Organic Kombucha

Kombucha Tea, Cultures, Benefits and Hazards

The Great Kombuca Balancing Act February 6, 2011

Filed under: dave,kombucha,kombucha Newsletter,Make Kombucha,trouble shooting — dlindy2730 @ 5:41 pm

This article will help answer many kombucha troubleshooting questions… I could hype it up with a few extra paragraphs, but I would rather have you kids dive in.. (plus I am trying to meet up with friends for karaoke tonight)! So below is Just The Meat (or tofu, for the veggies out there!)…

enjoy.

Dave 🙂

big kombucha cultue

HOW TO DECREASE THE RATIO OF YEAST TO BACTERIA (AKA INCREASING THE RATIO OF BACTERIA TO YEAST)

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So this is for peeps that want to increase the bacteria found in their k-tea.. which is also the same as decreasing the yeast strands.

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Usually a sign of low bacteria is consistently not having a new culture grow (I say consistently because a batch or two of not a new culture is fine, especially if your tea is still fermenting but if a new culture is not forming on top or the existing culture is not growing AFTER SEVERAL CYCLES than most).

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HERE’S SOME NERDY STUFF…

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The bacteria rely on the yeast for alcohol and glucose. Beyond this they need oxygen and trace amounts of nutrients that they can get from the air and tea. So by supplying alcohol and glucose we can reduce the bacteria’s reliance on the yeast.

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Yeast can usually withstand much wider extremes in temperature but we can still pick the optimum temp for the bacteria where the yeast tends to be more sluggish. This bacteria sweet spot tends to be in the 65 to 75 Fahrenheit range.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO…

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Use more Green Tea over Black Tea. As much as we love our Kombucha Tea Blend, in this case we would recommend using a straight Green Tea Kombucha Blend. Our personal favorite is Dragon Well Green Tea Kombucha.

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Use more acidic starter. You can do this by simply using over ferment k-tea (the longer you let it ferment, the more acidic the starter tea will become). It should be very close to vinegar in terms of taste and smell. Depending on how strong the starter tea is you can use as little as 10% (instead of the normal 15% to 20% we recommend in our basic instructions).

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Keep the temperature between 65 to 75 Fahrenheit. We recommend using our kombucha heat mat especially during winter months to achieve this.

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Use starter that is taken off the top of any standing ferment to insure you pull from where the bacteria to yeast ratio is the highest.

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Squeeze the juice of any new cultures you won’t be saving into the new ferment or where you store your starter. (very nice little secret, shhh…. don’t tell anyone… ok, fine, you can tell people, but let them know you the down low info from thekombucha site around!)

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Use weak rather than strong tea strength. Strong tea provides more sterols that the yeast needs to reproduce. If they don’t get these compounds from the tea they must manufacture them their selves and this will slow them down insuring the bacteria remain more dominant. To keep it simple.. you can either cut you current steep time in Half OR use only 2/3rds the amount of tea you currently use. (I would recommend using the same amount of tea and cutting your steep time in half.. this is because green tea is less oxidized than black tea and requires less steeping time in general.. otherwise it will tend to be bitter.. and yes; I am a tea dork!).

kombucha and richord simmons

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BONUS – HOW TO GROW A HUGE A** CULTURE…

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Use the same techniques above (ie, type of tea, temp, etc)

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Start with a portion of newly fermented tea and place it in a fermenting container so that you have at least four inches of liquid depth.

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Allow fermentation to continue for 3 more weeks.

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At the end of three weeks, if a new SCOBY has formed discard and filter the contents with a paper towel or coffee filter. If you can find a way to syphon just the top clear portion of the liquid this is preferred but it’s not critical because at this point the yeast have mostly died off or gone dormant.

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So what we are trying to do is build up the starter tea to have more bacteria than yeast by letting the tea over ferment and then literally straining the yeast out.

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Rinse and wipe clean the container. Then replace the filtered liquid back into the container and continue to ferment for another couple of weeks or until the culture gets to approximately a 12 cm (1/2″) in thickness.

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Now you’re ready to begin fermenting with your new healthy culture.

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HOW TO INCREASE THE RATIO OF YEAST TO BACTERIA (AKA DECREASING THE RATIO OF BACTERIA TO YEAST)

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Use more black tea.

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Pull starter from the bottom of the previous brewed ferment and use plenty of it.

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Be conservative on sugar. It’s best to start out with a little less sugar and then add more after the ferment has proceeded a few days. This is because once the yeasts break down the sugar into glucose, if too much is in solution the yeast can become sluggish and reproduce more slowly. Home brewers commonly know this as the “Crab tree Effect”.

