Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...

Kombucha brewers

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Created by Harrow 2 months ago, 31 Mar 2020
Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
31 Mar 2020 3:38PM
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Any other kombucha brewers out there?

I'm only a few days in on my first batch, but even now a quick taste test has me salivating.

Buster fin
WA, 2127 posts
31 Mar 2020 12:42PM
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Ex-brew house. Got into it for 6 months or so in another life.

Cobra
8357 posts
31 Mar 2020 1:16PM
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2nd Brew 5day (depends on Temp) where you live time of year or keep your Bouchie
1 x 500ml Grolsch bottle
with 1 tsp of fresh ground ginger
+ 1/2 tsp fresh ground turmeric.

people go yeah yeah whatever until they tase. then the questions start flying.

to stop the brewing place in fridge.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
31 Mar 2020 5:06PM
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At the moment the SCOBY from my kit is still sitting at the bottom, kind of like a cloud of cotton wool. I don't see one of those skins forming yet, Will the cotton wool cloud float to the top and form a solid layer, or should a new skin start to form on the top on its own? It's around 26 deg C, in a 1-litre jar.

Cobra
8357 posts
31 Mar 2020 7:12PM
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what the 1ltr? are you drinking by the thimble. i wouldn't bother for 1ltr .go buy it.

Cobra
8357 posts
31 Mar 2020 7:14PM
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a scobie is hard jelly like. anyhow.

my setup is 5ltr of boiled filtered water
300g raw sugar
30g green tea bags.
5ltr glass jar wide enough to fit your hand into.
place muslin cloth on top of jar then leave in the cupboard for 7 days. NEVER leave in light.
don't play or disturb it, leave it alone.

after 7 days pour into glass bottles with flavour
make a new batch put 300ml of old juice and scobie into new batch and NEVER put the scobie in anything other than room temperature liquid.

2nd brew for 4-5 days check in 3 days so its not to fizzy then place into fridge to stop the brewing, can leave in fridge for weeks...i drink 5ltrs easy per week.
your family will have happy tummys.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
31 Mar 2020 10:56PM
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Yeah, I know what the SCOBY should look like, but the kit had this plastic bag with starter tea and this webby looking stuff, not a leathery SCOBY. I guess it will seed the SCOBY after a week or two, I'll have to wait and see.

The 1 litre is just the starter kit my kids got me for Christmas, and I just got around to setting it up this week. I drink at least one bottle a day, so I'll need to scale up for sure. I have a pair of four-litre jars with spigots, so I was going to eventually run them in tandem once all is well. I've got two silicon pad heaters with thermocouple digital thermostats that were pretty cheap. I want to run a slow fermentation at a low temp, so I'll figure I'll need the two large jars..

I'm surprised it's only taking 7 days? I keep reading of it taking much longer? Or maybe you don't like it too sour or else you live in a warm climate?

Also, do you add any sugar for your secondary fermentation, or maybe because you bottle it after only 7 days, there's enough left to make the fizz?

Cobra
8357 posts
1 Apr 2020 7:16AM
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Harrow said..
Yeah, I know what the SCOBY should look like, but the kit had this plastic bag with starter tea and this webby looking stuff, not a leathery SCOBY. I guess it will seed the SCOBY after a week or two, I'll have to wait and see.

The 1 litre is just the starter kit my kids got me for Christmas, and I just got around to setting it up this week. I drink at least one bottle a day, so I'll need to scale up for sure. I have a pair of four-litre jars with spigots, so I was going to eventually run them in tandem once all is well. I've got two silicon pad heaters with thermocouple digital thermostats that were pretty cheap. I want to run a slow fermentation at a low temp, so I'll figure I'll need the two large jars..

I'm surprised it's only taking 7 days? I keep reading of it taking much longer? Or maybe you don't like it too sour or else you live in a warm climate?

Also, do you add any sugar for your secondary fermentation, or maybe because you bottle it after only 7 days, there's enough left to make the fizz?




Longer than 7 days tastes like vinegar just way to sour. But again when cooler I have gone 10 days (you'd know the trick to tasting) that's why 2nd brew can take 3 to 5 days because of the amount of sugar you're bunt off. The only thing i add in 2nd brew is flavour. check after 3 days for gas levels I live in Qld so brewing time may differ. BTW when I clean my gear I always add apple cider vinegar, it doesn't leave any traces in the buchie and helps with sterilisation, more natural than chemicals. Enjoy , that's if the family leaves you any.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
1 Apr 2020 11:52AM
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Thanks, some useful insights there. I want to reduce the acid to also save my teeth, so shorter ferment times sound good. Easy for me to keep it cooler here also, so hoping to promote more yeast flavour than vinegar.

