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Old 02-24-2012, 11:42 AM   #1891
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I don't know what it does. I know it was better when I added it.

Do you know how to make a ginger bug? Google it! Lots of fun & it is so delishous!
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:57 AM   #1892
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Do you know how to make a ginger bug? Google it! Lots of fun & it is so delishous!
Just did. I'm going to use the recipe from Holistic Kid. She makes an apple ginger soda with it. I have some crabapple juice that's been waiting to be turned into something other than apple butter and jelly.

I wonder how the crabapple would be in the kombucha?

Our landlord has this place on the market. I'm going to miss our little slice of heaven with it's apples, chokecherries, acorns, chaga, plums, rose hips, blackberries, raspberries, etc. <sigh>
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:40 PM   #1893
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does the shape of the brewer matter?

I am a newby brewer. I have an octogon shaped glass brewer. Does it have to be round or is octogon shape ok? It's on a pedestal, and I put a night light underneath to keep it warm. I also ordered an aquarium heater to put in that space underneath, to set at 77 degrees. Any thoughts on that? Has anyone done that before?
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:11 PM   #1894
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Hi sweetie! to KT!

The shape of the brewer doesn't matter-it just has to have air space. However DO NOT PUT YOUR SOURCE OF WARMTH AT THE BOTTOM. This can cause an overload of yeast in your brewer. The warmth source could come from the sides of your bewer.

77-83 is a good brewing temp. Besure your cover is a tight weave cloth (not cheesecloth) and a rubber band. This will keep fruit flies out of your KT.

During the summer I brew in the warmest room of the house or even on the porch outside if warm enoug & there isno direct sunligt. (ou can always cut abrown paper bag to reach the top of your brewer but not cover it if you have a lot of ligt in your room/area. Hope this helps! & again

ask away some long time brewers on this thread!
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:21 AM   #1895
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Thanks

Thanks that is very good to know. I'll remove the night light.
There is so much varying information. Some places sell Kambucha heat pads and wrap it around the sides but they are expensive. We are in Seattle and sleep with heat in house 62 degrees. What are the best ways to heat the brew?
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:09 AM   #1896
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Nope, I never heat mine, the one time I did, I nearly poisoned myself with what resulted I think the buggies got out of balance and it tasted like what I imagine acetone would taste like!

I need to restart again, I'm so out of order with my Kombucha.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:26 AM   #1897
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My CB has been on "hold" for two months! I made so much (gallons ahead) for Jon & he quit using it. I have 14 pint bottles here & 10 liter bottles at his house to work my way through. It is getting warmer here so when it gets in the 80's I will prolly set a table outside on the morning side & brew out there taking my mat off. I will prolly clean & rebuild my brewer using what is in there (1/2 full) as starter as it is close to pure vinegar now. My SCOBY is really thick & my hotel has a big fat newbie on top! I thinned it out sometime back, cutting them up & adding to my mulch pile which is now resting inside holes waiting for tomato plants. Looking forward to better plants this year.

Dianan - I lived in Seattle years ago. Your KT should do fine but take longer to brew - I also had a friend put a small electric heater in an unused bathroom & keep the door closed making a warm room for his brew. You will think of inovative ways! Just keep an eye out for FUZZY stuff on topof SCOBY which would be mold if you ferment fro a long time @ cool temps. Not meaning to make you nervous about it-just alerting you to be watchful. AND we have replacement SCOBYs should you ever have a problem. We "gift" them for postage. Good Brewing!!!

BTW - where did you get your SCOBY & starter??

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Old 03-28-2012, 08:27 AM   #1898
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"Iamfaithful", I got the scoby and starter from a woman at church who shared her Kombucha a church potluck. 'Praying for no mold.
What is a "hotel"? Does the Kombucha pad wrap around the sides? How is the temp kept consistent and not too warm with the pad?

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Old 03-30-2012, 01:28 AM   #1899
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It's on top of the fridge and in 4 days has formed a film on top so I think it's happy. I read that you have to keep the scoby wet on top or mold may form so I removed a bit via the spigot and poured it on top. But the film wasn't firm yet and created a hole in the forming scoby. Have a ruined it? ?Am I being overly protective?

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:32 AM   #1900
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It's on top of the fridge and in 4 days has formed a film on top so I think it's happy. I read that you have to keep the scoby wet on top or mold may form so I removed a bit via the spigot and poured it on top. But the film wasn't firm yet and created a hole in the forming scoby. Have a ruined it? ?Am I being overly protective?
No you haven't ruined it. When it's a film like that it's not such a problem, when it gets more solid and starts floating above the liquid, or climbing the walls of the jar, it's a good idea to rock the jar slightly to let the liquid slosh or do as you did and decant some to pour over top. I prefer the slosh method so I don't have to remove the cover. the cover itself offers some protection from mold so make sure it's a nice tight weave and that it is doubled or triple thick as a barrier to spores and dust which may carry unfriendlies.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #1901
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thanks met, is a cotton tea towel ok for the top, secured with rubber band?
I let the sides of the towel drape over the jar, to trap some heat.

