Author Topic: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information  (Read 169462 times)

Offline Mama Sita

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Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« on: June 07, 2006, 12:59:37 AM »
Hey, I'm so glad you all brought this Kombucha thing up. I've been brewing it for a couple of months now, and we love the stuff, all except for DH. He just likes his sun tea, plain and simple.

OK, here's my dilemma with brewing the Kombucha: What tea do you guys use to make the kombucha that does NOT have fluoride in it? All I have is the Lipton tea bags, and I was told to use organic black tea. Well, we live out in the boondocks and I really dislike ordering stuff online since shipping prices KILL me...soooo, we use what we have.

I don't have the book Nourishing Traditions, but I'd love to get my hands on a copy. Anybody know the best place to get one? (read: cheap)

Thanks!!  ;D
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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2006, 04:38:44 PM »
What's the difference between "mothers" and "babies" ???

From my experience, the 'mother' is the starter mushroom that you use to start your Kombucha, and the 'babies' are the new mushroom that grow on top of the mother after a few brews.

Actually, I gathered as much, but do they grow?  Do babies become mothers?  Or do they have to produce special "mothers" like bees grow special queens.  Probably a dumb question, but I don't know much about this stuff and haven't had time to fully research it yet.

Ok, no such thing as a dumb question on this board. Yes, babies become mothers when you separate them and send them on their happy way (with about a cup of kombucha tea) to another jar of their own.

Now, this mother will grow a baby on top and you can separate them.

There's really nothing special about a mother...well, about a kombucha mother, anyway  ;D
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 01:00:38 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2006, 06:55:18 AM »
I can't find my Kombucha book right now that addresses your questions, but in my own words, yes, white sugar is what you have to use. That and the caffeine in the tea is what the culture feeds on. So if you brew it long enough there is no sugar and caffeine left in the finished product that you drink.

As for the tea, we followed Sally Fallon's recipe in the Nourishing Traditions which asks for organic black tea (most recipes that we have seen ask for black tea) and I have purchased it from several places and it always came as bags.

Sorry if this doesn't explain it well, I'm sure someone else here can do a better job and when if find my book I can maybe make it more clear also. :-\

Offline queentea

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2006, 07:47:25 AM »
I am so excited about the things that I am learning here!!  We've started making our own kefir and kiddos just love smoothies!

I was thinking of trying the Kombucha, but I thought I'd find a bottle at the HFS first.  Today I found one and WOW it sure wasn't what I'd been expecting.  I thought it would be sweet as so many said it was a sub. for pop and all the sugar that goes in it, but this stuff tasted like a batch of bad hooch :P!  It was almost "vinegary" not sweet at all.  Is the typical or did I get some bad stuff?  I don't think I could stomach drinking the "pickle juice" on a regular basis, let alone as a sub for my morning Java!! :-\  Are there ways of making it more palatable, like kefir (can't drink that plain either)? It sure had some pucker power :o

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 05:27:29 AM »
I got my shroom from lotsaboys and I'm ready to make it but I need to know if I should wash it first or just dump it in as is?
Sherri
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Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2006, 04:06:52 PM »
Hi Sherri, we're back. :)

Yes, you can just dump it in!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2006, 06:03:39 PM »
My babies look just as ugly (maybe uglier) as the mother.

You shouldn't talk about you and your babies in such a way!!!  :o  ::) :D ;D

HAHAHAHAHAHA!   ;D
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Offline leslieincali

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2006, 07:33:08 AM »
How about instead of mother or mushroom, we call it fungus. :o ;D

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2006, 08:58:48 AM »
How about instead of mother or mushroom, we call it fungus. :o ;D

How about "boochies".  SC, you paying attention?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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Offline Gabe Rising

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2006, 12:28:02 PM »
It doesn't matter... it'll be just fine!

--gabe

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2006, 03:09:13 AM »
Do not disturb the kombucha while brewing - everything will be fine.

Nickole

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2006, 11:19:36 AM »
The "mother" or "mushroom"  is called a SCOBY, an acronym meaning Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.  Found it on Dom's Kombucha sight.

My daughter asked me what was in the kefir jar last night.  I told her that I was feeding some "critters" with juice.  Today we had some kombucha for lunch.  I bottle the kombucha and the kefir in the same bottles, so she thought we were having kefir (I suppose) and she told her brother that we were having "critter juice".   ;D
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Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2006, 09:56:50 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.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2006, 10:33:31 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.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2006, 02:22:46 PM »
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)

I use regular Lipton (or off brand) black (orange pekoe) tea.  I want to try some green and some oolong.  Going to try the ginger too.  I have a double batch, so I should have two more babies in a few days.  Woohoo.
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Offline farmmom

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2006, 02:28:33 AM »
After reading all of the posts, several times, I really do not know whether I am clear on exactly what is meant by brewing time.  When you refer to that do you mean the time you let it sit out of the fridge while covered, or do you include the time while sitting out which looks like it is usually 5-7 days, then add on the extra 3-5 days in the fridge.  Does that constitute the total brewing time.  I am sorry if this is not really very clear to understand, it seems like the more I read the posts the more confused I get.  I am probably making more of it than need be.  Thanx for all your comments!
' When through firey trials thy pathway shall lie My Grace all sufficient shall be thy supply the flame shall not hurt thee I only design thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.'

