Organic Kombucha

Kombucha Tea, Cultures, Benefits and Hazards

Brewing Instructions April 27, 2007


Remember if you have a specific question that you would like a personal response to, please submit a support ticket to support@getkombucha.zendesk.com – the blog is now dedicated to build a kommunity of others sharing their experiences.. so if YOU can answer a question on the blog or want to contribute, please (pretty, pretty please) go ahead and feel good knowing you are helping a fellow kombuchaholic!

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Congrats on Your New Deluxe – Continuous Kombucha Brewing/Dispensing System!

Brewing Instructions:

(Once you have your kombucha culture, you are ready to rock and roll)

0. Yes, step zero! Please open and place your kombucha cultures, (along with any of the starter tea the culture came with in the bag) in a clean glass jar with a small paper towel on top, fastened with a rubber band. The cultures have been patiently holding their breath in a bag while being shipped to you and I am sure they can not wait to get some good old fashioned O2 while you are preparing a nice supper of sweet tea for them.

1. Clean and sanitize your fermentation container and spigot: This is done by simply washing the container with hot soap and water. However, please remember to rinse completely, as leaving soap residue can compromise the kombucha culture.

2. Attach the spigot according to directions on package (this depends on what type of brewer you ordered), and fill container with warm water first to ensure that the spigot is tightly secured and there are no leaks. Please, Please make sure your spigot is tighten correctly. We have found the best way to tighten your spigot is: Face your bucket and have the spigot facing 9 o clock, so that the dispenser is on the left side of you. Turn the inside nut to tighten. Then turn the outside spigot clockwise 270 degrees so that the spigot points down. 99% of leaks are solved this through this technique, but either way you want to ensure that that sucker is on TIGHT!

3. Prepare Your Sweet Tea. You can use many different recipes, but the goal is to have a ratio of 80% Fresh Sweet Tea to about 10%-20% Already Fermented Kombucha Tea. For example When using our 5 Gallon Brewer You would want to prepare around 4 Gallons of Sweet Tea if you were planning on adding a Half Gallon of Kombucha Tea.

REMEMBER!! Always have your Sweet Tea Cooled Down to Room Temperature Before Adding. There are a few ways to do this:

A) Prepare All Your Sweet Tea in a Stainless Steel Pot, First Let Your water Boil for Ten Minutes, Then turn off heat wait about a minute an slowly add 1 to 2 cups of sugar PER Gallon (4 Gallons = 4 to 8 cups of sugar), stir with a wooden spoon and reheat and Boil for another 10 minutes, then add your tea. If using our Pre-Measured Blended Kombucha Tea Filters, use One Bag per 1 to 2 Gallons of tea (4 Gallons = 2 to 4 GetKombucha.com Pre-Measured Filter Bags). Boil another 10 minutes. Turn off heat, let the tea steep up to an hour and then remove with a wooden spoon. Let Tea “sleep” overnight to cool down. Bang Sweet Tea!

B) Same as above, but place Stainless Tea Pot into a bath tub of cold water. Be careful as the stainless steel pot will be heavy. After about 30 minutes you will notice that the heat of the pot will be transfered into the water, turning it warm. Drain tub and fill with cold water again. Repeat as many times to get the pot to room temperature.

C) QUICK COOL DOWN TECHNIQUE. What ever you recipe calls for, cut the water amount in half, while keeping the amount of sugar and tea the same. Substitute the other half of water for DISTILLED Bottled water and add it into your pot, cooling the sweet tea. You might want to combine this technique with step B.

4. Add the Sweet Tea into your Brewing Container, followed by the already brewed kombucha tea. Stir.

5. Ok. If you followed step zero, your cultures have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of their new home. IT IS MOVE IN DAY, BABY! Place the cultures in your container, and try your best to “sprinkle” your starter tea over the top of your container. This will help your cultures against any harmful outside elements the first couple of days when it is the weakest.

6. Because of the design, you can actually begin taste testing your tea every single day without disturbing your kombucha. This system allows the user to enjoy your home brewed kombucha tea whenever they want based on personal taste, though most people begin drinking their tea around the 5Th day.

