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Old 08-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #1201
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KT Treasure

I am down to I think my last 1-2 bottles of KT, at home, it's sweet, but I can't keep from drinking it before it is "ready" I'm hoping to do some bottling soon (3 gallons brewing). Gonna be bummed when it runs out.

I went to the fridge at work to see if I had any iced tea in there and lo and behold there are 2 bottles of KT sitting there!!! I had brought them in last week and I forgot I had left them in there.

I uncovered a treasure and I am lovin life right now!
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:38 PM   #1202
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Ain't life sweet when you have some KT?! We are moving this weekend, so the brewer is down low so it won't spill, and I have 12 bottles just waiting to be chilled tomorrow night. Won't be on for a few days to a week- or as soon as we can get internet at the new place. Keep the KT brewing and flowing, and will see ya'll later!
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #1203
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Good luck with the move pepperette!
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:05 PM   #1204
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I'm going to be going out of town next week for 10 days and I just realized I won't be able to tend to my KT! YIKES! What do you do when you are out of town for an extended amount of time? I'm doing continuous brewing, do I just drain it down like noraml (take out my 16 oz) and leave it like that until I get back? Then add my sweet tea (16 oz) to it and start the contiuous cycle up again? I'm only doing a gallon, and usually draw off 16 oz a day and bottle, and replenish with 16 oz. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:36 PM   #1205
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Keeping in mind I don't do continuous and I am no rocket scientist, but this is what I would do. Bottle the majority of the kombucha (like batch bottling) and then fill up the brewer with sweet tea and by the time you get back it will be ready to go continuous again.

or do what we do for our cats and dog when we go on vacation and pay someone to come in and "pet sit" while you are gone

Last edited by JoSkids; 08-13-2009 at 01:37 PM..
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Old 08-13-2009, 03:29 PM   #1206
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Ahh, that's a great idea Jo! Then I'd have a bunch of KT to drink when I got back too (or I should just bring some with me, even better!)! I have someone feeding my kitties while we're gone, but everyone I know thinks the KT is scary and they don't even want to go near it. I'm also a little overly protective of it I think, don't want anyone's dirty hands in it. Thanks for the great suggestion, that's what I'm going to do!
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:16 PM   #1207
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Ahh, that's a great idea Jo! Then I'd have a bunch of KT to drink when I got back too (or I should just bring some with me, even better!)! I have someone feeding my kitties while we're gone, but everyone I know thinks the KT is scary and they don't even want to go near it. I'm also a little overly protective of it I think, don't want anyone's dirty hands in it. Thanks for the great suggestion, that's what I'm going to do!
I try not to do anything with my kombucha when anyone else besides my family is around cause they would probably keel over in a dead faint. Not likely that I would have anyone do anything with my brew due to the scare factor, but like you, I'm also over protective and don't want anyone messing it up - I will do that on my own thank you so very much
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:20 PM   #1208
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I'm going to be going out of town next week for 10 days and I just realized I won't be able to tend to my KT! YIKES! What do you do when you are out of town for an extended amount of time? I'm doing continuous brewing, do I just drain it down like noraml (take out my 16 oz) and leave it like that until I get back? Then add my sweet tea (16 oz) to it and start the contiuous cycle up again? I'm only doing a gallon, and usually draw off 16 oz a day and bottle, and replenish with 16 oz. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated!
Yep, it will very patiently await your return.

But I'd suggest bottling 80% and do a full batch brew til you get back, then you will have lots of starter and can do 2 50% starter batches or drain off some (into your hotel) to start up your continuous brew cycle again.

Hope you have a great trip!!

(I'm still at stepsis' - I'm wondering if they'll ever release me lol)

Last edited by cindy_cfids; 08-13-2009 at 11:26 PM.. Reason: yeah what Jo said lol
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:47 PM   #1209
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Kombucha Mushroom Tea Recipe

