Kombucha Journal- Nailed-it!

We’ve done it! We’ve found the perfect balance between fermentation time, secondary fermentation, and balance of new and old brew.

So here are the steps: 1L Green Tea; ½ Cup sugar; your 1 Cup starter; and Scoby.

Allow to ferment for 5 days, then pour your brew into 330ml bottles and top off with unfermented brew (from your next batch) just so that the bottles are full. Then allow sit in a cupboard for 7 days for the secondary fermentation, and 3 hours before consuming, pop them into the refrigerator.

The outcome was a perfect balance of sweetness, sourness, and effervescence! Nailed-it! It has taken longer than expected (4 batches) to reach the perfect balance, but we eventually got there! Follow these steps and you’ll hit the mark on your first try!

Kombutcha Journal- SUCCESS!

Pssshhhhhtttt……… Now that was the sound of success! The glorious sound of effervescence when the bottle cap was twisted off! And the taste? I’d say it was pretty close to store bought flavours (before starting our own brews we had purchased a number of bottles, to edge into our memories what kombutcha was meant to taste like and to also collect the empty bottles for re-use).

In my opinion, this was how I remembered the non-flavoured kombutcha taste to be (although my wife thought it was a bit too sour for her liking). For batch 4 we’re going to brew it for fewer days with Toby our Scoby and reduce the primary fermentation to 5 days, rather than the full week to see if we can reduce the sourness.

The key to our success in batch 3 was the week we allowed the secondary fermentation i.e. pouring the kombutcha into bottles and allowing the yeast to do its thing as it sat unrefrigerated for a week, before chilling and enjoying!

So if you’re keeping track of our progress, here are the steps to success:

Ingredients: 1 litre water, 2 teaspoons of green tea, ¼ cup sugar, 1 cup starter and your scoby.

Method: Boil the water and allow the green tea leaves to infuse for 15 minutes before removing the leaves.

Then add sugar and allow the tea to cool all the way down. Then pour the 1 litre of tea into your jug with your 1 cup starter and scoby. Cover jug with a cheese cloth and allow to sit for 5-7 days.

After 1 week, pour the kombutcha into 330ml twist top bottles and allow to sit in a cupboard for a week (1L will make 3 330L bottles).

After a week, place into the fridge and enjoy cold!

Kombucha Journal- Toby and Toby Jr

Okay, it was time to pour out our second batch and Toby the Scoby has already re-produced! Wow! That didn’t take long did it?!

So this time Toby was submerged near the bottom of the jug, while a new paler Scoby covered the circumference of the jug. Welcome Toby Jr to the family.

Our second batch has been bottled, and sitting in a cupboard to further ferment, hopefully it’ll get fizzy this time.

And batch three has been topped up, with two Scoby’s on the job.

Kombucha Journal- 50% of the way there

Okay, tonight we cracked open the first bottle.

Pssshhhhhtttt….. If you didn’t get that that was the sound of a bottle being twisted open, sound of effervescence….. Or not……

Yeah, we’re only 50% there, there was no fizziness, it smelt like kombucha and it tasted 75% like kombucha (maybe a little too sweet and a little too sour), but I’ll put my hand-up! As soon as we poured out the Kombucha into bottles, I put them straight into the fridge. What ought to be the next step was to leave them unfridgerated for a handful of days to allow the yeast to do its thang. So we’ll keep that in mind for the next batch. While we still have 2 bottles of flat kombucha to endure…..

Kombucha Journal- Almost tossing out the baby with the bath water

Today was D-day, time to remove the cloth off the jug, to see how the week-long fermentation had transpired.

“What the!” I hear my wife exclaim. “There is a layer of froth on top! Gross, it looks like mould!”

Then I advise her to scoop it away with a spoon.

“What! It’s hard! What have we done!?” With spoon in hand, she starts probing at the solidified mass.

“Oh no! It’s sinking. What do I do?”

“Um, we can scoop it out later.” I suggest.

“We’re so going to make ourselves sick.”

Then we proceed to pour the 1L of our brew into 3 glass bottles, cap them and place them into the fridge to go through a second fermentation.

It smells like Kombucha, and it’s starting to be effervescent, so that looked pretty promising.

So with a cup left in the jug, I suggest to get the spoon to scoop out and throw out the scum which had formed on top.

“Um, I’m going to google what it is.” My wife suggests. And thank goodness, as that “scum” was Toby! Our Scoby!

Have to admit, that was kind of weird, Toby came to us only the size of a marble, how did it turn into a thin disc which covered the entire surface of the jug? So lucky we didn’t throw him out, we could have ‘tossed out the baby with the bath water!’

But our second brew has been topped up, and one more week to wait for our first batch to reach a state where we can drink it!