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Old 06-16-2009, 02:16 AM   #721
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamalam View Post
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.
Yes I am saying you should have left the brew at the 2 gallon level but only taken out a quart or two every other day or so. Simply make less sweet tea and bottle less. Unless you really like the extra work involved in making less more often. I actually prefer to do the very maximum bottling in the least amount of time.

I thought you were convinced to start the continuous brewing not just for the beneficial acids but for the quantity. How you could get 3.5 gallons a week from a 2 gallon brewer. Of course you don't have to make the maximum amount, just that is the maximum possible amount. If you only need 2 gallons a week, slow production accordingly. If you tell me how much you consume a week, I'll figure the most efficient way to get there. I am drinking a quart a day myself, that's almost 2 gallons a week.

There has to be a too lil or too much point, but I'm figuring that as long as you are taking 10-30% (in & out) it should all work and we usually figure in pints or quarts. So, to me, it only makes sense to have the maximum starter available at all times. I had 4 gallons of starter, to slow production down, I just didn't put in any fresh tea, poof nothing to bottle but IF I wanted full production I could add (in & out) UP to 30% EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don't want/need that much volume or that much work. In actuality, I'm using a semi-batch continuous method. 50% starter processed in 3 days. That way I can bottle 4 gallons at one time and not dink with it but a couple of times every couple of weeks. I only make tea & bottle twice a month now. I couldn't deal with it more than once a week.

To make the biggest, baddest scoby, you feed it once and then don't touch it. If you disturb it, it stops growing and starts again. This is not to be confused with the monster scobys with batches but we're talking about ONE thick dense scoby and not multilayered monsters. You feed it and the longer you leave it undisturbed the larger it gets. (Be wary of a place with vibration, like near a dishwasher, washer or dryer) One of my first batches didn't taste just right (or I was scared of it) and I put the liquid KT aside in a covered jar (no scoby) 2-3 months later I pulled out the jar and it had the whitest thickest scoby I'd ever seen almost 3 inches thick. Now that's overkill (but I was shocked lol) But you want one thicker than half an inch.

The last scoby I got from HH, I put in the 12" diameter jar - a half gallon of fresh sweetened tea with 2 pints of starter and left it totally undisturbed in 9 days the baby was huge, it had absorbed almost every drop of liquid and was about 3/4" thick slab. (Jo undisturbed means - no picking it up, rocking, jostling, poking, tasting or dinking with it)

It sounds like to be, you're going to just add another scoby to your existing brew pot, is that what I'm hearing? You're not adding an additional brewer just more scoby? Aren't you concerned with them filling up your 2 gallon brewer leaving you no liquid KT? I'm hoping you'll at least look for another 2+ gallon brewer (especially if you eventually want to do Yerba Mate batches also), you don't have to have a spigot on it, you can just drain KT into your spigot brewer to bottle or drain from. I love having the 2 - 5 gallon I end up draining most of the fluid into one & leaving the scobys in the other. I add flavorings to this batch and it evenly distributes the yeast before bottling.
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:22 AM   #722
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Originally Posted by frogfarm View Post
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...
I've never stirred either, but I do drain from the spigot to put a liquid layer of older yeastier brew on top of the fresh tea (I do this at least 3x with a fresh batch) and usually the same to moisten a scoby that's getting billowy with air.

build a bridge you're such a hoot
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Old 06-16-2009, 02:29 AM   #723
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Originally Posted by Kamalam View Post
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!
I rarely touch the scobys, usually they just slosh from container to container. I had to thin them when I had all scoby and had to reach in and grab, but if they didn't pull apart easily, they got to stay together, but I've got a huge brew container that doesn't require constant thinning. (but will soon lol)

I was going to put the oldest ones in a blender and soak my feet in the creamed mixture. I am curious about stir frying some also. Seems so canabalistic though.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:37 AM   #724
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Originally Posted by cindy_cfids View Post
Yes I am saying you should have left the brew at the 2 gallon level but only taken out a quart or two every other day or so. Simply make less sweet tea and bottle less. Unless you really like the extra work involved in making less more often. I actually prefer to do the very maximum bottling in the least amount of time.

