Monday, June 27, 2016

Attempting kombucha, part 3: drinking and hotels

You guys, I can't brew enough, or fast enough, to keep these Monkeys happy. . . .


It's delicious!  I had no idea anyone would like it, much less fight over the last bottle in the fridge.  (For real.  Like, melt-downs and stomping when someone took "their" bottle of kombucha.  Oops.)

I've been brewing kombucha continuously since March.  (You can read about my first attempt HERE, and an update HERE.)  I've learned a lot over the past few months about brewing kombucha tea, and wanted to share. . . .

First. . . 

We learned that kombucha is delicious on its own, unflavored, straight from the tap.  Sometimes we don't bother with bottling the tea and a 2nd fermentation.  But since we prefer it bottled and flavored (because it's just so good!) I usually do bottle it.

Our favorite flavors are strawberry, pineapple, and ginger ale.  I like blueberry, too.

Not all of my flavorings have been successful.  For some reason, the cherry limeade I concocted tasted just like vomit.  I won't be making that mistake again. *still gagging*

Second. . . 

Some of my batches aren't very fizzy, while some are.  At first, I fretted quite a bit about the fizz, or lack thereof.  Now, I don't worry so much; the kombucha tea tastes great regardless of the fizz.  However, after some research, and chatting with a couple of experienced brewers, these things have improved the fizziness in my bottled kombucha:
  1. Longer first fermentation:  instead of 10 days, I ferment 14 - 21 days.
  2. NO BURPING.  I have strong, high-carbonation rated bottles, so burping hasn't been necessary.  No explosions... yet.  (crosses fingers)
  3. I add a teensy bit of sugar (1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon) to the bottles before filling.
I read a new (to me) tip the other day, about improving fizz, so I'm trying it out with a batch I bottled this afternoon:  fruit puree (as opposed to juice or chopped fruit) and turbinado sugar.  I pureed strawberries and blueberries with the turbinado, and added a bit to the bottle.  

hey, photobomber!

The puree was delicious, and OH, the colors!   Here's hoping the finished product is just as yummy!

Third. . .

My SCOBYs were multiplying -- a new large one with each refresh -- so I made a SCOBY hotel.  I moved all but one of the SCOBYs to a large, clean jar, where they're hanging out, thriving, until I need them or decide to give them away.  I keep them covered on a dark shelf, feed them every now and then, and check for mold.  Pretty simple. Low-maintenance.  So far, they're healthy and happy!

I'll keep you posted.  Talk to you soon!  :)

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