Author Topic: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies  (Read 96240 times)

Offline lotsaboys

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Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« on: June 06, 2006, 02:29:37 PM »
What do you "age" your finished tea in to make it bubbly?  This is a step Sally Fallon didn't cover in her book but I read about on the internet yesterday.  I was thinking of trying 1/2 gallon mason jars.  Thanks!

Kristin

We've found that when we store it in a corked bottle it was much more fizzy and oh, so yummy! A tightly closed Mason jar would probably to the same.
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Offline natural

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 03:01:58 PM »
Okay here is my dilema...I read in Sally Fallon's book to store the cultures in the refrigerator. So when I got them in the mail the other day I put them in the fridge until I bought some black tea.

I wrote the lady I bought them from and she said never put it in the fridge. So now today I took them out and they are a light brownish color...is this what they are to look like. She told me to make a more potent/double strength to see if it reproduces.

Any comments...

Also, when making this I put it in a glass jar with cheese cloth on top...

does anyone know where there is a well vetilated space that is dark at the same time. I am thinking my dark closet-turned-pantry will work.

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Offline Gabe Rising

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 06:35:07 PM »
Sealing Kombucha:

OK... I always bottle mine in beer bottles with a capper and bottle caps like you can get for making your own beer or root beer. I have a friend that puts his in used wine bottles and he uses these plastic  capper things that are sold for keeping opened-but-not-finished wine bottles "fresh."

Refridgeration

I am no expert, but I have used refrigerated "mothers" before... I don't think that's a problem at all. The brown stuff is OK, when you make your first batch a new "mother" will grow and you can throw away the brown one if you want.

Cheesecloth

I don't exactly know why, but I always use a paper coffee filter over mine... maybe that's too air tight? Not sure, but it seems to work well.


Cool Links

Dom's Kombucha & Vinegar in-site - Honey Kombucha, Kefir Kombucha (!?), and other good advise.
Go Health Girl - Cranberry Kombucha - Hilarious woman with a lot of interesting recipes.
Wonder Drink - Hip new health energy drink sweeping the health food store scene...
Happy Herbalist - Lot's of practical Kombucha info (simple ginger recipe)
Flavoring Techniques
Makin' Soda by Doug Erb - Wow! This is a great set of recipes! Now what about Ginger Ale?
Improving Kombucha Brew - Noel Eastwood - More flavoring tips.

--gabe

Offline o2bhealthy

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2006, 03:20:50 PM »
I have been making kombucha for about a month or so and I have put my "mushroom" in the fridge, yikes, am I not suppose to do that? I read different things on the different sites. I have noticed that mine is quite sweet and not as "fizzy and tart". I have found that I took it out a day early and my last batch was "fizzier" than though as I waited til the end of day 7.

My other question is what about the organic sugar thing and tea thing, I have read that you aren't suppose to use that because it can grow mold or get toxic because of it being organic. Hmmm, I would certainly prefer to use organic though.

While I do drink the tea I really don't care for it and wonder why others say it is so good tasting and refreshing. Makes me wonder what I am doing wrong. Any helpful suggestions would be great!

Heidi

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2006, 02:09:20 PM »
I just got my kombucha today.  VERY EXCITED.  Anyway, I've been reading and I can't find anything solid on how long to incubate my little pet, sooooo I would like to know,  Gabe and anyone else who does this, how you do it?

One site I found said to culture for about 5 days, remove the sponge and then seal the jar tight and let set for another 5 days to build up CO2.  Is this where the beer bottles come in?  Could I use canning jars the same way?  Would the CO2 buildup - "seal" the can or bottle?  Would it need to be refridgerated or would it store like beer or soda pop?  How long would it store before it "goes bad" or tastes sour or whatever?


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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2006, 12:44:21 PM »
I just got my kombucha today.  VERY EXCITED.  Anyway, I've been reading and I can't find anything solid on how long to incubate my little pet, sooooo I would like to know,  Gabe and anyone else who does this, how you do it?

One site I found said to culture for about 5 days, remove the sponge and then seal the jar tight and let set for another 5 days to build up CO2.  Is this where the beer bottles come in?  Could I use canning jars the same way?  Would the CO2 buildup - "seal" the can or bottle?  Would it need to be refridgerated or would it store like beer or soda pop?  How long would it store before it "goes bad" or tastes sour or whatever?




Well, I like to culture mine for 7 days and I like to put it in the oven with the light on. Keeps the tea at a nice temp. I have to put a sticker over the "ON" button to heat up the oven, otherwise, hot Kombucha no good. I've found that if I go over 7 days, it gets too "vinegary." Maybe it is also getting too warm. I dunno.

