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Old 07-16-2009, 07:16 AM   #991
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J- There are several people in this thread who have scoby that they are willing to ship out. I, personally, started from scratch. A bottle of synergy & a gallon of sweet tea and I was off and running.

To start from scratch takes a bit longer cause your scoby has to grow big and strong and over time, believe me it will!
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:28 AM   #992
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J, you might want to look specifically at BikerAng's scobys back a page or two - she had some awesome looking scobys that she was considering sharing. Not sure if they're still available, but you can check!

Or check out the Happy Herbalist's website - you will be able to purchase a scoby starter kit and get a wealth of information on kombucha in general. I learned so much from that site!!

Or, you can be a rebel like Jo - she started out from complete scratch and is loving her KT now...

But to really get the skinny on the ins and outs - read this thread, lol. The ladies here have helped me enormously.

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Old 07-16-2009, 09:46 AM   #993
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I have a TON of scoby's that I would be happy to share. They are all kind of intermingled now and a new scoby formed on top of the "scoby hotel" so they probably won't be the prettiest - but they are definitely strong and healthy! PM me if you'd like to get one/some.

ETA: Thanks for the tips on the 2nd ferment! I am using KT glass bottles, but I put the bottles inside a zipped up bag so if they do explode all the glass shards will be contained.

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Old 07-16-2009, 09:52 AM   #994
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Originally Posted by Kamalam View Post
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!
I'm having the hardest time waiting, I think I have some bottles on day 4 now and I'm itching to try one! I'll probably end up trying one today, hope it turns out as nice as yours!
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:44 AM   #995
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I'm having the hardest time waiting, I think I have some bottles on day 4 now and I'm itching to try one! I'll probably end up trying one today, hope it turns out as nice as yours!
LOL... if you do, please let me know if you notice a difference!

We are running out of bottles fast. Stan *really* wants to order glass ones, I feel the danger is perhaps too great, but then again, glass definitely appeals. Either way, I've got to get some fast! I think Cindy mentioned "Mr. Beer" bottles? Got to look those up...
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:29 PM   #996
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LOL... if you do, please let me know if you notice a difference!

We are running out of bottles fast. Stan *really* wants to order glass ones, I feel the danger is perhaps too great, but then again, glass definitely appeals. Either way, I've got to get some fast! I think Cindy mentioned "Mr. Beer" bottles? Got to look those up...
Just as an FYI - I have been using glass bottles for over a year and haven't had one blow up yet (knock on wood), but for safety I do box them up by the case and close the top so if one should happen to decided to blow up at least the glass will be contained the box - yes there will be a mess but - glass in my book is SO far superior to anything plastic!
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:17 PM   #997
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Ok, I couldn't stand it any longer! I just opened one up and now I understand what Cindy means by geisers! I opened up a lemon/ginger one and it overflowed a little bit (like club soda will do). The flavor is absolutely outstanding, I just still can't get over how FANTASTIC these taste from the continuous brewer. Mine isn't sweet, but it's not sour either - but it definitely has that KT flavor and it's very fizzy. The flavor is so more rounded out, that's the only way I can describe it. I'm in with this brew! I almost gave up when my single brew was turning out SOOOO sour that it couldn't drink it. YAY for continous!
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:02 PM   #998
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Awesome news!

Did your ginger/ lemon bottle have any additional sugar added? I never thought of trying that combination, but it sounds yummy. Can you tell me the quantity of lemon (a tsp?) and how big your ginger piece was (like 1/2 inch?)?

Thanks! And Congrats!
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #999
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Thanks Kamalam! This is actually the first bottle of KT that I have really enjoyed (others were ok, just not fantastic). DH actually took a sip and said, "hey, that's actually pretty good." He usually turns his nose up at anything that had anything to do with scoby's.

I took about a 1/4 inch slice of ginger (about the thickness of 2 stacked quarters) and cut the piece into 1/4" strips, then cut those strips into 1/3rds. I divided the pieces between two 16 oz bottles. I juiced a lemon (it was a really small one, maybe a TBS worth of juice) and divided that between the two bottles. I didn't add any extra sugar to the bottles (the brew was still pretty darn sweet when I bottled it though). I just can't get over the amount of fizz, it was like beer.
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:10 PM   #1000
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I got one of the GTs boxes at the HFS and store my 2nd ferment bottles in that, then it goes in the bottom of the island, so it is pretty well contained- just in case! The plain gallon that I decant to chill is glass, but it doesn't get a 2nd ferment.

