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Old 06-12-2009, 04:49 PM   #691
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We had been discussing options if not using plastic spigots in Kombucha brewing and decided a cask was the only option left. I just read on another site about fellow brewing & loving his cask but suggested that the wooden spigot be replaced with a plastic one because the wooden one made bottling much to hard.
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Old 06-13-2009, 02:42 PM   #692
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I think I finally figured out why I do not have fizzy KT. No air space in the bottles! I fill them almost all the way up! The only ones the least bit fizzy are the ginger ones. Guess next round, I will leave a bit of air space and see if that improves it- I think fizzy cranberry or blueberry would be good, even plain!
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:43 PM   #693
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I may be doing this totally wrong, but I flavor my kombucha in wide mouth mason jars (for about 3 days) after the first initial brew (10+ days) and leave about an inch gap at the top of the jars. My favorite batch has been wild blueberry, I just toss about 1/4 cup of blueberries per quart and then let them ferment for another 3 days or so then bottle in the old KT bottles and toss in the fridge (I strain them when I put into the KT bottles). They are very fizzy when I do it that way.

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Old 06-13-2009, 05:30 PM   #694
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Well, my first brew, I filled fairly close to the top (not all the way) and I fizzed fine. My second batch, I left more air and I don't think it fizzed as much - go figure. We'll see how much fizzes this time around - filled hirer w/this 4th batch... (3rd batch was mango so it doesn't count - and it wasn't as fizzy. The mango nectar is not as sweet as apple juice concentrate (first brew's 2nd ferment)
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:56 PM   #695
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:17 PM   #696
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I think I finally figured out why I do not have fizzy KT. No air space in the bottles! I fill them almost all the way up! The only ones the least bit fizzy are the ginger ones. Guess next round, I will leave a bit of air space and see if that improves it- I think fizzy cranberry or blueberry would be good, even plain!
I'm sure it won't hurt and I would highly recommend air space if using glass bottles. I fill my heavy duty plastic bottles to the tippy top (the fluid is even rounded above the bottle before I cap it) and have NO problem with fizz. I filled up 2 grape juice bottles with just sour KT (that had no juice, flavoring or any addition) and they got round like bowling balls from the created gas. I have geysers if it sits out too long. I never put more than one bottle in my refrig (just don't have space) Filling to the top slows the bacterial action but not the yeast action and the yeasts are the only ones making fizz & actually having bacterial action will slow the yeasts down. How long do you let them sit on the counter top after bottling?

If you're still using the batch method your yeast have to repopulate each batch, continuous brewing the yeasts & bacteria are fully mature.

I've let some batches sour and then bottled and apparently no sugar left because after 5 days there is still no fizz (I was told I was impatient & to wait - screw that) I add grape juice and have fizz in 3 days. I'm guessing the blueberry and cranberry do not have enough natural glucose or sucrose for the yeasts to convert. The yeasts don't eat fructose. Maybe add a quarter tsp of sugar to those bottles or bottle a day or 2 earlier??

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Old 06-13-2009, 08:30 PM   #697
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I may be doing this totally wrong, but I flavor my kombucha in wide mouth mason jars (for about 3 days) after the first initial brew (10+ days) and leave about an inch gap at the top of the jars. My favorite batch has been wild blueberry, I just toss about 1/4 cup of blueberries per quart and then let them ferment for another 3 days or so then bottle in the old KT bottles and toss in the fridge (I strain them when I put into the KT bottles). They are very fizzy when I do it that way.
Don't think there is a right way or wrong way. Sounds like it works for you, too much work for me though. Bottling once is plenty for me.

I ordered the commercial brew Carpe Diem off Amazon (to try and get a starter scoby) and drank one tonight and it was disgustingly sweet with no flavor. I ordered HH home brew and it was disgustingly sweet. Maybe no one else would like my brew, but I do, and that's all that matters.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:36 PM   #698
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I am not saying that what I do is correct by any means - it's just my experience...

I think, like cindy, states (and if I am readying it correctly) and yeast in combination with sugars is what causes the fizz.

