Author Topic: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work  (Read 128723 times)

Offline healthyinOhio

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Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« on: July 08, 2006, 02:07:47 AM »
If I didn't see a subject at the top, I would think this was a screenplay for a science fiction movie!!

I have two questions about this:

1.  Do you have to use sugar for Kombucha?

2.  Do you have to use regular tea bags?  Can you use herbal tea?

Thanks!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2006, 07:35:20 AM »
If I didn't see a subject at the top, I would think this was a screenplay for a science fiction movie!!

I have two questions about this:

1.  Do you have to use sugar for Kombucha?

2.  Do you have to use regular tea bags?  Can you use herbal tea?

Thanks!

Sugar is a must.  You have to feed the culture.  As far as tea goes, Gabe told me any tea would probably work except for anything that contained an essential oil.  The oil will kill your culture.  I have been using black tea.  I am going to try oolong next.  Green tea, I believe is the most commonly recommended.
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2006, 06:06:44 PM »
We are making ginger beer kombucha now, after tasting some. Wow, it is definitely the way to make and drink kombucha! It tastes like a real "drink" instead of a vinegar substitute. All you do is chop up some fresh ginger and add it to your brew, and then strain it out when the brew is ready. We used a couple of TBSPs of chopped ginger per gallon.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 04:34:51 AM by healthybratt »
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Offline natural

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 03:23:10 AM »
Do you add the ginger before you start brewing it, during or after?

If making juice flavored Kombucha, would you add the juice while brewing, during or after. THe lady at my health food store said she thought kombucha tasted like wine coolers...I think she had the flavored kind, which is what I KNOW I would want. Any ideas besides cranberry that would go with kombucha??

Thanks, Sandra
4 yo Maciah: Mamma I am scared the wind is howling.
Me: Go to sleep Jesus will protect you.
4 yo Maciah: (stretching his chin to chest) But, but I can't see Jesus my head can't reach into my heart.

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 06:50:25 AM »
I put the ginger in the new batch along with the mother and it will stay there for the next 10 days until I strain it out.

We tried the most popular brand of Kombucha drink that is marketed: GT's Orgainic Raw Kombucha.   We tried the Cranberry and Gingerade. The cranberry tasted like pure vinegar, the gingerade was really good.

GT's kombucha is bottled with the live bacteria and from what we'ver read, you can actually buy a bottle of GT's Kombucha drink, and use it as a Kombucha starter, and it will grow a mother. It may take  a few batches before you get a good mother, and a drinkable batch of Kombucha, but it's supposed to work.  We bought ours at Sunflower Market here in Albuquerque, NM. You should  be able to find GT's Kombucha at Wild Oats, or the equivalent. It's about $3 for a bottle, which is very high for a drink, but if you're going to use it as a mother, it's not bad.

I haven't heard of using other juices to make Kombucha, but I'm new to this myself.

I use juices to make KEFIR, which is very good!
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
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Offline fish7inTN

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2006, 11:29:41 AM »
I have made Kombucha with flavored tea.  I had a cinnamon/clove tea from Turkey that made wonderful and sweet Kombucha and then I used a vanilla tea - also from Turkey - that was super.  I'm not sure if using flavored tea instead of black tea changes the benefits but it was really yummy.  Also I get my black tea from an Indian grocery b/c it is loose tea and very inexpensive.  I have a hard time finding black tea otherwise.  I thought the flavored tea did make it taste more like a wine cooler.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 04:35:38 AM by healthybratt »

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 05:20:22 PM »
I tried adding ginger to my tea during fermentation and WOW.  Yummy!  My husband likes it better that way, takes away the "bite" he says.

Nickole

Powder or do you just throw a chunck of ginger in the tea?
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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 01:10:43 AM »
I threw chunks of fresh ginger in there, like Rebekah suggested.

Nickole

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 05:09:24 AM »
My tea has been going for four days now is it to late to put ginger in it?
Just learn'n but pioneer at heart.
Sherri

Offline Gabe Rising

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2006, 05:51:19 AM »
It should be OK to add the ginger half way through... only, when you add the ginger, don't just dump them in, carefully pick the "mother" up a bit and drop the ginger "past" it so that the "mother" keeps floating... it might sink anyway... somewhere I read that the "mother" needs to be disturbed as little as possible. (There has to be a better term than "mother," or "mushroom"... mother just gets weirder the more I type, and mushroom freaks people out...)