I thought you were convinced to start the continuous brewing not just for the beneficial acids but for the quantity. How you could get 3.5 gallons a week from a 2 gallon brewer. Of course you don't have to make the maximum amount, just that is the maximum possible amount. If you only need 2 gallons a week, slow production accordingly. If you tell me how much you consume a week, I'll figure the most efficient way to get there. I am drinking a quart a day myself, that's almost 2 gallons a week.

To make the biggest, baddest scoby, you feed it once and then don't touch it. If you disturb it, it stops growing and starts again. This is not to be confused with the monster scobys with batches but we're talking about ONE thick dense scoby and not multilayered monsters. You feed it and the longer you leave it undisturbed the larger it gets. (Be wary of a place with vibration, like near a dishwasher, washer or dryer) One of my first batches didn't taste just right (or I was scared of it) and I put the liquid KT aside in a covered jar (no scoby) 2-3 months later I pulled out the jar and it had the whitest thickest scoby I'd ever seen almost 3 inches thick. Now that's overkill (but I was shocked lol) But you want one thicker than half an inch.

The last scoby I got from HH, I put in the 12" diameter jar - a half gallon of fresh sweetened tea with 2 pints of starter and left it totally undisturbed in 9 days the baby was huge, it had absorbed almost every drop of liquid and was about 3/4" thick slab. (Jo undisturbed means - no picking it up, rocking, jostling, poking, tasting or dinking with it)

It sounds like to be, you're going to just add another scoby to your existing brew pot, is that what I'm hearing? You're not adding an additional brewer just more scoby? Aren't you concerned with them filling up your 2 gallon brewer leaving you no liquid KT? I'm hoping you'll at least look for another 2+ gallon brewer (especially if you eventually want to do Yerba Mate batches also), you don't have to have a spigot on it, you can just drain KT into your spigot brewer to bottle or drain from. I love having the 2 - 5 gallon I end up draining most of the fluid into one & leaving the scobys in the other. I add flavorings to this batch and it evenly distributes the yeast before bottling.
You are correct - we did start the continuous brewing for the beneficial acids (actually that was the only reason...). I didn't realize that reducing the amount in the brewer would reduce those acids... we thought we'd be keeping them, just by a smaller amount. Draining off two bottles a day and replenishing by the same... still continuous production just on a smaller scale.

But now I understand that we didn't have to take our primary batch down. We thought we had to drain and replenish everyday or else the primary brew would get too tart.

When we get the new HH scoby, I actually planned on using my 2.5 gallon brewer that is currently being used by the "old" scoby. But I will transfer the contents first and clean everything out. I need this container freed up b/c it is the largest one we have and I definitely want the new HH scoby to have room to grow. Where I'll transfer I don't know yet, lol, but I'll figure something out. Thanks for the explanation on how to grow my new scoby! That helps a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes...
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:42 AM   #725
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On another note... I noticed that one of my secondary ferment bottles actually has more fizz (or at least more foam) which is nice except that it has a kind of sufurous smell to it. It worries me a little - I drank a fair amount (not the whole bottle but maybe half) and have felt no ill effects. Still, it makes me wonder? I think these were the bottles to which I added ginger.

I wonder if the ginger is somehow responsible? I had heard that a slight "rotten egg" smell wasn't necessarily "bad," but now I can't remember what causes it... or if that advice was in regards to the primary brew, not the bottled brew. Just a little concerned...
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:12 PM   #726
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Originally Posted by Kamalam View Post
we did start the continuous brewing for the beneficial acids (actually that was the only reason...). I didn't realize that reducing the amount in the brewer would reduce those acids... we thought we'd be keeping them, just by a smaller amount. Draining off two bottles a day and replenishing by the same... still continuous production just on a smaller scale.

