Organic Kombucha

Kombucha Tea, Cultures, Benefits and Hazards

FAQ October 22, 2007

Hi Guys, back in the good ole’ days we used to personally answer every question through email. The times they are a changin’ We have decided to take full advantage of the wonders of technology and have ALL kombucha questions posted here. WHY? Two Reasons:

1) Kombucha peeps are a community so the hope is to encourage that community by having some people post questions and some people helping out by answering them.

2) Chances are if you do have a question, MANY other people have that same question. The old way we were answering the same exact questions time after time (which is an amazing Cyndi Lauper song, but not so amazing when you are already at your computer for way too long). This way, one question + one answer = one thousand happy kombucha brewers. I did the math in excel, it works.

Ok, eventually we will have a forum, but for now, just post your questions as comments and answers as comment. cool? cool.

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499 Responses to “FAQ”

  1. patience Says:

    is kombucha drink safe for preganant women.

  2. Dave Says:

    Hi Patience,

    Kombucha Tea is NOT recommended for pregnant woman, as it contains caffeine. I would suggest drinking Rooibos Tea, as it has many of the health properties found in tea (not kombucha tea, but good ole’ camellia sinensis, which all tea is derived from), but without the caffeine as Rooibos is derived from a South African Red Bush.

    To learn more about Rooibos check out:
    http://www.getkombucha.com/perohe.html

    • Shawn Says:

      Is caffeine the primary reason pregnant women shouldn’t drink kombucha? I’m not pregers, but we used decaf black tea to make it. Would this be suitable for pregnant women?

      • Anonymous Says:

        The chemical constituents in KT cause toxins in your body to be mobilized and pushed through the liver for the most part. This includes things like heavy metals and the like that have built up in our bodies through environmental exposures over the years. These are things you do NOT want to be inundating a fetus with.

      • Beware Says:

        IT CONTAINS ALCOHOL! Trace amounts, but prob enough to do some damage to a fetus. Stay away!

  3. Bettina Says:

    I am on a diet and trying to count all the calories that I consume. Can you tell me where I can find out the number of calories contained in the kumbucha made as you describe?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Hi,
    I am new to brewing and have 2 gallons sitting on the counter. One is made from green tea only and after 6 days it doesn’t have either a sweet or vinegar taste. It’s pretty bland. Can you do this with straight green tea?

    The other gallon is a blend of teas and it is doing fine, both have great looking scoby on top.

    Any comments!!!
    Marilee

    • Lyn Says:

      Are you absolutely sure you put sugar in that first one of green tea only? I say this bcuz I had trouble remembering the sugar sometimes. I usually caught it early, but once I did not catch it until I tasted it for doneness. My scoby looked fine, too, so I dumped my sugarless tea down the drain and put new tea in there. I just did this last week, so I will see if it ferments right now. My brews take 4 weeks, so I have 3 to go. So that is as much as I can offer.

  5. Pilar Bastida Says:

    Hi, my husband and I are using glass bottles, but we don’t understand why Dave suggests to put your bottles in the refrigerator after the second fermentation when the kombucha sold at Whole Foods is not refrigerated.
    Also, does the nutritional content change with the type of tea used?
    Thanks so much.

    • Kate Says:

      I know this is an old post, so this reply is probably more for someone new to brewing/learning about KT, but the reason to refrigerate shortly after bottling, particularly in glass, is because of the gas production of the organisms. The gas can build up to a point that the container could explode and with glass, well, you can imagine from there…
      Refrigerating will significantly hamper (if not altogether stop??) the fermentation process, thus the gas build-up will not be as likely to cause the glass bottles break.

  6. Mia Says:

    The kombucha I get at Whole Foods (Synergy) is refrigerated – I’m surprised yours is not? I am also wondering about nutritional quality of different teas…and what would be best while breastfeeding. I drank k-tea through my whole pregnancy, and it was awesome. Nothing else helped with morning sickness so much!

  7. edwina Says:

    Recently purchased bottled K-drink, it was refrigerated, how long can I keep it there unopened?

  8. Mia Says:

    Can I make Kombucha with decaf green tea?

  9. MARY Says:

    HI DAVE:

    HOW LONG DO I NEED TO FERMENT THE SCOBY TO REACH THE NO SUGAR REMAINING LEVEL? OR ISN’T THAT POSSIBLE. IS IT HEALTHIER TO USE ORGANIC SUGAR? I TRIED A BATCH THAT WAY AND DIDN’T LIKE THE STRONG MOLASSES FLAVOR. I MIGHT TRY USING 1/2 CUP WHITE SUGAR 1/2 CUP ORGANIC SUGAR NEXT TIME. IF IT’S NOT HARMFUL TO USE THE WHITE SUGAR, THEN I MIGHT STICK TO THAT. ANY ADVICE WOULD BE HELPFUL. THANK YOU!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Actually white sugar is better for your scoby because it can “digest it” more easily. Kombucha would be kombucha vinegar if you let it ferment to the point of no sugar. However, a regular fermentation leaves you with a measly 2 grams of sugar per 8 oz kombucha, so sugar should not be a problem unless your diabetic

  10. Mia Says:

    Hi,
    I’m interested in flavoring my K-tea. Does anyone know a good amount of fruit or berries to put in, and whether frozen is ok?
    Also I was wondering if I could cap and refrigerate the whole gallon jar instead of bottling in small bottles. It would work well with a jar with a spout on the bottom, but I was wondering if it would still get the fizzy effervescence? Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Tina Says:

      Mia,

      I have used frozen berries blended up and added when I am bottling. I tried blueberries, strawberries and bananas! The blueberry and strawberry was great! Just make sure you add only to your indiviual bottles not your brewer.

      As to how much, that is strictly a individual taste issue. I used about 1-2 oz of the blended fruit to a 16 oz bottle of Ktea. I have also experimented with fruit purees purchased commercially. Both work well. You don’t have to add near as much puree as the frozen fruit blend.

      The large bottle will work, but you still need to let carbonate at room temp. Not sure how many days it would take to carbonate a large bottle like that. You may have to experiment until you get the right amout of time at room temp.

      As long as the large bottle is sealed there will be fizz, but how long the fizz will last depends on how long you take to empty the bottle. A partial bottle left in the fridge a long time may tend to loose its fizz.

      Tina

  11. dlindy2730 Says:

    Ok Guys, here. we. go.

    Kombucha has varied calories based upon recipe and how long the tea is fermented. The range can vary from 30 to about 75 calories per serving. Kombucha is healthy. Having a back gound in personal training and nutrition, all I can say is that there are many, many other things to focus on in terms of healthy eating than the caloric intake of kombucha tea. Drink it. It’s healthy.

    What type of tea is best? Please refer to this link:

    http://www.getkombucha.com/5-premeasured-organic-loose-leaf-tea-bag.html

    Can I use Decaf? We personally do not recommend this. If you want caffein free we suggest Rooibos, which we I discussed in a past comment.

    If you want to bottle in biiger bottles and still want that “fizz”.. let the bottle rest at room temp for about a week or two BEFORE refrigerating.

    Random Statement: I carved my first Halloween pumpkin this year.

    Random Rant: Please do not respond in All Caps.. I will answer you back with simple humble lower case 🙂

    Can I drink while Pregnant: Please consult your doctor, let him know that it is a fermented tea that contains some caffeine.

    Flavoring:

    Please sign up for my mini course to learn more about flavoring or read this article:

    http://www.getkombucha.com/kofl.html

    we do not recommend frozen… raisins, craisins, and ginger root works wonders!!

    Thanks guys, keep em’ coming.

    Happy Brewin’,
    Dave

  12. Laura Says:

    the title of this page is ORAGNIC KOMBUCHA….might want to change that
    Didn’t you mean to say ORGANIC?

  13. dave Says:

    Man, I wish I could make something up and tell you we are introducing a new Organge Flavored Organic Tea called Oragnic — but alas, you are right!!

    Our Bad. We’ll correct it very soon.

    Thanks for the heads up Laura

    Dave

  14. dave Says:

    That’s what I’l Talkin’ About Baby!! Keep those Kombucha Love Testimonies Comin’

    Seriosly though people do find encouragement and motivation through others, so thanks and kepp on brewin’

    Dave

  15. krizten Says:

    oops.
    let’s just say i’m 7 days in and forgot the sugar.
    yeah.
    the sugar—a most essential part.
    must i toss it or can i re-boil the tea and add sugar and go again from there?
    i’m lazy and don’t want to re-boil water again:)
    just wondering.
    thanks!
    krizten

  16. Dave Says:

    if you are all ready 7 days in I suggest you start over again. and by that I mean saving the culture but throwing out the tea and NOT reboiling.

    it happens to the best of us, but I promise you prob won’t ever forget again (this comming from a guy who forgets where he puts his cell phone on a twice a daily basis)

    🙂

    • Pritchard marvel Says:

      Hi,
      I also made this mistake but I’m 14 days in. Did I ruin the scoby entirely or can I try rebrewing?
      Rachelle

      • Jennifer Says:

        Hi, I am 5 days in and realized I forgot to add the sugar. I’m trying to understand Dave’s response above. Is the SCOBY still good? Can I just dump the tea and still use the SCOBY for the next batch? What happens to the SCOBY without sugar?

  17. Elena Says:

    Is it safe to ingest kombucha itself? I recently bought a bottle of Synergy (for inspection) and found stringy pieces of k-mushroom floating in. What’s the scoop?

  18. Sara Says:

    I drank K-tea I bought at Harvest Valley Farm in Ghent, K-tea made by G.T.Dave. I felt blotted, filled with gas and extremely uncomfortable. Is there something I am allergic to? I now have 12 bottles in my frig and am not using it. any insight to this !!!!!

  19. dave Says:

    kombucha komunity, since Elena’s question is answered in the 7 day mini course I expect someone to step up and relay some new found knowledge

    sara’s question is regarding some initial side affects towards kombucha, also mentioned in the FREE 7 day course, plus it is regarding personal experiences… please help one another out!!

    That being said, I will answer:

    the stringy things are just yeast strands.. not too worry, though they do not taste the best it is a sign that it is real raw kombucha.. congrats

    you may feel some side affects such as bloating, running to the bathroom, etc.. drink less for a few weeks and listen to your body. Like any food, some people might be allergic (but no more than any foods, and in my opinion much less severe)

    I encourage anyone posting to please sign up for our free 7 day mini course first. Happy Brewin’

    Dave

  20. Alycia Says:

    11-10-07

    Hello! I came across your site today and was so impressed with all the valuable information on Kombucha. A few years ago, I taught English in Korea and my roommate used to brew this for us. I met someone recently who shared a culture with me and so I am on my second batch.

    The culture they brought for me was left in a refrigerator for four days before I collected it so I hope this was an acceptable way to store it. My first batch did not turn out as I tried to cut the sugar in half. My second batch is pretty good but I was hoping for a more carbonated effect so I will take your advice and “mature” the drink at room temp for a few days before storing in the fridge. I have a few questions though….

    1. Can I store the culture in its own brew inside a sealed mason jar at room temperature until I need another batch? If so, how long can it be kept this way?

    2. I stored a portion of my completed brew in an open decanter in the refrigerator. Is this okay or does it need to be in a sealed container such as a clean mason jar?

    3. How long will the completed brew store in the refrigerator?

    4. I have been brewing it in a cupboard beneath my sink as it is dark, allows airflow from the sink, and is a tiny bit warmer than room temperature. When I do the dishes, I can smell it once it is fermented so less chance that I will forget about it…. Do you see any problems with that? My only concern was that I also have glass cleaner stored in the opposite end of that same cupboard?!

    Thank you so much,
    Alycia Fahr-Zarlons
    alyciaf@holtintl.org

  21. Sharon Says:

    I have been drinking K-tea for about 5 weeks now and it is a wonderful find. Have problems with calcium deposits in my shoulder and could barely lift my arm I now have a much greater range of motion and far less pain. Also more energy and I sleep better. What I need to know is if there is something in this great tea that would cause my blood to thicken. I am on coumadin for a clotting disorder and cannot find anywhere information on this. It is acting like vitamin K. I do not use green tea. any help out there?

  22. Samantha Says:

    I am wondering about bottling kombucha. I bottle mine in a glass bottle with a aluminum-type lid (like the ones that Synergy is bottled in) and I was wondering if that was OK. I know you aren’t supposed to bottle the tea in anything but glass, or maybe plastic, but is it bad that the top is aluminum (or something simillar, I’m not really sure, i just bought a tea bottle, washed it, and now use it for my kombucha)

  23. Donna H Says:

    What am I doing wrong when I find mold on top of the motherculture while in the 7 day process? This is the 3rd time I’ve done this and have had great success so far. I do begin with sterilized containers and I use filtered clean water as we live in a questionable area etc… Needless to say I do believe I’ve lost my momma culture and am seaking out dearly loved friends in my commumitiy to have pity upon their dear friend. Any advice will be deeply appreciated. Thanks so much!!!!
    Donna

  24. Teena Says:

    Wondering if the baby culture that forms in my glass jar when i bottle and store from my brewer is a viable starter scoby?

    • Tina Says:

      Teena,

      Yes! that baby culture is viable. Infact that is the way I started my first scoby. I bought a bottle of synergy and saved a few ounces and left it out on the counter, covered with a cloth.

      It takes a longer time to get a culture large enough to make a
      decent size batch of ktea, but it works! It took me about a 3-4wks to get a culture large enough to brew a half gallon of ktea.

      In fact I made a fruit fly trap that dave suggested and guess what? A baby scoby formed in it! Of course I didn’t use it….fruit flies in there….

      So yes that is a scoby…!

      Tina

      • Diane Says:

        I have fruit flies in mine now? Do I need to throw it all out? It formed a baby underneath. I had them years ago & never had fruit flies. I just got a new mother a few weeks ago. It formed a nice baby & tea in a week. I drained it, separated Mom & baby, poured new tea & placed Mother in one & baby in another. Now both have a few fruit flies it’s about 3 days. I would appreciate your advice.
        Thank You,
        Diane

  25. Kevin Says:

    What do you suggest for mitigating the smell of vinegar in the house. ( I assume the smell will be noticeable since fruit flies may notice it and be attracted.) Obviously the brew must be within the air-conditioned environment of our house. Should I consider setting up an amore cabinet with a hepa filter air intake and a small air purification unit blowing air out of the cabinet through a charcoal filter? Or is this like baking in the oven, when you can smell it in the house it’s probably done (as Alycia said).

  26. Kevin Says:

    Samantha,
    If a magnet sticks to the lid of your bottle, it is not aluminum. The G.T. Dave product at Whole Foods does not use aluminum lids.

    Happy Brewing,
    Kevin

  27. Jen Says:

    So if my house temp is rarely over 65 degrees and i don’t have a heating unit
    do i just brew it longer?
    How long can i brew it for?
    How long can i leave the fermenting bottles out of the fridge?
    I want to lose the sweetness. I love the sour taste…
    Do I add fruit to the bottles right away or right before i put it in the fridge??
    Thanks

  28. Catherine Says:

    Phew!
    Last weekend I was worried that my new brand new kombucha culture was sick because the surface of the sweet tea it lives in was looking pretty ugly (covered with bubbles that I thought might turn into mold)…
    I got some advice though – which was simply to wait and give the kombucha a chance to grow – and now I can see (and feel) that the culture has spread across the entire surface of the sweet tea and it looks like it’s really thriving… Yay!
    Moral of my little rant: I just needed a little patience 🙂

  29. Julie Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I’ve been drinking Kombucha for about a month now. My family is telling me that I suddenly smell like I’ve just eaten raw garlic all the time…not only my breath, but my skin as well???? So I stopped drinking it and after 4 days the smell went away. Have you heard of this from any other Kombucha drinkers?
    Julie

    • Kate Says:

      again, since Julie’s question is so old, this reply is more for anyone who is new to the whole process and wanting to learn.
      This sounds like a detox reaction. For anyone unfamiliar with “detox,” this is a normal, and ultimately good process. The body is cleaning out stored up toxins. While detox itself is often an unpleasant process, the severity of which depends on several factors, it is a good thing in the long run.
      Severity depends upon how “toxic” a person was before beginning. For example, how much he/she smoked, drank, ate conventional (pesticide-containing) foods, ate meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods, how much sweat-producing exercise was engaged in, etc, and also how drastic a “cleaning” the person is doing. In other words, someone who ate and drank a fair amount of Standard American Diet and was sedentary and then went all vegan and starting downing 12 ounces of KT a day would likely have much more extreme detox symptoms than someone who went gradually or was already healthy vegan and began drinking the tea.
      Detox symptoms can be mitigated (or stopped altogether as Julie did by stopping what was cleaning her system out) by reducing the amount of tea being consumed or altering ratios of very healthy dietary changes in proportion to the “conventional” fare.
      HTH!

  30. Hava Says:

    If I am very allergic to both brewers and baking yeast, will I be allergic to kambucha? Is yeast formed in the process of ferementation? I would love to get the whole kit but need this answered first.

  31. Lanny West Says:

    Prior to making a decision to actually brew my own is having available time, frequent travel, etc. What do I do when not brewing a batch?

    I did not notice consumption rates… how much is too much? Is there a recommended amount to drink per day?

  32. yumv Says:

    well, i think there are more correct answers elsewhere, but a good rule is to start small (maybe 4 oz). See how your body takes it, and ramp up accordingly. I started drinking small bits in the morning, and now I drink as much as I like. You can’t o.d on it, it’s just trying out what works with your body.

    I’m not quite sure how to answer your first question– do you have a culture you’re trying to keep alive, or are you trying to decide if you can brew in the first place? You can always get ready-made kombucha from getkombucha.com

    Your cultures can survive for a while as long as you leave them some Ktea to live on/in.

  33. chele Says:

    1) I took the course to see what I was doing wrong. My scobies seem healthy but I can’t get the acid up to 2.8. I have pH strips and can’t even get my Kombucha to register which means it’s above 4. Here’s how I’m brewing:

    Per the info from the course, I’ve switched brewing to my 5-gallon water dispenser crock. It holds 2 gallons comfortably so I doubled the starter (which wasn’t acidic below 4) and everything accordingly. (I also threw in a kicker of GT’s Kombucha- 1 16oz bottle- his pH registered 2.9) I’m using Rishi Wuyi tea mixed with Oolong plum-berry. Simmered it 15 minutes, put two somewhat mature Scobies in (they started about 4″ in diameter but have now merged into a giant scoby about a centimeter thick) My crock sets on a heating pad and has a consistent temp of 80 degrees. It smells vinegary- but STILL…no action on the pH strip. The batch I’ve just described has been brewing for 7 days; the heat really has sped up action in the tank.

    2) are there any benefits to drinking K-tea that isn’t acidic enough?

    • Craig Carney Says:

      I normally brew in one gallon batches. The last time I brewed 2 gallons, naturally it took longer for the batch to be ready. The top, close to the scoby seemed ready, (smelled like vinegar, tasted ready, but it takes more time for the lower part to catch up with the rest of the batch. Did you try testing the ph from a top sample? Good luck.

      Craig

  34. Joanne Says:

    When I test my kombucha, at what ph level should it read?

  35. Amanda Says:

    Can you start a new batch of tea (and create a new SCOBY) using store bought commerical konbucha (e.g. G.T. Dave’s)?

    I believe the temperature in my house is too cold to brew the tea. All that is forming on top is foam and bubbles, but no sign of a forming scoby. There are yeast strands in it (I think). Should I just wait longer? It has been brewing for about a little over two weeks now. Should I start second batch using this tea as a starter (and maybe I will get a new SCOBY)?

    Thanks

  36. Mike Says:

    I was reading your site about Kombucha and found it interesting.

    I have this book about Kombucha by Alan Pascal and have been reading it lately (entitled: Kombucha: How To and What It’s All About). In it, Alana says that bottled Kombucha is only really good for 3 days, and should not stay capped.

    She claims capped bottled versions promote “acetone” in the drink, and that this acetone is harmful to the kidneys (because the drink is not able to breathe).

    I was concerned because lately, I have been trying various commercial organic bottled Kombuchas. I enjoy them and am seeing which ones help me most. I feel good on a few ounces. I was researching more info and found your site; and noticed you also sell bottled Kombucha.

    my question is regarding this acetone comment in Alana Pascal’s book. Is this true? Capped amber bottles of high quality Kombucha ferment acetone, if capped for longer than 3 days? And this is harmful?

    Obviously if I ordered a few bottles of your drink, it would not get to me and get into me, all within her stated 3 day mark.

    What do you make of this?

  37. Dave Says:

    I don’t understand! Does the combination of water,sugar and tea, make the SCOBY?

  38. Dave Says:

    OK Guys, I was away for awhile (you know, trying to run a kick ass kombucha company and all) – thanks for being patient. Let’s begin with a few incites:

    1) This is the official blog for our itty bitty (yet spectacular)kombucha company http://www.GetKombucha.com – Though the site is currently free and open to everyone. Things like – “I purchased my product from another company but now I am asking you for free info”, well, kinda sucks.

    Here’s what you can do to make everyone feel good!

    Current Customers: Perhaps start off with a testimony regarding your experience with kombucha and our company.

    Potential Customers: Become Current Customers!

    OK now with the answers:

    Is it safe to ingest kombucha itself? I recently bought a bottle of Synergy (for inspection) and found stringy pieces of k-mushroom floating in. What’s the scoop?

    Yes. That is either an itty bitty culture that did not form (kind of slimmy?) or Yeast setiment. Both are safe, though not too tasty 🙂

  39. Dave Says:

    # Teena Says: November 12, 2007 at 4:52 am

    Wondering if the baby culture that forms in my glass jar when i bottle and store from my brewer is a viable starter scoby?

    sort of. given the right condition (and a heck of a lot of time) you probably could run a bunch of cycles to brew k-tea. why go through all that? you can purchase agressive stronger than Russel Crow in Gladiator Cultures with Starter Tea at http://www.getkombucha.com

  40. Dave Says:

    PH Questions should be directed to our site:

    http://www.getkombucha.com/phchart.html

  41. Dave Says:

    Julie Says: November 17, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Dave,
    I’ve been drinking Kombucha for about a month now. My family is telling me that I suddenly smell like I’ve just eaten raw garlic all the time…not only my breath, but my skin as well???? So I stopped drinking it and after 4 days the smell went away. Have you heard of this from any other Kombucha drinkers?
    Julie

    Julie,

    this could be a sign of your skin detoxing. just like if you go and sweat. If you could bear it I would continue drinking but cut your serving in half.

  42. susan Says:

    what care do we bestow on our culture when on holiday to keep it happy?
    susan

  43. rikman Says:

    Is it safe for people with metal in their mouths to drink bucha, cause you must keep the bucha away from metal or get poisioned

  44. aml Says:

    first off – thank you for the education.

    you mentioned that a batch of kombucha should not stay in contact with the scoby for too long (the exact number of days escapes me) – but i’m curious how you get around that with the continuous brewing system where presuambly there is always part of the batch that is in contact with the scoby. do you need to be sure to bottle it on a very regular basis? and if so – do you have an idea what that schedule is? many thanks-

    aml.

  45. Jen Says:

    Hi! Thanks for the education, tips and ongoing dialogue.
    I have a few questions…

    1) The temp in my house rarely is above 60 ranging from 50-65 degrees on the colder side.
    There is no “warm place” in my house. If i don’t want to use a heating pad is the Scoby
    still able to fement and if it takes longer is there a limit to how long it will take?

    -How long can one scoby stay in the same batch of sweet tea to get kombucha (not for vacation purposes).

    2) Can a batch of scoby tea go bad and how do you know if it is bad?

    3) Does each scoby need its own gallon of sweet tea? Do they compete?

    4) Should scobys sink or float and does this indicate the health/cycle of the scoby?

    5) Is it okay if a layer of scum forms on the whole top of each jar each time I start a new batch,
    (is that a new scoby forming?) and is it a problem if that layer gets disturbed each time I bottle the tea?

    6) Do all scobys end up joining together into one big glob inside the layer of scum that forms
    on the top if they live in the same tea? Is that okay if that happens?

    7) How many times/batches can you make with the same scoby?
    -Do the scoby’s die? Go bad? How do you dispose of them?

    8) How long does the bottled tea last at room temp? With friut in it? In the fridge?
    Should I strain the fruit out after the second ferment before putting the bottles in the fridge?

    9) Are blue, black, brown or grey strands of “culture” unhealthy?

    Thanks for spreading info and answering questions about such a wonderful tea!!!

    Jennifer
    daughterearth@hotmail.com

  46. Yong Long Says:

    Hi Dave, two questions for you.
    1. Can you ship to China?
    2. Do you know the Chinese word for Kombucha?

    I’ve been brewing for about a year, and currently find myself in Beijing…not knowing how to find a culture. I can’t find it in a dictionary, and when I try to describe it to people, I just get funny looks.

    Thanks

  47. haley larsen Says:

    DEAD OR ALIVE
    I am an insanely busy college student and uhh neglected my culture for the last lets say, month or so… there is still about two gallons of tea in there with the culture. Since it has not been fed recently I am afraid it might have died, How can I tell and what steps should I take next to get it going again?

  48. Sharon Says:

    Hi Dave,
    Question 1: My scoby did not reproduce after fermentation time, tea tasted right, what happened?
    Question 2: I placed a scoby on top of a jar of sweet tea, and it sunk to the bottom. What is wrong with this scoby?
    Question 3: Can I use my raspberry Oolong tea to make K-Tea or not?
    Thanks,
    Sharon

    Dave Says:

    1: Nothing is wrong, it does not reproduce with every batch
    2: nothing, sometimes they float sometimes they sink
    3: NO! this was addressed in the 7 day mini course

  49. Ginger Says:

    This isn’t a question, just something to show how the tea has helped my so far. I am new to making and drinking the K-Tea. I have just finished making my second batch. After making and bottling my first batch, I felt like I was coming down with a bladder infection which I get often. I decided to try the tea instead of popping a prescription pill. I drank a cup of the freshly bottled tea just before I went to bed. The next morning no sign of the infection. The Rx usually takes a couple of days to get any relief.

  50. Ginger Says:

    I was reading some of the other comments about the problem with keeping the tea warm durning fermintation. I set up my electric roaster pan (like you cook a turkey in). I set the controls on low temp and put a dish towel in the bottom. I placed a thermometer on the towel and adjusted the temp until it stayed at around 80 degrees. This is where I keep my ferminting containers while they are working. I would periodically check the temp of the tea itself and it was always right on 80 degrees. Hope this is a help to those of us who keep our homes a little cooler temp than the tea likes.

  51. chris Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I just received my order for the 5 gallon brew kit. I am getting ready to brew my tea tomorrow, which I am looking forward to. I noticed that the gallon I got had a mysterious smell to it. I would best describe it as rotten eggs (or rotten something or other…). I am not that familiar with too many varieties of KT, as I usually drink GT’s. I tasted it and it tastes relatively sweet, but without much fizz. I now have it in the fridge. Is this smell normal or did the batch go bad in transit? Thanks

  52. dlindy2730 Says:

    The batch is fine.. what you are smelling is the sulfite as a product
    of nitrogen from the tea… sometimes the smell is greater than other
    batches. Since we prepare small batches at a time, each bottle is
    brewed artisan style leaving it slightly different than the next. We
    also ferment our bottles a little longer to reduce the amount of
    carbonation (exploding bottles is never a good thing, and UPS is not
    known for being gentle with our boxes!).

    Happy Brewin’,
    Dave

  53. Garry Says:

    Dave:
    I am ready to purchase your new brewing set. The crock pot is the system I want. Question: the web sites state don’t use anything but glass to ferment. No stainless, ceramic etc. The acid in the tea will leach out toxins in stainless and lead in the ceramic. Is this true? How do you test for lead in your new system?
    By the way I just started two weeks into drinking this tea. I am 59 and wow what a difference with my prostate. The flow is equal to when I was 20 years younger.
    Thanks
    Garry

  54. AJ Says:

    ok so what is the BEST point at which to add fruit, ginger etc? and what kind is best fresh or dried??? when do i take it out? is there anything for flavor that i shouldnt put in my k-tea? My bro and sister in law make it but wont tell me how, they are so elitist, and they say that if the tea has added oils to not use it either… they also ferment for 30 days as opposed to 7-10. I know there are many questions…. so whats the scoop?

    Dave Says:

    AJ and others, before posting questions, please sign up for the free 7 day mini course as this and many other questions have already been answered.

  55. Richyne Says:

    I just brewed a new batch with a great scobby, however, the new scobby is very, very thin, almost non-existent. Can I go ahead and bottle my brew without a new scobby?

  56. Ginger Says:

    You can go ahead and bottle the tea. I would use the same mother with the small baby in the next batch. Most of the time the new baby will be bigger after this batch

  57. eleden Says:

    1. What was the coolest thing you learned from the mini course?
    The origins of Kombucha itself, and the optimal temperature for the culture
    to grow.
    2. What did you think of the writing, style, format of the classes?
    It was all very aesthetically pleasing and easy to read/understand.
    3. What would justify a price of providing this information back
    to its original price of $19.95 (ie it’s worth its full price now,
    you should offer some more info, include a video, etc)
    A video would increase the usefulness ultimately.
    4. This is a free for all – write what’s on your mind.
    I would like to know what temperatures would kill the bacteria, and what to do
    if you live in a much colder climate, how long it’ll take to grow, ect.
    Otherwise, thank you very much for an excellent tutorial!

  58. sq Says:

    can yerba mate or oolong tea be used to brew the kombucha?

  59. anna Says:

    hello all. i’m very happily making excellent kombucha with a continuous method, but i’m having bottling problems!

    when i drink a fresh glass, my kombucha is happily carbonated. when i bottle it and it let rest, the carbonation disappears. i’m using glass jars with very tight caps, some with special “airtight” stoppers, but nothing seems to keep the bubbles in. i really don’t want to invest in an expensive vacuum bottling set-up. any suggestions from dave or anyone else?

  60. Rose Says:

    I noticed the Kombusha course recommended a glass or plastic for the fermenting process. So, what’s the problem with using stainless steel? Would that be a problem?…Rose

  61. sq Says:

    stainless steel is not good. it may kill the kombucha culture (scoby) from everything i’ve researched(probably because of the alkalinity)

  62. Cindy Says:

    Good Morning All,
    This is my first entry here on the blog. I was waiting for the word, “organic” to get spelled right. Seriously though, it’s just a coincidence, which I’ve probably just spelled wrong.
    Anyway, I’m giving feedback here…as promised to Dave.
    We’ve cmpleted our first batch out of the continuous brewing system, and nearly consumed it all already. I only got 13 sixteen oz. bottles out of it…boo hoo. That’s especially frustrating as I go a 15 day brew time over here in cold Arizona. More on that later.
    I drink the most in the house…about a 16 oz. bottle a day. My husband the next most…about a half a bottle a day. My 20 year old daughter the least amount as she says it gives her a little too much digestive help…if you know what I mean. I told her she needs to get adjusted to it more slowly than us. My husband would drink more I think if there were more of it to drink! He is however complaining about little pimples on his skin. I understand that is a detoxing reaction, coming about from not drinking enough water while consuming KT. I am having the best time from the kombucha. I think I am slowly dropping weight from it, but can’t say for sure yet as I was doing other things at the same time. It may just be overall balance in combination with those other things. A welcome change as it seems in my whole 50 years I have been striving for balance! However, I am also experiencing, clarity of thought, higher energy, restorative sleep, more balanced skin type, reduced hot flashes, more regular digestion, reduced anxiety, and an overall feeling of happiness. I guess I needed a lot of help!
    Back to the supply problem. I realized pretty quick that with 3 adults in the house drinking KT, with a 15 day brew time…we were nover going to have enough tea. I have had 3 gallon glass jugs brewing along with my CTS, but want to get rid of those as they are a pain. So being a Thrift store junky I happened to come across 2 ceramic 2.5 jugs at my local Goodwill the other day. Joy! Rapture! I am going to set those up on a staggered timing in addition to the lovely one that Dave provided for us. I hope that’ll do it for us over here.
    Well that’s it for now. I will report more as we advance, and progress.

  63. Kristine V. Says:

    Can a recovering alcoholic drink K. tea without violating their pursuit of sobriety?

    • Lisa S. Says:

      I would love to see an answer to the alcohol/sobriety question as well. I am in recovery and while I’m fine with %.05 alcohol, anything around %1 or higher would be too high for me. I’m planning on starting my own brewing at home and I’m trying to figure out how I can monitor the alcohol content.

  64. Kristine V. Says:

    Is it beneficial for a pre-diabetic or diabetic person to drink K. tea, despite the fact that a small amount of sugar remains in the brew?

  65. Cindy Says:

    Hi All,
    I did not think I would be back again so soon, but a surprising thing happened. My 3 glass gallon jugs matured 4 days early, and I bottled them yesterday. Good thing too since we were down to our last serving!
    I can only attribute the faster brew time to the fact that those scobies (these were not Dave’s scobies…they were little ones that I started) had gotton large enough (after 3 brews using the same ones over and over)to be viable on their own. Also, I had added distilled vinegar to the starter tea at the beginning of this brew. Well, all I can say is it turned out soooo tasty. My taste standard is set at GT Dave’s Synergy. This brew has made it there. I am so pleased.
    Also, I should also add while I am talking about taste, that the tea that Dave sent with the CBS system is very, very flavorful, while the first batch out of that did not meet my standard…I am sure I will get it there with more practice. I actually expect Dave’s blend to work better in the flavor dept for me once I get the starter mix and brew time set. I think I hit on something with adding vinegar to the starter especially since my brew time is longer and the addition of the distilled vinegar acts as a “bad bacteria” inhibitor.
    When I bottled this batch yesterday I decided to drop a bit of dried pear and a bit of freshly grated ginger into each bottle before pouring in the tea. OMG did that turn out good! I put them immediately in the frig. and had my first taste of that this morning…I said to myself…this is GT Dave’s Synergy without the $3 expense added!

    • danielle Says:

      just curious, how much distilled vinegar did you add? I’m on my very first batch of tea, so I have a lot to learn.. but I do love the GT Dave’s synergy drinks soooo much, I’d love to reproduce that same crisp flavor..I’m also interested because I read one bloggers note on spritzing his tea periodically to keep mold at bay. Thanks for any info!

  66. Christina Says:

    So I am ready to bottle my first batch of Kombucha tea and I am sooo excited, but I have a question: If I am going to add fruit or lemon juice to my tea, do I do so before or after I bottle it and let it sit on the counter for 4 or so days to let it get carbonated? Do I put the fruit in and then let it sit out and get bubbly in its bottles, then refrigerate it? Or do I let it sit out and get bubbly, then drop the fruit in and stick it right in the fridge? I would appreciate an answer right away-thanks!–Christina

  67. Donna Says:

    I am new to making Kombucha, mine is at the 8th day and seems to be coming along fine . . . however, I have found the biggest challenge to be maintaining the higher temp in my cool house. I would love a source of a heat mat that would work well. Conventional heating pads have a shut of.
    Would love to hear suggestions

  68. Cindy Says:

    Hi Christina,
    Add the flavoring during the bottling. However, be careful how long you let it sit, especially if you are using glass bottles, which don’t expand. My very first batch I let sit for 3 days in glass bottles. Well they carbonated alright…but way too much. They began leaking from the pressure. I let the 2nd batch sit only one day, and that had plenty of fizz for us. The 3rd batch I put in the frig immediately after bottling, and that also had fizz already. Every batch has been different for us so far. I hope to be consistant soon!

  69. Cathy Says:

    I will soon be RV’ing it full time. I am not sure how this will work w/ brewing KT. During the fermenting stage you are not suppose to jostle the brew. How will this affect the product? How does this work w/ the continuous process? Is there a way to have the SCOBY “dormant” while I am traveling? Is there anyone out there that lives a nomad life and has successfully brewed KT?

  70. Mia Says:

    Hi Cindy,
    I’m glad to hear you got a great batch of K-tea, comparable to G.T’s. I’m still trying to figure out how to do that, but I seem to have a hard time getting it fizzy, and the taste isn’t great. Would you mind sharing how you do it? i.e. what kind of tea do you use, how long do you brew it, then how long do you let it sit bottled, and how much vinegar and starter tea did you add? I haven’t tried vinegar yet, so maybe that will help. I hope you don’t mind giving a little lesson on kombucha making….thank you!

  71. Susan Says:

    Well, I can relate to many of the trials and tribulations of Kombucha making that I’ve read on this blog. Although I have been drinking GT’s for a couple years, I only began brewing a month ago. Although I am NO expert on kombucha-making, I have learned a bunch this month….through trial & error mostly. The 7 Day Course is terrific, however! I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to brew Kombucha.

    What I have learned:
    If I put my Kombucha in the frig immediately after initial brewing, I lose the fizz. If I bottle (remove scoby) after fermented and let sit on the counter for up to a week with tight caps, then frig….fizzyness preserved!

    Brewing times can very. I am in a warm climate, so temp is not a concern… I maintain about 78-80 f. If I use organic green tea, takes longer to ferment (10+ days). If I use black tea- quicker fermentation (7+ days). If I add 1/4 organic brown sugar and 3/4 white sugar – even quicker (5+ days). (Hope this doesn’t break any rules-please tell me if it does!) I prefer a very strong effervecent tea, so I brew longer. I also use only organic green tea.

    My recipe: Gallon reverse osmosis water, 1/4 cup organic brown sugar 3/4 cup white sugar, 10 organic green tea bags per gallon. Once room temp, add 2 cups starter and all the scobies on hand (except the one I have on stand-by for cuts and burns). Cover with cloth and rubberband and ferment. After 2 weeks, remove scobies, bottle and add fruit to a couple just for variety. Let stand at room temp tightly capped for up to a week, then frig. (CINDY: Mine leak a bit too, but it is worth it to me to have more fizz)

    Adding flavors:
    Lemon: 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    Cranberry: 1 teaspoon pure unsweetened cranberry juice with 10 organic cranberries
    Grape: 1 tablespoon KEDEM grape juice
    I have only used pure organic fruits and juices and have not experimented beyond these few favorites of mine. I add the flavors when my tea is fully fermented and I am bottling. Then let sit out 3-7 days to keep the fizziness. Also this 3-7 day period will soften any fruit you added and the tea will suck the flavor out of the fruit….very cool.

    My baby scobies are often quite thin….almost see-through after their first batch. They will start out looking like a bubbling scum floating on top of the surface of your fermenting tea. They will often have brown or black spots or strings which might be confused with mold. It is just the culture growing and the spots are good! If it gets “fuzzy” I might get concerned. If you are careful to use white vinegar to clean all utensils, containers and your hands-you shouldnt get mold….

    I have been eating kombucha bits-n-pieces for years…. usually by accident, but it doesnt faze me anymore. I have never had a problem with eating it daily…. for years….

    Scoby Storage: I simply toss all available scobies into my new batch…if I don’t have a friend in need of a culture, I add it to my current brew. Everytime I use them, they get thicker and healthier. If I have a scoby not being used or one that I need to save for a friend, I put it in a glass jar with 1 cup of starter and place in frig with plastic lid tight.

    Don’t let kombucha or scoby touch metal…especially a metal lid! If you bottle using GT’s bottles and GT’s lids (or any metal lid) you can get a rust around the rim and it will ruin the taste of your kombucha. Wine bottles, mason jars or any glass jar works, but find a plastic lid or line your metal lid with a plastic bag before putting it on.

    Hope this helps someone….

    Happy Brewing and Merry Christmas!

    Susan

  72. Mia Says:

    Thanks Susan! Is the organic brown sugar the same as turbinado sugar, or more like regular brown sugar?

  73. Jeff Lewis Says:

    I have brewed twice now Dave. I wish my finished product taste as good as the large 1gal dark glass bottle you sent me. I feel due to the cold weather. tasted a sample at day 6 has a sharp taste.If i brew longer will the taste become more sharp and vinegary.When I ph test them,close to the 3. Also I’am not getting as much fizz as I would like. I cap and put in my closet for about 4-5 days. Any suggestions.

  74. Michael Says:

    Can I store the K. ” Organism” for the future use, should I not need to brew a new batch right away? Can it be frozen, then re-used? Would it keep its livelihood and vitality after storage in the freezer or under any appropriate condition?
    (Am I using the right site to ask questions?… not good at it!)

  75. Scott Says:

    I was on your site and have a couple of ez questions. First of all, I would prefer brewing in glass. I don’t like plastic. How do large brewers like GT’s brew? I would imagine in stainless steel but even so, I’d like to start brewing in glass. Do you have any alternatives to the plastic bucket continuous brewer besides the ceramic? Where can I find the large glass brewers but still purchase the rest from you?

    Is kombucha kosher? This is important to know, and if it is, who is the rabbi or organization that says it’s kosher? Thank you.

  76. Cindy Says:

    Thanks Susan for sharing.
    I have been using dried fruit, 100% berry juices, and fresh grated ginger for flavoring. I am also trying again to keave the bottles out of the frig for awhile to get the fizzy back…trying to find the right amount of days between fizz and explosion :))
    I also have been concerned about the rust that forms in the GT bottle caps…so far I just keep washing it out. I couldn’t in good conscience use plastic to line the caps since I don’t want any plastic chemicals to get nto the tea. Eventually, I’ll be replacing these bottles with something else since the bottles get given away with my tea in it to friends who want to try it, or might occasionally get broken.

    I’m currently using 8 green tea bags and 2 black tea bags per 2.5 gallon brewer, plus about 16 or so oz. of starter, and 2.5 cups of white cane (not beet) sugar. I’m not using vinegar anymore since I have plenty of starter tea now. I keep the same scobies in there including the new one. I boil Pur filtered water for 10 min. I Steep the tea for less than 10 min since green tea gets bitter if steeped too long, remove the bags & add the sugar till dissolved. Then I sit the pot in ice and cold water till cooled. I pour the sweet tea into the brewer, then I add more filtered water to fill it up. I pour the starter into the brewer and stir the whole thing briskly. Then I cover with a clean cloth, and date the brewer. Most of the time lately it goes 11 days. Today’s batch that I bottled went 12 days.

    When I finish off these tea bags…I’ll start experimenting with different loose teas, like Dave’s and others that I’m reading about. I am also thinking of using organic evaporated cane sugar in the future since there are retained nutrients in it that will end up in the tea after brewing, which I would appreciate.

    By the way Scott, you can get 1 gallon glass jars at Sprouts markets (also try Whole Foods or places where they supply bulk herbs). They’re good cheap brewers, but messy and a pain. I discontinued using mine when I found extra ceramic brewers at my local Goodwill.

  77. Jimmy Rivera Says:

    I currently buy GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha by the case at Whole Foods and on some days I find myself drinking as many as six bottles (maybe more). Is it possible that this can be harmfull to my health?

  78. MJ Says:

    Hey Dave,

    Much like question #63, I too need to know if recovering alcoholics can drink Sinergy without breaking their sobriety.

    People on the forums say it’s equal to four sips of beer.
    I’m not a scientist, but the fact that you don’t have to be over 21 to buy it is a good sign.

    Is it the same amount as in other common items?
    Mouth wash, Vanilla, etc…?

    I too got a buzz & couldn’t stop drinking it despite it’s strong taste.

    It has been been helping my wife & I with our acid reflux issues.
    However, I will continue to buy cases for her….I will have to stop
    drinking it myself as part of my recovery.

    Please give us an official statement of facts so we can better
    support your product.

    Thanks so much for your healing elixir.

    MJ – Berkeley Ca.

  79. Scott Says:

    Hello Dave,

    I am a newbie and got the culture from a friend who started it. It was done in a glass 1 gal. jar with a coffee filter top. After transporting it in my car and at my house in a dark/warm room, it developed grey strands in the top culture. It doesn’t look like mold (at least any mold I have ever seen) so I wanted to find out if it is ok? I bottled 3 quarts and they are free from the grey strands. Please respond. thanks, scott

  80. Laura Says:

    Hey dave and all my fellow kombucha friends,

  81. Laura Says:

    hello again, I hit the wrong button,
    Thanks for al the wonderful info. by the way dave the 7 day course was awesome! I recomend it to any one who is interested in kombucha!
    I have a few questions
    1. How do I go about giving my dog kombucha, do I mix the tea with his food or can I give him some of the scoby.
    2. I have been brewing kombucha for about 2 months, my scoby looks great, but I am a little confused. do I cut part of the scoby away ever?
    3. do I keep the mother and the new scoby together in my brewer?
    4. How long will the scoby live? forever?
    thanks I hope these questions make sense!