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2006, 04:03:55 AM »
After reading all of the posts, several times, I really do not know whether I am clear on exactly what is meant by brewing time.  When you refer to that do you mean the time you let it sit out of the fridge while covered, or do you include the time while sitting out which looks like it is usually 5-7 days, then add on the extra 3-5 days in the fridge.  Does that constitute the total brewing time.  I am sorry if this is not really very clear to understand, it seems like the more I read the posts the more confused I get.  I am probably making more of it than need be.  Thanx for all your comments!

Brewing time is the time spent with the culture in the tea.  This is what determines the acidity level and invariably the taste of the tea.  You'll have better luck with fizzies if you don't put it in the fridge for storage.  I've been brewing mine for 10 days with the culture and bottling.  After bottling and sitting out of the fridge, the fizz just gets fizzier every day I let it set.
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Offline farmmom

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2006, 04:22:25 PM »
Thank you soooooooo..... much HB, that is perfectly clear.  How would you like to come over and teach
Algebra 2, next week to my daughter ? ha,ha,ha,ha.
' When through firey trials thy pathway shall lie My Grace all sufficient shall be thy supply the flame shall not hurt thee I only design thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.'

Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2006, 04:05:52 PM »
My first batch of Kombucha is done, but my baby (I think it's a baby) is floating and the mama is at the bottom.  They are not and did not start out connected together.  Is that okay?  The baby is really thin.  Should I throw them in the next pot together so the baby can get bigger or should I make two pots?

Baby and mama are fine. Sometimes the mama stays on the bottom and produces an unattached floater baby. I think they have moods. I've seen some of mine float sideways and turn themselves. Today, when I harvested, we had produced twins -- two babies in one jar. My DH says I need to keep "those things" separate.  :D :D I think he's worried that it might be catching  ::)

I've also noticed that the warmer the temperature, the thicker the baby.
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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2006, 04:33:05 PM »
Quote


Is it good even if my new SCOBY is really really dark brown?

Quote
Quote

Yes, they get darker and darker as they accumulate dead yeast cells from each batch.  As long as it is still making a baby mushroom, it's good!

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2006, 08:48:47 AM »
Rock on!!! ;D

You must be a child of the 80's.  *snicker*   ;D
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Offline Amey

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2006, 09:10:07 AM »
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?

Offline mexmarr

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2006, 09:17:33 AM »
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?
My guess would be that it is the former, with an accent on the "boo."  Am I right?  We need to hear from somebody who knows what the are talking about

Nickole

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2006, 09:28:26 AM »
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?
My guess would be that it is the former, with an accent on the "boo."  Am I right?  We need to hear from somebody who knows what the are talking about

"kum-BOO-cha"

Now I've got Def Leopard on the brain after "Rock on!"  THANKS!  ::)  ;D  I'm a child of the 80s too. 

Offline mexmarr

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2006, 10:33:18 AM »
Yea!  I like to be right! ;D ;)

Offline ~esposita~

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2006, 03:05:53 AM »
How exactly do you pronounce kombucha? Is it come-boo-chah, or comb-boo-kah, or what?

I can't get Hubby to say "kom-boo-cha;"  He says Koom-BAA-cha...so that is what we make and drink, in our house! ;D ;D
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Offline jammy

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2006, 04:26:13 AM »

Well, my Kombucha has been brewing.....oh, let's see...21 days now!  OOPS...hopefully it is ok and not too strong.  BOY the cultures are HUGE now!  :o
 But it looks and smells fine.   I am boiling the water now to make new tea and start cooling it to transfer these monsters ...LOL


Jenn
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Offline ~esposita~

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2006, 07:48:16 AM »
...hopefully it is ok and not too strong. 

Yeah...I did that too.  Definitely too strong, even for DH.  If you can handle it, more power to ya!  I sure do have nice big babies now!!!
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Offline SC

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2006, 10:57:30 AM »
The directions we use say to cover with a clean cotton cloth -- not cheesecloth. The cotton cloth allows the Kombucha to breathe while keeping pests out. We secure the cloth with a rubber band. I use old diaper cloth, handkerchief cloth, and/or old linen napkins. I just make sure that none of it has holes. We live in a very warm climate and the flies are very attracted to the smell of fermentation. It is a necessity here to use a solid piece of cotton cloth and launder it between uses. I use borax and a vinegar rinse.
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Offline amazonmama2five

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Re: Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2006, 11:40:59 AM »
Dear Musicmommy,
Yes, your kombucha is fine, as a matter of fact, you can start tasting it.  If you live in a warm climate, it could already be to your liking.  In the beginning we only "brewed" ours 5-7 days.  Now we like it at 10.
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