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Old 03-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #1351
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What we use was labeled as "potato sack towels" and works quite well.
Gee whiz, I just use paper towels folded once and sealed with a rubber band. No problems at all.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:14 PM   #1352
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Gee whiz, I just use paper towels folded once and sealed with a rubber band. No problems at all.
Well I suppose that way you get a new cloth every time!

Staynfit, the benefit to having a vessel with a spigot is if you are going to brew continuous, and for easy of decanting. If you are doing batches, which is essentially what I'm doing with my spigotted jar, it won't matter whether you have a spigot except in the ease of decanting.

Most people start with batch, even continous breweres start with a batch as you have to let it get strong enough to handle the switch to continuous for shorter brew times.

I"m not coordinated enough to make sweet tea more than once every couple of weeks! That's why I'm sticking to batch for a while longer. But once I get a few more bottles of drinkable booch, I may let it get really strong then start adding fresh tea bit by bit. With a spigotted jar it will be easier to sample a continuous.

I found a glass suntea jar with spigot, that I use for my BF's grape abomination, it is only a couple of liters. They should be back in season in a couple of months.
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Old 03-13-2010, 06:09 PM   #1353
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Well I suppose that way you get a new cloth every time!

Staynfit, the benefit to having a vessel with a spigot is if you are going to brew continuous, and for easy of decanting. If you are doing batches, which is essentially what I'm doing with my spigotted jar, it won't matter whether you have a spigot except in the ease of decanting.

Most people start with batch, even continous breweres start with a batch as you have to let it get strong enough to handle the switch to continuous for shorter brew times.

I"m not coordinated enough to make sweet tea more than once every couple of weeks! That's why I'm sticking to batch for a while longer. But once I get a few more bottles of drinkable booch, I may let it get really strong then start adding fresh tea bit by bit. With a spigotted jar it will be easier to sample a continuous.

I found a glass suntea jar with spigot, that I use for my BF's grape abomination, it is only a couple of liters. They should be back in season in a couple of months.
I would love to do continuous brew but have no clue how to do it. I even have a glass 'sun tea' jug with a spigot!!
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:19 AM   #1354
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Metga,
Thank you for the reply. I think I will pick up two of the 2 gallon glass jars and do batch for now.
I want to eventually bottle. I have been saving Dave's GT Kombucha bottles. Will they work? I know nothing about bottling but I am hoping I will learn how to from y'all.
I love Kombucha!!
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #1355
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I would love to do continuous brew but have no clue how to do it. I even have a glass 'sun tea' jug with a spigot!!
My glossary
Old= Undrinkable vinegar booch
Young=Just right for drinking
Fresh = Sweet tea unfermented

Well, I've not done it successfully, I had just started when my scoby gave out. But the Principle is this:
Old Kombucha is very strong and very acidic, it has been processed so long that other beneficial ingredients get made that can't grow in just a few days. But the taste is so unbearable that you wouldn't drink it.

Young Kombucha is very tasty and has some benefits also, but it is higher in sugar, and lacks the nutrients that are only made with a longer brew.

By starting with a strong old brew, and then each day or two decanting say 8 oz of old brew and adding 8 oz of fresh tea, the microbes will be hungry and work on the sweet tea much faster than if it were mostly fresh and just a little old brew ( batch recipe). So it's like you feed it a little each day so it will have both old tea and young tea after a few days of fermenting. When you get a nice balance then you just replace with fresh tea as much kombucha as you take out to keep the scoby on a steady diet.

Or so they say. . .

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Metga,
Thank you for the reply. I think I will pick up two of the 2 gallon glass jars and do batch for now.
I want to eventually bottle. I have been saving Dave's GT Kombucha bottles. Will they work? I know nothing about bottling but I am hoping I will learn how to from y'all.
I love Kombucha!!
Your Avatar is just Darling!
The new bottles are pretty neat, with the hard plastic cap instead of the metal. My metal caps eventually rusted just sitting around. I ordered some beer bottles with swing tops after that, but the new bottles might work as well. The swing tops have a rubber gasket, that is supposed to burp if the gas pressure builds up too much while stored. My booch has never been THAT fizzy though!

You would bottle the brew when it still tasted a bit sweet but almost perfect, and then leave the bottles, tightly capped at room temp till it ate the rest of the sugar and got fizzier, but because the bottle traps the fizz unlike the breathable cloth, it would dissolve into the liquid giving you even more carbonation than straight from the jar. I like mine straight from the jar anyway so bottling for me is just another form of storage. I've even had bottled boocha LOSE it's fizz. What's THAT about then? anyone know?

Who are you gonna get a scoby from? Anyone here?
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:22 PM   #1356
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Metqa,

Thank you - that is my littlest guy.

I tried to find a scoby local but I had NO luck.
I think I am going to order one.

