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Old 06-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #751
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yeah, I like the synergy drinks, but mine are a bit sweeter - which I am getting a bit used to (and I like it - more carbs too, I would guess) to go back to synergy is a bit of a shock. I try to bottle them to about the same tartness, but I am afraid that I will let it go too long and I will end up with something to the kin of vinegar and I already do Braggs vinegar and that is enough for me. More vinegar is not a bad thing, but it would set my bottling back by a week - and being short of kombuch is very sad thing!
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:23 PM   #752
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yeah, I like the synergy drinks, but mine are a bit sweeter - which I am getting a bit used to (and I like it - more carbs too, I would guess) to go back to synergy is a bit of a shock. I try to bottle them to about the same tartness, but I am afraid that I will let it go too long and I will end up with something to the kin of vinegar and I already do Braggs vinegar and that is enough for me. More vinegar is not a bad thing, but it would set my bottling back by a week - and being short of kombuch is very sad thing!
The Trilogy had ginger in it, I took a sip out of the Superfruit and it was quite a bit less vingary and a tad more sweet.

I cannot get over the fizziness! I gave up sodas about a month ago and this is SO good!
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #753
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The Trilogy had ginger in it, I took a sip out of the Superfruit and it was quite a bit less vingary and a tad more sweet.

I cannot get over the fizziness! I gave up sodas about a month ago and this is SO good!
I had the gingerade and I did not like it at all. I like a ginger syrup that I get in Hawaii that I add to club soda (it's full of sugar so I don't actually get it much when I'm there), but other ginger flavored stuff I am not crazy about.

I still drink sodas, but less now that I have my kombucha. I have gotten some pretty fizzy batches.

You're going to love it when you start making your own!

The regular Synergy Kombucha (not flavored - blue label) is pretty vinegary and even some of the flavored ones can be depending on how long they have been sitting around. You have to go kind of either way cause flavor can be inconsistent from one bottle to the next.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:46 PM   #754
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Got my new HH SCOBY! Wanted to place it in its new home, but discovered the silver needle white tea needs a long steep time (we tasted it after 30 minutes and felt it was far too weak to use yet). We're letting it sit overnight, covered, and hoping that in the morning it is better. If not, I'll be bummed, but will move on to the next best thing: a puerh/green/rooibos blend (I've been loving the puerh tea I bought to test out just as regular tea).

I reread the HH website and it says the silver needle does best in almost water temperature - far below the boiling point. Actually didn't read *that* part until after we boiled the water and then placed the tea in the pot! At first we put too little of the silver tea into the bag... my mistake. After an hour, I filled up two more bags and placed those inside the pot. Now we're at the strength you indicated, Cindy... so here's crossing my fingers that the tea is ready to roll tomorrow! I sort of have my doubts - possibly b/c the previous blend we were using (black/green) was so strong and robust... this white tea just seems anemic after that!
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:33 PM   #755
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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.

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.
I'm sure this is the "yeast problem" that I've heard about - I made 2 new batches, no scoby but the brew is sour but not vinegary sour more lemony (hmmm) I'm going to add a couple of gallons fresh & not let it brew so long. Bottle & see how it goes. (This no scoby thing really has me confused though, but I think it will rebound if I continue to drain the yeast off the bottom)

I did screw up royally though. I made a 4 gallon batch of Yerba Mate KT recently (trying to acquire a taste for it, it's fine if I have no other KT lol) I drained every drop & threw the scobys in with the other brew pot. I split them up and added fresh tea. One tastes like Yerba Mate KT (not a drop of YM starter was included) I made mistake in using my power scoby to begin with sigh. I'm going to have to do small batch brews with it & white tea and hope it "flushes" it out. I tolerate the Yerba Mate KT, but as Ms.Kam says disgusting is not much of a selling point .
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:42 PM   #756
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Got my new HH SCOBY! Wanted to place it in its new home, but discovered the silver needle white tea needs a long steep time (we tasted it after 30 minutes and felt it was far too weak to use yet). We're letting it sit overnight, covered, and hoping that in the morning it is better. If not, I'll be bummed, but will move on to the next best thing: a puerh/green/rooibos blend (I've been loving the puerh tea I bought to test out just as regular tea).

I reread the HH website and it says the silver needle does best in almost water temperature - far below the boiling point. Actually didn't read *that* part until after we boiled the water and then placed the tea in the pot! At first we put too little of the silver tea into the bag... my mistake. After an hour, I filled up two more bags and placed those inside the pot. Now we're at the strength you indicated, Cindy... so here's crossing my fingers that the tea is ready to roll tomorrow! I sort of have my doubts - possibly b/c the previous blend we were using (black/green) was so strong and robust... this white tea just seems anemic after that!
If you're still doing the power scoby idea, don't worry about the taste, the first batch is for scoby only, don't dilute it with black for sure (I'd say no pu-erh in power scoby building) green at the minimum - white is good & the silver best.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:43 AM   #757
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Ok, it's morning... the tea now has the "pale golden color" it's supposed to.... I think silver needle just doesn't have that "caffeine" taste I'm used to.

