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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:23 pm 
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Seagull of the PPK
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BUMPY BUMPY KOMBUCHA ADDICTS!

So, my made-from-bottled-kombucha-and-smuggled-on-airplane kombucha is still surviving. After almost 6 months it still hasn't created a baby, but has made so many layers. I finally cut it in 4- i put one under the sink for storage, since i am thinking of starting another jar, threw 2 quarters in the compost, and restarted the batch with one.
It has been really good- it's super hot, so it's turning fast and I need to use vinegar for cleaning and add less sugar for the yeasts to party with.
I also have experimented with 2nd fermentation kombucha and used my fancy new beer gear today to discover that this current batch is 1.2% alcohol. Yeeha! I have read I can get it up to 3 if I really try. If this weather doesn't turn (so I can make beer) I might have to try.

How is kombucha in other places around the world?

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:27 pm 
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Torque it sounds like your kombucha is making lots and lots of babies actually. All those layers are the kombucha babies. Sounds like you might have enough babies to start a professional kombucha brewing company! Next time just separate the layers, keep the most recent two for your current brew and donate or compost the rest.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:07 pm 
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I knew it was reproducing in the layers, i guess i just thought it would be little buds or something- but that's okay, i love it just the way it is. Now I have to get other people to loooooooooooove kombucha like I do! (til then it goes in the dog slop).

i have found that orange juice in the kombucha is not that great. still in love with lavender and lime/lemon/ginger.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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bumping this to say: my sweetie got me a starter kit (Brooklyn Kombucha Co is in the same building he works in) and I've had it going for about 4 days now. I haven't read thru this entire thread but would anyone like to recommend some yummy flavors for me to add after initial fermentation? I used to drink various bottled brands, like GT and other randoms, and I always liked the fruity ones. I'm thinking of doing some chunks of ginger and maybe a fruit (juice? or dried?) too. Excited! and maybe a little wary that I'll start something nasty.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:42 pm 
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I always had bad experience with adding juice, something funky always happened during the second fermentation but ginger and dried fruit worked well.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:04 pm 
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juice is good! this week's batch i had some apples laying around so i julienned a whole apple and threw it in. lemon juice, raisins are nice too... i really just take turns with whatever looks good. orange juice for some reason doesn't work for me, but other than that it's all been good.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:34 pm 
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ginger's my main thing, I don't make plain very often and I haven't branched out much beyond that. I just pop a chunk in each bottle.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:04 am 
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That's funny, I use orange juice quite often- but I have found that the quality of juice I'm using can affect the outcome. Fresh, not-from-concentrate juices seem to work best.

My favorite add-ins that i've tried: fresh orange juice, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh apple cider, fresh or frozen berries, grated fresh ginger, and cayenne pepper. And the most magical combination I've stumbled upon is orange juice + vanilla extract which creates a distinct orange creamsicle flavor.

I haven't tried dried fruit yet but I am curious about it. I wonder if apricot would be any good?


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:52 am 
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wow, i will try orange and vanilla and see how that is- the only juice we have here is homemade (or should i say, i don't buy the crepe they sell as juice), so i don't think it's a quality thing- i think for me the combination was just too acidic.

apple cider would be divine but that's one that unless i make it, i can't get it. berries are indeed awesome, when my mulberry is producing that should be awesome.

apricot should be great! maybe together with something interesting like cardamom or fennel? mmmmm....

when you make a batch that you flavor, how much do you flavor at a time? I've gotten to the point of doing 2 liters at once (doing a secondary ferment in a soda bottle with the add-ins) every week.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:53 am 
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ooh I have some dried cherries, maybe I'll do a cherry ginger one! But I bet those cherries (which I got at Costco) have sulfur in them, will that be a problem?
Also, I slacked on checking the buch for 5 days til this morning. The scoby was sitting on top, so I pushed it down, and I don't see another one forming yet. It still tasted sorta like sweet tea so I'm gonna let it keep fermenting but try to check it every day because I know that bam! vinegar can happen. It's probably a little cool in my kitchen though.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:32 pm 
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Torque, I love the cardamom or fennel idea. I also haven't tried any whole spices before, in fact the only spice I have added is cayenne. I gotta branch out! Now I'm curious about clove or star anise too.

I bottle my kombucha in 16oz flip-top bottles and just add a little bit of flavoring to each bottle. I've never bothered measuring, but maybe 2-3 tbs of juice? I don't know, I've found that I don't need to be too precise about such things. Even a tiny splash of juice seems to impart a lot of flavor. My only flavoring experiment that went awry was when I added cherry juice concentrate, and that was just because it was too sweet for my taste.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:57 pm 
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if you like star anise, i think it would be AWESOME!
i've said elsewhere that lavender is amazing- just a few flower heads. i tried rosemary and i was unimpressed, but maybe didnt put in enough.
one batch i had some chinese plum powder laying around about to go bad (like the chinese umeboshi, flavored with licorice, salt, and sugar) and i threw in about a tablespoon. it was really interesting.
i put in shiso leaves and nothing- but when i mix it with shiso juice, it's spectacular.

so it sounds like you're adding just a little splash- sounds great. time to go check mine. i've gotten all hepped up about making beer lately, don't want to neglect the booch.

