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Old 07-11-2009, 08:38 PM   #931
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Hey all,
Hope it's ok to jump in here. I've been reading this thread on and off for the last few months. The encouragement and info everyone gives on this thread is terrific.

Like so many, at first I was totally grossed out at the idea. Not any more!! Yesterday I bottled my first batch from a continuous brewer, added some frozen pureed pineapple to a couple of bottles...oh my gosh it was delicious and SO much better than the stuff in the store.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #932
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Lordy... hold the phone. How long do you 2nd ferment your bottles? What we've been doing is fermenting 2-3 days in the cupboard, drinking immediately, or transferring to the fridge and then drinking within a week, tops.

It sounds like you are letting your bottles go much longer than that! If so, that would explain why our fizz factor is lower - we aren't giving it enough time(?)!
I have fizz in my first brew and get more in my 2nd ferment. I only do a 3 - 4 day 2nd ferment...
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:25 AM   #933
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Hey all,
Hope it's ok to jump in here. I've been reading this thread on and off for the last few months. The encouragement and info everyone gives on this thread is terrific.

Like so many, at first I was totally grossed out at the idea. Not any more!! Yesterday I bottled my first batch from a continuous brewer, added some frozen pureed pineapple to a couple of bottles...oh my gosh it was delicious and SO much better than the stuff in the store.
MissBeth!! Thanks for joining us, we're a bunch of newbies, kind of stumbling thru the process, but we'll lie to you about anything.

Pop quiz time: what's difference between continuous brewing & batch brewing? You didn't know there was going to be a quiz on the first day
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:36 AM   #934
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I have fizz in my first brew and get more in my 2nd ferment. I only do a 3 - 4 day 2nd ferment...
I bottled my batches at sugar free stage though, so a lot of mine never get fizz until I added grape juice. With the continuous brewer, I have been bottling much earlier though, but the only time I got fizz less than 5 days was when I added sugar (I think)
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Old 07-12-2009, 01:39 AM   #935
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when do you leave to help your stepmom (which, btw, sounds like a very loving thing to do...). Will you have any Internet access???
I'm planning on being there the 14th thru the 19th and thankfully I'll have internet access, just not a lot of time to hang lol, but I'll be checking in here.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:00 AM   #936
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I'm going to bottle some KT today from my continuous brewer and just want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. The bottled 2nd ferment needs to sit for 5 days to get fizzy? The tea is quite sweet so there is definitely sugar in it still. It was pretty warm yesterday (in the low 80's) but it's rainy and cooler today so the weather is all over the board here.

Just so I do this correctly, I should bottle some and refresh the continous brew every 2-3 days and the bottled 2nd ferment needs to sit for 5+ days? I may need to buy more bottles!!

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Old 07-12-2009, 11:37 AM   #937
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I'm going to bottle some KT today from my continuous brewer and just want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. The bottled 2nd ferment needs to sit for 5 days to get fizzy? The tea is quite sweet so there is definitely sugar in it still. It was pretty warm yesterday (in the low 80's) but it's rainy and cooler today so the weather is all over the board here.

Just so I do this correctly, I should bottle some and refresh the continous brew every 2-3 days and the bottled 2nd ferment needs to sit for 5+ days? I may need to buy more bottles!!
You definitely will need more bottles! I'm just realizing how many more we need... It sounds like you're doing this right. We generally drain our 2nd ferments and replenish with sweet tea the same day.

Though lately we've started the process too late at night so we've let the brew sit 1-3 days before adding more sweet tea. I've been wondering myself if this is "ok" since it means the main brew gets super potent!

I'm interested in getting some feedback here myself... although I will add that so far replenishing the sweet tea in this way has not caused any problems...
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:55 AM   #938
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I've got tea cooling, then I plan on decanting a gallon to chill, plain. I have some flavors going through 2nd ferment. It's been about 3 days for them. I tried some from the cont. brewer this morning and it was just right for me. Wish I could decant into my plastic jar w/spigot - it would make getting a glassfull so much easier.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:38 PM   #939
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Well, I'm starting my journey again from the start - I dumped my creative grape juice starter in favor of plain KT + organic tea (white and black) + sugar. On a good note, the bottle of KT already had a baby scoby, maybe the size and shape of a paperclip. As I was pouring it in the sun tea jar, I heard a "plop" and there it was on top, like a little jellyfish. I'll be doing continuous and look forward to my first batch in a month or more. I'm looking forward to watching it grow and develop. I'll continue watching everyone's progress and vicariously enjoying through your posts.

