3

votes

Kombucha brewing tips, alternate uses for SCOBY

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 20, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Does anyone here brew Kombucha? Any favorite recipes? How do I get mine bubbly like the stuff they sell at Whole Foods?

Have you ever tried brewing Kombucha vinegar? Kombucha wine?

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Yes, some form of sugar is needed for the bacteria (SCOBY) to consume. I prefer sucanat over white sugar because of the better mineral profile.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:44 PM

@Kimmie - question, do you have to use sugar?

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:33 PM

This is great, thank you! Can't wait to try it.

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 31, 2011
at 09:55 AM

why is it gross?

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

I'll give it a try! And my kefir grains offer still holds if you want (see profile for addy)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Here is the site I used when making my kombucha scoby. http://tinyurl.com/ldbd4w An yes I can give you a scoby, no problem. Culturedsfatgmail

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I've been wondering if I can add a little to a batch of kefir, or visa versa. I don't want to make 'milk kombucha' or 'sweet tea kefir', but perhaps some of the bugs would join in the other's culture and make it more 'complex'.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:56 PM

@Laura - Last night I started a recipe to generate a SCOBY from a bottled kombucha. But if that fails can I get on of yours? I'm in SF too. I'll trade you some fresh kefir grains... :-)

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 24, 2011
at 03:50 PM

You can control the sweetness with length of fermentation, so I don't think it is an issue

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Neat is totally neat, no worries about duplication from me :)

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:27 PM

oh, crap, I didn't see your post before I added mine. so very neat though, huh? :)

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9 Answers

4
43cc03b7103f967b9758832ccbceb501

on June 20, 2011
at 05:29 PM

Kombucha is incredibly easy to make and can be a wonderful addition to your daily routine, especially once you have customized your flavors.

Check out the free recipe here: Kombucha Recipe

Want it Bubbly? Try these tips:

Carbonation Tips for Kombucha Beginners

Not familiar with Kombucha? Kombucha Health Benefit Information

Growing clothes out of SCOBYs is fine, but that doesn't help the homebrewer. Instead here's an article about using SCOBYs around the house for all kinds of things!

Top 5 Other Uses for Kombucha SCOBYs

Hope that helps! Brew Kombucha it's awesome!

Hannah Crum

The Kombucha Mamma

www.KombuchaKamp.com

3
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on June 20, 2011
at 07:43 PM

Hi Raspberry:

I can only comment on favorite recipes and carbonation - would love to hear more about "kombucha wine," though! :)

Kombucha recipes vary so much - it seems everyone has a different method, but this is what is working for me. The instructions assume you do not have a SCOBY already, and are starting with a bottle of unpasteurized, store-bought kombucha (unflavored).

  • 12 c filtered water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 3 green tea bags
  • 1 c sugar/sucanat (do not use honey - it is too anti-bacterial to work)

Boil 12 c of filtered water in a large stock pot, and steep 6 tea bags (I use 3 black and 3 green) for 10-20 minutes. Remove tea bags, and add 1 c of sugar (I use sucanat) and stir until dissolved. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature. (Make sure your starter kombucha is also room temperature.)

STAGE 1 - Aerobic Ferment:

Pour your tea and your starter kombucha into a clean, gallon-sized glass carboy. Cover with a cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. Place in a darkish, non-drafty place on your kitchen counter. Resist the urge to move it or mess with it too much. In 5-7 days you should see a thin "mushroom" (SCOBY) floating on top.

Stage 1 of your first batch should be ready in 7-10 days. Test periodically for taste.

Reserve 2 c of kombucha and the SCOBY (you will use this to start your next batch of kobucha).

STAGE 2 - Anaerobic Ferment (carbonation phase):

Add 1/2 c fruit juice** to remaining kombucha, and transfer to clean, glass carafes with air-tight lids. Allow to ferment an additional 7-10 days at room temperature. Carbonation pressure will build up in the bottles, so I like to adjust the lids every couple of days to make sure that there isn't TOO much pressure (not sure how legitimate this concern is, but that's what I do). Refrigerate and enjoy.

Starting your next batch:

Make more sweet tea (as above); cool. In a clean, glass carboy, combine tea and reserved 2 c kombucha and SCOBY. Cover with a cheesecloth secured with a rubber band to start brewing your next batch of kombucha.