But now I understand that we didn't have to take our primary batch down. We thought we had to drain and replenish everyday or else the primary brew would get too tart.

When we get the new HH scoby, I actually planned on using my 2.5 gallon brewer that is currently being used by the "old" scoby. But I will transfer the contents first and clean everything out. I need this container freed up b/c it is the largest one we have and I definitely want the new HH scoby to have room to grow. Where I'll transfer I don't know yet, lol, but I'll figure something out. Thanks for the explanation on how to grow my new scoby! That helps a lot. I'm looking forward to seeing the changes...
Draining your starter shouldn't effect the beneficial acids as long as you maintain the 70% ratio. I was under the impression you wanted more production, sorry, I didn't mean to mislead you. I just can't imagine it being enough lol but if you're happy, I'm thrilled. But dinking with it every single day would drive me over the edge lol. I've had my starter sit for weeks and it was still drinkable even before I added fresh (I was surprised too.) I did drain off the yeasts this new batch. Go ahead & bring it up to full 2 gallons and at least you can work with .6 gallon in & out - instead of .3 gal twice as often. I'd suggest you get a good stockpile and then slack off. I get down to 6 bottles, I know I've got to make a plan.

Don't forget the new scoby will need about 2 weeks undisturbed before being put into production. I think if I had a silver needle power scoby, I wouldn't want to put old starter in it, but to start a fresh cycle and slowly building up your starter. Make the scoby direct the bacteria and not the bacteria direct the scoby. I may be all squirelly in my thinking but that's my thoughts. Boy I'd have to have 2 brewers lol.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:24 PM   #727
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On another note... I noticed that one of my secondary ferment bottles actually has more fizz (or at least more foam) which is nice except that it has a kind of sufurous smell to it. It worries me a little - I drank a fair amount (not the whole bottle but maybe half) and have felt no ill effects. Still, it makes me wonder? I think these were the bottles to which I added ginger.

I wonder if the ginger is somehow responsible? I had heard that a slight "rotten egg" smell wasn't necessarily "bad," but now I can't remember what causes it... or if that advice was in regards to the primary brew, not the bottled brew. Just a little concerned...
Was the ginger "processed" - I'm betting it's the yeasts though. I had to drain off mine, it didn't really have ANY taste and was getting choked by brown yeasties, but my search says yeast = "rotten egg smell" (yuckers) I'm betting if I hadn't drained mine off before this last batch, I'd have same complaint, hoping what i did was enough to fix it.

You did say you were working with a piece of scoby this may be the problem - still wild yeasties lol -

From Len's site "Sometimes you may encounter a skunky smell a bit like rotten orange. This often coincides with brewing at higher temperatures. Besides temperature, you might notice this effect is greater the longer it takes for the vessel to seal itself. Until the surface seals off completely (with a new SCOBY) the door is left open for a greater degree of respiration.

During a brew cycle there are two types of activities going on; one is fermentation (anaerobic) and the other respiration (aerobic). When the yeast are very active there is a higher level of respiration going on. Respiration is a complex process that produces a lot of intermediate compounds, one of these being citric acid.

Though not desirable tasting this is nothing to be alarmed about. Once the respiration abates, these compounds tend to reconfigure and dissipate. Storing without air, where respiration is impossible, often eliminates this taste after a few weeks. "
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:02 AM   #728
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Draining your starter shouldn't effect the beneficial acids as long as you maintain the 70% ratio. I was under the impression you wanted more production, sorry, I didn't mean to mislead you. I just can't imagine it being enough lol but if you're happy, I'm thrilled. But dinking with it every single day would drive me over the edge lol. I've had my starter sit for weeks and it was still drinkable even before I added fresh (I was surprised too.) I did drain off the yeasts this new batch. Go ahead & bring it up to full 2 gallons and at least you can work with .6 gallon in & out - instead of .3 gal twice as often. I'd suggest you get a good stockpile and then slack off. I get down to 6 bottles, I know I've got to make a plan.