We're going to go ahead and use it for the scoby - just the silver needle (when I said "silver needle white tea" that meant just the tea that came with the scoby, which I'm assuming is pure silver needle or one tea, no blend).

Hoping all goes well....
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Old 06-20-2009, 12:35 AM   #758
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the tea now has the "pale golden color" it's supposed to.... I think silver needle just doesn't have that "caffeine" taste I'm used to. We're going to go ahead and use it for the scoby - just the silver needle (when I said "silver needle white tea" that meant just the tea that came with the scoby, which I'm assuming is pure silver needle or one tea, no blend). Hoping all goes well....
Then good the scoby doesn't have to fight you for it lol. I'm sure it will be fine. Double checking the list, fresh sweet silver tea, silver tea starter, HH scoby and quiet spot. Does the fluid come up the sides of the brew jar? What is depth? Plenty of growing space? I'm going to have to insist, no more drastic actions without a vote though!
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:58 AM   #759
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Then good the scoby doesn't have to fight you for it lol. I'm sure it will be fine. Double checking the list, fresh sweet silver tea, silver tea starter, HH scoby and quiet spot. Does the fluid come up the sides of the brew jar? What is depth? Plenty of growing space? I'm going to have to insist, no more drastic actions without a vote though!
Ok, honey! Scoby was placed in the brewer yesterday with the sweet tea. I don't know the dimensions of the brewer and am way too lazy to find a tape measure right now. But have you seen those water crocks - the kind you get when you place a 5 gallon water bottle on top (like from Culligan or...). We have one of those ceramic crocks (bought in a kit with our first scoby from Dave's site).

The liquid definitely covers it and then some - tons of room to kick around. My one, itsy bitsy concern is that the sweet tea sat overnight brewing, we then took out the tea bags in the morning, heated it up again to dissolve the sugar, and then went off to work... so the sweet tea sat covered all day (not counting that it sat unsweetened all night)... It struck me last night in bed "Holy Bacteria, Batman" did we completely undo everything by possibly allowing for a bacterial invasion?

Nervously waiting in California....
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:06 AM   #760
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I think it'll be totally fine Kamalam - as long as it was covered. The sugar will act as a preservative, I don't think anything could grow in it that quickly. I'd just be worried about fruit flies or other little bugs that would want to land in/drink the tempting sweet tea (but you said it was covered so you should be all good!). I left my sweet tea covered all day (like 12 hours) to cool (and then forgot about it) and it produced great KT.
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Old 06-20-2009, 08:24 AM   #761
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I think it'll be totally fine Kamalam - as long as it was covered. The sugar will act as a preservative, I don't think anything could grow in it that quickly. I'd just be worried about fruit flies or other little bugs that would want to land in/drink the tempting sweet tea (but you said it was covered so you should be all good!). I left my sweet tea covered all day (like 12 hours) to cool (and then forgot about it) and it produced great KT.
Thank you for your feedback... I feel much better now!!
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Old 06-21-2009, 08:18 AM   #762
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I have left tea out frequently (not covered even) and then used it - it's never been a problem for me.
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:50 AM   #763
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Thanks Jo... I've been so tempted to peek at my new scoby - just to see how it's settling in. Maybe drop off some baked goods as a new homeowner welcome, lol.

But I have resisted the temptation so far! I can't imagine waiting another 9 days or so! We broke open some of the second to the last batch of KT from our old scoby - and it was the best yet. The ginger did a fabulous job I think. But the very last batch bottled poorly. That was (one) reason we started over. Oh well... Live and Learn. I'm a bit hasty sometimes. Need to slow down and let life take its course.
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Old 06-21-2009, 11:05 AM   #764
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Oh the joys of drunk drivers and utility poles. We have 2 poles a few feet apart across the street, last year somebody took out the short pole which carries our phone and internet. A few days ago somebody took out the tall pole which carries our power.

I'll have to ask frogfarm to be certain, but I think our next bottling day is tuesday to be on a 6 day cycle.