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Here is a quick Getkombucha.com exclusive guideline to show you how to “sugar pace” your sugar (again this is just a guideline, but it will give you a better idea of what we mean of “sugar pacing”, to prevent the crab tree effect.

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To prevent your yeast from passing out on the job, gradually add the normal amount of sugar over the course of three days. This allows the yeast the chance to keep up with the amount of glucose present in the nutrient solution.

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Note: all measurements based on 1 cup of sugar per gallon of tea solution (if making 2 gallons at a time simply double the amount, etc).

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* Day 1 – add 1/8th of a cup of the sugar
* Day 2 – add 2/8th of a cup of sugar
* Day 3 – add 3/8th of a cup of sugar
* Day 4 – add the remaining 2/8th of a cup of sugar

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Keep the temperature in warmer 75 to 85 Fahrenheit temperature range. We recommend using our kombucha heat mat especially during winter months to achieve this.

Kombucha Baby

Kombucha Baby

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“HEY DAVE, WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW WHICH RATIO I SHOULD INCREASE OR WHICH ONE I SHOULD DECREASE?”

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Ahhh, the joy of experimenting! Simply get two separate jars, and label one “Decrease Yeast” and the other “Increase Yeast”.. (well you can also name them Charlie and Henry, but you get the idea).

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Then follow the suggestions on each separate jar and run your own experiment.

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If you want extra bonus points (and be the new celebrated member of our kombucha komunity)… why not pot your results in the comment section below so that you can help others!

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Also if you need to pick up some cultures or grab some any one, tow, or ten of our amazingly (yes, that’s a word), huge selection of tea… feel free to check out our Kombucha Tea and Kombucha Cultures.

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Kombucha Newsletter – July Edition July 21, 2010

Filed under: kombucha Newsletter — dlindy2730 @ 4:51 pm
Tags:
Yes, we have been juggling several things lately!

Yes, we have been juggling several things lately!

First and foremost.. big props to whoever knows what show this picture is taken from** (am I dating myself?). It seems like just yesterday I wrote our March Edition of the Kombucha Newsletter, and here we are already almost into August (ahem the month of my birthday in which I am now accepting presents for)!

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I just finished reading Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness and it only re-affirmed the idea of treating your customers/suppliers/employees/co-workers/vendors as one family all playing on the same team. In case you do not know Tony is probably most famous for being the CEO of Zappos, but after reading his book you will see he is WAY more than this… these newsletters are meant to play just a small part into our aspirations in providing the type of work and play environment for both our workers AND customers that zappos does so successfully.

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Heads (and body/arms/legs/torso) Up! — this is a pretty long newsletter, because.. well there is A LOT going on! I thought it would be good to share both our successes and failures with the kombucha nation to let them know what is going on with us. if you just came to the site to pick up some tea and/or learn a wee bit more about kombucha feel free to just look at the pretty pictures and move on. However, if you do get excited by a small sized company (and an above medium sized human) – taking the time to share with you how we spend our day, grab a glass of water (or k tea) and read on..

Charity (i.e. My Personal Favorite)

Buvera Ball Project


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It is amazing that our site is called Get-Kombucha, but the best part of it is that we are the ones that get to GIVE! I swear this is one of the parts that makes me feel like I have the coolest gig ever.. As you may or may not know, last season our charity efforts went to ARC and Habitat For Humanity. Also, OUR is YOU, as whether you like it or not a percentage of all sales that come in goes to support these groups… I know I know, I was going to use that portion to get a really cool Solid Gold Chain, but it turns out you can get a plastic kind for much less and looks just as cool!

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This season we will be supporting a really awesome cause.. I love it because it is a full 360 solution.. you know like killing 2 birds with 1 stone (never really got that reference, I mean why does a single bird have to die, let alone two of them just for the sake of efficiency?).

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This season we will be supporting my childhood friend Mike who is currently in Unganda. I would like to think that I am an all around cool guy… but Mike is freakin Miles Davis baby! Below is a little bit of a background, but to get the full story you can check out their awesome umbrella organization that has been funding Mike’s journey. If you do you will also discover what a Flying Toilet is!

In June of 2010 Michael Zuckerman embarked on a trip to Kampala, Uganda as a part of the “Kampala to Cape Town” project sponsored by UNICEF, Nike and Starbucks. The mission was to enhance global and African community by airing the games on large screens in even the poorest African villages.