Don't forget the new scoby will need about 2 weeks undisturbed before being put into production. I think if I had a silver needle power scoby, I wouldn't want to put old starter in it, but to start a fresh cycle and slowly building up your starter. Make the scoby direct the bacteria and not the bacteria direct the scoby. I may be all squirelly in my thinking but that's my thoughts. Boy I'd have to have 2 brewers lol.
Yeah - having to make the sweet tea everyday is a bit of a bother! Every other day would be much better. So.. ok, we'll bring up the primary batch to 2 gallons and drain .6 every other day or maybe once in a while every third day? (if I'm understanding correctly).

Rereading the HH website, we will get one + cup of starter tea and a 1/2 oz of the silver needle tea - I will definitely use the starter and follow your advice to leave it undisturbed for a couple of weeks. So basically - are you saying to put the scoby in the brewer, cover it with the starter that comes with it, and just leave it for 2 weeks? I wonder if a cup will be enough in a 2.5 gallon brewer?

Then brew the sweet tea with the silver needle white and go from there? Since we've only got 1/2 oz to play with, we better keep the production low at first to really stretch out the opportunity for the scoby to be saturated with the silver needle. Maybe only brew 1/2 tbl spoon to a couple of quarts of water along with 1/3 sugar... is that a good ratio?

Last edited by Kamalam; 06-17-2009 at 08:03 AM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:06 AM   #729
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Oh, and to follow up with the rotten egg smell - the ginger was raw, meaning I chopped off a section, peeled it and popped it into the bottle. Reading your post I think our problem is that we don't have a full seal with the two scobies currently in our brewer.

The explanation of the aerobic and anaerobic makes a lot of sense... thank you for setting my mind at ease!
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:43 AM   #730
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Originally Posted by Kamalam View Post

Rereading the HH website, we will get one + cup of starter tea and a 1/2 oz of the silver needle tea - I will definitely use the starter and follow your advice to leave it undisturbed for a couple of weeks. So basically - are you saying to put the scoby in the brewer, cover it with the starter that comes with it, and just leave it for 2 weeks? I wonder if a cup will be enough in a 2.5 gallon brewer?

Then brew the sweet tea with the silver needle white and go from there? Since we've only got 1/2 oz to play with, we better keep the production low at first to really stretch out the opportunity for the scoby to be saturated with the silver needle. Maybe only brew 1/2 tbl spoon to a couple of quarts of water along with 1/3 sugar... is that a good ratio?
I think you would at least want to add enough fresh tea to bring the liquid level up to the straight sides of the brewer, but would not necessarily have to fill the brewer. Do something like 1 quart of fresh (about 20% starter) and let that sit for a week (or two). Then pull a small test sample, like 1 cup, and add another quart of fresh (about 50% starter). Thus you would gradually increase the amount in the brewer. Once it gets full to capacity (2 gallons?) then you would be able to pull/replace 2 quarts while maintaining 75% starter.

frogfarm and I have been changing 2 quarts out of about 3, so we're doing about 35% starter once per week. We are contemplating starting another jar, if we did 1 quart per that would give us the same yield (out of 2 jars) but closer to 70% starter.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:30 AM   #731
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Faia,
Thank you! When you say 1 quart fresh, do you mean 1 quart of sweet tea added to the starter that comes with the scoby?

Lastly, when you say you've been changing 2 quarts out of about 3, what does that mean - draining 2 quarts every three days? What size is you container/ jar?

I'm horrible when it comes to anything with numbers (math, logic, you name it), so forgive me if I need you to spell it out. :blush:
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:35 PM   #732
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we'll bring up the primary batch to 2 gallons and drain .6 every other day or maybe once in a while every third day? (if I'm understanding correctly).