I think the bottles that were bottled with the brew from closer to the bottom of my gallon jar probably created fizzier bottles. Now, what I do is move all the brew that I am going to use to a pitcher and then pour from the pitcher to the bottles - that way the yeasties are churned up throughout the brew "equally" and that might create a more uniform fizz throughout the bottling (usually 5 bottles at a time) and the apple juice concentrate (more sugar) created a more fizzy brew than the mango nectar.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:41 PM   #699
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Pepperette, do you bottle in plastic or glass? I know glass is accepted better but the main thing I like about plastic, is you can feel when they are ready. They get hard as a rock, before then they are still pliable. Maybe if you used one plastic bottle, you could feel the difference too. Maybe you are opening them too soon or refrig them too soon or bottling too late. Flavorings shouldn't really be needed for fizz. The yeasts will continue to convert the sugar in the bottle so you don't have to wait til it's done to bottle it.

I would highly suggest you add at least 50% green tea to your brew, it will not only increase the medicinal value & the gluconic acid but it will make for a bubblier brew. I forgot you said you use black tea only. KT is supposed to be mainly green tea.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:12 PM   #700
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yeast in combination with sugars is what causes the fizz.

I think the bottles that were bottled with the brew from closer to the bottom of my gallon jar probably created fizzier bottles. Now, what I do is move all the brew that I am going to use to a pitcher and then pour from the pitcher to the bottles - that way the yeasties are churned up throughout the brew "equally" and that might create a more uniform fizz throughout the bottling (usually 5 bottles at a time) and the apple juice concentrate (more sugar) created a more fizzy brew than the mango nectar.
From all I've read, that's the best way to bottle with an even distribution of yeast. I think even with continuous brewers you're suppose to stir up yeast first before bottling.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:09 AM   #701
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Don't think there is a right way or wrong way. Sounds like it works for you, too much work for me though. Bottling once is plenty for me.

I ordered the commercial brew Carpe Diem off Amazon (to try and get a starter scoby) and drank one tonight and it was disgustingly sweet with no flavor. I ordered HH home brew and it was disgustingly sweet. Maybe no one else would like my brew, but I do, and that's all that matters.
LOL! It is a quite a bit of work, but the kombucha is so tasty! I may have to look into continuous brewing, I'm gathering quite a huge collection of brewers.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:36 AM   #702
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I use black tea - my first brew was actually green tea and black flavored tea! Opps, hadn't read about not using flavored teas till after that brew and it worked fine go figure. My 2nd brew was black tea & wasn't terribly fizzy, but not sure if that had to do with the mango nectar that I used. 3rd brew was black tea and it was fairly fizzy when I bottled w/apple juice. I haven't tasted it yet - it's still on it's 2nd ferment. We'll see how that works, if it's not as fizzy, I think I will up the sugar first and if that doesn't work, I will try the green tea.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:45 AM   #703
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So, as a low carber, naturally, I am not doing sugar these days (with the exception of kombucha). I love my kombucha cause it's like having juice again (although I do usually drink it in the evening as a wine replacement).

My mom was in town this week and I was telling her about kombucha so she had to taste it one night and she HATED it! She said it tasted like juice with vinegar in it. Well, I drink ACV so I know what vinegar tastes like and my kombucha is nowhere near that taste - at least to me.

As it's been said on the boards before, it's interesting how our tastes change after doing this WOE for a while - I personally think Kombucha tastes like sweet nectar - that's ok that she doesn't like it - More for me - not that that would have made a difference, she doesn't live near me, but at least I know when she comes to visit, I won't be beatin' her away from my Kombucha with a stick - which is actually what I thought would happen with my son cause he likes Kombucha, but he's yet to try my homemade - I think he's scared
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #704
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Pepperette, do you bottle in plastic or glass?......

I would highly suggest you add at least 50% green tea to your brew.....
I use the empty GT bottles I collected for the project.

