, live and learn. I opted for the 5 gallon bucket for $20 +ship

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Old 06-06-2009, 08:26 AM   #640
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Cool, thanks everyone for all your input. I thought the plastic scare was a bit over the top, but wasn't sure.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:29 AM   #641
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When folks claim Kombucha shouldn't come in contact with plastic or metal, I cringe at the "oh my gosh it touched it Oh Horrors" mood they often put on it. It's prolonged contact that is harmful not instant death touch Mua hahaha.
Sigh, yes, take off your rings (which I lost down the sink trap) I was so careful at first, til I read a commercial KT manufacturer brews in stainless steel vats. Last winter, I had my 5 gallon stainless steel stock pot brewing KT. Of course, I sweated every minute of it and stopped as soon as it got warmer. I never noticed a difference in the KT or the mother, but I'm glad I have other options. It is a cheap thin pot and may not be truly stainless steel, but I didn't see any etching of the pot. I am more concerned with cooking with aluminum or teflon covered pans than brewing KT in food grade plastic or stainless steel.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:54 PM   #642
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I purchased plastic buckets with plastic spouts to brew my KT (and plastic bottles). I know that would give some people heart flutters. I bought the 5 gallon buckets from the happyherbalist and he says the food grade buckets have been tested for kombucha compatibility. I feel he wouldn't sell them if he didn't have confidence. Your only option left is wooden casks.

"Plastic is affordable and versatile. But many claim that the kombucha leaches toxins. (In actual testing by independent researcher Michael Roussin kombucha is safe when made in Food Grade 1 or 2). ... Glass is considered the best by “experts” yet glass may contain impurities as well that may be yet leached by an active ferment. Hard woods, like American Oak or French Oak really stand-alone. Here the actual leaching process of an active ferment is encouraged and studied."
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Sigh, yes, take off your rings (which I lost down the sink trap) I was so careful at first, til I read a commercial KT manufacturer brews in stainless steel vats. Last winter, I had my 5 gallon stainless steel stock pot brewing KT. Of course, I sweated every minute of it and stopped as soon as it got warmer. I never noticed a difference in the KT or the mother, but I'm glad I have other options. It is a cheap thin pot and may not be truly stainless steel, but I didn't see any etching of the pot. I am more concerned with cooking with aluminum or teflon covered pans than brewing KT in food grade plastic or stainless steel.
Oh No! Did you ever recover your ring?? Thanks for the details above. I read that Stainless Steel only is safe since the other alloys are acid sensitive. Even the enamel coating would be enough to protect the metal from the acid, but I couldn't even find enamel coated crocks when I was looking last fall.

BF took home another batch of grape "kombucha". He wanted to know if anyone else has tried floating a scoby in grape juice. He doesn't like tea and Kombucha didn't impress him either, except when it was cranberry flavor. He's fallen in love with the Grap-boocha and wants to know if he's the only one. He wants to experiment with other liquids ,but I told him he's gonna have to make his own brewery for that! He'd rather I make it for him!
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:16 PM   #643
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BF took home another batch of grape "kombucha". He wanted to know if anyone else has tried floating a scoby in grape juice. He doesn't like tea and Kombucha didn't impress him either, except when it was cranberry flavor.
I'm sure I would *love* this but too cheap to feed scoby grape juice lol. I am surprised it made a purple baby, all I read said must have tea to reproduce, must be a happy booger. I have made KT with up to 25% grape juice and loved that. You really need to try a batch with at least 50% KT, that grap-boocha has got to be some expensive stuff, but apparently your bf is worth it.

I posted this once, but it never showed. I just ordered this from iherb & thought I would share. I'm sure it would add flavoring but I'm thinking of the nutritional addition. It's a concentrate and on sale 60% off for $5.95 & free ship for orders over $40. Pomegranate/Blood Orange Juice/Red Grape Juice Concentrate - 4 times more concentrated than regular juice - 12 oz - no sugar, etc. added. (Use code TEX048 for $5 off order)
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Old 06-06-2009, 03:47 PM   #644
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Oh yeah, He's worth it


I still buy the generic 100% juice though! He knows we gotta be frugal!