I have also heard of people pressing ginger in a garlic press and adding the fresh juice to taste after the kombucha is brewed... before it is bottled (if you bottle... some people don't do that either.)

--gabe

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2006, 07:48:24 PM »
I've decided to wait until I harvest to add ginger so I was wandering since I just got a new jucier if I could juice some ginger to add before I bottle it if so do I juice the whole ginger or peel the skin off first and how much should I use per gal.
Just learn'n but pioneer at heart.
Sherri

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2006, 05:15:04 PM »
We added our ginger at the beginning of the brew. We left the skin on and chopped up in chunks enough to fit in your fist for two gallons worth of kombucha.  I've read that you can add the juice just before bottling, but I don't know how much. To taste, I suppose.
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
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Offline natural

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2006, 11:27:15 AM »
I mixed half keifr d'uva and kombucha together and my family can tolerate it much more easily.
4 yo Maciah: Mamma I am scared the wind is howling.
Me: Go to sleep Jesus will protect you.
4 yo Maciah: (stretching his chin to chest) But, but I can't see Jesus my head can't reach into my heart.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2006, 07:28:25 PM »
About two weeks ago I bought some of the GT's original kombucha and strained out the slimy floaters. My kids and I didn't care for the ACV taste that the tea had. I drank it anyway...was not wasting the money I spent pouring it down the drain. I poured some Juicy Juice in the bottle and put the slime back into the jar. I put the bottle in a cubboard and left for a day or two. It turned out fizzy and yummy and the slime started to change and thicken up. I have repeated this every few days and it is growing into a off white with brown spots bumpy little thing with a few small ones starting now too. NOW the question! Has anyone else strayed from the "tea" recipe? Is this still kombucha?
My kids love it and the longer is sits the more bubbly it becomes so my kids drink it like pop(3oz at a time every two days).

I read somewhere (don't remember where) that this could upset the balance of the colony and isn't recommended.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2006, 01:35:59 PM »
Just so you know, I tried the ginger kombucha and made some with green tea.  The green and the black teas taste very similar but I prefer the black.  The ginger tastes like well...ginger.  *snicker*   ;D  I'm not sure why, but I think the ginger kombucha gives me a belly ache but everyone else seems to like it okay.  The only part I don't like is that the chunks of ginger get stuck to the scoby and I had a hard time peeling them off.  I guess next time I'll have to try some of the cranberry - I love cranberry juice - so this might be a real treat.  I've become hooked on my daily dose of kombucha.  We ran out yesterday and I've not been right without it.   :-\  My kids also miss their "critter juice" at lunch time.  Tomorrow is harvest day again and we should have enough babies to make 8 gallons every 10 days - yippeeee.
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Offline jenny4wen

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2006, 10:05:03 AM »
Cranberry Kombucha is my favorite so far!  It's quite tasty!  I think I'm learning the timing of brewing better as far as weather goes, along with the amount of sugar you use.  It all factors in to the end result.  It's been a fun learning experiment!
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Offline natural

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2006, 03:08:19 PM »
THe change in weather must really be a factor.....I have been brewing a new batch of Kranbucha for a week and still barely can see a baby forming.....Wierd bubbles are forming on top...the bubbles are out of the SCOBY material too ????
Anybody have this?

My last batch of Kranbucha developed a SCOBY that was almost an inch thick...unfortunately I threw it our because it had a fruit fly on it....I did keep the mother though.
4 yo Maciah: Mamma I am scared the wind is howling.
Me: Go to sleep Jesus will protect you.
4 yo Maciah: (stretching his chin to chest) But, but I can't see Jesus my head can't reach into my heart.

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2006, 01:20:16 PM »
Here's our favorite recipe, which I think tastes a billion times better than any Kombucha I've bought from the healthfood store. It's really good, and we have non-healthy friends coming by to ask if they can buy it - just for the taste.

Make 1 gallon of black tea. I use Lipton, - 5-6 small bags.

For flavor, add one fistfull of chopped fresh ginger root, OR a few herbal teabags of your favorite blend. We like berryzinger from Celestial Seasonings.

Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Remove teabags - ginger chunks can be left in the brew for two weeks.

Add one cup of sugar to the gallon and stir.

Fill with pure water to where the jar begins to curve, about 3 inches from the top.

Wait until barely lukewarm and add your "mother/baby".

Cover with coffee filter and rubber band to secure, or string.

Place in closet or some dark, still place for 14 days.

Take out mother and new baby.

Strain through thin cloth

Store in fridge or pour into glass bottles and cap.