I know a local girl who ordered hers from kombuchaamerica and had good luck with them. But, she no longer brews the tea. I like that they will send 2 scobies for around 20.00. I plan on starting with two 2 gal. jars.

Thanks for the tips on bottling. That is still kinda fuzzy. Once I get to brewing I am going to need help too.

What is a scoby hotel?

Last edited by staynfit; 03-14-2010 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #1357
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Metqa,

Thank you - that is my littlest guy.

I tried to find a scoby local but I had NO luck.
I think I am going to order one'

I know a local girl who ordered hers from kombuchaamerica and had good luck with them. But, she no longer brews the tea. I like that they will send 2 scobies for around 20.00. I plan on starting with two 2 gal. jars.

Thanks for the tips on bottling. That is still kinda fuzzy. Once I get to brewing I am going to need help too.

What is a scoby hotel?
It's a separate jar that you keep extra scobys after they have grown too many to keep in the brewer. You keep if filled with strong boocha at room temp to preserve them and often they will grow additional babies in the hotel. Many of the ones I've given away were hotel scobys.

Wow, I'm surprised no one has any scoby's available now. I guess it's been slow. we usually trade scobys to one another. but I think fawn gave out her last ones a couple of months ago. it takes time to grow new babies. There are lists of people on the web willing to send out scobys for only shipping or a minor fee. I used to have it handy but since I came here, it's been all family sharing, y'know. Laurie gave me one, then I gave out five from it's babies, then it died and Fawn gave me two of her babies. They grew together though.

Getting it from a commercial source though, seems like you can't go wrong though and you don't have to wait till one is ready.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:55 PM   #1358
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Thank you for the reply, Metqa.
I need 3 jars now - 2 for tea and one for a hotel.

I tmust have found this site in 2005 but I never posted until now. I found it again when I was googling Kombucha. I do not know anyone here but you. You are my first friend. Thank you for extending info to me.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:59 PM   #1359
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My pleasure. You won't need three jars right away. so don't fret. you'll only need the hotel for when your scoby grows so big it takes away room for your liquid. I used Old large pickle jars I got from BF.

It's great having someone to talk to when getting started. there are so many questions.
And as the weather warms up, it will go much faster , so there will always be adjustments and weirdness and surprises!
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:49 AM   #1360
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Metqa,
I just ordered my SCOBY! I am so excited I had to tell someone - lucky you, lol!!
I cannot wait for it to arrive!
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:45 PM   #1361
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Metqa,
I just ordered my SCOBY! I am so excited I had to tell someone - lucky you, lol!!
I cannot wait for it to arrive!
Great! I"m so happy there's gonna be another Kombucha Brewer on board! I enjoyed some last night with dinner and before bed. I had good dreams!
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:23 PM   #1362
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Hey Metga, how's that SCOBY doing? I might have another in 2 weeks. I just sent one to Oyvey today. I wish I had come here 2 days ago! staynfit, I could have given you one but they're now in a shrine in my back yard.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:48 PM   #1363
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That scoby is producing some fine juice! Thanks for asking. I fed it again this weekend and i'm sure it's probably already ready. It's a good one!
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:52 AM   #1364
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Nice! I'm pleased you're pleased with your results!
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:32 PM   #1365
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I'm drinking some right now. I can't imagine there is any other drink that makes me happy when I drink it! Even when it's store bought, but I wonder how much of it is the joy of making something good?

Hey, you all remember my BF's Abomination? Well, he said something interesting the other day (while bad talking my original PURE unadulterated Kombucha) He said that when he first drank Kombucha and His Abomination that it made him feel a little high ( good feeling, energetic, motivated, etc) but he notices that it doesn't do that anymore.

I wonder if it's because his liquid is grape juice instead of sweet tea. The first scoby I sacrificed to his Abomination Experiment was a pure Kombucha scoby, but the subsequent batches have been from the scoby created from the grape juice. Maybe it has changed enough away from Kombucha that it has lost all the good feeling qualities that Kombucha naturally has.

I kinda wish I had never suggested the experiment. What's the point of using expensive ingredients for a cheap process if it doesn't even give the same benefits as the normal cheap ingredients?

Anyway, I might sacrifice another Kombucha scoby for his next Ab-batch to see if he gets the life back in his Ab-brew!
I personally don't like it cause it is TOO SWEET, and when it turns stronger, it smells like beer! yuck!
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:00 PM   #1366
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Hello Everyone,

My very first post!!! :-)

I have been drinking Kombucha for about two years now--drinking it daily helped resolve my acid reflux and I truly enjoy the unique taste.

I just started my first batch 6 days ago and have it resting on the top of my upright freezer in the pantry. I did not have a scoby but used a bottle of original flavored GT Kombucha as I read in a book...but nothing is happening. Think I need to add another bottle of Kombucha? Or maybe more sugar? Or maybe more tea? Help!!! :-)
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Old 03-21-2010, 06:25 AM   #1367
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Hello Everyone,

My very first post!!! :-)

I have been drinking Kombucha for about two years now--drinking it daily helped resolve my acid reflux and I truly enjoy the unique taste.