7. Simply brew and add sweet tea as desired. You will soon notice a huge kombucha culture beginning to form on the top of the brewer (this may take several weeks and depends on how much you are refilling your kombucha tea)!! It will literally be the size of your whole brewing container.

Top 3 Questions We Have Received:

The cultures look weird, will they work? Yes, they will work. Simply follow the instructions above and you will be enjoying unlimited kombucha tea whenever you want.

The kombucha tea you sent looks and tastes weird, will it work? Yes, but your kombucha tea can taste and look different. Here’s why: We do not filter our kombucha tea. Because of this you will notice yeast strands, “slimy” thin cultures (this is a good sign, only real raw kombucha has this), very small black pieces of our loose tea, vinegary or pungent smell, etc. An unfiltered, raw tea yields a more aggressive brew when starting your dispensing system and will ensure your success when brewing your own. Simply run your kombucha tea through a strainer or cheese cloth to filter out your kombucha tea. This is easily accomplished thanks to the dispenser system.

How come the bottle is plumped out? this question is regarding when we ship kombucha tea or concentrated kombucha tea in a plastic bottle. We answer this question in depth in our 7 day mini course, but the answer is that kombucha tea will continue to “ferment” even when bottled, and the carbonation of the fermentation process will plump out plastic bottles. This is normal.

Follow these steps and you should be good to go. However, if you have any specific questions regarding our Brewers and Preparing your tea with this brewing system, please ask in the comment section below. This way we can build up a FAQ specific to the Continuous Brewing System.

Happy Brewin’,
Dave

 

237 Responses to “Brewing Instructions”

  1. dlindy2730 Says:

    hi guys, this is a very new thing we’re doing with this blog.. so be sure to comment and reply with any feedback and/or questions!! thanks, dave

    • Faith Says:

      has anyone heard of giving kombucha to horses or dogs/cats? I now give them probiotic which I have to buy and thought I could probably give them the tea. any feedback would be appreciated! thanks! faith

      • dlindy2730 Says:

        ====================GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE==========

        WE ARE DEF NOT MEDICAL DOCTORS.. LET ALONE VETS! HOWEVER THERE HAVE BEEN SOME WONDERFULL FEEDBACK FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEEN POSITIVE RESULTS GIVING THEIR PETS SOME KOMBUCHA TEA..

        IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEEPS, PLEASE POST AND RESPOND TO SHARE WITH OTHERS YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH GIVING KOMBUCHA TO YOUR PETS!

      • annette pelc Says:

        I have been doing this tea for 1 yr. This just happened to me for the first time. When I opened up the covered tea I found 2 fruit flies in the jar on top of the scoobie. Now is the tea still ok ? or should I throw it away ? I was thinking if the flies had laid any egg or something like that . Plz get back to me thank you. Annette. I would hope I could still harvest the tea, but not sure.

      • Skip Says:

        When I have excess mother shrooms I let my laying hens have them to eat and they love them and their tangy flavor, I’m sure the texture and the yeast and bacteria are good for them too.

      • Maggie Says:

        In one of my Kombucha books it suggests feeding unwanted spare cultures to horses – unlike us they can digest the celulose in them. One of my ponies loves them, one doesn’t mind the odd nibble & their old mum is pretty indifferent. They all like the tea! They look pretty good on it & I think it may be helping with the geldings sensitivity to midge bites – he’s actually got a mane this year!

      • Shirley Says:

        I have a friend who gave Kumbucha to her dog that had Canser, and was healed.

    • Nina Joy Says:

      I just ordered my brewing system, YEAH!!!!!!!! I can hardly wait to start brewin baby!!!!!!
      Love, njoy

  2. Laurie Says:

    This has been very helpful to me and I LOVE the Tea. Thank you.

  3. Joe Chasko Says:

    You call it “continuous”, but after you replenish the raw materials, you have to wait a week or so to begin drawing it off again, right?

    You just leave the fungus in when you replenish?