  82. susan Says:

    Mia- You are welcome! Yes I was using turbinado, however I have since been informed that it is not good to use it for brewing kombucha, so I am back to using all white sugar. Also learned not to use Earl Grey Tea because of the bergamot in it….

    My most recent Komucha brew was bottled today and is SUPER yummy and fizzy. When I poured the first glass I got a 3 inch head!

    I am now using a 3 gallon glass jug with a 9 inch opening at the top- so lots of air gets in during fermentation. It resembles a huge flour canister. I think this has been key to brewing great K-tea. (I found the jug at Walmart for $12.) I only fermented for 14 days and it is perfect. My scobies are getting quite large and thick & I think this is crucial for quick fermentation…. plus I had 4 scobies in the tea. The baby scoby that grew across the top is ginormous and really thick. I had never seen such a huge culture….very cool!

    Hi Cindy,

    I have a new favorite…. Strawberry! I simply add 3 organic strawberries per GT bottle…It takes a couple hours for the tea to turn red and suck the flavor out of the berries, but so worth the wait. My new FAV!

    I totally agree with you about toxic plastic…. I would not brew, ferment or heat it in any way, but I am ok using plastic tops for bottlng K-tea because the tea never touches it. I got so tired of opening a $4 GT only to find rust on the cap and a rusty flavor in the tea…I discovered by accident that JUICE PLUS adult vitamin caps fit perfectly on GT bottles. I am also using wine bottles now with wine corks, as well as MONA VIE bottles with their screw tops. I am totally onboard with your convictions about plastic though and if you find a nonmetal/nonplastic alternative, I’d love to hear about it!

    Evaporated Cane Sugar? What is it?

    MJ & Kristine V- Regarding Alcohol and Kombucha: My brother is recovering (13 years) and drinks about 16 ounces of kombucha per day. He says the alcohol content is less than a Non-Alcoholic Beer. I realize that many alcoholics can not or should not drink the NA beers, so that has to be your call. He does say that he gets a feeling of well-being, but hasnt mentioned any intoxicated feeling. He has noticed improvements in IBS and also fewer night time bathroom visits.

    Hi Jimmy Rivera- 6 bottles of GT’s per day!!!! Yikes, I am adding that up in my head…. I dont think it would hurt anything but your pocketbook! The experts say that your body will crave what it needs….? I was drinking 1-2 a day for 2 years before I decided to brew …

    Happy New Year & Happy Brewing,
    Susan

  83. MARY KAVAN Says:

    HI

    I ORDERED 2 HEATING PANELS ABOUT 2 WKS AGO AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEM. WHAT IS THE STATUS? THEY WERE ON SALE FOR 27.00 EACH. MY PHONE # IS 507-228-8091 OR EMAIL IS lmbj@centurytel.net

  84. Kayla DeMoss Says:

    Please help a Kambucha neophyte!

    I was so excited to recieve my first scuby and began my first batch the week before Christmas and literally one week later our power went out in the Midwest ice storm for 8 days.

    I am not exactly sure how cold our house was during the period but outside temperatures were between 28-29 degrees on the low side and 50-55 degrees on the high side. We think the house probably got down to 40-45 or so at some point.

    Remember I have never done this before so I apologize if I’m asking silly questions. The mother did produce a baby but the baby looks a little white or at least blotchy on top (a little bubbly) and was a bit nervous to drink the mix. The mother (or what you sent us) still looks relatively the same about 5-6 inches across (while the baby fills the top of a 5 pound bucket).

    Upon our power coming back after 8 days, I made a new tea/sugar mixture and simply added it to the existing mixture with the two scubys (fed it).

    We will send pictures so you can visually see what we mean by coloration, size, etc.

    (1) Should we just toss the baby (and not chance it) and discard the drink mix (fairly vinagery)?

    (2) If the mother looks alright can we keep her and try to see if she will reproduce? Is it safe? Is she toxic now?

    (3) Assuming so, what proportions (tea, sugar water, etc) could I use to start over assuming she will still reproduce at her now small size? (we have a 5 gallon bucket)

    (4) Finally, assuming this all works, what proportions do you add i.e. juice or spritzer to the individual bottles?

    The stuff is pretty potent (are we really making moonshine) after sitting for 4 weeks!

  85. mia Says:

    Hi Cindy and Susan,

    Thanks for all your great info! I have a feeling that learning to make the perfect kombucha will be a lifelong journey! There seem to be infinite variables you can experiment with!

    I’ve had better luck with fizz lately, especially when adding dried pineapple, and also with cherries and lime juice.

    FYI: I have used both organic evaporated cane juice and plain white sugar, and there really seems to be no difference in the way it comes out, so I thing o.e.cane juice is the way to go.

    I have also heard that it’s helpful to strain the kombucha strands through a coffee filter after fermenting, before bottling. It’s somehow supposed to help the process, and the yeast is able to pass through the filter and continue its job. I’ve yet to try it, and I’ll let you know once I get the scientific data on it.

    • Brandy Says:

      Can I use beet sugar for my kombucha? We have some cane sugar sensitivities so I have been using the beet but I don’t get any fizz in our tea. That’s even after leaving it for the second 4 day fementation that Dave rec’s for our glass bottles. Could it be the beet sugar?

  86. Michael Says:

    I do see my question posted on Dec 30/ 07, however, every clickable area I attempted did not lead me to my answer. I guess I am computer ignorant, not knowing how to retrieve the answer. Would you shed some light into this issue… appreciated!

  87. Marie Davino Says:

    >1. What was the coolest thing you learned from the mini course?
    I think the coolest thing was the info about the scoby (see how good I am using the right vocab?) but I loved the whole course! I have already told several friends about it.

    >2. What did you think of the writing, style, format of the classes?
    I thoroughly enjoyed the writing. You made it fun and interesting to read. I like the way you write as if you were speaking to me! Format was good, the only inconsistency (sorry, I was an english major, so I am really only nitpicking!!!) was sometimes you called it day one, two etc, and sometimes you called it lesson 6, 7 etc. Also there was a place where i think you said part 1 but there wasn’t a part 2…
    But, that was not that important anyway!!! The info was awesome!!!!

    >3. What would justify a price of providing this information back
    to its original price of $19.95 (ie it’s worth its full price now,
    you should offer some more info, include a video, etc)
    It is worth the full price just for the info alone, but thank you so much for offering it free to those of us with limited financing 😉 It makes me want to buy stuff from you! however, I think a video showing the details would be a great addition!

    >4. This is a free for all – write what’s on your mind.
    Wow, too much to write here. I am so close to buying a continuous system but have to think about it a bit more…and the hubby and I are newbies, just trying out k-tea for a couple of weeks to see how we like it. Just a wee bit more research (trying it out of course!). My hubby thinks I rush into things too much and then I don’t follow through—nahh. Need to make sure I have enough space for it, and the right environment for baby scobies, ya know? Also, can’t decide between a ceramic or plastic…and not sure what size would give us enough of that yummy fizzy k-tea without running out, and still leave space on my counter! I would love to know the dimensions of the different systems. I think it is SOOO delicious I will probably drink a lot…I will decide soon!!!

    >Thank you for taking this time to help me service you better,

    — and thank you, Dave, for a wonderful course on k-tea. Will order soon 🙂 !
    Marie

  88. Laura Says:

    hey I was wondering if this is the right place to ask a question?
    I see my question on here but haven’t seen a reply yet. Am I in the right place. I know we all have lives beside kombucha but I need some help, pretty please.

  89. Michael Says:

    1- Prolem with using the dried fruits is the possible mold on the surface, which is not visible, yet they are there. At the optimum temperature and moisture, mold would contaminate your brew… in order to prevent such occurance soak the dried fruits in hydrogen peroxide for about a minute or so, then rinse it very well under the hot tap water, then immediately* put into your brewing solution.
    *(Molds are allover the air, and you want to expose the fruits to the air as least as possible)
    Would someone tell me how I can store “Scobies” for a long period of time, should I not have time to process them right away. Susan had said put all of them in a jar with some brewed material and refrigerate… would freezing preserve it better and longer… I have been addresssing this issue several times, yet I don’t know how to get the answer! I clicked here and there… nothing! Frustrated…
    manooch07@netzer.net
    503-667-5031 From Oregon…HELP!

  90. Kayla DeMoss Says:

    As Michael, I am very frustrated with NO help. I’ve called, e-mailed, and posted on blog….ANYONE?!?

  91. susan Says:

    Hi Michael,

    Storing the scoby for future use: I have only been brewing a few months- I am no DAVE, but I do keep spare scobies in the frig and I havent had any problems yet. They still look great after a few months. You can add a few tablespoons of white vinegar with the starter if you are concerned about contamination. I always try to make sure that my scoby is completely submerged in starter. I would probably not put it in the freezer, I just dont think it is necessary and I venture to say it might even kill it…?

    Hi Kayla,

    It sounds like your baby scoby did just great even in those cold conditions. I would be just fine drinking it, but I have been told I have a cast-iron stomach…lol….

    One thing I keep reminding myself is that Kombucha is a vinegar base. If you are worried that the top of your baby scoby might get contaminated, spray the baby scoby on the top of your brew with a little white vinegar every week or even more often if you want. Vinegar is such a great disinfectant and it wont hurt your brew. Otherwise you can gently push the new baby down into the brew every few days just to keep it wet… the kombucha itself is a great disinfectant.

    The Kombucha you buy in the store is fermented much longer than mine….probaby almost a month, then shipped…. so figure by the time we are drinking it, it could be 6 weeks old or even older. I brew in a 3 gallon jar for 3 weeks or longer if I can stand to wait, but I havent had any contamination problems at all yet and my scobies are reproducing like bunnies!

    Happy Brewing, Susan

  92. susan Says:

    Hi Laura,

    No idea about how to give it to dogs…. I think if you can get him to eat a piece, go for it!

    The more scobies I have in my brew, the shorter the brewing time and the better my tea tastes. I just keep all available scobies brewing- All momma and baby scobies. I just keep adding new sweet tea and they just keep on fermenting and reproducing. I have actually peeled off a few layers of scoby from time to time when I have a friend in need, but I think as long as your tea is looking and tasting great, no need to get new scobies. I am praying that I will know if and when my scoby is finished or dies and needs to be replaced….

    If anyone has ever had one go bad, I would love to hear the details…what it looks like.

    Happy Brewing, Susan again

  93. Michael Says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you for the response regading the “storage” of the “Scoby”. As Desparation, and having over two gallons of the brew, I knew I could not have consumed that much within a week and that’s why I wanted to save my precious and healthy scobies ( I have four of them already… and so healthy looking) Anyway, I called a site, which I don’t think it is appropriate to use “Dave’s” site to mention the phine number. Regardless, the person I spoke to suggested to keep them in a jar with plenty brew in the jar, then refrigerate. He mentioned that scoby would go dormant and even months later one can revive them under the appropriate conditions (water,sugar,tea, optimum temperature etc). By the way, I experimented for sometime regrding the optimum temp. and found out 86 degrees, which is equivalent to 30 degrees centigrade is the most suitable temp. Sinking the scoby, and not yielding a good “Crop”, is mainly responsible for low temperatures below 80 degrees. Don’t exceed the temp definitely above 88. Higher temp would kill, but lower temp. slows down the culture and not a killing factor! I have more scoops, and for later on… I am a medical technologist and so many tests are being don, which I would share as my researchs become proven facts.
    manooch07@netzero.net
    Susan, thanks again for the response! You are the lifesaver; at least the Scoby’s life!! LOL

  94. susan Says:

    Hi Again Kayla,

    Regarding bottling: I add 3-4 fresh strawberries to each 16 ounce bottle, leaving a 1/2 inch at the top for extra fizziness(which I love). Or a couple tablespoons of KEDEM grape juice and a few grapes. But just plain is great too!

    Regarding starting over for a 5 gallon jug:
    5 gallons pure water
    25+ tea bags (I would prob use 35)
    5 cups sugar
    10 cups starter
    All the scobies you have

    Your starter should be really potent, that’s good! I have heard that cold teperatures can shock your scobies and slow them down….You might need to brew a little longer to get the result you want…

    Bless, Susan

  95. Kayla DeMoss Says:

    Hi Susan,
    Thank you…Thank you…Thank you!!!! I’ll taste test (or make my husband) and let you know the outcome.

    Be Blessed,
    Kayla

  96. Michael Says:

    From Michael with love manooch07@netzero.net
    P.S. About adding dried fruits… I dry all my fruits and don’t use any preservatives. ( Still I wash them should I incorprate them into my brewing; it is because in the process of drying the warm air might bring some mold ao unsuitable organism and land them on the surface of the fruis. though are not visible, yet giving them opportunity; the dormant molds would grow)Store bought dreied fruits are fumed with sulphur as preservative, though it would turn into sulphuric acid, which might not be damaging the scoby, yet it is better to wash out before adding to your brew. In addition, be very careful about other preservatives, which are poisonous chemicals that would prevent the growth of mold, bacteria, or other organisms… along; it might as well might kill scoby and prevent it from reproduction; after all the poisons are poisons, we eat them, and since our bodies are massive, can handle the poison, but not the poor sensitivs and delicate scoby! … Another chemistry lesson: As I mentioned I had been practicing as the clinical technologist, and familiar with chemistry, toxicology, bacteriologh, serology, hemotology… enough for credentials… sucrose (refined sugar) turns into a digestable “Sugar” the “Glucose”. Scoby, the same as our body cannot use table sugar dirctly and must break it down to a smalle mollecule as glucose. Glucose then turn to alcohol, and further to aldehydes (Toxic), then into “ketones” (also toxic), then into vinegar. Step by step oxidation… the formulas, from alcohol to vinegar are very similar… Now get yourself a test strip from any pharmacy for ketones and glucose, normally used to measure these elements in urine. whenever the glucose level becomes to about 500 mg/d/L it is suitable to stop the bew… the taste is slightly sweet and somewhat sour and vinegary. DISCARD THE WHOLE THING IF YOU SEE THE INDICATOR SHOWing ONE PLUS OR MORE FOR KETONES. Headaches after drinking wines are parrially due to the presence of aldehydes and ketones, which the manufactorers did not STOP the progression of the fementation in time; and had gone beyond the alcohol. While we are at it; the woody stems of grapes, would create methy alcohol( A killer and causes blindness in large quantities) A wood alcohol vs. glucose converted into drinkable Ethyl alcohol…
    I guess, enough for the chemistry lesson for now! Be well & be informed…

  97. David W Says:

    Dave – I finished the course on brewing and did it your way – after bottling I let them sit out for 4 days to get the “fizz” going. There was a new “mushroom” starting on the top of each of the bottles. What should I do with this – toss it?

  98. Michael Says:

    From Michael
    Thanks Dave for the K- Tip#1 RE: optimum temp.

  99. susan Says:

    Thanks for the “science of Kombucha” lesson, Michael! All very interesting…..

    I use Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide on any non-organic fruits I use. I simply drop a tablespoon into a gallon of water and let the fruit soak for a minute or 2….then let air dry. This can also be used on non-organic meat and veggies to help remove toxins, pesticides…etc.

    Happy Brewing!

    Susan

    • Mark Says:

      Hydrogen peroxide added to water greatly breaks down and the hydrogen peroxide looses it’s ability to “oxidize” compounds and volatiles.

      I am not so sure that such a weak solution would even affect mold spores (or a concentrated one for that matter). Most spores and toxins will wash off with just a surfactant and good rinsing.

      The experts in orchids have found that steam is the best way to clear air of molds and fungus and their spores. Read up on orchid propagation instead of using H2O2 or other chemicals.

  100. Michael Says:

    Actually; believe or not, a few drop of hydrogen peroxide per day would be good for the growth of the brew, and at the same time, healtier scoby, as long as it is applied not too close to the scoby and well mixed to the tea, preferrably at the bottom of the jar by means of a pipet “pipette”- (spells either way)… a long glass pointed tube commonly used in laboratories. Anyway such application would oxygenate the solution! The reason you must not close the lid tight is because anaerobic bacteria would thrive, all which are killers!!! Anthrax and botulism amongst many…
    I would not personally “Air Dry” the dried fruits after “Decontamination”!
    a) It defeats the purpose; since we are trying to get rid of the possible airborn molds that might be present and are dormant on the fruit’s surface.
    b) Even if you don’t wash out, nor dey out the soaked fruits, it would not hurt anything and you are oxygenating the tea environment.
    Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide can kill even the nastiest bacteria such as tubeculosis, and is the greatest disinfectant. One must be careful though to not overendulge of over do the “enhancement” of the culture, although it might kill a few yeastlike, or bacteria at its immediate surrounding of the injection of peroxide, yet the emission of the beneficial fresh oxygen would make scoby happy, knowing that she had lost a few organisms, which is negligible! Remember, although the use of an appropriate drug can heal, yet the same drugs can be labeled as poison and can kill under certain circumstances … not going through the details here… Keep in mind: To avoid contamination, anything goes into the jar; the least exposure to air the better. Allow the air to be available to your brew by means of the filtered air (The lid with a breathable cloth, not allowing anything but air to go in).
    In bacteriology, if you watch the technologist, to prevent air contamination, he/she, “TILTS” the petri dish’s lid, and culture the medium’s surface with a sterile loop, applying the substance, which could be blood, urine, spinal fluid etc. etc. you don’t want airborn nasty molds, which are plenty all around us destroy your brew…
    PS: Excuse the spellings… spell check is not offered to me in this blog! Hope you get the messages regardless; use a little ingenuity … Best Regards… manooch07@netzero.net

  101. Rawsue Says:

    Four days after drinking Synergy, my daughter broke out in a full body rash requiring a visit to the local ER. She has a history of penicillin allergy, father with mold allergy, and was only drinking a few ounces per day. I have also read on the Australian/New Zealand health website that people have suffered with liver failure/hepatitis from KT. I would love to hear feedback, but am skeptical of the “detox” excuse. When someone reacts so profoundly, saying “give it more time” sounds very unscientific. I am interested in the science behind KT as well as the phenomena. (I found it tasty and had no reaction, will consider buying Dave’s system if validated) I am also a raw vegan for 18 months, so am in pretty good shape myself, but would love my non vegan family to safely enjoy health too. Thanks for the opportunity.

  102. Rob Says:

    Hi Dave,

    How much would it be if I order one or two healthy K-culture from you send to Orlando normal mail?

    Thank you.
    Rob

  103. Rob#2 Says:

    My brother-in-law has a high level of liverCancer. Is it OK forhim to take K-tea? If yes, 2 or 4 ounces each morning? What is the right quantity?

    Thanks,

    Rob#2

  104. Dave Says:

    Rob 1: Please visit our site http://www.GetKombuca.com it has a built in shipping calculator, based on your shipping address

    Rob 2: We are not a medical doctor, and thus the FDA reminds me to remind you that all medical related issues should be consulted with your medical doctor.

  105. Michael Says:

    “K” Tea & the sediment
    I have not yet completed my research on this subject, however, I would share my results when I have a solid answer. Meanwhile, the sediments contain more minerals than in the solution form, so you are getting a concentrated tea! Are you all familiar with “BOCK” beer? It is not a brand name, yet a “Type” of beer. Every year brewing companies open up the bottom valve of their giant tanks and sort of “Clean Up” their system … don’t take it as a negative statement! Anyway then they bottle the product as “Bock” beer. It is darker, sweeter, syrupier, and basically a very beneficial drink with lots of minerals. At this point I don’t have access to any laboratories, which I used to in order to check the sediments’ properties and the elements in it vs. the upper part of the brew. Anyway, in a month or so I might have some more discoveries. All I can say, if that were me; I would not strain the sediment and throw it away!
    PS: I wish I had some pharmacological research and study on Scoby… I hear both positive and negative testimonials. Would it be a true statement, if I say I hear mostly good statements? The reason could be the bad statements cannot come out the graves!! Hundreds of years of the use, and thousands deaths, did all of them died as the result of the old age? Bottom line; not enough research… I hear allergies due to the consumption of “K” and allergies due to consumption of peanuts, almonds, strawberries, milk etc etc. Each of us are different and act or re-act differently … I personally have a robust constitution and if one can die drinking a glass of poison; I require ten glasses! Remember that! Don’t come to any conclusions, before making any judgment.
    PS Supplement: Above article had been through the spell ck!!
    manooch07@netzer.net

  106. Michael Says:

    Just in case; My new email is: manooch22@netzer.net
    The old one is no longer available … the letter “o” vs. the number “0” was confusing, so I had to change it!

    PS: In a while, I would be sahring some comments about the “SYNERGY” …

  107. Michael Says:

    Where did everybody go? A ghost town! Anyway as I promissed here is my two bits:

    “SYNERGY” – Terminology; analogy; parable …
    Example: If a country can conquer another, by means of just 100, 000 land soldier; or can get the same result by air, using 80 aircrafts only; and/or sending only 10 battleships, and accomplish the same. The same country can get the same result, combining the three forces together, using 10, 000 soldiers, along with 10 aircrafts, and two battleships. Get the message? Why do I bring this? I’ve noticed some individuals, not just in case of Kombucha, but throughout their lives depend only on one thing, overwhelming their mind & body with just one source, which often can be dangerous, and at the same time not as much effective! In case of Kombucha, don’t drown yourselves. Along; use some other elements, which could act similar, but not exactly the same, hand in hand they can do much better job… eat anything & everything under the sun in a small quantity, and neither get your hope too high on one, nor blame on one for doing or not doing some certain job… As I had mentioned in one of my previous statements, if an element can be cure for some ailment, the same element can be a poison under certain conditions… dosage is just one big issue along bad so called “SYNERGY”, not knowing the effect of each element, acting against and contradicting with each other… Ignorance is not a blessing! Look these up: Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut; and make your own … Unrelated subject? Not really!
    My new email: manooch22@netzero.net

  108. Michael Says:

    Thanks for the 30 day challenge and the free tea… though I have also been giving the “Mother / Daughter K” to people for free… I have been quite successful in reproduction of the “K” and producing very healthy ones! I think the temperature is the key. Although many believe the temp should be around 80, yet I personally don’t follow other people’s step blindfoldedly, though I use their experiences as the “Base”. Research is my “Thing” I have shared a lot of info at your blog, and it is up to the readers if they want to follow “My” footstep, or perhaps they want to do their own research also! By the way, about the temp, I use is constant 86 degrees F = 30 degrees centigrade. I had shared the temp. issue and other subjects sometime ago with the readers… I would be writing a short message about the refined sugar, it seems like lots of people still are puzzled by it and have questions! Coming up soon …
    manooch22@netzero.net

  109. Michael Says:

    Me again;
    Neither us, nor Kombucha, can use the white sugar (Sucrose) directly. It must be hydrolyzed and break down into a small, simple, digestable, and usable molecule as “Glucose” .You can waste your money and buy more expensive glucose or fructose and hand it to “K” on a silver platter! But it is not really not necessary. Would you believe apple or grape juice would also yield into glucose? The “Maltose” in apples; a type of sugar would do as well! Tell my; how many types of vinegar do you know about? How about apple cider vinegar, even rice vinegar, though no sugar in rice, the carbohydrate eventually would go through small digestible glucose, then to alcohol, aldehyde, ketenes and finally vinegar; acetic acid. The same process applies to gasoline additive, the ethyl alcohol from corn … remember, almost anything can be converted to something else, which is not even similar to the ones originated from… why does sugar makes you fat why birds have fat in their body, even if they eat nothing but grain, not to mention the body “heat” …
    PS: Should you test the “K” tea, with “Chemstrip” which is specifically measures glucose and nothing else; you would see the presence of the glucose after a few days of brewing! White sugar has no effect on the test strip, and would show a negative result. Those who are diabetic can test the tea with their machine such as “LifeScan” ; or many other companies, which make the glucose measuring machines.
    Oh, by the way, be sure to press “Control” before applying the tea. Put the result into the control system so that it does not interfere and foul up your actual blood average measurement. Expect to see the high readings even higher than… 500 mg/dL … the reading is NOT because of white sugar it is 100% pure glucose, and nothing else!

    Isn’t it nice to know how things work and why the way they do work! I was not sleeping attending the college studying the medical technology! Biology is a very interesting field…
    With Love; Michael
    manooch22@netzero.net

  110. Mason Says:

    I am wondering what are the best glass bottles for kombucha?
    Also, I don’t see the answers to most of these questions? Maybe I dont know where to click?

  111. Hanna Says:

    I have an allergy to sugar, and am wondering if kombucha could be made with other sweeteners such as stevia.
    Or, can I let the culture grow in the same tea until the sugar is all eaten up? Is that possible?

  112. Michael Says:

    Question from Mason: I am wondering what are the best glass bottles for kombucha?

    Answer: Any ordinary glass container. (Do not keep the lid tight though… a) Gasses would cause pressure and might break the container… b) “K” tea needs oxygen… you would not want the growth of “anaerobic” bacillus and bacteria. Almost all of the non-oxygen loving organisms are pathogenic!
    Anyway, back to the typr of glass… use any type of glasses that are not “Crystal”. I wouldn’t even drink “K” tea from the fancy “Crystal” glass! As you know, crystals; vases, drinking wine glasses etc. contain lead (Up to 25%, and they brag about it on a label on the side or on the bottom). Anyway the lead would leach out into your brew (which is partially acid), and not only would kill the “Live” organisms in your brew, it might even kill you due to the lead poisoning! Though the effect might not be immediate, but it would be accumulative.
    USE ANY OL’ GLASS!!! By the way refrigerate your brew to slow down and/ or stop further fermentaion, and at the same time prevent the growth of some adverse, unwanted and undesirable “Stuff”. also it would keep the fiz, and the cold drink would taste better… hey Mason; you asked one question, and got much more answers!!! You’re welcome … be healthy…
    manooch22@netzero.net

  113. Michael Says:

    Hanna Says: January 15, 2008 at 12:35 am
    I have an allergy to sugar, and am wondering if kombucha could be made with other sweeteners such as stevia.
    Or, can I let the culture grow in the same tea until the sugar is all eaten up? Is that possible?

    ANSWERS: You have to refine your question…To have allergy to “sugar” is a vague statement… are you also allergic any sweet fruits under the sun? Are you allergic to just sucrose – table sugar – white sugar – refined sugar; or are you allergic to glucose, fructose maltose or any other types of sweets, which are presents in many fruits? Regardless… since the question is not really clear; the bottom line is that Kombucha needs glucose and it would metabolize all sorts of nature made sweets into glucose. Give it corn syrup, give it fructose if you like; “K” would turn it into glucose, or just add glucose to initiate your brew, make life easier for “K”! Make apple juice, sterilize it (a must), give it to “K” and see how it would love you!

    Second part of the question: You can check the amount of acidity and glucose with test strips available in most pharmacies, no prescription needed. The less sweet, the more acidity… the end result would be vinegar. Too high level of acidity would definitely kill your “Mother K” renders it useless… no live yeast – like or beneficial bacteria no nothing! Just acid, a dead liquid … though you would only get the minerals as the by product, which is somewhat beneficial, but not enough to my standard… although Stevia powder packets might be claiming a derivative of sugar; you would not be able to feed “K” without starving it. You cannot properly judge how much of it you need to be equivalent to one and a third cup sugar per gallon of water… still, I am answering, stumbling in the dark with shotgun, hoping I hit the intended target; the question!
    manooch22@netzero.net

  114. Michael Says:

    SUGARS vs. SWEETENERS

    Anything “sweet tasting” do not mean they have the property of being under the category of carbohydrates, including mono, bi, and finally polysaccharides. From a complex; such as sucrose to a simple glucose. Not to mention all of the starchy food, which fall under the same wide group of carbohydrates … Anyway, Kombucha cannot utilize, metabolize or use the following brands of “Sweeteners”: Sweet & Low; Splenda; Neutra Sweet; Stevia and on & on. No matter even if some of them claim to be the derivatives of sugar. Should you use any of them, you will starve and as the result kill your “Scoby”. Just stick with refined sugar and don’t worry, you would not be really drinking the sugar, that is, if you know what you’re doing (The length of the growth time, the appropriate temperature, and believe or not, the size and the number of the Scobies are just a few factors, which can speed up the process, and as the result reduce the amount of sugar at the optimum and right conditions, and on the other hand in an adverse circumstance, you would get a poor result; lots of your original sugar, lesser carbonation, and lesser acidity, finally slow growth of the Scoby herself ).
    Do not use honey, since it has an antibiotical/self preserving property, which would stop the growth of the brew and possibly hurt and lose your Scoby… If you are growing your own fruits such as apples, and not using pesticides; juice them, sterilize the juice, and use it as your starter solution… still need to add tea infusion into it… tastier, faster growing (less time), not to mention aromatic…
    Be well; Be informed…

  115. Drew Says:

    My 90 year old Father has been drinking Kambucha Tea for over 20 years, he still gets around (real good) and hardly has any graying hair. Main thing is that he feels good. I drank the tea for over a year and most of my gray hair returned to its natural color…and I felt great. So, I’m getting ready to start again and get the guys at work to try it as well. Q: They wanted to know if the scoby itself can be eaten. I told them it was doubtful but I would ask you folks for clarity.

  116. Laura Says:

    Hey everyone, I am having a dilema! I am currrently using a crock that is ceramic to brew my kombucha. I know we are not supposed to use cermaic, but I thought since it was food grade quality it would be ok. The kombucha tastes and works great that is coming out of the crock. But I am worried, since kombucha is so powerful is it possible that it could pull toxins from the crock if there is any! The crock is one like a 5 gallon water bottle sits on, it has a dispenser as well which is nice. It works like a continous brewing system. laura

  117. Michael Says:

    Drew Says: January 15, 2008 at 4:48 pm
    Q: They wanted to know if the scoby itself can be eaten. I told them it was doubtful but I would ask you folks for clarity.

    ANSWER: If your dog is a “hunting dog”, searches for the birds that you shoot, bringing them to you; his job is to provide you with the food. Why would you want to eat the provider? Scoby works hard, only through the “Process”; you get the beneficial elements. A chewed up Scoby might work in your stomach for just a little while; and since she is not in an optimum environment, would die soon after ingestion. A dead cow would not give you milk anymore, if that’s all you expect from your cow… the by- product of a cow! Anyway, though it might not be harmful; I personally would not sacrifice my “Pet”. Besides; it would be an expensive steak; $20-$40; though I can afford it. I have four of them at this point and they are free! You know; no one’s going to stop you, but it is a leathery tissue, and practically non-chewable in the raw… after all it is sort of a tough “SKIN” or “LICHEN”…! In case you didn’t know that. Not related to plants at all, not a mushroom, nor fungus, … The tissue is related to “Animals”, though it originally grew on trees through the “SYMBIOSIS” process, yet totally unrelated to any plants; not even to the tree that it grows on as a parasite!! She lives on the tree, and she is a user! …
    Well, this is my two bits of info for the day… be informed & be healthy…
    manooch22@netzero.net

  118. Michael Says:

    Answer to Laura;

    Should you use the crock-pots or so called slow cookers to brew your “K”, you might encounter a couple of problems. Temperature, & Lead.

    1 – the temperature could be an issue. Have you ever checked the temperature, ranging between the allowable & comfortable temp. for “K”… 75-86 degrees? (A WARM ROOM TEMPERATURE*) If so, then I am very puzzled and I don’t know how any food can be cooked in that temperature giving it even hours and hours of such low temperature… Danger; Danger… Keeping food within such temperatures* would cause any restaurant to be shut down due to the food poisoning!
    ASK ANY INSPECTOR!!
    (You would need an accurate glass thermometer. If any available body thermometer, can monitor such low temperatures you can use one of them.)

    2 – The reason behind not using the ceramic containers are based on the “GLAZING” over the raw terracotta clay, which might contain lead. Crock-pots theoretically are “Food safe”, especially the newer ones. These pots are meant to use for cooking food anyway, however, most food are NOT as acid as “K Tea”, which would leach out the lead. Almost all potteries from Mexico used to be containing lead… drinking water or black tea from such containers might not cause any toxic problem, but drinking orange juice from such containers for sometime, then you would notice lead poisoning effect in your system… why take a chance anyway. There are several locations throughout your city, which they would check the lead content of toys or any other items of doubt, free of charge.

    *PS: Boiling point of water= 212; freezing = 32 ; and Our body = 98.6 … Now; what teperature do you keep your food to prevent spoilage?
    Extra info: I make my own yogurt, do you? Temp. = 39-41;
    and dehyrate fruits= 54
    manooch22@netzero.net

  119. Michael Says:

    Oops, clarification on the previous note: The numbers 39-41 & 54 refer to Celsius, and not Fahrenheit. I calibrate my gadgets according to C; rather than F… anyway for your curiosity and further info is as follows; it would be nice to know:

    (F-32)X5/9=C ; 9/5C+32=F

    manooch22@netzero.net

  120. Rebecca Says:

    If using continuous brewing system-when I brew the first batch there will be a mother and then a baby growing on top. Do you just leave those in the system, or do you remove one or the other?

  121. Michael Says:

    I have my two bits of answers for:
    Rebecca; Posted on: January 16, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Option 1 – If you just have one “System”, and having two “Scobies”, the (mother & child); you would need two systems, to start a new batch; each one in the separated form can start a new brew for you.

    Option 2 – If you separate the baby from the mother; it would NOT be a bad idea to leave both of them in the same batch and the same system… not only the brew would be faster and you can harvest the end product; the (TEA) sooner than ten days; at the same time, each mother and child would be reproducing babies! (You might find many friends hanging around in your house eyeing at your babies… give one to them!

    Option 3 – You can store the baby and / or the mother in a clean jar, along with a couple cups of your existing brew with the lid not too tight, and keep refrigerated. It becomes dormant and ready to work for you whenever you are ready to make a new batch …
    Depends on amount of your usage and consumption, judge and follow any of the above ways…
    Be informed & Healthy…
    manooch22@netzero.com

  122. Debi Says:

    When flavouring the kombucha can you put pieces of flavouring in (i.e., pieces of spirulina, ginger, etc) or does it have to be in juice form?

  123. Michael Says:

    ANSWER TO:
    Debi Says: January 17, 2008 at 7:45 pm
    When flavouring the kombucha can you put pieces of flavouring in (i.e., pieces of spirulina, ginger, etc) or does it have to be in juice form?

    Michael Says: NO!
    One must be very careful with any type of alteration and additions to the tea or the brew. You don’t know all counter indications. Even in medicine, often you must not take certain other drugs or even certain food with your prescribed medicine. The simple end result might be ineffictiveness, however it could be harmful to the culture and yourself. Study the Jewish, and/or old Chinese interactions of different food with each other. If you are not a biochemist; don’t mix things together! You might be modifying the composition of the beneficial elements and yielding to some adverse result. You did mention “ginger”; though it has some aroma and would give somewhat warm and spicy sensation… That for sure would “KILL” all living creatures in your brew! Ginger has a proteolysis effect, which acts as tenderizer (Dissolves Protein/ meat); so, you are drinking a “Dead” drink! Spirulina , that pretty dark green herb, on the other hand, though by the way might be good for the diabetics, must not be taken continually and for too long (Gives it a break once in a while). Personally I don’t think it has a “Flavor”… tastes like concentrated grass/leaves! Regardless …I personally would not recommend ANY additives of any kind, even addition of carbonation! Whatever is in the brew; they are happy the way they are, and they are there for you… take your husband as he is… don’t change or break him! Drink the tea as it is and the way nature gives it to you! Soda companies sell you what they think you would buy… even a sweet poison! I think I expressed myself thoroughly… Michael with Love…
    Be informed & be healthy

    manooch22@netzero.net
    Submitted on 1/17/08 @ 2:09 PM Western Time; but look at the posted date!

  124. Kirsten Says:

    Hi Dave,

    I have been enjoying my homemade Kombucha for a few weeks now ( I got it as a Christmas present) I am just about to bottle my second batch. A few days ago I was examining my culture. It’s gotten very very big, which I’m guessing means it’s healthy. I noticed that there is a large white spot, it kind of looks like a layer of fat that you’d see on meat. Is this normal? Just want to make sure before I bottle the tea that it’s okay to drink. Thanks!!

  125. Michael Says:

    QUESTION: See Above
    Kirsten Says: January 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm
    Hi Dave,…

    ANSWER:
    Although the question is addressed to Dave, here is my input:
    To grow large is good… the term, “large white spot” is not very descriptive! Spot is normally small; and if it is the same size as the scoby herself; then it is OK… the color to my opinion, is normal and the bottom line; all doing well. If you can tell a thin “Layer” on top of the original mother scoby; then it is the “Daughter/ Baby” and you got yourself two scobies, which you can separate them and grow two batches or to save one…
    I hope you get your answer from Dave, who is more expert than I am… sorry for interjection!
    Submitted: 1/18/08 at1:04 PM Western Time
    manooch22@netzero.net

  126. Debi Says:

    I meant to say….when bottling the K-tea can the flavouring be pieces of ginger, fruit, etc., or does it have to be juice.

  127. Debi Says:

    When making your starter tea, if you don’t use organic sugar and organic tea is the kombucha organic or not? I’ve seen recipes that call for organic sugar/tea and some say it makes no difference….the kombucha is still organic.

    As I prefer a more effervescent tea, when bottling in glass bottles (I will be using the ones that GT Dave kombucha comes in) how full should I fill the bottles to avoid the possibility of them exploding while the K-tea continues to ferment?

  128. Michael Says:

    Each of us could have some different opinions about certain issues. My opinions in general, might just make sense to me, and not to the others…though I do respect all beliefs and manners in which people behave and run their lives. After all each of us are unique when approaching different issues; handling them with different manners. We run our lives and act at the time; and under certain circumstances that we believe are best for us and we have all the reasons and validations to back up our thought patterns and conducts; whatever could be. I don’t mean to lecture anyone nor change anyone’s conduct. My intent is to just express my own opinion, though it might clash with many others! We unfortunately see often some individuals who believe that everyone must follow their pattern; which could be their religious beliefs, or anything else. To sincerely believe on our own opinions is perfectly all right; but when it comes to attacking and forcing our opinions upon others to follow; is quite callous and uncalled for. You can respect; yet don’t have to accept. Here you might say, well; what’s all got to do with that poor creature “Kombucha” ? … If you have noticed, I have been adding some pointers and notes here and there, and sharing some inputs into SCOBY subject for the readers and “Bloggers” and just want to say that they all were well intended for anyone who wants to expand their horizon, perhaps knowledge, yet not necessarily accept them. For anyone who just wants to hear others opinion, to ponder, to research for their own, and finally follow or reject… rejecting my ideas, in no way can hurt my feelings; after all I myself should be the one in control and in charge of my own mind!
    Here, I would like to thank Dave for allowing me to use this site, and thank him again for the nice personal email directly addressed to me, and for the kindest remarks and offers regarding my additions and inputs to this site.
    In order to accept my inputs, please don’t ask for my qualifications and credentials, since my fear would be that one might follow them blindfoldedly due to the presence of some diplomas on the wall! NO, just do read and research for yourself…SEE WHAT’S BEEN SAID; NOT WHO IS SAYING IT!!
    At the end; whenever applicable, and/or should a question arises that I might have some ideas, I would be sharing my thoughts ( Would try to stay within the related subject!!)… good or bad; right or wrong…at the same time I would follow the rules and conditions of this site respecting its boundaries without violating them.
    Thank you all for spending time with my philosophy; reading this script. As always… With Love… Michael
    Be informed & Be healthy… the Body & Soul
    Submitted 1/19/08 at 3:26 PM Western time
    manooch22@netzero.net

  129. Hanna Says:

    Thanks for the input, so could I potentially use a high-glucose fruit juice? Maybe pineapple? Or would that turn funky during fermentation?

  130. Anonymous Says:

    QUESTION:
    Debi Says: January 19, 2008 at 5:07 pm
    I meant to say….when bottling the K-tea can the flavouring be pieces of ginger, fruit, etc., or does it have to be juice.
    ANSWER:

    Neither the pieces of ginger, juice, nor ginger powder! Ginger is ginger, no matter in what form or shape you might add to your tea! Problem lies on the “Interaction” of the ginger with your drink. As I mentioned earlier, ginger acts as a type of meat tenderizer, which means it can dissolve proteins, including ALL live beneficial yeast-like and bacterial form in the “K. Tea”… and again, as I mentioned; you would be drinking a “Dead Drink” (No Life). Let me give you an example: If you see the labels on the yogurt containers in stores; it should, and would say that it contains” Live Culture” . Should you kill the living beneficial lactobacillus in yogurt by means of heating or pasteurization, radiation, etc; you might as well not to consume it; unless you just like the taste, and want to add calcium & some minerals to your body. The main purpose of yogurt consumption is the “Living Beneficial Culture” … would there be the same reason we drink the “K. Tea” ; because of its living elements? I personally do so. Since we are in the subject of “Killing” I am not sure, and don’t quote me in this. I think by law, due to possible contamination the tea must be pasteurized, which in turn such action would destroy all living thing in it. I hope at this time I have articulated and had been more explicit, though I am saying it in a different manner, I feel like repeating myself … not my style; but whatever it takes to relay messages!
    Coming up Soon: I would submit a comment regarding adding fruit juices… not a good idea … “IF”… not followed the way which is safe for you and the tea…at this point you might say” What harm possibly the fruit juices can do”… anyway, details and reasons, later … any adulterations to the “NATURE” ; somewhere along the way you are going to “Mess it Up” !!! When something is working don’t fix it. When the tea taste good don’t “Jazz it Up” …

  131. Michael Says:

    Above; the item # 130; comments regrding “Ginger” was from me… did not mean to be a ghost and anonymous… not embarrased to speak out my heart! Would never hear from me un-appropriate words…
    As usual: Be informed & Be healthy…
    manooch22@netzero.net

  132. Debi Says:

    Thank you Michael for answering my questions. I have read your responses to others’ questions and you are very informative. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  133. laura Says:

    Has anyone ever heard of anthrax contaminating there kombucha? I read an article about anthrax being a bacteria and sometimes forming in a kombucha brewer. I was just curious, I feel great and don’t think my kombucha has anthrax but I didn’t ever think that it would be a possibility. Just a little concerned. Thanks mike for answering my question about I found out the brewer is porcelain and doesn’t contain any lead.

  134. Michael Says:

    Anthrax contamination is possible, but least likely probable. It is the disease of the cattle & sheep. The wound is black; and highly transmittable and 100% deadly. The farmer must burn the animal to destroy the bacteria from contaminating the others. (Actually bacillus… a different form from bacteria, a rod stubby shape) It forms spores, which can be “Inactive” for more than twenty years, and under proper conditions can open up spread and thrive! That’s why one must not just burry the animal underground. No oxygen? That’s no problem for anthrax. Anyway, I would not lose sleep over the contamination. If one handles the preparation of the brew under the sterile condition, there would not be even any molds growth, which there are millions of them in a cubic foot of the air that we breathe. We can destroy even nasty bugs in our marvelous system, but the poor Kombucha tea, has no immunity! A good medium for gorwth. You must know how to work under sterile condition! I had never had any contamination issues in the tea preparation, and I don’t give the credit to the luck… I give myself credit! Let me brag a bit here! Would you?
    Oh, by the way, later on, I would be posting my opinion about “Stuff” that some people add to their “K.Tea”. Hold off for now until you hear me first, then decide for yourself!
    Then later than that what bothers me is the addition of fruit juices, fresh fruits, dried fruits etc. Don’t just “Add” … know what & how to add!
    I write on my leasure time, and it pleasure to do so. So, I’ll get to it!

    Be informed & Be healthy… Body & Soul
    manooch22@netzero.net

  135. Liz Says:

    I have been brewing for a couple of months now; love the tea, but what is the “correct” Ph for the finished product?

