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Old 10-03-2008, 02:43 PM   #1
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Kombucha

I've only recently heard of kombucha and started to read about how good it is for us. I just bought my first bottle of it and am letting it chill a bit before trying it. Well, actually, I'm trying to open it but it seems to have gotten a little excited on the way home and I don't want it to explode. I should be able to open it soon.

I got Synergy Cosmic Cranberry and was pleasantly surprised to see no added sugars. There was one on sale pretty cheap but it had "organic cane juice" listed as an ingredient and I figured that is another way to say sugar.

It's expensive so I'm not going to be able to buy it regularly and I understand there are recipes out there? Anyone make it and care to share? Do any of you drink kombucha on a daily basis?
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Oh my this is TART! I might add a bit of stevia but I am going to like this.

lol...good thing I know that stuff floating around in there is good for me.
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Old 10-03-2008, 03:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting the question, I would like to make my own as well. I have a recipe in the book Nourishing Traditions that I recently purchased. It does have black tea as well as sugar in it and you need to get the mushroom to put in it to do its thing. Perhaps someone can help us with sources for that too. Look forward to hearing some of the other posters comments.
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:02 PM   #4
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The Kombucha Exchange is a list of people who give away extra scobies (those are the mushrooms).

I had a kombucha years ago, but my roomates killed it. Maybe I'll start it up again.

Fun project.
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:05 PM   #5
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Just google it. It scared me when I read about it. But then again everything that has mushrooms involved scares me.
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Old 10-03-2008, 04:39 PM   #6
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:15 PM   #7
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I bought a bottle of Synergy Cosmic Cranberry for hubby ~ he saved a couple of ounces to use as a "starter" (like sourdough bread!) and now makes his own Kombucha from that little bit that he saved -- if you're interested, I will ask him how exactly how he does it...I know that he adds organic cane sugar (the bacteria eats this up to stay alive so you don't have to worry about the carbs or anything) and he adds unsweetened organic cranberry juice - just not sure how much and when!
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hummingbird11 View Post
I bought a bottle of Synergy Cosmic Cranberry for hubby ~ he saved a couple of ounces to use as a "starter" (like sourdough bread!) and now makes his own Kombucha from that little bit that he saved -- if you're interested, I will ask him how exactly how he does it...I know that he adds organic cane sugar (the bacteria eats this up to stay alive so you don't have to worry about the carbs or anything) and he adds unsweetened organic cranberry juice - just not sure how much and when!
Yes, please Hummingbird. The recipe I have uses black tea and sugar. Organic cane sugar and organic cranberry juice sounds better. Did his grow the mushroom from the starter? Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:11 PM   #9
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Kombucha Recipe from The Dustmeister! :)

Any organic juice will do--blueberry is so sweet you likely won’t need the first charging of the organic sugar.

After drinking a bottle of Synergy Cosmic Cranberry Kombucha (bought at the HFS)--I just left a little in the bottom of the original glass bottle--say an ounce or two--filled it to the top with organic SF cranberry juice--added 2 teaspoons of organic cane sugar.

Cover the top with a paper towel and a rubber band to keep the critters out and let the gasses escape. (but keep the lid)

Set it on the counter for approx 4 to 7 days. Then add another teaspoon of organic cane sugar--and cap it with original cap it came with--place it back on the counter for a day or so--then move it to the fridge so it’s cold when you’re ready to drink it. That’s it. And then you can repeat over & over.

It should be nice and fizzy. A little sour--because the bacteria ate all the sugar.

The mushroom will never form. But there may be a tiny bit of cranberry solids or whatever juice you use that come to the top. Not to worry.

Legal disclaimer; this is what I did your results may vary.

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Last edited by hummingbird11; 10-04-2008 at 05:15 PM..
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Old 10-05-2008, 10:14 AM   #10
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[COLOR="DarkGreen"]Not too sure about this, but I am so intrigued I copied the recipe. I love cranberry drinks, so next time I have $$ I'm going to look for the Synergy drink at our HFS.
Thanks HB and Dusty[/COLOR]




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Old 10-05-2008, 10:52 AM   #11
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Dusty, thanks so much! And thanks HB for asking him!

This sounds easy and that is a must for me. I have too many other things I'd rather do than spend time in the kitchen.

And the sugar is food for the probiotics or something? I don't eat sugar and, unless it is important I would rather leave it out and sweeten with stevia.
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:31 PM   #12
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Sure thing!

Don't sweat the sugar, the bacteria eats it up, and yes it needs sugar to thrive -- no idea if it will work with stevia or not? Besides, not using the sugar to sweeten; it's not sweet at all; using organic cane sugar to feed the bacteria and extend the Kombucha like a "sourdough starter" -- KWIM?
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Old 10-05-2008, 02:42 PM   #13
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How does it taste, HB? Sounds like a fun project!
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Old 10-05-2008, 02:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Sure thing!