1. Bring to a Boil 3+ quarts good water. (2.84 Liters)
I no longer recommend boiling as continued boiling reduces oxygen and carbon necessary for proper kombucha fermenting. Use water of known quality. Heating the water to dissolve the sugar and extract the tea.
2. Add Tea. 5-7 tea bags or 2-3 tsp. loose tea usually 15 grams
3. Steep 15 minutes. NOTE: refer to the specific tea brewing recommendations inside
4. Add Sugar 1 cup Sugar (6-8 ounces / 200-300 grams)
5. Allow to cool to room temperature Keep
Covered and careful of contamination at this stage as the brew is a highly Sweet and Appetizing
Be Sure everything is at the same temperature
7. Pour cooled, room temperature liquid into fermenting container.
8. Add Kombucha Mushroom (which is also at room temperature)
9. Add 2 cups Previously Fermented Kombucha Brew as a Starter. (25%)
[use the liquid that came with the mushroom starter ] or use 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar. (to reduce the pH and protect the ferment from pathogens). Do not use un-pasteurized non-distilled apple cider
10. Cover with a clean cloth, paper towel or coffee filter Set aside in a quiet undisturbed spot. Every time the liquid is disturbed the mushroom will begin to start forming over again and not form properly. (K-Tea may still be good)
11. Ferment. 6 - 8 days normal brew cycle at 80F constant temperature, 8-14 days in the 70�s). 60F or below is not recommended. First time may take longer. Temperature Range: 68-83 degrees Fahrenheit. (20 - 26 degrees Centigrade) K-Tea should be sparkling semi-sweet cidery taste. The pH 2.7 to 3.2.
Save 1-2 cups (8-16 oz/240-500 ml) to begin another batch. Each batch should produce another mushroom (SCOBY). Save one mushroom and tea safely away in the event of some disaster. Use either mushroom to start another batch. You may also combine mushrooms or give away to friends.
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #1210
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Sounds like you truly need a "baby sitter" ang!
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Old 08-15-2009, 02:20 PM   #1211
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and if you lived in Hawaii, I would be all over that babysitting job!
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:08 PM   #1212
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Just tried my first batch of Yerba Mate KT. MMMMMMM I thought it was yummy. Maybe still a little too sweet (I started it on Aug. 5th). But nontheless tasty. It was Citrus Blend that I get from my local Tea Lady. I will definitely keep making it. I only had one glass since she told me it has the same kick as coffee (I drank it late afternoon) and wasn't sure what it would do to me. I didn't feel much of an energy surge I was kinda hoping it would be a good pick me up in the afternoon. We'll see how it goes.

Ang-I would babysit your KT (since I live pretty close) but I think Jo's idea was great!
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:51 AM   #1213
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LOL, if I lived in Hawaii I'd never be on the computer (beach bum all the way!).

I liked Jo's idea too (and Cindy's), and will give that a try. I have so many scoby's I'm always able to start from scratch again if absolutely necessary. It's kind of fun to experiment with this too. KT is pretty hardy.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:52 AM   #1214
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My new favorite flavor is blackberry, oh man is it ever good. I picked a bunch of blackberries (they grow wild here) and popped about 10 in a 16 oz bottle and let it second ferment for about 5 days. It is so fizzy and has such a strong fresh blackberry flavor. I'm going to go pick more now, it's amazingly good.
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Old 08-16-2009, 02:46 PM   #1215
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I think we've been waiting too long to 2nd ferment again... our wonderful blue bottles are turning up FLAT! Makes a girl wanna cry...

Seems to me we let our continuous brew get too potent... I don't think we've been pulling enough out, so it's just been getting stronger and stronger... Plus, we haven't been adding any concentrates... nor berries, ginger, etc. I wonder if that's the main problemo?

Have any other continuous brewers noticed that the primary batch gets stronger, necessitating changes to the second ferment? In what ways do you tweak things??
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:11 PM   #1216
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For the first time, I feel like my brew is pretty darn consistent and working well. I'm only doing 1 gallon continuous and pulling out 16 oz a day and replenishing with 16 oz sweet tea a day. I don't let it go longer than 1 day before I bottle because it seems to overferment (gets flat and blah). I usually take a little taste when I bottle it and it's never overly sweet, but it's not sour either - it's just right in 1 day (it's very fizzy in the continuous brewer, there is a head kind of like beer on top).

I've been adding flavors to every bottle, just because I like the variety. The blackberry in particular was extremely fizzy, the others are fizzy too but not quite as much. I let them 2nd ferment until I drink them. The blackberry one was bottled on 8/10 and I just opened it today. The 2nd ferments don't seem to be as crucial regarding how long they ferment - what seems to be more important for my brew is getting the KT out of the continuous brewer before all the sugar is fermented.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #1217
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Ang/everyone else - I'm now to the point my first continuous (1 gal sun tea jar) that I started from scratch smells a bit like mead and the scoby is actually a thin clear layer across the entire top of the sun tea jar (and about a palm size bubbly brownish thing in the middle (looks like the scum from a root beer float). There is a little bit of fizz, but less than a week or so ago.

I'm tempted to pull a bottle (we have lots of Snapple bottles around the house) and then add that amount of sweet tea on top (what proportions should I use). Then, for this bottle for the second ferment, I think I just want to seal the bottle, leave it in cupboard for a couple of days and see how it goes.