Rereading the HH website, we will get one + cup of starter tea and a 1/2 oz of the silver needle tea - I will definitely use the starter and follow your advice to leave it undisturbed for a couple of weeks. So basically - are you saying to put the scoby in the brewer, cover it with the starter that comes with it, and just leave it for 2 weeks? I wonder if a cup will be enough in a 2.5 gallon brewer?

Then brew the sweet tea with the silver needle white and go from there? Since we've only got 1/2 oz to play with, we better keep the production low at first to really stretch out the opportunity for the scoby to be saturated with the silver needle. Maybe only brew 1/2 tbl spoon to a couple of quarts of water along with 1/3 sugar... is that a good ratio?
On your 2 gallon continuous brewer, you can remove then add .6 gallons of fresh tea. Let it brew at a minimum 26 hours to a maximum of 3 days (your taste preference). When you bottle & don't want any more at the current time, do not add fresh tea til you do. Your starter should be fine, sitting & waiting as long as it doesn't completely evaporate.

Put the HH scoby in the brewer, cover it with the 1 cup of starter that comes with it, *ADD* room temp freshly brewed sweet (1/4 cup sugar) SILVER tea (5 grams-guessing 3-4 tsps?) made with 3 cups (24 oz) of WATER. Then leave it for 2-3 weeks until your scoby produces a baby that is over a half inch thick. (a new power scoby) which it will have the same characteristics of the HH scoby but it will be the diameter of your brewer & thicker. Save your silver tea to do these very small batches 1-2x year to reinfuse the scoby.

OR (I think I've talked myself out of the power scoby idea for you already, but your call of course ) you could put your HH scoby into production & save the power scoby idea for 6 months down the line when it's weakened & needs an infusion (and saving your silver tea). The main reason *I* do it is that the scobys I've bought are dwarfed by the width (12" diameter) of my brewers AND weren't first class scobys to start with (they needed an infustion). Both are good calls with pros and cons. My biggest con for you is the one brewer and tying it up so long with this power scoby idea, maybe it's best done 6 months from now when you've upped production enough to warrant a second brewer or at least have stock piled enough. I'm confused you seem so enthusiastic about brewing, you even want to diversify your stock but don't really seem to be drinking much. I have to really control myself to not drink a half gallon every day. I have about 6 different jars/brewers filled with scobys (2x5gal - 3 gal & several 1 gal).

I would still suggest building your starter and not infusing it with anything already made. Have the scoby direct the new bacteria. After you've had if awhile and are happy with the output you can put the 2 scobys (Dave's & HH's) together and let them exchange bacteria, basically creating a completely different scoby (with a mother and a mother)

Either way you decide, when it's ready for production, Use Green/Black Teas to make your KT. The Power scoby will probably have soaked up almost all your starter but measure it and add 3 parts of equal measure of fresh tea to start building your starter. Probably take a couple of brews to get enough to drain off.

I bet I've confused the hell out of you now lol. I vote no power scoby right now, but save your silver tea only for that. I sure wouldn't use it for any more than a quart or so of fresh tea.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:41 PM   #733
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I think you would at least want to add enough fresh tea to bring the liquid level up to the straight sides of the brewer, but would not necessarily have to fill the brewer. Do something like 1 quart of fresh (about 20% starter) and let that sit for a week (or two). Then pull a small test sample, like 1 cup, and add another quart of fresh (about 50% starter). Thus you would gradually increase the amount in the brewer. Once it gets full to capacity (2 gallons?) then you would be able to pull/replace 2 quarts while maintaining 75% starter..
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:49 PM   #734
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Faia,
Thank you! When you say 1 quart fresh, do you mean 1 quart of sweet tea added to the starter that comes with the scoby?

I'm horrible when it comes to anything with numbers (math, logic, you name it), so forgive me if I need you to spell it out. :blush:
To make it easier on folks, I usually tell them to measure your liquid starter in a large measuring cup without the scoby and add 4x that amount of the fresh tea. That comes out to 20% starter.