Our last set of bottles included ginseng extract, which was ok, but not exciting. The peppermint extract seems a bit off, next time we are going to try with actual mint leaves and see if that is better. There was also a just blueberry bottle and one plain with just a wee bit of added sugar. So many flavor ideas and so little output!
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:52 PM   #765
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Wonder what the leaves from the chocolate mint plant would make the KT taste like? I can't do ginseng (B/P), but ginger, on the other hand, is a wonderful flavor! I use real ginger root in the second ferment bottles. Have done blueberry-yum- and also cranberry and pomegranate. Am looking at maybe some blackberry and black cherry flavors in the future.
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:38 AM   #766
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MMM, blackberry sounds yummy! Can't wait for the blackberries to ripen! I need to try the ginger too.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:26 AM   #767
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I'm excited, my starter culture and kit arrives today! I hope to report some deliciousness soon!
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:51 PM   #768
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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!
You will start to crave that taste. I did at least, it's always a balance of getting it sour enough & still leave enough sugars for the yeast to make the fizz with. At least you won't have that problem. Good Luck!!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:48 AM   #769
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You will start to crave that taste. I did at least, it's always a balance of getting it sour enough & still leave enough sugars for the yeast to make the fizz with. At least you won't have that problem. Good Luck!!
I bought a bottle of KT Citrus and it is almost the best thing I have ever tasted, it just has lemon juice added, which would be easy to do at home! I purposely bought the newest bottle I could and the vinegary taste was almost non existant, just a faint aftertaste!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:49 AM   #770
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Can I use glass suntea jars, with the rubber spigot? I have several of these at home and would like to do the continous brew method.

Also, to sterlize bottles, both used and new, can you just boil them or will the dishwasher do it?
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:03 AM   #771
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Can I use glass suntea jars, with the rubber spigot? I have several of these at home and would like to do the continous brew method.

Also, to sterlize bottles, both used and new, can you just boil them or will the dishwasher do it?
Yes you can use the suntea jars.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:54 PM   #772
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I have never "sterilized" my brewers (nor the one suntea jar I have). I just washed in hot water and rinsed REALLY well. Last step - I swished around some vinegar and then rinsed with hot water again. I believe you need white vinegar - which I didn't have, but figured apple cider was ok since I also re-rinsed thoroughly.
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:03 PM   #773
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I have never "sterilized" my brewers (nor the one suntea jar I have). I just washed in hot water and rinsed REALLY well. Last step - I swished around some vinegar and then rinsed with hot water again. I believe you need white vinegar - which I didn't have, but figured apple cider was ok since I also re-rinsed thoroughly.
Sorry! I meant sterilizing the bottles for the 2nd bottling, i was thinking of reusing some old KT bottles?
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Old 06-25-2009, 02:27 PM   #774
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Sorry! I meant sterilizing the bottles for the 2nd bottling, i was thinking of reusing some old KT bottles?
Eeek, sorry! Probably you *should* but we never have! :blush:

Just washed as normal - but I do have one of those bottle brushes that I bought a long time ago with my Klean Kanteen... so I can get in all the way and scrub. I think the Happy Herbalist guy says to place the bottles in boiling water (? Cindy is that right?) but that's just too much dang work for me, lol.
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:39 PM   #775
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Eeek, sorry! Probably you *should* but we never have! :blush:

Just washed as normal - but I do have one of those bottle brushes that I bought a long time ago with my Klean Kanteen... so I can get in all the way and scrub. I think the Happy Herbalist guy says to place the bottles in boiling water (? Cindy is that right?) but that's just too much dang work for me, lol.
maybe all the good bacteria eat whatever leftovers there are! I will stick with that!
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Old 06-25-2009, 04:49 PM   #776
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Eeek, sorry! Probably you *should* but we never have! :blush:

Just washed as normal - but I do have one of those bottle brushes that I bought a long time ago with my Klean Kanteen... so I can get in all the way and scrub. I think the Happy Herbalist guy says to place the bottles in boiling water (? Cindy is that right?) but that's just too much dang work for me, lol.
:blush: I was too embarrassed to answer myself I bought new Mr.Beer plastic bottles (in retrospect maybe I should have bought filled bottles lol) I rinsed them out with white vinegar the first time I used them. Before I went to reuse them, I boiled water, put one in & it melted So I have been rinsing with hot water & then vinegar. Since I have so many I should try to find a hot point (less than melting) to soak them in but it's 106F & no a/c here in the kitchen.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:03 PM   #777
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Sorry! I meant sterilizing the bottles for the 2nd bottling, i was thinking of reusing some old KT bottles?
Nope - just rinsed them out - some got run through the dishwasher some didn't. They have been sitting in a box in our dining room. No doubt they have some dust in them, but I just bottle away. No problems.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:50 PM   #778
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I just rinse the bottles out in as hot of water as my hands can tolerate, air dry, then loosely cap till the next cycle.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:23 PM   #779
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What they said!
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:49 PM   #780
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New Scoby update:

I took a peek today just to see how the little guy was settling in - it's been smelling rather pungent the last few days, so I took that as a good sign.

This brew is definitely more bubbly than the old brew - I don't know if the HH scoby is kicking butt or if the silver needle tea is helping the process, but there is some serious action taking place! It's been six days so far - when I lifted the cloth cover I saw at least two bubble eruptions in 30 seconds!

Will wait out the next few days and then take a small sample... So far, things seem to be humming along!
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