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Old 07-13-2009, 04:44 PM   #961
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Originally Posted by Zenngrl View Post
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.
The benefits are in the starter & only come with time. I'd suggest increasing your starter & decreasing your withdrawal. When the next batch is ready ONLY remove 30% and add that much fresh tea. In this warmer weather the brew will be ready as quickly as 26 hours (or you could wait a day or two more if you like it a little less sweet). So the next day you bottle 30% and add that much fresh tea.

This way a 2 gal. batch brewer that would only produce 1.5 gal KT (in batch processing) will produce (up to) 3.6 gal KT per week (in continuous processing). Since you have so much starter and hungry mature yeasts, they gobble up the sugar quickly, you're not waiting days to multiply your yeasts in all that fresh tea and the bacteria is going thru a full cycle of acid production in 70% starter.

I didn't get it til I bought 2-5 gal. brewers, cause I just couldn't get enough production out of my 2.8 gal. brewer. I sat down doing the math & projections & then I got scared that I'd be drowning in KT, but if you don't add fresh tea, it sits very patiently and really the taste doesn't change that much from 4 days to 60+ days. It's still drinkable, just sour.

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Old 07-13-2009, 05:01 PM   #962
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I don't post frequently
Batch & Continuous brewing . 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?
That's a great answer, I guess my true question is are you doing the continuous method? I see most people talk about having a continuous brewer but still doing batch brewing. (I was one and wish someone had 'splained the benefits to me and all I share with wish they had "got it" sooner too)

Post as little or as much as you like! We're just glad you made it!!

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Old 07-13-2009, 05:15 PM   #963
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I discovered today that my 3 day cont. brew time isn't quite long enough. Last night, chilled, it was great, but today at work it had to sit a bit, and tasted flat . Not fizzless flat, just almost tasteless flat- if that makes sense. The brew going now I'm going to leave 4 days and taste to see if it is tart enough. I don't want near-vinegar, just a bit of a bite! I took one of the 2nd ferment bottles for lunch, and it was just right.
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:22 PM   #964
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Cleaning bottles, soak in bleach water. I was thinking I had to boil the bottles to sanitize til one melted. So I've been shaking them down with vinegar, but wondered if that was enough. Keep forgetting to share. (ya'll probably already know this, but it just dawned on me after seeing on TV about cleaning baby bottles)
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:28 PM   #965
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I discovered today that my 3 day cont. brew time isn't quite long enough. Last night, chilled, it was great, but today at work it had to sit a bit, and tasted flat . Not fizzless flat, just almost tasteless flat- if that makes sense. The brew going now I'm going to leave 4 days and taste to see if it is tart enough. I don't want near-vinegar, just a bit of a bite! I took one of the 2nd ferment bottles for lunch, and it was just right.
Ms.Pepper, It will continue to sour in the bottles, I would suggest you bottle same time but make your second ferments longer. I'm also wondering if your brew has gotten "yeasty" - I think that's what happened to mine, it was fine one day & watery the next, but now I'm confused with timing and my scobys all dying from the heat and when they died, IF they died, can they be revived, etc.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #966
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I don't think its gone yeasty- the scoby isn't all that old, and is barely brown underneath. The gallon I decanted to drink straight out is what is flat tasting. I think it might be the house temp- almost a constant 77 unless the oven is on in the evening. But it is still potable, and I'm almost done with the gallon anyway! Ain't science great!
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:39 PM   #967
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I don't think its gone yeasty- the scoby isn't all that old, and is barely brown underneath. The gallon I decanted to drink straight out is what is flat tasting. I think it might be the house temp- almost a constant 77 unless the oven is on in the evening. But it is still potable, and I'm almost done with the gallon anyway! Ain't science great!
You said it! This KT business is a definite experiment, almost a constant experiment due to variables so totally out of our control. Let us know how your next batch does... Being so fizz conscious myself, I want to know if yours improves (and the possible reasons why...). Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:44 PM   #968
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It never had the fizz-factor, but the flavor was flat, tasteless. I might just put some concentrate in the next glass I pour out- at least it will have some flavor then!
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:01 PM   #969
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When I do my second ferment, I stir my brewing jars up a bit - get all that fuzzy brown stuff (which I guess is what is the yeast) mixed in with the brew. Then I transfer KT to a pitcher so that I can pour it easily into my bottles. The KT remaining in the brewing jars seems to be fairly "clean" not so much fuzzy brown at the bottom. I think including it in my 2nd ferment helps in it's carbonation.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:42 AM   #970
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Cleaning bottles, soak in bleach water. I was thinking I had to boil the bottles to sanitize til one melted. So I've been shaking them down with vinegar, but wondered if that was enough. Keep forgetting to share. (ya'll probably already know this, but it just dawned on me after seeing on TV about cleaning baby bottles)
I use vinegar to disinfect all the time. I don't use bleach in the house, and they are just on opposite sides of the pH spectrum, only one is caustic and the other I can put in my salad. . ..I choose the latter.