  136. Michael Says:

    There is noy really a “correct” pH*. The longer fermentation, the higher the pH ; Meaning more acid, (not the higher number). Average of 5 % is the acity in commercial vinegars. Depending on the taste, you may want to stop the process by leaving the tea in the frig., which the cold temp. would keep it a dormant state and would greatly slow down the further fermentation. Just remenber; incorrect pH is when the high acidity such as 2.5 or so, would kill scoby. Also remember that there is a correlation between the sugar & vinegar… lesser presence of sugsr, means it had been converted it to acetic acid. You can also measure the glucose level in the tea. Test strips ar available in drug stores. 100 per pack. It measures “Only” glucose and not table sugar. Whenever it is coming down to about 300-500 mg/dL, it would mean the table sugar is running low. In commercially prepared tea they have quality control, ( I hope!) , which means the elements are always the same, taste the same, fiz the same and constant with no fluctuations or ups & downs.
    I welcome all feedbacks, which I learn by them…
    As usual … Be informed & Be healthy… Body & Mind
    manooch22@netzero.net

  137. Hanna Says:

    Is it a bad sign if my newly brewed kombucha upsets my stomach?

  138. Michael Says:

    My motto: Don’t mix stuff into your “K” tea!
    It is just my personal opinion, which of course, it is true always whenever I speak or whatever I speak of! … and that is: One should not combine different substances with any other elements or matters without thorough knowledge about all the substances that are being dealt with. The result of our ignorance could be disastrous.

    I drink the KT in the form of “as is”, and as the nature give it to me. I don’t add anything to it, nor do I take it along with anything else, including food or supplements, medicines etc etc… I have to admit that so far I had no stomach problems; I must have a cast iron one! Due to the acidity of the tea, often people complain about the stomach upset, should they drink it in an empty stomach. Everyone’s constitution is different and can react differently towards one substance.
    I myself don’t know the answers to all questions, and have not done any research on the interactions, either chemically via changing the formula nor biologically, creating and converting them into some different strains or harmful living things from the beneficial ones.

    I am sure that you all have read about the composition and chemical ingredients of the brew, and you all are familiar with the functions of each elements and ingredients and how they act and in what manner they do behave in our system. However, do you know about the hundreds of other chemicals outside of your brew that might interact and possibly alter the chemistry and formulas of the elements within the tea? Some of the final results could make constituents to remain intact and still workable, however, others could make “Our” ingredients ineffective and useless; or in the worse scenario, the case could be that they could change our formula and chemistry, yielding them to some toxic matters. Let’s not go too far… if you had taken some medications in the past and read the label and or perhaps the insert brochure within; or while you are watching TV, you see that you are being bombarded with medical commercials trying to persuade you to take certain medication; almost in all case, they warn you about interaction of many elements, which could be other medicines, supplements, or even certain innocent food, which could result in some adverse consequences.

    Does anyone know ALL the facts about Kombucha, and all related elements; or am I the only one being paranoid? Being cautious especially when we don’t have all the facts is part of the survival instinct. Adding and mixing different substances together requires thorough knowledge of ALL of the items mixed. Unless one is a master biochemist and have done thorough and scrupulous research about the structure and the make up of the “K”, one cannot just assume that it can handle any torture, abuse and maltreatments. Another example comes in mind, which in the old oriental culture some rules apply, which forbids combining and consuming certain food together, the “Ying & Yang” term. Also a religious basis in the Jewish religion, which they also have some rules to avoiding combination of some food together, such as dairy products and meat for example…

    The more you “Mess” with it; the more you’re going to mess it up! Just leave it alone and drink it as is. Don’t follow the patterns of the “commercialization” to try to make it more palatable. In the past, there was an expression saying” No medicine has to taste good”… well there they arrive and said “ We will make it good tasting! They went from medicines to food and/or anything that you put in your mouth. Whichever company makes it tastier; make more money…that’s the bottom line… money! Although you don’t really have to do anything to your tea, unless you really and confidently know what you are doing… most of us don’t… count me in it too. Few years back I could have done all the test under the sun, get wealth of information and hand them to you on the silver platter; but I don’t have that accessibilities any longer. So, to be safe; drink it as is! Love the one you are with; as the song says. Should you try to change your husband or wife or friend, you’re gonna break ’em and lose them; accept them of who they are! I ran out of more words; and cannot rephrase my statement any further!

    I would have some comments about addition of fruits, fresh, dried, and juices… coming up soon… the yes or no remark might confuse you!

    Above is just one person’s point of view, research on your own and obtain more info, the world is endless…

    Be informed & Be Healthy… Body & Mind
    submitted 1/21/08 1012 PM
    manooch22@netzero.net

  139. Erin Says:

    Hi there! Here’s my feedback on the mini-course:

    1. The coolest thing I learned was about the continuous brewing system–this made me realize that, even with two kids, work, and everything else in the world, brewing my own kombucha is not going to be much more involved than making my morning tea.

    2. I thought the style and format were easy to follow and made for fun reading. I appreciated having the glossary of terms in the first lesson.

    3. To make the course worth $19.95…a short instructional video would be nice, I suppose. It would be helpful to have a visual demonstration of what the brewing process and final product are supposed to look like, as well as what “kombucha gone bad” might look like.

    4. Final thoughts…I’m still a little unclear about testing the pH level. How important is it? How rapidly will the pH level change? Also, some more information on adding herbs or other supplements to the tea would be helpful…I am currently addicted to GT’s Kombucha with Spirulina, and would like to know how much green stuff to add to my tea. Finally, I’m a nursing mother…after I began drinking the GT’s stuff from my co-op, I went online and saw that pregnant and nursing women shouldn’t drink Kombucha, but never any real conclusive reasoning about why not. Is it just a question of caffeine? Or something more than that?

    Thanks very much!
    Good health and happiness to you all.
    Erin

  140. Helen Says:

    I have been using the continuous brewing method for a few months and was really getting into the groove when I ran into pH problems. I think a couple of things caused this. I was busy over the course of a couple of weeks and took tea out without replacing it very often. I wanted to know what level I’d gotten down to so I carefully removed the scoby (lots of cleaning everything – but not the scoby – with vinegar) from my pot and measured how much tea I had. After that I started trying to increase the amount by putting in a little more tea than I took each time (a method I used before successfully). Before my negligence the tea was around 3.3 (although as I look at my records it had been slowly creeping up for a while, maybe because I kept adding a little more than I took out?) Anyway, it’s now at 3.9 and it just keeps going up in tiny increments even though now I put in the sane amount I take out. What have I done!!?? How do I get the pH down? What exactly did I do to mess up the pH? Any advice? Thank you so much. I’m feeling glum and don’t have enough tea to drink…

  141. Michael Says:

    Why must we add “Stuff” into our tea?
    Why do we watch and follow the commercializations.
    Why aren’t we satisfy with our original tea?
    Do we hate the taste so much that we have to change it?
    Cherry flavored, this flaveored, that flavored… tired of them all!
    Are we changing for betterness?
    Are the taste change & flavor the only issues?
    Are we so fickle that we get tired of the same thing soon?
    Tired of your wives, husbands or friends; toss ’em out?
    Every day must be something new… same ol’ same ol’ …
    Are we insecure within us?
    Do we need more stimulation every minute?

    My Comment: Regardless of your yes or no answer; I believe the more you “Mess” with it; the more you are going to mess it up… Contamination is only one issue amongst many other elements. Even the dried herbs could have been infested by molds or bacteria, or even insect eggs; waiting for the opportunity to thrive… do you think that they are really “Sterile” … handling of the items, and your hands, touching them could be another issue… have you scrubbed as surgeons do prior to the surgeries? How about the additives on the surface of the items, which could alter the whole structure of your tea, rendering it even harmful… the list goes on & on… Am tire of hearing organic this, organic that; how about the way nature gives you “The plain Kombucha tea” with nothing added!! I call that form of tea “Organic”; when you get yourself involve, manipulate it, I would not call it organic any longer… Be consistant; and stick with it …
    Adding fruits; fresh, juice, or dried would be my next thought which I would share with the readers…Preview: NO; and I’ll tell you why along with pros & cons. You decide for yourselves…
    My motto from now on is going to be “DIP” … “Drink It Plain”
    Be informed & Be healthy… Body & Soul

    Submitted: 1/22/08 At: 7:42 PM Western Time
    Post Time might be different
    manooch22@netzero.net

  142. Michael Says:

    Another comment and personal opinion…
    ponder, consider, relay, or ignor
    Most causes of our problems and bodily discomforts with drinking of the KT are due to contaminations. Rashes, bacteria infections, and much more ill manifestations and reactions… Improper handling and not following all precautions to keep everything sterile, is the main culprit… Again and again, adding stuff is one main source of contamination! (Un – Sterile add Ins) Don’t call it organic if your finger touches any part of your culture… I would not drink it if you have touched it! We eat all kinds of dried fruits (Just an example), with all invisible insect eggs, molds and bacteria on them and nothing would happen to us!! Our marvelous system can handle all kinds of nasty stuff. Don’t compare us with the poor non- defensive Scoby. Scoby is unrelated to humans! Flies eat animal excretes and thrive. We are not flies. So, don’t eat what they eat! Every individual creature requires certain range of specific food, diet, and environment. Respect your pet Scoby and take good care of her…
    Later on, I would share of how to introduce nutrients into your brew in the sterile form and condition… everything is possible
    submitted 1/23/08 At 7:23 PM Western time. Post time differs!
    manooch22@netzero.net

  143. Michael Says:

    Another thought…
    Each one of us are different, our DNA, our body constitution, thought pattern, behavior, reactions etc etc. We react to different elements differently than others; the severity could be from non; to extremes. The purpose of my bringing this subject is that one must not blame and come to any definite conclusion that Scoby is the culprit. One may react adversely to just one of several components within the tea. Allergies are so complicated subject, that still many experts are puzzled and don’t have all the answers. One half an almond can bring my cousin to the most severe state of anaphylaxis, which he ought to be admitted to the hospital. At the same time his sister, or any other member of his family totally non – reactive, should they eat even pounds of almond. A bee sting, regardless of being a poison, can send some people to the emergency room, whereas others might just feel a local burning sensation. The severe reaction is not due to the introduction of a “Poison”, but the reaction to that very specific component and the body’s reaction to that foreign element. Anyway, find the facts and the whole truth, before rendering your verdict! Don’t hang Scoby up; she might not have done anything wrong, but your own sensitivity within your body could be the cause.
    Well, this had been my two bits of remark for the day…Be informed & Be healthy … Body & Soul …
    Submitted 10: 42 PM Western 1/23/08
    manooch22@netzero.net

  144. Michael Says:

    Unless I see some participants, perhaps some feedbacks, remarks or statements; I would halt my comments!
    I feel that I am the only person in an empty room, talking to myself… an echo might be even enlightening, which there is non…
    Best regards to whoever might be reading this note!

  145. Anonymous Says:

    Hello!

  146. Laura Says:

    Thank you for answering my question about anthrax. I recently removed the mother from the baby (scoby). Before I did that the scoby was a white and now after I moved the mom it has turned a little brownish. Is that normal, did I do the right thing by removing the mother? I have touched the scoby with my clean hands? should I be worried about contamination? Thanks

  147. Laura Says:

    I am a little confused about the ph of the scoby. Is it supposed to be lower than 2.5?

  148. pixiedust92117 Says:

    Hi! I got my continous brewing system. I was so excited I could have kissed my mail carrier. I was then really freaked out when I saw the box. One entire side was soaking wet and crumpled. I didnt know what I would find inside. My Kombucha concentrate had leaked. It is 90 percent gone. Can I order or get more concentrate? I didnt see anywhere on the site where I could order more.
    Thanks!

  149. Michael Says:

    The term “SCOBY” applies to the mass; the pancake looking, whitish, beige, or slight brownish mass, the bottom part of the scoby is normally darker than the top. Your descriptions seem fine to me, of course this subject is open to everyone with their remarks.
    The term “TEA” ; although is a wrong term, applies to the brew. Even herbal tea is not a correct term. Tea; the real McCoy; is that black tea from, which belongs to the particular family and nothing else ( Teace, if I am not mistaking). the other so called teas, mint, other herbs and all kinds of flowers etc etc, are just “Infusions” of those product. Even the word “Chai” is misused and to be used only in reference to the black tea and that’s how it is pronounced in the country of Iran (Old Persia) … should you go there and say “CHAI”; they’ll bring you black tea to drink!! well besides the point.
    The pH testing is done on the liquid of course, very low pH (High Acidity), or too vinegary and sour might even kill the beneficial organisms. Below the 2.5 that you mentioned might be too acid.
    Washing hands as the surgeons do is OK, the fingernails and all, and the very good rinse. Be sure to remove all rings, since no metals should be touching neither the Scoby, nor the brew.
    By the way the letter “H” in pH to be in cap letter referring to the hydrogen… no biggie… as long as we know what you mean, that’s the whole idea … even the sign language would do as long as we understand and communicate!
    manooch22@netzero.net

  150. Dianne Says:

    1) Are the tea bags you sell bleached or natural before filling?
    2) What type of spigot do you have? Does it have a gasket or any seal or other parts which need to be replaced.
    3) Would we have access to a resource for replacements?
    4) Is the spigot set up high enough so that the 20% or so of the K.T. automatically remains for the next batch?
    It would be nice to know if making just 1 or 2 gallons at a time would work just as well as 3, 4 or 5 gallons.
    5) How do you retrieve the beverage if you have little vinegar flies in the immediate area?
    I would think that they might swoop in and lay larvae during the transfer if you aren’t using a container for brewing and dispensing.
    6) Is S.C.O.B.Y. promounced: skoh bee — sku bee — ska bee?

  151. Jennifer Says:

    Keep on postin, Michael. I do very much enjoy your point of view. You seem quite knowledgable about things I don’t know anything about. Your posts add a richness to the blog. If you go, I’ll miss you.
    Jen

  152. Michael Says:

    Thanks for the complement Jen,

    It is nice to get feedbacks, no matter if they are positive or negative; either way my value remains intact, since one must know who they are … well, this site is not for philosophy, though sometimes it oozes out!

    To respect the site and coming back into the SCOBY issue; I have developed a method, in which it will reduce the acidity, without adding anything to the brew, and at the same time reducing the brew time, also for diabetics, a more appropriate drink … All & all following the procedure, which I cam up with… coming soon…

    Totally different subject… FYI: There are no living creatures “Swimming” in the brew… not a single bacterium, nor any sign of the presence of any type of the yeast… (In case of Scoby; ALL of the Probiotic bacteria and yeasts are non-motile and cannot swim) … it is PERFECTLY normal though. Later on, I would tell you why, and how this occurrence is normal and that’s the way to be; a part of the creating the culture. On the other hand, should you see any living organism swimming around, it would be due to the contamination, then, that’s the time that you should worry.

    Under the microscope, there are several amorphous crystals, of course along witn many ingredients in sluable form, which are beneficial. Look up in the Internet and learn about all the chemicals & ingredients in your brew …

    Be informed & Be healthy… Body & soul
    manooch22@netzero.net

  153. Debi Says:

    I have the continuous brew system. After bottling I checked on the SCOBY. The entire top of the brewing container was all SCOBY….the new one. The mother was exactly the same, only entirely covered by this huge mass. I carefully pulled them apart, the mother looks like she did the day I put her in and the baby, to me, looks fine……thinner, lighter in colour, with a few holes and huge. The baby’s texture is different, kind of rubbery. Is it okay or would that be classified as a mutant?

  154. Michael Says:

    A couple of pointers;

    ONE – When transferring your stored Scoby from the frig., trying to start a new batch of brew, it is advisable to let her get acclimated to almost exact temperature of your sugar + black tea solution. I personally put the Scoby, which of course has some brew along with it, in the same brew environment of cultivation to get warmed up, then I transfer the whole thing to the sugar& tea solution, which has been cooled down. The same thing applies when you buy some fish for your aquarium, you put the oxygenated bag into the aquarium, until there is an equilibrium, between the two environments, then you would release the fish into the tank… the same thing…

    TWO – The following two questions, were posted in the blog, from Dianne …( Item #152 in the blog), which the first one;
    (# 5) is not quite clear to me! Regarding to the answers #1 through # 4, I have no authority to answer them, and they specifically belong to Dave to address them…

    Here are the two questions from Dianne:
    5) How do you retrieve the beverage if you have little vinegar flies in the immediate area?
    I would think that they might swoop in and lay larvae during the transfer if you aren’t using a container for brewing and dispensing.
    6) Is S.C.O.B.Y. promounced: skoh bee — sku bee — ska bee?

    RE: question #5: The questions are confusing to me…How would they “Swoop in” if the jar has the breathable cloth on top, which only would allow the air to get in not the bugs… the word “Transfer” here, is also confusing to me… transfer from where to what? … and finally, the third unclear question; not using a container for brewing and dispensing! I wonder in what condition, one can brew and / or dispense WITHOUT using a “container”! I thought whatever is holding something IS called “Container” … forgive my ignorance…sorry; just have no answer!

    Answer to the question # 6 : Though it is the abbreviations of five words it has become ONE name, and no periods needed after each letter; same as FEMA, or many other names arriving from several abbreviated words. My comment: As the word SCORE ; and the word BEE; I pronounce it SCO- BEE, phonetically; SKOBEE; but there is no rule! As long as we can communicate and know what we are referring to; that’s all it counts!

    manooch22@netzero.net

  155. Grrrrdad@aol.com Says:

    Hello: I take coumadin read on a web site that I should’nt drink kt anybody else heard that also?

  156. Janae Says:

    Hi. First of all, I love Michael’s comments. Very informative and specific. Thanks and keep them coming.

    Next I had a few questions about the products.
    1. can you use the heating mat with the porcelin continuous system? Have you tried putting the mat between the crock and the stand? Does it still work without damaging the mat?
    2. Does the mat have several heat settings? What if ambient room temp. is too cold, but the mat makes it too hot?
    3. I already have supplies to make kombucha tea, but I am interested in your “Advanced brewing techniques, instructions, and recipes” documents. Can I purchase them separately?
    4. Is a porcelain dispenser the same as a ceramic one? Do you still have to worry about the lead problem, or leaching out other stuff into the tea? I notice that one of the continuous systems sold on the site is porcelain.
    Thanks for your help.
    I have already signed up for your 7 day class and newsletter. It’s great so far.

  157. Janae Says:

    Oh, one more question…. is it safe for kids to drink K-tea? My daughter is 6…. if it IS safe, what amount would be best for a little person?

  158. Ramblin Says:

    I never did received lessons # 6 & 7, Dave you told me to go to this page to tell you. So here I am. Could you send them to me.
    Thanks Ramblin

  159. Michael Says:

    Thanks for the complement, Janae… I only have the answer to one of your questions; the rest of your questions are Dave’s, and about the material, which he provides to the public.

    Porcelain containers though are thought to be of clay or ceramic; in reality they are metals mainly iron, which are coated with glass melted and baked on. The word “Enamel” is also another name for this type of dishes. One must be careful though to not “Chip” them by accidentally hitting them. The glass coating would crack and eventually, the metal beneath, get exposed, consequently the sign of rust would appear. Many bathtubs and sinks are called cast iron porcelain, which are very durable and can take more abuse than thin-coated porcelain dishes and containers, though they still can chip and rust. As you know the brew must not touch any metal. As long as the containers are not chipped you would be in good hands.

    Any tool or equipment that can provide heat, could potentially be dangerous, no matter who makes it or sells it. Heating pads, electric blankets, etc. with all different settings come with a long brochure of Dos and Don’ts. Follow the rules, use a glass accurate thermometer and keep the temperature constant at the optimum degree… some might disagree with me… upon my own findings, the optimum temperature is 86 degree F; or 30 degrees C . One must be very careful, as this temperature is critical and a few degrees higher could be damaging, however, adversely, several degrees lower, would not be harmful to Scoby. That’s why my own built incubator is very constant in temperature.

    If for sure you cannot maintain that temperature, to be safe, brew your tea under 80 degrees. Expect the Scoby’s growth to be slow and somewhat thin, the fermentation would also be slow, and it would take a longer time to have Daughter/ Baby Scoby…

    Be informed & Healthy Body & Soul
    manooch22@netzero.net

  160. Charles Says:

    Dave after completing your course in early Dec. I brewed 2 batches following your instructions they turned out perfectly I can’t thank you enough also I went to Harvest Foods and bought a bottle of GT’s I like mine better

  161. Janae Says:

    Michael,
    you said you made your own incubator???? I have been trying to figure out how to do that. I make yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented products, but in the winter, they never turn out right. Can you give me some direction on how to make an incubator for my concoctions? I would appreciate it so much. I’ve been worried about how to keep my K-tea at a constant temperature.
    Thanks
    Janae

  162. Janae Says:

    Does anyone know if K-tea is safe for young kids?

  163. Michael Says:

    Response to Janae

    Thanks for showing interest regarding the “Incubator”. It is difficult to explain it here, and also it is beyond the scope of this site. It almost requires the actual visual procedure, or explaining it direcly over the unit itself. Should you visit Oregon, look me up!

    I also make my own dried fruits and yogurt, and they ALWAYS turn perfect, even better than the ones sold in stores. The consistency and the taste of yogurt incomparable!

    The yogurt temp. must be 39-41 degrees C … the K.Tea to be 30 C (Both temps. very critical) lower temp for KT would be safer, if you cannot calibrate the temp … and finally the dried fruit prep. 54C (Not critical)

    Here is the simple calculation and conversion:
    (F-32)X5/9=C 9/5C+32=F

    Be informed & Healthy Body & Soul
    manooch22@netzero.net

    PS: Though I could have some opinions on K.T. consumption by kids, but one, even a medical doctor might be hesitant to respond… it sometimes becomes tricky… as you have seen in my past remarks; I don’t speak of anything, should it be involved with “Medical Practice” ; Many sites offer advices, though, but I think you have to become a member… not sure…

  164. Charles Says:

    Hey Dave what do you call a mushroom who buys everybody in a bar a drink? a real Fungi

  165. Michael Says:

    A handy tip … Tea storage in the frig.

    I use olive oil in my cooking, and when the jars are empty, I clean and rinse them up real well for the storage of the tea. I find them to be very handy and useful; Here are my own reasons, though yours might be different:

    1 – Most jars are square, and take less room. (Vs. round)

    2 – Each has plastic lip for easy “Pouring”, and plastic liner inside the lid, though the lid itself is aluminum. You can remove and discard the lip, for easy filling; still the lid fits right against the glass lip.

    3 – For my use, the volume, being one-liter size, also the proper height, which fit just right in the frig.

    4 – They are sort of pretty, and should you have several of them, the uniformity is pleasing.

    5 – They are clear bottles, and you can see the contents. (You can detect contamination should they become cloudy, etc.)

    6 – One gallon of your tea can fill 3+ bottles… say 3; because you have to keep some tea, along with the Scoby anyway, for the future use and the next cultivation.

    Keep brain storming; it is good for you! For starter; be analytical… Poke into issues… you might find gold, or GOD…
    PS: I don’t touch two things 1 – “Religion”, nor 2 – “Politics”; the end results had not been so good! Well, I thought since I have the floor, practice some filibuster!! Thanks for the listening though!
    manooch22@netzero.net

  166. Laura Says:

    CHAI is the BEST TASTING Kombucha, in our opinion….

    We use 5 black tea bags and 2 Chai tea bags per gallon, and everyone who has tasted it, loves it!
    Gives it a nice spicy flavor — so refreshing!

    Anyone else use chai tea?

  167. Michael Says:

    CHAI Subject…

    In the Middle East; to be more exact, in the country of Iran (Old Persia); the word “CHAI” means “TEA” … with the very very exact pronunciation!!!

    Should you go there and say “CHAI”, they would bring you tea.

    One must look at the label to see what exactly is in the bag of so-called “CHAI”… just black tea? May be with some sprayed on “bergamot” fragrance such as in the English Tweenings?
    manooch22@netzero.net

  168. Michael Says:

    Me again!
    Water water everywhere… pointer to ponder…

    For those who are not on the city water and on the well water; under NO circumstance use that water for your brewing the tea!

    Well water, not only might harm you; for sure the defenseless Scoby can be badly affected!

    REASON: With the usage of so many different herbicides and pesticides, which almost all of them are “Water Soluble”; and the entire hundreds of gallons of the poisons that are sprayed around, would go into the earth, consequently into the underground water. Do not believe those who tell you that the earth / dirt / soil has the property of filtration. Keep in mind that “Suspensions”; contrary to the “Solutions”; which go right through and into the ground water; react differently, and to some degree they could be stopped by dirt and not going through the soil totally. (Suspension vs. Solution)!

    Neither drink the well water, nor use it in cooking and /or for consumption… I don’t mean to scare you, but should you read the labels on those poisons, many of them warn you about skin contacts… I would leave the conclusion to you… while taking a shower, if you are hooked up to the well water; keep me in mind and remember who told you what! You would be using a diluted form of poison, which you ought not let it to come in contact with your skin.

    A double edge sword: Your Scoby is no match for plants, nor bugs and can die much more readily from the poisons applied to plants, insects, etc. etc. You can purchase another Scoby to replace the dead, but when you die by drinking the poison tea, you are not replaceable!

    Be consistent… organic this, organic that… I can go on & on… judge for yourself!
    manooch22@netzero,net

    • Mark Says:

      What makes well water any worse than city water? Reservoirs get chemicals directly, and it isn’t limited to pesticides and herbicides! and the only thing treatment plants do is filter it to a certain level, adjust pH, and add chlorine. Plus many bottled waters come right out of the tap.

      You are spreading garbage about well water as many wells will be tapping aquifers which are deep enough to have long filtered out any chemicals, but will contain higher concentrations of minerals.

  169. Francois Says:

    i love KT, but get a lot of way too much intestinal gaz from it…… what can i do?
    thank you……

  170. Michael Says:

    No two DNA s are alike and each one of us in many ways could be different than the others…

    Regarding the above question ( #171) … everyone might react differently; some might get a “ DEEZY SPELL ” by taking some medications, and the others might get “ GAZ SPELL ” by taking K.T. … Could it be due to the “ SOFTWARE ISSUE ” ? As you know, the entire inside of our body is made of ” SOFT ” tissues!! Sometimes in a matter of a “ CLICK ” , most “ Software ” problems can be fixed!!

    PS:
    1 – No one to dwell on this subject, nor to follow this path… since they might get stranded!
    2 – Some get jokes immediately; but some; start giggling at the church, though they have heard it on Thursday!! … And; some of us get giggles at the other people’s cost, which normally it happens to be the case!!!

  171. Ashley Says:

    Dave,
    I’m a bit confused. Are you endorsing this book? What exactly is it? I don’t really want to spend that much money on a book I do not know anything about. Also, I drink Kombucha everyday, eat organic vegan whole foods, and mostly raw. Do I really need this book? Please help me to understand more about this email you sent. I am always facinated to learn more about how I can improve my health.

  172. Michael Says:

    If you don’t want to spend ” that much money”, I’m quoting you… Almost all libraries have most books, should they not have them, they can order it for you from the other branches etc. You won’t be spending a dime borrowing it… get info, if you like it, and it is worth it, then buy it from bookstores…

    As the proverb says: There are many ways to skin a cat!
    Many ways to accomplish one specific task … tunnel vision; seeing one thing, only one way, one direction, or one point… don’t be one … broaden your horizon … Speaking of tunnel vision; you don’t know if the light at the end of the tunnel is “Daylight”, or a locomotive coming at you!!! So, libraries could be the possible solution in this case… “Date” a book, before marrying it! Borrow it … Buy it then, if you like it…
    Just trying to help, that’s all…

    PS: Dave probably would answer you personally… this is only “ONE” person’s point of view. Before knowing you; and knowing anything about the book that you spoke of; I am sure; there would be something in the book that you do not know already. You spoke of “NEEDING” the book… you might. Just because you do this or that, eating this way or that way, you can’t disqualify anything, including the book. I understand you have put your statement in a question form that if you need a book, or not… just wanted to clarify my position here, to avoid possible misunderstandings.
    manooch22@netzero.net

  173. ashley Says:

    hi,
    Well I just got done bottling our first batch yesterday. Second one is in the making. Drank some today and it wasn’t as effervescent as I would have liked. That comes with more time? It “brewed” 10 days and I bottled on the 11th and drank on the 12th.
    ashley

  174. Michael,
    Thanks so much for all the really helpful information that you post on this blog. You have brought up the danger of growth of anaerobic bacteria if the Kambucha cannot breathe. Please discuss this in regard to bottling the brew. Here are some different points of view that I have read:

    1/ Dave suggests that we leave the capped bottles out of the fridge for the second fermentation for a number of days, until the fizz suits us. Obviously, he has never had a problem with development of anaerobic bacteria.

    2/ Another site said to leave the lids loose while doing the second fermentation – but then the fizz wouldn’t develop. But maybe it would let in enough O2 to make the brew safe.

    3/ Another place it was suggested to use lids with rubber gaskets, to let some carbonation out during the second fermentation – so that the glass bottles wouldn’t burst. Maybe this would also let in enough O2 to make the brew safe?

    4. Another place directed the brewer to place the bottles in the fridge as soon as they are filled. Perhaps to avoid development of anaerobic bacteria? (They didn’t give the reason.)

    Do you do a second fermentation before refrigerating the bottles? If so, how do you handle this issue?

    Thanks so much, Carroll

  175. Michael Says:

    Thanks Carroll, for the complements. Though a few items in your posted issues were ambiguous to me, I would try to the best of my imagination to respond as much as I am able to!
    (The repeated term, “Second Fermentation” = next fermentation? Or on Q#3 to use the lids with rubber gaskets; letting the carbonation out? Glass bottle would not burst? Letting the oxygen in?… are you talking about the fermentation jar or container, or the storage bottles… Anyway here they are:

    For the purpose of more explicit explanations; the following facts, remarks, and/or answers, randomly have been placed in different paragraphs, though they might be closely related, yet not the same… all of which fall under the subject of Kombucha.

    Please note that all of the following are my very own opinions, and in no way or manner, I advocate them to the others to follow my path, though I would try to substantiate my comments by consolidating my background knowledge, validations, examples, logics, or perhaps common sense.

    1 – Scoby consists of a great mass made of millions of two categories of several types of bacteria / bacilli, conjugating and living along together with yeasts? They are all stuck together as ONE unit, “Colony” !! (The letter C, in Scoby, stands for Colony). There are aerobes (Requiring Oxygen), also anaerobes (Can live without the presence of oxygen).

    2 -My motto: Two Environments Only”. I personally, either keep the brew at the optimum temperature, until the brew is completed, or it immediately goes to the frig to maintain its structure as it came out the cultivation, and to preserve and prevent spoilage. In my book, there would be NO in between “Pit Stop” or room temperature for anyreasn whatsoever including possible fizz increase./.. I am not comfortable doing so… the fizz remains the same for long time in the frig, though I leave the bottle’s lid not tight. To so – called increasing the fizz, keeping the bottles at room temperature, I would be trading the fizz with my health, and is not worth it!
    Be Safe: Pour the brew, in a glass, add some soda / Seltzer water into it and drink. Sparkling wines are made that way anyway… they are NOT Champagne, with the natural fermentation, but often, one cannot tell the difference, unless you are connoisseur.
    If you are a biochemist; I chakkenge you to test the gasses formed and produced at room temperature, then tell me what your findings were, besides the CO2 gas!! Good Luck!

    3 -Room temperature, either with the lids on or not, might cause putrefaction, which is the decomposition of some elements and organic matters, even the small lose pieces of Scoby can develop the rotten odors. The formation of gasses, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, methane, along with toxic substances called “Ptomaines”. You would not leave meat, milk, or any food at room temperature … do you? How often have you heard of food poisoning at picnics or elsewhere? Any organic matter can potentially be vulnerable to contamination and turn dangerous at room temperature unless they are 100% in dry state. Even slightest moisture, might cause havoc. You cannot see the “Moisture” , but the molds and bacteria can! They are opportunists, and waiting!

    4 -Speaking of the culture temperature, though I have spoken about it in the past; for Scoby, the “Optimum Temp” of 86 degrees F; is the “Happy Temp”. Unless for sure, you can control this temperature and keep it constant at all times, then settle for the “Comfortable Temp”, since the slight deviation towards the higher temp. would not be healthy for her, yet at the lower temp. of 70s and some moderate variations of ups & downs in temperatures, she can survive and sort of can “Put Up” with it, but not functioning her best, as she would; under optimum environment, with the result of sooner brew completion, faster growth and producing babies, and further, very slightly less chance and possibilities of contaminations. (The CO2 lingers around less at the higher temp, though might not be very noticeable)

    5 – The brew preparation requires air, that’s why you must NOT cover the lid tight, and cover the jar’s opening with a breathable cloth. Leave the rest to the Scoby herself, which would decide where, when and how to develop and treat her anaerobes, and aerobes in just perfect setting and environment. (She knows how… she is a mom!!)… although Scoby does not contain chlorophyll, and does not fall under the chloroplasts, theoretically, cannot utilize light; some believe that she needs some light…I do not recommend the direct sunlight due to the ultraviolet rays, burning the Scoby ( Glass is some protection)

    6 – Although most anaerobes are pathogenic, yet in case of Scoby they are not. Should you oxygenate the solution, you might kill those bacteria/bacilli. The underneath part of Scoby, there they live mostly the anaerobes, after all there is enough CO2, to deplete the oxygen in the solution to help them flourish, on the other hand, the top part mostly aerobes.

    7 – When transferring the Scoby to make a new batch, onto your sugar/tea solution; be sure to leave the top part of the Scoby at the upward position and the bottom part, at the same position as you picked her up. The top is normally lighter color than the underneath part.

    8 – NO part of the Scoby is “Motile” (They do not swim around)that’s why the solution would, and MUST remain CLEAR. A cloudy or turbid tea, IS the sign of contamination, since no part of the Scoby would be swimming around and would not enter the tea solution (Some broken off strands, which eventually sink, are normal.) Discard, the tea, and probably the contaminated Scoby. Washing the Scoby itself thoroughly, might, just might get rid of the surface contamination but you might not get into all crevices totally clean. Start a new batch with the “Washed Scoby”; if you see again the cloudiness, there would be no hope for the Scoby, and you must discard her and not continue the process any further. You have lost her forever!

    9 – In case of home canning of pickles, green beans, etc., often, the low acidity in combination with improper sterilization, the botulism, an anaerobic organism can thrive. After development of those bacilli in the jar, even if you oxygenate it afterwards, which would kill the organism, unfortunately, the dead bodies contain the toxin, along with the toxin that they have already secreted out into the food from their bodies, which would be fatal.

    10 – The fizz (CO2 gas) can be preserved under refrigeration, and can escape when in a warm surrounding.

    11 – Refrigeration, slows down the growth of bacteria, and as the result, to some degree prevents the spoilage, aerobes or anaerobes, no difference. It is not by any means the avoidance of growth … it is the retardant issue. Freezing, total dryness, and/or extreme heat can stop the growth. (Adverse environmental conditions such as extreme high salt content, can halt the growth too)

    12 – The last question, though not very clear, I’ll try to respond to the best of my understanding! Whenever I decide, that it is the time to discontinue the brew, I just transfer the Scoby from the completed batch to the newly prepared sugar/tea solution. If I believe that I have enough prepared brew to last me for sometime, then I refrigerate the Scoby along with a few cups of the brewed tea and refrigerate, until I am ready for the new batch. In any of the above two cases, be sure that the temperature of the two environments are the same, in order not to give the Scoby a “Shock”.

    This end up to be the longest text of mine in this blog!
    Don’t get used to it though!

    Be Informed & Be Healthy … Body & Soul
    Submitted At: 2/1/08; 9:57 PM; Posting, different!
    manooch22@netzero.net

  176. fred Says:

    much like questions 63 and 78 as a recovering alcoholic would like to know if there is a way of making the drink to eliminate the alcohol don’t want to break my sobriety. i didn’t see an answer to this from the other questions
    emaho

  177. Michael Says:

    Reply to Fred; Item 178:

    Due to the several ramifications, and often the involvement with the “Law”, it would be difficult to get any answers to some “Touchy” subjects and / or medical issues. I empathize with you, and wish you luck getting an answer to your question. Here are some facts and personal points of view, which you can incorporate into your research, coming to some conclusions; making your final decision. (Wish you the Best)

    1 – As I hear, there are negligible amount of alcohol present in the Kombucha brew, although I understand your position that you must not have “ANY”! I admire your diligence and stance in this matter.

    2 – As you know, in the wine industry, should they continue the fermentation, the Alcohol would turn into Vinegar. The reason I brought up this subject is that you can continue fermenting until ALL of the alcohol turn into acid. Obviously, it would be more sour; since along with alcohol depletion, at the same time you have depleted the sugar and glucose! (Remember that in the above scenario, all of the tart and vinegary taste; used to be the alcohol!!… something to think about!) (Sugar to Glucose; to alcohol; to Aldehydes; to Ketones; to Alcohol; to Acid… that’s where it ends. … this is the process)

    3 – A chemistry lesson: All artificial aromatic “EXTRACTS”, which used in food industry, such as rum, brandy, banana, butter etc etc, are “ESTERS” (Some natural ones such as orange mint etc) , which they also are esters … combing different alcohols with different acids. Those esters ironically are mixed with alcohol to increase the volume for the public usage! The possible presence of small amount of alcohol in the brew, along with the acetic acid, in theory; would yield to esters, and sort of converting it to a different substance; not alcohol any longer.

    4 – Heating up the brew, readily evaporates the volatile elements such as alcohol. Though in the process, you might destroy some beneficial ingredients.

    5 – Obtain a breathalyzer – invert a funnel over a narrow pan – heat some brew – measure the presence of alcohol via the matters that comes out. Unless you have access to a laboratory (Toxicology Lab in all hospital’s labs), they can measure the very exact concentration of the alcohol in the brew.

    Even if the above could not serve your purpose, at least I shed some light into it, and possibly have increased some knowledge! Again; keep it up and never quit… it requires strength, which you do possess… am proud of you!

    Submitted At: 2/2/08 5PM Post time differs!
    Be Infomed & Be Healthy … Mind & Soul
    manooch22@netzer.net

  178. Michael,
    Thanks so very much for all I learned from your longest blog yet. I am most grateful and feel much safer in my brewing, now. Carroll

  179. Jegajothy Says:

    I am new to Kombucha tea. Can I buy anywhere already brewed K tea in a bottle to sample. Thanks.

  180. Deborah Says:

    I’ve cultured Kombucha before — for a couple of years I kept it going. I recall back then that SOMEONE I knew (I wish I remembered who it was!) mentioned they were going to retire a big, developed culture by having it for dinner that night. They were going to grill it. Have you ever heard of this? Have you done it? If so, what is it like?

    thanks,
    Dr. Deborah

  181. Michael,
    I would very much like to build a “fermenter” ( like the one you have) where you place your brewer or other food that you are fermenting – where you can keep the temperature constant.

    I also live in Oregon – in Corvallis – and would travel to come and see how to build it. Would you be willing to show me?

    Thanks so much, Carroll

  182. Michael Says:

    Response to Carroll,

    The unit, which I made for the incubation, requires “Know How”, however am willing to share and show the way. I live in East and suburb of Gresham, not too far from you.

    I always mention my email address at the end of each text when I poste them. It would be easier, should you direct your inquirties through such address… Thanks for showing interest…

    As usual; Be informed & be Healthy
    manooch22@netzero.net

  183. Michael Says:

    RE: Feedback on item 182; posted by Deborah

    In some part of the Africa, some tribes mix the cow’s blood with the milk and drink that concoction; though they don’t kill her for the meat, nor bleed her to death, yet they use her periodically, maintaining her health and their own… a source of food. Scoby is like the cow, which provides us with the “Good Stuff”, which she emits, and we drink it as a brew. She would provide us with years of service, if we let her, but we don’t kill her!

    One can do anything to her, she would not and cannot resist anyway… eat, rub, insert, throw, cook, puree, add to the food, make an ointment, dressing, or use it as a Frisbee, or dry her up and use it as a wall decoration, or smoke it for that matter, hoping to get high; and they can call it Party or whatever they want to call their action… Oh, don’t forget the candlelight and champagne!! I would not get surprised, even if I see, one walks upside down… there are all kinds of people around… to each its own! It is a crazy world… have a good Scoby Steak… rare might be ideal… for a few moments though, being alive in the stomach she might for still for awhile continue to be
    beneficial… enjoy !! Being facetious!

    manooch22@netzero.net

  184. cf Says:

    Hey there

    I am wondering if there is a heat that is TOO high for kombucha?

    if it gets to 140 will it die?? how hot is too hot, i mean it wasn’t boiling but that is pretty darn hot right?

    I was using a heating pad that I think ended up being too hot for the baby and now i am worried that I killed the poor culture.

    Thanks for the help

    -Cf

  185. Michael Says:

    RE: # 186; The temp.

    140 degrees is WAY TOO HOT! Your water heater’s temperature is around 128; just to give you an idea! You have probably lost the Scoby! Soup is ready now!

    Upper 70s; many people use that temp. (Slower growth and production).

    The optimum temp, (in my opinion) is 86; (30 degrees C) that is if you don’t let it go any higher and to keep it constant, otherwise be safe at 70s, which in such case, the slight variations would not harm.

    manooch22@netzero.net

  186. Sharon Says:

    I am new to this and have ordered but not yet received the CBS. I can’t wait!!
    I’ve noticed that ALOT of the questions asked, don’t get answered…unless Michael answers them…which isn’t fair to Michael. However, I’m sure I will have lots of questions within the next couple of weeks…especially when I start my brew, hope someone will help.

    I began drinking KT two weeks ago. I’ve noticed more morning energy, more energy throughout the day, I sleep better and have more productive BM’s. I feel great!

    MICHAEL, if I understand correctly, you brew until it is exactly the way you want it… then bottle… immediatly frig… then drink when cold?

    When brewing the second batch and on…since we are not removing the scoby, how do we add the fresh tea to the container with the scoby in it? Just pour it on top?

    What all kinds of tea can be used AND what kinds produce the best flavor?

    DAVE, when using the heat pad with your ceramic brewer with the stand, how do you incorporate these together? I’ve seen this question many times and have yet to see an answer. I’ve ordered both and really need to know the answer. The room is colder where I will be brewing.

    Thanks to all for any help you can give. Wish me luck next week! Blessings, Sharon
    sharonsteiner@hotmail.com

  187. Sharon Says:

    Oh, one more thing Michael,

    I’m a little confused. You don’t leave the bottles capped on the counter why? You said the bad bac don’t need oxygen and it worries you. But why aren’t you worried about the bas bac in the brewing tea? Why only once it’s capped? Does this have something to do with taking it from the scoby, THEN leaving unrefrigerated? Thanks again, Sharon

  188. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 188 Posted by Sharon
    Feedback to Sharon

    To be honest, should I feel that I have the answer, or perhaps just have a related comment or opinion about the subject, I really don’t mind to express them. As in the “BLOG”, anyone can pop in and state their views. It is, sort of a “Round Table Forum”, which anyone can participate and discuss certain matters and issues. No person, or their remarks would be rejected. All treated with total respected and no one would be judged, no matter how weird their inputs might sound. All comments; bizarre, impractical, unusual etc etc are welcomed. Everyone would be brainstorming, and they know for sure that no one would laugh at them, no matter what…at these forums; the surroundings and the environment are very friendly and comfortable. Many companies in production business have a few of these type of meetings every year with employees, for the purpose of the improvement of their products … they cherish whatsoever, any types of feedbacks. Believe me, it works! Remember that everyone in such gatherings would still be on the clock, and would get paid for their partaking and the time spent!

    Before I go too far on the tangent, which I often have the tendency to do so, I better slow down. However, I know myself that I always would come back to the main topic. This trait of “Wondering Off”; by no means is the avoidance of the subject, though I am quite capable to abuse, and go filibuster, though it is my “CHOICE” here not to do so! So, the bottom line is, that I enjoy sharing… not just the thought, but in many other aspects of life… it requires a few personality attributes, such as having genuine generosity, having the absence of envy etc.! Some cannot see and tolerate others above them, either in rank, finance, position, knowledge etc etc. Well, enough for the philosophy; and back to the issues!

    Here are some topics, in random order:

    I always discontinue the brew, whenever I find it to be the appropriate point, and at the same time, suitable to my palate; considering, incorporating, and keeping in mind the flowing factors and others: (The amount of the able sugar, and the absence of, within the brew; the level of the acidity; and the fizz factor). ALL of which are controllable, and later on, whenever the opportunity permits, I would explain and share how one can control any or all of these factors. Right now, the text is already becoming long.