I could never decide on what teas to use, so I grabbed the 1st one that was loose leaf in the store. I might look into the green tea. However, I was thinking last night, and as I recall, I have had only one bottle of the GTs that was really fizzy, and DS gave it to me after it had tipped out of the sack it was in! Maybe I don't really need that much fizz after all! I know it fizzes when I stir it up before bottling it, so .
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:29 PM   #705
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Ladies, I'm back from my trip! Reading through the posts has been awesome - I learn so much from you all!! And my trip was really good - I learned a specific meditation that will be wonderful to do everyday (just 30 minutes, but powerful). The only downside was that I missed my family more than I thought. Anyway, I'm back and ready to order my new scoby and (hopefully) get some FIZZ going, lol!

My partner told me the latest batches have definitely been weaker - meaning he probably drained off too much of the KT from the brewer. He thought we were getting too backlogged with bottles (not my opinion! you can never have too much kombuchie!!) so thought we should reduce our stock to 1 gallon and only pull out a quart a day. Well.... looks like he overdid it and left too little of the brew for subsequent batches.

I'm looking forward to ordering the HH scoby and preparing the sweet tea differently... I honestly think that by doing it Dave's way (from getkombucha.com) that we (1) overboiled our water, reducing the amount of oxygen needed for fermentation and (2) separated the scoby way too soon. And (3)... after reading through the posts over the last few days,I wonder if the tea blend has been the best(?). Also, we never mixed anything... just poured the sweet tea on top. This could be a big reason as to why were not gettng fizz (no mixing of the yeasts and bacteria?). Thank God for this thread!!
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:56 PM   #706
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My mom was in town this week and I was telling her about kombucha so she had to taste it one night and she HATED it! She said it tasted like juice with vinegar in it. - that's ok that she doesn't like it - More for me
I started KT for the medicinal value. Before I started brewing, I ordered a case of Kombucha Wonder Drink, Sparkling Himalayan Tonic, Jasmine Tea with Essence of Niagra Grape, 8.5-Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 12) for $29 & free shipping from Amazon. I was not impressed with the first half bottle (read should only start out with a few ounces to check reaction) but the next day I was a lil craving it and then I started craving it. This stuff was pretty good. If I had got this Carpe Diem brand off Amazon first, I don't think I would be brewing now. Yuck end of story lol. I'd have to be convinced a whole lot more of the health value and I still question it but I am so thrilled with the soda pop aspect of it.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:32 PM   #707
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I use black tea - my first brew was actually green tea and black flavored tea! Opps, hadn't read about not using flavored teas till after that brew and it worked fine go figure. My 2nd brew was black tea & wasn't terribly fizzy, but not sure if that had to do with the mango nectar that I used. 3rd brew was black tea and it was fairly fizzy when I bottled w/apple juice. I haven't tasted it yet - it's still on it's 2nd ferment. We'll see how that works, if it's not as fizzy, I think I will up the sugar first and if that doesn't work, I will try the green tea.
You seem pretty happy with your brew, you might want to try other things sometime but if it's not broke, why fix it lol. Pepper & Kam both want fizz and don't have it, so maybe they should try other things. Green tea is suggested for bubblier brew but a long steep is suggested to encourage yeast activity but don't brew green tea long or it will get bitter lol - so I'd suggest more green tea (maximum steep 5 min.) but let your black tea steep longer (at least 15 min.). I need to do shorter brews to encourage bacterial activity.

Flavored Teas is not a good idea for KT. Some things (Bergamot in earl grey and ginger, for example) will eventually kill your scoby or some of the bacteria and may stop some or all of the beneficial acids from being produced. From what I've read, rooiboos & honeybush & yerba mate are fine as additions with regular tea. Like Metqa's grape boocha sounds like it's doing fine & healthy & I don't think it will kill the scoby but I'm wondering about the acid production and wouldn't suggest that be used for your main batch brewing.