I just wash with hot soapy water, and whichever bottle brush I can fit inside, then I rinse 'em well, then splash some vinegar in for final rinse and let it drain/dry.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:00 AM   #971
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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??
I keep them in a dark box in the basement. Glass bottles and I don't refrigerate until we drink them. I have NEVER (knock on wood) had a bad bottle that way. It's funny concord grape is my favorite, only at two points either 3 days after 2nd ferment - or after 1 month. That in between time I just don't like the taste - I know I'm weird!

Again.. knock on wood never an explosion yet! I'm sure it will happen one day due to a bottle being taxed or cracked, but so far so good. I do box them in the basement (cement floor) so I would have to clean the mess but nothing would be damaged.

All my bottles came from when I started this process and I have saved them, most are recycled GT's and Arizona Iced tea bottles. Now that GT's has plastic lids - hubby treats himself to an extra 1 or 2 during the week and I'm saving the plastic lids and swapping them for the metal ones I had that are starting to get a bit yucky. I have had several trips to FL to visit my parents during the past few months and have been forced to purchase GT's while there at 3.89 per bottle - - I always grabbed ones with plastic caps and saved those to bring home.

Lastly - my 2nd ferments are always flavored - the only time I drink it plain is when I draw a glass from the continuous brewer.

I should start an additional 2 gallons just to re-stock my older supply - maybe this week I'll do that - I love AGED Boocha!!!
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:06 AM   #972
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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.
I've been brewing for a little over a year. I do both continuous brew and batch brewing. Fortunately in New England, it just doesn't seem to get that hot inside our house, so I haven't yet had a yeast overload. My taste is very consistent - I've been lucky. Tried and true for me is 12 bags black tea, 1 1/4 cup sugar to a gallon of water. I was mixing green tea/white tea/black tea for a while, but just got lazy and went back to only black. No huge difference in taste and black is just plain cheaper (even at organic).

So I don't have a lot of advise on corrections because I have been very fortunate.

If I let the continuous brewer go to long before I bottle or drink it, I just drain in all, wash it out and start with a fresh baby. Usually every 3 months I clean it out anyway the spigot tends to get clogged with stringy things - I think that also helps keep the yeast in balance.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:07 AM   #973
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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.
It still has benefits the way you are doing it. For me though, I just like the more aged taste. Just a personal preference.
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:17 PM   #974
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Wow is all I can say about going continuous. I just pulled my third bottle and it was so fizzy, like pop! I have 2 bottles (on their 2nd and 3rd day into the 2nd ferment) and they weren't fizzy like that (I added lemon and ginger to those and they are now quite fizzy). The 3rd bottle is fizzy with a huge head, I added some organic strawberry jam to that one (sweetened with grape juice). The flavor is so much better in the continous brewer, it has some bite (just a little) and a more mellow flavor. My single batch brew was getting VERY potent, too much so - I could hardly choke it down. Thanks for all the info on continuous brewing, love it!!!
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:24 PM   #975
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Wow is all I can say about going continuous. I just pulled my third bottle and it was so fizzy, like pop! I have 2 bottles (on their 2nd and 3rd day into the 2nd ferment) and they weren't fizzy like that (I added lemon and ginger to those and they are now quite fizzy). The 3rd bottle is fizzy with a huge head, I added some organic strawberry jam to that one (sweetened with grape juice). The flavor is so much better in the continous brewer, it has some bite (just a little) and a more mellow flavor. My single batch brew was getting VERY potent, too much so - I could hardly choke it down. Thanks for all the info on continuous brewing, love it!!!
Ang, that is so awesome!! I'm sitting on my hands waiting for our 2nd ferments, lol! Can't wait to start building up a backlog. Really makes me shake my head at myself for limiting production a few months ago. I've learned so much since then! Anyway, congrats!
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:11 PM   #976
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Thanks Kamalam! I've learned a lot from you, this thread is so great - actual trial and error from real people! I'm down to 1 bottle of KT, and I'm already getting impatient waiting for the 2nd ferment too! It'll be nice to have a backlog of them.

For the 2nd ferments - how long can they sit at room temp? Will they get overly sour that way (assuming they sit for a couple of weeks)?

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Old 07-14-2009, 01:35 PM   #977
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BikerAng, how much jam did you put in your 2nd brew? I didn't like the way my KT turned out when I used the mango nectar - I think I need something a bit sweeter and although I like using apple juice I would like to use something else and mix it up a bit - organic jam sounds like a great idea (especially strawberry)
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:54 PM   #978
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I just put about a 1/2 tsp in a 16 oz bottle. I shake it up after the 2nd day to break up the jam. This particular jam is from Trader Joe's.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:59 PM   #979
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I just put about a 1/2 tsp in a 16 oz bottle. I shake it up after the 2nd day to break up the jam. This particular jam is from Trader Joe's.
Oh, an excuse to go to TJ's! I was thinking I would have to go to WF's. TJ's is loads closer. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:54 PM   #980
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They have about 5 different organic flavors too, about $3 a jar.
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:01 PM   #981
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Thanks Kamalam! I've learned a lot from you, this thread is so great - actual trial and error from real people! I'm down to 1 bottle of KT, and I'm already getting impatient waiting for the 2nd ferment too! It'll be nice to have a backlog of them.