    Remember the term that I used in the past? The “Two Step” only? The brew process, and the refrigeration process… no in between!! I am strictly against leaving the brew/ tea at the room temperature; no matter if the bottles are capped or not capped, tight or lose! The prepared brew must be refrigerated right after the completion of the brewing process. I remember bringing the subject of; leaving meat, dairy and other food at the room temperature. I mentioned the food poisoning at the picnics etc etc. The term: “ Refrigerate after opening”… How often do you see this warning on the food jars? And why? The brew IS EXPOSED to the air in the process of being transferred into the different containers or jars… to me, it is the same as “Opened Jar”!

    About the lid issue: Should you keep the lids tight, the possibility of the carbonation, causing explosion would be very minimal, especially under refrigeration. There is not just enough pressure in there! Should you worry about the rare incidental explosions, tighten the lid, and then just a tad, and barely noticeably, turn it counter clockwise. Remember to keep the bottles cold (38 to 42 F).

    The Fizz issue: (Some individuals keep their brew on the counter and at he room temperature in order to “Produce More Fizz”…a no no no … not my style, and personally I do not advocate. If you happen to be a biochemist and bacteriologist, test the brew and see “WHAT” is the culprit, causing the “Gasses”! A dead rotten animal, or a marshy land can also form gasses…and in a solution form it “Looks” like fizz). In the brew there are so many organic elements, which some could be delicate, and some tougher. Any organic matter, given time and proper condition can be broken down, deteriorate and cause putrefaction, as the result produce “Gasses”.
    Here, I am running out of the reasons and examples to persuade… the final decision is up to the readers… while in the emergency room; remember one name: “Michael” … You want fizz, just add soda / seltzer water to your glass of cold K.T. … How hard is that? At least you know what causes the fizz … a clean and pure carbon dioxide.

    Here are Some Random Facts:
    Fact 1 – Capping the bottles tight; might provide a suitable environment and atmosphere for the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which most of them are pathogens, anthrax, brutalism, just a couple examples…This scenario is ONLY applicable, when there exists the bacteria in the tea to begin with. No bacteria can jump from outside into the bottle through the glass!!
    (Remember that the Scoby herself, along with yeasts; contains several anaerobes, and aerobes, all of which are beneficial, and each has a specific role in producing a very specific elements… read ALL the ingredients in the K.T. on the web)

    Fact 2 – Leaving the bottles uncapped, and at the room temperature, the brew becomes very susceptible to the growth of many kinds of molds and bacteria, most of which aerobes, however, regardless of the type of contamination, would you want to consume a contaminated drink anyway? Experiment with a glassful of the brew exposed at the room temp, give it time, and see the destiny of such tea! Ugly!

    Fact 3 – Refrigeration, may halt, or SLOW down the growth of the organisms, but won’t inhibit. Freezing, boiling, adding preservatives, pasteurization and radiation would, but some of the methods would have adverse results. A lengthy topic.

    Fact 4 – ANY foreign bodies, organisms; bacteria, good or bad; aerobic or anaerobic, OTHER THAN the ones, which are already PART of the Scoby; have ABSOLUTELY, and under NO circumstance, have ANY business to be present in our brew. It is the contamination in my book… no matter what; the oxygen loving, or otherwise! That’s why you must work under the total sterile condition, while preparing and initiating your brew process, to not allow anything else to enter your culture… it concerns me of course!
    Remember … it is our own doing, and our negligence and carelessness, should our K.T. become contaminated! Organisms are opportunists, and waiting for the right condition, and at the right time!

    Some thoughts:
    I am against the “CREATING” the flavored K.T.! Plain Lipton tea is just fine, which is essential part of the brewing ingredient. It is NOT meant to flavor the brew. Remember one fact that after 7-10 days of the brewing and under the temperatures of 70 – 80; believe me, ANY and ALL the flavors, should they be present to begin with; would dissipate and evaporate! Aromatics are all volatile essences, which evaporate upon passage of time and introduction of the heat. For the sake of flavor; don’t add anything into the “Brew”, while in the process, it could cause contamination. You don’t know how and where those aromatic additives have been prepared … In my opinion; it is not worth it! JUST ADD FLAVORS AFTERWARDS IN YOUR COLD GLASS OF TEA FROM THE REFRIGERATOR! Bergamot essence is my choice. (One 1 OZ. bottles can last months or years…some health food stores might carry it) Just one drop into one liter of the K.T., would do wonders. English Twinning tea has such fragrance, sprayed over the tealeaves and packed. (Buy the bulk tea from India, Iran, or Russia and add your own bergamot extract… there you get yourself “English Twinning” and with one-third of the price. England gets all their teas from India anyway!)

    Though there are several different ways of initiating the new batch. (Some call it the “Second Batch”… the word second throws me off. How about the “Next” or “New” batch instead.) One way is the pouring, removing and separating the tea from the Scoby by tilting the jar. This is one of several steps to get ready for brewing a new batch. Your sugar water solution would not harm the Scoby, should you pour it on the top of her, she might go under first, but she would come up to the surface later on. Another way to the above method is to transfer the Scoby onto the top of the sugar/ tea solution; using a sterile non-metallic utensil or spoon or your surgically cleaned hand.
    Be extremely careful of the temperature of the sugar solutions and the brew though. Both solutions must be at the same temperature. Don’t shock her! For the same reason, in the case of the introduction of the newly purchased goldfish, which you must get the bag, and the fish inside it into the tank, in order for the fish to get acclimated to the tank’s temperature, before letting them lose to enter into the tank.

    A word of wisdom: Don’t mess with the Scoby and the brew, WHILE in the process of progression, fermentation and cultivation! However, AFTER the brewing process and refrigeration, you can add almost anything that you want to, to your cold glass of K.T. for the purpose of the enhancement of the taste, flavor and / or aroma! Be Safe… Be Happy…

    Use common sense, investigate, incorporate knowledge, decide and act, based on the outcome… Best wishes

    Be informed & Healthy… Body & Soul
    Submitted 2/9/08 At: 2:50 PM; Post Time differs!
    manooch22@netzero.net

  189. Sharon Says:

    Thank you so much for your response.
    You must be a fast typer. It would take me two days to get all that out! 🙂

    A friend of mine just made me some tea. Brewed 6-7 days. I bottled it and left it on my counter 3 days (before I read your blogs) and after refrigeration, there still is absolutly no fizz and its too sweet for me. Honestly, it taste horrible. I think it may have something to do with the teas she used( green tea and some kinda bark…). It produces reddish/pink tea. Now I gotta go buy more while I wait for my brewer cause theres just a taste present that I cant handle! My husband thought it was ok. Blaaaa!

    As far as flavor on my future teas, you say it is ok to add flavors (100% juices, fresh fruits, ginger etc… )to each individule glass after youve refrigerated, as you drink it?

    Also, Just courious, Is there a way to get the ‘fizzy’ without leaving it on the counter-top unrefrigerated? Perhaps by letting it brew longer? I love the fizz the GT K-teas have but after I start brewing my own, I’m not spending that kind of money on them anymore! I do like the fizz and flavors though.

    Thank you again for sharing your knowledge. Any and all info you think might help me be sucessful is helpful.

    Best regards, Sharon

  190. Dianne Says:

    Michael –
    Ref #152 from me + #156 from you.
    Sorry for the confusion of describing the container.
    “How do you retrieve the beverage if you have little vinegar flies in the immediate area?
    I would think that they might swoop in and lay larvae during the transfer if you aren’t using a container for brewing and dispensing.”
    The “container brewing and dispensing” such as a Continuous Brewing System vs an open wide mouth jar – covering during the brewing time.

    At some point, you have to add the new sweet tea and additional water… taking off the breathable cover to pour in the large amount of liquid. I need to use a ladle to pick up the liquid from the brew and put in over a sterilized funnel into one of G.T. Dave’s glass container. So, filling 5-6 bottles leaves the open mouth available for a brief amount of time. Conceivably a rogue vinegar fly could swoop in and leave larvae or become trapped in the liquid. Additionally, I have the already cooled new sweet tea which I need to add at about 2 -4 cups at a time. My wrist can’t hand much weight and pouring from a large container isn’t under control – I am more likely to create a flood.

    Any input welcome.

    Dave, I didn’t hear back from you on the dispenser and replacing gaskets……

    Dianne

  191. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 191
    Posted by Sharon

    Unless one is a biochemist, and have thorough knowledge of the biology; familiar with actions and interactions of different elements when they are mixed together; at no time, one must modify the brew formula, either by anything or subtracting any substance from the basic formula (Scoby, Water, Sugar, Tea). If it works, don’t fix it… you might even break it!
    Some plants and some specific part of the different plants can be extremely poisonous. Do not add anything to your brew until you know for sure if they are safe, and then after knowing that they are safe, then throw them away!!! It does not make sense, does it? But it does!
    Do you sterilize the bark to prevent contamination, after finding out that that they are safe to consume? Can you see the invisible bacteria or molds? Do you know for sure that the ingredients in the healthy barks, leaves or flowers are safe for the Scoby?* What if the combination of the ingredients would become toxic! That’s is when chemistry comes in! Even in consuming food, one must be careful not to eat several different foods together, let alone mixing unknown stuff together, with complex chemistry!

    * If a fly can thrive on fecal matter, can we consume feces? If the ingredients in different plants are good for us; and our body can utilize them to its benefit, would it apply to the very primitive Scoby? Can she utilize the ingredients the same way we can? NO! Different creatures, different foods! If we like it, Scoby might not!

    Simlpe Solutions:
    To the glass of cold K.T.;

    Add Seltzer water, or carbonate water if you like fizz …
    Add sodas, if you like carbonation + sweetness + different flavor …
    Add lemon juice, if you like it more sour …
    Add fruit juices, if you are found of certain fruits …
    Add alcohol, if you are alcoholic …

    All of the above plus many more additives that you can come up with to be added “AFTER” you are done brewing and the final product is coming out of the refrigerator!

    Remember; leaving the tea at room temperature is totally out of the question. It is my very own and personal opinion, and I described the reasons in great detail in my last text!

    PS: Several reasons, for your tea to become too sweet, and no carbonation:
    1 – The Scoby is not at the optimum temperature; it is either is too low, or too high. (Most likely too low)
    2 – The fermentation is not advanced enough to consume and use up the sugar.
    3 – Less sugar transformation would yield to lesser acidity, and also lesser carbonation.
    3 – The Scoby is dead!

    Be informed & Be healthy … Body & soul
    manooch22@netzero.net

  192. Sharon Says:

    Hey Michael, another question for you. I figure if anyone would know it would be you… :@)

    When you boil water, then turn it off, what the heck is ALWAYS floating on top of the water?! I always thought that perhaps it was residue from past cooking and/or cleaning but I bought a brand new stainless steel pot for KT, boiled water in it, and it had the same stuff on top! Please tell me this isn’t dead organisims!

    Sharon

  193. RE: #186 from CF

    I have one of Dave’s ceramic brewers and live where it is cold in the winter. I have been experimenting with what it will take to get the water (that I am using for trials) in the brewer to stay in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. I started by buying some flexible, silver-colored insulation from a hardware store. I placed a piece of it on the stand and then placed the heating pad that I bought from Dave on top of the insulation. Then, I placed the brewer on the heating pad. That was not sufficient to get the temperature where I wanted it, since I keep my house pretty cold.

    I bought a second heating pad from Dave and wrapped it around the brewer – and then wrapped some more insulation all the way around the brewer/heating pad. That proved to raise the temperature too high, so I have begun removing sections of the insulation, one at a time, until I find the “ideal” for the current conditions. (I am saving the pieces of insulation that I cut off, so that I can velcro them on again, as needed)

    I make notes about the ambient house temperatures/ water temperatures and amount of insulation used for each day of these trials, so I will know how to control the temperature for future seasons.

    For me, this is the only big challenge of the brewing process.

    I hope that this helps.
    Carroll

  194. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 194

    Upon boiling pure water, there must not be any “Scum” on top of the the water, otherwise the cause of the scum could be enormous.
    The dirty pot issue, which you were on the right track, could have been one of many causes, however, as you mentioned the pot was thoroughly clean.
    The other reasons could be the reliability of the water itself. Are you connected to the city water, or well water, close to farmland, or anywhere that the water has the chance to get contaminated; even industrial area they can send organic matters intothe water sources? The way you described, in my opinion it contains “Organic matters”. It would be very difficult to identify the culprit without the examination. It could be organisms, animals’ byproducts etc etc. Even the slimy surface of the fish scale, in the ocean, or the body secretions of frogs, snails and slugs, fecal matter, any of which plus many others can develop such scum upon boiling, which is nothing but the “Coagulation” of proteins. Again, without the thorough examination by the water authorities, which they have all kinds of equipment to test; the cause would not be discovered. (Chemical, bacteriological, and of course the simple microscopic tests are only a few tests that are available to them)

    Do the simple following tests, just to see if your water is one to be blamed!

    Fill a clean clear bottle half full, close the lid and shake it for a minute or so; should you see bubbles or foams on the top, which does not dissipate immediately, then your water is bad. (Keep and label this water #1).

    Do another test as the “Control”: Open an egg. Dip a spoon into the egg white section, and then pull out. Dip that spoon in approximately the same amount of water as you had in the bottle, and notice the foam again. This time, the foam would be more (Call this water #2.

    Buy a gallon of purified or drinking water do the shake test… it should NOT foam up ( keep and label this #3)

    Do the egg white method, but this time use the purified / drinking water. (Keep and label this water #4.

    Now, separately, each time in a very clean pot, boil the #1 water, keep separately, then #2 and so forth until you have done the boil test on all four samples. Compare all boiled samples. The only water without the “Scum” should be the #3.
    Good Luck!
    ****************************************

    RE: Item #195
    Heating Pad / Insulation

    It sounds like a primitive way of constructing a “ Homemade Thermostat”. To add some insulation, remove some, then remove more, and keep some for later add-ons… though not a scientific way, but as long as it woks, that’s all it counts. All we expect is the right result anyway. It is not my way of doing, but as the expression says, “ There are many ways to skin a cat” …as we know; there are no arguments on exemplifications…just a proverb…
    PS: Corvalis – Gresham: 90 miles! … G.U. ( Geografically Undesirable) … Again, if it worth it by all means… the ball is in your court!
    10:15 PM 1/10/08 Post time differs
    manooch22@netzero.net

  195. Deborah Says:

    I have been brewing now for about a month. This is my second batch I have just poured to bottles. I have a scooby on steroids….really huge, leathery, thick. The second brew only took 7 days. I have yet to see when to seperate the scoobies (mother and baby). They are so big they are pushing up almost to the inside lip of the 2-1/2 gal ceramic crock. When do I need to separate them? Is the 3rd brewing time average. This blog has some folks stating they do not take their scoobies out at all. Do they erupt out of the crock eventually? How do you tell when to do this. Answer soon
    PS can I just buy another crock without the “set” since I have the scoobies and k-tea etc etc. If so, how much is that? I need one ASAP! Thanks!

  196. Charles Says:

    To anybody who worries that their Sobriety might be broken don’t drink kt the way I figure an alcoholics brain is very tricky place to dwell in Myself I have 21yrs sober and drink kt all the time and some times I feel energetic and a lot healthier then I ever did with beer so remember It’s Tea and it’s helped me in a lot of ways but I never woke up with a headache or puking or not knowing where my car was or my wife mad at me not knowing why O yeah I’m almost 60 yrs old and I feel like I’m getting younger I live on the east coast near Philly lots’s of chemicals in the air I take it you all are out west which is great oh 1 other thing if you recovering people go to support groups I wouldn’t bring it up at a meeting but if youse have sponsers talk to them bout it most importantly talk to your higher power good luck To everone

  197. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 197 Posted by Deborah

    Fact One: Steroid hormones and anabolic agents, which would convert nutrients to complex living matter, had apparently worked properly in case of the Scoby, However the very same added elements into the brew, would eventually be consumed by you! So, expect some consequential results for yourself too! I don’t need to go through the effects and side effect of such components, depending on the amount, duration of the usage, and the element of gender! (I do not get into the field of medicine… could be tricky!)

    Fact Two: Scoby is a mass of bacteria and yeasts, which are stuck together with no veins, blood vessels nerves, etc etc. Any section of the Scoby can be taken apart and be used for the next batch. You can slice it, cut it in half or third etc! The reason we can see almost an indistinct separation and a layer, above the mother, and we call it “Baby” or Daughter” is just due to the nature of the growth of the mother Scoby and the process of multiplication. There is no indications, and absolutely no rules to “Where” and “How” we can totally remove and separate such growth and start a new batch. Remember the mother & the baby are identical in their structure and foundation, with the same identical functions, no matter how small or large the baby, however the size matters… the larger “Surface” the faster end result, so, slice it three times… you are not going to damage it. It would even work better… you don’t need to wait for her to multiply! You multiply her yourself!
    Email Address: manooch22@netzero.net
    ************************************************
    RE: Item # 198
    I think it is mostly testimonials…
    Slighly confused about the format, and the manner of writing… so I would not be able to put some inputs even if I wanted to! Thanks for sharing though, Charles…

    PS, And totally unrelated to the above:
    1 – In the Spring or early Summer, I would be trying to grow Scoby on trees! In theory it would grow! Just curious!

    2 – I would be creating a different type of Scoby, with only yeasts and aerobic bacteria in its mass. Curious again

    3 – would grow Scoby , which would contain only yeasts and anaerobics… curious again!

    The eleminations would be done on the scoby’s “Existing” structure, and ot introducing any new bacteria or yeasts…

  198. cf Says:

    hey folks

    thanks for all the tips about temperature…

    so i think i figured out temp with all the insulation tips… however, how do i KNOW if i killed the poor baby?

    it still looks the same… but it has been about a week since the heating it up episode and since then was in my cold house at about 50 degrees…

    now it’s at a good temp, but should i assume she died and i need a new baby, or do you think she is resilient and can survive?

    should i brew a new tea?

    phew thanks for all the help!!

    -c

  199. Michael Says:

    RE: #200

    If I recall, you had the temperature up to 140 ! I think I mentioned that your water heater’s temp is about 128 or so, and it would burn you, let alone the Scoby with no protective skin. Most likely she is “Cooked”, however before the burial, for a few days, keep her in the sugar/tea solution, this time at the right temp, and check if there are any changes in the taste such as souring (pH test strip might be a better indicator; comparing the acidity before incubation and three days after incubation) and then, you might want to check any fizz production… remember that the dead tissue would also produce “Gases”, which would be the result of putrefaction and rotten stage, which might get confused with carbon dioxide bubbles! Bad smell is another indication that Scoby is dead. Living tissues do not smell… I hope your experience have taught you something!

    Have always extra Scobies on hand, keep them refrigerated, which they go in hibernation, use them whenever you want for making extra batches, or the incident such as the above…refer to the my previous comments about reproduction of Scobies item # 199 you don’t need to wait for the baby to be produced as a layer on top of the mother! Just take a section apart and call it a baby… any segment of Scoby, separated; would grow… try it! Reminds you of a “Cesarean Section”!

    Email Address: manooch22@netzero.net

  200. Anonymous Says:

    I’m wanting to know how committed I would need to stay to the Kombucha scoby in order for the continual brewing system to be worth my efforts?
    I mean, what if I, myself, can’t drink it fast enough. Or neglect him for awhile. Once I get him going, does he keep going INDEFINATELY as long as I throw in some sweet tea once in awhile?
    I’ve taken the course, but am still unsure and have tried to ask questions before but have not found the responses.

  201. Susan G Says:

    I am new to kombucha and love it. The trouble is I think I love it too much. I drink quite a bit and have been having night sweats and a really upset stomach. I’m actually home from work today. Thanks.

  202. Sharon Says:

    Susan,

    I’m no expert, but I would think too much of ANYTHING, (no matter how healthy), would be bad for you. Afterall, we need water to survive and there have been people who have died from over drinking water, too much to quickly. (Had to pull that one up on the internet to proove that one to my husband). Just be careful, I would’nt personally drink more than two 16 oz bottles a day. Remeber, your kidneys and liver have to process what you put in and you don’t want to over-work them! Hope this helps.
    Regards, Sharon

  203. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 202

    Once in awhile, I sneak and combine some philosophical thoughts, could indirectly be related to the subject of Kombucha… I hope you all don’t mind…(The word “You” does not specifically and necessarily refers to any particular person and in general applies to any random individuals)

    First of all, let me answer the third, and the last paragraph of the questions: If you don’t “Expect” to get “Any” answers; then you won’t be disappointed. This attitude applies all occasions, and not just this BLOG. Lower the level of your expectations in life, and you would be a more satisfy individual! After all, you cannot control the “Outer Environment” anyway; you only can control and be in charge of your own inner within … I hope! In BLOGS any and all participants can relay and /or express some comments. Any particular person, including the “Boss of the BLOG” who is in charge of the business, supplies and products, not necessarily is the one for us to expect some answers other than specifications on the products, price, and shipment etc. Though he is knowledgeable with the field of Kombucha. He always welcomes inputs, and he personally has thanked me for my efforts for shedding some light in this matter.

    Let’s jump to the paragraph one… excuse my format, somehow it feels right and I have no solid reason for jumping around! Anyway; no one can come up with a solid answer or figure of how committed you ought to be, how long you have to continue on, or perhaps the time and money that you have already spent and invested in this adventure would have any merits for you to follow your endeavors in regards to Kombucha. Put all the facts on the table, then decide to continue or quit… it is really 100% up to you … if you direct the question at me; since I am not a quitter, I personally would give it enough time, and only after obtaining and considering all the facts, the pros and cons, perhaps financially, intellectually, and / or emotionally, then I would determine the final verdict to justify my giving up, or my continuation.

    Now let’s come down to the paragraph two: Before starting and going to the actual response, let’s resolve one minor issue. Often the SCOBY the “Asexual” mass is referred to as female, being an offspring-producing “Creature”. So, the term “Him” or “He” to be addressed as “Her” and “She”… Don’t blame me; I did not either write the language nor the terminology! Now let’s go towards the direction of the topics and continuing within the same paragraph…the word INDEFINITELY, which you used, is a very big word…not to mention that you yourself have put it in ”All Cap Letters”. Anyway; NOTHING is immortal… humans or animals for example can be called “Immortal” only if you consider their continuation of production and beings. We die, but we leave behind part of us as children. One hundred years from now, everyone on this earth would die! (Not to be too technical of some babies who might live over 100!)… if some ”Martians” come on earth every hundred years, they might think that we are the same people that used to be here hundred years ago!!! Enough for joke and back to the Scoby. She is not the same Scoby that you have seen her month or two ago, though she might “Look Like” the same to us. We shed our skin, and hair, and reproduce and replace millions of cells within our entire bodies; Scoby’s cells continually would die and at the same time regenerate. She might even be able go forever, but what we see today, “IS NOT” the same as what we started from! She can go through so many generations of bacteria and yeasts, very fast, which are non- distinguishable to our eyes, so, should we call her immortal? No! I hope I got the message across.
    Another answer within the same paragraph: As the brew in the process, one should not add sweet tea in the brew… it is just NOT done that way at all! One must completely finish one batch, store it in the frig, and start a new batch from scratch. In your case, as you mentioned; should you throw in some sweet tea once in awhile; you would be drinking the mixture of two different solutions containing 1- your added sugar tea solution; and 2 – the pre-existing partially brewed solution. Your added sugar/tea, have not had the chance to ferment yet before drinking it. Finish one batch of brewed solution; start a brand new one with sugar/tea solution… but don’t mix the two together. You can have two separate batches going on at the same time, date them, test them, when finished at different time, then discontinue the brewing process! So, this had been my two bits of remarks!
    Be informed & be Healthy… Body & Soul
    Email address: manooch22@netzero.net

  204. Michael,
    Recently, on this blog, I told you that I live in Corvallis, OR and asked if I could visit you and learn how to make a fermenter like yours. You told me to email you at
    manooch22@netzero.net – which I did on February 10. Since I haven’t heard from you by email – and you respond so quickly to items in this blog – I’m wondering if you didn’t get my email.

    Would you email me at the address below?

    Thanks so much, Carroll
    Email address: carrollenglish2000@yahoo.com

  205. Michael Says:

    Respond to: Item # 203 posted by Susan G.

    If you all had been following my texts in the past, which I had been posting in this BLOG, and should you have been astute and observant, you would probably have noticed a few factual features in such writings; which by the way they were frequently lengthy … As the rule, I do not involve myself, should the topic directly or indirectly become related to the medicine and the medical field. It can become tricky at times due to the certain laws and somewhat unusual court system, yielding in some adverse results; nevertheless I have tried to relay my messages through logic and common sense more that anything else, illustrating the matters by using several examples for better understanding; and along; consolidating them with my background knowledge, which I could have felt confident speaking about particular subjects. I would like to ask the readers to not to judge a person by his diplomas and credentials, evaluating the qualifications, and consequently to following their advices blindfoldedly just because of those papers on the wall. One may judge a person through their merits and virtues. How often you have encountered the situation that the appropriate conduct and performance would speak louder than those certificates! Hear what’s been said; not who said it!

    I do admit that I do not have answers to all of the questions asked, however, I can have some remarks and personal opinions instead, which are not necessarily the answer, yet often can resolve some issues.

    One thing had been bothering me; that is that some people read my inputs as a novel, which in some instances requires concentration, allowing the technical aspect be absorbed, imagining that these texts are going to be on the exam the next day! The reason I am mentioning this case in point, is that the same identical questions had been brought up again, right after the answers were posted, even worse; by the very same person, whom I have already directed the answers to!

    Now let’s have some input on the above # 203 posted statement: I can get readily confused, should the questions, remarks, or events don’t add up… on one hand, I see that you love Kombucha too much much, and on the other hand you have sweats and upset stomach. What I see is a conflicting message! Let me bring an example: A woman loves her husband, who is a wife beater! If you like the brew; what part of the brew do you like? Just the taste? How about the side effects? Do they play any role? It reminds me of some TV commercials trying to sell you certain medications to cure or relief some minor symptoms or ailments. Should you stay with the ad all the way through the end, you would hear the slue of side effect such as heartburn, diarrhea, runny nose, headache, upper respiratory infection, etc etc… all of that for what? To just temporarily relieve possible allergy, trading it with so much side effects, which are harder to cope with! Who are they think we are; morons?
    Your issue might be totally unrelated to K.T. and perhaps could be due to coming in contacted with some substances, which could cause such side effects. Allergy field is extremely complex issue, which might take decades to discover all the facts. Shivering and chills is one sign of the body defense, either be the fight against cold temperature, or introduction of some foreign substance into the body, including allergens and thousands of chemicals within the food, drugs or supplements, even the fillers in pills and capsules etc etc. Find out the real culprit, before rendering the verdict… remember there are also many ingredients in the K.T., which just one, could be the cause an allergic reaction… no one knows…each individual is different and react to certain elements differently…
    Be Informed & be Healthy … Body & soul
    manooch22@netzero.net

  206. Michael Says:

    P.S to item 203 posted by Susan G.:

    Repeated & continual night chills = Visit to a doctor!
    No further comment!

  207. cf Says:

    sooooo

    how hot is too hot, theoretically, since without a thermometer but insulated, not sure how hot scoby was….

    so what is the hottest it can get?

    and what does dead one look like?
    sheesh

  208. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 209 Posted by: cf

    My new email address is:
    manokokok@AOL.com
    The old one is NOT in service any longer

    I personally have not seen a dead Scoby, neither a dead person!

    One should keep the Scoby in the most comfortable and most productive state. In my personal opinion the optimum temp 86 degrees F; though some believe on the upper 70s, which has slower growth and less active in producing the “Tea” with longer time period. not to mention that she is safer vs. high temp.

    I like to create examples: In mid Summer, you go outside and the temperature is 104 degrees. You would say that it is too hot… you are not dead yet, because you still can speak! Should you stay in the sun for hours; then you might die! The higher and longer you go beyond the perfect 86 degrees in case of Scoby; “Gradually” she would become uncomfortable, and eventually she would die. She does not have any pulse for us to monitor, and she cannot speak or scream, and probably when she dies there would be NO sign for us to determine that she is dead, until she decomposes and gets rotten!

    Wouldn’t you get a pair of gloves, a shovel, a pick, possibly a rake etc etc; should you want to do some gardening? With the same token if you want to “CULTIVATE” Scoby, you need some tools such as water, some sugar, some tea, some heat, some controlled heat, and mainly a thermometer, unless your fingertip is as sensitive as a thermometer, then you would be saving $3 expense to purchase a decent thermometer…

    I like the word “Sheesh” that you used at the end, though I don’t know the meaning of it, but I think it comes from a “Discomfort” state of mind! I could be wrong… Should you not understand something in this text, be specific and ask! Did I miss any point that you addressed? We are here to help, not to create discomfort… not worth it… we drink K.T. for our health, body, and indirectly our mind; yet, it would defeat the purpose, should we hit our head on the wall after drinking the tea!

    Be content, and stay with it… not talking about happiness… two different state of mind!

    Chage of email address: manokokok@aol.com

  209. Rob Says:

    Hi Dave,

    After brewing, separate the culture, put the K-T in bottles, cap, keep outside with room temperature for 2 or 3 days for the “secondary fermentation.” Is this a must? Is it OK to drink right away without the second fermentation?
    Thank you. Rob

  210. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 211 Posted by Rob

    Read my personal opinion on the item 190…though others’ opinions might differ…

    Dave would respond to you personally and, who might have some suggestions…

    Two heads, better than one!

    Did not mean to intrude, answering you; since you had directed your question towards Dave; thought this might widen your knowledge and the horizon… different individuals; different outlook…
    New Address: manokokok@aol.com

  211. Sharon Says:

    NO INTRUSIONs MICHAEL!
    Directing the questions to Dave, don’t do a whole lot of good anyway, we don’t get answers we need from HIM most of the time.

    I REALLY NEED HELP! Can ANYONE who reads these blogs help me???

    ****If you have purchased the porcelain brewing system and a heating mat, will you please tell me how to incorporate the two together? I haven’t been able to get the answer from where I purchased them from.

    Thanks for your help. Most appreciated, Sharon

    sharonsteiner@hotmail.com

  212. Trent Says:

    Can anyone tell me about the ph (acid – alkaline balance) of Kombucha tea? I’m guessing that it is acid but affects the body in an alkaline manner, which is common. Lemons do this. So my questions are: How does Kombuha work in the body re acid, and what is the relative ph, plus or minus, of Kombucha?
    Thanks in advance for help.
    Trent

  213. Lupa irie Says:

    Should i be afraid of lead contamination from using a ceramic water dispenser to make kombucha in ?

  214. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 214 posted by: Trent

    Our body is a marvelous machine. Our blood pH always remain constant no matter if you consume acid or alkaline food, (Presence of buffers), unless there are some complications exists such as diabetes etc, which effects the pH, called acidosis. (Ketosis, then acidosis, then diabetic coma; of course the high glucose level is always associated with it). Anyway, the pH of K.T. is “To Be” around 3.0, which is “Mostly” due to the acetic acid (Vinegar). This is only one indication that your tea is ready plus more indications… too lengthy to go into that. I hope I could shed some light into the question asked…
    P.S. : ” pH ” is written this way… no biggie, we understand anyway… that’s all it counts; the communication!

    Be informed & be healthy… Body & Soul
    NEW Email Address: manokokok@aol.com

    Well, while at it; RE: Item 215 Posted by Lupa Irie:
    The lead issue:
    Depends who made the pot, which country, and in what period of time it was made… so many factors! Newer ones made in US, most likely free of lead. There are places in almost any town, which they test the lead on items and most often, they do it free of charge. Call around. To answer your question: Yes you should worry, but don’t worry yourself to death, because using the pot might do it for you anyway! Joking! But the lead issue is not a joke!

    Be informed & be Healthy… Body & Soul
    NEW Email Address: manokokok@aol.com

  215. Rob#2 Says:

    Hello Michael,

    Long time ago I bought a 750 ml wine in a nice decanter
    for about ten dollars. The decanter might have been not of a high quality, just a cheap one but it looks noice with a heavy glass stopper. Is it alright to use that decanter to keep the
    K-T? Do you think it contains some level of lead? Not dangerous?

    Thank you.
    Rob2

  216. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 217 posted by Rob 2
    Dup.

    Hi Rob,

    If it is made of clay and glazed, it could contain lead… especially if it is an older one; those days they did not really pay attention to the lead contents… perhaps the newer one are safer. Almost all wines are acidic, (Dry Wines especially) and for sure would leach out the lead, should they be in contact with the lead containing glazed containers, unless you use the decanter for the other purposes than acidic base drinks, then you might be OK. Best of Luck… Michael
    manokokok@aol.com

  217. Jackie Says:

    I have recently received one of the large constant brewing kits – so far so good.
    What are the instructions for making Kombucha Concentrate?

    Thank you
    Jackie

  218. Michael Says:

    RE: Item #219, Posted by: Jackie

    I get readily confused! Not trying to be facetious!

    1 – How many kits did you receive? You mentioned “Kits” …

    2 – “So far so good” , were you referring to the receiving of the unit; the use of the unit; or the operation of?

    3 – Is the word “Constant” refers to the “Temperature” or the “Continual” operation of the brewing or both?
    I am trying to learn.

    About making concentrated “TEA” , if that’s what you mean, not the conc. Kombucha ; I myself would like to know how to prepare it, not necessarily using the product!

    Through my learning, I can teach! So much to learn; so much!
    Any remarks appreciated… good or bad is part of the learning! I know my value and it would not undulate by one’s remark…

    NEW Email: manokokok@aol.com

  219. Carroll Says:

    RE:#213 Sharon,

    To incorporate the porcelain brewer and the heating pad — place the heating pad on the stand and place the brewer on top of it.

    For my home environment, this did not provide enough heat in the winter, as I keep my house temperature cool. I wrapped another heating pad around the outside of the brewer, taping it on. That still was not warm enough, so I placed flexible, silver insulation material from my local hardware store on the stand, under the heating pad – and then wrapped more insulation around the outside of the brewer, over that heating pad.

    I then removed or added back some of the insulation, as needed, to adjust the temperature of the liquid.

    Carroll

  220. Michael Says:

    RE: Items 213 and 221

    I also did direct several pieces of information regarding the temperature thru her Email. The text here would have been beyond the scope of this BLOG.

    P.S. : NOT TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT!
    For those who expect Dave to answer any and /or all questions:

    Please read the beginning of his BLOG… You would see that he has directed all questions to the “Community” and at no point he had professed that he would be the one to answer any questions… sort of a disclaimer. I am not trying to defend his position, but ” I am a fair judge!” I won’t allow an innocent man to be hung! Read the upper part of the BLOG, before judging him! He is just providing this site to all and everyone to share their comments/questions and opinions. We ought to thank him for such provision rather than attacking him!
    The above text is by no means directed to any particular individual. It is merely my own opinion, though others might have different views…

    NEW Email Address: manokokok@aol.com
    Supplement to the above P.S. : Any & all may praise or assault me; and /or agree or disagree to my stance… by all means exercise your freedom of expression! I respect one’s opinion, and would not get offended nor threatened, should they be of some negative nature!

  221. Michael Says:

    Hi folks, I check this BLOG about twice a day, along with other tasks that I have to attend at the computer, yet I have not seen any inputs from anyone for a couple of days! Is this a periodical happening, or some coincidental event?

    As always, I’ll try to put my inputs, should I feel that they directly, or indirectly could be somewhat helpful. I learn at all times, and I pass along to the ones who might be in need of some assistance…I never claim to know everything and I would not see myself in that position that I have reached to that point either… it should NOT to be a “Goal” that one should forward to reach… one would NEVER reach to his /her perfection! Sky is the limit… that’s what it keeps us alive… to try to reach, knowing that we would never ever achieve! Those who think that they have reached such goal, they’ll die soon thereafter… there would be nothing left to live for anyway! Well enough for another words of wisdom… there is not much to read anyway… might as well to put up with me for sometime!
    Michael
    PS: For those who know me, getting used to my “Brutal Frankness & forwardness” takes a while… no malicious intent whatsoever! It is a sign of “Honesty”! Personally I dislike “Game Players & Manipulators”! Now you all have a better picture of me! Not that it has anything to do with the topic of Kombucha & Scoby! After all I feel part of the Scoby’s family!

  222. Carol Says:

    Hi, I just made my first batch but I’m thinking something is wrong. It has a kind of pond scum smell and has green slimy stringy things. Is this normal or should I toss it and start over? Thanks.

  223. Michael Says:

    RE: 224
    Not a norm…does not look good, nor smells good, my guess is that there had been some kind of contamination and/ or dead tissue decomposing. Could the Scoby be dead? Has it been at the low, and room temperature? I’ll bet it is “Very Cloudy” also! How much youwant to bet? joking, but I am sure! I could teast it under the microscope, should I have a small sample, or perhaps a couple of OZ. for centrifugation and then the test. Meanwhile, if that were me, I would not drink it! If it looks bad & smells bad it could be bad… like the “Duck” proverb!

    Bottomline cause: The improper incubation and handling process… blame it on yourself! I would not be surprised if the scoby has already gone bad… one need to have a couple reserve Scobies on different containers* on hand in the frig, in case such incidents occur. *Should you keep them all together, then all of them would go bad! I have several stored away, and periodically use them according to the date of storage, and sometimes I am so confident that I take a chance and incubate several Scobies in one batch, knowing that my process is performed under total sterility… guess what wigh four Scobies in the batch; the tea is ready in 4 days! One needs to know when the process is complete though, not just a guesswork. Test test test… too long to describe!
    Good Luck… Michael

  224. Linda Says:

    Is there any L-theanine in this mushroom culture as listed in the Synergy brand (100 mg). Did not see this listed as part of the benefits with this site.

  225. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 226 Posted by: Linda,

    MY comments:
    If you are drinking K. Tea to get any possible benefits from L- theanine, derived from the black tea; don’t drink it! Imagine five teabags of black tea in one gallon of K.T. How much tea is there anyway? Practically nothing! If you want to consume
    L – theanine; just drink the ordinary black tea. I drink six cups of tea daily, just because of the taste, and not for any particular benefits! So, don’t dig into the list of ingredients of the Kombucha Tea to see L – theanine somewhere in the list. Even if you do see; it might be at the very end of the list, or you might not see it mentioned at all because the amount is so negligible.
    Do the math; should you drink one fifth of gallon of KT; you would only be drinking the infusion of ONE teabag!
    Drink KT for the OTHER beneficial factors …and drink straight black tea for L- theanine!

    Warning: (Concentrated is sold as supplements… I personally won’t fill up my medicine cabinet with all sorts of supplements anyway… billions of dollars industry, persuading you to buy this and that!) Some supplements react with each other, causing adverse result, and damage to your health system! Two good supplements taken together could result deadly! The least damage they can do is to neutralize each other’s outcome… waste of money, and false hopeful thinking!
    Be Informed & Be healthy… Body & Soul…

    MY NEW EMAIL: manokokok@aol.com

  226. Jayelyn Says:

    Any way to stop the baby culture from forming inside the bottle after refrigeration?

  227. Jack Says:

    Since you do not ship to canada, is it possible to pick up a set from your premises in California, while we are there on holidays? Jack.

  228. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 228 Posted by Jayelyn:

    It is very unusual and unheard of for the Scoby to have any activity at such a low temperature as in refrigeration! Scoby would go in hibernation, let alone producing babies! It would not happen, guaranteed!

    Don’t know if you are talking about the thin small version of the “Pancake” look, or those stringy stuff floating around, separating and dislodging from the main culture, which are not called “Babies”?

    Anyway, whatever it is … you can physically remove the so-called babies by means of clean plastic fork, straining the whole thing etc etc. Give them to friends; keep them for yourself for the future cultivation…don’t add anything to your brew to get rid of whatever it is .Might not be safe for your drink…
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  229. Jennifer D Says:

    Hello, I am a newbie to kombucha and still trying learn the basics of what it is and why it could be good for me.

    I would like to know when is the ideal time to drink it. Before, with or after meals? Morning, afternoon or evening? Is it better to take before or after a workout? (I think I know the answer to that last question from personal experience, but I’m interested in what others have to say as well.)

    Thank you in advance for sharing your knowledge with me!

    Jen

  230. Michael Says:

    I personally drint the KT whenever I feel like it. Sometimes your body tells you that you want sweet stuff, sometimes sour things… and sometimes you just don’t want to drink nor eat… listen to your body… don’t time yourself… often I drink an 8 OZ, then I feel that I would like to have more! I hear some advise that for gaining weigh drink it after the meal, and if you want to lose weigh, drik it hours before… I personally don’t pay attention to such un- substanciated comments… there are so many conflicts from different authors that if you want to follow all and every remark; you would really going to get very confused! I personally won’t make a big fuss over it!
    I couldn’t help much, could I ?

  231. kris Says:

    hi

    can you please let me know if this ok for people with compramised livers like cirrosis and i have a friend that has hep c

    please let me know so i can tell them

    thanks

    e-mail me direect if you would kindly

    kris.miller8@verizon.net

  232. Michael Says:

    Hi folks,

    I normally check this blog about two- three times a day, along with other tasks that I need to do while online. At the same time , should I feel confident and have any remarks or comments, I would gladly answer them.

    Here, I would like to re-emphasize that even if I happen to know the answer, should it concern remotely to the medical field, I would be hesitant to respond… it is a sensitive issue, which can create problems down the road! Blame it on the laws of the nation! One must be careful to give advice, especially in black & white!

    manokokok@aol.com

  233. Jayelyn Says:

    In my prior question I was speaking of the “thin pancake look” I believe. What it looks like to me is a miniature scoby forming with the look and consistency of raw egg white. Definitely not appealing! Any idea why this happens when I’ve never seen it in commercial kombucha? Thanks–

  234. Michael Says:

    A newborn scoby is very thin transparent, and might be compared to the looks of the eggwhite… if the mother is there, it normally is attached to the top of the mother, though I have encountered an isolated thin baby scoby, when I was experimenting using several pieces of scoby … after a few days I noticed my segmentes and chunks of scobies, and then at the top of the liquid, there it was a baby, right on the top of the liquid independently and without being attched to so- called “Mother”… this baby will grow as a new scoby… try to give it the sugar water as usual and see that it will grow very large and thick! It worked in my case! However, I still don’t understand how can any scoby, regardless of the age or size can produce baby in refrigerator! At such temperature she is dormant and inactive… won’t grow, and won’t produce baby etc. When I store mine, I see no change in the shape or configuration… whenever I am ready, I just pick the stored scobies, the way I left them with no change… give it a nice warm environment, sugar & water & tea; then she would thrive, with several babies… separate babies, the mother would produce more and the babies would also produce babies too… there is going to be a farm, if you let it and easy to do keep on hand several as the back -up just in case something goes wrong… (Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! … As the proverb says)…
    manokokok@aol.com

  235. Collins Says:

    Im new to this site and have spent the last few hours reading all the wonderful info…Micheal since you want feed back here is my two cents worth: you have alot to offer obviously and you preface most statements with the fact that it is soley your opinion…i appreciate this, however, i find your”blunt” answers not blunt but rude and back handed making sifting through your longwinded and patronizing posts as enjoyable as having splinters stuffed up under my fingernails…sheesh man, is it possible to not digress, to stay on topic and simply ask for a clarification before launching into some diatribe about the inadiquacys of someone elses quest for knowledge?
    your post 190 , is full of good well formatted advice. Perhaps keep it in mind as a template.

    Most of my questions have been answered here, but im sure more will crop up as i begin my brewing processes. cheers!

  236. Michael Says:

    RE: 237 Posted by: Collins

    Before I proceed, I would like to thank all who share their opinions in this BLOG… we learn so much by reading them could they be scientific or otherwise… just to see how people think… regardless of being so – called “Negative or Positive”;’ I personally have found them to be entertaining and sort of some spice over the Kombucha!

    1 – I had never guaranteed to make everyone happy…it is the impossibility…

    2 – Should you get offended by something, it is really your own problem…

    3 – I regret that you allow others to control your mind allowing them to manipulate your mind… it is the most precious part of the body to distort and reduce it to rubble… that’s shame!

    4 – you, and only you ought to be in charge of your emotions…

    5 – Don’t you feel like a puppet, being in command and control of the puppeteer?