Got a gelatinous film starting today, so seems the SCOBY is forming.

Cobra
8357 posts
1 Apr 2020 9:16AM
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Harrow you're all over it I've never used the first brew from a new scobie not saying you can't, I'd rather get a nice culture for the 1st brew. + growing brand new scobie I'd let it grow 10 days.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
7 Apr 2020 1:01PM
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Second fermentation underway...bottles firming up, seems to be doing the right thing. Also got the 2nd batch underway, I'll try some flavouring with the 2nd ferment for that one.

makesurf
NSW, 186 posts
7 Apr 2020 8:26PM
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Harrow said..
Second fermentation underway...bottles firming up, seems to be doing the right thing. Also got the 2nd batch underway, I'll try some flavouring with the 2nd ferment for that one.


I have been making Kombucha since January 2019 and have made 110 x 4 litre batches in that time.
I was paying $15 per litre for this stuff - saved $6,600 - hence the enthusiasm!

The 2nd fermentation is there to add flavour.
I make 4 litres in a batch, 2 big glass jars (3 litre jars - Two thirds full).
After 8-9 days I do the 2nd fermentation (for 3 days) in 5 old SodaStream bottles (they handle the gas well).

Any left over after I have two thirds filled these 5 bottles goes straight in the fridge in a re-purposed wine bottle.
I drink that as is as soon as it gets cold.

Everything I know about making Kombucha can be gleaned from my blog:
bruchebuch.blogspot.com/

Labels on my bottles have this URL on it.
I expect that, on that blog, I am mostly talking to people who drink my stuff.


FWIIW batch numbers went from 1-99 then A1-A9, then B1-B9.
I currently have B3 in 2nd fermentation and B4, B5 & B6 in first fermentation

Oh, and I use this:appadvice.com/app/kombucha-tracker/1301666881

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
9 Apr 2020 10:54PM
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Hmm, no bubbles. The plastic bottles definitely felt a lot firmer, but it was virtually flat when I opened it today.

It was the first batch made from starter tea without a SCOBY. Second batch is much more active, using the partial SCOBY that was developed in the first batch, so might do better on the gas next time around.

petermac33
WA, 6042 posts
9 Apr 2020 8:57PM
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7 dollars for a 750ml glass bottle from Coles. Super addictive so do not try.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
10 Apr 2020 9:31AM
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petermac33 said..
7 dollars for a 750ml glass bottle from Coles. Super addictive so do not try.

Yeah, I've been on one bottle a day for the last 6 months. That's why I need to start making my own!

Actually, think I might know the problem. I strained it as I was bottling...might have removed too much yeast to get a decent secondary fermentation.

makesurf
NSW, 186 posts
12 Apr 2020 3:49PM
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Harrow said..
Hmm, no bubbles. The plastic bottles definitely felt a lot firmer, but it was virtually flat when I opened it today.

It was the first batch made from starter tea without a SCOBY. Second batch is much more active, using the partial SCOBY that was developed in the first batch, so might do better on the gas next time around.



No bubbles?

Here is what it should look like when you open the 2nd fermentation bottle:

landyacht
WA, 5859 posts
12 Apr 2020 6:02PM
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I was wondering WTF is kombucha then i saw the ginger . is it home made ginger beer?

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
12 Apr 2020 8:30PM
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landyacht said..
I was wondering WTF is kombucha then i saw the ginger . is it home made ginger beer?

Nope, ginger is just a flavour you can add toward the end of the process if you want.

Kombucha is a fermented drink based on tea. Simply, you brew some plain old black tea, add sugar to provide food for fermentation, then yeast and bacteria is added in the form of a creamy, slippery, leathery mass called a SCOBY. It looks rather disgusting. You end up with a yeasty, tart flavoured drink. You can drink it neat, or add something to flavour it. Combinations of fruits and herbs are often used, with ginger and lemon being a favourite. A secondary fermentation in the bottle makes it fizzy.