I just started my first batch 6 days ago and have it resting on the top of my upright freezer in the pantry. I did not have a scoby but used a bottle of original flavored GT Kombucha as I read in a book...but nothing is happening. Think I need to add another bottle of Kombucha? Or maybe more sugar? Or maybe more tea? Help!!! :-)
Is GT Kombucha something store bought?

I bought a scoby, but sometimes even scobies need help. When they do, I first add more sugar and let it sit a few days, and if that doesn't work, I add more tea. I've always had another scoby grow when I did those things and let it sit for awhile, sometimes weeks.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:28 AM   #1368
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Hello Everyone,

My very first post!!! :-)

I have been drinking Kombucha for about two years now--drinking it daily helped resolve my acid reflux and I truly enjoy the unique taste.

I just started my first batch 6 days ago and have it resting on the top of my upright freezer in the pantry. I did not have a scoby but used a bottle of original flavored GT Kombucha as I read in a book...but nothing is happening. Think I need to add another bottle of Kombucha? Or maybe more sugar? Or maybe more tea? Help!!! :-)
Did you add sweet tea? When you use a commercial bottle of kombucha to start a new scoby it can take a couple of months to form into a culture.

Hey Metga, DBF may have just built up a tolerance. I used to get a good buzz too when I first began drinking KT. Especially on an empty stomach.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:25 AM   #1369
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Hello Everyone,

My very first post!!! :-)

I have been drinking Kombucha for about two years now--drinking it daily helped resolve my acid reflux and I truly enjoy the unique taste.

I just started my first batch 6 days ago and have it resting on the top of my upright freezer in the pantry. I did not have a scoby but used a bottle of original flavored GT Kombucha as I read in a book...but nothing is happening. Think I need to add another bottle of Kombucha? Or maybe more sugar? Or maybe more tea? Help!!! :-)
What recipe did you use for tea that you added the GT's to? I use 3 Quarts of water, 1 cup of sugar and 6 black tea bags, to that add a full bottle of GT's or two cups of starter and a scoby. Now the thing is scobys don't grow well in the sugary medium, they actually grow a lot faster in strong finished Kombuch, so while the bacteria and yeast may be eating away, it may be quite some time before they actually start creating cellulose. But the tea can still be fermenting just fine. Plus a week is kinda a short time to expect finished tea starting from scratch. I was told two weeks was most common on the first batch and not to expect it to taste good the first batch, but after the second or third, it will ferment faster and grow it's flavor the best. Give it another week then check for a very thin film that may even look like saran wrap floating on top. It won't be thick like you see on the net. But the culture is alive and eating. Some folks end up with finished Kombucha with no scoby. They just save a couple of cups to add more sweet tea and keep going. Kinda like yogurt.

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Did you add sweet tea? When you use a commercial bottle of kombucha to start a new scoby it can take a couple of months to form into a culture.

Hey Metga, DBF may have just built up a tolerance. I used to get a good buzz too when I first began drinking KT. Especially on an empty stomach.
He hasn't had it often enough to build a tolerance. I pretty much refuse to make it till he reminds me so he's only had it a few times every few months. I told him if he wants it more often I'll give him the jar and the scoby to take home but he's too lazy to be bothered to pour his own grape juice into a jar!

Gonna feed my brew again today. It got a bit stronger sooner than I expected but still good. Guess the warm weather is waking it up!
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:14 PM   #1370
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I followed a recipe in the book: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. I took a workshop with him on fermentation (we made kraut) and he discussed making kombucha with a bottle of commercial kombucha as the starter.

I will let it sit another week and see what happens...am ready to be making my own though!
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:19 PM   #1371
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Natureone, if that doesn't go quickly enough for you, I might be able to secure you a SCOBY in about a week? I just ask you to pay the $5 shipping.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:00 PM   #1372
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I am excited about my new brew, bubbling away with all the other ferments on the top of the fridge!

Fawn sent me a new scoby, because I think that, after a time, my scoby got taken over by yeast--it was kind of a funkily opaque color--just looked--wrong. Not moldy, just not right.

So I lived on water kefir for awhile (sigh, live is hard )

But I'm glad to be back to the brew!
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:18 AM   #1373
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I am excited about my new brew, bubbling away with all the other ferments on the top of the fridge!

Fawn sent me a new scoby, because I think that, after a time, my scoby got taken over by yeast--it was kind of a funkily opaque color--just looked--wrong. Not moldy, just not right.

So I lived on water kefir for awhile (sigh, live is hard )

But I'm glad to be back to the brew!
Boy I wish my boocha would fizz up! My water kefir fizzes like crazy but my boocha almost never does and if it does, it is only a bit!!! I LIKE fizz!!!
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:29 AM   #1374
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Hi all!