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Old 03-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #1902
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probably. i use floursack cloth towels. I think they are cotton.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:21 PM   #1903
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Cotton tea towels, cotton t-shirts ( all clean, BTW), fabric remnants, paper towels, coffee filters. I've read and used them all but the t-shirts.
My house is slightly cool, so a brew takes a bit longer to get it where I like it ( about 1/2 as tart as metqa's ). I did get the heating mat like Faithful has, but have declined to use it until I can get a ceramic brewing crock as mine is plastic.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:08 PM   #1904
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Thanks Pepper.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:43 PM   #1905
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My brew is at a ph5, after 6 days. I am guessing it'll be ready in another week. Does the scoby at the top get very thick after 2 weeks? It's only a little more than paper thin right now. I read something about "second ferment". Does that mean when my brew is ready, I drain out some into bottles and let them sit on the counter a couple days before putting them in the fridge?
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:00 AM   #1906
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Tickness depends on the temp. Don't worry if it is not thick. You may not like Ph of 3 4 most of us do a brew to taste. When it tasts right to you it is finished. Usually is 10- 16 days.

2F is bottling n tight bottles like swing top. You can add some fruit or juice maybe ginger etc. If it is sweet addins it will get more carbonated so be careful & watchful for the container you put it in for a 2F. I use swing tops but if you don't have them & they can be pricy...you can use plastic pop bottles for a very short term 2F. KT can & often will leach prroperties from it's container so that is why I stay with glass. But for a short few days pop bottles should be on.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:58 PM   #1907
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Thanks Faithful, so to clarify, after I bottle 2/3 of it in a few days, I can add a little pomegranate juice, let it sit on the counter a couple days to increase carbonation/2F, then put it in the fridge and drink it up, while the second batch is brewing, right?
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #1908
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This is my first brew. The Mother I recieved was larger that the container I'm using.
It didn't float to top, but is diagonal, half way down the container. I think because it's so large. Do you think it affected this brew because it sort of cut the brew in half.
The bottom is darker than the top. For my next batch, can I cut the large mother in half?
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:36 PM   #1909
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floating or sinking doesn't affect the efficacy. My scoby will sink if I agitate it too much and a new film will just form on top, just part of the process. If you don't agitate it a new film will be forming on top anyway and just attach itself to what's there.
The bottom is darker because of yeast clinging beneath.
You can cut the mother into as many pieces as you like, so long as you keep the ratio of new sweet tea to finished starter correct. You don't even need a mother if you have strong kombucha to innoculate it, but the mother holds a lot of bacteria and yeast so it's a bonus to have and use it. and it's also a barrier to other microbes, that and the acidity.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:42 PM   #1910
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Yep, what Metqa said.

2F is when you add your juice to flavor. Y are doing great!
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #1911
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Thanks so much met and faithful ! I'm off to get some organic cranberry juice, unsweetened, and bottle up my first batch. If you don't hear from me again, ........I failed. Just kidding.

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Old 04-03-2012, 12:25 AM   #1912
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the whole thing became moldy on top and I had to toss it. What do you think I did wrong? Has this happened to any of you? I think I had a premonition in my last post. I could've died if I had drank this batch. In fact, I did get quite ill a couple days ago when I test tasted it, and I thought I had the flu or something. All I can think is maybe the octogon shape of the beverage container was wrong, or maybe it was too cold in the house. Maybe I should wait until summer to try it again.

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Old 04-03-2012, 03:50 AM   #1913
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Sweetie wait til the weather warms up! It was too cold or you didn't have enough starter tea or your initial culture was lacking something as the shape of your container had nothing to do with it as long as it has air circulation. Mold doesn't occur that often!

I will be happy to send you what you will need to restart! Until then have you considered MILK KEFIR? That does very well in cooler temps below 72°. I can send you a culture. It is a 18-24 hour ferment. Some of us culture out of the fridge then finish inside it. I personally do a 24 outside remove my grains then leave it in the fridge til I am ready for it & have stored kefir for months in fridge. There is a link to kefir in my signature.

Let me know I would like to get some good pre-biotics into you. If you are lacto intollerent the grains eat the lactose and most people can handle MK with no problem.

Come to think of it... I can send you KT culture at the dame time & you can keep it til weather warms up. I can give you instructions to build a hotel for later use from what I send

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Old 04-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #1914
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Thanks faithful, you are the "mother" of KT brewing.

From what I've been reading, I think what happened is that I tried to make too big a batch from the starter. I read that the ratio should be about 20% starter brew.