PS: I still think this thread should be made a sticky!
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:32 PM   #1001
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PS: I still think this thread should be made a sticky!
Ditto that!
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:23 AM   #1002
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Old 07-18-2009, 06:06 AM   #1003
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I have a TON of scoby's that I would be happy to share. They are all kind of intermingled now and a new scoby formed on top of the "scoby hotel" so they probably won't be the prettiest - but they are definitely strong and healthy! PM me if you'd like to get one/some.

ETA: Thanks for the tips on the 2nd ferment! I am using KT glass bottles, but I put the bottles inside a zipped up bag so if they do explode all the glass shards will be contained.

Thanks again, so much. I can't wait to get started. I haven't gotten through the entire thread and am sifting through all the different ways everyone is making their KT. When I get the scoby and tea should I add my own tea to it and how much? So far I have gathered that I should let it brew for about 7-14 days. What is your best timeframe? I really will get through this thread and hopefully get all my questions answered, but any help now would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:08 AM   #1004
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Baby scoby is about an inch long and getting a bit thicker. I think I'll call him scobito.... I have to admit, starting from scratch has been fun - from a skinny little clear thing, starting to develop some form. You'll laugh - I go check little "scobito" every day.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:12 AM   #1005
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:14 AM   #1006
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Thanks again, so much. I can't wait to get started. I haven't gotten through the entire thread and am sifting through all the different ways everyone is making their KT. When I get the scoby and tea should I add my own tea to it and how much? So far I have gathered that I should let it brew for about 7-14 days. What is your best timeframe? I really will get through this thread and hopefully get all my questions answered, but any help now would be greatly appreciated!!
Anytime! I'll send you a little sheet that Metqa sent me with one of her scoby babies. All you'll need is a large container (sun tea jars are great, or a huge pyrex bowl), some organic black tea, filtered water and sugar (the recipe will be included on the sheet with your scoby). It's very easy, the hard part is waiting!
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:33 AM   #1007
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Anytime! I'll send you a little sheet that Metqa sent me with one of her scoby babies. All you'll need is a large container (sun tea jars are great, or a huge pyrex bowl), some organic black tea, filtered water and sugar (the recipe will be included on the sheet with your scoby). It's very easy, the hard part is waiting!
Thanks, BikerAng-I do get impatient. I did start one from scratch yesterday but I know it will take a couple of months to grow a scoby so I appreciate you sending me one. It will be fun when I can give one to some one else so our scoby "family" will grow! Although I may have killed the possibility of growing one because I left the store bought Kombucha in the car on a hot day while I watched my son's baseball game. I added it to my sugar tea anyway. Do you think I killed it?

Okay back to reading through the thread!
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:29 AM   #1008
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We went on a little kombucha spending spree... We needed to bottle up yesterday's batch but only had 1 bottle left. In a fit of K-madness we decided we needed new bottles. And not just any bottles... beautiful, long neck, flip top bottles.

The kind you dream of in kombucha filled dreams, where the fizz flows freely and your tongue sings...

Instead of ordering from someplace online and paying god-knows-what in shipping, we called up a local microbrewery supply store and bought some of the EZ Cap bottles. They didn't have any brown glass ones left, so we have a set of 12 cobalt blue bottles. Can you imagine?

No?... Well, here let me share a small photo:



The thick glass and tight seal are incredible - these babies will hold in some serious fizz I'm thinking. Plus I feel more comfortable letting these bottles sit a month or two without worrying about the explosion factor. I'll still take precautions, but I feel easier about it that with my other K-bottles.
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:25 AM   #1009
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We went on a little kombucha spending spree... We needed to bottle up yesterday's batch but only had 1 bottle left. In a fit of K-madness we decided we needed new bottles. And not just any bottles... beautiful, long neck, flip top bottles.

The kind you dream of in kombucha filled dreams, where the fizz flows freely and your tongue sings...

Instead of ordering from someplace online and paying god-knows-what in shipping, we called up a local microbrewery supply store and bought some of the EZ Cap bottles. They didn't have any brown glass ones left, so we have a set of 12 cobalt blue bottles. Can you imagine?