    6 – The idea of BLOG is that everyone can post their comments; express their opinions and views…

    7 – I shall not get offended by any so- called “Harsh & offensive” remakes; on the contrary, I respect ALL opinions including yours, should they be aimed at me directly, or towards the others!

    8 – The beauty of the whole thing is, that I am in touch with my feelings at all times and besides, I also know who I am. There absolutely no opinion / remark / comment or statement would be able to “Change” my values… although I have to admit that I hear, listen, ponder and analyze all and every statements, and then should I come to a decision to find suitable and fit, I would adjust and adapt to any new ideas. No amount of praise or disapprovals would be able to alter my value!

    9 – I admire open minded individuals…the “Tunnel Vision” analogy comes to mind that often, unfortunately some people see nothing except the black walls around the tunnel and one light at the end… what if the light is the locomotive coming at them! Anyway that’s is being a narrow minded ones, who often get hit by the train!

    10 – I do not make any quick judgment; I put all the so- called “Trash & Treasure” on the table, and no matter who said them… what is being said is the keyword… I hand pick the ones that fit my position, and toss out the rest…all depends on my position, ability to follow, adaptability, and my personal existing circumstance at the time, and state of being.

    11 – I often do change my stances, adjust my points of view, stance, positions and outlooks of life; should I find it to be helpful, necessary, and perhaps I can see that would be an improvement to the quality of my life. I do make a conscious decision weigh and consider the pros and cons and after thorough investigations, then I decide for myself. The final decision maker would be “ME” and no others, including any Tom, Dick and Harry’s remark, or perhaps any individuals who write me a note with their opinions.
    I believe those who remain rigid and inflexible in their lives, would become rotten, rancid and die off mentally!

    12- We people in this United States; regardless of all the things that we don’t like about, are blessed with the freedom of expression… say what you want… along with some approvals; expect to get some negative feed backs also, you might get killed, should there be some narrow minded persons who are used to the dictatorship convictions, and are extremist, most of whom they have brought with them this trait from some sources and trying to blend with our community, poisoning and create disharmony amongst us!

    13 – I have no resentments nor hate towards any person, though I may dislike their beliefs and opinions. Again; if one respect others’ opinions then our mind and souls would be void of clutter! You might have been observant and have noticed in most of my writings; which I wish everyone to be healthy, “Body & Soul” !

    14 – I cannot change the world, nor change anybody’s beliefs. After all every individual is solely responsible for themselves and must be wanting and decide to change for their better- ness or to stay in their rotten state!

    15 – I respect that you believe that your way is the best! You know; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that; but should you force your opinion upon others and put your feet on the others’ throat; then that’s the time when you would be out of line… forcing one’s opinions to the extremes and to the point of killing is what we had on September 11th… they wanted the whole world to follow certain religion! Regardless of the cost!
    Neither you, nor anybody else have the right to dictate others how they ought to express their remarks… we are in the United States and you probably have heard of the “Freedom of Speech”… should you be from some other countries that the dictatorship rules, (I don’t want to give you the long list) which people are suffocated and cannot speak up their voices…

    Epilogue: Without beating around the bush, I think I have said more than enough, and I hope by now, it is so vivid in everyone’s mind of who I am and where I stand and coming from, which by the way, I am proud of it. (Not talking about the geographical location) At this point, I would like to express my “Preference” of the discontinuation of this subject. I had been more than courteous to respond, and I don’t believe the “Back & Forth” communication in this BLOG & this format would be a right thing to do at this time. I’ll take ANY challenge “Face to Face” in an oral manner and format…so, from now on, no other remarks would be answered… you got more than enough and more than your share… as the proverb says: The more you stir up the S… (Fecal matter); the more it is going to stink! I hope you get the message! I have to add that oil & water do not mix… I do pick my friends, and you would not be a candidate for my friendship! I am sure it is mutual! In spite of all that had been said; I respect your opinions… after all, No ONE must expect all others to think the way they do! Sift through what’s been said, choose or discard any or all! Let me squeeze a postscript here: Don’t ask for my background and / or resume … it is what you make of yourself, rather than what they give in the school to be put on the wall as diplomas and certificates!

    Final note: Don’t try to mold anyone to conform to your likings! You failed this time… I assure, that it would happen again!

    To all readers: Compare the wordings in this text to the ones I am responding to. (Item #237). I did NOT practice the “Eye for an Eye”…The use of the bitter words would not have accomplished anything, except bringing my level of intelligence to the one’s of low level of Collins’…there are so many choices of words in the thesaurus by Microsoft Word accessible to anyone! No medals for you…

    Best Wishes… Michael
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  237. David Says:

    Hello!

    Im on my second batch of k. tea, and this chocolate colored, things appear on the side of the scolby.. is this a sign of a weird bacteria? should I be worried and dump the whole batch a start over? or is it okay and I can drink my yummy kombucha?

    thanx!

  238. Michael Says:

    RE: 239 posted by David

    The color that you see is most likely due to the color of the tea.
    Look at the top of the SCOBY; you would see for sure a different color, sort of a beige, or tan. Always the underneath of the SCOBY and the edges all around, which touches the solution is darker than the top, that’s one indication of which side you would be leaving atop when you start your new batch, although It really does not matter which side needs to be on top, though some emphasize otherwise… the “Structure” is the same… the top, the bottom, the center etc. (Aerobic & anaerobic have the tendency to choose their suitable locations! On the top, with oxygen; on the bottom, with much much less oxygen and in contact with carbon dioxide…Still I won’t worry!) Bacteria contamination does not react the way that you describe… the entire “Solution” become VERY cloudy; and that is not necessarily the cause of bacteria!! One cause could be the disturbance of the brew, which causes thousands of yeast to become dislodge, and they are going to have fun and multiply, so, without thorough examination, without the aid of a microscope, one cannot really differentiate between bacteria growth and the yeast growth.
    Don’t depend on the following, which I am going to tell you unless you have “On Hand” familiarity and experience with the
    tricks of the matter:

    The cloudiness, should it be sort of “Glistening” is the sign of the yeast, which is perfectly all right; on the other hand the “Murky” cloudiness probably the growth of bacteria. I often disturb the brew, and my brew completes much sooner than seven days, but… there is a “But” I always confirm the cloudiness under the microscope. Yeasts are opaque/ translucent, round and often “Budding”, whereas bacteria are much smaller, round or bacillus/rod shape.
    In your case, without looking at the brew it is hard to come to a 100% conclusion, but most likely you are OK… don’t throw away your good behaving SCOBY with just guessing!

    PS: Even chopping up the SCOBY; would grow perfectly… should you have extra SCOBY, experiment… which side is the top or bottom; NO DIFFERENCE, and does not matter
    Good Luck
    One simple question; you got a long response!!
    Innocent question, innocent answer!
    (Look at #238 in response to 237!!! I am consistant!)

    manokokok@aol.com

  239. Christi Says:

    Hi! We are using turbinado instead of sugar for our K-tea. The scobies that are forming are very thin. Is that because of the raw sugar or changing temperature in the house?

    Thanks,
    Christi

  240. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 241

    Sugar subject: Using Turbinado, is not helping you at all in any manner. It is very similar to refined sugar, and you are paying more for it… waste of money, my opinion. SCOBY uses all of the sugar anyway, and you are not drinking it in your brew. The sweetness is from the glucose. (Early discontinuation of the brew may contain sugar… you ought to know “When” to stop!)

    Temperature subject: The temperature is the most important element in brewing. House temp. should not have any influence on the incubation. Scoby must have its own environment and the best and the optimum temperature of 86 degrees F. Almost all growth failures caused by the low temperature. I have made my own incubator with constant temperature. Any fluctuations on the room temperature have absolutely no effect on SCOBY’s environment.

    Example: Should you keep the room temperature at 86; the incubator would never come ON! With the same token, a freezer would not consume any electricity, should it be at the North Pole…

    PS: At the optimum conditions; your brew is going to be completed much sooner, more productive, lesser chance of contamination, more fizz etc etc. TEMPERTATURE is the keyword… good luck…
    Be informed & be healthy… Body & Soul…
    manokokok@aol.com

  241. Samnao Says:

    Hi if i want to brew my kombucha tea with more than 1 gallon of water ( i do unterstand that i needs to put more sugar and tea ) what about the culture do Ineeds to put mroe too?
    Thanks
    Samnao

  242. Michael Says:

    RE: 243 -posted by Samnao

    Propotionally , when you add or subtact the of one the ingerdient, one might think that we should create a balnce accordingly… not true at all in our case… ading more SCOBY would not hurt the process, as the matter of fact the more, the better!! Peel off layres from the culture either the top or bottom and just put them all in one batch… amongst other factors, the Scobys “surface” is what rules the productivity… keep a constant eye on the temp… 86 degrees F … low temps, SCOBY would fail you!

  243. sharon Says:

    RE: Michaels comment/opinion on #222

    Dave, amazing that you could erase my last reply to this (#222) but not erase the original comments too! (Very unprofessional, but I know, sometimes the truth hurts and the pretense of the other statements felt much better)

    As stated before, if you are a ‘customer’ spending hard earned money (over $200 to be more precise) and you have a question about the products you’ve purchased, you should not have to post it on the blog for a ‘community’ answer in the first place. A direct phone line or email should be provided to get the answers one needs as quickly as possible. And in the second place, if one DOES HAVE TO post it on the blog then YES, it SHOULD be answered by the person selling and not by a community person. This is called ‘customer service’. So the term ‘innocent man’ would HAVE TO BE ‘ones own opinion’ when it isn’t actually the case.

    Just wanted to give a little more facts, so one can be a better ‘judge’ to base their opinions.

    Sharon

  244. Dave, If you have the 5 Gal. continuous brewing system, you never have to remove your mushrooms do you? You just have to add your sugar water, your tea and distilled water to the top am I right? You can remove some of the mushrooms if you want thought can’t you? You just need to use rubber gloves when handling your mushroom right?

  245. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 245 posted By Sharon

    Don’t mean to hop in the middle of a situation, trying to be a peacemaker and an intermediary.
    Before I jump into any conclusion I went ahead and checked all the relevant items such as 245, 222, & 213 noticed all the posted items were intact and no gap between the numbers, and the sequence were not disrupted… though it is not an accurate investigation. (Is it possible that you had communicated through Dave’s site, where you normally order and buy the product from, rather than the BLOB?); which it would be a totally different case…
    Losing a posted item and/or not hearing from the community, would not be a good feeling, though at the top of the Dave’s BLOG, he has left all answers to the public, sort of a disclaimer…Should the question be anything other than the product being sold you can re- post, and some of us probably would answer, but if it had been a “Product” question; then the answer falls upon the sellers, and community cannot help… I hope you resolve the case in a happier condition.
    Good Luck

    RE” Item 246 posted by: Sherrie Denise Parks
    Might as well “Kill Two Birds with one Stone”

    Since I am not familiar with the brewing systems that Dave sells, I could not make any comment, which might help you. Should your questions be directly related with Scoby , and not being involevd with a “Particular” method , it would be hard to ro reply. Each company might have a different instruction for their products and the KT preparation…

    Any ganeral questions are welcomed…

  246. Collins Says:

    Hi Mike! In Sweden there is a saying that literally means “lost in the pancake” succinctly appropriate………

    In the recent”newsletter” Dave suggests adding a concentrated form of sweet tea and distilled water….i was under the impression additions should be at room temp to not shock the scoby….he distinctly states”cold” distilled water? um…confused….room temp or cold?

    also i am curious about all the things in post 246 posted by sherrie D parks…anyone out there currently using the continuous brewing system?

  247. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 248 Posted by Collins

    Would you be kind enough to address me in the future with my real name, which is Michael… appreciated! Mike is not me, can’t relate to it am not used to it and just don’t like it… I am sure mike and microphone can relate!
    If a lady verbalizes her name as Elizabeth, it means she rather be called as such, should I and at the dinner table address her as Liz, or Lizzy, I have already kissed my “Luck” off for that night or ever!

    SCOBY issue: When you buy fish for your aquarium, you bring home the oxygenated water, leaving the bag on the top of your tank for sometime for the fish to get acclimated to the environment, the you release the fish… same applies with Scoby.

    I prepare my sugar/tea water, which is boiling… cool it down to 86, and at the same time I bring up the temperature of the culture, to 86, which is about 38 from the frig as stored culture… when roughly close put the together… simple and logical!
    I am Just talking about the temperature subject and nothing else…
    No subject of bacteria, mold or fungus , additive, vinegar or kitchen sink!
    Michael
    manokokok@aol.com

  248. clevicy Says:

    Hello, I was introduced to the Kombucha tea for a healthier immune system and also as a aide in weight control. I am an ad-vide drinker of the Kombucha tea and I enjoy it with my 1600 calorie meals, however I’ve seen no change in my weight. Am I missing something, i’m taking the product incorrectly or what? I take it during meals as seen on the web…(take with meal for weight lose after meals for weight gain)
    The medicines that I take cause me to gain weight and I was praying for just a little help to combat any further gain.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration and prompt response

    Sincerely,
    CLevicy

  249. Sandy Says:

    I recently just finished the mini-course and found it very helpful. Unfortunately, I was too excited and jumped ahead before reading Dave’s statement to NOT use Earl Grey tea because it can alter the make-up of your K-tea. ooppss! by then, I already had a batch of mostly Earl Grey, with a couple bags of green thrown in.

    Is it safe? Did I ruin my SCOBY? Can I salvage any of it what should I do?

    Also, what should the color be? Mine is pretty dark, but I figured that might have been because I made a pretty strong sweet tea to start with.

    Last question: Before I read this blog, I had purchased some powdered spirulina from our Whole Foods Coop. I read Michael’s statement to never add “flavors” Would this be counted as a “flavor”? My favorite GTK was the green, because you get more bang for your buck, and I love it. Is adding this a no-no as well?

    Thank you thank you thank you for any response! Sandy

  250. Julian Says:

    Hey Dave,

    I received my order of three bottles of the kombucha concentrate in the mail, which is absolutely delicious with my steeped tea over ice and is sparking my interest in taking the next step and brewing my own. My question is, I had a problem with one of the bottles. It seemed to have leaked a third of it’s contents in the bubble wrap, but the lid appeared to still be on tight when I cleaned it up. It smelled much stronger than the other two bottles I received and had much more carbonation to it. I was a bit nervous to try it so I ended up pouring it out, but I should have asked first. Any info would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Julian

  251. Michael Says:

    RE 251 Posted by Sandy
    I never ever add anything to the brew. I respect the Scoby, follow the original simple recipe, and it would never go bad. My trick! Should I want to add, I add then AFTER pouring some brewed tea in a glass, of course from the frig; then I do whatever I want to it. Why not take any supplement along, rather than mixing them with the stock. Leave the stock alone! Spirulina, being algae, might be alive and even starts growing in the brew… you really don’t want to change and create something new. Contamination in general, is one of main concern, unless some of us are biochemist, we can destroy the Scoby’s environment by adding chemical (Fruits are chemicals) that are not suitable to be along the Scoby. So many interactions might occur between your additive and the brew. Ginger for example, would dissolve the bacteria, and yeasts, like putting your finger into the bleach… Scoby’s bottom surface would be slimy and dead. If something does not belong there, it is a contamination… some are worse than the other, mainly bacterial, fungal, stray yeast, and molds. Dried fruits may contain thousands of the above, we can eat them, but it would be a different story, if you culture it the surface contaminant would start growing, making you brew unusable, and the Scoby is going to be destroyed. Eating them vs. culturing them; totally two different procedures.
    Pesonally I dislike the taste or smell of Spirulina, which is besides the point.
    Bottom Line: Absolutely don’t add anything to the brew, follow the original recipe, and take any and all additives separately along with the glassful of your cold brew.

    Twinnings, and fancy teas not suitable due to the fragrance that they add such as Bergamot… too perfumy for Scoby… simple, cheap recipe, cheap Lipton tea, cheapest white sugar
    cheapest tap water de- chlorinated, and boiled for 15 min. etc.

  252. Sandy Says:

    Hey ppl,
    I thought I read somewhere in this blog that someone had questions about the brewing system from Dave? I will quote here what I received towards the end of the 7-day mini-course: “If this is a specific question regarding one of our Continous Brewing Systems, please post your question her: https://kombuchatea.wordpress.com/kombucha-recipe/

    hope this helps somebody!
    cheers – sandy

  253. Sandy Says:

    thank ewe so much Michael, 4 your response. I still have one important question for you: What should I do now? I have this Earl Grey mixture brewing now for 7 days – – –
    *1) should I throw it out, and get a new SCOBY? this is the first time I have tried making k t, and I was Very sterile! (was a nurse, so big on that anyhow!)
    *2) If I didn’t ruin my MaMa, should I dump most of the liquid and start again? I just peeked at it – the brew is dark, so couldn’t see the best, but she appears the same and is at the bottom. There is a white-ish “film” on the top, which I am assuming is a new baby?—?? The smell is yeasty.

    Thank you again very much Michael. I want to be very careful with this!
    Cheers – sandy

  254. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 255 Posted by Sandy

    Sandy, you worry too much! Your brew is going to be fine, though you have used Earl Grey tea… it is just too fragrant due to the addition of the extract “Bergamot” flower. It won’t really hurt the Scoby, just might slow her growth down a bit. Poor ol’ Lipton tea with nothing added is the best. About the color: it is just too much tea, which is not really harmful either. The next time, use less tea. Don’t throw anything away, you are fine! Though Scoby might look delicate ( Ugly too!) ,but as any living creature in this world; they want to keep living, and resist any adverse conditions… it applies to her, to us and any other living things…

    PS: I make my own blend of tea with the mixture of several teas from different part of the world including Russia, Persia, India, and England, which they get theirs from India anyway! I don’t use my tea blend for the Scoby; it is just for my own drinking. It is so proportionate, that it is always the same taste and aroma to my liking. In 3-4 pounds of the tealeaves blend, I add about 15 drops of bergamot extract, and mix it well, close the lid. The essence, after awhile evens out throughout. Never touch tea with your fingers, and the containers must be void of all odors, and thoroughly sealed.
    manokokok@aol.com

  255. Sandy Says:

    ooooohh, just a couple days ago, my FIRST batch of KT was done! I kept sampling along the way, it took a couple weeks because our house is so cool. *MaMa gave birth to a nice, 5 1/2 # (inch!) baby!* MaMa smaller but thicker, the diameter of the quart jar it came in. I made it in a sun-tea jar I had on had, but now had dug out my crock (?) water jug, with a spout, and it’s about 5 gallons. (yes, i had it checked by a potter, it is definitly a lead-free glaze). I just made about a quarter of it for new KT. What I am wondering is, has anyone had the experience of making alot greater amount at a time, with just 2 SCOBYs?

    * btw, it was SO delicioso, it’s all gone already, just gave the last bottle to a friend who is a serious KT drinker! She gave it an A+ rating! Yea! *

  256. Sandy Says:

    Success!! Thank you 4 your help with this!

  257. Michael Says:

    To all folks or to whom it may concern…

    I often wonder over and over again…

    what the room temperature got to do with the Scoby’s life!

    You get tropical fish; heat up the tank to accommodate the fish, no matter what the room temperature is.

    You wear heavier clothes in the wintertime, and go skimpy at the summer… why should Scoby put up with whatever is there? Would you call it “Neglect”? If something worth having, worth taking care of!

    I get frustrated with illogical persons, and with the ones who use nor understand any common sense. The circle of my own friends voids these types of people… it would be hard to communicate with people who make no sense.

    Back to the Scoby: She would do best at the constant temperature of 86 degrees F… low temps would cause slow progress and developments perhaps the long duration for the completion of the brewing of two weeks or more, (vs. 4 – 5 days); and possibilities of contamination and all together the unsatisfactory product.

  258. Collins Says:

    quick question, im trying ot grow my own scoby from a recipe from another site….its been 5 days and nothing is happening….am i doomed to uy a mother from some other sourse or do i wait and see?

  259. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 260 Posted by Collins

    I wish I could answer the question, which normally the technical ones are the “breeze” , however the question is vague. To grow your own Scoby from what? Do you have one Scoby to begin with and propagate? It doesn’t grow by itself you know… you MUST have one, or at least a piece or a section of one, which could be from mother, or baby; it doesn’t matter… from “NO SEED” you can’t grow a tree… am I missing something here?

    One should keep several in stock refrigerated and in a dormant state to use later, whenever needed… do not put all extras in ONE container, in case they go bad, then you are out. I have 8 of them in 4 different small jars with some brew on the top…won’t hurt to use more than one Scoby in one jar when brewing… I even recommend that!

    email: manokokok@aol.com

  260. randy Says:

    You sent me 3 mushrooms stuck together. It looks like they have been used for a while. How do you separate them.

  261. Michael Says:

    RE: Item262 Posted by randy

    Although the question was addressed to the specific person, the one who sent/sold you the “Three layer” Scoby, I would take the liberty to put my input, while you are waiting for the answer. I believe the sender has its own site for ordering and questioning about the products. This BLOG could be the wrong route to get your answer from the “Store”!

    1 – Anyway, if you paid for just one Scoby, you got three times as much for your money! So, be thankful that you got more.

    2 – The term “they have been used for a while” does not make sense. If you buy a cow weighing 2,000 pounds, would you say she had been used, or you would say she had been taken care of, fed and been nourished for years to be sold when shebecomes matures? The culture that you got is a mature Scoby and would function perfectly and would even produce babies along with the brewed K.T. So what, if in the process of being developed to its maturity, the seller used the tea by – product meanwhile! She had to go to the process to become big and thick!

    3 – You can get the benefit of three Scobys… with a very clean hands, and rinsing the hands with vinegar, just peal off or tear off the layers from each other. Don’t worry if they are not in perfect shape… they would still grow and function. If you just starting your first brewing, put ALL three pieces in the jar; constant temp. of 86 degrees F (Following the recipe… sugar /tea) After the finalization, you can store Scobys along with some brew on top and refrigerate for the future use.
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  262. Isabel Says:

    Hi Dave and all! I’ve been brewing for a couple of months now.
    I have two questions:

    1) I like my k really fizzy. When a batch is done (usually in about 7 days) it has nice bubbles in it (I watch them rise in the brew starting about the second day of a new batch). But once I pour it out of the container it immediately loses most of its fizz. I bottle it and have tried capping and leaving the bottles out for 2 to 3 days. I’ve tried letting it stand in the fridge for a couple of weeks (capped) — but in both cases it doesn’t have much fizz. Any ideas?

    2) I got a SCOBY from a friend of mine. When she gave it to me, it looked like it had perhaps three layers, each about 1/8th inch thick — it’s about 6″ wide. Most of it was that milky white color. The center portion top portion was light brown. After my first batch the center portion was dark brown and I’d read that the layers get old and can be composted. So I pulled off the top layer (put it in my compost pile!) and started a new batch. Seems to be fine. I’ve got about three 1/8″ to 1/4″ layers in there now. But I’m wondering if there are pointers to separating SCOBYS. Also I’d like to grow the ones I’ve got so that I can get two batches going at once. Is there a way to accelerate the growing of SCOBYS?

  263. Anonymous Says:

    > 1. What was the coolest thing you learned from the
    > mini course?

    I liked how it covered the background, basic info, as
    well as techniques of how to make it. Well-rounded.

    > 2. What did you think of the writing, style, format
    > of the classes?

    Good, maybe longer than they needed to be.

    > 3. What would justify a price of providing this
    > information back
    > to its original price of $19.95 (ie it’s worth its
    > full price now,
    > you should offer some more info, include a video,
    > etc)

    A free kombucha culture with the lessons (just the
    culture not the brewer)

    > 4. This is a free for all – write what’s on your
    > mind.

    I couldn’t get to the sweetening tips link. This was
    what I was MOST curious about, as brewing instructions
    can be found in other places on the internet.

  264. Pauline Says:

    oops, forgot to put my email and name down for the answers above.

    Thanks for educating me on Kombucha. After 8 years of buying it, its definitely time to start making my own!

  265. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 264 Posted by Isabel

    FIZZ FIZZ FIZZ… (See also item 1; the answer to the BLOG)

    Alternate Ways, A & B … simple and effective… no one have told you this!

    A ) Add club soda / carbonated water /seltzer water, to the glass of your KT from the refrigerator.

    B ) Add a pinch, or about 1/10 th of the teaspoonful of baking soda, stir and drink right of way… it also reduces the tartness, if that’s also what you want. You want it more tart, add vinegar.

    Now, the response…
    1 – The more you disturb the brew, shake, transfer, agitate, or keeping it at warm temperature; the more you lose the fizz! Try it with the soda bottle, do any or the combination of the above … you would have no fizz whatsoever. Keeping it at the room temperature would create more problems than just losing the fizz… it is an absolute NO… dangerous! Right after the brewing process, it MUST immediately be kept refrigerated. Most food to be kept under 38 degrees for the storage purpose.

    2 – You might not have liked the color, and as the result killed the innocent Scoby just because of the color (I would not go beyond the Scoby issue!). The color varies from beige to brown , due to the contact with the tea color, normally the bottom portion, which is directly touching the solution, becomes darker, and the longer contact, the darker it becomes.
    You ought to remove the layers from each other, which each one can produce the brew. A couple days ago, I posted a response mentioning of how to separate them. I recommend putting more than one Scoby in your brewing jar; if you have more, that is! Several benefits… too long to explain…
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  266. hanna Says:

    i have been brewing for several months now, and my scoby has grown huge, and has turned black…
    is that bad?

  267. Pauline Says:

    Hi Dave, or anyone else who may know,

    Do you think it is a good idea for one to test their home brewed kombucha periodically and how do you test your kombucha to make sure it is healthy and not contaminated.

    Thanks for your site and good information.

    peace.

    Pauline

  268. Pauline Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Do you think it is a good idea for one to test their home brewed kombucha periodically and how do you test your kombucha to make sure it is healthy and not contaminated.

    Thanks for your site and good information.

  269. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 268 Posted by Hanna
    The Black Appearance:

    It is very difficult to come up with a definite conclusion of what it is. The colors I have encountered were from beige to different shades of brown, but I personally have not seen black Scoby. I can tell by visualization and confirming it with the microscope that the black appearance, “Hopefully” is not Stachybotrys Chartarum mold. In this case, it would be extremely dangerous, either to inhale the spores from it or even ingest through drinking the brew. Let’s hope that is not the case… sorry I can’t help much further…
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  270. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 269 Posted by Pauline

    Excellent idea to check things out and it would never hurt to check and re-check your work and product to be sure whatever you are drinking passes the standard and the quality control. The question is; how are you going to check things out? Companies that prepare the brew “ALWAYS” run tests and they have laboratories to do so, and their products always remain the same; taste, flavor, smell, color etc etc, because they run “Quality Control”. Majority of people who culture KT, hope that their end product is drinkable! May be sometimes it is not!

    The following is a very crude way of determination if your brew is good, or at least contaminated or not:

    First of all, you ought to know and be familiar with the flavor, taste, and the looks of a real, healthy, genuine brew.

    Visualization is one method… if the solution is “Turbid” “Cloudy” it is possible, but not necessarily contaminated, however if it is “Glistening” and you can see through when it is in a glass, it might be OK… the reason for such mild and sort of cloudiness is the lose yeasts growing in the brew…it is difficult to describe the looks in writing, you have to “Experience” it, and be expose to it! I can tell by looking at it, even without confirmation by the microscope; but I do confirm anyway. I had never been wrong in this case! Yeasts are transparent, like clear ambles, and much larger than bacteria, imagine millions of them in your solution… light can go through them, whereas the bacteria really clouds up … well, as I said it is hard to explain…

    Odor is another way to tell if it is contaminated… smell of rotten egg definitely is a bad sign… discard the whole thing, your Scoby, though are ways to save, but I am not going into it… discard it too! Any odd odors, also not a good sign…

    Finally the taste. Keep the KT it in your mouth without swallowing it… if tastes bad, spit, rinse your mouth, discard the brew…Again, the Scoby could be save, but just discard it…

    As I mentioned, the above were only some rough and non-scientific ways of determining if your brew is good or bad… I depend on all the above, yet confirm with the aid of a microscope… you can get a decent one for under $300… it is nice to have them handy… make it a hobby, it is fun.

    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  271. Pam L. Says:

    Hi! I have the standard brewer and I started making the tea from an old recipe I had. I’m missing the lesson for actually making the tea? Is there a way I can just get that lesson?

    Pam

  272. Michael Says:

    RE: Item273 by Pam

    So, what is wrong with the old recipe?
    The standard, proven one should be OK… if it works, why you would wand another lesson…
    One gallon of water… boil 15 minutes, add one cup of refined sugar, add 5 Lipton teabags, cover the pot, allow to cool down to about 86 dgrees. Transfer the tea solution into a clean jar or appropriate container for brewing. Add your Scoby, with some KT, if youhave some. Keep temp at 86. You should know the rest when to discontinue brewing. Other people might have some different method… this one is just my way… there are many ways to “Skin the cat” an expression of course!

  273. Sandy Says:

    Pam, If no one else has gotten it to you, post your email and I will. Or, I can also ck out if there is a link to it, and send that! KOKO sandy

  274. Michael Says:

    I am baffled by the mentality of some people… The following is a quote by one, without pointing the finger to any specific individual:

    ”I’ve read on several sites that SCOBY’s, like all living organisms, have a “lifetime” (as only makes sense- nothing lives forever, that’s why we have offspring!)

    The same person probably would say that on different planets, people walk, and of course they have to talk, they need to travel, using cars that might not be exactly the same as ours, they have fruits, grains, vegetables etc etc…

    It is so absurd to compare everything to our narrow minds and our immediate surroundings and cannot see anything beyond our own two feet, making generalizations, without having any facts or knowledge whatsoever about any particular subject…

    One needs to be quiet, should their words are not substantiated, and not based on valid facts and truth. It is best to remain silent, unless their expressions void all doubts!

    The above individual apparently has no concept or clue about the “SCOBY”; (the so-called pancake like matter); or the “COLONY” and its structure! No SCOBY at anytime shall be found to be dead! It is NOT a goldfish to come to the surface, and be pronounced dead, or a fisherman catches a fish bring it aboard waits until it dies … it is NOT a man or woman to die of some causes… it is NOT an animal that is shot and dies! SCOBY does not have any organs such as lung, liver, kidney, heart, brain etc etc… it is a conglomeration of millions of yeast and bacteria… a tiniest cut off segment of the SCOBY can be developed to a mature SCOBY…I had mentioned in the past, that one could cut up the SCOBY; similar to cutting a pancake. You CANNOT kill it by stabbing it… each section is independent, and would grow and becomes like pancake shape (given time, and depending on the shape of the cultivating jar)… we look at the SCOBY, and we notice that it basically remains the same looks; but what we don’t see is the death of thousands of bacteria and yeasts, with the simultaneous regeneration and rebirth of new ones! I know and I understand where some people’s mistake comes from; that SCOBY has limited life, and should we wait we would witness her last “Breath” ! Look at the minute and hour hands of a clock… can you tell if they are moving? NO! Can you tell the few hundreds of cells that are in process of dying and the thousands that are being rejuvenated and reproduced? Again, the answer is No; you CANNOT. The SCOBY that you have had long ago is NOT the same SCOBY that you have today! It might look the same, but it is not. As far as the life of the “COLONY”; or the “MASS” goes; it shall live forever! In bacteriology field, as long as you provide the food for the bacteria or viruses, you can produce the culture and maintain it forever. How do you think they make vaccines for the many decades? I am not going into comparing the new SCOBY to the one from ten years ago. We would be entering into a different chapter, but as far as the shape, performance, and the yield is concerned; basically, all would fall under the same matter.

    If you had noticed, I did not mention anything about the “Baby Scoby” Offspring of Scoby” nor the “Daughter Scoby” those obvious visible productions on the top of the culture, is normally when we are going to start a new batch and so on, however in this writing, the subject of the babies to be ignored… focus and emphasis should be on one “UNIT”, the “Mother” only!

    Epilogue: Without probing into the “Structure” of the SCOBY of what is dying, what is producing and start analyzing it; as a “whole” SHE LIVES FOREVERR!

    PS: I welcome any challenge! I do what I preach and do not speak, unless I know ALL the facts, without any doubts.

  275. PS Says:

    Hello Dave,

    I do not like the way this person is shock marketing her what ever it is:
    product? The whole shock and awe tatic smacks of rip-off artist at work. If
    you really participated in her what ever it is she is selling, then perhaps you
    would like to let me know what it is that you “bought” into. The fact that all
    I get is her media-blitz when I search on the lady and her product is a big scam
    warning signal.

    I almost didn’t participate in your web-site info because of the reference to
    her stuff on your web-site. I have been apprehensive that you two are in it
    together and that you might try to scam me to. So far you seem legit because
    you are giving and sharing good information and not freaking people out with
    fear and refusing to share any info about the Kombucha. I am very grateful for
    your act of self-less giving and it encourages me to return the energy to you
    eventually.

    Please let me know if there is any source of information about what this “fear”
    based ad campaign is really selling.

    Thanks,

    PS

    ————GETKOMBUCHA.COM RESPONSE—————————————————————————————————————-

    Yeah we def. agree with you that there are better ways to market (that’s why we decided many months ago now to simply give away our mini course for free in exchange of honest feedback and a cool renegade kombucha following,,, however, I am not a fan of stealing people’s works, and if this is how she chooses to market I feel I need to respect that… I am in the process of negotiating a small article exclusive to our subscribers to at least give some more detail of what her solution details… it def. works! I have done it! BUT — it is not the end all be all.. neither is kombucha or anything else. As I said in my newsletter, don’t even bother purchasing it until you are drinking 10 glasses of water, sleeping enough, and walking for about 30 minutes a day (yes, every day)… try doing that for 14 dyas in a row.. then when your ready you can decide to go here http://weightlossexposed.restoreyourself.info/

    Dave

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————
    ————– Original message ———————-
    From: “Questions” , “GetKombucha.com”

    > Hi Ps,
    >
    > Forgive me, sounds harsh, I know. But this is what someone asked
    > me recently during a Wellness Summit; SIDE NOTE: (by the way in
    > case you don’t already know, Kombucha is one of the fastest growing
    > beverages now in America, so thanks for spreading the good word
    > about the good culture!).
    >
    > Ok, below is how the conversation went and then a forwarded email
    > that I requested. I do realize what you are about to read might be
    > a little shocking and heavily marketed, like I said it is literally
    > a copy and paste from the email I received. However my challenge
    > to you is this: Have an open mind. The fact that you are reading
    > this means that you are already open and interested in taking
    > control of your health…
    >
    > I also purchased AND applied this system myself.
    >
    > And that’s always the deciding factor, isn’t it?
    >
    > To actually take what you learn AND APPLY IT! So before you read any
    > further, if you are not drinking at least 10 (yep 10 is the new 8),
    > cups of water a day, walking as much as possible (try finding the
    > parking space that is the FURTHEST from work), and getting enough
    > sleep (you should be able to wake up without an alarm)… first take
    > action on those steps BEFORE you read any further. To a long, healthy
    > and happy life. Dave.
    >
    >
    >
    > “Are you crazy?”
    >
    > Why do I ask you this?
    >
    > Simple: Because right now whether you believe me or not, there is a
    > ton of deadly ‘plaque’ inside your intestines, not to mention
    > harmful ‘parasites’ (mostly worms!) that are making and keeping you
    > very, very fat!
    >
    > The fact is: 99.9% of all people living within the United States,
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    > infested with this JUNK.
    >
    > And it’s put there on purpose!
    >
    > That’s right! Someone deliberately put both plaque and parasites in
    > your bowels to make you fat and eventually so sick you may die.
    >
    > Here’s why someone would do this to you and the people you love:
    >
    > > the FATTER you are the more likely you’ll keep eating THEIR
    > foods
    >
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    >
    > > by being overweight, you stand to have some serious troubles
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    > perhaps hospital stays, medical services, as well as
    > expensive DRUGS (and just to be able to prolong your life –
    > where you’ll continue to eat even MORE!)
    >
    > > this pattern will continue – – and THEY will get RICHER –
    > while you just get FATTER and SICKER (the whole time they’re
    > just laughing at you!)
    >
    > > WORSE: your children will inherit this same pattern from you
    > (meaning these same doctors, food companies, and drug
    > manufacturers will continue to get even richer – this time
    > off of YOUR KIDS!)
    >
    > But now one lady doctor has come forward and forever blow the lid
    > off the whole scheme to keep you fat, make you sick, and pass this
    > on to your children.
    >
    > She’s discovered a clever, simple, yet very natural way to FLUSH
    > out both the plaque and the deadly little parasites from your guts
    > once and for all!
    >
    >
    > =>
    >
    http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=LLgIt&m=9Fb_KEh7Ff0jX&b=FgsWc5_.d7Mv1M4qqSPo8Q
    >
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    > you will be able to do!
    >
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    >
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    >
    > To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit:
    > http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?LEyMbJzMtCzMTCzMjAxMtGa0HAwcLCzs

  276. Michael Says:

    Not a response to any particular person…

    Thank you for posting my above comments, I had noticed that it was under scrutiny for a while, asking for “Moderation” , modifications and perhaps censorship!? After all, that’s what the BLOGS are for, to express one’s inputs, keeping them in an acceptable manner. I did not think that my words were out of line, or responding, addressing, and or attacking any particular person from the BLOG. It had been my experience, and when it became more frequent, then I decided to start writing about the subject, though at times, it often might be frustrating, but I won’t allow the outer environment to control my mind, so I take anyone’s remark with a grain of salt… express my comment and thereafter it is up to the reader to accept or reject… the ball is in their court… I have said what I have felt appropriate at the time; with the understanding that “nothing is written on stone”!
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  277. Michael Says:

    RE: 277

    Warning: My two bits of advice!

    I went to the website, and Dr. Suzanne Gudakunst really scared me. Her reading a parasitology book, and telling us that we have all of the parasites under the sun, is really absurd. On the contrary, and what I disagree with her is:

    The more one has worms in the guts, the skinnier he/she becomes and of course if not treated the patient might die. The fact: All those parasites would “DEPRIVE” us from using the food and nutrients that we eat, and they eat most of it before we can utilize them!

    Example: In Africa, you have seen the picture of kids who are so skinny that you can see their bones under the skin, why; because they have many kinds of parasites, yet their stomach is huge because of the great mass of worms, the “Bulk” itself make their stomach so big! Even if you feed them appropriately, worms get to to the food first, and they have no mercy; they starve you to death, not to mention the toxic secretions of each parasite! Don’t let the skinny looks of the Dr. Suzanne fool you… you don’t know if she is bulimic, or anorexic! Or Not because she has had worms and got rid of it and now she is slim! Same with many advertisements, showing a beautiful woman with gorgeous hair, advertising a shampoo, to find out, that she had never heard of the name of that shampoo… just an example…

    So, I personally would neither subscribe to her book, nor follow the drugs that she might be offering in there, which they themselves might be harmful to our healthy body and kill us…

    Any laboratory through your own doctor can be ordered the stool exam, for the detection of the parasites’ eggs. I guarantee that 99.9% of us are free of parasites! Other method of detection is to thoroughly empty the entire content of the stomach and guts, and visualization of the parasites themselves physically…

    Dissolving the membrane of all parasites by means of enzymatic method, is another method, which you would not be able the actual parasites, because they have already been dissolved. The above detection and/or remedies is abosolutely harmless, and can be addressed accordingly.

    Dissolving; in case youare infested, and in visual aspect, each parasite have their own way of treatment.

    Let me ask the pet owners: Why do your cays become skinny… they are under the same diet? Parasites, most likely tapeworm… AFTER treatment they would “GAIN” weight! While infested, they “LOSE” weight! Think about it… thumbs down for Dr. Suzanne!

    PS: I could not see the connection between the above article with all the websites to the subject of “Kombucha”… oh well… since we were at it, I thought to hop in anyway… you know me!

    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  278. Virginia Thomas Says:

    I have diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis can Kombchua help me with this?

    —————-GETKOMBUCHA.COM RESPONSE———————-

    Hi Virginia, though Kombucha has been reported several ailments, I can not legally make medical claims. I suggest you incorporate it into your lifestyle and discuss it with your medical doctor.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

  279. Michael Says:

    An important notice to ALL

    Prior to having all the information and facts on hand and understanding the subject thoroughly, I try not to jump to any conclusions, nor get frustrated! Going around, wandering off and assuming unrealistic issues; would not create anything except chaos. Not to mention the energy that one would consume to visualize vague elements and dwell on something that might not even be in existence, or perhaps try to approach, and follow some erroneous path, yielding to nowhere! Often some for no reason get frustrated at something that they don’t even have any clue to the nature of the so- called problem… to get frustrated, is an useless behavior to begin with anyway!

    Now getting to the nitty gritty …

    I have recently found out and understood that this BLOG that we are using, has adapted to a new and different system. By that I mean ALL of our submitted comments must be examined and cleared of all SPAMS, and other harmful elements, before they get posted, published, and presented to the public.

    Should you see a remark, right after where your name appears, stating that “Waiting for Moderation” that’s what it is and someone has to check it out before releasing and posting it into the BLOG. It takes 2-4 days for the BLOG owners, before getting to them and check things out…It happened to me, and I was wondering the definition of the word ”Moderation” in this particular case, and my hands were tied, not knowing if I should be the one doing something to do the “Moderation “ process, or how does one do such an act anyway… I started to get confused, not knowing anything about this “New” approach!

    I found an appropriate email address, and I asked about the issue! I got the answer, So, I am relaying the result of the memorandum, and sharing it with all of you!

    Here, I am taking the liberty to indulge into responding to this issue, though this writing is neither my position nor my job to inform the participants, however, since I had always helped out clearing some mysteries, this is another resolution of this ambiguities issue. Being in research field, I crave for discoveries! There you are!

    No exception to the rule; this informative writing, would also go through the “ Moderation” process before it reaches you. You, and only you can see your comment with the sequential number, however, if you look at the very beginning of the BLOG, you would see the total numbers of the responses, and your number would not appear there prior to being checked out… give it time…

    Hopefully yours would not be a SPAM, which you would be out, and un-published!

  280. Manie Says:

    Thank you very much for the seven day course. There is however one aspect that was not covered and that is the daily intake of Kombucha. A friend of mine told me to take 50 ml Kombucha in the morning and 50 ml again in the evening. It will be appreciated if you can advise me on that.

    Kind regards,

    Manie

  281. Mark Says:

    How do I stop a new scooby from forming after I bottle my Kombucha and yet retain the great fizz that I am getting after 3-4 days in room temp before i refrigerate? I am already filtering with a fine metal meshed strainer.

    What to do? Please help.

    Thank you, Mark

  282. Michael Says:

    RE: Item number 283 Posted by Mark

    A few things I WOULD NOT DO:
    1 – I would not leave any food especially in the liquid form at room temperature… decay, decomposition, and the contaminant to grow and multiply are a few problems that you might be dealing with. (Immediately after the completion of the brew, I refrigerate the tea)… you want more fizz; add seltzer water, soda water, or club soda to the glass of your tea. Don’t sacrifice your health; to get the possible “Extra” fizz… not worth it!

    2 – I would not use any metal mesh, or would not allow any metal to come in contact with neither the SCOBY, nor the brew.

    3 – I would not worry about the newly formed SCOBY…should you save them, they can help you to grow more, and help you to expedite the growth of the culture, yielding the result in fewer days.
    Above are just my personal opinions.
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  283. jennifer Says:

    Hi I just started my first batch. I am excited. I need to know how to store my second culture. I am going to give it to a friend but I can not get it to her for a couple of days…soooo
    1. can I put it in a jar with some of the starter tea, and put a cloth on top and keep it on the counter with the already brewing tea (they will feel safe that way).
    2. should I leave it locked up in its zipper bag, no breathing that way?
    3. should I keep it cool?
    4. I live in Fresno CA, for those who don’t know it it can get hot like the desert here in the summer (105 is not unusual for days on end). So if I happen to live in a house with out air conditioning whats a girl to do? (get air conditioning I bet you’ll say) I have a basement and the temp is 10-20 degrees cooler down there in the summer, is this where the little feller should live in the summer months?

  284. sandy Says:

    To: Virginia Thomas,

    I received a call this morning that my blood tests were ” a little” abnormal, and am being sent to a rheumatologist. I knew I had some OA before this.

