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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:50 pm 
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So I was reading up on what my brew should look like as it progresses and I found out about this thing that can happen- have any of you heard of vinegar eels? Because frankly, I'm horrified right now. I'm so squeamish about this sort of thing. I've been checking mine so often now out of paranoia!

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:58 pm 
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i always filter mine anyway just to get out whatever schlurp there might be- not sure how big these nematodes are but if they're big enough to see they should be filterable. luckily, i like eels.... (never seen but wouldn't mind seeing them, not drinking them)

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:29 am 
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Dandelion root flavor is a resounding success!

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:08 am 
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I was considering looking for some of this ... found a site about making it ...

http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-ko ... chn-173858

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:26 pm 
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I just put my first homemade batch of kombucha on the counter to ferment! How do you guys do your flavourings? Whole pieces that you steep or do you blend it in?

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:14 pm 
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paprikapapaya wrote:
I just put my first homemade batch of kombucha on the counter to ferment! How do you guys do your flavourings? Whole pieces that you steep or do you blend it in?

I'm on the second ferment which is when you add the flavorings. I just threw in some slices of ginger and slightly smushed berries. One of them got a squeeze of lime.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:47 am 
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I just throw in whole pieces, sometimes strain out and sometimes not.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:26 am 
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I like it plain, but I'm experimenting because I seriously might selling this stuff. My favourite so far is cucumber in a green tea mint kombucha base. I made an AMAZING batch with haskap berries, but those are super expensive, seasonal, and local to this area.

I was thinking of trying cayenne-lime.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:52 pm 
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OK! Like in your bottles when you seal up to carbonate? My first ferment is done and I'm ready to bottle. I guess I'll just chuck some local strawbs and basil in each before I seal to carbonate.

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Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:41 pm 
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Yep! I just put blueberries in a batch and the 'bucha is carbonating so, so quickly! Like I'm worried I might explode a growler fast!


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:40 pm 
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I will join in. I brew Kombucha, water kefir soda and kefir de uva. My favorite kombucha's are strawberry flavored. Plain strawberry, strawberry-blueberry and strawberry basil. We also do plain, ginger, lavender and spirulina. Right now we are making beer flavored kombucha with hops and lime.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:52 am 
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talk to me about kefir de uva!! and hops is great, i may have to buy some to try with.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:16 pm 
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I'm still having trouble with carbonation. But I'm just using sugar in the second ferment and not fruit or fruit juice. I'm too lazy to buy fruit. This can't be it though right? I mean, I -am- using sugar. So. Hmm. The first ferment looks so healthy though! My scoby is always forming new layers and there's little bubbles under it. Smells yummy and all that.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:03 am 
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torque, kefir de uva is grape juice with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water kefir grains in a flip top bottle. Its awesome and super bubbly. I let it go for 2-3 days and fridge it. I learned about it on youtube. I will tell you about the hops experiment, I haven't tried it yet.

Mars, for us carbonation is not a problem but we use flip top bottles. When we used old kombucha bottles they lost carbonation when we refrigerated them. Could it be your bottles? I never add sugar during my second ferment either.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:13 am 
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Mars, you arent doing this in the fridge, are you?
booch at room temp
second fermentation at room temp (i can't see why sugar wouldn't work- i put my second fermentation in a 2L soda bottle so i can just squeeze and know when it is carbonated)
then refrig to drink.
you don't need to add much sugar, i have seen recipes where it is just a few slices of ginger or lemon, and that is enough to do it.

Maybe try it again in a screw top plastic bottle- do you have raisins or dried fruit? throw a few of those in (like, seriously, 5 raisins) and see what happens.


@HeatherBear, i used to be able to get water kefir but now it is all milk or yogurt kefir, i don't know what happened. When i had the water kefir (chibikos, i think that's water kefir) i didn't know what to do with them, it just seemed to make lots of sugar water... so I suppose I get what I deserve!

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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: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:03 am 
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I don't need any sugar or fruit for 2nd fermentation, but five whole blueberries gave me my most delicious CO2-filled brew ever. I've never added sugar unless the 1st ferment has gone too vinegary and then it's just maple syrup.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:57 am 
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Argh. I wonder if there's something wrong with my first ferment then?! I'm doing everything normally as y'all have mentioned. I've used both flip top and plastic screw top, I've both added sugar and tried without. I used blueberries once. Neither ferment is being put in the fridge.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:31 pm 
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I use this site to troubleshoot and it seems pretty informative. Maybe it'll help?
http://users.bestweb.net/~om/kombucha_b ... #No%20Fizz

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:52 am 
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Thanks, totally going to get investigative with this shiitake. Maybe it's too sweet in the first ferment.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:42 am 
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i just revived a booch and had some last night and it was less than impressive, and only mildly carbonated. this tea was something with a weird extract, and i wonder if that had something to do with it. some batches are better than others, and some scobies are better than others. we are just coming back to hot weather and i need to tone down the sugar or the yeasts go nuts, in colder weather i can make it sweeter but normally i only use maybe 3T of sugar for about 3/4 a gallon of the first ferment.
that site most certainly is the bomb.

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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: Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:28 pm 
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Okay dang, 3T for 3/4 a gallon of tea on the first ferment? I've been using way more than that. But it's what the recipe I read said! I think...

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:18 am 
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well, remember, i am in brazil and you are in portland! in the summer, which is when I really want booch, it is so hot here that the yeasts go nuts and it starts to smell funny. I cut the sugar way down so that the yeasts have less to party with. When I was brewing it in New Jersey, I used a lot of sugar.

and that said..... we have had a week or two of real, unseasonable heat, and this kombucha was boring and flat and icky- and got this weird white scum on the surface. Not mold, but scum? Weird.

i just dumped it and the scoby, and pulled out my Special Reserve Scoby from under the sink for a reboot.

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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 Sep 25, 2015 12:02 pm 
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I use a cup of sugar per gallon, but I bottle it when its still slightly sweet and then give it three days. If I bottle it when it has that perfect sour taste it gets too sour. Leaving it slightly sweet when bottled lets it get more fizzy in my experience. Thats what I do, I am not sure if it helps. When I add ginger or fruit it gets even more fizzy. I guess I drink super sweet Kombucha compared to some of you.


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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:04 pm 
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I think after a batch I had that I neglected and it turned to vinegar, all my batches are getting fizzy before the second ferment. This isn't a problem per se, just interesting. I might have to push the scoby back down soon as the bubbles are making it lift out of the tea.

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 Post subject: Re: Addicted to Kombucha
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:58 am 
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I'm trying to start my first batch from some purchased kombucha. If it doesn't work I'll buy a scoby, but I don't know anywhere local where it's sold. Does anyone know if it makes a big difference to start with dried scoby? I worry that a fresh one will freeze to death if I order it through the post in January.

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