Reading that black tea in KT can cause weight gain shook me up pretty bad lol. My tea has been pretty fizzy and it's mainly black tea, some green tea but majority is black and I've been thrilled with taste, fizz, etc. but I'm going to try a batch with mainly green tea (maybe not main batch, cause I'm not thrilled with the weakness of green tea) but I need to convert to a higher level of green tea for the health benefits alone.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:41 PM   #708
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"maybe not main batch, cause I'm not thrilled with the weakness of green tea) but I need to convert to a higher level of green tea for the health benefits alone."

That's what I was thinking about green tea - weak so that is why I went with black tea, but. I'll try and remember to get some green tea although I have a ton of black that have to get through as well.

My tea brewed a bit longer than I normally do today cause I forgot about it. We'll see what kind of affect it has on things. Oh the notes, I should be keeping - there are so many more variables to be thinking about than I thought originally and it has nothing to do with science (just different tweaks here and there) what I would really like to do is get it consistent...

Does anyone do anything to the 2nd ferment like shake the bottles a bit? I do once or twice during this ferment - just gently rock them upside down. Don't know if that does anything for it and it's probably a big no-no, but what the heck.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #709
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I use the empty GT bottles I collected for the project.

Maybe I don't really need that much fizz after all! I know it fizzes when I stir it up before bottling it, so .
I don't know what a GT bottle is (plastic or glass) IF it's glass, I would suggest using an airspace and or a cork. Glass exploding is a major concern for bottlers, please take it seriously.

If you're happy with the fizz lol nevermind. You shouldn't have to shake it up to get fizz though. Recently with the heat, I'm getting more foam than fizz. It's foaming out everywhere but under the foam is really lil fizz. I've experienced the fizz and know it's just a minor imbalance. The heat has really made the yeasts active and I need to dump them out of my brewer.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:58 PM   #710
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"maybe not main batch, cause I'm not thrilled with the weakness of green tea) but I need to convert to a higher level of green tea for the health benefits alone."

That's what I was thinking about green tea - weak so that is why I went with black tea, but. I'll try and remember to get some green tea although I have a ton of black that have to get through as well.

I would really like to do is get it consistent...

Does anyone do anything to the 2nd ferment like shake the bottles a bit? I do once or twice during this ferment - just gently rock them upside down. Don't know if that does anything for it and it's probably a big no-no, but what the heck.
In my main brewer, I doubt if I will really lower my black tea but I will increase the green tea considerably. I do want to make a batch with just green tea though (a lil batch lol)

Rocking your bottles will keep the forming scoby from being noticable. If you are using glass bottles and shaking them up, please be aware of the danger or shattering bottles. Even undisturbed, KT causes a tremendous amount of pressure. I was told the flip top bottles would blow before the glass, didn't budge the top, but the glass did shatter.

Last edited by cindy_cfids; 06-14-2009 at 07:59 PM.. Reason: Consistency is boring lol.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:05 PM   #711
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In my main brewer, I doubt if I will really lower my black tea but I will increase the green tea considerably. I do want to make a batch with just green tea though (a lil batch lol)

Rocking your bottles will keep the forming scoby from being noticable. If you are using glass bottles and shaking them up, please be aware of the danger or shattering bottles. Even undisturbed, KT causes a tremendous amount of pressure. I was told the flip top bottles would blow before the glass, didn't budge the top, but the glass did shatter.
I also release pressure by opening the caps every few days (if they are out that long) I'm paranoid about the (glass) bottles exploding.

GT/Synergy bottles are glass - if they are good enough for syngergy they are good enough for me, but I definitely take precautions.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #712
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I'm back and ready to order my new scoby and (hopefully) get some FIZZ going, lol!

My partner told me the latest batches have definitely been weaker - meaning he probably drained off too much of the KT from the brewer. He thought we were getting too backlogged with bottles (not my opinion! you can never have too much kombuchie!!) so thought we should reduce our stock to 1 gallon and only pull out a quart a day. Well.... looks like he overdid it and left too little of the brew for subsequent batches.