    I am on my 5th batch of brewing KT, after drinking it off and on for many months. So, I would like to keep in touch with you on journey with rheumatoid arth. How long ago were you diagnosed, what other natural things you have tried, etc.

    Thank you and KOKO! (means Keep On Keeping On!)
    Sandy

  285. Martin Says:

    I heard Kombucha is alkaline. However, it tests acidic with Ph strips. Is that because I have let it ferment too long?

  286. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 285 Posted by Jennifer

    It really doesn’t matter if you live in the warm climate such as Fresno, or a cold climate such as Alaska or perhaps you happen to have a cool basement… all you need is a “Controlled” “Cool” surrounding, around 38 degrees… a “Refrigerator” would accommodate such environment for you!
    Keep the Scoby along with some brew to cover it, keep it in a very clean glass jar or a bowl, covered loosely with a plastic lid or inverted dish. The culture would stay dormant for weeks, perhaps months! Ziplock bags might be all right for a very shrt time for transport, otherwise I do not recommend… plastics, depending on the type, can be toxic to the Scoby

    I could not figure out the function of a piece of cloth over the Scoby… that youmentioned! She does not need to be pampered, if that’s what you’re trying to do…anyway any cloth that you might be using, I guarantee you, that would contaminate your culture, unless it is sterile gauze, which I still am puzzled by the purpose of the cloth!

    Also, never suffocate the Scoby by keeping it in an airtight container… botulism is just one of many nasty thing, which would thrive especially under such acidity, similar to green beans and pickles…

    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  287. Nancy Says:

    Hey Dave,

    My last batch of Kombucha molded! What could’ve made the scobies mold?? I’ve been making kombucha for several months and have never had this problem before.

    Thanks!
    Nancy

  288. Michael Says:

    RE: item 287 Posted by Martin

    RE: item 287 Posted by Martin

    Sorry, you heard it wrong. The brew is, and must be acid to the pH of about 3.0 when completed… you are doing just fine!
    This issue is so very rudimentary subject.

    We have “people” telling you something; and we have “Me” telling you something… whatever I have said so far in this BLOG, had no challenges, though I ask for it! Brag brag! I have to admit that a few times, I had gotten frustrated by the mentality of some individuals, whom often I get freaked out by them! No common sense, and no logic? Sometimes I give up, and sometimes I vent out… lack of knowledge is perfectly all right and I would never ever put people down, but the lack of common sense gets me! I Share anything that I know with people, no matter who they are; logic, or no logic… it doesn’t stop my giving…Best of luck brewing!

  289. jennifer Says:

    RE: Post 288 Michael
    The cloth I mentioned to was to cover the jar not the Scoby.
    Thanks for the information Michael.

    From what I understand metal and some plastic are bad.
    Is plastic harmful just for storing the Scoby?
    Is a plastic funnel ok for pouring the ktea into the bottles?
    I am about 5-7 days away from bottling,
    and I am still unsure what to do. I am assuming that the “mother” Scoby is removed and then the ktea is poured into bottles for drinking. Then Scoby is placed back into the large jug the she started in and the process is repeated.

  290. Michael Says:

    RE: Items 285; 288; 290 Related. Posted By Jennifer

    Sorry about the confusion in reference to the “Cloth”… your wording was not clear to me and I did not understand the intent… Speaking of the cloth; do not use natural made, such as cotton. It is vulnerable to attack and a good harbor for mold, fungus, and bacteria. That’s why cotton deteriorates. I recommend a section of Nylon Hosiery. It is impervious to many elements, and stays clean for a long time after washing. Nothing would grow on it! The perfect solution, and the size of the mesh is so small that the bugs won’t get through… See, you brought up the subject; at least you got something out of it! Would you believe that I put all discarded cotton made materials in my compost pile? It disappears in a few months!

    Plastic funnels are fine for transferring . The contact is so brief that one should not even think about it.
    Transporting the Scoby to a friend or so in the ZipLock bags are also OK since the duration is so minimal… I do not store her for a long time in plastics, especially # 3,6, and 7 … the acidity might pull out undesirable component of the plastics.

    Now let me tell you how I do the procedure:

    1 – I use the one- gallon Sun-Tea jug with spigot to make my brew.

    2 – After the completion of the culture/ brew, (Another long chapter of when to stop!!!) I remove the Scoby with a very clean utensil, and put her into a clean glass container along with some of the brew to cover her…cover the container with the a lose lid and keep it in the refrigerator for almost as long as you want for the next brewing… it would stay in a dormant state and you do not have to worry about her. I don’t know what quantity you make at each brewing process and I don’t know the amount of the consumption… judge your timing, considering how much brew you have available to you, before you start the new batch, bring the Scoby out, and put her to work!

    3 – Put the jug in the refrigerator, right after removing the Scoby, and DO NOT leave it at room temperature! The brew is a food, in the liquid form, and MUST NOT be kept at the room temperature… same as milk, soup, and ALL foods liquids or solid… does not matter … the liquid is WORST form, and very vulnerable… I hope people listen to me at least in this particular issue! In many ways, through reasons, and logic, and science I had been trying to persuade people to refrigerate it. I have lost the count of how many times in this BLOG, I write about this subject!

    PS: You mentioned that you are about 5-7 days from bottling; which means to me that you would be completing the brewing process… am I right? I wonder how do you determine that it is the time? If your gauge is based on the number of the days; then you are doing the “Shot In The Dark” method and the guesswork. As I mentioned above the subject of “Completion”, is very lengthy, and beyond the scope of this BLOG. How do you know if you are drinking sugar water, or if it contains certain amount of glucose… is it going up, or coming down, and what had been the temperature at all times… the temperature itself can throw your timing way off by many many days… so many factors need to be considered; that’s why I can’t write up a book about it! Many people they drink the K.T. not done, or overdue… as long as they are happy, and they don’t know, I guess it won’t hurt… it really doesn’t… too much or too little of this or that ingredients in reference to Scoby, I don’t thing it would hurt…But not “Kosher” ; just an expression… unrelated to any religion!
    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  291. jennifer Says:

    RE: 292
    I am determining the time to bottle on the information I received in the Kombucha mini course
    this is the quite bellow

    “>>TASTING SOONER THAN LATER (…who says patience is a virtue?)<>HOW DO I KNOW IT’S READY?<<
    You are looking for a slightly sharp (acidic), not sweet
    taste. If it is not quite there yet then put the cover back on and
    leave it for another day or so before tasting again.
    The length of brewing time can vary quite a lot but, it is normally
    between 5 days to 2 weeks though, it can take longer under certain
    circumstances.[How strong your starter tea was, what type of
    tea was used, time of season, temperature controls, location, how
    much air, if the tea was or was not left undisturbed, how many
    SCOBYs were places in the container (more SCOBYS = faster brewing
    time), etc, are just some of the many circumstances that affect
    brewing time and taste]”

    So I have been brewing almost one week (tomorrow will be a week)
    ktea left undisturbed, my house is at a constant house temp. (we have no heat or air so it is warm when it is warm and well you get it) I tasted today and it tasted sweet, and just a little bit
    tart. I tested the ph and if I am reading it correctly it is just around 3.0-3.2 ( I am using the ph tests strips that came with the jug I purchased with my Scoby. I wish I had not because I have one just like it). I think that I understood you, Michael, to say that at 3.0 the ktea is ready. So I bottle and enjoy.
    I really do appreciate your help with all these questions.
    Ok so the million dollar question I have is what is your recipe?
    how much tea? how much sugar? how long do you brew? how many Scoby?

  292. cw Says:

    Drinking how much Kombucha per day would be considered too much?

  293. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 293 Posted by Jennifer

    As you see, there are so many factors involved in brewing process, which can rule the timing of the completion. It is not making a dinner to go by taste! It is a science… although a few pointers of mine have been added to the course, but still lacks the scientific approach. Timing from 5 days to two weeks is a very large span; and you don’t really know where in between youshould stop the process. I discontinue the process within a few hours, exactly when it needs to be stopped. Taste test would also indicate to me that it is the time, though I don’t depend on it. I have to mention that it always tastes identical to any and all previous batches, due to the proper amount of each and every ingredients within.

    Should you remember the contents of my last writing, the subject of “When to stop” is very complicated and it would be quite lengthy… remember?

    The formula that youasked… the way I do it…

    1 – In a clean pot, use one cup of sugar per one gallon, (minus 2 cups) of water.

    2 – Boil for 15 minutes; add 5-7 teabags (Or three heaping teaspoon of lose tea).

    3 – Let stand for about 15 minutes, while it is covered.

    4 – Strain it if you use the lose tea, otherwise remove the teabags.

    5 – While hot, gradually pour into the culturing jar, while swirling to prevent breakage.

    6 – Cover the jar, let it to cool down at room temperature, at the same time, bring the Scoby’s temp. to the same temperature.

    7 – Add Scoby ( The more, the better and faster yield) to the sugar-tea solution and keep it at 86 degrees F.

    The rest is up to you, referring to the completion time. Don’t forget to throw away any material made of cotton for covering the jar, use women’s nylon hosiery. Cotton is food for bacteria, mold and fungus. That’s why dishtowels, which theoretically should be clean would smell sour… something growing… bugs! I understand that many suppliers of the kits; they send you cloth made of cotton. In the course that you studied, it is still a common practice.
    I have created lids made of nylon mesh, and there is no need for the rubber band! There are many ways to skin a cat… (A provereb) Good Luck…

    manokokok@aol.com

  294. Janis Says:

    I just now started a batch brewing. & would like to add more to my kt that is in the brewer. ( am “growing” my 2nd scoby, to make more at a time, but would like to brew more with this batch. Can I add some more sweet tea within a couple of hours?

  295. (sandy) janis Says:

    ok so i just poured the sweet tea in to start a new batch. Due to unforseen stuff happening, it is much less than I usually make. If I do it right away, can I still brew some more quick-like and add to it? (of course, cooling it first!) sandy (janis)

  296. Michael Says:

    RE: Items: 296 & 297 Posted by Janis

    In both texts, the statements/questions are not quite understandable and are vague to me, however, to the best of my ability, assuming the intent; I proceed to respond…

    Disregard, if the response is not what you are asking and looking for… though it might be relevant to some other applications! An informative and useful subject anyway.

    If I understand correctly; are you adding sugar/tea solution into your already brewing culture, and while it is in process? If that’s the case; it is absolutely a wrong thing to do! You must leave the process to continue until it is totally completed without adding anything to it. Again, “ Continual Culturing” *, following the above method is going to be detrimental to the process… you would be sort of “contaminating” the brew with your additive, which is “Sugar”, while your brew is almost ready to be harvested. Unless you are wanting to drink sugar water, along with “Partially” done brew! Doing so, you would never allow the brew to reach its “Maturity”.

    Never add or mix anything to the brew, while in process…a very bad idea! Complete one batch… start a new one, and let it complete…

    * There is no such a thing as the continual culturing, following the above method! I call it “Messing With It”… so, leave it alone, and let it finish the work! I think I have put enough emphasis into the subject!

    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  297. jennifer Says:

    RE 295
    Thank you Michael. I have replaced the cotton, and I get it.
    I am pleased with my ktea. I liked it very much, problem was that
    there was just not enough. Friends wanted some, so I gave some away, drank some yum.
    So now I have 2 scoby and well as I see it I will have another at the end of the next brewing, correct? Well I think that I will start 2 batches. I can just see it my kitchen will be taken over by the scoby and the ktea. ha ha.
    Thank you Michael’s for your expertise.
    Peace and health to you

  298. Michael Says:

    Just a pointer… If you want a faster brewing time; do the following:

    1 – Use any and all Scobys that you possess and put them all in one batch…(Once I put six Scobys; the completed brew time; 5 days! Right elements of course such as, but not limited to constant temperature of 86 degrees…

    2 – If you can separate the babies from mother, separate them…

    3 – If you can slice the thick Scobys, do so… (Like slicing a piece of English Muffin; Not cross cut; Not like eating pancakes)… Do not worry if the slices are not perfect; also don’t worry about damaging her… she WOULD NOT die! By the way, I use a Teflon spatula, which has sharp edges… Do not use any knives or metal cutting tools!

    The more Scoby “SURFACE” the better! That is the only objective… try it, you’ll like it!

    PS: Before handling Scoby; wash and brush your hands and nails with dishwashing liquid soap using a surgeon’s brush… rinse well… pour vinegar in your hand, rub for a minute or so… do not rinse… your hands now “Theoretically” sterile, and you can handle Scoby with your bare hands!

    manokokok@aol.com

  299. Marie Davino Says:

    Hi guys,
    Been brewing my tea for several batches now and I love it!
    Only one mistake…my fiorst few brew took seven days and then my scoby got HUGE!!!! and instead of drinking a little to test it i just let it go the seven days…hence a very vinegar batch! No big deal, threw it out and made a new brew which I will bottle tomorrow. Anyway, one question…
    I saved all my Gt bottles before I began brewing my own and I just use those bottles (washing and sterilizing of course)
    but my caps are not good anymore…anyone know good place to buy new plastic caps to fit GT bottles? Does our Dave (not GT Dave) sell them, just caps without bottles?
    I looked at another site but it has a million different sizes and I was just wondering if anyone has done this before. I like the plastic caps with the dome as they are easier to clean.
    I called Dave but haven’t heard yet.
    Anyway, love brewing, very happy with my packaged teabags (it is so easy!) so i am a very happy customer!

  300. Anonymous Says:

    Hey,

    Dave here… we currently do not provide extra caps.. but if people want them, we’ll look into it… also glad you like our tea!! can’t tell you how good it makes me and the gang feel… hmm ok,. here’s a temp solution… next time you place an order for more of our tea bags, write in the comments that you want some caps, and we’ll include them for free 🙂

    yep. we’re good like that. dave.

  301. Marie Davino Says:

    Hey, you ARE good! Just ordered some more tea, but I think it is already on its yummy way. I will ask next time!
    If you do get caps to sell 🙂 … got a lot of bottles here Dave 🙂
    I will need about 40 !!!!!
    Yep, drank a lot of GT’s before I got brave enough to make my own…hubby and I go through 2-3 16 oz bottles a day. Boy do I love the fizz…used to love beer that way but this is SO much better!!! LOL
    Thanks so much!!!!!
    Marie

  302. Ed Says:

    Hello, Wanted to make contact to give you the feedback you requested in regards to the Kombusha course.
    I am very curious and intrigued by the continuous brewing system, but I will get to that in a minute. The writing style was fine, but more pictures and videos may be of benefit to people unfamiliar eit the brewing and harvesting of Kombucha cultures.
    I had a culture which I kept inwoderfu condition for about 10 years. I was extremely careful about contamination, and cleanliness was to priority. On my final batch I somehow introduced a mold that completely destroyed my cultures. I was devistated. That was about 2 years ago. I miss the mystique of the brew and deperately want to obtain a new culture.
    That being said, I am a bit afraid of getting one from an unknown source as I don’t know how clean and with what care and condition they are kept under.
    Some weeks I would complain about the long procedure in brewing and harvesting. I am curious how the continuous brewing system can keep down contamination. I also never used plastic. This causes no problems?
    My tea was always kept in large Pyrex bowls. Instead of covering with an elastic band around a piece of flour sack (what a pain to accomplish), I stretched the cloth in an embroidery hoop that fit snugly to the rim of the bowl. This could then be elevated slightly above the rim to allow for the baby to raise a bit above the tea line.
    Hope this adds an idea that can be used by yourself and others. Look forward to hearing from you. Ed

  303. OdieO Says:

    I am actually running into the same problem with the (GT Dave’s) Kombucha caps….

    I’ve got like 30 bottles and all the caps are rusting after going through the dishwasher. Are the caps available through this site the same size? I could use about 30 as well… but I just ordered my continuous brewer last night. Any chance we can throw a few in the box?

    Also, I’m wondering what size brewer I need.. I ordered the 5 gal brewer, but was thinking that might be overkill and the 2.5 gal porcelain would work. Suggestions?

    Thanks!

  304. Sandy Says:

    I realize you can vary amount according to strength, but what amount of loose tea do people use per gallon? I got some from this site today, & am excited to try it! Also, what do you put the loose tea in? I have only used bags before.

  305. Michael Says:

    RE: Item #306 Posted by Sandy

    Ingredients:
    Lose tea, three heaping teaspoon.
    Sugar one cup.
    Water one gallon minus 1-2 cups.*
    Pinch of Love!

    Direction:
    Bring to boil the sugar added water for 15 minutes. (Turn off the heat)

    Add the tea to the solution, and cover for another 15 minutes.

    Strain while hot into the one gallon Sun tea container**, swirling the solution all around to prevent breakage. Cover the jar.

    Cool down to the optimum “Culturing” temperature.

    While the above is in process of cooling, bring your culture out of the refrigerator, and sort of warm it up to the same temperature as the solution.

    Add as many Scoby that you have into the solution… the more, the better.

    Incubate at the proper temperature and the proper time duration for it to reach to the final product.

    Refrigerate immediately … treat it the same as any food product such as milk etc.

    *There are so many types of tea… some are “powdery” for the purpose of the color and fast brewing, and some much more “Leafy” and are aromatic… however the tea issue is not really critical and any amount or type would do…

    ** Less water issue: Allows room for addition of the culture and the brew “volume-wise”; and allows larger “Surface” for the better development of the Scoby, consequently a larger yield for the spreading the culture. (The neck of the jar is narrow… you want the surface to be below the neck, where the cylindrical section of the jar just starting)

    *** My incubator, which I built; can accommodate two jars. I keep the lid slightly ajar for the air access. Has handle for the ease of transport and spigot for dispensing right from the refrigerator.

    So many tricks; so many mistakes; and so many solutions!

    Email: manokokok@aol.com

  306. JRH Says:

    I have been making homemade kombucha for a few weeks, and it tastes great. One random question for you– the new culture on top seems normal (light color, semigelatinous, etc) but is bumpy rather than smooth. Should I worry about this lack of smoothness on the top culture?

  307. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 308 Posted by jRH

    As we, ourselves look different; the Scoby can be of different shape, size and color… it is a nature made and not a “Machine made”. As the Scoby grows, depending to what condition it is in, it grows accordingly… should it be submerged; if it is partially exposed to the air; the moisture above the cultivating jar, the amount of sugar solution on the surface, is it damp or semi dry, and to what degree, etc etc…

    So, any irregularitis whatsoever as far as the shape goes, should not be of any concern at all…

    manokokok@aol.com

  308. Marie Davino Says:

    Hey OdieO,
    I am going to try some sample caps…cone lined plastic…from an online company SKS and see if they fit. Will let ya know!
    Marie

  309. Sandy Says:

    Re: #310. Marie, I also am curious to find out about other caps fitting the GT Dave’s bottles. I have a few cases of them, and just cannot throw them out into the recycle bin!!

  310. Sandy Says:

    p.s. Dave, I rec’d my tea order and it is SO good! thanx 4 a wonderful product.

  311. denise Says:

    What would be your take on my son who is taking seizure medication? Do you think he could drink kombusha since it has a detox effect on the body? Would it lower his medication levels? I know you’re not a Dr. and I am not going to sue over your answer, just wondering what you might have read concerning this.

  312. Susan Says:

    GT Bottle Tops:

    I found that JUICEPLUS adult size vitamin caps fit perfectly on the GT bottles…the children’s vitamin caps are too big. I struggled with rust flavor in my Kombucha from the metal caps and wanted to find a top that would not rust and this worked! I do bottle in sinful plastic now too though (Never thought I would!!)….ever since I had a glass bottle explode. Gatorade and water bottles work fine. I have little children and can not take a chance of another explosion…. It was very scary! I still use GT bottles, but also use plastic.

    Currently using Kedem grape juice (about 10% juice/ 90% K-Tea) and also Strawberries or raspberries…again about 10% of the bottle filled with fruit, then 90% Kombucha. For extra fizz, I leave on the counte for 3-14 days…or until I drink. I almost never refrigerate anymore, but if I have bottles that are 14 days old, I will place in the frig to slow the process…. this way they dont get too vinegary.

  313. OdieO Says:

    AND… it’s a growin thang!

    Dave thanks a million! I received my new brewer today and it’s amazing!

    Sooo stoked to taste my new brew, it’s still going to be another week or so, but I couldn’t be more excited! I’m going to have a little kombucha party once the first batch is ready to show off the new brewer!

    Per the CAPS… #310 & #311 – Dave sent me a few sample caps with my order to see what works best. He’s got the exact caps from the GT Dave’s bottles, but he also has a plastic cap that I like much more! Go with the normal plastic and not the pressure fit (which were a little weird to screw tight)!

    DAVE IS AMAZING!!! Thanks bro!

    Peace & Love, odie

  314. OdieO Says:

    Oh, and don’t let me forget that I’m also enjoying the most splendid cup of whole tea. Although I couldn’t even try to guess what type it is.. I guess I’ll have to order a few different types!

    Oh well 🙂 Cheers!

  315. Janis/andy Says:

    My kt was almost ready to be bottled when – opps – I went out of town for over 2 weeks, forgetting all about it. Now I have a couple of gallons of very very strong tea. The heater was on, so the SCOBY is probably ok; but what do I use for a new starter tea? Can I pour out most of the liquid and use the remaining with it, or should I use one of the last remaining bottles from the last batch? Anyone ever dealt with leaving it for so long, help would be appreciated! Thank you in advance.

  316. Kelly Says:

    Greetings to the K-tea community! I wanted to take a few moments to share my experience with K-tea. About four months ago I began to regularly purchase GT’s Kombucha tea as a weekly treat during grocery shopping. This was a giant step up from a cookie! I gave up soda around the same time and may have subconsciously been trying to replace it with something bubbly. I thought it taste unlike anything I had ever tried. As the weeks went by I found I wanted more than one a week. I started shelling out a good deal of dough for this commercial tea. I thought there must be a more economical way to do this.

    I began researching Kombucha on the internet. I revolted against the idea of fermenting something in my home. I confess my greatest talents do not lie in the kitchen arena. I was afraid it would be too complicated and require too much of my time. I signed up for Dave’s classes and was persuaded I could and should brew my own K-tea. By the by, these classes are delightful in style but also educationally extraordinarily well done.

    I ordered the porcelain continuous brewing system. I am hesitant of using plastics for myself. I have brewed three batches to date and I’ve used organic sugar and organic green tea. My SCOBY produced a baby on the second brew.

    I’ve read of people being disappointed their brew doesn’t taste like GT’s or some other commercial brew. Personally I find mine more delicious that the commercial stuff. Initially I thought there would be no brew I wouldn’t like but I found Kombucha Miracle something-er-other made from Oolong to be barely drinkable—and the bottles aren’t even reusable because of the twist off cap. I triply appreciate my home brew.

    I drink a 16 oz bottle every day on the way to work. It keeps me calm during my commute. Sometimes I bring another bottle and have it at lunch. My favorite way to drink it is to add goji berries or the juice of a lemon—divine! I’ve found my body tells me how much to drink. I like it even more on hot weekend days when I’m busy. As with any drink, I keep in mind that I need to drink at least twice as much water as I do anything else.

    I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian trying to incorporate and transition to a mainly raw foods diet, at least for the summer. I found incorporating K-tea has curbed my hunger and relieved stomach aches (when I revert to packaged food). Otherwise I’ve noticed nothing unusual. But then, it takes time to regenerate and it should happen gradually.

    I am interested in new ways of using the K-tea. Such as soaking sprouts in the tea and using the SCOBY as a skin product. I’m very curious how others have benefited from the tea.

    Best wishes to all.

  317. Janis/andy Says:

    hey Kelly – look on Dave’s links in the class. He has some great videos, good recipes, with – as I understand – more to come? hint hint, Dave! They can be found on u tube as well.

    good luck, and I enjoy my kt immensely also!
    sandy

  318. Catherine Says:

    Hi, I’ve been trying to figure out how to post on here for weeks so I guess I’ll just add onto this thread. Hang on for the back story because this really is about K-tea.

    First off. I have breast cancer. I’ve been blessed in that the type of cancer I have is one of the least aggressive forms there is but still, it’s cancer. By the way, I never capitalize the name of this just because I don’t think it is that important a thing in my life. How I’m living with it is.

    At first I went the medical route in my treatment. Though I wouldn’t allow them to remove the tumor, I did have a hysterectomy to remove the source of estrogen and progestrone feeding the beasty. I went on a drug called Arimidex following my surgery that is the new “wonder kid” on the pharmaceutical block. Well… that was a bad move. My husband was doing most of the research for me as my brain was fried and we chose to take this route even though I felt I was feeling God leading me in another.

    The first couple of months of treatment went by undeventfully and then all of a sudden I began to awaken in the middle of the night with my hands tingling. I was tested for thyroid function and for pernicious anemia, (B-12 deficiency) but neither were an issue. I had been low on iron before my surgery and was not catching up so I was told to take an iron suppliment. From there my nightmare drug reaction cascaded. By November when I stopped taking the drug I had carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, I had trigger finger in six digits, and a hairline ankle fracture. Every joint save my elbows ached with each move of my body. I wanted to die.

    I decided to stop taking Arimidex and to use a nutritional suppliment called Cantron. I was already eating a Traditional Diet, one full of digestive enzymes, and drinking raw milk. I’d been buying some K-tea at the health food store but really couldn’t afford the $3.29 per 16 ounce bottle. I was already making Kefir at home when one day, a friend offered to send me a SCOBY, for the cost of mailing it. She was drinking K-tea for the pain associated with Lyme disease. She swore by K-tea and Kefir’s detoxifying abilities. Off went the $5.00.

    I have been drinking K-tea daily for about 10 weeks. The inflammation in my hands has resolved itself in all but one finger. The carpal tunnel is 100% gone. I now move like a 49 year old healthy person should and can walk a 15 minute mile. I exersize with a 28 year old friend 4-5 times a week. We walk a minimum of 4 miles or bike 10. Also my brain is clearing of the B#%&@* fog I was in while on the drug.

    I have two gallons of K-tea on top of my refrigerator at all times now. I’m going to get a third gallon going soon so I can share more. I’m already sharing my SCOBY’s with anyone who is interested in trying K-tea for it’s health benifits.

    How’s my favorite way to drink K-tea? I mix 5 ounces of Montmorency Tart Cherry juice concentrate, into a gallon and add 24 raisins for my second brew. I let it sit 48 hours more before chilling it. I tap a 16 ounce bottle of K-tea and take it to work with me to have with lunch every day. I love my K-tea!

  319. Dana Abbott Says:

    CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO REMOVE THE SCOBY FROM THE TEA. HANDS, SPOON, POUR.

  320. Janis/andy Says:

    re: no. 321

    Dana -you sterilize sterilize sterlize. I use my hands I have a cheap box of 50 latex gloves around all the time, so sometimes i use them. wash your hands and wrists, rinse, then rinse again with vinegar. The same with whatever container you are going to transfer it to. I put mine on a plate when transferring or removing some scoby to pass on to others.
    hope this helps! Key Word is “Keep it Clean!”

  321. Dana Abbott Says:

    Thanks,Thanks, Thanks

  322. phebe Says:

    it’s been 8 days and my tea tastes pretty sweet still with a slight tang. I’m nervous to wait too long to bottle because i don’t want it to be too vinegary after the 4-7 day pre fridge time. any thoughts on when to bottle? (besides the 7 day course- got it)

    also i was trying to use the PH test sticks but neither of the links on your page that say they will take me to the chart actually take me there. where can i find that chart?

    thanks,
    phebe

    ################

    Hey Phebe,

    We will be releasing an Advance Master Class course very soon which will go into depth about perfecting the bottling process.. in the mean time I suggest re-reading the mini course and just experiment with those taste buds…

    The ph chart is listed under the kombucha cultures section… you can also just google ph chart and select google images to find them…

    keep rockin…*

    Dave

    *.. and rollin’

    ################

  323. OdieO Says:

    Hello all you lovely people…

    OK, so I procrastinated ordering another bag of loose tea and then realized… ooops, my K-Tea was ready for bottling and getting close to strong.

    So I scrambled together the remaining loose tea, the sample tea (the small package that came with my brewer – I was supposed to drink myself) and some Good Earth Black Tea.

    Is mixing it all up OK? It’s been 5 days and the K-Tea taste delightful, especially from whatever sample tea that was included in my continuous brewing system, but I was worried it might contain flavored oils that cause mold.

    Dave, Dave, Dave – Does the sample tea you include (with the continuous brewer) to drink contain anything that would hurt my scoby? It was marked “NOT FOR KOMBUCHA” but I figured that’s cause you wanted me to drink it myself. It has a amazing aroma.. but I don’t know what it is.. and I wana re-order it.

    THanks!

    ###############

    Ha!~ we as stated in our instruction sheet “we intentionally do not label our tea goodies cause we want you guys to be proactive in learning about this stuff” — not sure why I just qouted that since it was not taken word from word.. and it wasn’t like I was talking that last line out loud when I typed it.. ok back from random land —

    If you go on our site http://www.GetKombucha.com you will see an amazing tea section – click on whole leaf teas on the left side of your screen and you will be magically transported there. then click on show me all of them, and match of the picture and description.

    These descriptions are not a copy paste job, but rather my personal experiences with each tea. I also wrote the descriptions much like the mini course.. fun yet informative.

    Because we change the samples with the season, some could be used, some should not, so please (pretty please).. don’t use them for brewing.

    Also if there is any confusion on what should and should not be used.. we conveniently have an entire section on our site that groups all the teas that are suitable for kombucha brewing.. and yes, you can and should mix and match those bad boys to come up with your won brew,…

    ########################

  324. OdieO Says:

    Hi Dave,

    One more follow up to my previous comment, can I use the Raspberry Oolong Slimming Tea for brewing Kombucha?

    #########

    Hey Odie,

    In a word. No. We’ll be releasing a Advanced Brewing Course that will talk about how you can do it, but for now I would highly NOT recommend using any flavored tea or herbals (except rooibos and honeybush).

    Hey man… also, thanks for the awesome kudos before, it’s always appreciated being appreciated 🙂

    I’ll let you and the gang know when the Master Classes are ready to be released

    D

    ########################

  325. OdieO Says:

    Thanks Dave – always a pleasure!

    So If I happen to be the bad child in the bunch and used my little sample tea for brewing, and it’s already in the brewer… anything I should watch out for? Mold, smell, taste…. the scoby seem to like their bath, so far …and the taste is just delightful

    Peace & Love, odie

  326. Laura Says:

    We LOVE kombucha, but in our quest to become “locavore’s” (eating local food as much as possible) it occurs to us that black tea and white sugar don’t fall into that category…… so, my question is: before the invention of white sugar, how was kombucha made?

    thanks for any comments you might have…. you can respond directly to my email: landra@eoni.com

  327. sandy Says:

    good question, Laura! I do not know the answer to that, but it made me think of the pioneer days……coffee sugar beans and flour, along with maybe a sour dough starter – were highly prized and sought after for their basics. Where did that come from?

    a different slant to consider………

    good luck and best to you on your pursuing becoming “locavore”.

  328. sandy Says:

    hey Dave, I am ready to try the Master Cleanse, which you referred to earlier. My joints and muscles are very sore–long term effects from cemo. Do not want to live on steroids any longer.

    question: I have a juicer. Can this be used to make the “lemon aide”?

    ppl, this relates to kombucha how? See Dave’s videos, and you will hear about his “30-day challenge”.

    KOKO! (keep on keeping on)
    sandy

  329. sandy Says:

    Could i pleze get a comment on the above? Most appreciatively, sandy

    ############### DAVE’S RESPONSE #################

    Sandy you can use a juicer for the lemons with the master cleanse but it is not worth the trouble of cleaning, plus you will need to peel the skin off before juicing. I found that a simple citrus juicer (they sell them for a buck at the dollar store), works better and a lot easier to clean up.

    Also a simple spoon works well if you wedge it into the center (after slicing the lemon in half) and simply turns it round and round and then finally squeezing out the extra juice… juice PLUS a grip strengthening what more can you want! 🙂

    The Upcoming Master Classes will include cleansing on Kombucha and other suggested cleanses, so stay tuned!

  330. sandy Says:

    hey thank you SO much, Dave! I can’t wait for the upcoming Master Classes! I tell lotsa ppl about your products and site, and have received great feedback from those that have checked it out–including some staff @ our local whole foods coop!

    Muco appreciation, sandy

  331. sandy Says:

    hey guys, i just gotta tell you what happened this morning. I finally decided to tackle my Scoby, after ignoring her for several WEEKS! (neglect, bad me). She’s in a 5 gallon crock, and had been kept warm (in kt of course) since May!

    I was berating myself, thinking i would find her with fuzzy mold or something bad. Well – get this – she looked and smelled PERFECT! I gave her a vinegar rinse to be safe. But that’s not all folks……she was nearly 3 inches thick! That’s in addition to her most recent baby. All those nice layers! Dinner plate size! I could hardly get her out of the crock! (of course, all sterile equipment and hands.) I just happened to have 2 big jars ready just in case, to give other people. So, I divided the new sweet tea between the 3. One to make a new batch, 2 with just enough already brewed kt to cover them sufficiently until more sweet tea could be brewed. (it happens to be cooling as I type this.) I got the 3 bottles I had left from my last batch, warmed them to room temp, and poured them on top to cover those Big MaMas. With just a Liiiiiiiittle taste to sample………& i whooped and yelled and hollered!

  332. sandy Says:

    hey guys, i just gotta tell you what happened this morning. I finally decided to tackle my Scoby, after ignoring her for several WEEKS! (neglect, bad me). She’s in a 5 gallon crock, and had been kept warm (in kt of course) since early May!

    I was berating myself, thinking i would find her with fuzzy mold or something bad. Well – get this – she looked and smelled PERFECT! I gave her a vinegar rinse to be safe. But that’s not all folks……she was nearly 3 inches thick! That’s in ADDITION to her most recent baby! Very little brew left, just enough to use for starter. All those nice layers! Dinner plate size! I could hardly get her out of the crock! (of course, all sterile equipment and hands.) I just happened to have 2 big jars ready just in case, to give other people. So, I divided the new sweet tea between the 3. One to make a new batch, 2 with just enough already brewed kt to cover them sufficiently until more sweet tea could be brewed. (it happens to be cooling as I type this.) I took the 3 bottles I had left from my last batch, warmed them to room temp, and poured them on top to cover those Big MaMas. With just a Liiiiiiiittle taste to sample………& i whooped and yelled and hollered! BEST KT I EVER MADE!! Very tart, just as I like it, with — get this — a real nice big head on it>>>and I never even left it out after brewing! My daughter came running in the kitchen all concerned, asking what was wrong, and I said nothing! This is the Best I have ever Made!

    (she thinks the Scobys are SO gross, she sure backed out of the kitchen in a hurry when she saw the huge platefuls sitting there!)

    Sooooooo, thank you Dave Thank you Dave, it’s all due to you. Without the mini-course and blog you provide, it never would have happened, I am sure!

    with great appreciation, sandy KOKO!!

  333. sandy Says:

    ooooppps!how the heck did THAT happen ?(above) postinG twice?? Sorry, kombucha fans. Just read the 2nd one, the first is incomplete.

    cheers, and thanks again Dave. sandy

  334. karen Says:

    A question: I have been brewing kombucha for a couple months. Our household is guzzling the stuff as fast as we can make it. My concern is that there is a place in the middle of the SCOBY that looks like it might be dead. It is thinner that the rest of the mama and isn’t fleshy and white. As the kombucha ferments and creates CO2, it bubbles up and tends to push this part of the culture out of the liquid first (since it’s thinner). Is this a problem? The kombucha seems to be fine and happy and active other than this issue.
    Thanks for any help and I apologize if this has already been addressed – I looked through the above posts and didn’t find it.

  335. sandy Says:

    re:336 Karen, You will notice changes in how the SCOBY looks from time to time, as it gets older. i wouldn’t be concerned about it, unless it gets fuzzy looking mold.. but I am not an expert!!

    Also, you can rinse it (scoby) with vinegar, when you start your next batch. (with, of course, everything that touches scoby being sterile. use soap and nail brush on your hands, rinse well, then rinse with vinegar.)

    other than testing pH, does anyone know how to tell for sure if it is safe?

  336. Ed Hirsch Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Before I got a muslin cloth, I used a double layer of cheesecloth. Only problem is that the ants in my studio apt. got into the brewing tea and now they float around there dead.

    How do you suggest I remove the ants?

    Many thanks,

    Ed

    ****************** RESPONSE **************

    I WOULD SUGGEST YOU SIMPLY DISCARD EVERYTHING AND START AGAIN WITH A BRAND NEW SCOBY. WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT

  337. Vickie Says:

    Hi,

    I’m a very happy kombucha drinker, I’m still doing my research in that area, but so far feel it has been an aid for LPR (a laryngeal form of Gerd) and gives me a great energy boost. I’ve also noticed a “well-being” effect. I’ve been drinking on the order of 16oz or more a day for 3 months or so.

    I’m also a happy owner of one of Daves constant brewing systems and so far have brewed two batches, a third is waiting to be bottled.

    My brew is not very bubbly/effervescent but otherwise is good, occasionally a bottle seems pretty acidic. So I’m looking for ideas on how I can achieve a more “champagne” like brew 🙂

    Also, I have a good sized baby culture and I have questions similar to the ones I’ve heard before.
    1) How long does a mother culture remain viable, on average? I expect that they do have a life span (most physical beings do 🙂

    2) It seems to me with constant brewing that you still need to remove the scobi to see if there is an off-spring, or do you? Does it have to be removed and how quickly? How long can a scobi be stored and remain viable and what is good practice for storing? I have read that new scobi’s can be given to friends; on the other hand, what about infanticide, can I put old or unwanted scobis in the garden?

    I’m getting ready to bottle in dark glass bottles with wire and ceramic lids, (think beer). I do not recall seeing much in the seven day course about how to sterilize bottles? I got a powder from a local brewing store that uses oxygen (as I recall, please don’t quote me) to purify/sterilize bottles. You add water and rinse with a solution made from this powder.

    That’s all for now. I enjoy brewing my own so far – I have a cold house in winter so I’m contemplating how to deal with that too.

    Thank you, Vickie

  338. Debra Says:

    Hi there!

    I am about to start brewing my fourth batch and have come up with the following questions (I couldn’t find a way to search the blog site):

    1. At what point do I have to trim down the SCOBY?

    2. How long is it ok to wait between brewing batches, just leaving some of the last batch in the brewing container? (I have waited about a week.)

    3. I want to put aside some starter tea when the batch I am about to brew is ready for bottling. Should I refrigerate the starter tea?

    4. How long will starter tea last before you use it?

    Things are going quite well all in all. I have flavored with ¼ c. organic concord grape juice; dried blueberries, ginger, dried cherries. This time I am going to leave some bottles plain because the tea is really quite delicious.

    Thanks so much!

    Debra

  339. Michael Says:

    AM I the only one here since July 26? I’m back & if there is a question or two, do submit… I might be able to respond…
    manokokok@aol.com

  340. Michael Says:

    RE # 399 posted by Vickie on Aug 4, 08

    Several issues are here, which are disturbing and troubling: I’ll try to be very brief responding them (Though it is not my habit to be brief!)

    QUESTION: … what about infanticide, can I put old or unwanted scobis in the garden?
    RESPONSE: At no time, do you want to throw away a “Healthy” SCOBY away. Use it over and over again. By the way, I am not familiar with the term “infanticide”… don’t want to guess to what you meant!

    – QUESTION: … you still need to remove the scobi to see if there is an offspring, or do you? Does it have to be removed and how quickly?
    – RESPONSE: Why would you want to “Remove” the SCOBY, the more, the better. Leave it in the brew.
    You don’t have to be able to see the off springs. They start with a very thin and fine “Film”, and then they develop to be thicker, depend on the duration of growth and the “Proper” environment and factors.
    Peel off the baby, use it as a new SCOBY, or peel off the layers from the mother, if the mother is thick. Don’t worry if it tears apart, and not end up with a circle… use any and all no matter of shape… they would all work. The more culture (Pieces), the better and faster result.

    – QUESTION: how to sterilize bottles? I got a powder from a local brewing store that uses oxygen (as I recall, please don’t quote me) to purify/sterilize bottles. You add water and rinse with a solution made from this powder.
    – RESPONSE: Waste of money and not a good idea to use any types of sterilizing agent, which according to you, you don’t know exactly what it is, its mechanism and action. Any substance, or chemical that kills germs might be killing the SCOBY too, if there are any residue left. After all the SCOBY is made of bacteria too (The letter “B” stands for bacteria). Use the simplest and most effective, and less harmful methods, which SCOBY can relate to it!
    For sterilizing the storage bottles; get some boiling water ready, then, use the hot tap water outside and inside of the bottles for it to get acclimated to the heat, use a funnel, pour the boiling water it in and let it stand for 5 minutes or more, and / or perhaps swirl vinegar, let it stand for ten minutes or so, then drain. You can do the combination of the two methods, if you are very fussy!
    Now, if you are using the glass jugs for “Brewing Purpose”, heat and rinse up the jars under the hot tap water, to acclimate and prevent breakage, then add your “Boiling” sugar water & tea solution directly into the culturing jar; it would kill all the germs. (Use a strainer if you are using the bulk tea). Make sure that your solution is cooled down and almost the same temperature as the SCOBY, before introducing them together… 86 degrees F.!!

    – QUESTION: … How long can a scobi be stored and remain viable and what is good practice for storing?
    – RESPONSE: My experience; Put SCOBY in a sterile jar and keep it in the refrigerator, be sure to put some brewed tea on the top the SCOBY to prevent drying. It would go in a dormant and can last for months. No need to put just one per each jar, put all of them in the same jar as many as you have. Use it whenever you wish, and yes, give some to friends.

    – QUESTION: … How long does a mother culture remain viable, on average? I expect that they do have a life span (most physical beings do)
    – RSPONSE: AS WHOLE, AND AS ONE UNIT; SCOBY WOULD NEVER DIE… HER CELLS WOUD !! Speaking of “Every living organism has a certain life span” You are looking at it in a wrong way! You are not putting in consideration a very major fact! SCOBY is a mass, and a “Colony” containing of billions & billions of “Independent” bacteria and yeast. How can you see if a few bacteria or yeast die? You would not be able to. They constantly are dying and being reproduced and replenished, and consequently the SCOBY would look the same, or perhaps larger and healthier! Don’t compare it to our body, though we shed our dead “Cells” at all times and replenish them too, but the difference between us and the SCOBY is that our “System” is the one that fails us and kill us! Our hearts and livers, along with other organs fail. Our system is complex, and SCOBY’s simple “One Cell” organism; billions of them. Each cell would die eventually, however the production is faster the dying, that’s why we see it to become larger and larger. I hope I made myself clear on the life & death issue! So, Viva SCBY!

    – QUESTION 1: … I have a cold house in winter so I’m contemplating how to deal with that too.
    – QUESTION 2: My brew is not very bubbly/effervescent but otherwise is good, occasionally a bottle seems pretty acidic. So I’m looking for ideas on how I can achieve a more “champagne” like brew
    – COMBINED RESPONSE: The temperature of your house has absolutely and should NOT have to do anything with the culturing and harvesting the K-T. Temperature MUST remain constant at 86 degree F. or 30 degree C. The thermostats are made for that purpose to maintain and control the temperature. Your heaters, oven, air conditioners and refrigeration etc. are all equipped with thermostats; otherwise your food would go bad, and the house temp. would become very uncomfortable. One of the factors that might be contributing to the lack of carbonation could be the result of the wrong temperature. Not only that, you are asking for the tea to become unpleasant, and vulnerable to contamination, lack of conversion of white sugar, or going too much beyond, creating high acidity, meanwhile losing the carbonation. All of that due to the uncontrolled temperature. Think about it this way; when you buy tropical fish you must provide the warm temperature for your fish… I can come up with tens of different examples. What makes you think that Scoby can thrive in any climate that you give her?

    Is timing (Days), is your ONLY clue to when to discontinue brewing? Or do you go depend on the taste? Very primitive method indeed! Too long, you would lose carbonation, and probably too sour; too little then you are drinking sugar water, also not much carbonation, because you have not given it enough time before discontinuing the brewing process. I am not going to go into the right moment, even to the few hour span to make the “Perfect” brew. It is very lengthy and time consuming to even try to explain. It is science, requiring know how, plus testing, which many of you do not have access, though readily available in most medical supply stores, or perhaps some pharmacies.