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Old 07-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #940
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My reflux/GERD seems to be worse since I started drinking it a few days ago...I've stopped now cuz I am in terrible pain and can't eat very much. Help! Anyone else find it a lot worse? I thought it is supposed to help!

Thanks!
Well, as with apple cider vinegar, I'm sure some people may feel the symptoms get worse before it gets better. ACV is a alternative remedy for gerd and reflux. it takes time for the esophageal sphincter to relearn to close tightly when acid pH drops, until then any acid might irritate the already irritated lining. Try a diluted version of ACV or Kombucha for a while and follow all the same rules for gerd, avoid lying down after eating, avoid eating till physically full, sleep with your head and torso elevated slightly, and give it some time. Don't hurt yourself. Kombucha is pretty acid, so you don't want to drink it straight for now.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #941
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IWish I could decant into my plastic jar w/spigot - it would make getting a glassfull so much easier.
Your continuous brewer doesn't have a spigot?? Why not decant where you want??
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:45 PM   #942
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I'm going to bottle some KT today from my continuous brewer and just want to make sure I'm doing it correctly. The bottled 2nd ferment needs to sit for 5 days to get fizzy? (cindy -YES FOR ME BUT YMMV) The tea is quite sweet so there is definitely sugar in it still. It was pretty warm yesterday (in the low 80's) .

Just so I do this correctly, I should bottle some and refresh (cindy - IMMEDIATELY OR LATER, YOUR CHOICE, DOESN'T MATTER BUT AFTER ADDING 30% FRESH TEA, BOTTLE WITHIN 1-3 DAYS) the continous brew every 2-3 days (cindy - think this is confused, see above) and the bottled 2nd ferment needs to sit for 5+ days? (cindy - YES) I may need to buy more bottles!!


Back when I was doing batch brewing and I bottled, I'd still drink one ever day, but the bottles didn't get fizzy for my brew (near sugarless) until after the 5th day. I had recent brews that were ready in 3 days but it was 90F & I added lemon & sugar to them. I use plastic bottles so I can feel when they are ready (rock hard) but that didn't stop me from drinking before they were ready. You can easily backlog up to 21 days of bottles before you really should refrig. (from what I've read). I've done up to 2 months (but I use plastic bottles that shouldn't explode). That gives you lots information about the changes in the second ferment. *Please be informed that glass bottles will explode with flying shards of glass and take precautions. (Only took me one glass bottle exploding for me to switch to plastic)

I would encourage you to keep the bottling process on full speed til you have a backlog. I would bottle 2-4 gallons at a time to cut down on doing it so often. The "starter' in the brewer never really changes that much even sitting for 30-60 days and is sour but not undrinkable. Now the yeasts got overgrown with the heat or probably just with time (since Kam seems to have had the same problem) but I just dumped out the bottom brown yeasts. Since my scobys died with heat, it's hard to tell if this was the problem and if it fixed it, but I'm betting it would.

So bottle 30% and add in 30% and bottle within 3 days. It can be processed and bottled in as little as 26 hours. You can hold off adding fresh tea if desired (don't want to, don't have time, don't have bottles, whatever reason) and the starter will sit patiently with little change. It's important on continuous brew to bottle in 3 days of adding fresh tea because by the 4th day it's back to starter, but that's still drinkable, just very sour, and you could just add it to hotel, if you've got more starter than needed.