I don't know about bottling it. When mine is done fermenting, I just pull out the mushroom, put it ina glass bowl along with about a cup of the new tea, pour the rest of the tea through a sieve to remove those little brown floaters and put it into another glass tea jar that has a spigot on the bottom of it. It just goes so fast in our house. The kids think it is great to hold the fridge door open for as long as they possibly can just to get a glass of kombucha. Hmm, I"m going to have to clamp down on that somehow...

Anyway, happy brewing. I haven't tried the cranberry kombucha yet, but if you do, let us know. You are now a 'fermentech.'  ;D
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2006, 05:27:49 AM »
I brewed for 5 days (a bit too sweet, next time 6 or 7), then strained and transfered to canning jars with very tight lids.  I then, let it set for 4 more days.  Hubby poured some into a glass last night and it fizzed up just like root beer.  He's very impressed.

I took the mother and baby out of the first jar before straining and each canning jar also has a baby after sitting the additional time.  Does this mean I'm going to have quarter size kombucha babies floating in the necks of the bottle if I use beer bottles instead??  The tea is good, but getting a mouthful of culture sounds pretty unapetizing.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2006, 06:45:41 AM »
I checked out Laurel Farms and I read the instructions.  I followed them.  I still have gunky babies.  I didn't find any information on troubleshooting.  Did I miss something?

According to her, you can't use a gallon jar--why not?
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Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2006, 08:15:26 AM »
I checked out Laurel Farms and I read the instructions.  I followed them.  I still have gunky babies.  I didn't find any information on troubleshooting.  Did I miss something?

According to her, you can't use a gallon jar--why not?

What Betsy says is, "No suntea jars, or cylinders. Use clear, unleaded glass bowl only." Suntea jars have plastic gaskets (for the spout) that the Kombucha would come in contact with and try to detoxify. Cylinders would be too narrow for the mushroom and limit it's exposure to the liquid in the glass. My solution was to purchase gallon-sized (square) glass jar with a WIDE MOUTH. This allows me room to reach in and harvest mamas and babies. Others use those giant, pickle jars. You'll need at least a gallon size to hold the 3 quarts of liquid, plus starter, and mushroom.

Could you describe "gunky" a little more? Mine always turn out like slippery, rubbery disks. The older the "mama" gets, the darker she becomes (a nice brown, but not moldy). Their bottoms are bumpy and their tops are more smooth.

Hope that helps.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2006, 07:36:44 AM »
Any idea where I could get gasket caps for regular beer bottles?  This would save me a bunch of money, because I can get my hands on the bottles for nothing (or the price of the deposit).
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Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2006, 08:21:40 AM »
I'm not EXACTLY sure which caps you are needing, but we get bottles, corks, etc. from this site for a very good price. I saw they have beer bottle caps and gaskets, maybe its what you need...http://www.homebrewheaven.com/

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2006, 11:29:20 AM »
I think we've decided to go with the metal caps and capper.  It's cheaper to buy and if a bottle gets lost or broken, we don't have to buy another case of special EZ bottles to replace it.  We can just get some more beer bottles.

Now I'd like to know from those of you who have a bench capper, how easy is it to use?  Do I have to start lifting weights or doing yoga in a box to get it working ???

BTW, lotsofboys, thanx for the website.  I think the caps and capper I want are cheaper on the site that Gabe mentioned earlier in the thread.  There's not as much selection, but it's definately cheaper if you're interested.
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Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2006, 11:49:34 AM »

BTW, lotsofboys, thanx for the website.  I think the caps and capper I want are cheaper on the site that Gabe mentioned earlier in the thread.  There's not as much selection, but it's definately cheaper if you're interested.

thanks for mentioning that site! I had never clicked on Gabe's link.

Offline fish7inTN

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2006, 09:37:55 AM »
I have been doing kombucha for months now.  A girl who gave me her baby shroom said that kids under age 2 could NOT have it.  I didn't see that Sally Fallon says that but have you all heard that before??

I brew mine for 5-10 days in a gallon pickle jar w/ a paper towel on top in a dark kitchen cabinet.  Once I didn't make time to strain it and left it 2 weeks or more and it was so bitter tasting, it could have grown hair on your chest!! :P 

I saw no one answered whether it was fine to take during pregnancy. I just found out we are expecting number 5 (no one knows yet) and I guess I need to know if that drink is a "no no" for me for a while. 

We just moved last week so I just put my starter and shrooms in a baggie in the fridge.  I read that they kind of go dormant when in the fridge (I think someone asked about that).