    Just a quick note: SCOBY needs some light and oxygen to yield a good tea. (There are different types of bacteria in SCOBY. The ones who like oxygen, and the ones who don’t. Don’t worry and don’t even think about the arrangement of the two. SCOBY knows where to locate them properly!)
    Best Wishes… Michael
    manokokok@aol.com

  341. susan Says:

    Hello,
    Have two questions..

    1. Unknowningly, I have had small parts of the scoby-ish by product get filtered into my smaller bottles when I had transfered the fermented Kombucha… if I swallow this is it helpful or harmful?

    2. I had heard that there was a facility in Arizona which was growing Kombucha (scobies) to place on burn patients in order to regrow skin… does anyone know if there is truth to regenerating skin by placing the scoby right on the sore?

    Thank you!

  342. Dian Says:

    Hi! Just found getkomucha.com and I’m pretty jazzed about doing this myself. Kombucha is pretty expensive by the bottle, so it seems like I’ll recoup my initiasl costs pretty quick by not having to buy it. Do you still get the culture strands I sometimes get in my bottled kombucha when you brew it yourself? Not a big deal but I wondered. I’m still on day 2 of the free komucha course, but I think I’m going to go for it…

  343. Michael Says:

    To Susan … Item343 (Section 1)

    Should you eat the SOBY, no matter how small the piece or large, for sure it is not going to hurt you in any manner. Should you eat it intentionally, you would get more benfit by just drinking the brew, and if you eat it accidentally, as I said, the benefit might not be as the brew. She might die in the hydrochloric acid environment in the stomach, since it is a stronger acid than acetic acid (I am not talking about the pH, I am talking about the strength of hydrolization … the Hydrogen factor)

    (Section2): Anything is possible and nothing surprises me… after all the other term for the SCOBY is LICHEN = Skin!

    Well, since I have the “Floor” now … Answering:
    Dian … item 344
    Good idea to do your own culturing. For sure it would be more cost effective; subject to “Know How” .
    Sterile condition, accurate and optimum temperature, the length of the incubation, and “When” your “Tea” is really ready to store and consume.
    Haphazardly, guess working, and depending on the taste, must NOT be any part of your dealing with the SCOBY and the process. Study, and learn the tricks first. Read the entire blog, and find out what people’s comments are… believe me some of us often have good ideas and recommendations… Print the whole thing and read it at your leisure… you don’t have to be at the computer to take this particular class …
    There are ways to just print the text, without the graphics, dates, etc. saving lots of space and possible conflict with the Microsoft Word! Good Luck…
    manokokok@aol.com

  344. susan Says:

    Thank you very much Michael!!
    Susan

  345. sandy Says:

    quoting Michael Aug. 31st…..

    “There are ways to just print the text, without the graphics, dates, etc. saving lots of space and possible conflict with the Microsoft Word!”

    Am I the only one that wants to know how to do this??

    Please share, Michael!

    sandy

  346. Michael Says:

    RE: #347 posted by: Sandy

    You might not be the only one asking that question, but here is the way for those who might be interested and did not ask… it would take less than a minute to accomplish that!

    – Just highlight the entire blog by right clicking and then choosing the (Select All), which instantly highlights the entire blog; or drag and hole down the curser from the beginning, all the way to the end of the blog, which would take you a long time.
    – Right click, then choose “Copy”
    – Open a blank email
    – Put the cursor on the blank area
    – Right click, and then click “Paste”
    – Right click, and click the option saying: “Compose as plain text”
    – Select All
    – Copy
    – Open Microsoft word, the same way that you normally want to write a text.
    – Click “Copy”

    Now, the entire blog would be in your file with a clean text format, which you can print.
    Expect to be several pages…
    Inserting and transferring pictures or graphics into the Microfoft Word, might cuse damage to the computer
    manokokok@aol.com

  347. Julia Says:

    I just started to brew my own kombucha and have successfully completed a batch. However, in a few days I am moving to a new state and am wondering if my scoby can survive the trip. I’ll be traveling in a car for three to four days. Should I try to keep it dormant on ice? How long can the scoby survive on a batch of sweet tea while I get settled in? Has anybody successfully transported their culture??

  348. Michael Says:

    RE: Item #349 Posted by Julia

    Transporting the brew under the cool condition; the same temperature as in refrigeration, (39- 42 degrees) is ideal. I have kept SCOBYs under refrigeration for months, and still she would be ready to come back to life, whenever I want to start a new batch. Dormant is the keyword.
    One thing to consider: Keep your passenger SCOBY away from the sunlight, although the glass jar and the glass window of the car are both to a great degree Ultraviolet blockers; still keep it away, besides, you want to keep her cool anyway, don’t you? An insulated ice chest with some “Freeze Packs” in it would be a perfect unit. Be sure to cushion the jar form tipping over and to prevent spillage by using towels around the jar, which also would help protect the jar from the direct contact with the freeze pack, you only want the “Environment” to be cold.
    You’re in good hands now… good luck and have a happy trip!
    manokokok@aol.com

  349. missy Says:

    I’ve read most of the comments here and haven’t seen the answer to a question I have. How do you tell if you have “real” stainless steel? I have a gallon jar with a hopefully stainless steel spout- very nice heavy shiny metal. I checked some sites and one said a magnet will not be attracted to the “300 series” of stainless steel, but would to ferretic or some other types. a test was buff with sandpaper and soak in saltwater. If not stainless, then it will rust a lot. when I did this, under the shiny silver laying in the saltwater, it looks more like brass. I would appreciate any comments anyone can give about metal science and SCOBY. What makes stainless steel ok? What about brass?
    THANKS!!!

  350. Melissa Says:

    I THINK I KILLED HER…… I have my pot I bought fron Dave then my Mom gave me a pot she bought from a dept. store. I thought since she used well water that is what went wrong she killed the scoobky I received with my second order from Dave. So she gave me the pot, cleaned out well the vinigar and i started again with the scobby I had and left the 3 babies in my “dave” pot. Well the dept store pot and my old scobby is looking clear and jelly on the top and doesn’t smell like the pot I bought from Dave on the inside. DID I KILL HER??? i HATE HAVING TO THROW AWAY THE SCOOBY : ~ ( SHE WAS MY FIRST, DID I KILL HER,,,,,,,HELP I asked my Mom to look at the box it came in to see if it says “LEAD” on it…… :- (

  351. Melissa Says:

    the pot was made in china, but says nothing about lead. the scobby looks like an oyster in color and looks.

  352. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 351& 352 Posted by Melissa

    Most likely you did not kill the SCOBY. Before to come to any conclusion that the SCOBY is dead and to bury her alive; let’s do this:
    Start a new batch of your sugar/tea solution as usual using the gallon purified, spring, or drinking bottled water. Using a NON-SUSPECIOUS pot, put the SCOBY in the optimum temperature of the sugar/tea solution along with a cup or so of your already brewed KT. Allow to incubate at the proper temperature (86 degrees). Give it a week or so… most likely you would see the formation of the “Film” on the surface, which indicates that she is alive and producing baby. SCOBY might look delicate, but believe me; she is tough, unless you put her in a very warm water over 95 degrees and sort of “Cooking” her. At a lower temperature, way below the 86 degrees, she might “Seem” dead, but in reality she is in a dormant state, and as the result she would not do anything and there would be no activities, and no offspring. I often keep the extra ones that I normally give away in the refrigerator, and even after 3-4 months, given her a nice warm environment,
    She would become active.

    Personally, for my process, I use the one gallon glass jugs only, the ones with spigot, which is used for “Sun Tea”. I brew the KT in them and after they gets done, they go to the refrigerator, and dispense the KT right from there. I have built my own incubator, which accommodates two gallon each time. I have never had any problems with any of my process. Growth is right, babies forming, sugar is converted to glucose, and acetic acid gets produced along with nice carbonation, not to mention; no bacteria or mold growth or contamination… always perfect!
    What am I doing right? The most critical issue is maintaining the constant temperature of 86 degrees (30 C). Cleanliness and sterility is another big issue, otherwise, not only it would be unsafe to consume the infested KT, it might even destroy the SCOBY too, (Though there is a cure for that, which to explain it now, would be beyond the scope of this text). Although she has billions of bacteria of her own, known and accepted by her, she is very selective on that… not every bacterium would do. (The letter “B” in SCOBY stands for bacteria; just FYI)

    Let’s bring the subject of the well water. Can you imagine how many hundreds of gallons of herbicides and pesticide had gone into the ground, penetrating into the underground water? If that was me, I would not drink the well water. You would be consuming so many chemicals, which not only have the carcinogenic properties, one should not ignore the brain and neurological damages, that they can cause… and how about your poor liver and the kidneys, which they have to clean up the mess that you have poured into your system! Read the label of these chemicals while you are at any garden suppliers or nurseries. Read the warnings… they even warn you not let them get on your skin… now, are you going to drink such stuff? I don’t know the effect of these chemicals on SCOBY, but after all her cells and our cells might be affected in the same manner. The “Chronic” and “Continuous” encounters with such elements can eventually do their deeds in our system! Of course drinking them straight from the container, you might as well you’re your good-bye very fast, because you might not have enough time to say that whole sentence!

    Chlorine in the city water might affect the performance of the SCOBY and it might even be harmful to her. It can be eliminated by boiling the water for 15 minutes, which at the same time you would be sterilizing the sugar/tea solution. While cooling it down, before putting SCOBY in, you must cover the pot to prevent the contaminants to fall in from the surrounding air.

    Lead is another issue, which is critical as far as our continuous consumption is concerned, however I don’t know if the minute amount, would also has the same adverse “ACCUMULATIVE” effect, the same way which it does in reference to our body, and consequently damage the SCOBY’s cellular structure. Bottom line is that the lead from containers is not the killer of the SCOBY. It is harmful to us in the long run. Leaching out the lead in long progression into our food or drink in the keyword, and it is NOT an “Immediate Killer”.

    So, good luck and don’t make any assumption that she might be dead, and pulling the plug prematurely. Resuscitate her by the way I mentioned above, and don’t cry before you have done all you could and yielding no hope… my guts feeling is that she would be OK!
    manokokok@aol.com

  353. Michael Says:

    RE: Item # 351 Posted By: Missy

    There are literary tens of different type of stainless steel, which is the mixture of iron and other metals (Sometimes with a very minute amount of carbon, and sulphur). Austenitic, Ferritic, and Martensitic stainless steel categories with many different alloy percentage. Depending on percentage of the iron vs. other metals the cost varies. The less iron percentage, the more expensive. Chromium is one of the metals, which mainly added to the iron (approx. 25 %). Nickel is another one on the list (Up to 2%); then comes molybdenum (Up to 5%), and some titanium. The above is the # 2507 stainless steel (Called: Super Duplex) with the highest grade, with the great strength & durability with stain and corrosion proof properties, such as in the surgical blades and instruments. The magnet attraction test is only for the test for the cheap stainless steel, however, non- attractants would not be able to tell you the “Grade” though better the ones, which attracts magnet. One must be aware that brass or copper can be coated with the above alloy metals, which would not attract magnet, however the use of the copper or brass, which by itself is an alloy of copper tin, and zinc. Should any “Plated” brass or copper, be used for the food purpose, the copper is toxic in case there are scratches on the surface, exposing the brass being yellow or copper, being red.

    In many countries the copper is the main cookware, however, all the pots and pans must be coated with tin and then it would be safe to use. Every so often one must take their pots and pans to those specialty places, and right in front of you, they coat the inner part of the cookware and you would be safe.

    Several years ago, I wanted to make the stainless steel BBQ grill of my own, using ¼ inch rods. The one I had been using was disintegrating and practically falling apart. Upon my research through the very specialized stainless steel dealers, I was asked what type did I want! I had no clue, however after explanation of my purpose, I got the type, which was suitable for my need, including ability to be welded. The welding required the industrial machine with extremely high amperage. The welding the grid cost three times the cost of the rods, totaling over $200 then! I hate cheap stuff!

    Anyway, I hope I could shed some light to the issue. I personally would not use the plated copper or brass with stainless steel, due to the possibility of the exposure of copper & brass. I don’t see any problem with using the high quality stainless steel in conjunction with the SCOBY, with the week acetic acid contact, though some sites forbid using any metal all together.
    manokokok@aol.com

  354. Marge Says:

    Have been brewing for over a month now. This stuff really gets me goin and I find myself with a lot more energy. Also, getting up less frequently at night. Have given my friends some and now they want me to supply them with KT. Trouble is, the only way I can bottle it is with wine bottles and corks (not all that bad), but I would like to bottle it in smaller bottles with new caps each time. Dave, where do you get your bottles and caps?

  355. Lynn E Says:

    I rec’d my continuous canister. Now I really need simple step by step instructions on how to make 2 gallons. The instructions with the canister are not complete as far as I can tell. Sorry if I am dense or seem simple minded. I have one gallon almost complete in the glass jar I was brewing in before rec. my new canister from you and I don’t want to drink it till I know if it is needed to complete a 2gallon brew from start to finish. The phchart even enlarged is not readable. What color is 2.9? Thank you I am anxiously waiting so I can get started.

  356. Mark G. Says:

    Hi, I just received the continuous brewing the kit and am looking forward to starting! Is the plastic ring cap just for protecting the ceramic brewer during shipping, or does it have a use in brewing? Thanks!

    ======= GET KOMBUCHA RESPONSE ============

    The included plastic ring can (but does not have to), be used to place on top of your cloth cover… however still make sure that you use the rubber fastener as well to ensure that the cloth cover is fastley secure.

    Best,
    getKombucha.com 🙂

    ============================================================

  357. Gavin Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Ok so I just bought the Deluxe starter kit, and am now on my 2nd batch. Very easy question- How do you separate the mother and the daughter, and which is which? Does the daughter grow on top, and will the new Scoby continue to grow on the top or the bottom?

    Also, when I bottled my Kombucha, I noticed that there were these mini almost transparent scobys at the top of each bottle…is that ok, do you throw them out or drink them?

  358. Josh Hammerling Says:

    I just received my continuous brewing kit. And while I am excited to get it up and running, I will be on vacation for the next few weeks and then out of the country for a month. My question, then, is what to do with my SCOBY. I assume I should still take it out of the packaging and put it in a sanitized jar so it can breathe… but will it be okay to just chill in my dorm room at room temperature for a month? or would the fridge be best? Thanks a lot!

    ——————– DAVE’S RESPONSE ———————————————————-
    ENJOY!!!!

    ———————————————————————————————

  359. Brad Says:

    QUESTION 1:
    I’m 5 day into batch #1 using my continuous brewing system. Following the instructions I only brewed ~1 gallon of tea and used the starter tea that my culture came in, along with the small bag of “bonus” starter tea. I’m also using the heat mat which I assume is accelerating the fermentation process. Let me note that I’ve read the 7 day course, watched all of Dave’s videos and browsed the FAQ section.

    I tasted the tea on Day 3 and it had a sort of apple juice taste. A bit sour, but not too bad. The original SCOBY sank to the bottom and I could see the beginnings of a new one forming on the surface.

    Tasted the tea again, (Day 5) and it has taken on a much stronger Apple Cider-ish taste. A new SCOBY has formed over ~1/3 of the surface.

    I used the PH test strip and honestly the color I’m getting doesn’t really match up with the chart very well. It’s a pinkish hue I guess, but it could range anywhere from 1-5 based on the chart. BTW, Dave.. Is the chart posted some kinda of mistake? For one, you mention there are 2 charts (there’s only 1 and it’s a ~100×200 barely readable graphic).

    I dipped another PH stick into a cup of lemon juice and the results look almost identical to the Kombucha test. Is it time to bottle already, at only Day 5? You say the Kombucha should be at a PH of 2.9. Is that 2.9 at the time of bottling, or 2.9 at time of consumption after it’s been bottled for a week and has fermented even further? SO, IS IT TIME TO BOTTLE TODAY???

    I went ahead and filled two of the included plastic bottled. I’m putting one in the cupboard and one in the refrigerator to see how they react differently. I suppose if it is in fact time to bottle and the rest goes too far I’ll just have a lot of strong starter tea for the next batch.

    ————— DAVE’S RESPONSE————————————

    HEAT MATS WILL DEF SPEED UP THE PROCESS.. THERE ARE MANY FACTORS THAT DETERMINE HOW QUICKLY YOUR TEA WILL FERMENT (AMOUNT OF TEA, AMOUNT OF SUGAR, TEMP, AMOUNT OF STARTER TO SWEAT TEA RATIO, HOW STRONG YOUR STARTER TEA WAS TO BEGIN WITH, SEASONS, CLIMATE, SURFACE AREA, AIR QAULITY, ETC)

    SO………….. 5 DAYS ESP. WITH OUR HEAT MAT AND OUR CULTURES ARE NORMAL… BUT SO IS 14 DAYS, YOU SIMPLY CHECK AND TATSE… EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID.. GREAT JOB!! 🙂

    PH CHART CAN BE CLICKED INTO TO GET A BIGGER PIC:

    http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-20575474189757_2030_1464848

    YOU WANT TO BOTTLE AT 2.9 WHILE STILL A LITTLE SWEET (A LITTLE).. THIS WILL CAUSE A SECOND FERMENTATION PROCESS WHEN YOU BOTTLE WHICH WILL CAUSE “THE FIZZZ”

    THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR FIRST CHECKING OUT OUR FREE RESOURCES.. WE SOON WILL BE INTRODUCING PREMIUM VIDEOS FOR PURCHASE!!!

    —————————————————————————————————-

    ————-
    QUESTION 2:

    I’ve watched the video regarding when cultures need to be discarded. In my case, the culture that came with my kit initially sank to the bottom. A new culture is currently forming on the surface. These two cultures will never coalesce so, what do I do with the initial culture that’s now just sitting on the bottom of the tank?

    Will it get sufficient oxygen once the new culture has fully spread across the whole surface area? I can’t see it so I don’t know if it’s just going to rot on the bottom.

    —————DAVE RESPONSE————————————————————-

    IT DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHETHER THE CULTURE INITIALLY FLOATS OR SINKS… AND IS OK FOR IT TO REMAIN ON THE BOTTOM WHILE A NEW ONE FORMS ON TOP —– PLEASE REFER TO OUR KOMBUCHA LONGEVITY VID ON TO WHEN TO DISCARD A CULTURE… IT CAN BE FOUND HERE:

    http://getkombucha.com/colovi.html

    ——————————————————————————————-

    I appreciate any insight!

    -Brad

  360. Crystal Says:

    WOW…. just finished reading the blog! that was a lot of info! I will probably have to read it again and/or print some of it out! I am currently on my third batch. Don’t think I let the first two batches go long enough! totally spaced having the pH strips! I will make sure and check this batch with the pH strips! Love this blog! Love this website! & LOVED the 7 day mini course! Thanks for everything Dave and all of the rest of you posting here!

    ——————– DAVE’S HUMBLE (YEAH RIGHT!) RESPONSE ———————–

    THANK YOU CRYSTAL FOR ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE ROCK! HEY, YOU DO TO NOW! WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF KOMBUCHAHOLICS!

  361. Julian Says:

    Hello guys,

    Skimmed through the comments above and couldn’t find an answer. Plus, I’m new here so if this isn’t the right place to post this don’t kill me 😛

    Okay, so I got my kit today and I am very anxious to start my first batch. However, I might have messed up :/

    My kit came w/ some rubber gloves, what are these for? I figure they’re for transporting the scooby. This is my first issue, I did not use the rubber gloves to transport the scooby into the glass bowl I currently have it in so it can breath. The instructions that came w/ the kit said to wash the glass bowl with white vinegar, which I did. I also washed my hands in vinegar before I touched the scooby to move into the glass bowl. Unfortunately I did not wash out the bowl after rinsing it with the vinegar.

    My first questions are as follows;

    1. Is my scooby going to have any harmful side effects because I didn’t use the gloves? (I’m thinking not as I did wash my hands with vinegar.)

    2. Is the vinegar going to cause any bad side effects since I forgot to wash out the bowl with water after I washed it with vinegar. (I thinking not as it seems vinegar inhibits bad molds.)

    3. Can I use any kind of loose leaf tea to brew my kombucha? I’ve seen black and green tea mentioned but how about an oolong or white tea?(I’ve been a big tree drinker for years now and over the time I’ve collected at least 40 different types of my favorite loose leaf teas.)

    ——————— DAVE RESPONSE——————————————

    1. AS LONG AS YOUR HANDS ARE SANITIZED (NO SOAP THOUGH), YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE GLOVES

    2. VINEGAR WILL DO THE OPPOSITE.. VINEGAR (WHITE DISTILLED THAT IS), IS GREAT FOR STERILIZATION AND CAN ACTUALLY BE USED IN A PINCH IN PLACE OF STARTER TEA.. THOUGH YOUR TEA WILL NOT TASTE AS GOOD

    3. CHECK OUT OUR SITE FOR APPROPRIATE TEAS FOR BREWING.. WE HAVE A WHOLE CATEGORY DEDICATED TO IT:

    http://getkombucha.com/reforkobr.html

  362. Julian Says:

    Ha ha… I knew I’d be back w/ more questions, lol

    1. In the mini course it say to use distilled or spring water. I also noticed someone made mention of it not being wise to use well water due to possible contamination. Im pretty picky w/ the water I drink, God help me I taste the difference between brands. In any case the water I drink 99.99% of the time is Fiji Water which comes from Artesian wells in well, Fiji, lol. I take it that using this type of well water should be fine, right? Since it shouldn’t be contaminated w/ anything harmful.

    2. In the mini course it says to taste on the fifth day by pushing down w/ the back of a plastic spoon to get some of the tea or by inserting a plastic straw down the side. Is there any reason one wouldn’t be able to just draw a little from the spout? Seems like it would be more work taking the muslim cloth off and putting it back on if the tea isn’t ready as opposed to just drawing some for the taste test from the built in spout? O_o

    Thanks in advance guys and prepare to be seeing a lot of me, lol.

    —————— DAVE’S RESPONSE —————————

    1. FIJI IS DEF FINE… YOU COULD EVEN USE TAP IF YOUR TAP COMES FROM A GOOD WATER SOURCE…. BASICALLY WHATEVER WATER YOU WOULD DRINK NORMALLY AS WATER (AS YOU STATED EVERYONE PREF IS DIFFERENT).. CAN ALSO BE USED FOR BREWING. WE TEND TO DO THE BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY SCHOOL OF THOUGHT WHEN WE TAUGHT THE FREE MINI COURSE.

    2. WHAT YOU ARE REFERRING TO IS PEEPS THAT ARE USING THE PRE HISTORIC BREWING METHOD THAT DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF USING A SPIGOT WHICH COMES WITH THE PORCELAIN BREWING SYSTEM… YOU ARE RIGHT ON!! AND IN OUR INCLUDED INSTRUCTIONS WE SAY TO DRAW OFF FROM THE SPIGOT… GET A PORCELAIN, AND GET BREWIN! 🙂 GOOD WORK

  363. rob Says:

    hi,

    just started my first batch, its been five days and i’ve noticed a greyish-white film over the whole surface of the tea… i was initially worried about it since my kombucha was a gift and was ordered in late october( when the special was on)… i believe it was sitting around for a month or two in a rather cold place before i even received it as a gift on christmas day. When i saw that this thing had to breath as ASAP, i got nervous, since it has most likely not breathed since it was shipped- not sure if the “scoby” was compromised in any way?

  364. manny Says:

    HI I am looking into brewing my own kombucha tea and I still have some questions. I would like to make a small batch of k tea to start off with and I would like to get a recipe. Also once I brewed the tea what do I do with the newly formed culture…keep it, throw it out or brew it with the original culture. If I keep it in the refigerator how much tea should I keep with it and how long will it last in the refir. .If I want to continue the brew how much k tea shoould I keep? Thanks

  365. Brad C Says:

    My first few batches with the continuous brewing kit seemed to produce a healthy, good flavored kombucha but I seem to be having some issues with my latest batch.

    I sampled it occasionally during the fermentation process and noticed it didn’t seem to have the same kick as earlier batches. Instead of the acidic taste and aroma it tasted more like spoiled apple juice and had a skunky smell. I bottled it up, taking some bottles at different days and left it to ferment further in the kitchen cabinet.

    I opened one of the bottled a week later and there was no fiz at all and it still tasted like skunky apple juice. So, I ditched that batch and decided to give the tank a thorough cleaning.

    Removed the top SCOBY which had grown quite large and looked generally healthy. Removed the SCOBY I received when first ordered the package from the bottom of the tank and put it in a separate gallon jar.

    After cleaning the tank and peeling about half of the large SCOBY off I returned it to the tank and made it a new batch of tea. I also added some tea to the separate 1 gallon jar I put the original SCOBY back into.

    There is a new growth on the surfaces in both containers and while it doesn’t look “green” moldy per se, it does look a bit dry with a distinct orange tint covering the surface. Any opinions as to whether my brew is tainted and needs to be completely discarded, SCOBY’s and all?

    Here are some pictures of the current status. The pictures are of surface conditions in both my GetKombucha continuous brewer and the separate glass jar I set up for the original SCOBY. The new growths don’t look like the nice even film that developed with my first batch about a month ago.

    http://community.webshots.com/user/jspecz32

  366. Michael Says:

    Resonse to the following:
    Manny Says: January 21, 2009 at 4:29 am
    HI I am looking into brewing my own Kombucha tea and I still have some questions. I would like to make a small batch of k tea to start off with and I would like to get a recipe. Also once I brewed the tea what do I do with the newly formed culture…keep it, throw it out or brew it with the original culture. If I keep it in the refrigerator how much tea should I keep with it and how long will it last in the refrigerator. .If I want to continue the brew how much k tea should I keep? Thanks
    Leave a Reply

    My Comments:
    Recipe: Boil one gallon of water, add one cup of table sugar and 8 black tea bags. Cover and let it cool down to about 86 degrees F. add SCOBY as the starting culture then incubate under the constant 86 degrees.

    After the completion of the cycle and the depletion of ALL of the sugar, you would need to continue to brew for about three days to consume as much glucose, which had been produced and converted. Keep the K.T. under refrigeration with or without the SCOBY in it. I separate it to start a new batch whenever I see that my K.T. supply needs to be replenished. (A week or so before running out)

    The starting SCOBY and the newly produced ones can be used over & over again to start a new batch of K.T. Any and all SCOBYs can be saved under refrigeration along with the K.T. to cover the SCOBY’s surface (One cup or so)

    NOTE: The above is the very basic and brief description and the process is much more complicated. Not to discourage you, but you ought to know exactly when to stop brewing. Number of days is not significant, whereas the brew must be checked and measured periodically and chemically. (Glucose and acid content)

    The temperature is another critical factor and an accurately set and calibrated incubator is the must to own.

    An accurate thermometer is also a must, the ones laboratory suppliers carry. Never use the food thermometer, they are very inaccurate. If the thermometer calibrated in Celsius degrees, no problem. 86F = 30C; or see the conversion chart for other settings.

    Sterility is one of most crucial factor and the entire procedure must be performed under total sterility as a bacteriologist would perform.

    Not treating the brewing process as a science, might lead to false hope, as drinking the sugar water without the probiotics benefits and often contaminations, which are not visible with the naked eyes, causing some adverse results. One ought to know the type of the bacteria and the yeast, being examined under the microscope with the aid of the gram stain as further distinguishing and diagnostic tool. Commercially, all K.T. do perform the quality control and their product always remain identical!
    Hundreds of years ago, people were “Street Smart” and they knew more than many of us so-called the civilized people!
    manokokok@aol.com

  367. Michael Says:

    RE: item 367 Posted by Brad

    To not have the aromatic product with no carbonation is probably the sign of contamination. Greenish or orange colors are for sure another signs of fungus and contamination, which might be toxic to consume. The smell of rotten egg is a bad sign and is due to the decomposition and putrefaction.

    To keep any food including K.T. at the room temperature is not my idea of production of healthy elements including fiz. Whenever the growing production is complete, it must immediately be refrigerated. Many articles suggest keeping the bottled up K.T. on the kitchen counter!

    Adding some tea, as you’ve mentioned, did you mean from the contaminated batch? If so, you contaminated the next batch with the identical and unfavorable molds and bacteria, which are not part of the SCOBY.

    Before throwing the SCOBY; thoroughly clean it by soaking it in vinegar for about five minutes and start the brew all over again from scratch under total sterile condition.This might save your culture and yield a healthy K.T. … good luck
    manokokok@aol.com

  368. Nancy Says:

    Is it ok to warm the brewed tea? I’d like to have a warmer cup especially in the mornings.

  369. michael Says:

    RE: Item 370 posted by Nancy

    We have degrees of “Warmth” … if the 86 degrees is the optimun tempertaure, it means any warmer than that temp. would be uncofrtable for the SCOBY, and the components might be destroyed. Drinking the K.T. hot, would be useless as far as the “Probiotic” components is concerned, however, the minerals would still be there and sort of beneficial, in other words you are not getting the “Whole Thing”! remember that even the mineral’s chemistry, would change upon heating, the minerals in K.T. are in form of “Organic” but the extreme heat would change the fomula to the simple form, and might not be be as absorbant and benficial as the SCOBY gives you first hand without modifications… ( Heating fruits and vegetales in canning etc. is one way to desroy the beneficial components)

    manokokok@aol.com

  370. Joseph Says:

    I understand that using a flavored tea, like jasmine, can ruin the scoby. What if I don’t care? I have so many scobies I don’t know what to do with them. Can I sacrafice one and use an infused tea for one batch then trash it? Will it have the same beneficial properties? Also, I’ve been meaning to ask if can make actual vinegars from my extra scobies? Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

  371. Alicia Says:

    Hello everyone and thank you in advance for your insights.

    I am very new to brewing, but I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. In my latest batches (I have 2 going at the moment) both of the baby cultures look as if they have the compacted contents of a tea bag floating in them. These aren’t fuzzy additions, they just look a bit like dark brown globs with texture. They are completely flush with the surface of my baby cultures, and I just want to make sure that they are healthy and o.k. My previous babies did not look like this, so I’m perplexed.
    My quick second question, is when I’m tasting my tea for the right flavor, sometimes the baby falls. Is this harmful in anyway to the process or can it bob along with the mother?

    Thanks again.

  372. kate Says:

    Hello! I have/(had?) a successful time brewing KT, per the instructions on this site. Great! Thank you. Alas, i have neglected my poor Scoby since Christmas. She is still where I left her in the kitchen, looks the same only alot thicker, and has no mold. Can i still use to start brewing again?

    Thank you!

  373. rain Says:

    Hi Michael,
    I really appreciate your thoughtful insight to help us Newbies on the road to KT brewing perfection. : – ) I am currently brewing my 2nd batch ,the first came out great but this one I am not sure. I am using the continous brewing system and the scoby has grown all the way to the top and seems a bit dry.Is that okay?
    I figure I have at least 4 more days of brewing, and If it works out should I not fill the container quite so full next time? Thank-you for your time and knowledge.I hope to getthis down soon
    P.S. To Dave Thanksfor the prompt response to my spigot issue once again great customer service…You guys are great!
    Rain

  374. MayaMaya Says:

    I have been making and drinking Kombucha for about 6 months. I love the stuff. However, I get “hot flashes” when I drink this. Does this happen to anyone else?

  375. Alicia Says:

    Hello again,

    Just as an update to my last question (#373), the brown spots/globs, were just the tendrils bunched up under the baby SCOBY. When I was moving the baby to the next batch, the brown just washed away from the underside. So that went much better than I thought was happening. =) As for the baby and the mother sinking to the bottom, it took a few days, but they both ended up coming back to the top. So this post is for those that may need an answer to a question like mine. Besides that, thanks again for this awesome Q&A spot!
    Best!

  376. Elsa Says:

    My scoby has a huge bubble in the middle that does not stay down after I push the air out with a chop stick. Should I cut the bubble out and try to let the scoby grow into the middle more solidly or is it ok to havea tall, thin, dry bump in the middle all the time?

  377. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 375 Posted by: rain

    Comment: Hi Michael,
    I really appreciate your thoughtful insight to help us Newbies on the road to KT brewing perfection. : – )

    Response: Welcome, though it’s been a long time since my last input…

    Comment: I am currently brewing my 2nd batch, the first came out great but this one I am not sure. I am using the continuous brewing system and …

    Response: I personally am not familiar with the “Continuous Brewing System” I use my own way; “One Batch at the Time”

    Comment: the SCOBY has grown all the way to the top and seems a bit dry. Is that okay?

    Response: Actually it is a good sign that the SCOBY has come to the top… given time, it always does…I would not worry about the “Dryness”. It might seem dry, but in reality it gets its moisture form the underneath and it is alive and functional…

    Comment: I figure I have at least 4 more days of brewing,

    Response: Again, I don’t go by the number of the days of incubation. I use the scientific way of determining when the exact time would be for harvesting… it could become complex and lengthy to explain. Basically the product’s formula directs me to the timing, to stop the incubation.

    Comment: and If it works out should I not fill the container quite so full next time? Thank-you for your time and knowledge. I hope to get this down soon

    Response: Regardless of using one method vs. the other, I think the fullness of the container has an adverse effect on the brewing. Should you have a larger surface of the liquid, your product would thrive better…the neck of the jars are normally narrow. Avoid going above the “Neck” area… the more surface, the better and larger SCOBY yielding more beneficial product, and faster completion of the brewing
    manokokok@aol.com

    The following has to be responded by Dave!
    P.S. To Dave Thanks for the prompt response to my spigot issue once again great customer service…You guys are great!
    Rain

  378. Deb Says:

    Just wanted to ask a question about my K-tea. My brew seems to have a strong alcohol/acetic acid taste (one of my instructors gives me a hard time about being drunk on Kombucha. of course, he is now brewing his own. hmmmm). I started a whole new freshy batch using bottled K-tea as the starter and it was fine for about 3 batches, then started to develop that alcohol taste again. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

  379. Stargo Says:

    I just purchased and set up my Continuous Brewing System. For the first batch I added sweet tea, already brewed tea and starter tea. When I’m ready to replenish do I have to use the same combination or just sweet tea?

    ================ GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE==========================================

    BOTH! YOU USE THE SAME COMBINATION WHILE ADDING JUST SWEET TEA.. IN OTHERWORDS, KEEP ABOUT 10 TO 20% OF THE TEA THAT YOU ARE BOTTLING IN (THIS IS USUALLY AROUND SPIGOT LEVEL WHICH IS NICE B/C IT ACTS AS A PREMEASURE) THAN WHEN YOU ADD JUST SWEET TEA.. YOU WILL END UP WITH A COMBINATION!

  380. Michael Says:

    RE: Item 380 Posted by Deb
    When table sugar gets converted to glucose by SCOBY, it will continue the process untill becomes aldehyde, then ketones (Acetone) and alcohol. Now should you let it continue fermentation further, the alcohol oxidizes and bocomes vinegar, which is the final product. In wine industry, they stop the activation from alcohol to vinegar, after all it is not what they want! Real fruit vinegars that you buy from stores, had gone through the alcohol stage.
    So, it is not uncommon to have some of the above elements in your K.T. though the aldehydes and ketones are toxic.( Some wines, which have not gone through the quality control and testing, may still contain those toxic elements, which have not yet converted to alcohol, causing headaches… think of the poor liver that has to detoxify aldehydes and ketones… they still need to be oxidized yielding to alcohol.
    Hope this shed some light to the issue.
    manokokok@aol.com

  381. Luna Says:

    Hi,
    I’m going on holiday for 3 weeks and my scoby is staying home, where and how should I store it? Thanks!

  382. Michael Says:

    Luna Says:
    May 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm
    Hi,
    I’m going on holiday for 3 weeks and my scoby is staying home, where and how should I store it? Thanks!

    Reply:
    Do nothing special… while it is refrigrated as usual; just leave it there and come back to it! SCOBY can stay in the same state even more than the “Three Weeks” not being attended. No harm would be done. She would be in a dormant mode and all the components would remain the same.
    {Active @ optimun 86 degrees(F) temperature.}
    I have stored SCOBY for months as above, with no aparent malfunction… and still thrives! Tough boogie!
    manokokok@aol.com

  383. Joy Says:

    I haven’t brewed for about 2 months and my scoby was several inches–still lookin’ good with very thick ‘tea’ on the bottom…with latex gloves on, I removed the Mom and placed her on a dinner dish, then covered with plastic wrap. I looked around for a large container to pour the liquid in and the first thing I saw was a stainless steel pot—(Oh NO!) I poured that wonderful brew into the pot and proceeded to clean the jar and make new sweet tea…and after a while I realized–NO METAL! That would be my starter! It was in the pot about 90 minutes…do I need to dump it? Is it now toxic? (As I write, Scoby’s are in plastic bags in the frige, sweet tea is cooling, and brewer is rinsed out with vinegar…I added some bottled brew to the scobys to keep them moist.) I have to get to sleep–thanks for your input…

  384. Michael Says:

    RE: Item385 posted by Joy

    1 – There are several types of stainless steel, with different percentages of alloys(Metals). Even if you had contacted the SCOBY to the worst type of stainless steel, it does not make the SCOBY toxic, as you mentioned and I understood. Some metals are toxic to the culture, but not toxic to you.
    (Consumption of lead and other heavy metals due to the leaching out by the vinegar, can be toxic to both,SCOBY and us)
    2 – To cover the SCOBY with plastic is not a good idea… first of all not all plastics are “Neutral” and might affect the culture, secondly SCOBY must breathe, and by covering it with plastic you are smothering it, unless you pump oxygen underneath… goldfish in plastic with pumped oxygen for the transport! Do not store the culture in any plastic bags (Toxins from the plastics, and oxygenation issue). Always keep the culture in glass container, with the lid a little ajar… of course in the frig.

    In all cases in life, “Do not bury one, prematurely with stroke or seemingly dead, thinking he IS dead, unless you are 100% sure. Throwing away the culture, before giving it a chance and to see if it survives, wiuld be waste.

    SCOBY might look delicate, but it is a tough survivor… remember, billions of cells alive would balance a few dead tissues, which we cannot see… so in some adverse situation, should you destroy some tissues, it would be no biggie!

    manokokok@aol.com

  385. Erica Says:

    Hey there. Long time brewer, first time poster here. There is probably a place where all this is explained, but I cant seem to figure out where that may be. Here is my burning question:

    I left my healthy Scoby and a batch of sweet tea in the brewing container and then, one thing led to another and I neglected to bottle the tea and its been hanging out for, oh, about a month, maybe two at this point. I am now ready to be an attentive parent, but I’m not sure what I should do at this point. Should i dump out most of this super fermented tea and add a new sweet tea batch to it, or dumb it all out, go to the store, and get a bottle of Kombucha? Is there a place on the website where I can go where this type of neglect is discussed? Any help from you all would be much appreciated.

    Cheers

    Erica

  386. Michael Says:

    RE: item 387 Postrd by Erica
    The question is somewhat vague!
    Has the Scoby (The fungi, mushroom, creature, or whatever you want to call it) been in the brewing process and the appropriate temperature for month or so? Or: the concoction had been in the refrigerator for over a month. At the first scenario, it must have become more sour than usual… as long as it appears healthy no mold or bad smell; it is still drinkable. The second scenario, which it had been in the refrigerator, it still would be good since it had been in sleep mode and safe.
    Adding the new batch to the old; not my idea. Needs to be fresh from the start. Same SCOBY, fresh sweet tea mixture, temperature of 86 F and appropriate brewing time… & VOLA!
    manokokok@aol.com

  387. katie Says:

    I just brewed and bottled my first batch of K-tea… my question is when I start my second batch, which scoby do I use the baby or the mother or both? The baby is very thin and clear and HUGE…. way bigger then the mother I ordered through this website.. How long can I leave the scobys out in room temp covered with a little tea and a cloth while brewing the next batch? Please help soon.. thank you…

  388. dlindy2730 Says:

    The videos are accessed directly online — INSTANT ACCESS BABY!! 🙂

  389. Nate Says:

    hi there, i had a batch of kombucha in the brewing container for almost 3 months as i was busy doing other things, i pulled the batch out today and am going to start another batch of kombucha. I have about 2 gallons of left over kombucha that is very fermented and is like veniger. I was thinking about dumping it out but i was wandering if you have any tips on what i could use it for?

    i dont wana just dump it because, techniquly it took 3 months to make this stuff.

  390. michael Says:

    RE: Item 389 Posted by Katie:

    Use any and all SCOBYs; mothe and babies … the more “Culture” the faster end production.

    Never leave any part of Kombucha in room temperature. Treeat it as a “Perishable” food. Either in the 86 F for brewing process, OR: refrigeration for preservation and storage.
    manokokok@aol.com

  391. michael Says:

    RE: Item 391 Posted by Nate

    As you might have predicted, it went all the way in the process! The vinegar. The table sugar gets converted to glucose, then to alcohol, aldehyde, acetone, finally upon oxidation to vinegar. In wine industry, they stop the process right after the alcohol production, preventing it from further fermentation. All types of vinegars (Except most of the clear ones, which is made of man made glacial acetic acid) are by “Fermentation” process. The tart part of the KT is due to the presence of vinegar and semi sweet part is purely glucose. When properly fermented there should not be any “Table Sugar” left in the brewed end result and all should have been depleted. Anyway, your concoction would not be harmful and it contains all the minerals and goodies still intact, not to mention, it is probably sterile with no bacteria! There are so much benefits to consuming vinegar… many old remedies, believe or not, treatment of stomach ulcer, but you did not hear it from me, and consider this as a disclaimer! Do some research … there are books written about the vinegar telling you how it would keep you healthy…again, don’t take my words for it!

    manokokok@aol.com

  392. Siobhan Says:

    Could someone tell me if, in the continuous brewing system, when the first batch is done, do you bottle most of it, add more tea, then wait until the second batch is fermented before drinking/bottling it? Or do folks actually drink it daily from the brewer, add more sweet tea, and continue to drink it daily without waiting a specific time period for it to brew?

    I’ve seen this question posted before, but have not seen a clear answer in the blogs, mini-course or videos. My system is on it’s way.

    Thank you

  393. michael Says:

    RE: 394 Posted by Siobhan

    Normally, I have answers for most Kombucha related, however the “Continuous Brewing” is not the way I process my brewing. I do one batch of two gallon at a time and would never mix the sugar/tea mixture to my finalized and completed process. Not a logical thing to do! Finish up the perfect brew, and then start all over again. Half complete and half ready to be processed and mixing them together, does not make sense no matter how you look at it. I guess everyone have their own method… mine had worked perfectly for long.
    manokokok@aol.com

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      ============ GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE ================

      Hey Gang!

      I would first like to graciously thank Michael for such an amazing job at responding to many inquiries by sharing his personal experiences. I encourage everyone on this blog to continue sharing and responding to other people’s questions and insights. This way we will continue building the largest kombucha komunity on the web!!

      Regarding the continuous brewing system:

      There are actually several ways one can go about it. One way is to brew the same as a conventional system, but when it is time to bottle your tea -rather than removing the scoby and getting sticky with funnels and pouring, you can conveniently use the spigot.

      Another method is to continually adding food source (tea/sugar) to the brewer as one enjoys the k-tea directly from the source. There are studies that suggest that many of the organic acids do not begin to form until past the 15 and sometimes up to 25 days. We would miss out on these beneficial acids if one brews in the traditional manner (see gunther frank! – MY kombucha “hero”) —

      Personally I do both methods… I use the first method to make sure I have a nice surplus of bottles (and I do a second fermentation at room temp to build fizziness.. I understand this is another method that Michael and I do not share). And I keep a continuous brew that is constantly getting replenished around the half way mark. PLEASE NOTE: I usually wait around 3 days after adding the new sweet tea, before consuming. I also drink this brew in smaller doses (usually in the morning – for the room temp benefits, and after a workout – as the sugars are beneficial for workout recovery).

      Either way, I DEFINITELY SHARE IN MICHALES BELIEF THAT NO ONE SHOULD TAKE ANYONES PERSONAL EXPERIENCE AS RIGHT FOR THEM. WITH THAT SAID, I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW ALL OF OUR OTHER BLOG READERS PERSONAL BREWING TECHNIQUES AND EXPERIENCES.

      ok. I’m off to the beach for a 4th of July BBQ— (can you guess what I’m bringing to the bbq?)