I had about 2 Cups brew in the bag with the mother, so I should've used 3 quarts tea, instead of 6 quarts. Also, I think it was too cold in the house as we turn down the heat to 62 degrees at night.. I did get sick a couple days before the mold appeared, when I tasted it, (cramps, diarrhea and a wierd red swelling around my eyes) . I didn't associate it with the Kombucha at the time, but I think that was it. It's a bit more scientific and risky than I thought. I'll try again in the summer, if I get brave enough.
I'm a little gun shy now, and I'll have to read more about Kefir making. I LOVE Kefir and always have it in the fridge. I guzzle it for breakfast. I know it is expensive and am all for saving money. I haven't found the link for it yet.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:03 PM   #1915
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Kefir Fermenters Unite!

Try this and see if it works for you.... Or go to Organic & natural eating then go to the Kefir Fermenters Unite thread...

I didnt realize that you were using so much tea.... yes, you hit the nail on the head with the problem. Dont be afraid to try again! I forgot you are in Ireland so maybe your friend from church can supply you with a starter again...we always have extras lying around.

As for Kefir grains, not sure if someone from the thread is from UK and can get the grains to you faster, but I would still be happy to mail some to you. I will have to check on the price so PM me your address & I will check. I am not worried about sending them to you as they have traveled for 2 weeks to Canada and did just fine.

I got you mixed up with a kefir lady from Ireland. You are in Seattle... getting starter to you is no problem... under $2 if I just send the Kefir Grains. Let me know!

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Old 04-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #1916
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Quote:
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the whole thing became moldy on top and I had to toss it. What do you think I did wrong? Has this happened to any of you? I think I had a premonition in my last post. I could've died if I had drank this batch. In fact, I did get quite ill a couple days ago when I test tasted it, and I thought I had the flu or something. All I can think is maybe the octogon shape of the beverage container was wrong, or maybe it was too cold in the house. Maybe I should wait until summer to try it again.
Quote:
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Thanks faithful, you are the "mother" of KT brewing.

From what I've been reading, I think what happened is that I tried to make too big a batch from the starter. I read that the ratio should be about 20% starter brew.

I had about 2 Cups brew in the bag with the mother, so I should've used 3 quarts tea, instead of 6 quarts. Also, I think it was too cold in the house as we turn down the heat to 62 degrees at night.. I did get sick a couple days before the mold appeared, when I tasted it, (cramps, diarrhea and a wierd red swelling around my eyes) . I didn't associate it with the Kombucha at the time, but I think that was it. It's a bit more scientific and risky than I thought. I'll try again in the summer, if I get brave enough.
I'm a little gun shy now, and I'll have to read more about Kefir making. I LOVE Kefir and always have it in the fridge. I guzzle it for breakfast. I know it is expensive and am all for saving money. I haven't found the link for it yet.
The one time I poisoned my tongue with Kombucha was when I made too much tea and tried to split it into three large batches. My brewer was a new tall glass one and it was the only one that had a lot more tea, and it was the only one that went sour. Not enough starter or something. it was rank! So too much tea for starter is a dangerous thing. better to make just a wee bit of tea and let it convert to kombucha and then add more tea to make the volume grow.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:46 AM   #1917
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Yes met, exactly, too much tea. The lady from church gave me a recipe for 6 quarts of tea, and the mother/starter. I assumed it all went together, but in hind sight, I should've halved the tea recipe. I don't think she was aware of this either. In any case, yes, I think Kefir would be safer and give me back my confidence. I will try PMing you tomorrow faithful, If I can figure out how, and thank you. I am in Seattle, (although I have lived and loved in Ireland once) I work evening shift, i"m sure you are sleeping in Kentucky.

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:58 AM   #1918
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Hon I think you need 20 posts to get PM messages. Did you know there is a Dukan thread under OTHER Plans? We start a new one every month. I would post link but can't do that from my phone. I am on FB faithful to Jesus you can find me there & msg me

BTW Metqa & Pepperette have been brewing for years longer than I- it was from them on this thread I learned -they are the "Mammas" here.

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Old 04-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #1919
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Kombucha is super easy, I think it's ineveitable to get one bad batch sometime in your life, it's been half a decade and this was my first bad batch, and I'm not that accurate so I know it was a wild error that made it bad. you can be really free about it and still get safe kombucha so long as you follow the ratios. Remember high school math and common denominators and all that.

Kefir on the other hand is an art form. It's a bit more unnerving to me than kombucha, and concesquently I spend more time mucking about with kefir than with the Kombucha. I over fermented two quarts and ended up making cheese out of it! Very Tart Cheese!
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:24 PM   #1920
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Well, thanks met, pepper and faithful for your info. I know what went wrong now and I'll try again in summer. Being a nurse, I'm a bit scientific, and at the same time spiritual. I'm in awe of biological creations, and I was freaked out by the "monster" that grew on my fridge. Faithful to Jesus, there are many of them on facebook. I'm not sure which one you are. I need 5 more posts and I can PM you. I do want to try kefir. At least if something goes wrong you get cheese and not botulism.

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