*It's been drummed into my head on another forum to please not discuss bottling without being very clear about exploding bottles (which did happen to me on my very first batch)

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Old 07-12-2009, 05:15 PM   #943
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Well, I'm starting my journey again from the start - I dumped my creative grape juice starter in favor of plain KT + organic tea (white and black) + sugar. On a good note, the bottle of KT already had a baby scoby, maybe the size and shape of a paperclip. As I was pouring it in the sun tea jar, I heard a "plop" and there it was on top, like a little jellyfish. I'll be doing continuous and look forward to my first batch in a month or more. I'm looking forward to watching it grow and develop.
It probably won't take nearly that long, I had a thick scoby from starter in a couple of weeks and the diameter of my jar was 12". Hopefully you didn't add much fresh tea to starter (not more than 75%) Jo put hers to work immediately without bothering to let it grow and she's delighted with her brew.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:34 PM   #944
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Your continuous brewer doesn't have a spigot?? Why not decant where you want??

Yes, my cont. brewer does have a spigot, but my fondness runs to chilled KT, and I can't put that in the frig! My babies would freeze! I just decanted into my leftover pickle jar and covered it and placed in the frig. Those flavored/bottled from the prior batch go in the frig tomorrow. I'll just have to hunt around to find a glass jar with a spigot. So far, all I have found are plastic, like the one I already have for plain tea- tea.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:02 PM   #945
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Yes, my cont. brewer does have a spigot, but my fondness runs to chilled KT, and I can't put that in the frig! My babies would freeze! I just decanted into my leftover pickle jar and covered it and placed in the frig. Those flavored/bottled from the prior batch go in the frig tomorrow. I'll just have to hunt around to find a glass jar with a spigot. So far, all I have found are plastic, like the one I already have for plain tea- tea.
Talk to your local Walmart and ask them to order you a glass sun tea jar. I know it's not in the catalog but it's in every other Walmart in the nation but yours (for $6) Are you sure you didn't look in the seasonal department, I'm betting it's there, the stores are all alike. If not, unless your just adverse to the thought, put your brewed KT in a plastic sun tea jar. Thrift stores almost always have them also.

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Old 07-13-2009, 05:47 AM   #946
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Talk to your local Walmart and ask them to order you a glass sun tea jar. I know it's not in the catalog but it's in every other Walmart in the nation but yours (for $6) Are you sure you didn't look in the seasonal department, I'm betting it's there, the stores are all alike. If not, unless your just adverse to the thought, put your brewed KT in a plastic sun tea jar. Thrift stores almost always have them also.
I was at Walmart yesterday and there were scads of sun tea jars on sale for $3. You know, making room for winter stuff
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:55 AM   #947
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I have been rereading this thread, and am amazed at how far we have come. From never having drank kombucha to continuous brewers! Funny how things progress.
I would like to hear from some that were putting off making their own, like SashimiMark, Moonius (, and others like LaurieRobo, oyvey, etc., to name only a few. Chime in folks and tell us what you are doing in the world of KT brewing!
Still here and brewing strong!!! I have upped production my DH has increased his consumption and gone through all my cases of bottled stash.

I have my 2.5 continuous brewer and 2 (1gallon) jugs going. I've been bottling about 2 cases a week and am slowly building up my stash again. I like the longer 2nd fermented brews so much better. I like the aged taste after 2 or 3 months... but sigh... I'm only getting 2 week old 2nd ferment thanks to hubby!

Now to keep the fruit flies out of my way I have 2 fruit fly traps, boocha w/ a bit of diswashing liquid and I'm catching several a day. The are incredible!!!!
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:30 AM   #948
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Way to go Laurie!

I was totally interested in your comment about 2-3 month 2nd ferment bottles! That's amazing. Couple of questions: Do you keep them in a cupboard or refrigerated? Also... (I know you're basically doing 2 week bottles now) do you add any concentrates or flavors when they sit that long?

I'm wondering also about whether you've had any exploding bottles or if you use plastic?

Ok, ok, last question: where do you get all your bottles?! You must have bought a case somewhere along the line??

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Old 07-13-2009, 08:34 AM   #949
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Still here and brewing strong!!! I have upped production my DH has increased his consumption and gone through all my cases of bottled stash.