I got my Komucha starters yesterday. They came in two vials. I was instructed to make the tea - 1 gallon water, 8 green tea bags, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. After that was cool I stirred one vial in each vessel and covered with a paper towel and rubber band. Both vessels are sitting in my oven with the oven light on. I hope I get Kombucha eventually.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:42 AM   #1375
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Hi all!

I got my Komucha starters yesterday. They came in two vials. I was instructed to make the tea - 1 gallon water, 8 green tea bags, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. After that was cool I stirred one vial in each vessel and covered with a paper towel and rubber band. Both vessels are sitting in my oven with the oven light on. I hope I get Kombucha eventually.

I never heard of adding vinegar to kombucha.....ever.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:55 AM   #1376
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I never heard of adding vinegar to kombucha.....ever.
I have, for the first batch, and only if the culture/scoby didn't travel with enough already fermented kombucha. There is a ph range where the sweet tea is very prone to spoilage and the vinegar helps it get past that range in a hurry. Once the process is well along, the remaining kombucha from a previous 'batch' serves the same purpose for the new batch.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #1377
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What Faia said!

It's about half the amount of Strong Kombucha. and just enough to protect the brew from mid-Ph range pathogens while the culture is establishing itself.

It has to be pure white or apple vinegar though, nothing with mothers or it would contaminate the boocha. After a while, the brew produces its own acetic acid (vinegar) and it usually safe from incidental airbourn buggers!
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:16 AM   #1378
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Hi everyone . . . I can't believe I haven't checked in here since early February.

Since then, I've made 4 gallons. (Finally broke down and purchased 2 new 1 gallon containers at Target. Just bottled 2 of the gallons this morning.

I'm a bit of an experimenter. My brews start with 4 organic green tea bags and 2 Yerba Matte. I use 1 cup of organic sugar for each gallon. One of the gallons I bottled this morning I had added to that basic brew 2 teabags of Pao d'Arco and the other one I had added one teabag of Kava Kava. Brew started 3/5. I also added about 2 tsps of fresh squeezed ginger juice as well as a small chunk of fresh ginger to each bottle. I love the GT Gingerade and from their label they add ginger juice at the time it is bottled. (I probably would have added more, but squeezing ginger with just a garlic press is a pain! I'm going to try and find an inexpensive juicer before I bottle the last 2 gallons.)

I grew my scobies from bottles of the regular GT. The last batch was the first time I had separated the scobies. Some were thin, but have really grown nicely with this batch. They are getting much thicker than when I first started.

I also purchased some ph test strips used for brewing wine. The strips can measure different degrees of ph from 2.8 to 4. I still need to locate the info on the best ph to bottle. Before I got the strips it was by taste only. However, even when the brew seems to match the flavor of the GT, it seemed like it became more acidic after I bottled it. The brews I bottled this morning, the one with the added Pao d'Arco had a ph of 3.4 and the one with the Kava Kava was 3.2. I was a bit surprised, as the other 2 gallons are around 3.2 also. The only difference other than tea/herb blend with the Pao brew was I used Demerara sugar in that one.

I do seem to get more fizz after I cap it and leave it to continue fermenting unrefrigerated for 3-5 days . . . but it still seems to lose some of it after I refrigerate it. I'm hoping to figure out the best times (by the ph) to bottle and then refrigerate. I'm not too worried about the fizz though, as I do purchase the GT regularly between the times my brews aren't ready, and some bottles seem to have more than others.

With brewing 4 gallons at a time now, I'm hoping to be able to have it on hand every day. I love the stuff. My body loves the stuff.

If anyone has more info on the ph, I'd love you to share it.

Thanks, Judy
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:35 AM   #1379
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Originally Posted by metqa View Post
What Faia said!

It's about half the amount of Strong Kombucha. and just enough to protect the brew from mid-Ph range pathogens while the culture is establishing itself.

It has to be pure white or apple vinegar though, nothing with mothers or it would contaminate the boocha. After a while, the brew produces its own acetic acid (vinegar) and it usually safe from incidental airbourn buggers!
I was instructed to use reg apple cider vinegar without the mother. I am glad I did now that you wrote about contaminating the brew. I like my organic vinegar w/ the mother and I was thinking about using it. But I bought regular apple cider and used that. I did use organic sugar and organic tea. I cannot wait until I can brew it without vinegar - I don't think I am going to like the taste with vinegar in it.

So - QUESTION: Is the SCOBY supposed to be brown with tenticles? That is what is forming. This is day two. I have both gallon jars in the oven with the light on.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:38 AM   #1380
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Just a quick note about the cheese cloth. I started using a paper towel with a rubber band. It allows air in, and is a much finer texture and can be changed easily if needed.
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