Also my friend told me that if you want it fizzy then put it in individual containers and get the air out as much as possible.  Leave in a dark cabinet for another 5 days or so and it makes it carbonated.  I did that in empty water bottles as that was really easy to get the air out by squeezing the bottle before putting the lid on.  Just recently I read though that you should use glad bottles when storing the tea. I never noticed a problem but maybe it wasn't a good idea.  Anyone know?  It worked though and we liked them fizzy, plus being in individual bottles was easy to grab on the go.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2006, 11:22:35 AM »
I just got some beer bottles and I'm waiting on a capper in the mail.  I used canning jars and they worked well for fizzing it up as long as you get the caps on real tight, but they're too big for individual servings and once it's opened, you pretty much lose your fizz.  I don't know for sure about storing in plastic bottles, but you're not supposed to store lemon juice in plastic because it tries to detoxify the plastic and you wind up drinking plastic toxins.  I'm thinking kombucha, since it's alive, might do the same thing. 
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Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2006, 05:36:51 PM »
I would like some starter any one willing to help me out please e-mail me.
Sherri
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Offline natural

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2006, 07:56:58 AM »
I would like some starter any one willing to help me out please e-mail me.
Sherri

Meeee tooo PLEEEASE...I just ruined two starters which I bought and don't want to spend a lot more. I would be willing to pay the shipping if anyone had some to get rid of. THanks a bunch--Sandra

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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2006, 05:56:09 PM »
I would like some starter any one willing to help me out please e-mail me.
Meeee tooo PLEEEASE...
Me three!!!! ;D

The International Kombucha Exchange

Kefir Grains Exchange
This link is for sharing kefir grains, but many have both.  I got my grains and kombucha from the same lady for the price of shipping.  Some will even let you pick them up for free if you live close by.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2006, 05:57:49 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline leslieincali

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2006, 07:27:52 AM »
Hi,
I've read through this entire thread, so forgive me if this question has been answered. I was wondering if anyones done the cost breakdown. GT's is $3/16 oz bottle. How much would I have to make to "pay" for my supplies?

Also, this is how I've improved the taste of some of GT's flavors. The good ones sell out fast at Whole Foods. I get my big mug and pour in the kombucha. To this I add a pinch of stevia and about 1/4 to 1/2 as much sparkling water. Anyone know if either of these ingredients somehow negate the health benefits?  Thanks Leslie

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2006, 08:25:13 AM »
Hi,
I've read through this entire thread, so forgive me if this question has been answered. I was wondering if anyones done the cost breakdown.

If you mean to make Kombucha, you need a glass jar or bowl (unleaded), tea bags, water, sugar, coffee filters or cloths, rubber band or string and a pan to boil your water in.

The only real investment is the starter as the rest of the stuff is pretty cheap.
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Offline jenny4wen

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2006, 10:03:33 AM »
Don't forget the cost of the bottles, caps, bottle capper.   You can probably find someone to give you beer bottles you can wash and sterilize.  Yuckie smells though. . . :P  But just a one time thing.  Then just the cost of the caps and capper. :)
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Offline Gabe Rising

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2006, 10:36:15 AM »
Stevia and Sparkling water should be fine... you are still getting the full "goodness."

By the way, GT's in not pasteurized, and I have heard that some people have used a bottle of "plain" GT's as a starter.

My total cost for starting Kombucha was $10 for the capper and $2 for the caps at a brewing supply store, and whatever I paid for the tea bags. We got the "mother" for free. I got beer bottles from friends... bottles from the New Belgium Brewing company are higher quality than others, and you have to use "non twist-tops." Twist-tops will not work...

The "mother" we got was only about 3" across and pretty weak, but by the second batch, we got a beautiful, thick mother... We wait about 10 days, and the Kombucha is still a little sweet, then we bottle it and leave the bottles in the fridge. They slowly continue to ferment until the oxygen in the bottle is used up... they get really good after a few days... if we leave them too long they get a little to vinegary... but that is actually how GT's tastes... I like mine a bit sweeter than GT's.

I have not perfected how full to fill the bottles... the first batch I filled to within 3/4" of the cap... and left them on the shelf. In three or four days I popped one open and blew kombucha all over the place... lol. They were WAY too effervescent... so the next batch I made I left about 1 1/2" of air at top and refrigerated them immediately to slow the ferment once in the bottles... these were perfect, except that they were not very effervescent at all...

So. That's what I know today.

--gabe
« Last Edit: July 22, 2006, 10:38:02 AM by Gabriel Anast »

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2006, 06:11:57 AM »
Maybe "culture" would sound proper enough for some?? ??? ;D Although my kombucha book officially calls it mushroom all the time!  :)

As for bottling, its the way to go! We have some tighlty corked or sealed and everyone always grabs those first (so fizzy and tasty!) and then drinks the unbottled when there is no choice.

Maybe that would make a difference for you, hedy!