I have my 2.5 continuous brewer and 2 (1gallon) jugs going. I've been bottling about 2 cases a week and am slowly building up my stash again. I like the longer 2nd fermented brews so much better. I like the aged taste after 2 or 3 months

Laurie, How long have you been brewing? Do you use continuous brewing or batch brewing? Have you had a problem with yeast overload or a brew going from fine to watery overnight? Thanks for your insight.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:41 AM   #950
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I was at Walmart yesterday and there were scads of sun tea jars on sale for $3. You know, making room for winter stuff

Awesome. I might pick up one or two more - I like to use it for overflow when I have used up all my bottles. I decant, do a 2nd ferment and then put the whole thing in the fridge. I don't use it as a continuous brewer.
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:11 AM   #951
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I have a question after reading all this about 2-3 week/month 2nd ferments....

Does the Kombucha not have the good benefits until this time? Why don't any of the other sites mention this?

I have been doing 7-8 days in the main brewer, then 3-4 days in bottles, then putting them in the fridge and drinking them within a week or so?

The main reason I'm drinking/making Kombucha is for the dextox and reported weight loss benefits.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:38 AM   #952
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I have a question after reading all this about 2-3 week/month 2nd ferments....

Does the Kombucha not have the good benefits until this time? Why don't any of the other sites mention this?

I have been doing 7-8 days in the main brewer, then 3-4 days in bottles, then putting them in the fridge and drinking them within a week or so?

The main reason I'm drinking/making Kombucha is for the dextox and reported weight loss benefits.
This is the answer Cindy gave me a while ago when I asked a very similar question. It's from the Happy Herbalist website:

"Only Continuous Brewing of the kombucha allows the formation of the vast array of the many nutrients and acids that are constantly being produced and broken down throughout the active ferment time. Kombucha Researcher Mike Roussin indicated that at 80o F and 7 days the ferment has the greatest variety of health benefits. (vitamins, oxylic acid, etc) However, he also noted that the longer the ferment was allowed to proceed the more beneficial acids will have a chance to form. Some of these acids don't even appear until 14-21 days in the typical process.

These acids are largely responsible for the detoxifying nature of Kombucha Tea and are the catalysts we seek in kombucha mushroom tea. Glucose content maximizes around the 8th or 9th day. This implies that gluconic acid production could not peak until after that point. Gluconic acid is the biggest single contributor to the detox effect. Where the typical Single Stage Method, in the hands of a brew master, may be able to develop a high level of a single nutrient or two, the Continuous Brew will always produce the widest range of all the nutrients possible."

So, my take is that as long as you are continuous, the amount of time you 2nd ferment is totally up to your preference for fizz and flavor. If you drink straight from the brewer it seems that would be fine (you're getting all the benies...) But 2nd fermenting gives you some real fizz and the ability to add concentrates or ginger, or craisins, or...

Last edited by Kamalam; 07-13-2009 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:19 AM   #953
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This is the answer Cindy gave me a while ago when I asked a very similar question. It's from the Happy Herbalist website:

"Only Continuous Brewing of the kombucha allows the formation of the vast array of the many nutrients and acids that are constantly being produced and broken down throughout the active ferment time. Kombucha Researcher Mike Roussin indicated that at 80o F and 7 days the ferment has the greatest variety of health benefits. (vitamins, oxylic acid, etc) However, he also noted that the longer the ferment was allowed to proceed the more beneficial acids will have a chance to form. Some of these acids don't even appear until 14-21 days in the typical process.

These acids are largely responsible for the detoxifying nature of Kombucha Tea and are the catalysts we seek in kombucha mushroom tea. Glucose content maximizes around the 8th or 9th day. This implies that gluconic acid production could not peak until after that point. Gluconic acid is the biggest single contributor to the detox effect. Where the typical Single Stage Method, in the hands of a brew master, may be able to develop a high level of a single nutrient or two, the Continuous Brew will always produce the widest range of all the nutrients possible."

So, my take is that as long as you are continuous, the amount of time you 2nd ferment is totally up to your preference for fizz and flavor. If you drink straight from the brewer it seems that would be fine (you're getting all the benies...) But 2nd fermenting gives you some real fizz and the ability to add concentrates or ginger, or craisins, or...
I'm on my 2nd batch, I'm not drinking straight from the brewer, I'm bottling after 7-8 days, then I add more tea sugar to the 2 cups or so I leave in the jar?

I'm still sort of confused? My brew so far tastes great, with little fizz.