I'm looking forward to ordering the HH scoby and preparing the sweet tea differently... I honestly think that by doing it Dave's way (from getkombucha.com) that we (1) overboiled our water, reducing the amount of oxygen needed for fermentation and (2) separated the scoby way too soon. And (3)... after reading through the posts over the last few days,I wonder if the tea blend has been the best(?). Also, we never mixed anything... just poured the sweet tea on top. This could be a big reason as to why were not gettng fizz (no mixing of the yeasts and bacteria?). Thank God for this thread!!
Welcome Back Ms.Kam! Glad you had a good trip!

Reducing your starter to slow production seems backwards to me lol. I'd rather get more bottled with less work than fewer bottles with more work. I have nearly 4 gallons of starter and haven't bottled in nearly 3 weeks, but I'll need to soon before all my bottles are gone. Luckily it won't take much to get up to full production.

What kind of water do you use? The 10 minute boil is required for tap water to remove chlorine kill bad bacteria etc. If you're using bottled water, reverse osmosis and such it's not required. I haven't read about stirring in air for batch brewing only for continuous brewing, but whenever I add fresh tea I drain off a half gallon (about 3x) and add it back into the top creating a "sandwich" effect and aerating the new with the older starter.

I would suggest you go over the HH website, he has step by step instructions. Maybe talk thru with us your reasons and expectations for the HH scoby (where you plan to brew it for example). We may come up with something you wish you had thought of BEFORE you order or maybe we've talked it to death already. Just would hate for you to say oooops after the fact. Glad you're back
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:06 PM   #713
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I also release pressure by opening the caps every few days (if they are out that long) I'm paranoid about the (glass) bottles exploding.

GT/Synergy bottles are glass - if they are good enough for syngergy they are good enough for me, but I definitely take precautions.
I've heard of "burping" bottles, I would think that you are also releasing the carbonation in the process.

I don't doubt GT bottles are probably stronger than most, they know about the explosion possibilities but I'm wondering what else they do to circumvent the explosion liability. I don't see a list of ingredients on their website. I can't imagine them adding "stabilizers" or pasteuring, which would make the active ingredients inert but safe. I do have the glass bottle from Kombucha Wonder Drink and it says nothing we don't use in our home brew, perhaps the air space is sufficient.

BUT this Carpe Diem stuff listen to this: lightly carbonated water, sucrose, herbal tea blend, kombucha cultures, lactobacilli, acerola juice concentrate - They add (probably unnatural) carbonation, sucrose???, herbal ??? the other brand makes it sound like its cultured, this one sounds like kombucha culture added - scoby, brew, what?? they don't even list sugar, you can't culture without sugar, sucrose??? - hmmmmmmmm It tastes artificial and I am wondering if it will even culture a scoby, time will tell. oh snap, it sure won't if I don't add sugar, off to make the donuts uhhhh I mean tea.
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:55 AM   #714
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this Carpe Diem stuff listen to this: lightly carbonated water, sucrose, herbal tea blend, kombucha cultures, lactobacilli, acerola juice concentrate - They add (probably unnatural) carbonation, sucrose???, herbal ??? the other brand makes it sound like its cultured, this one sounds like kombucha culture added - scoby, brew, what?? they don't even list sugar, you can't culture without sugar, sucrose??? - hmmmmmmmm It tastes artificial and I am wondering if it will even culture a scoby, time will tell. oh snap, it sure won't if I don't add sugar, off to make the donuts uhhhh I mean tea.
This Carpe Diem stuff has been sitting a week, I didn't see a scoby til I added tea to it, it was the thickness of a plate, more translucent than white, 12" diameter - no clue how with no sugar or tea in the fluid lol but was glad to see it was a live product. I opened 2 more bottles (not drinking this nasty stuff lol) to pour on top and you could literally see it come to the surface to bathe in the fluid.

