Author Topic: Anybody try kombucha  (Read 1407 times)

Offline speed

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Anybody try kombucha
« on: July 30, 2014, 06:50:05 AM »
I had some at a homebrewers club meeting last week and have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I love sour beers so it didn't turn me off at first sip. The vinegar was an interesting side note. Guess I will have to make some.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 07:43:31 AM »
I've got some in bottles and some working at home. My wife is rather fond of it. I don't know if it was the culture I started with or something I have done but it's very strong flavored. not overwhelmingly vinegar but just overall strong. it works well to make a cocktail with ginger 'aide' and sparkly water. I primed the bottles when I filled them but they did not produce and sparkle in the bottle so I'm not sure what happened there.

good for your belly from what I hear.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 11:31:21 AM »
Id like to try it but im having a hard time finding a culture that isnt crazy expensive.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 11:57:12 AM »
Id like to try it but im having a hard time finding a culture that isnt crazy expensive.

can you buy live kombucha? I started mine from a growler of some local company. it said live cultures on the label. I decanted a bit more than half and pitched the other half into about .5 gallons of tea/sugar/water and let it go. it took a week or so before I saw scum developing on the surface. then after about three weeks I pitched that into ~3 gallons of tea/sugar/water and saw results much faster. at this point it's a big spooky disk on top of the liquid.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 12:47:46 PM »
Not that i have seen, I have yet to check the farmers markets because i have a hard time being able to get to them.  I need to have a few friends keep an eye out
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Offline Steve in TX

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Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 03:33:53 PM »
While it may be pricey up front, a kombucha culture is meant to be kept and maintained. They range from a few bucks to over twenty on amazon.

Search kombucha scoby

Online pete b

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 05:05:08 AM »
If you know someone who makes kombucha ask for a " mother" when they have extra. Each time you make it you end up with the original plus a new one. I gave a few away when I used to make it.
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Offline abarhan

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2014, 08:53:27 AM »
They are super easy to just start on your own. Don't buy one, the satisfaction of making a real creepy looking goo that lives on top of something your wife wants to drink is worth it!

Offline rjharper

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 08:21:15 PM »
My neighbor makes kombucha for his gluten intolerant wife as an alternative to beer when he's not brewing for himself. Sounds like we could start selling the SCOBY and undercut Amazon! :D
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2014, 06:37:41 PM »
I've had good luck culturing a kombucha SCOBY from a bottle of GT Kombucha from the grocery store.  It's a good idea to step up the batch size until your SCOBY gets to full size, much like culturing yeast from a bottled brew.  I went with the original, and it worked for me.  YMMV.


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2014, 07:37:42 PM »
I've had good luck culturing a kombucha SCOBY from a bottle of GT Kombucha from the grocery store.  It's a good idea to step up the batch size until your SCOBY gets to full size, much like culturing yeast from a bottled brew.  I went with the original, and it worked for me.  YMMV.



that's the brand I used.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 07:52:56 PM »
I just bottled my first batch of kombucha. I tried kombucha for the first time recently. Honestly, I thought the ones I tried were a little bland, but I definitely saw enough potential to want to try it out myself. I grew up a SCOBY from the dregs of a few bottles of Live Kombucha Soda. I stepped it up similar to stepping up bottle dregs from a beer.

From what I understand, a lot of Kombucha makers reformulated their products a few years back when there were some concerns that the refermented Kombucha could potentially exceed 1% ABV. What I don't like about the Live Soda is that they sweeten with something like stevia or splenda, which leaves an "artificial sweetener" taste. The good thing is that this means that their culture probably isn't doctored, since they aren't back-sweetening with sugar. It took a little time, but I have a nice jellyfish going on right now.

I backsweetened this batch with Pom-blueberry juice and bottled in 12oz PET soda bottles. I'm hoping I'll get a nice fizz out of them, but they're already pretty damn tasty even if they don't sparkle up too much,
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Offline pinnah

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2015, 06:31:31 AM »
I like it, but it sure can look a little creepy. 

erockrph, what vessel are you fermenting in?  I have been using an old big pickle jar and some big Ball jars...seems like I always spill some when transferring to bottles.  I have been trying to transfer without getting a bunch of sludge in the bottles and have yet to settle on a good system.

RE: carbonation, I have found that what you add for flavor at bottling can have an effect - last batch I tried both some with grape juice and some with elderberry concentrate.  The grape carbed fast and became quite fizzy, while the elderberry is still fairly flat.  Sugar content I suppose.

Looking forward to your thoughts, as I know you are a sucker for experimenting. :)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2015, 07:07:14 AM »
When I have free reign to fill empty spaces with odd fermentations again I will get one of those ice tea jars with a spout at the bottom. then you can fill bottles at will and top off with new... substrate? wort? must?
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
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Online pete b

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Re: Anybody try kombucha
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2015, 09:16:05 AM »
I like it, but it sure can look a little creepy. 

erockrph, what vessel are you fermenting in?  I have been using an old big pickle jar and some big Ball jars...seems like I always spill some when transferring to bottles.  I have been trying to transfer without getting a bunch of sludge in the bottles and have yet to settle on a good system.

RE: carbonation, I have found that what you add for flavor at bottling can have an effect - last batch I tried both some with grape juice and some with elderberry concentrate.  The grape carbed fast and became quite fizzy, while the elderberry is still fairly flat.  Sugar content I suppose.

Looking forward to your thoughts, as I know you are a sucker for experimenting. :)
I had kombucha going for a year or so a few years back. I used a big glass cookie jar because a lot of surface area is good. When done I poured it into a juice pitcher, let it settle, then decanted into mason jars to drink from. I never tried to carbonate it, it was always a bit fizzy without trying much. My basic recipe used regular black tea, lapsang suchong, and organic sugar. Most batches I didn't flavor from there. I found adding juices and such made it less refreshing.
Renunciation is not giving up the things of the world, but accepting that they go away.
Suzuki Roshi