So as long as I'm using the same starter tea over and over, I'm okay?
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:05 PM   #954
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I'm on my 2nd batch, I'm not drinking straight from the brewer, I'm bottling after 7-8 days, then I add more tea sugar to the 2 cups or so I leave in the jar?

I'm still sort of confused? My brew so far tastes great, with little fizz.

So as long as I'm using the same starter tea over and over, I'm okay?
My question is are you batch brewing or are you continuous brewing? If you are continuous, you would not be bottling at the 7-8 day mark simply because your brew would be so freaking sour.

Check out the HH website link I posted to really understand the difference... there's a wealth of info there.

But briefly: it sounds like you are batch brewing. That's fine, you just don't get the full range of beneficial acids as mentioned above. With batch brewing you leave less starter tea in the brewer (roughly 20%) and bottle the majority (like 80%). Then you add more sweet tea, wait a week, and repeat. Let your bottles 2nd ferment on the counter (or cupboard...) for at least a few days, but better a couple of weeks (I'm now learning).

With continuous brewing, you're leaving about 80% starter in your brewer and only bottle about 20%, but you're doing this every 1-3 days (three days MAX). It's more work, but you're getting so much more out of your KT, plus you're getting a much higher production.

The fizz will increase if you give your 2nd ferments TIME, maybe some added sugar or concentrate, maybe both... you need to experiment.

So, yeah, you do use the starter tea over and over, but the benefits come from HOW you brew... continuous being the preferred method.

ETA: It is confusing at first... I was the Queen of Confusion when I first started reading this boocha thread! I had no idea about all the subtlties involved.

Last edited by Kamalam; 07-13-2009 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:31 PM   #955
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I will have to read up then.. cause I'm still lost. I'm sad that the KT I have now isn't good for me as I thought
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:44 PM   #956
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I will have to read up then.. cause I'm still lost. I'm sad that the KT I have now isn't good for me as I thought
For me it's not about the health benefits, but that it is a healthier alternative to what I was drinking (even if I don't do continous brew). KT has replaced wine at home.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:48 PM   #957
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I will have to read up then.. cause I'm still lost. I'm sad that the KT I have now isn't good for me as I thought
The HH site is not an easy read, lol... so if you're still confused, maybe check back here and somebody else can explain things better...

But don't be too sad! You're still getting lots of benefits from KT! Probiotics being a big one... appetite control being another. I can't even tell you how much drinking KT helps with that. When we first started, we were batch brewing too. Drinking before meals was a fabulous way to ensure portion control - plus depending on how long you 2nd ferment, you are drinking a very low sugar beverage. Sometimes drinking water is hard... but drinking kombucha is easy!

ETA: I agree with Jo... often I'll have KT instead of wine. I feel just as "good" but also know I'm being way healthier.

Last edited by Kamalam; 07-13-2009 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:51 PM   #958
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Sometimes drinking water is hard... but drinking kombucha is easy!
ABSOLUTELY!

Last edited by JoSkids; 07-13-2009 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:57 PM   #959
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:... but we'll lie to you about anything.

Pop quiz time: what's difference between continuous brewing & batch brewing? You didn't know there was going to be a quiz on the first day
Ok, I like it here already!

I don't post frequently b/c lots of nights when I get home, I have no desire to get on the computer (sit in front of one most of the work day). Right now I'm sneaking a quick post at work, but I pretty much try not to do that. And this week is our Vacation Bible School, so I'm staying away from my home computer at night otherwise I'll never get my lessons prepped. (Wish I was one of those folks who can pop on for half an hour and shut it off.)

Batch & Continuous brewing work like my composter. I can just do one complete batch, wait a week or two, bottle it all, and basially start all over again -OR- take a few bottles at a time and add more tea/sugar mix and have more ready in a shorter time, also taking advantage of more nutrients (etc.) in the older KT. Is that close enough for pop quiz answer? Thanks for the welcome.
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:28 PM   #960
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With continuous brewing, you're leaving about 80% starter in your brewer and only bottle about 20%, but you're doing this every 1-3 days (three days MAX). It's more work, but you're getting so much more out of your KT, plus you're getting a much higher production.
*You could leave up to 70% & bottle 30% in a continuous brewer.
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