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Old 06-26-2009, 02:06 AM   #781
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamalam View Post
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!
Did you see the pic on post #22 of Kombucha pics & tip thread? Is it bubbly like that?? My newest scoby was from HH and it wasn't any bubblier than the other. I did create a HUGE power scoby before putting it into production. I've still had no baby growth. I did bottle up last batch and it came out foamy & tastes fine (I didn't add flavorings this time, didn't want to cover up anything) It tastes sour without a vinegary bite (maybe I'm just too used to it??) The batches lately have been more foamy than fizzy. Seems like all the carbonation is in the head and not in the drink. I'm assuming it's the heat though. At least it had a taste, pleasant and all and it wasn't loaded with yeasties. Will probably dump the yeast before starting next batch. Maybe only have one or 2 scoby in brewer. I'm hoping my hotel scobys are ok.

My science project scoby (created from starter only) is 3 weeks old - 12" diameter half inch think and growing by the day. It looks a lil stranger (almost like a flat brain) but they say that is fine too . I'm a lil skeered to drink it but bet I get over it. Going to let it continue to grow and just kind of watch it. I can't imagine not having a clear brewer to watch. I know Kam wants to poke & prod and I know Jo would have a week ago
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:04 AM   #782
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I posted earlier about getting the "tingly" feeling... well it only happens with the Gingerade and the Trilogy, so I am attributing it to the the ginger! So I will definetly bottle some with ginger juice!
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:25 AM   #783
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I have kombuch coming out my ears! This is a good thing and a bad thing. I have used all my bottles. Most have made it to the fridge after the second ferment. Is that the only way to slow the fermentation process down so that it doesn't all turn into vinegar?

Now I have 3 - 1 gallon jars brewing away and I think they are pretty close to being ready to bottle, but I don't have enough bottles? Is it possible to delay the 2nd ferment by putting all of what is brewing into a large container and then refrigerating it and then when I have enough bottles, pour some of the refrigerated kombucha in the bottles for a 2nd ferment?
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:43 AM   #784
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I posted earlier about getting the "tingly" feeling... well it only happens with the Gingerade and the Trilogy, so I am attributing it to the the ginger! So I will definetly bottle some with ginger juice!
Someone needs to check me here, but I believe placing a small piece of (peeled) ginger in the 2nd ferment bottle is better than the juice.

I could be wrong - totally - so I'm hoping for confirmation or clarification. Actually, I don't know if I've seen ginger juice? I've seen ginger mixed with other things (ginger kombucha or gingerale, etc.).

When we put pieces of ginger into our 2nd bottles, the result was awesome. Best fizz and incredible taste. Some of the ginger pieces disintegrated and some didin't (which I thought was kind of weird, but oh well, lol).
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:51 AM   #785
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Hey Jo... hmmmm. I would think your plan sounds good. We've used big bottles for our 2nd ferment and put them in the frig with no problem. In fact some of the best KT came from doing that! Probably was a coincidence, but I'll take it.

Cindy - you're science project sounds awesome! I don't have the nerves of steel you guys do starting from scratch (but maybe one day). Yeah - my brew sort of does look like #22 of the other kombucha thread... since we have the 2.5 brewer, it isn't quite as concentrated looking, but similar. My feeling is that it's temporary... I mean it's frothy now, but as soon as we start draining and adding more sweet tea, etc., things will change. Like you described - I think there will be good batches and sort of flat ones. Life, baby! It is so unpredictable, lol.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:48 AM   #786
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FYI

Whole Foods has the bottled Synergy KT for 2 fo $6!! I stocked up til my brew is done!
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:49 AM   #787
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Someone needs to check me here, but I believe placing a small piece of (peeled) ginger in the 2nd ferment bottle is better than the juice.

I could be wrong - totally - so I'm hoping for confirmation or clarification. Actually, I don't know if I've seen ginger juice? I've seen ginger mixed with other things (ginger kombucha or gingerale, etc.).

When we put pieces of ginger into our 2nd bottles, the result was awesome. Best fizz and incredible taste. Some of the ginger pieces disintegrated and some didin't (which I thought was kind of weird, but oh well, lol).
I have fresh ginger at home!!
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #788
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FYI

Whole Foods has the bottled Synergy KT for 2 fo $6!! I stocked up til my brew is done!
$2.99 is what I pay regularly. $2.50 is a sale here...
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:07 AM   #789
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$2.99 is what I pay regularly. $2.50 is a sale here...
Here in Tampa I have seen 3.69 - 4.79, so this is a deal to me!!
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:08 AM   #790
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wow! and I thought I was saving money by making my own. You are going to be rich!

ETA: Synergy is made in California, maybe that explains the price difference.