I made 4 gallons of fresh tea. I gallon went to the experiment. I did add a tea bag with 50/50 white tea/pu-erh in it to the mix & 2 more green tea 3x5" bags plus all the old. I didn't let any (except the white tea) brew for more than 5 min. I carefully removed the scobys from one 5 gal. container to the other which had a gallon of fresh tea in it and it had 3 gal worth of scobys and only about a gallon of liquid. I carefully drained off the clear of the starter (dang I should have tasted it) and removed the brown yeasties from the bottom and saved it just in case. I don't quite understand. I started out with it filled to the 4 gallon mark, added 3 gallons of tea and now have 2 at the 2.5 gallon mark = total 5 gallons. All I can imagine is the scobys were full of air, okey dokey lol No babies were produced BUT the experiment produced one. I'm still back to I bet the yeasts overwhelmed the bacteria. The scobys are covered with yeast bits still. Didn't want to get too carried away.
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Old 06-15-2009, 08:09 AM   #715
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Does anyone do anything to the 2nd ferment like shake the bottles a bit? I do once or twice during this ferment - just gently rock them upside down. Don't know if that does anything for it and it's probably a big no-no, but what the heck.
I gently swirl my 2nd ferment (with the flavorings) once a day - usually let it ferment for about 3 days. I also burp the jars every day (scared of explosions too!).

ETA: Welcome back Kamalam!

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Old 06-15-2009, 08:47 AM   #716
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Welcome Back Ms.Kam! Glad you had a good trip!

Reducing your starter to slow production seems backwards to me lol. I'd rather get more bottled with less work than fewer bottles with more work. I have nearly 4 gallons of starter and haven't bottled in nearly 3 weeks, but I'll need to soon before all my bottles are gone. Luckily it won't take much to get up to full production.

What kind of water do you use? The 10 minute boil is required for tap water to remove chlorine kill bad bacteria etc. If you're using bottled water, reverse osmosis and such it's not required. I haven't read about stirring in air for batch brewing only for continuous brewing, but whenever I add fresh tea I drain off a half gallon (about 3x) and add it back into the top creating a "sandwich" effect and aerating the new with the older starter.

I would suggest you go over the HH website, he has step by step instructions. Maybe talk thru with us your reasons and expectations for the HH scoby (where you plan to brew it for example). We may come up with something you wish you had thought of BEFORE you order or maybe we've talked it to death already. Just would hate for you to say oooops after the fact. Glad you're back
Just to clarify - we didn't go back to batch brewing, just reduced the starter so that we were having to make less sweet tea and get less produced for the 2nd ferment. But as I said, our brew seems a bit weaker so perhaps we reduced the starter by too large a factor... I'm bottling again today, so I'll see how things might have progressed while I was away.

In terms of the HH scoby - I'm mainly looking for a healthier brew. Of course, one that produces more fizz, also. I'm going to use the sliver needle tea that comes with the order and then start using a blend of black, green, and rooibos. Crossing fingers that all goes well! I'm assuming that I can add this blend to the silver needle starter without a problem??

Nice to be back!
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Old 06-15-2009, 03:39 PM   #717
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Just to clarify - we didn't go back to batch brewing, just reduced the starter so that we were having to make less sweet tea and get less produced for the 2nd ferment. But as I said, our brew seems a bit weaker so perhaps we reduced the starter by too large a factor... I'm bottling again today, so I'll see how things might have progressed while I was away.

In terms of the HH scoby - I'm mainly looking for a healthier brew. Of course, one that produces more fizz, also. I'm going to use the sliver needle tea that comes with the order and then start using a blend of black, green, and rooibos. Crossing fingers that all goes well! I'm assuming that I can add this blend to the silver needle starter without a problem??
I got about reducing stock, just wanted to make sure you knew, that wasn't necessary. You could slow bottle production just by not adding fresh tea. In effect, doing 2 bottles every other day instead of one bottle every single day or letting it brew for 2-3 days instead of just one.

I'd suggest on the new scoby, making first batch with silver tea only and enough fluid to cover scoby by lil more than 1 inches and let it sit undisturbed in that til you have one huge new extra thick scoby. That way you aren't diluting your silver tea and you have one powerhouse of a scoby that will produce higher beneficial acid levels even in green tea, your drinking blend. Save your silver tea and do this 1-2 times a year. I'm sure each batch will acclimate it more to the green tea and levels will eventually fall but this will conserve your silver tea to it's maximum potential for you. Drinking silver tea in such diluted portions will give you negligible health benefits, but it is more than sufficient for a powerhouse scoby lol.