So, if I'm going continuous (immature scoby), should I then add the tea and wait a couple of days (gauging it one day after the refresh?)
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:51 PM   #1218
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Sbarr - boy I'm not too sure. I started my continuous brew with extremely sour/old KT and huge-o scoby's (it was getting too sour to drink, but continuous fixed that). You certainly can hurt anything by pulling a bottle and replenishing with more sweet tea. I use 2 TBS sugar, 1-2 tea bags (or 2-4 grams loose tea), and 16 oz water (I usually add 1 cup of boiling water to the sugar, stir, then add the tea and cover - then add room temp water about an hour or so later to make up the 16 oz so I don't have to wait so long for it to cool).

Someone mentioned this trick when adding the sweet tea and it works great and I do it every time. Before you add your sweet tea, take out about 1/2 or more of the KT (I use the spigot and use a big glass pitcher). Slowly add the sweet tea, then add the KT back on top. Cover. It helps mix up the sweet tea but doesn't disturb the scoby as much as it would if you stirred it.

You'll just need to taste it every day to see if it's where you want it. It's really kind of a customized thing - some people like it sweeter, some more sour. I think it's been a month now for my continuous brew and it's taken this long for it to get really fizzy. The scoby forming in the continuous brewer isn't pretty (like the single batch brew), it's getting pretty big and it looks kind of mangled, but it's producing great KT.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:30 PM   #1219
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So, I have to ask, what is with "not disturbing the scoby"? I basically bend fold and mutilate mine and they don't seem to mind a bit. The last time I bottled my hearty scoby jar, I totally stirred it up cause I like to get yeasties in each bottle, if didn't stir it up, it all sits on the bottom.

Not only did I stir it up, but the scoby was a bit inflated and the more I poked it the more bubbly my brew got so I poked and stirred more. I think the bottled KT is fantastic although, still a bit sweet - it's my "apple beer" flavor that I love!!

I honestly don't think we need to coddle our scobys. They are a lot tougher than we think.

I have cut mine with kitchen scissors that are used for everything in my kitchen - they are rinsed, but not sanitized after every use. I have accidently poured my scoby into my transfer pitcher and picked it up with my hands and plopped it back into it's jar. As mentioned above, I poke and stir them to extract bubbles. And they must still love me cause they are still producing delicious, in my opinion, kt, as always.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:54 AM   #1220
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So, I have to ask, what is with "not disturbing the scoby"? I basically bend fold and mutilate mine and they don't seem to mind a bit. The last time I bottled my hearty scoby jar, I totally stirred it up cause I like to get yeasties in each bottle, if didn't stir it up, it all sits on the bottom.

Not only did I stir it up, but the scoby was a bit inflated and the more I poked it the more bubbly my brew got so I poked and stirred more. I think the bottled KT is fantastic although, still a bit sweet - it's my "apple beer" flavor that I love!!

I honestly don't think we need to coddle our scobys. They are a lot tougher than we think.

I have cut mine with kitchen scissors that are used for everything in my kitchen - they are rinsed, but not sanitized after every use. I have accidently poured my scoby into my transfer pitcher and picked it up with my hands and plopped it back into it's jar. As mentioned above, I poke and stir them to extract bubbles. And they must still love me cause they are still producing delicious, in my opinion, kt, as always.
Jo, I have been handling my scobies too. Mostly on accident, but since I found that they are still alive and well and producing I am not so worried about disturbing them. They seem pretty tough to me! But then, I'm new to this and still have a thing or two to learn!
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:33 AM   #1221
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Thanks! This is interesting - I think I'll give it another week, it's still a bit sweet. Not quite knowing what my preference is for sweet/sour, I think I'll edge towards what I get commercially (and then play with it). I just came off a week long water fast, started with light induction-level carbs and want to keep the sugar low so I'll keep on course (maybe taste again next weekend and consider one bottle for a second ferment). I gained most of the weight back after Lindsey was born, so I'm trying to jump start the weight loss (the fasting was more "mental and cleansing" than weight-inspired.) I want to slowly incorporate the KT along with OWL such that I'm adapting to behaviors I want for life.

As far as not disturing, I do swish mine around in the jar a bit every few days to aerate. I do keep the sun tea lid on it (it would be WWIII around here if I brought a bunch of fruit flies in the house).