Thanks for the concentrate info, I'll check it out. BF might be interested in the various flavors, as well!
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Old 06-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #645
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]The juice concentrates I have are Dynamic Health and from Amazon. The pomegranate was so good I used it in plain water and in my sodas. Now I need to order more- the 8 oz. bottle was just not big enough, and it made the best tasting kombucha flavor of the 3 I have (cranberry, blueberry and pomegranate).[/COLOR]
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Old 06-06-2009, 05:06 PM   #646
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]The juice concentrates I have are Dynamic Health and from Amazon. The pomegranate was so good I used it in plain water and in my sodas. Now I need to order more- the 8 oz. bottle was just not big enough, and it made the best tasting kombucha flavor of the 3 I have (cranberry, blueberry and pomegranate).[/COLOR]
I'll have to check that out. I checked iherb and they carry that brand Dynamic Health, Black Cherry Juice Concentrate, 8 fl oz is $3.11 but the Pomegranate is $5.94 for 8 oz (better price than amazon though) and free ship for orders over $40. The other brand pomegranate/OJ/grape $5.95 for 12 oz. seems like a better deal though.

THIS sounds like pretty good deal though Dynamic Health, Acai Plus, Juice Blend, 32 fl oz $15 -Blend of Acai, Pomegranate, Blueberry, and Raspberry Juices but it has potassium Sorbate which does something to KT bacteria. Can't remember. (Use code TEX048 for $5 off order)

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Old 06-06-2009, 05:47 PM   #647
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System change ???s

[COLOR="DarkGreen"]If I decide to change from single brew batches to continuous brewing, can I put the scobies from the 2 jars into the one larger brewer? They were from the same original scoby, and were placed in the same, divided batch of sweet tea. Will it work that way, or should I take one scoby and start a "hotel" with it?[/COLOR]
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:42 PM   #648
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]If I decide to change from single brew batches to continuous brewing, can I put the scobies from the 2 jars into the one larger brewer? They were from the same original scoby, and were placed in the same, divided batch of sweet tea. Will it work that way, or should I take one scoby and start a "hotel" with it?[/COLOR]
Sure you can. How big is your brewer though? Make sure you have a back up scoby (not with your batch) If you have 5 gallon brewer (did you decide to get one??), having batches of scoby is not much of a problem, anything smaller and more than 2 will take up your volume.
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:07 PM   #649
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]Haven't got a brewer yet. Went to BB & B to get one- they did not carry it. But any info helps make the decision whether or not to change. I know I really crave kombucha when I have none bottled! This next batch is double, so I'll get at least 12 bottles, but will still have to wait for the 2nd ferment, and now with the a/c on, it might be a few days longer![/COLOR]
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:12 AM   #650
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For the concentrates, how much do you put into a bottle?
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:48 AM   #651
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For the concentrates, how much do you put into a bottle?
Great question! I'd like to know too... What we've been doing is coating the bottom of our bottles, sometimes more, sometimes less...

And Pepperette... go continuous, you won't regret it!! We got so tired of waiting for our second batches... and now the KT is consistent in a way it never was before. Rich, vibrant, full of life... LOL.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:39 AM   #652
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]I usually just plop some concentrate in the bottle. If I had to guess, I would say maybe 1/2 to 1 tsp. It would also depend on how strong you want the flavor of your kombucha.

You know, there must be a chemical imbalance or nutritional deficiency in the old body to make one crave kombucha- right?[/COLOR]
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:44 AM   #653
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[COLOR="Teal"]When I used frozen apple juice concentrate (I know - different than what you guys are looking at) I used 1T.

My last bottling, I used 1T mango nectar (just bottled on Friday)[/COLOR]
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:11 AM   #654
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For the concentrates, how much do you put into a bottle?
Like the others have said guessing works. To reconstitute the concentrate to full juice value (in water) they say 1 tsp per ounce of water. So to flavor, I would guess much less. The commercial KT products use 5% (rut roh do they use 5% juice or 5% concentrate, dang had this figured out mathematically - I'm betting concentrate but GT's website says juice so will go with that). So 1 tsp per 16 oz bottle of KT, should (if my math works) give you a 6% juice equivalent.

My last batch that I added juice (I've never considered not adding whole bottle to batches before lol but I didn't want big bottles juice in frig.) was 15% juice and I figured I could have used less for more flavoring & less overpowering. I've never had GT's to know how 5% tastes. I don't think you can screw it up really. Just keep notes & next time you'll know more or less.

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Old 06-07-2009, 09:34 AM   #655
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Pepperette, do you understand that you can make anything into a continuous brewing system? You don't have to have a special brewing container (just makes it so much easier with spigot). You just drain off only 30% of your liquid (don't count the scoby) and add 30% fresh every 26 hours in the summer warmth (bottle every 26 hours or up to 3 days max.)

Say if you have half gallon of fermented brew (starter/ready to bottle), you can take off up to 19 oz. every day (26 hours actually) 6x week, that's 114 oz. every week. The very most you could get out of batch brewing a half gallon would be 57 oz. per week, exactly half.