BUT Ms.Kamalam, we'll do the math when you're ready, if you'll tell us how much starter. No need to be embarrassed. There's not enough math in the universe to fill my weak spots lol.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:58 PM   #735
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Faia,
Thank you! When you say 1 quart fresh, do you mean 1 quart of sweet tea added to the starter that comes with the scoby?
Something to that effect. I've never done the continuous brew yet, but I do know that the rate of fermentation is affected by the ratio of starter (whether the liquid you get with a purchased scoby, or liquid left from previous batch) to fresh. The actual number (1 quart, 2 quart, etc) in this case would be dictated by the shape of your vessel. You want enough to reach to where the sides are straight, but for the purpose of starter percent, you want as little as possible. The higher your starter percentage, the faster the brew time, but in this case you are trying to form a scoby to fit your container. The shape of the container *may* force you to start with a less than optimal ratio. (Our jar has a rounded bottom perhaps 2 inches high, straight sides perhaps 6 to 8 inches, and then another couple of inches rounded shoulder. We probably could have started with just a few inches to fit the new scoby to the straight sides of the jar.)

If 1 quart is enough (with 1 cup starter) for your container, your starter percentage would be 20%. If 1 quart total is enough for your container, then 3 cups fresh would yield a starter percentage of 25%. After 7 (to 14) days, adding another quart of fresh (without pulling any) would yield starter percent of at least 50. Eventually you would reach the capacity of your container, and would be able to bottle "a few pints" while maintaining a high enough starter percentage to cycle every day or every other day.

In theory you could take your 1 cup of starter and add 2 gallons of fresh, however your starter percent would be abysmally low, which increases susceptibility to "stray" organisms.

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Lastly, when you say you've been changing 2 quarts out of about 3, what does that mean - draining 2 quarts every three days? What size is you container/ jar?

I'm horrible when it comes to anything with numbers (math, logic, you name it), so forgive me if I need you to spell it out. :blush:
Our jar is one gallon. With the scoby from metqa we got about a cup of starter liquid.

We brewed 3 quarts of water, 1 cup sugar, and 7 tea bags. Also added a small splash of white vinegar. Yield "about" (a wee bit over) 3 quarts. Ferment 9 days.

Bottle 4 pints, replace with 2 quarts water, 2/3 cup sugar, and 5 tea bags. Repeat every 7 days.

At the start of this, our coconut oil was solid. It melted a couple of times at mid day and then re-solidified. It has been perhaps the last week that it has stayed liquid, or at most been a goopy semi-solid in the morning. It is getting warmer. (Oh joy.)

Given that it is getting warmer and our brew seems to be going just a wee fraction too long, we are going to try the next bottling at 6 days. We *could* try to make it go 7 days, but that might require playing with amounts like 2 quarts plus a cup. Could bottle 1 quart at a time, perhaps on a 3 day cycle. In some post up above, I think we figured our daily cycle at 3 cups, which would be awkward with pint bottles.

For a 5 gallon continuous brewer operating at 4 gallons capacity, the daily cycle would be about 1 gallon.
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Old 06-17-2009, 05:12 PM   #736
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Ya'll make me dizzy sometimes with the brewing tips!
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:00 PM   #737
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Ya'll make me dizzy sometimes with the brewing tips!
Some of this is unmitigated speculation. Some is based on what frogfarm and I have currently going. So... Some I know, some I think, and it all makes me
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:01 PM   #738
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Ya'll make me dizzy sometimes with the brewing tips!
It's enought to drive a girl batty, lol.

However, I thank you ladies for your advice. I'm absorbing your info and will share it with my partner so as to maximize the knowledge and work out any confusion. Two heads are better than one!

And Cindy - I probably have been a bit confusing regarding the quantity we would like. At first, with the batch brewing method, we didn't make nearly enough. Then, with the continuous, we were making too much - we were pulling out KT everyday and replenishing everyday. So my partner, in all his wisdom (NOT, lol) decided to drain the primary brew to a level far too low - we just didn't understand the process enough.