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2006, 09:43:54 AM »
My musroom is lopsided I hope thats OK, :-\ and I baught a case of pint ball jars to put it into in stead of bottles thats what our family uses for glasses anyway we're kind of hillbilly that way. ;)
Sherri
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2006, 09:47:51 AM »
My musroom is lopsided I hope thats OK, :-\ and I baught a case of pint ball jars to put it into in stead of bottles thats what our family uses for glasses anyway we're kind of hillbilly that way. ;)
Sherri

I love drinking out of ball jars.  *snicker*  This is what I've done in the past before I bought beer bottles.  I like the bottles better because I don't have to worry about an open jar going flat and the bottle caps are much easier to put on and remove.  The drawback is you have to buy a bottle capper and caps and acquire some beer bottles before you can bottle it.  I spent $20 for the capper, $6 for 5 gross caps, and the bottle deposit for the beer bottles, I bought the empties before they were returned, took them home and washed'em and peeled the labels.  ;)
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Offline ~esposita~

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2006, 10:54:28 AM »
Is it bad to not brew it for 10 days! I feel funny after 2 oz of my brew and, my kids and DH said no way!!!!  I have a headache> :-X
If I brew it less would it still be good for us, and more palatable?
I even tried adding some juice to it and that made it better but still not tolerable.

Mine tasted terrible at 5, 7 and 10 days until I adjusted the sugar content.  My shroom was running out of food I think.  I was kinda winging it, because Dom's and every other site I visited listed the sugar in metric and I think my conversion was off.  I started with 1 cup of sugar for a gallon of tea and changed it to 1 1/2 cup sugar for a gallon and it's much more bubbly and it tastes almost like apple juice.

We've only brewed Kombucha twice, but ours turned out tasting much like grape juice.  We used 2 qts of tea and 2/3 C of sugar. 
So:  Per 1 qt of water
      ~ 2 tea bags (I use green tea)
      1/3 c sugar

O.  we brew it for 7 days and let it sit in the fridge for 3-4 days
     
I just started a gallon batch today...with ginger.   I do hope it is good!!!


Now my question:  can I put the brewed K. into one of those glass, 1 gallon "iced tea jars"?  You know, the ones with the little spickett (sp?) thingy.  It would be highly convenient, but would it ruin our brew?

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Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2006, 11:42:41 AM »
Quote
Now my question:  can I put the brewed K. into one of those glass, 1 gallon "iced tea jars"?  You know, the ones with the little spickett (sp?) thingy.  It would be highly convenient, but would it ruin our brew?

Kombucha isn't supposed to be placed in a container with plastic or rubber as it tries to detoxify whatever container in which it is placed. This means it will try to detox the gasket on the spout and you will drink the results. We use a glass decanter with a glass top that we found at Walmart. It holds 2 quarts and cost us around $3. I think they're easier to pour from than a large wide-mouthed jar.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2006, 02:34:27 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline natural

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2006, 12:15:18 PM »
What is a decanter?

I am done with my second batch. Today I was obviously left with the mother and two babies (I started with the mother and a baby) 

I am giving away my newest baby.
I made a new batch with my first baby (fr. my 1st batch).
I decided to put my original "mother" away in case something goes wrong with this baby. How do I store the mother?

Right now I have it on the counter with some tea...do I seal it or leave the cap on loosely?

BTW my batch tasted totally different than jenny4wen's and we started with the same "family members" (sister SCOBY's) ;D

She did bottle (seal with a capper) hers too. Just goes to show, every batch is not equal. :) Does sealing make that big of a difference in flavor, I didn't use a capper but I did close the lid tightly.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 03:01:36 AM by natural »
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2006, 02:21:19 PM »
What is a decanter?
A glass bottle normally used for holding alcohol.  They usually have a glass "cork" that sits on top.

Quote
How do I store the mother?
Store her in some of your kombucha in another glass jar with a lid.  From what I understand you can keep it like this for quite some time and then when you want to use it, just dump the whole lot into the next batch. 

Quote
Does sealing make that big of a difference in flavor.
I don't think it will change the taste, but it will go flat if you don't seal it tight.  I think the bubbles add a little something to the overall flavor, but that's just me.
I cap mine too.  I was putting it in Ball jars until I got the capper, but they went flat alot faster.
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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2006, 02:28:02 PM »

Now my question:  can I put the brewed K. into one of those glass, 1 gallon "iced tea jars"?  You know, the ones with the little spickett (sp?) thingy.  It would be highly convenient, but would it ruin our brew?


Quote

Yes, you can use an iced tea jar with the little spigot thingy! We do it and it makes a very convenient way to get at the Kombucha without lugging the whole jar out of the fridge every time. My kids really like to get at it, especially on these hot days.

Only thing is, we've found that those little brown floaters in the brew tend to clog up the spigot, so before I pour a fresh batch of the brew into the iced tea jar, I sort of take that spigot apart and clean thoroughly. We've also found that the K. doesn't really keep it's bubbly little personality as long as if we had capped it off.

Just our experience!  :D

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