For the 2nd ferments - how long can they sit at room temp? Will they get overly sour that way (assuming they sit for a couple of weeks)?

That was my question too Don't know if you saw Laurie's post above (up a few), but she lets hers sit in her basement for 1-2 MONTHS, lol, without refrigeration. Lately though, she's only managed to wait 2 weeks - you know how it gets to you, just waiting, waiting...

We've got some in our cupboard that are only on day 3. The thought of waiting another 4 days is too much! No matter what, though, I'm going save a few to be opened at 1 week, a few to be opened in 2 weeks, and even some that won't be opened until a month from now. I am soooo curious! I'm guessing they won't go sour just based on Laurie's and Cindy's past comments.

Maybe you (and anyone else willing to experiment??) can do something similar? I'd love to hear about the results!
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Old 07-14-2009, 03:46 PM   #982
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They have about 5 different organic flavors too, about $3 a jar.
Now I have 5 reasons to stop! Plus some cheese
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:31 PM   #983
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Oh, I know I'm a pathetically new greehorn, but just wanted to say that my pre-scoby is now translucent instead of clear and about 1 1/2 inches long. Granted now it looks a bit like a piece of phlegm, but I was there when that clear baby plopped in the jar so I know the Kombucha fairy didn't spit in my sun tea jar.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:41 PM   #984
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Oh, I know I'm a pathetically new greehorn, but just wanted to say that my pre-scoby is now translucent instead of clear and about 1 1/2 inches long. Granted now it looks a bit like a piece of phlegm, but I was there when that clear baby plopped in the jar so I know the Kombucha fairy didn't spit in my sun tea jar.
Wait till you suck one of them down?!

I like to kid my kids that there are lugees (sp?) in the kombucha - keeps my daughter from drinking it. Not my son, he's a boy and likes gross stuff like that.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:41 PM   #985
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Oh, I know I'm a pathetically new greehorn, but just wanted to say that my pre-scoby is now translucent instead of clear and about 1 1/2 inches long. Granted now it looks a bit like a piece of phlegm, but I was there when that clear baby plopped in the jar so I know the Kombucha fairy didn't spit in my sun tea jar.
Whoo Hoo!

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Old 07-14-2009, 05:48 PM   #986
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That was my question too Don't know if you saw Laurie's post above (up a few), but she lets hers sit in her basement for 1-2 MONTHS, lol, without refrigeration. Lately though, she's only managed to wait 2 weeks - you know how it gets to you, just waiting, waiting...

We've got some in our cupboard that are only on day 3. The thought of waiting another 4 days is too much! No matter what, though, I'm going save a few to be opened at 1 week, a few to be opened in 2 weeks, and even some that won't be opened until a month from now. I am soooo curious! I'm guessing they won't go sour just based on Laurie's and Cindy's past comments.

Maybe you (and anyone else willing to experiment??) can do something similar? I'd love to hear about the results!
That is an FANTASTIC idea! I'm going to do the same. I think I'm going to label them so I know what's what! Thanks for the idea!

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Now I have 5 reasons to stop! Plus some cheese
I love TJ's!
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Old 07-15-2009, 08:43 PM   #987
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For the 2nd ferments - how long can they sit at room temp? Will they get overly sour that way (assuming they sit for a couple of weeks)?
I've left them at room temperature (even in this heat) for a couple of months (but in plastic bottles, the Mr.Beer Bottles have never expanded out of shape but recycled plastic bottles have). Mine start out overly sour, so it's hard to gauge. They get more sugar free, but not necessarily more sour (I don't think). Second ferment is suppose to retain the sweet, I wouldn't suggest an airspace if you're concerned with sourering though, although if you're bottling in glass, you create more pressure. The bacteria create the sour and go dormant without air.

(Please be aware that bottling in glass has very real risks of explosions and flying glass.)

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Old 07-15-2009, 09:23 PM   #988
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Stan opened up a bottle after 4 days (breaking our little agreement, but I think we've come to an understanding now, lol). Just that one extra day made a huge difference. The KT was definitely "drier" - more fizz - less heavy sweetness - all in all vastly improved from prior attempts. It's getting exciting!
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:03 PM   #989
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Stan opened up a bottle after 4 days (breaking our little agreement, but I think we've come to an understanding now, lol). Just that one extra day made a huge difference. The KT was definitely "drier" - more fizz - less heavy sweetness - all in all vastly improved from prior attempts. It's getting exciting!
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:15 AM   #990
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Okay, I wasn't going to be one of those people asking questions before I had even read the thread, but I am so excited to get started I am one of those people!!

Where can I purchase a scoby and get started? I want to start while it is summer time and it is warm and I have the time to experiment.

I promise to read the entire thread because after just a few pages I can tell there is a wealth of information. I love food experiments-last summer I fermented garden cabbage to make sauer kraut (which was relatively simple).

Hope someone wouldn't mind getting me started! Thanks!
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