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:39 AM   #791
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Out in my neck of the woods it's $3.99 a bottle!!! I've always thought it was highway robbery - which is why making my own is so appealing. Wish we had a Whole Foods, but our area is too small. If possible I try and shop for things online since the health food stores we do have are expensive (but then again, when I lived in Seattle, I remember WF was rather pricey too. Still, 2 for $6 is a pretty good deal).
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #792
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Out in my neck of the woods it's $3.99 a bottle!!! I've always thought it was highway robbery - which is why making my own is so appealing. Wish we had a Whole Foods, but our area is too small. If possible I try and shop for things online since the health food stores we do have are expensive (but then again, when I lived in Seattle, I remember WF was rather pricey too. Still, 2 for $6 is a pretty good deal).

Interestingly, WF's can have good prices on some items, but on everyday items it's pricey.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:16 PM   #793
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I have kombuch coming out my ears! This is a good thing and a bad thing. I have used all my bottles. Most have made it to the fridge after the second ferment. Is that the only way to slow the fermentation process down so that it doesn't all turn into vinegar?

Now I have 3 - 1 gallon jars brewing away and I think they are pretty close to being ready to bottle, but I don't have enough bottles? Is it possible to delay the 2nd ferment by putting all of what is brewing into a large container and then refrigerating it and then when I have enough bottles, pour some of the refrigerated kombucha in the bottles for a 2nd ferment?
I would think putting in large container would work fine. I don't have refrigerator space and have bottles fermenting up to 3 weeks on the counter top. I like my brew sour though.

You can also slow down the bottling process by just letting your brew jars sit at 70% full.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:34 PM   #794
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Someone needs to check me here, but I believe placing a small piece of (peeled) ginger in the 2nd ferment bottle is better than the juice.

I could be wrong - totally - so I'm hoping for confirmation or clarification. Actually, I don't know if I've seen ginger juice? I've seen ginger mixed with other things (ginger kombucha or gingerale, etc.).

When we put pieces of ginger into our 2nd bottles, the result was awesome. Best fizz and incredible taste. Some of the ginger pieces disintegrated and some didin't (which I thought was kind of weird, but oh well, lol).
I didn't notice anything on the taste with the dried ginger - the pieces became swollen & I had a time getting them out of bottles. For the Yerba Mate KT, I put a cup of crystalized ginger into my blender with some KT and liquified if before adding.

I was thinking of culturing ginger (when I get access to fresh ginger) and adding that to my bottles. This would add beneficial lactobacilli. This is from a recipe for Lacto-Fermented Soft Drinks, so you don't have to have as much ginger culture because KT already has dominate healthy bacteria, but this would make a healthy drink even better.

The Culture: make from scratch. Dice fresh ginger root into tiny cubes, put a tablespoon of it into a mason jar 3/4 full of water, along with 2 teaspoons white sugar. Every day for a week, Add another 2 teaspoons each sugar and ginger , at which time it should become bubbly with a pleasant odor. If it gets moldy, dump it and start over. Even a small amount of culture will start a batch of soda going, but it’s best to use at least a cup per gallon so that these beneficial lactobacilli can dominate before less desirable microorganisms have a chance (or You can use a bottle of soda from the last batch as culture)
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:54 AM   #795
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Ok- I'm gonna do it....

.. go continuous. But, I have a few questions.
Do you make your sweet tea ahead of time and store in the frig till needed, or what?
Do you stir the KT before using it or just "decant" as is?

I still want to bottle some and chill for work, and figured this will keep me in KT- 12 bottles get used up pretty fast here- and I'm the only one drinking it!


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Old 06-27-2009, 04:45 PM   #796
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.. go continuous. But, I have a few questions.
Do you make your sweet tea ahead of time and store in the frig till needed, or what?
Do you stir the KT before using it or just "decant" as is?

I still want to bottle some and chill for work, and figured this will keep me in KT- 12 bottles get used up pretty fast here
Either way works let it come more to room temp first though. Best to stir up the KT to get a more even mix & stir in with fresh tea to help oxygenate.

My scobys are still on strike sigh. I drank bottled and it was ok. One brewer was more foamy, the other may need more time and though isn't carbonated like I want, it still had the zestiness I want. I put my hotel under ac lol just in case.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #797
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I think the heat's against you Cindy... hang in there! You're doing everything you can, and I bet you'll see a turnaround soon.

I tasted the new brew - one word: SOUR! No wonder it's been so pungent around here lately, lol. We're going to make more sweet tea and put that in, then test in a few days. We need to bring the quantity anyway.

Unlike our green tea/ black tea blend, the "taste" factor of the silver needle white is not as bold. It seems more vinegary at this point... If I had put my head on straight, though, I would have ordered some more white and had it on hand just to continue the process and see how things might have changed.. :duh:

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Old 06-27-2009, 08:26 PM   #798
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I tasted the new brew: SOUR! going to make more sweet tea and put that in, then test in a few days.
Unlike our green tea/ black tea blend, the "taste" factor of the silver needle white is not as bold. It seems more vinegary at this point...
I'm hanging, not chucking the lot (like some ppl ) Don't forget the silver wasn't for drinking, just power building. I'm curious how thick it is, but don't want to encourage you to poke it, but when you add your tea mixture, check it out!
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:27 PM   #799
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I'm hanging, not chucking the lot (like some ppl ) Don't forget the silver wasn't for drinking, just power building. I'm curious how thick it is, but don't want to encourage you to poke it, but when you add your tea mixture, check it out!
True, true...