Can be enjoyed immediately, but will gather a nice effervescence if you leave bottled for at least two weeks.

Repeat for a new batch (now  you have two starters!)


-Rebekah
« Last Edit: October 24, 2006, 01:27:04 PM by BeeyoutifulGirl »
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
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Offline leslieincali

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2006, 09:36:10 AM »
Mine molded too. I followed the above directions using the mother I got in the mail. It did have a small amount of liquid in the bag that it came in. The whole thing needs to be thrown out mother and all right?

Offline leslieincali

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2006, 09:53:57 AM »
The ingredients say black tea. I did leave the mother in the fridge for about 4 days before I had a chance to make the kombucha. I used 1/2 gallon of tea and 1/2 cup of sugar. I also added a couple of berry zinger bags for flavor.

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2006, 09:57:06 AM »
The ingredients say black tea. I did leave the mother in the fridge for about 4 days before I had a chance to make the kombucha. I used 1/2 gallon of tea and 1/2 cup of sugar. I also added a couple of berry zinger bags for flavor.

The berry zinger bags is what did it then - You put them in to brew?  Look on the label for those - pretty much any fruit flavored tea with have oils  in them which will certainly cause mold.   

Offline leslieincali

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2006, 10:21:38 AM »
I got the idea from Beka and I don't think hers molded??

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2006, 02:53:28 PM »
Wow, that is really too bad. I always use berry zinger - a lot of berry zinger - and I've never had mold. I don't use any liquid either - just the mother. You did take out the tea bags before putting the filter on and putting it on the shelf, right?  What kind of water did you use?

I'll send you another mother when I get an extra...

Has anybody else out there had this problem?

-Rebekah
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
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Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2006, 03:48:06 PM »
I just read on the site that SC recommended: Laurel Farms, and she says that using organic tea may cause mold.  I wonder why this is? 

Offline Mrs. Dugger

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2006, 08:11:26 PM »
Mine turned out great.  No mold.

Offline ~esposita~

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2006, 03:05:12 AM »


You probably have tossed it by now though???



Yeah...I tossed it.  I have another batch that should be done in a few days.  I think it is "clean".  Thanks, everyone, for your healpful insights!

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Nickole

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2006, 03:11:16 AM »
Wow, that is really too bad. I always use berry zinger - a lot of berry zinger - and I've never had mold. I don't use any liquid either - just the mother. You did take out the tea bags before putting the filter on and putting it on the shelf, right?  What kind of water did you use?

I'll send you another mother when I get an extra...

Has anybody else out there had this problem?

-Rebekah

Rebekah, I am totally perplexed. I had always heard no to use teas with oils, and I did once and got mold.  Can you tell me the ingredients in the zinger?  I'd like to correct my false assumption if I am wrong.  Thanks! ;D

Offline jenny4wen

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2006, 05:44:11 AM »
Hey!  I have a new one!  I used Celestial Seasonings Blueberry tea, brewed 5 bags in 3 quarts of water, added sugar and set my culture in it with the reserved tea from before.  THEN I realized the tea is caffeine free!  Oops!  I let it sit since I was too busy, and it formed a beautiful SCOBY, and the tea is wonderful!  I don't plan to do that continuously, but it was a neat accident.  I heard that the SCOBY needs the caffeine and sugar to survive, so either it can have a small break, or theres caffeine in the caffeine free tea. :)  Anyway, mmmmmm  ;)
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2006, 05:50:22 AM »
Wild Berry Zinger Ingredients:
Hibiscus Rosehips
Roasted chicory root
orange peel
blackberry leaves

natural flavors of:
Black raspberries
strawberries
blueberries
red raspberries cranberries
cherries
citric acid

And, I do use a majority of plain black tea to insure acidity.

I have also used:

lemon zinger tea
orange zinger tea
peach ice tea
pomegranate tea
ginger root

Never had any mold. I refridgerate my kombucha after bottling it, which may be why new mothers don'f form in my bottles.
Honey Sunny in complete exasperation:
"JOE!!! You DOUGHNUT COCONUT COCONUT COCONUT!!!"

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2006, 05:57:02 AM »
Wow, thanks Rebekah for taking the time to type all that.  I guess you can use fruity tea as long as it is not "oil of..(whatever)".  I though all fruity teas had oils in them  ???.  I used Earl Gray once and it caused mold b/c it has oil of bergamot in it.  I am going to branch out and try these teas then.  Thanks so much - sounds tasty!