I don't know what you're using but Walmart has sun tea jars with spigot for $6 & I'm betting the liquid calculation on a gallon jar would probably be about half gallon (after deducting air space & scoby space)

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Old 06-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #656
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My last batch I bottled, I added sugar and it's ready NOW, oops, good thing plastic can handle the expansion. I turned on fan & moved my brewers to other bedroom, so they should be at least 10F+ degrees cooler now. I opened my first bottle from the last Yerba Mate bottling, which I didn't add any flavoring (and wasn't looking forward to the taste, but got lazy, lucky it got in bottles - I don't know how fruit flavors will mix with it, maybe lemon, definitely ginger is good) but it was adequate tasting, better after the first few sips (& definitely better than YM straight lol). I was glad the other was ready to drink though. But I haven't had this reaction since I first started drinking KT, this "I can feel it in every cell of my being" feeling. Yerba Mate is supposedly chock full of vitamins (all the basics for life, they claim). Sure made me want to drink it more, starting to taste fine lol. I'm *hoping* that this will be my bridge to "acquiring" a taste for YM. Right now I'm using the raw herb, kind of grassy, slightly bitter, but the brand names I have tried are YUCK. It's suppose to be an excellent appetite suppressant with all these vitamins.

I had already placed my order with iherb but Pepperette got me checking on other flavorings, so I placed another order (free ship with $40 order & it adds up fast) My order was getting huge, so had to trim it down. Dynamic Health didn't carry a red grape concentrate and *wanted* that most so got 2 Jensens grape concentrate and several of the Dynamic Health black cherry for $3.11 and others but the most interesting I found was Dynamic Health, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Black Cherry, 16 fl oz for $4.49 This isn't so much a concentrate but juice with probiotics. Metqa has a scoby thriving in grape juice, I'm wondering if I have a scoby soaking up these bacterias, if they will implant and produce more (happyherbalist says some scobys do have these bacteria present.) These are the bacteria that makes up 95% of bacteria found in gut. (the KT bacteria don't implant in gut, from what I've read) Not going to innoculate my big brewer but going to experiment in my 2.8 gal. brewer.

If you're first time customer of iherb, you can use coupon code TEX048 for $5 off order. They had some things (like juice, NADH & esterC) but not many much cheaper than swansonvitamins which I always check with first for great prices.
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:39 PM   #657
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We are using a gallon sun tea jar. Used 3 quarts starter for the first batch, then we've been bottling 2 quarts every 7 days.

So if my math is close to accurate, we could do 1 quart about every 3 days...

I still want a 5 gallon brewer.
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Old 06-07-2009, 01:06 PM   #658
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]All I have to use right now is 2, 1 gallon pickle jars. Our super WM only has the plastic sun tea jars- no glass. They don't even have the "cracker" jars someone else mentioned earlier in the thread. This is in KC, MO.- a fairly big place, but geesh it is hard to find things you want here! We may be moving soon, so I am thinking to wait till after to order a continuous brewer. The cask idea is a cool one if you think about it! Will probably depend on kitchen space, or if I still have to use the "island" abode for brewing space.

PS: Do we have any guys brewing KT here? Just curious.[/COLOR]
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IBKKF 898 - International Brotherhood of Kombucha and Kefir Fermenters (borrowed from porcupine73)
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:41 PM   #659
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Originally Posted by pepperette View Post
[COLOR="DarkGreen"]All I have to use right now is 2, 1 gallon pickle jars. Our super WM only has the plastic sun tea jars- no glass. They don't even have the "cracker" jars someone else mentioned earlier in the thread. This is in KC, MO.- a fairly big place, but geesh it is hard to find things you want here! We may be moving soon, so I am thinking to wait till after to order a continuous brewer. The cask idea is a cool one if you think about it![/COLOR]
I was going to say you can order from walmart.com & have it shipped to your local store but they don't have anything like that on their website. People were have the Bed, Bath & Beyond local store order for them that jar I mentioned the other day. You could go to goodwill & pick up a suntea jar I bet. I would love love love the 5 gallon cask, but can't rationalize spending the bucks.

Anyways, what you have will work fine for continuous brewing when you have a batch ready, stir it up and drain off a pint from each jar (leave scoby & all in jar) every 26 hours & add pint of fresh & on & on forever. That will give you 14 pints a week.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:38 PM   #660
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Originally Posted by cindy_cfids View Post
(The two 1 gallon jars) will work fine for continuous brewing when you have a batch ready, stir it up and drain off a pint from each jar (leave scoby & all in jar) every 26 hours & add pint of fresh & on & on forever. That will give you 14 pints a week.
Math's off lol should be 12 pints a week, since it's 26 hours brewing.
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