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James Joyce doesn’t give a twopenny damn, but Marie Kondo does. Oh, bother. --J O'Donogue, JT


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:45 pm 
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Umeboshi kombucha?!?! You just blew my mind- that'd be 2 of my favorite things rolled into one... I'm going to look for that powder the next time I'm at the Asian supermarket. Also shiso juice, which I've never even heard of before but sounds interesting. Thanks for the ideas!


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:16 pm 
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i had a shiso juice tutorial on the old boards, i think.... but you can find tutorials everywhere, the hard part is getting the shiso.

the ume powder i got in a chinese market, it is salty but also sweet (not like japanese umeboshi)... then i remembered how much i liked umeboshi chuhais (alcoholic drink with umeboshi in it) and thought next time i would do normal umeboshi. next time. good stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:53 pm 
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How much juice are you guys adding to the brew? I added mine during second ferementation and the results were always sketchy.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:02 pm 
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i just added 2 oranges worth and some ginger to 2l kombucha.

i just racked some beer and had the crazy idea of mixing the half-cup i had left with some kombucha. it was horrible, shockingly. i drank it anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:24 pm 
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sketchy in what way, GuineaPig? funky tasting, too fizzy, too flat, something else...? if you can tell me what kind and how much juice, and what went wrong I could try my hand at troubleshooting :)


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:44 pm 
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It tasted like something had gone bad. My kombucha started getting to the point where it was fizzy on the first fermentation which was great! When I mixed juice and did a second fermentation things just got strange. The fiz dissipated, it didn't smell quite right and it didn't look all that great either. I ended up throwing it out before ever tasting it. It was so long about I can't remember how much juice. I used a ratio of juice and buch that someone told me about a while back and I used mango juice.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:56 pm 
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how'd you go about the secondary fermentation? bottles, jars, etc? it sounds like your vessel(s) may not have sealed properly. have you had better results without using juice?

I use just a small splash of juice in each bottle, and it turns out better with juice or fruit than with no flavorings- more fizzy, I think because the added sugar feeds the culture more.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:02 pm 
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My results were always great with using dried fruits or fresh ginger. I used bottles, the same bottles I always use. At that time I had three kombucha specific glass jars I was using (32 ounces each) one with juice, one dried fruit and one plain, they all came out great except the juice. I tried again using 16 ounce bottles with the same result with the juice.

Any suggestions on the amount of juice to use if you want the flavor to come through? I gave up making kombucha after a jar exploded in my pantry and created a really dangerous situation but I still have my SCOBY in the fridge and the revival of this thread has made me want to go back to making it again (maybe). I'd definitely need something to measure the alcohol content as my 2 year old is in love with kombucha and I think it's generally frowned upon to get a 2-year old kombucha drunk.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:41 pm 
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mine with the OJ is alright, nothing stellar. i have some frozen mango and i'm thinking the next one might incorporate that.

guineapig, there are some interesting blogs and such about altering alcohol in kombucha. most are about upping the level, but plenty about reducing. the consensus seems to be that secondary fermentation raises alcohol content, and if it's still a bit sweet, then your yeast is not pooping alcohol, so you might want to "harvest" your booch a bit early.
check out http://www.happyherbalist.com/second%20 ... tation.htm
and who knew? homebrewforums has a whole kombucha forum!
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f167/

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James Joyce doesn’t give a twopenny damn, but Marie Kondo does. Oh, bother. --J O'Donogue, JT


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:40 pm 
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Thanks torque!

For years I worked hard to get the alcohol content on my kombucha higher and higher and now I'm sitting here researching how to keep it nice and low. My my how things change.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:47 pm 
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I once left a bottle of kombucha sitting at room temp (in summertime) for 5 weeks, while traveling. On my return I decided to throw caution to the wind and drink it all up... and it had all the flavor, carbonation and alcohol content of champagne! Wild times. That was a fun day indeed (and luckily a Saturday).


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:59 pm 
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Ahhhh...those were the good ole days. I might have to make myself a secret stash of aged kombucha for those long summer nights. For your second fermentation did you put anything in the bottle or was it just straight kombucha. BTW, you guys have convinced through your exmaples that I need to start making kombucha again. My 2 year old asks for it nearly every single day now and we had a good stash for awhile but now I'm down to none. It's our little treat so I want it around house more, in a cheaper way :)

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:53 am 
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I'm pretty sure there was something in there to flavor it, but I can't recall what and there wasn't much flavor left except for, well, boozy booch flavor. It was pretty awesome to be honest.


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