What Michael found in Kyebando (a 200,000 slum on the outskirts of Kampala) was a story of soccer, plastic and a willing work force. What he created with the help of a local, Charles Nsawo, is now “The Buvera Ball Project”.

mike holding up a jack fruit

mike holding up a jack fruit

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Mike will be back in the states in a few weeks and we will get together to see what is the best way we can contribute with this effort. In the meantime you can check out his facebook and send him a good vibe (oh! he doesn’t know that I am writing this so tell him that Dave from getkombucha sent you, and it will surely trip him out in an awesome way!). Mike’s facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/michaelpzuckerman

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Customer Appreciation Day and Customer Communication (i.e. My Second Personal Favorite)

This last month (though absolutely crazy/scary/sleep deprived/anxious/stressful/fearful) has treated us pretty well in terms of sales – and we do not take this lightly.

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Besides feeling completely grateful, with all the love and support (and patience, as we are still back ordered on some items) we will also be using these extra funds to help better serve you. One of these things is to set up a Customer Appreciation Day in the near future. Besides just throwing a HUGE party in our new warehouse in the valley (oh yeah we moved into a new warehouse in the valley last month too! – I told you we have been juggling a lot of stuff lately), some other ideas would be free tea shirts, secret never released products magically appearing with your orders, and simply putting in some cold hard cash where we would ask you to keep half of it and use the other half to pay it forward to someone else!

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If you have any other ideas of how we can smother you guys with happiness please write it in the comment section below.

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As our company grew – so did our way we communicate. In the good ole days when I first started – I would chat with each and every customer for about a half hour (my longest conversation was over 2 HOURS!) – in fact the first couple of months I would personally hand deliver our kits AND personally set up the first batch right along with them… keep in mind back then we had 12 sales a month!!

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Though our sales have grown since then, making it impossible for me to show up at your house (then again you never know!) – we do try to continue that personal touch with our customers. To ensure that you get treated above and beyond I thought this would be a good place to review the best way to contact us for a given situation.

1. CUSTOMER SUPPORT: support@getkombucha.zendesk.com
This is the ONLY place that will ensure you will receive a personal response. The reason for this is simple organization, you see we partnered up with zendesk’s “support ticket” system to ensure that we never lose or misplace an email or blog comment ever again. So- if you are checking up on your order, if you want to order, if you want to get a hold of me, if you have a question that you want us to answer, this is THE place to do it!

2. BUILDING A COMMUNITY: this blog
I have already said it a bunch of times but it is worth saying again. THIS BLOG IS NOT MEANT FOR CUSTOMER SUPPORT. IT IS MEANT FOR COMMUNITY SUPPORT. From time to time I may jump in and respond to a comment, but mainly I will just be posting articles like this one. The only way we can build a strong community, is to have everyone participate.. so by all means, please continue posting a question if you have one on this blog AND do expect it to get answered.. only not by me 🙂 — I would much rather have someone else who has been brewing for a bit to share their experience.. this is how we grow together.

I also agree that it is extremely unorganized. The problem is that it has been built on the wordpress.com platform and not the wordpress.org platform (remember I put this up a long long time ago when my computer skillz were actually less than they are now.. which is really, really bad!) – the wordpress.com platform is very limited into what you can do — any techies out there that want to help out making this site look great… without losing its awesome organic search rankings, hit me up (and remember the best way to hit me up is at support@getkombucha.zendesk.com)

3. LEAVE A MSG AFTER THE BEEP: our phone number
Yes. We do have a phone number… we LOVE hearing your beautiful voices and it is a nice resource for those who wish to place an order directly over the phone or feel like they need to speak instead of type. However, if you do decide to call, please make every effort to also send us a support ticket as well, to ensure a faster response time.

I wish I can say there is a better reason, but we simply do not have the man/woman/robot power to handle our recent call volume. If it is a time sensitive manner (changing your order, etc) please send in that support ticket. If you were calling to just sing to me.. please continue doing so as I will soon compile all of them to make a mix tape! – I particularly love anything from the 80’s.

4. FREE RESOURCES: we have a lot!
You may be able to find the answer to you question, by simply checking out our free resources. This blog is packed full of them.. HINT: use the search feature to the right to speed up your findings. Go back to our free 7 day mini course and re-read it.. not for the spelling errors, as I already know there is a ton there. Our main site has a bunch of articles on kombucha, sign up to be our twitter fan our be my personal facebook friend, we also have a bunch of free youtube videos!

5. PAID RESOURCES: awesome 2 dvd set!
We have 2 hours worth of awesome paid videos that come nicely packaged either as a 2 DVD Set or via an access link. Take your brewing to the next level baby! I used to do private paid consultations, but due to time constraints, this service is currently unavailable.

chuck norris

why a chuck norris picture?.. why NOT a Chuck Norris Picture?