Tomorrow we'll add new sweet tea and (rubs hands) I'll definitely be checking out any growth. I'm thinking Happy Scoby thoughts....
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:34 PM   #800
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Well, I've ordered my 5 gal. brewer and some loose leaf Silver Leaf Green tea. Not sure how I'm going to mix the green and black as I usually steep my black about 25- 30 minutes . It will, I guess, be a learning curve.

A scoby hotel question: as the scobies grow, do you add some stronger "starter" strength brew to keep them moist? I do not want to put all my babies in the big brewer so am going to use one of the gal. pickle jars I use for brewing now as the hotel. Any tips and pointers will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:50 PM   #801
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I just put the extras in the pickle jar with finished tea. It got stronger on it's own as it sat and eventually started making more extras in the hotel. As it got crowded I added more finished tea. I think if you don't want it to make extras really fast you have to add fresh sweet tea. Somthing about having to convert it slows down the scoby building process.
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:07 PM   #802
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Oh! Ok- I'll do that.

Check Out Igor and Colleen (except I can't tell them apart!)





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Old 06-28-2009, 09:17 PM   #803
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Wow Pepperette, those are some strappling scobys! Looks like you are going to have lots of KT fun!
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:42 PM   #804
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Well, I've ordered my 5 gal. brewer and some loose leaf Silver Leaf Green tea. Not sure how I'm going to mix the green and black as I usually steep my black about 25- 30 minutes
A scoby hotel question: as the scobies grow, do you add some stronger "starter" strength brew to keep them moist? I do not want to put all my babies in the big brewer so am going to use one of the gal. pickle jars I use for brewing now as the hotel. Any tips and pointers will be greatly appreciated!
I'm guessing you know this already silver leaf green tea is not same as silver needle white tea. I ordered the silver leaf green tea (thinking it was other) cause it was priced like the other - found out in time to cancel order.

I would suggest you steep green tea for 5 min. I put mine in muslin bags (and reuse 10x) and do the green first with timer for 5 min. Then I put in black tea & I also add rooibos.

Pepperette with 5 gal brewer, oh my she's going to be dangerous now lol!!! Put enough starter to cover your hotel & you can add water if fluids evaporate or more starter (with 5 gal. brewer you'll be able to spare some)

We're all learning together but you know I'll lie to you about anything lol
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:57 PM   #805
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I'm guessing you know this already silver leaf green tea is not same as silver needle white tea.
Yes- I don't want to build a power scoby! Just add some more health benefits with the green tea. I use a stainless steel tea ball for my loose leaf tea, so I will probably do the black first, then the green for the last 5 min.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:10 AM   #806
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What temperatures and places does everyone keep their KT while brewing? I'm afraid my house is too cool to brew it?
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:25 AM   #807
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I live in Northern California so it doesn't get really warm (except this past weekend we were in the 100's) and we don't generally use air conditioning so it stays pretty mild in our house and my brew is loving it. I keep my 3 1-gal jars in a small cupboard.

Although it might be cool in your house, that shouldn't be a problem other than it might take longer for a batch to brew. It might be slightly warmer on top of the fridge...
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:56 AM   #808
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I live in Northern California so it doesn't get really warm (except this past weekend we were in the 100's) and we don't generally use air conditioning so it stays pretty mild in our house and my brew is loving it. I keep my 3 1-gal jars in a small cupboard.

Although it might be cool in your house, that shouldn't be a problem other than it might take longer for a batch to brew. It might be slightly warmer on top of the fridge...
We live in Florida, so we always have the AC on!

We keep it like 74-76 during the day, sometimes a bit lower when it high humidity.

Everywhere I read said that we should keep the brew above 74 or around there, the glass jar felt cool to the touch this morning?

Just don't want to ruin it!

I might transfer to the pantry!
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:16 AM   #809
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I doubt that you will ruin it. We have had a very mild spring and summer (up till last weekend) we didn't ever think it was going to warm up.

I started brewing in April and due to the cooler weather - things didn't take off real fast. My first brew - which I started from scratch (sweet tea and a bottle of GT Kombucha) took over a month to brew. My scoby only just recently got opaque. They have been transluscent forever.

Like I said, I don't think you will mess anything up - it's just going to take a bit longer due to the cooler temperature. If you have a place in the house that is a bit warmer, I am sure it would be happy there as well.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:13 AM   #810
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Like Jo, we live in a cooler temperature area and we've had no real problems. Maybe in the fall I'll purchase one of those nifty KT heating pads - but for now, even though we're generally always in the 70s, our brew does fine.
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