No?... Well, here let me share a small photo:



The thick glass and tight seal are incredible - these babies will hold in some serious fizz I'm thinking. Plus I feel more comfortable letting these bottles sit a month or two without worrying about the explosion factor. I'll still take precautions, but I feel easier about it that with my other K-bottles.
Those are beautiful. Hmmph, I'm waiting for the local guy to call me back about some ez cap gaskets I needed. He said it would be a couple of weeks but that was last month. I was gonna buy a washer and maybe half a case of his bottles too. Now I'm wondering if I should give him business if he won't even call me back. . . I was gonna go check in but it was his idea to call me when they came in, . . . maybe they never came in.

I love cobolt blue!!!! My one liter bottles are just to tall to use. i can't refrigerate them cause they don't fit! Small personal size bottles like you have would be perfect!
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:46 AM   #1010
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Those are some beautiful bottles! Why do ez cap bottles make you less afraid of explosion than a regular screw cap? They are both pretty air tight, right? Does the ez cap pop before the bottle explodes?
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:58 AM   #1011
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Well,

I am starting fresh today. For several reasons:

1. My KT is getting more sour than I am liking.
2. My scobys are huge and beautiful, but they are covering the opening of my jars.
3. KT is getting more and more flat. I think it is due the lack of air in my first brew (scoby's covering openings of jar - my KT was fizzier when my scoby's were smaller)
4. Getting some pretty good sized scobys starting up in my second ferments.

So I have already poured one of my jars of KT into a sun tea jar for a second ferment. My sister in law brought me some starwberry conserve that I blended up with equal amounts of water and dumped that into the KT for my first try at strawberry KT.

My other 2 jars will be bottled up today with the usual apple juice concentrate.

Then I will be starting with a itty bitty baby scoby in each jar with sweet tea. It will be a while before it is ready, but considering I have 3 gallons to get through at this point, I am sure that I won't be as impatient for these to brew as I was the first time.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:07 AM   #1012
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j4Christ - I'm not sure if the heat killed off the bacteria/yeasts, but it can't hurt to try anyway.

Kamalam - beautiful, just beautiful!

JoSkids - that's what happened with my single brew. It was just getting WAY to sour and flat. Continous has totally fixed that, the best KT I've ever had!
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:21 AM   #1013
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BikerAng - I don't think I am suited to do continuous - I can't imagine trying to remember drawing off every few days. I'm ok with big batches at this point. And, of course, this like everything else evolves and you never know, I will probably end up doing continous brewing eventually.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:34 AM   #1014
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That's what stopped me from going to continuous, but I'm really in a groove now. I think it's actually a bit easier to bottle from continous but you do have to remember to draw off/fill up every couple of days.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:53 AM   #1015
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I have a calendar on the wall next to my chair in the kitchen- I just mark the decant/brew days and keep track that way. It lets me figure out when I will taste if that is what I want, and to remember when I put up the 2nd ferment bottles. If not, I would be totally lost on what I did when!
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:56 AM   #1016
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That's a great idea Pepperette! I label my 2nd ferment bottles with the date they were bottled. I'll have to put a calendar in my kitchen, that's a great reminder/tracking tool for keeping things straight!
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:00 PM   #1017
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I tried to keep track of my bottling and that was on rare occassions and I still couldn't keep track.

I have to get back into using my calendar - I have been remiss in checking it out daily - and I am not talking KT. I've missed a few appointments recently. Bad Me. So at this point, you can see, I am not ready for continuous....
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:26 PM   #1018
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Those are some beautiful bottles! Why do ez cap bottles make you less afraid of explosion than a regular screw cap? They are both pretty air tight, right? Does the ez cap pop before the bottle explodes?
I'm not sure the new bottles are any safer - they just make me feel better because the glass is much thicker the the GT bottles we've been using. I'm excited about the caps because some kombucha blogs I've been reading say they create much better fizz than the screw top bottles (which are never going to be totally airtight)...

EZ caps will not pop off without human assistance... once on, those suckers are there to stay, lol. That's why I definitely still need to take precautions.
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:10 PM   #1019
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Oh my! I have so much to learn! I am trying to read the current posts and go back to read from the beginning and am getting a bit overwhelmed! But still excited. The KT I started yesterday from a store bought Kombucha looks okay, I don't think I killed it in the hot car. There are little bitty whitish strands hanging from the top. Does that seem right? I'm looking forward to my scoby that BikerAng is sending me I'm going out of town for a few days, but will catch up with everyone later!
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:29 PM   #1020
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whitish strands sounds good! Brewing KT is really very easy, it's pretty hard to mess it up I've found.
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