Today a little bell went off and a feeling of "Oooooh" came upon me. I think it's starting to make more sense. Took a while - I think Jo(?) said it best - the nuances are so varied and plentiful that it's been quite the learning curve.

At this point, I've cleaned out the main 2.5 brewer. Dave's scobies (don't hate me for what I'm about to say...) have been composted. I've got nothin. Zip. I tasted the KT in our brewer and it was awful. Weak. Just... wrong. Not toxic, but just unhappy. I needed a clean slate. I need my silver needle power scoby!

So, I'm going to sit on my hands until I get it and then grow a power scoby right off the start. Yeah, it means waiting but my intuition tells me to go for it. Cindy I actually wasn't confused with your post, ha, ha. I get it more than ever, even though I know I'll still make mistakes and have questions. I appreciate everyone's help tremendously.

I now know:

- NOT to drain the primary brew to a dangerously low level in order to slow production
- NOt to separate my scoby if they are stuck together and won't peel apart easily.
- Not to separate said scoby(s) until much later or until at least a 3 inch thickness is reached

- I also now know that when we put in fresh tea, to drain some from the bottom and pour on top
- Also know that the best time for bottling is when the tea is still slightly sweet (but this can vary too)

I'm sure I'm missing some other important elements, but dang... this post is long enough!

Last edited by Kamalam; 06-17-2009 at 07:03 PM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:45 PM   #739
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Scoby Poll

Who drinks the little scoby that forms in the bottle?

We all know I do. Why wouldn't you? Isn't it all a part of a "good for me" drink?

Just wondering...
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:50 PM   #740
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What distinguishes batch brewing from continuous brewing?

I always thought I was batch brewing but, with what little I am following on some of the talk that has been going on, I think I am actually continuous brewing.

No science or ratios allowed. Talk to me like I know nothing - which technically is true - just flying by the seat of my pants here and coming out with some suprisingly good kombucha - who woulda thunk.

So give me the readers' digest condensced version of the difference please and thank you.

thanks
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:03 PM   #741
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What distinguishes batch brewing from continuous brewing?

I always thought I was batch brewing but, with what little I am following on some of the talk that has been going on, I think I am actually continuous brewing.

No science or ratios allowed. Talk to me like I know nothing - which technically is true - just flying by the seat of my pants here and coming out with some suprisingly good kombucha - who woulda thunk.

So give me the readers' digest condensced version of the difference please and thank you.

thanks
Batch = change enough to only "require" doing so every week, or whatever batch cycle you want.

Continuous = change only enough to enable change/bottle daily.

With the 1 gallon that frogfarm and I are running, batch = 2 quarts while continuous would be about 3 cups.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:15 PM   #742
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:

Today a little bell went off and a feeling of "Oooooh" came upon me. I think it's starting to make more sense. Took a while - I think Jo(?) said it best - the nuances are so varied and plentiful that it's been quite the learning curve.
It is not rocket science. Rocket science could be described as "As close to "boom" as possible without going over". (Going over is bad.)

We don't want to go boom either, but we have a much larger area between "enough" and "over".
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:30 PM   #743
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Batch = change enough to only "require" doing so every week, or whatever batch cycle you want.

Continuous = change only enough to enable change/bottle daily.

With the 1 gallon that frogfarm and I are running, batch = 2 quarts while continuous would be about 3 cups.
Ok, gotcha - its the amount of time in between bottling. Nope, I'm not continuous - I am definitely batch - about 1x/week.
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:06 AM   #744
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I've cleaned out the main 2.5 brewer. Dave's scobies have been composted. I've got nothin. Zip. I tasted the KT in our brewer and it was awful. Weak. Just... wrong. Not toxic, but just unhappy. I needed a clean slate. I need my silver needle power scoby grow right off the start.