** Note: I've tried several fruit juices, but my hands-down favorite flavor combination is organic pear juice + fresh ginger root (1" thinly sliced per quart).

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:33 PM

This is great, thank you! Can't wait to try it.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on April 23, 2012
at 09:55 PM

Yes, some form of sugar is needed for the bacteria (SCOBY) to consume. I prefer sucanat over white sugar because of the better mineral profile.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on April 23, 2012
at 12:44 PM

@Kimmie - question, do you have to use sugar?

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:45 PM

After I decant about 1 gallon from my continuous brew, I do a second ferment where I put a piece of dried fruit or candied ginger in each 16oz bottle before capping tightly. The sugar from this addition gives the Kombucha yeast something to eat and the tight bottling makes the carbon dioxide bubbles turn into carbonation in a few days at out of the refrigerator.

Experiment with amounts but don't put too much sugar/juice/fruit in the second bottling or it can create alcohol. It can also explode with carbonation if you over do the sugar and/or leave it out too long. I also find that my Kombucha is great with added bubbly water. It almost tastes too strong to me now straight.

I don't have too many alternative uses for the SCOBY but if I get too many and I can't give them away, they are good for the compost. One thing I have wondered is if you can use the SCOBY to ferment anything else like vegetables.

I do use my Kombucha for a lot of things tho: Quick pickled vegetables, salad dressing, frozen sorbet, fruit glazes for desserts, Lacto fermented catsup. I basically add it it anything and everything! It has a great tart/sweet flavor profile plus the fantastic probiotics.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:25 PM

Here is the site I used when making my kombucha scoby. http://tinyurl.com/ldbd4w An yes I can give you a scoby, no problem. Culturedsfatgmail

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I've been wondering if I can add a little to a batch of kefir, or visa versa. I don't want to make 'milk kombucha' or 'sweet tea kefir', but perhaps some of the bugs would join in the other's culture and make it more 'complex'.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 24, 2011
at 08:34 PM

I'll give it a try! And my kefir grains offer still holds if you want (see profile for addy)

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 24, 2011
at 07:56 PM

@Laura - Last night I started a recipe to generate a SCOBY from a bottled kombucha. But if that fails can I get on of yours? I'm in SF too. I'll trade you some fresh kefir grains... :-)

1
E91fd339d760ed76cc72570a679ebf5a

(2369)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:10 PM

I brew a lot of kombucha and my preferred way to do it is to use organic green tea, and to bottle it with a little ginger juice. I've never had much luck getting high carbonation, but am considering trying a beer-bottling kit. The only other thing I do with my SCOBYs is (unintentionally) gross out my squeamish bf. He hates to even catch a glimpse of them.

0
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 20, 2011
at 08:03 PM

I'm interested in trying Kombucha, though have been concerned that too much sugar is left over - the store-bought stuff tends to be too sweet for my taste. Is this an issue?

I really like fermented foods and have an ongoing kefir culture going, and make sauerkraut often - it's all really amazing and delicious and fun!

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 24, 2011
at 03:50 PM

You can control the sweetness with length of fermentation, so I don't think it is an issue

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:33 PM

3 quarts water, 1.5 cups sugar, 3 black tea bags, 3 green tea bags is my basic recipe. After about 10-12 days I bottle it with some added ginger or some fruit, let sit for 3-5 day to build up carbonation the put in fridge to cool. I do not have any issue getting the fizz in mine usually. Some people say that green tea makes a better fizz.

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:32 PM

I don't make it anymore. In fact I think it's pretty gross now.

But I always had good carbonation by putting some mashed berries in each individual bottle before bottling. Like what they do with champaign: they put some sugar in for the bubbles.

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 31, 2011
at 09:55 AM

why is it gross?

0
7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:26 PM

0
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 20, 2011
at 03:35 PM

To make it bubbling you just need to bottle it under pressure for a week or two.

Alternative uses for scobys include wound care (really good on staph) and according to a TED lecture, making clothing! Here is the link

7b439bc3c2033329fc3c64937825ac6c

(255)

on June 20, 2011
at 04:27 PM

oh, crap, I didn't see your post before I added mine. so very neat though, huh? :)

1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 20, 2011
at 05:42 PM

Neat is totally neat, no worries about duplication from me :)

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