Don't sweat the sugar, the bacteria eats it up, and yes it needs sugar to thrive -- no idea if it will work with stevia or not? Besides, not using the sugar to sweeten; it's not sweet at all; using organic cane sugar to feed the bacteria and extend the Kombucha like a "sourdough starter" -- KWIM?
Hummingbird please tell your awesome hubby thank you for me. I probably won't get to it for a while but I have his recipe printed for when I am ready.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:42 PM   #15
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Here is the mother of all sites for kombucha and other cultured products. I found this site while researching kefir making. This guy's website(s) is huge with lots of information.

Main site: Dom's Kefir in-site

Kombuca Info:
Dom's Kombucha/vinegar in-site

Last edited by SueMc; 10-05-2008 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:56 PM   #16
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How does it taste, HB? Sounds like a fun project!
honestly, it's not my thing! way too sour for my taste

BUT it tastes exactly like the stuff he originally bought for $5 a bottle (Synergy Cosmic Cranberry Kombucha) so it's a huge costs savings to extend it into infinity with unsweetend juice and organic cane sugar (he does it this way so he can control the sugar himself)

I'd say it tastes a bit like sour cranberry champagne!
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:58 PM   #17
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THANKS! will send this hubby's way for sure!

Quote:
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Here is the mother of all sites for kombucha and other cultured products. I found this site while researching kefir making. This guy's website(s) is huge with lots of information.

Main site: Dom's Kefir in-site

Kombuca Info:
Dom's Kombucha/vinegar in-site
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:59 PM   #18
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Hummingbird please tell your awesome hubby thank you for me. I probably won't get to it for a while but I have his recipe printed for when I am ready.

done! let me know what you think when you finally try it and/or if you have any more questions!
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:20 AM   #19
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Since getting hooked on GT's a couple months ago and the $$ not working for my budget, I have been making my own and it is equal to or better than GT's.

I did purchase a scoby online and have been happily making my own since then. I have my 2 1/2 gallon continuous brewer humming away and 3 other gallon jars brewing along with several quarts... my kitchen is a science experiment.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:51 PM   #20
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Um, Hi All,

oooookay, so I just realized that yeast is actually a member of the fungi kingdom. Yup. just finally allowed that concept to slip between my synapses into conscious thought. . .umm hmm. . . yeah . . .well . . .
. . .
. . .
I still like kombucha. sigh. I have enough fungal issues in my apartment, I wonder if they'll be friends. or maybe it's mold. Yeah, no worries there, it's only deadly black mold, it'll be no match for my healthy SCOBY, right?

My house is an experiment, without the fun byproducts like kefir and kombucha. But I'm eager to try. I actually read alot about scoby and kombucha making in another thread but it was months ago.

Hey Lauren, It kinda tastes like sweet flavored fizzy vinegar. I got some that had gone past sell date and had fermented even more and they tasted like very tart. I loved it and almost got addicted till the funds ran out.

Now I need to make my own so I can afford it. I felt great when I drank it. I was eating poorly (appetite and food choices) and it boosted my appetite, and when I drank it with dinner or soon after it decreased indigestion or made it go away altogether. I'd only drink a couple of ounces also and It was very satifying. So a bottle could last me 2-4 days.
I'm so looking forward to making my own.
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #21
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Laurie, What is a continuous brewer ?
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Old 10-07-2008, 04:58 AM   #22
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Laurie, What is a continuous brewer ?
It's a large 2 1/2 gallon porcelain jar w/ a spigot on the bottom. You just bottle or drink as you wish and add tea/sugar when needed. I have been pretty much draining and bottling, however after after it has been fermenting 5 or 6 days, I start sampling to check the taste

This minimizes the exposure to outside elements, as the scoby doesn't leave the container, you just keep adding.

However, after several brews this past weekend I removed a MONSTER scoby from my container. I cut off a couple pieces and started smaller containers, and just left the mother in the large container. It was scary how big this thing was (the diameter of the container is about 12").
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:08 PM   #23
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OK. Time to confess. I'm addicted.

I haven't really had that much but it is SO good. I have not had soda/pop for close to 7 years but the Synergy raspberry one sent me flying back to when I was really small and we visited some nice people in Slippery Rock...they had stuff like blackberry soda...

The only flavor I really don't care for so far is the ginger one. I like ginger but this was soso. I've got a citrus one and a strawberry one in the fridge...

I am going to have to figure out how to make it because buying 1-2 of these a week is going to add up.

I'm still having a hard time getting around the idea of making it with sugar. I need to read more.

Is the home-made version this fizzy??? I bring it home, put in fridge a day or longer and it still takes 2 or more hours to safely and slowly open to avoid an explosin!
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:53 AM   #24
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Deb - Homemade is better - at least in my opinion.

Several months ago - I bought a bottle at WF and I was hooked... so was Jim and with two of us drinking it I can't afford the price.