- NOT to drain the primary brew to a dangerously low level in order to slow production
- NOt to separate my scoby if they are stuck together and won't peel apart easily.
- Not to separate scoby until much later or until at least a 3 inch thickness is reached
- put in fresh tea, to drain some from the bottom and pour on top
- Also know that the best time for bottling is when the tea is still slightly sweet (but this can vary too)
composted don't tell ms.pepperette I thought we were suppose to talk before major actions Not even a hotel left Guess you won't be diversifying your stock

This same problem is in my brewer, I assumed it was because of the heat, but since you don't have heat problem, it must be the yeasts that have accumulated with the continuous brewing system. I drained off the brown yeasts (won't taste it, but it doesn't smell like KT). My KT went from fine one day (I did taste it the day before) to watery (no vinegary bite) the next. I added fruit juices & sugar and the bottles seemed to be ok, not the best, but I could tell too much yeast in bottles. I haven't tasted my batch yet but I'm concerned because I have no baby scoby in either brewer for the third batch (even after I moved it into a cooler room & drained off the yeasts) BUT the Carpe Diem science project scoby is growing stronger every day and has doubled since I fed it . This learning curve is apparently something we have to work thru. We can't just scrap and start fresh every 6 months Apparently the accumulated yeasts will overwhelm the scoby. I'm working on figuring out what the problem is and how to fix it, but please don't say scrapping is an option lol. There has to be a balance with the >21 day acids and mature yeasts and Kt production.

- draining off the primary brew is not a problem to any level as long as scoby stays wet. (not necessary, but not a problem to do)
- separating scoby is not a problem (not necessary, but not a problem to do) didn't you see the geeks making KT - cut up scoby into lil pieces.
- single scoby is fine, even a piece of scoby, double is better, 3 is cool too

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Old 06-18-2009, 05:20 AM   #745
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composted don't tell ms.pepperette I thought we were suppose to talk before major actions Not even a hotel left Guess you won't be diversifying your stock
I'm fine with composting. From Nature it came and to Nature it returned.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:00 AM   #746
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Well, it's true that I can't just throw out the baby (scoby) with KT, whenever there's a problem. Unless something drastic happens with the HH scoby (omg, Cindy your comment on my blog cracked me up ... I posted a reply, lol) I will try and work through any new issues that crop up.

I guess I felt we just took too many wrong turns with our first scoby...

And it is interesting to note that we weren't the only ones with watery brew. So strange... would love to hear more thoughts on possible reasons, because I'm sure this will pop up again in the future.

(Pepperette... good point, whew. Feeling more and more ok with it all...)

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Old 06-18-2009, 09:41 AM   #747
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WOW ... OMG.. WOW

Kombucha where have you been all my life!!



I bought two bottles of the Synergy SuperFruit and Trilogy..... OMG

Within two minutes I was tingly all over, sort of like a good one beer buzz... and almost immediately felt happier, I could feel tingles in my toes!

Is this common and does it keep happening?

I just ordered an at home kit, but thinking of sending it to my aunt and starting my own from a bottle!
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:58 AM   #748
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Yup, It just Keeps On Keepin' On!
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:59 AM   #749
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Kombucha where have you been all my life!!



I bought two bottles of the Synergy SuperFruit and Trilogy..... OMG

Within two minutes I was tingly all over, sort of like a good one beer buzz... and almost immediately felt happier, I could feel tingles in my toes!

Is this common and does it keep happening?

I just ordered an at home kit, but thinking of sending it to my aunt and starting my own from a bottle!
I have heard that people get this, but I have yet to experience it. I do, however, seem to crave it. Or maybe it has just become habit - it has become my "sipping drink" it has replaced my glass(es) of wine in the evening.

I started mine from a botle of synergy. Just dumped it in a gallon jar with sweet tea and I was off - a bit slowly, but now I am bottling a fair amount each week. Saving me a ton of money!
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:44 AM   #750
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The only thing I might do is not let it ferment as long as the one they bottle, it's a tad too sour for me, vinegary. It's still yummy though!
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