Imax1
QLD, 2672 posts
12 Apr 2020 8:32PM
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What kind of alcohol content are we talking here ?

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
12 Apr 2020 8:35PM
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makesurf said..
No bubbles?


My second batch has bubbles in the first fermentation. I'm a lot more confident in this one, it's very active.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
12 Apr 2020 8:37PM
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Imax1 said..
What kind of alcohol content are we talking here ?

Minimal, maybe around 0.5%? Most of the alcohol produced by the yeast reaction is consumed by the bacteria and converted into various acids, thus the tart flavour. It's a similar reaction to producing vinegar.

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
12 Apr 2020 8:56PM
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This is batch #2. It's only a 1 litre jar sitting behind my laptop to keep it warm until the heat pads arrive, then I can scale up to 3 or 4 litre brews. There's a lot of bubbles forming around the edges of the jar this time, a positive sign indicative of the healthy growth of yeast shown in the 2nd photo below. I think you need to taste it before you see it growing, otherwise you'd never be brave enough to try it,

Looking from the top, this is the bacteria raft...

And looking from the side you can see the yeast tentacles growing down...


Imax1
QLD, 2672 posts
12 Apr 2020 9:16PM
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And why do we do this ?

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
13 Apr 2020 8:23AM
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^^^ Same reason people home brew beer. You get to make something unique, fiddle with fermentation temperature and time, sugar content, to get the flavour just how you like it, not to mention saving around $4 a bottle.

Kombucha can be pretty addictive. Depending how you make it, it's somewhere between soft drink, beer, cider, and champagne. You get bubbles, complex flavours, and it's extremely refreshing. A lot people will say they drink it for the probiotics, but I simply enjoy drinking it. Depending on your taste, you can brew it to be as dry or tart as you like. Similar to brewing beer, you can add flavours with spices, herbs or fruits, or you can simply keep it 'raw'. It's low sugar, low calorie, and is also really nice for those times you feel like a beer but don't want something that will put you to sleep, or you need to drive or work. It's also a really good diet drink. By replacing my evening beer with a kombucha over the last couple of months, I managed to shift the 5kg that I'd put on just before and over Christmas.

beerdead
NSW, 417 posts
13 Apr 2020 9:15PM
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I'm fairly intolerant of caffeine. Are there any studies suggesting remaining caffeine levels in kombucha?

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
13 Apr 2020 10:14PM
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^^^ I'm only a beginner with this, but a quick Google suggests the caffeine levels are around half of that in the original tea used to start the brew.

landyacht
WA, 5859 posts
14 Apr 2020 8:40PM
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well i tried some. bloody awful.. the things you learn along the way

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
15 Apr 2020 8:34AM
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landyacht said..
well i tried some. bloody awful.. the things you learn along the way

Which brand did you try? Some are just watered down lolly water, others are quite sour and much too vinegary. The only one I really like is 'Remedy'. Ginger and lemon is probably the flavour most people would enjoy, but I can certainly understand it not being to some people's liking. Also, the homemade version is quite different from the commercial versions.....maybe more 'horrible'.

makesurf
NSW, 186 posts
15 Apr 2020 6:51PM
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Harrow said..

Which brand did you try?

Also, the homemade version is quite different from the commercial versions.....maybe more 'horrible'.


I like these commercial products but they all feel like a soda-water-ed down version of what I make:

www.rokkombucha.com.au/flavour/classic/

teagardenskombucha.com.au/product/ginger/

and

mojobeverages.com.au/products/activated/turmeric-carrot-ginger/

Harrow
NSW, 3383 posts
Monday , 25 May 2020 4:33PM
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Got the heating system up and running. Thermocouples, silicon heating pads, programmable controller, regulated switchmode power supply, all off eBay for a song...cost about $40 all up to make the dual system, bargain! With the brew sitting at a constant temperature 24/7, results are much more consistent now.


After about the 4th batch it's started to fizz nicely...kids actually complained it was too fizzy, so no more concerns on that front, guess the yeast/bacteria just needed to settle into the new routine. Running two 1 litre batches in parallel for the moment to do comparisons with different teas, etc, but will scale to two 1 gallon jars in a couple of weeks to meet demand.

Buster fin
WA, 2127 posts
Monday , 25 May 2020 4:00PM
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Nice work



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Forums > General Discussion   Shooting the breeze...


"Kombucha brewers" started by Harrow