What Up With What The Friday!?

With all the craziness that has been going on I had to push back doing the next season of What The Friday! I am bummed b/c this season is dedicated to Health and Wellness, and more importantly taking action on them. The cool thing though is that since our last Kombucha Newsletter, we have since created a blog dedicated just to what the Friday! and we are at present moving over our past shows to the blog so that you can always go back to refer to earlier episodes.
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So wheatgrass videos are coming soon! just not exactly sure how soon, b/c we have a few other surprises in the works.

Also, in future seasons of the show I thought it would be cool to showcase some of YOU guys.. so if you are passionate about something and want to share some of your insights from your experiences to help others, please contact me with What It Is and Who YOU Are. It can be anyone from a fellow online entrepreneur who can help those learn from his mistakes, to a raw vegan chef who has some cool recipes to share and not cook for us (did you get the “not” cook for us… you know….. because I was referring back to what type of chef it was… you remember earlier when I said to a raw vegan chef.. ok, ok, so raw food can not be cooked… so even if the chef could send prepared food over the internet for the what the friday show… it would not be cooked… which is why I said “to share and NOT cook for us… oh?….. you did get the joke… oh really?… so I did not have to spend 4 lines typing this out explaining each and every detail?…………. I see.)

For those that have no idea what What The Friday! is – below is one of the very first episodes. It is also really appropriate because towards the end of the video I show the best/most classy way to prepare an Iced Tea. Not sure about you guys… but the Valley is Hot and Summertime Screams Iced Tea!

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What Up With Jiaogulan?

As many of you know, we have started another itty bitty website called Benefits of Jioagulan, which also documents my trip to Thailand and from time to time have the Magic Vine Tea Formula Kits.
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We ended up (again) selling out within the first 24 hours BUT we have put up a “Cut The Line” sign up form which will give you first dibs as soon as we receive a fresh crop from Thailand. I think next time I will only offer these kits to those on the list before even announcing it to the web b/c I know it can be disappointing to really want something only to find out that someone has already taken the last one.

To those that were able to get your hands on one of them we have already shipped out a bunch and will be finishing the rest of these orders by this Monday (maybe sooner!) – oh yeah, we also included another unannounced (well I guess it is announced now, huh?) free surprise goodie! Thank you also to everyone who saw that video of me at 2am regarding the ABC.com interview, man we have the best customers in the world!
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What Up With The Robot?

Tara

Meet Tara - pimping out our TEA-shirt while rockin out her Continous Brewing System in the Background!

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I have been asking you guys for a long, long time now on feedback regarding a mascot. I usually ask via email and make a suggestion of whether or not you like a robot. I have to chuckle because one of the key rules of building a more successful business is to listen to the customer. ask them what they want. and then give them what they want.

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Yet, despite that over 99.92567r99999% (r is a very large number) – said that this is a horrible idea.. after all kombucha is living and robots are not, I was set out to prove you all wrong and went ahead with what might be the most kick ass tea-shirt ever!!

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I am talking like if we were not a tea company and did not sell really super duper cool kombucha and other renegade health products that make you feel amazing, but instead all we did was sell this shirt… I still think we would be in business.

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Seriously I have given these shirts to some of my friends, thinking that it would go into the same back drawer as the other company shirts (I know I have about 5 shirts that I got when I applied for a credit card back in college that I currently use to dust), but they have all come back to me saying that they get pulled aside and showered (dare I say bathed) in compliments.

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So.. we are running really really low on inventory and soon it will be time to order again. And since I have now proven everybody wrong – I am now open to suggestions. The front runner is to create some sort of cartoon scoby character, and I welcome others!

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OR

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We can keep the same design and just change the colors of the shirts.

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OR

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Heck, maybe we will hold a contest… OMG- that just popped into my mind!… This is an awesome idea!.. Taking the afternoon to write a Kombucha newsletter rocks!

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Me lending a hand! (fyi.. bio degradable peanuts!)

Me lending a hand! (fyi.. bio degradable peanuts!)

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Happy Brewin’,
Dave

PS: ** – Even bigger props to whoever knows the name of the this Fraggle and writes it in the comment section below.

PPS: I am currently doing a 90 day challenge with p90x. I’m already in my 9th week and was just curious if anyone else has done or has been thinking about doing it. I will do a post with before and after pics when I’m done, but was curious what experiences others might have had or are having right now.

 

 
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