I have been making my own for about 2 months now... We just cracked open a pineapple one last night. YUMMO...

Very easy - don't worry about sugar the scoby eats it to make the tea and by the time it is ready mine is not sweet tasting at all.

Yes homemade is fizzy... some more than other just like GT's... I second ferment to get extra FIZZZZZZZ!!!!

Good Stuff!!!!

Last edited by LaurieRobo; 10-24-2008 at 06:54 AM.. Reason: eta... fizzy
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:22 PM   #25
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Talk about fizzy. Laura is right.

I havent even touched mine yet and I can see bubbles racing to the top! It's been seven days, and the scoby is about a 1/4 inch thick and creamy white looking. There's lots of air bubbles trapped beneath it also.

I don't think my brewer is gonna arrive today, so I guess I'd better brew up another gallon of tea and transfer this baby. the first brew! Aaack! I feel like a mother!
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Old 10-26-2008, 07:00 AM   #26
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Hey Laurie. I tasted my brew, and it was sweet with just a little vinegary taste. I think it is cold (room temp is 74) so I put my heating pad underneath on Friday. I think that the extra warmth will help the yeast eat more sugar and make it drier, right?

I'm trying to hold off transfering it til I get my continous, but I have no idea when that will arrive. The Scoby Looks Great, BTW! you must have a really Healthy Batch!

What do you think. Should I go ahead and bottle it up and let it second ferment and just give it some new tea? Would that fix the sweeties?
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:18 AM   #27
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Well, I decided to go ahead and switch out my brew. I tasted it today and I could recognize that distinct kombucha bite, It was mild but definately there. A big improvement from two days ago. I may keep the heating pad under it for this next batch to see how it progresses.

Laurie, the idea for using the pickle jars was helpful in an interesting way.

Because my silly BF keeps accidentally recycling the really big jar I want, I ended up getting some castaways from my neighbors but they are only 2.36 L. used one to hold the premade sweet tea and have it ready. When I went to get the kombucha, rather than removing the scoby from the jar, I just lifted it and poured off most of the tea into the other pickle jar. Then, I poured the prepared tea into the gallon scoby contained jar. Now the scoby is floating on top in the new tea, just like before and I didn't even have to touch it.

Another reason it is convenient is because the 3L sauce pan I bought is actually only 2L! They mislabeled it but I already used it so, Two liters of tea in a two liter jar is just too much of a coincidence. I have to remember to add the last liter of water later.

It was a slippery sticky mess of course, but I poured the Kombucha from the second pickle jar into my recycled glass bottles (Fuze, Snapple, Arizona) Come to think of it, I probably didn't need to order glass bottles if I can keep collecting these, but Later I might want swing tops and the shipping would be double for two separate orders. I got four 16 oz bottles filled with a little air room at the top. I put these on the shelf next the Scoby jar, so they will be at room temp for a few more days to fizz up.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:08 PM   #28
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I am addicted!
Oh, me, too.

I need to figure out how I can make this myself. Read that as what method will require trhe least effort and be least expensive.

I had GT's Citrus flavor yesterday. That is like lemon lime soda pop.

I wonder if there is one that tastes like Dr. Pepper? I gave up soda/pop 6.5 years ago and can still almost taste Diet Dr. P if I think about it.
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:21 PM   #29
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Any organic juice will do--blueberry is so sweet you likely won’t need the first charging of the organic sugar.

After drinking a bottle of Synergy Cosmic Cranberry Kombucha (bought at the HFS)--I just left a little in the bottom of the original glass bottle--say an ounce or two--filled it to the top with organic SF cranberry juice--added 2 teaspoons of organic cane sugar.

Cover the top with a paper towel and a rubber band to keep the critters out and let the gasses escape. (but keep the lid)

Set it on the counter for approx 4 to 7 days. Then add another teaspoon of organic cane sugar--and cap it with original cap it came with--place it back on the counter for a day or so--then move it to the fridge so it’s cold when you’re ready to drink it. That’s it. And then you can repeat over & over.

It should be nice and fizzy. A little sour--because the bacteria ate all the sugar.

The mushroom will never form. But there may be a tiny bit of cranberry solids or whatever juice you use that come to the top. Not to worry.

Legal disclaimer; this is what I did your results may vary.

Dusty (HB's DH)
So this is made one bottle at a time... That saves me having to buy a container. Good.

Is leaving it longer better? There';s a big difference between 4-7 days.

So you can just make another every time you finish one up... Or better, save one bottle as a starter & that way you can just wash the bottle and add 2 oz from that one rather than pouring out and back in to bottles.

I wonder what other juices could be used?
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Old 10-26-2008, 04:24 PM   #30
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Laurie & Metga, if making in a larger container, where do you get it? And you two are making from scratch?

The idea of a pineapple one... Oh that sounds good. And blueberry...that sounds good.
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