This is all a bit funny to me - it reminds me of motherhood (at the beginning, so hesitant, cautious, naive) and now with a toddler, infants seem so easy. Must be the same for you guys.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:47 AM   #1222
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I have to agree with you Jo. I am always checking in on my SCOBY's impatiently.......I'm wondering if I should be cleaning my jars out at all??? They look kind of scummy and I just keep emptying/adding.

A girlfriend of mine has been using gravenstein apple juice for her second ferment Jo and it tastes just like apple beer. It's wonderful!
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:51 AM   #1223
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This is all a bit funny to me - it reminds me of motherhood (at the beginning, so hesitant, cautious, naive) and now with a toddler, infants seem so easy. Must be the same for you guys.
This is so true - it's all like "whatever" now. Thankfully we won't have to be paying for years therapy sessions for our poor abused scobys They are very forgiving "children" to be sure.

I would imagine that the less sweet the KT tastes the less carbs will be present. Wonder if it would ever get to close to zero? I know the synergy label says 4 carbs (depending on which flavor you get) but then there is that "exception" deal - kind of like the yogurt exception - so really how many carbs are there in a bottle of very tart KT? It's one of those questions like "how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?" that may never have an answer
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #1224
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As far as not disturing, I do swish mine around in the jar a bit every few days to aerate. I do keep the sun tea lid on it (it would be WWIII around here if I brought a bunch of fruit flies in the house).
I think I remember reading somewhere (???) that they need oxygen so should be covered with something that breathes, i.e. cheesecloth. I use DH hankerchiefs rubberbanded on, but probably a heavy paper towel would work too. I got the fruitflies, and just patiently watched for my chance to smack them! They seem to be under control now.



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I have to agree with you Jo. I am always checking in on my SCOBY's impatiently.......I'm wondering if I should be cleaning my jars out at all??? They look kind of scummy and I just keep emptying/adding.

A girlfriend of mine has been using gravenstein apple juice for her second ferment Jo and it tastes just like apple beer. It's wonderful!
I haven't cleaned out my jars either. I haven't been at this for long though. Wonder if we should??

Has anyone used different juices (instead of sweetened tea) for the first brew? I was wondering if I made a batch of KT just using white grape juice (no sweetened tea) if it would be similar to white wine? Would there be enough sugar in just plain juice?
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:19 AM   #1225
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I have to agree with you Jo. I am always checking in on my SCOBY's impatiently.......I'm wondering if I should be cleaning my jars out at all??? They look kind of scummy and I just keep emptying/adding.

A girlfriend of mine has been using gravenstein apple juice for her second ferment Jo and it tastes just like apple beer. It's wonderful!
Apple is the only flavoring I am using right now - tried strawberry, but the puree in the bottle. With the apple I have is a tiny scoby - no texture issue like I do with the puree. And apple beer - YUMMO!!

Fawn, I kind of scrape the bottom of my jar to get all the stuff off the bottom (kind of like deglazing a pan when making a "gravy") and swirl it around the jar so that a lot of it gets poured off when bottling - seems to keep the jars fairly "clean" My scobys are small enough that I can kind of rub them around the bottom of the jars to get that stuff up.

I do batch brewing so it's easy enough to transfer everything to a new container (or start from scratch) and rinse my containers with warm water and that seems to do the trick as far as "cleaning" my jars. I don't know how feasible that is if someone is continous brewing (can't remember what you are doing)
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:19 AM   #1226
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you need the tannins in the tea J4. Just grapes will make wine.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:20 AM   #1227
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yeah jo, I can do that.......I'm using the big jars from the health food store and I'm not continous brewing.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:46 AM   #1228
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Has anyone used different juices (instead of sweetened tea) for the first brew? I was wondering if I made a batch of KT just using white grape juice (no sweetened tea) if it would be similar to white wine? Would there be enough sugar in just plain juice?
Yes, pointing at metqa (you can do a search on that experiment) I didn't follow it very closely. It worked, but I think she gave up after a while.

The reason I use the tea is cause it is very cost effective - gets pricey using grape juice.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:00 AM   #1229
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I agree, these scoby's are very hearty and I've cut mine with scissors and have handled them, etc. I just like this method because it mixes everything up wonderfully but I don't have to stick my hand or a spoon in it (my scoby takes up 1/2 my suntea jar). It's fun to see how everyone varies their KT brewing method!
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #1230
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OK, now I know scoby babies aren't like children.

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I agree, these scoby's are very hearty and I've cut mine with scissors and have handled them, etc. I just like this method because it mixes everything up wonderfully but I don't have to stick my hand or a spoon in it (my scoby takes up 1/2 my suntea jar). It's fun to see how everyone varies their KT brewing method!
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