If I order again from HH, I think I'd want to add 4 oz Goji Berries & Iodophor sanitizer. I wouldn't suggest buying any extra teas from there though, much cheaper elsewhere. (I know half ounce comes with scoby) Did you decide against the plastic brewer, for only $20 it's a heck of a deal. HH also seems to have a point where additional items incurred no additional shipping, so I added in 6-16 oz bottles of his ready to drink. (I was thinking more in terms of starter than drinking though.)
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:20 PM   #718
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I got about reducing stock, just wanted to make sure you knew, that wasn't necessary. You could slow bottle production just by not adding fresh tea. In effect, doing 2 bottles every other day instead of one bottle every single day or letting it brew for 2-3 days instead of just one.

I'd suggest on the new scoby, making first batch with silver tea only and enough fluid to cover scoby by lil more than 1 inches and let it sit undisturbed in that til you have one huge new extra thick scoby. That way you aren't diluting your silver tea and you have one powerhouse of a scoby that will produce higher beneficial acid levels even in green tea, your drinking blend. Save your silver tea and do this 1-2 times a year. I'm sure each batch will acclimate it more to the green tea and levels will eventually fall but this will conserve your silver tea to it's maximum potential for you. Drinking silver tea in such diluted portions will give you negligible health benefits, but it is more than sufficient for a powerhouse scoby lol.

If I order again from HH, I think I'd want to add 4 oz Goji Berries & Iodophor sanitizer. I wouldn't suggest buying any extra teas from there though, much cheaper elsewhere. (I know half ounce comes with scoby) Did you decide against the plastic brewer, for only $20 it's a heck of a deal. HH also seems to have a point where additional items incurred no additional shipping, so I added in 6-16 oz bottles of his ready to drink. (I was thinking more in terms of starter than drinking though.)
Ok, duh!! So, to clarify further - you're saying we could have left the brew at the 2 gallon level but only taken out a quart or two every other day? Simply make less sweet tea and bottle less? I really want to understand what you mean because when I get the new scoby I'd like to make sure the process is right from the beginning!

And great suggestion about letting the new HH scoby get nice and big - except I thought the only way it gets really "big" is by adding the sweet tea over and over again?? Otherwise won't it end up being like a hotel scoby - kind of there but not growing?

I'm thinking if I *do* need to make sweet tea to grow the scoby, I'll just use up the silver tea and then transition to the black/gree/rooibos blend... but please tell me your thoughts because I want my scoby to be the best it can be, lol.
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:27 PM   #719
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Now that you mention it, I haven't been stirring up my brewer when I add the fresh tea either -- think I ought to? This batch isn't fizzing as much as the last one, at least if I go by decibel level...

The new scoby is quite more sizable than the mom at this point, and I have a clean pickle jar I could transfer to. Probably still overly cautious regarding handling...like many of you, I find the idea of cutting the scoby into pieces rather disturbing! Time to get down to the hardware store, buy some lumber, build a bridge and get over it...
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Old 06-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #720
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Now that you mention it, I haven't been stirring up my brewer when I add the fresh tea either -- think I ought to? This batch isn't fizzing as much as the last one, at least if I go by decibel level...

The new scoby is quite more sizable than the mom at this point, and I have a clean pickle jar I could transfer to. Probably still overly cautious regarding handling...like many of you, I find the idea of cutting the scoby into pieces rather disturbing! Time to get down to the hardware store, buy some lumber, build a bridge and get over it...
Separating the mother was much easier than the babies on top... I could peel away the mother, but definitely not the babies. I WISH to the SCOBY GODS I had stopped there. I could have popped the mother into another container and the wide, beautiful babies that looked like a very large stack of pancakes would have continued to function at peak capacity.

Hopefully my mistake is your gain(?) Let us know what you decide to do and report on how it went!
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