      Happy 4th of July!!

      Dave

  394. Jane Says:

    Michael,
    I have immensely appreciated all your posts. I have done the single batch method for a number of years at a constant temperature of 84 degrees, but having read today your interesting posts in this blog of over2 years, I realize I would very much like to know how you test for proper doneness. You have mentioned a number of times that it is complicated and would take a long time to explain, but I wonder if you would be so kind as to tell us how you do it? I am scientifically minded and now that I have been exposed to the possibility of a more scientific way to tell the optimum stop point of brewing, I really would appreciate knowing more.

    Jane in Portland

  395. michael Says:

    RE: 396 Posted by Jane in Portlad Area

    No matter how inclined you are in the scientific field, the subject of “Doneness” or to know when to stop the process of the brewing, would be a three hour course, which is beyond the scope of this blog.
    There are so many factors, which determines the exact point of completion, the TEMPERTURE VARIATION, the TIME AND DURATION OF THE PROCESS, and mainly the amount of the different ingredients in the final brew, which is the most important part making the K.T. The guesswork must not enter into this process; otherwise one cannot get the full benefit of the real “McCoy”. How often I have seen in the blog mentioning that “ I keep my house on the cool side”; which it has nothing to do with the “House’s” temperature… having an incubator is essential to keep and maintain the proper and constant temperature without any variations. Or I have seen this comment that “ I am on my fifth, eight or ten day of brewing day” … the duration is neither a random element, nor a set figure… it all depends on the readiness. I have seen some mentioning that they are leaving the brew on the kitchen counter for several days, which I still have not figured the reason, I only know that this practice is against any food processing practice… never leave food at room temperature unless it is heavily preserved by several means. One of which is addition of preservatives, which many would frown at! Another affecting factor is THE SIZE AND OR THE NUMBER OF THE CULTURE; THE SCOBY. And THE RECIPE ITSELF has lots to do with the “Time of the completion” on cup of sugar, or perhaps lesser or more per each gallon of water? The entire process is the whole orchestra, which hand in hand would give you the right K.T. Now, since you heard so many vague and unknown factors… the hard part! MEASURING THE INGREDIENDS ON A DAILY BASIS WHILE IN PRODESS… at the first few days; daily testing, and as it reaches to maturity every few hours. These tests are the final key factors for determination of the readiness, which requires laboratory tools, reagents and the “Know How”… so, you see, it is not a food recipe to follow the instruction. Combine all of the above factors, which I capitalized, and each can be a chapter by itself; then you got yourself a healthy, palatable, and tasty K.T.

    I am afraid to tell you that many people drink their brew, which could mainly be sugar water (Table Sugar), which should be “NONE” present, and some drinking the diluted vinegar or combination of random elements …

    The chemistry of the K.T. “MUST” be uniform and exacting at all time and a “Quality Control” must be run on each batch. I am sure the commercially prepared K.T. have technicians running many tests, before they put their seal of approval… I’ll bet the taste would be identical no matter which batch you consume. Does yours tastes the same? The answer would be “NO”.

    manokokok@aol.com

  396. michael Says:

    1- I submitted a comment over three weeks ago, and I noticed that it has not yet been posted! Originally there was note, mentioning “Awaiting Moderation”; and now the whole thing disappeared totally!

    2 – I noticed that as indicated, there were supposed to be 403 comments, however I only see 396! Where are “The Seven” are hiding?

    manokokok@aol.com

  397. Michael Says:

    No matter how inclined you are in the scientific field, the subject of “Doneness” or to know when to stop the process of the brewing, would be a three hour course, which is beyond the scope of this blog. There are so many factors, which determines the exact point of completion, the TEMPERTURE VARIATION, the TIME AND DURATION OF THE PROCESS, and mainly the amount of the different ingredients in the final brew, which is the most important part making the K.T. The guesswork must not enter into this process; otherwise one cannot get the full benefit of the real “McCoy”. How often I have seen in the blog mentioning that “ I keep my house on the cool side”; which it has nothing to do with the “House’s” temperature… having an incubator is essential to keep and maintain the proper and constant temperature without any variations. Or I have seen this comment that “ I am on my fifth, eight or ten day of brewing day” … the duration is neither a random element, nor a set figure… it all depends on the readiness. I have seen some mentioning that they are leaving the brew on the kitchen counter for several days, which I still have not figured the reason, I only know that this practice is against any food processing practice… never leave food at room temperature unless it is heavily preserved by several means. One of which is addition of preservatives, which many would frown at! Another affecting factor is THE SIZE AND OR THE NUMBER OF THE CULTURE; THE SCOBY. And THE RECIPE ITSELF has lots to do with the “Time of the completion” on cup of sugar, or perhaps lesser or more per each gallon of water? The entire process is the whole orchestra, which hand in hand would give you the right K.T. Now, since you heard so many vague and unknown factors… the hard part! MEASURING THE INGREDIENDS ON A DAILY BASIS WHILE IN PRODESS… at the first few days; daily testing, and as it reaches to maturity every few hours. These tests are the final key factors for determination of the readiness, which requires laboratory tools, reagents and the “Know How”… so, you see, it is not a food recipe to follow the instruction. Combine all of the above factors, which I capitalized, and each can be a chapter by itself; then you got yourself a healthy, palatable, and tasty K.T.

    I am afraid to tell you that many people drink their brew, which could mainly be sugar water (Table Sugar), which should be “NONE” present, and some drinking the diluted vinegar or combination of random elements … The chemistry of the K.T. “MUST” be uniform and exacting at all time and a “Quality Control” must be run on each batch. I am sure the commercially prepared K.T. have technicians running many tests, before they put their seal of approval… I’ll bet the taste would be identical no matter which batch you consume. Does yours taste the same? The answer would be “NO”.
    MANokokok@aol.com

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      Hi Michael and Gang – Dave Here… (I am running around getting last minute stuff for my travels, but wanted to make sure this got posted for all of you to feel good and enjoy knowing several opinions)

      Thank you for your input and though we do disagree on certain brewing methods… for example, leaving kombucha at room temp is fine according to Gunther Frank’s research as well as the Cornell research study AND the FDA, as long as the proper ph is achieved — though I def agree that the huge commercial kombucha companies have strict regulations, though that is more for uniformed flavor.. heck coca cola spends mega bucks to ensure that their sugar water formula is consistent every time.

      In my opinion the beauty about home brewing is that every batch different and unique, just like home beer brewing or even home cooking.. not good if you are trying to brand your product across the globe.. but pretty fun if making for yourself.

      Anyway, thank you again Michael for your patience and understanding that we are a small company doing our best with the time, money and resources we have.

      Best,
      Dave

  398. michael Says:

    Thank you Dave for retrieving the lost posted input and re-submitting, though good thing that I keep a copy of all my responses and sent it to you in case; as the result it became duplication! No biggie… it won’t hurt to be sure that the text be published.

    As you mentioned about our differences in the approach for brewing K.T. ; I agree that everyone have a different method, and as long as they all achieve the same goal; then that’s all it counts… as the proverb says “There are several ways to skin a cat” I personally, being a cat lover, would not even imagine skinning a cat, but it is just an analogy!
    Keep the nice work …
    manokokok@aol.com

  399. T Says:

    Happy Birthday Dave!
    I have been brewing (continuously) on/off, with your advice and letters for about 2 years. My brewer broke, so with your b-day gift, I’m purchasing a new one. I just have to say, after reading this blog, and your newsletters over the past 2 years….you are amazing!! You have such great energy that comes across, even in black and white. My computer doesn’t have sound, so I miss out on your videos. I am amazed at your tolerance of Michael (whom I HAVE learned alot, and respect his opinions, albeit very aggressive and pushy) considering he goes against alot of what you say, and it’s your info we seek. Anyway, in regards to Michael, (again, I do appreciate), he says ginger kills the benefits of drinking the ktea when flavored with it. Dave, not Michael, have you found this to be true? It is most often used for flavoring…how sad if it kills the benefits.
    Thanks again for all your years of knowledge, T

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      Hi T!

      Thank you for all your kind words! I have been traveling a bit, and since I’ve been back (and since the promotion), things have been Ka-razy (note Crazy spelled Ka-razy is the affectionate and positive form of Crazy).

      Anyway it is obviously so amazing to be able to see more and more new customers each and every day since we started almost 4 years ago, AND it is just as absolutely awesome (and humbling), when a loyal hip customer stays with you for the ride! Thanks for the kudos.. hey if you did not receive them already, email me and I will send you our brand new set up kombucha video series… it has 51 MORE VIDEO!! some of the stuff might be easy peasy for an experienced brewer like yourself, but I think you will find some nice insights as well.

      Also thank you for acknowledging the mutual respect and different opinions that brewers might have with one another from time to time. Isn’t it nice to have a community where, when you get down to it, the true, deep intention is helping people empower themselves to take control of their healing rather than just making point to satisfy our ego. Michael has been a huge benefit to this community and I m very grateful for his active participation.

      In my opinion Ginger, as well as any other “flavorings”, are perfectly fine to incorporate into your kombucha – ONLY DURING THE BOTTLING OR DRINKING STAGE. And not during the brewing stage… (though I am currently in works on an advanced kombucha bottling and brewing series that will delicately contradict this as I will show you certain way you can brew with enhanced herbs that will in return enhance your k tea… but this should only be considered with the know how of an experienced educated brewer.)

      whew.. this might be the longest reply I have done on this blog … guess 30 is full of new experiences! 🙂

      Happy Brewin’,
      Dave

  400. wargon Says:

    can i put hony into the brewing proces?

  401. michael Says:

    Not a defense … the expression of facts.
    Ginger though is an aromatic spice, has the tendency to “Dissolve” protein, including, but not limited to yeast and bacteria due its “Proteolysis” effect. Meaning it affects all proteins, which in cooking, it can also be used as meat tenderizer. The probiotics effect cannot be accomplish by “Contaminating” the K.T. with ginger… result: NO living organisms! Perhaps, you would be drinking a “dead” “Flavored” Vitamins & mineral compound, which is better than none. I always wondered, why do people want to modify things blindfoldedly by unknowingly at the cost of the effectiveness… why not settling with the “Real McCoy”? There are hundreds of drugs that can alleviate mood, yet the damages might be on your brain, or other organs in the body! The expression of the Sweet Poison” can tell it all with no further explanation! Should some individuals suffer the taste of K.T., they have two options: Drink it for the sake of its natural benefits and put up with the “Undesirable Taste”; or just don’t bother brewing and drinking it at all. I personally believe that the taste is great! (Proper brewing is the must) Often people have developed the taste for it and though originally repelled them, after acquiring the taste, they prefer it to any soda drinks! Another group that would not touch K.T. are the ones are frightened by the looks of the SCOBY! It is the mind that controls the taste… how unfortunate…

    HONEY: You probably hared that honey does not spoil… molds & bacteria would not grow on it… so, use your senses to what it would do to the live bacteria & yeast in K.T…. do you think that by adding an antibiotic to you culture/brew; you would be able to create K.T.? No, nothing would probably grow!
    manokokok@aol.com

  402. Natalie Says:

    Dave,

    Can you please explain, in more detail, Ph levels? As in, around which level my tea should be when I bottle it. And, if it isn’t where it should be, what should I do to remedy the situation. If this has been answered, please direct me as I can’t find it.

    Also, looking down at my brew, it looks like I have two or three scobys. How do I seperate them and how do I know when and which one to keep, etc.

    Also, a good site/blog search option would be greatly appreciated (if there is one aleady, I do not see it)

  403. michael Says:

    My experience regarding the pH; is about 3, when the brewing process is complete. The longer the process, the higher acidity, probably 2.5 or so.

    To separate the SCOBYs from each other, one must wash and scrub hands and under the nails thoroughly clean, using lukewarm water and soap. Rise very well with lukewarm water. Rinse, rub and scrub with vinegar, allowing vinegar to remain all over hands and nails. DO NOT RINSE. Pick up the SCOBY and should you see different layers, just peel off the layers. Any breaks or tears have absolutely no effect on the performance of the SCOBY. Use any & ALL pieces, no matter how big or small. There is no rule of when to separate the layers… the more surface, the better.

    There are so many sites with so much information, which can be learned from each site. You are in just one of them. Though, one has to be open minded to learn without any prejudice, since we can only hurt ourselves, viewing the issues without thorough scrutiny.

    Best Wishes coming to you from Gresham, Oregon
    Michael

    manokokok@aol.com

  404. Emily Says:

    Hey, Dave. I’m sorry if this is a repeat question, but I didn’t want to read through 400 posts of questions to figure that out!!

    In the past year I was regularly making Kombucha. Had several successful batches, made babies, passed ’em on, etc. etc. etc.
    Then I moved, and went away for a month and in the process of all of this, I forgot about my beloved SCOBY feasting merrily on the supply provided for him. For three months.

    I just found them (there are 3) in my cabinet, infested with a layer of fruitflies, but otherwise looking healthy. The juice has turned to vinegar, and the undersides of the SCOBY looks good to go for another round.

    Is this safe? Is the culture contaminated? or could I just rinse it well, sanitize its container and go again?

    Really want you to tell me that it’s all good!! 🙂 But prefer the entirety of the truth.

    Great forum/blog.
    With warmth,
    Emily

  405. michael Says:

    RE: Item 406, posted by Emily

    It should not have happened to begin with…

    The presence of the fruit flies is the result of inappropriate storing of the SCOBY. The storage MUST be under refrigeration with a loose lid on top the jar.

    On the contrary, houseflies carry bacteria, which would contaminate any food source, however, it is not the nature of fruit flies to nourish on certain type of spoiled matters, transferring them to other sources.

    The aromatic Ketones, aldehydes, alcohols, and acetic acid deriving from the fruits are the “Attractants” to this type of flies, though they are not so-called “Dirty”, and as the result, it might not cause interfere with the performance of the SCOBY.

    As a research method, I would like to try to see what the outcome would be. Washing the SCOBY with the vinegar, then treating it as the new one following the same procedure for brewing, watching the result. Although I run several tests while brewing, to be sure the consistency and the quality control. In the ordinary method, one must depend on the “Trial & Error”.

    Again, never store an organic matter at the room temperature, since they all to certain degree and under certain circumstances can get spoiled, of course one does not want to add preservatives… the SCOBY killer! Refrigeration is the better-known way of preservation and storage, which hibernation occurs. Whenever you are ready, she would become active and perform as we expect her to do so, producing the K.T.

    Best wishes coming to you from Gresham, Oregon…

    Michael
    manokokok@AOL.com

  406. michael Says:

    “To get to the bottom of it”; one must go through two years of accumulation of over 400 posted blog…

    Is there any other way to just go to the end, rather than using the curser dragging it downward for ten minutes or so?

  407. Lay Poh Says:

    I do fine this blog vey useful whereby I learn a lot new stuff here.

    I’m just curious is KT also helps those diabetic people, do share yr experience…

    God bless & take care…

    Rgds,LP

  408. michael Says:

    RE:409 posted by Lay Poh

    Diabetic patients must be extremely careful about taking “Anything” by mouth, unless they are quite sure of the “Contents” and the amount of the ingredients that they might ingest. Unless you are thoroughly familiar with the procedure of preparing the K.T. being able to “Measure” exactly the amount of the ingredients, DON’T drink it as the “AID” to diabetes, otherwise you are asking for trouble. The “Quality Control” is my main point, without which, your product would NOT be the same each & every time, and as the result it would NOT be dependable and can be very variable…
    The completion time is very crucial to find out if there is still table sugar exists, and how much glucose has been converted to from the sugar, and how about the alcohol and vinegar contents and how much of each! When comes to serious disease such as diabetes, follow the sure, known and proven paths only! Do not gamle, because you become loser. I believe sometimes ones has to be scared to listen! Sorry… not my style!

    Best wishes coming from Gresham, Oregon
    Michael
    manokokok@aol.com

  409. Carla Says:

    I am on my second brew of kt. I’ve noticed long, stringy, dark brown tendarals hanging from the bottom of the culture. I read that it was normal. That it was just old yeast cells. Is this true? And how much is normal?

  410. T Says:

    Hi-
    Have been brewing for awhile, but am encountering something new and don’t know how to fix. I used to continuously brew in glass and it would take up to 14 days. Sometimes I even used a panel heater. Well, my glass broke, so I bought the ceramic back a couple months. My brews are about 3-5 days out, and very dry like champagne, and fizzy. I tried more sugar, thinking the scoby would eat longer. I tried less sugar. I tried starting over…cleaning jar, rinsing scoby, but I still get a very quick and fizzy turn around. I wouldn’t mind the 3-5 days as much, but I’d like the flat less dry tasting KT. Any suggestions on how to remedy, please? Thanks in advance.

  411. Michael Says:

    RE: item 412 posted by “T”

    If you have done everything as before and the only thing had been different now is the fact that you are using the ceramic container vs. the glass container. So, let’s try to see why the ceramic acts differently than glass. Glass has the tendency to not to keep and hold the surrounding temperature, whereas the ceramic, probably due its thickness and also the density, would keep the temperature longer. A hot cup of tea, in a glass would lose its temperature and cool down faster than a ceramic cup of the same temperature. Try it and see. (Use a thermometer, though it might not be necessary. So, keeping in mind that ceramic container is holding the temperature longer, as the result there would be less up & down variances and undulations. The culture would like to remain constant (86 degrees is optimum). If I come to some conclusion; it would be that due to the consistency of the ceramic jug, your culture and brewing time does not need to be as long as brewing it in a glass jug, which your brew has to put up with variances and in an uncomfortable condition. This is the best I can come up with! I wish you were able to determine the amount of the glucose acidity, CO2 and also check to see if you still have some table sugar left in the brew, which should be none. I test all and many other factors before I come to the conclusion if my brew is done and it is the end of process. Without having access to any measuring instrument, one has to do the process blindfoldedly, hoping all is right.

    Many hundreds of years ago, people did the culture in a non-scientific way, and they depended on their experience such as the shape of the SCOBY, the color, the smell, the taste, and the amount of fizzy-ness and believe me; no one got hurt as the result. Diabetes in conjunction with the K.T. is one of thing that one has to be careful with. The severity of the existence of this disease and becoming an epidemic is something that one should be aware of, which our ancestors did not have to worry as much. They did not have all of the damaging factors lurking around them, consequently less chances of someone to become comatose as the result of high “Sugar” content of the K.T. (It is appropriate to mention that all commercially produced K.T. would mention all of the ingredients on the label. It is mandated and is the law of this nation. So, and it would be up to the consumer to consume or not. They do all of the tests, which many home brewers don’t have access to them and/or don’t have the background to use. Their product would always remain the same, which you can depend on it) So, play with it at home, or spend lots of money to purchase it… or perhaps familiarize yourself to “Properly” brew your own! Sorry that I got side tracked, which I did not anticipate, but I knew when I get to write, I keep going! Thanks for your time, reading this article… good luck and best wishes from Michael in Gresham, Oregon…
    manokokok@aol.com

  412. claudia Says:

    Thank you for all the information.

    I have a question I hope you can answer.

    I bottled some Kombucha 5 days ago, added Goji berries and cane sugar to it for flavoring.
    This morning when I peeked in the bottle-there is a nice thick(about 2″ x 2″) scoby forming-funny thing is that all of the Goji berries are attached to it.
    Can this be utilized for another batch?

    Thanks for your time 🙂

  413. Vanessa Says:

    Hi,
    Couple questions for you. I am in the process of brewing my second batch of Kombucha. I research it a bit each day to make sure I am not missing anything and I recently found some brewers say that they test their pH. Is this neccessary? If so, what kind of pH kit would I use. Sounds stupid but my hubby has a saltwater tank and he has a test kit for that, do you think I could use that to test my pH? What is a good pH number? Also, the first batch of Kombucha that I had done turned out pretty good, with the exception to a partail bottle that only got half full. It had a mild rotten egg smell and very little fizz. Would that be because it wasn’t filled right to the top??

    Thanks for all/any help you can give me,
    Vanessa

  414. michael Says:

    There are several ways of pH measurement… the color change as in solution type, and also the paper type, which most of people use them and are very cheap. one can compare the color change to the color chart on the box. Finally, the best and the most accurate ones, which mostly used in the laboratories (pH meters) are the ones using electrodes, operates by household electricity or battery operated, which is mostly used in fields, where there is no electricity. For our purpose the paper roll or the strips are accurate enough. Any medical supplier sells the paper type and Dave sells them through his store. By the way, the pH around 3 is common and gives a mild tartness to the K.T. Too sweet; there could still be some unconveted table sugar in the brew, which has not yet been transformed to glucose, finally to vinegar. One should know the stopping point in brewing process. There shouls be NO table sugar left; not that it would harm you, but you don’t need it… it is for the SCOBY’s use only!
    manokokok@aol.com

  415. Patricia Says:

    Hello – I have had a problem with my Kombucha tea turing out white looking – not the scoby, but the tea itself. I usually have 7 separate gallon containers going at one time. Right now 2 of them have whitish liquid. I wonder if it is because something is wrong with the scoby? Any help much appreciated. Thanks for all the info here!

  416. michael Says:

    Cloudiness or turbidity, most often is the cause of contamination. The tea should look clear, which might have some strands of yeast attached together, however the bacteria as part of the SCOBY, would adhere to the “Mother” rather than floating around in form of suspension. Should I have the “Suspension Tea” I would have looked at it under the microscope, which would have indicated the proof of my theory. The bottom line: A source of contamination is suggested, either bacterial, or other type of yeasts. Discarding the tea, rinsing the Scoby with vinegar, then starting all over again might solve the turbidity in the next batch, which seems like the contamination.
    When in doubt, don’t consume… sacrifice a batch of tea. Doing so would not hurt much, but drinking the unknown, might hurt.
    manokokok@aol.com

  417. Patricia Says:

    Thanks Michael you are a doll. Yes, I will discard the tea and use vinegar to clean off the scoby, or else just peel one off of another batch. 🙂

  418. casey Says:

    just got my new brewer from dave. i will not be brewing for about another day or 2. in the instructions dave says to take the scoby out and put it in a clean glass jar and cover it with the cloth. well am i supposed to leave it out coverd like this until i use the brew or am i supposed to store it in the fridge somehow?

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      either is fine! though if you put it in the fridge, make sure you have it out at room temp (the same temp as your sweet tea) when you begin brewing.

      dave 🙂 (from thailand)

  419. Susan Says:

    I’m on my second batch…first batch is in its 2nd fermentation so I haven’t had a chance to drink it. However, when refilling my brewer to make 2nd batch, I filled it sooo full my scoby won’t have any room to grow. I guess I just open the spigot and let some out? I hate to waste all I used in the prep.

    What if I do not??? Will I have a seeping brewer, with kombucha running out the top? Anyone have to drain some off?

    Yesterday, Sunday, is when I prepared the 2nd batch, so I know it’s not ready to bottle.

    Thanks, guys, if anyone is out there reading this.

  420. michael Says:

    RE: Item 421 posted by Susan
    The next time, don’t fill up too much to begin with in order to have enough room for the growth of SCOBY, when it comes to the top. sometimes the more is not better!
    Besides, never fill up to the “narrow” part of the jar, since the wider surface would give you larger SCOBY and babies, expediting the brew as the result…

    You may drain the excess and drink it, though it is not going to be totally fermented and you might be drinking the sugar water plus some tea, which is not going to be harmful unless you are diabetic. (Upon fermentation, you would be metabolizing the table sugar to other substance such as mainly vinegar, some probable alcohol, and some source of fast acting carbohydrates in form of the glucose, which still the diabetics need to consider its presence to certain degree.
    manokokok@aol.com

  421. Nancy Says:

    Question: My husband makes Kombucha regularly and it is great. The last time he made it, he added to each bottle (before capping and fermenting) some simple syrup that I had made with plenty of chunks of fresh ginger. I am concerned about any slight risk of botulism from the ginger. Is the kombucha acidic enough to prevent botulism from the ginger? Does it matter if the ginger was raw or cooked in the syrup? Thanks for the help.

  422. michael Says:

    RE: 423 posted by Nancy
    No element under the sun would “Create” botulism, including ginger in any form or manner! It must be present to begin with. So, the statement is erroneous. Kombucha tea is NOT enough acidic to kill botulism, nor any other bacteria therein including all of the bacteria that exist in the Kombucha itself. The letter “B” in SCOBY stands for bacteria and they all can survive in the tea without being killed by the so-called acidic environment. The problem one should watch out for would be the “Capping”, which would provide the lack of oxygen, which botulism then would thrive. You would need three things for the growth of botulism: 1 – The organism itself. 2- Mild acidic environment. 3- The lack of oxygen.

    Personally I do not advocate the use of ginger along with ANY living organism such as SCOBY or botulism. Ginger has the capacity to dissolve all proteins, killing the beneficial bacteria in the tea along with any stranded harmful ones such as botulism!! Adding anything to the brew trying to enhance the tea is not my “Cup Of Tea”. Just stick with the original recipe… it is my motto!
    Extra Info: The “Toxin” cannot be destroyed after it is produced by the means of boiling!
    manokokok@aol.com

  423. bj Says:

    Hi Dave (response from Dave please)

    I’m on my 6th batch (I think)!! But my k-tea is not as vinegar-y as it used to be. Que pasa?

    tks
    bje

  424. aredding Says:

    dave,

    my ktea brews super fast as of late, due to having such a huge “baby” culture that formed after continuous brewing (it is the diameter of the brewing system, obviously, because it was grown in there). the culture is now about 3 inches thick, and the diameter of the porcelain brew pot. a few months ago i removed the original mother, and have used her in another system. i then discontinued brewing in the original container, with the huge baby culture, for about 1-2 months, but let it sit and grow. i now notice a bit of brownish strands. is this okay? are these yeast strands? the tea still tastes great, but i am slightly concerned.

    any thoughts??

    thanks–aredding.

    • MARLA Says:

      I have hit the same roadblock! What is the brownish threads and what’s left is true vinegar… what should I do. I have about the same 3 inches think of scoobies… do I eliminate the the top ones and keep the smaller ones or do I eliminate the larger one.

      please HELP us so we can start the brewing once again!
      Marla

  425. nichael Says:

    RE: Marla’s issue…
    The strands are normal and they consist exactly the same constituents as the SCOBY itself. Removal of the layers of SCOBY is not going to solve any solution. You can separate the “Layers” and use each layer as a “Mother SCOBY”.

    About the vinegary taste, my guess would be too long brewing process and/or perhaps expediting the process via warmer than 86 degrees. As you know the homemade apple juice, (No preservatives), which is sweet due to glucose and other sugars would eventually turn into vinegar should it remain in optimum condition. In wine industry, they stop the process beyond the alcohol, otherwise it becomes vinegar.
    manokokok@aol.com

    • MARLA Says:

      My main concern was that it not only had brown strands and high vinegar but it was cloudy as well. Which I failed to include in my last post.
      I am hoping that it isn’t tainted. So, I drained most of the cloudy vinegar out and made fresh tea… I hope it all goes well.
      Thank you for your help because I am really frustrated and have no idea what I am doing!

      Was this the right thing to do?
      Marla

  426. Michael Says:

    Cloudiness might be the sign of contamination. Discard the solution. Rinse your hands with regular vinegar, using a brush and also clean under the nails then rinse off the SCOBY with regular vinegar and start all over again, using clean cultivation jars and the sugar & tea solution. The least exposure of ALL utensils and solution to the element would help preventing the possible contamination.
    I boil the water adding my tea and sugar. Cover the pot and strain it into the gallon jars, which I do my cultivation there. I would add my SCOBY when the solution reaches to 86 degrees F.
    manokokok@aol.com

  427. BJ Says:

    I need HELP!!! PLEASE!!

    Last Saturday, I cleaned out my dispenser as your videos show. I put my ginormous scoby (scobies) in a glass bowl with kombucha tea from the dispenser and covered the bowl with the second cloth that came with my kit.

    There was a lot of yuck in the bottom of the dispenser! It’s only been about 4 months since I started brewing but I live in Houston, TX.

    I made sweet tea like I usually do and left it to cool. I emptied the dispenser and cleaned it out with water and then vinegar letting it run through the spigot also.

    I poured my cooled sweet tea into the dispenser, added more plain water then put the scoby in, squirted some kombucha concentrate onto the scoby, and poured my remaining kombucha tea on top.

    The scoby was so yucky!! Huge!! It was actually several scobies. The original scoby was starting to “disintegrate” and come apart and there was another huge one that was kinda like that too. I “peeled” off the smallest baby one to use.

    Today I decided to take a peak at it. To my horror, there is a glossy white growth on the top of the tea. Is this yeast???

    Do you think I have to throw everything away and start over?? My tea before was fine except that I was getting more and more yeast strands.

    Thanks very much for the help.
    Betty-Jean

  428. Paulette Says:

    I have finished my first brewing, and the scoby is still translucent- looking (not really thick), so I am leaving it in the brewer with the recommended amount of fermenting tea to grow stronger for a couple of days… (I only removed 4 bottles worth as suggested). When ready, how much tea will I brew to start a new batch? If I brew the full 1.5 gallon then the brewer will be very or overfull.

    Many thanks for your help!

  429. debbie wheeler Says:

    My scoby (daugther) is to big for her jar. Can I reshape her or divide into two are more? (Cutting like a pie?)

    Bottle 12- 16oz. bottles every 5 days from the crock. And I also have two 1-gal. glass jars, which I usually get another 10-11 jars from. The daugther from the crock is much rounder than the jar.

    My family (3 adults) usually drink that amount and could drink more. So want to start a 3rd 1-gal jar. Saving for a second crock for this fall.

  430. London Says:

    I have read, Debbie, where you can divide your SCOBYs. Put on gloves and sterilize a sharp knife or scissors with vinegar and trim / cut it and begin the process again. There’s lots of info out there that details it probably more in depth, but that’s a beginning for you.

    What I haven’t seen and my question / issue is I have neglected my brewer for a couple of months, maybe even three, and haven’t added any tea or anything to it. I haven’t even touched it. It’s this big “scary” thing in the corner that I am, I’m embarrassed to say, afraid to look!

    I became disheartened when my kombucha was not fizzy, so I abandoned the whole process and was attempting to figure out what to do. Now, I know I can’t ignore this any longer.

    I’m sure SCOBY is dead, but — I guess I’m answering my own question here — just clean it out, get another SCOBY and try again, you think?

    If anyone has any experience like this, feel free to respond.

    I want flavorful and fizzy kombucha. Mine was neither.

    Help!

  431. Anonymous Says:

    debbie wheeler Says:
    July 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm
    My scoby (daugther) is to big

    the word “to” to be read as: TOO

  432. Lisa S. Says:

    There was a post way back asking for opinions on this and it never got answered…

    Can anyone share experience on drinking Kombucha as a recovering alcoholic or addict? I am in recovery and while I’m fine with %.05 alcohol, anything around %1 or higher would be too high for me. I

    ‘m planning on starting my own brewing at home and I’m trying to figure out how I can monitor the alcohol content. Does anyone know if there are strips I could use? I Googled it but the results were uncertain. Mostly I saw saliva strips; I’m not sure if those will work for determining the alcohol percentage.

    Thanks!

  433. Julia Ann faulkner Says:

    I have not been at this very long. I ordered a few bottles to see if I was making the same thing..It seems to be almost the same… My daughter does not grow very much anymore… I put it in the ref. for quite sometime I was wondering if It might have almost killed it. One of my bottles blew up in the ref. I had a cork in it and it was not tight enough… I was wondering if the decaff. tea I use is OK, It does not seem to taste or be any different than what I ordered…The last batch I used distilled water and didn’t boil it very much, Is that OK to do???

  434. jen Says:

    I have 2 bottles of opened Kombucha in my fridge. They have been there for months. Are they still safe to drink?

  435. Eve Says:

    Hi All!

    I have been brewing k-tea for over a year now and love your site. I ordered the basic k-tea kit, and set it up too continuous brew 2 gallons of k-tea at a time. No one has as much information nor are they as entertaining as you are! You’re the bomb Dave!

    I suffer and acid reflux. When I drink my k-tea everyday, I do not have acid reflux at all. It tastes great and just makes me feel well.

    My question is, has anyone ever gotten canker sores from drinking k-tea? I get really bad, recurring canker sores, but can not decide if it is the k-tea or not. I know it is alkalizing once it gets into the body, but it IS acidic going in. Does anyone know anything about this? Or has this happened to anyone else? I started out drinking a little at a time, building up slowly over time. I now drink about 24 oz. a day.

    I don’t want to have to give up my k-tea…….

    Happy brewing!
    Eve

  436. Michelle Says:

    Hey all, I’m a very new kombucha brewer, and had my first taste of GT’s about 6 months ago. I made my first mother via the Green Goodness flavor, or whichever it is, and have been cultivating Scoby in my dorm room for about 4 months now. While I have yet to brew my own tea from thm due to not being able to have a large enough jar in my room, I have been keeping them.

    I keep all my glassware for future brewing, and take an old GT’s bottle with me for water. In my painting class, my professor and TA came by and asked me where I had gotten GT’s, as they have since been pulled from the shelves for alcohol content (so I was told) as they had been fans of GT’s. I said I hadn’t been home in a while to check at my Whole Foods, but I had my own scobies in my dorm.

    I decided to surprise them by doing a “check up” on my big jar which had about 6 different scobies left in it (Yeah, I’m sure that’s really really bad practice! But the water would evaporate, and I would be too afraid of contaminating it by removing the scoby, and would just add more tea. I’m pretty sure I’ll get a ton of “OH LORD DO NOT DO THAT” by the end of this post, though) I cleaned it out, and removed the scobies, filtered it to get rid of all the dead yeast, and divided it up into about 5 new jars, one with tea in it.
    I cut the scobies and strained them, but with a metal paring knife and a metal strainer lined with a paper towel. I committed the cardinal sin by letting metal touch my kombucha. I do want to give these scoby babies as a gift to my teachers, will a quick slice and drain have that much affect on the flavor or health of the tea?

  437. Jeanne Says:

    I am on my third go around of brewing Kombucha tea. My question is I have two square jars with hinged lids and rubber gaskets I picked up at Hobby Lobby (they hold about 1 1/2 gallons each) can I seal them once they have Kombucha tea in them or will they exploud? I want to keep the fizz in my tea. I bought them thinking they would be easier to clean and reuse than the beer bottles with hinged lids. .

  438. Jeanne Says:

    I am on my third go of making Kombucha Tea. I picked up two square jars with hinged lids and rubber gaskets that hold about 1 1/2 gallons each at Hobby Lobby. I am wanting to keep the fizz in my tea. I bought the square jars thinking they would be easier to keep clean then the beer bottles with hinged lids. I have read that you keep your tea on the counter for anywhere from 2-7 days in your sealed jars before placing in your frig as it will give it more fizz. My concern though is if my glass jars will exploud?

  439. shokuh Says:

    Hello. I wish you are good and healthy. Excuse me I have a question about kombucha.I have kombucha mushrum and I produce that juice but i don`t know if I want to keep this juice longer what should I do? because as you know this juice after times and 10 days become acidic. For solve this problem what should I do?plz help me.I mailed you from Iran and I love to increase this amazing mushrum.i want to increase my production industrialy.before your helping I will thank you.

  440. Hectot Says:

    Hello, Dave
    I am a new kombucha brewer. My first one was great, nice flavor and frizz.
    But my second one became so, acidy and vinegary flavor.
    My question is: Is the Ph level directed related with the vinagery flavor of kombucha meaning if I keep my Kombucha Ph between 3 and 2.5. could I prevent my brewer to became so acidity with vinager flavor?
    Thanks
    Hector

  441. Thanks Dave for the enormous Mother Culture! I had gotten a mother culture from a friend and her’s was wafer thin. After taking your mini classes I decided to buy one from you and I am so glad I did. It’s huge which says to me that it’s a much healthier culture. I’ve started my first batch of Kombucha today 🙂

    Thanks also for the free mini lessons. They were pack full of great information. I feel confident starting my Kombucha brewing journey.

  442. Kayla Says:

    Hi there, first off I just wanted to say thank you for making this wonderful site where people can get their questions and supplies available all at once. As far as my question goes, I am wondering just how much metal will kill my SCOBY and even if it doesn’t kill it, if the metal can cause any negative health effects? I was very excited yesterday to come across (what I think is at least a) 2.5 gallon (if not larger) glass container at a garage sale. It is food grade glass, but it occurred to me once I got it home that it has a metal spigot with a small plastic band to secure it is place. I have been brewing in gallon size glass sun tea containers, however, the little bit of plastic on the spigot has made me rethink whether I want to continue using these (hasn’t had any ill effect on me, just know from what I have read that it is leaching SOME toxins). Anyways, I just wanted to find out what you know about this issue and your experiences with it. Thank you so much!!

    p.s. Also, will any harm come to by brewing process if I gently stir the sugar tea mixture daily (after the SCOBY has started form on top)? I read what you said to another person’s comment about usually not brewing in any container larger than a gallon because it takes longer for the bottom tea to ferment than the top tea. I was thinking maybe stirring it might help make it more even and thus speed it up?

  443. z_malloc Says:

    I am brewing my 3rd batch of Kombucha and I have some serious concerns. After drinking a ton of the de-facto commercial brand for about 2 months I started having really bad headaches. I have completely stopped, and they have dissipated to some degree, but I’ve been pondering what happened. I’d like to mention that I own a copy of Alana Pascal’s book ‘Kombucha – How-To and What It’s All About’ thought by many to be the definitive book on Kombucha.

    My first concern: Mobilization

    It is my understanding that Kombucha is very effective at not only helping your liver process toxins much more effectively, but that if you have amassed a good deal of toxins in your system over the years that they can be ‘mobilized’. This raises serious concerns for those who might have a sizable quantity of such things as heavy metals like mercury. After being mobilized, they may not be rapidly expelled from your body, as was the case that caused them to build up in the first place, subsequently redistributing in other soft tissue of the body such as the brain. I believe very little is discussed about this the average consumer has no clue just how effective Kombucha can be at mobilizing toxins and super charging your liver. Clearly this is a double edged sword and something that should be regarding in much the same way any sensible person would look at vitamins. Proper dosage is key. It bothers me that commercial products say little about the dangers of over consumption. Given that Kombucha mobilizes so well, it is highly recommended that you DO NOT drink it when pregnant or breastfeeding as the fetus/infant will be subject excessive toxins. It is also discouraged for use by children. I don’t want people doing damage to themselves out of ignorance, and I don’t want the drink I’ve grown to enjoy greatly to face regulation or worse.

    My second concern: Carbonation and storage

    In Alana Pascal’s book, she informs that when Kombucha is capped, and anaerobic fermentation occurs, toxic by product is created namely in the form of acetone (think paint thinner or nail polish remover). Acetone is a ketone that is very destructive to the kidneys. She indicates that Kombucha should not be stored capped in the refrigerator for more than an astonishingly conservative 3 days or there is the risk acetone production. This is troubling. Most people will tell you, Kombucha is much more palatable when carbonated. This is where I am uncertain. Small amounts of acetone are present in commercial foods we consume and such trace amounts have been deemed relatively safe. Thinking back, I purchased dozens of bottles of commercially available RAW Kombucha. That means, unpasteurized and while I know there are chemical compounds that can be added which do not kill the culture but prohibit it from continued fermentation, I have serious doubt those would have been used. Of those many bottles, several were near there expiration date, and even more of them when opened exhibited vast over-carbonation. This would seem to indicate that shipping and handling practices during the life of that product did not include continuous refrigeration. Suspecting heavily now that this may have contributed greatly to my headaches. To pasteurize or not to pasteurize. Many of the health benefits remain after pasteurization but it certainly isn’t the most desirable option. I’d love to hear thoughts on carbonation options, and the risk of prolonged anaerobic fermentation.

  444. Zoe Says:

    I bought Kombucha energy shots from Celestial seasonings ( they were refrigerated when I purchased them) and I forgot to refrigerate them when I got home… Is it bad to drink them? What would the non refrigeration do and is it harmful? It does say on the bottle that they must be refrigerated.

  445. sandy larbac Says:

    I bought the raw kambucha tea at a health food store. I can clearly see a culture in there (mother) can I make my own tea from that and make more cultures from it?

  446. angi Says:

    Hi, I accidentally dipped a metal spoon (twice, quickly, for tasting) into my first batch of kombucha and then later read this was a no no. Did I ruin my scoby? What should I do?

  447. mike durand Says:

    hi
    My scoby did not reproduce after fermentation time but tea tasted right also I placed a scoby on top of a jar of sweet tea, and it sunk to the bottom
    i tried many times about 1 month but still it doesn’t reproduce new scoby
    whatever one week ago a white layer Appeared on the surface but after 4 days it did not change even it didn’t thicken
    bubbles trapped under this layer
    can u help me? whats happening?

  448. …Click here for or more Information…

    […]I am not positive where you’re getting your information, but great topic.[…]…

  449. Michaela Stam Says:

    My kombucha has mold! Do I need to throw out the culture and the mother mushroom??? Or just the culture??

  450. Roxy Cook Says:

    When flavoring do I put the tea in the refrigerator right away? I usually put the frozen fruit in the bottled tea then leave it on the counter for a couple days to encourage carbonation. I’d like to hear how others flavor after they bottle the tea.

  451. Michaela Stam Says:

    My scoby is turning black… What is going on?

  452. Ben Says:

    I have a problem I wonder if you’ve come across before. My last batch of kombucha turned into the consistency of syrup… actually more like egg whites to be honest! I tasted it and it tasted fine, but I just couldn’t get past that texture and wound up throwing out the whole batch. Ever hear of that before? I’m thinking it might be 1 of 3 things that possibly could have done it.

    1) I refrigerated the scoby in some of my previous batches liquid for a few days before starting this syrupy/eggy batch in order to slow it down because I wasn’t keeping up with production.
    2) I’ve been using yerba, not green tea.
    3) It was fairly warm in our house that particular week of fermenting.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Ben 🙂

  453. Saramay Says:

    I was mixing up a giant batch of kombucha and in a rush to finish, I used a stainless steel measuring cup to measure 1 1/2 cups of kombucha from a previous batch to mix into my tea and scoby container. What will happen? Do I need to toss it out? I’m hoping not because it’s a big batch 😦 Any advice?

  454. Mariah Says:

    As I was pouring my water over my tea one of the bags ruptured and now there is loose tea floating in my giant batch. Can it be saved? Should I brew it as is or try to strain it through cheese cloth. I make 3 gallons at a time so I really don’t want to start fresh if I don’t have to but I don’t want to ruin my SCOBY either. Help!

  455. J Says:

    I am brewing my first batch and the scoby is turning red :/ That doesn’t seem like a good thing. Any idea why?

  456. Leda Says:

    Hi!

    So, I’ve been keeping a kombucha brewing consistently for about a year now, and I have a few questions:

    1) So, thus far, in terms of taste, I’ve had no problems…however, I have noticed that my mother looks pretty different from one’s I see in pictures and others that belong to my friends…it’s quite a bit darker, and more bubbly.

    2) It often sinks.

    3) It hasn’t really grown terribly much since I got it…and I’m not at all sure when it is safe to break it into other pieces so I can expand my operation.

    4) I have one of your amazing brewing containers that my boyfriend’s mom gave me, and my kombucha has never really covered the top surface….

    Again, it always tastes good, but I was wondering if you might be able to explain some of its anomalous behavior.

    Thanks!

  457. Leeanna Says:

    I’ve started drinking kombuha slowly, 1 or less oz a day and I have been so bloated, its uncomfortable to eat and drinking a lot of water just makes me more bloated. I’m not an ill person, I was taking kombucha because I heard its detoxing. I do drink alcohol a few nights a week. I eat a good ammount of sweets. I don’t have a bad diet but its not very clean. I look pregnant but am not. Is this bloating a normal health crisis? Should I stop? How long can this last? I read sometimes its worse before it gets better, but my stomach wasn’t bad in the first place. I haven’t had it in 3 days with no relief. Thoughts?

  458. Ally Says:

    I decided 3 days into the fermenting process that I wanted to more the jar to a darker warmer location and I accidentally knocked the jar on the edge of the table when moving it. Will this effect the brew?

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      Hi Ally!

      you are good to go… just try not to move it around too much as it can disturb the culture from forming in the early stages.

      Happy Brewin
      Dave 🙂


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