  4. Christel Says:

    I am doign the continuous brewing methods and unfortunately it seems that it gets that vinegary taste very quickly. I can drink lots of weird stuff but it gets hard to drink. Anything I should do to avoid this? I have astarted my whole mixture with a new Scoby and it did it again. I have IBS and I seem to be reacting to my vinegary Kombucha. What can I do? Thank you

    • Kathryn Says:

      I read about premeasured tea packets in some of the instructions and on this blog but do not see how to order them on the site. Do you still offer this product?

      I am brewing, perfecting, and enjoying my second batch of Ktea.

      Thanks so much

      • dlindy2730 Says:

        GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE

        WE NO LONGER CARRY THE PRE-MEASURED TEA BAGS, THE REASON IS THAT PEOPLE LIKE TO BREW THEIR TEA AT DIFFERENT BREW STRENGTHS AND AMOUNTS. IF ENOUGH PEEPS WANT THEM THOUGH WE WILL CONSIDER BRINGIN THEM BACK!

  5. Chin Says:

    If I take out the Kombucha mushroom from the KT, it can survive for how long?

  6. Dave Says:

    To get less of a vinegary taste, I recommend bottling your tea a few days earlier BEFORE the vinegary taste sets in. This might take some trial and error, but if your are using our Continuous Brewers tasting is as simple as pushing down on the tap!

  7. Dave Says:

    It depends how long the kombucha tea has originally fermented. Why are you planning on taking it out? The best thing to do is immediately bottle your tea. The fermentation produces a little alcohol which in return acts as a preservative. So you do not get drunk, only healthy :)

  8. ron Says:

    I am not supposed to injest alcohol or caffine but I love the stuff, better to stop now if its harmful for me.

  9. dave Says:

    if you can not have ANY caffeine whatso ever, we recommend using Rooibois tea, which actually is not from the tea plant, but has been known to be effective as a caffeine free alternative. There are trace amounts of alcohol (a glass of kombucha is the equivalent of a sip or two of beer, meaning you need to have over a half gallon to equal a single drink).

  10. Kelly Says:

    Is the tea more effective if you ferment it longer than 9 days?

    Thanks!

  11. Dave Says:

    yes, but enjoying something you drink is the most effective way to incorporate it into your daily life, so let your taste buds guide you!

  12. Kelly Says:

    Should I rinse the bottles I plan on drinking the tea from with vinegar before I fill them up?

    • Anonymous Says:

      ersonally, the first time I made it I did rinse everything that came in touch with thebrew with white vinegat. The second time I forgot, and the brew smelled very bad when I opened it to bottle it. I was almost tempted to chuck it but instead rinsed the scoby with water and added it to some of the tea for next batch and then used vinegar next time tio ensure sterile utensils and it recovered fine.. I did leave the bottled tea a couple of days and it also recovered with fermentation. I think the good bacteria overwhelmed the bad and took over again.
      I also make kefir from raw milk and was told by the farmer that the kefir beneficial bacteria will out power any bad. So I applied that principal to the kombucha and it is true. Just wash your SCOBY with clean water.

  13. Carol Says:

    Our tea is on its 15th day and it made us sick. The fires distracted us last week – didn’t bottle it on time. I think it’s time to clean the thing out. Do I save some of this really sharp, acidic tea for the starter after I’ve cleaned everything? Or do I just go buy some more at Henry’s? Dave’s Tea that they sell there is fermented for 30 days so I don’t know if it will make a difference. The point is: “If you clean out your continuous method container, should you start with fresh starter tea from another source? This batch is suspect.

  14. Dave Says:

    Our tea is on its 15th day and it made us sick. The fires distracted us last week – didn’t bottle it on time. I think it’s time to clean the thing out. Do I save some of this really sharp, acidic tea for the starter after I’ve cleaned everything? Or do I just go buy some more at Henry’s? Dave’s Tea that they sell there is fermented for 30 days so I don’t know if it will make a difference. The point is: “If you clean out your continuous method container, should you start with fresh starter tea from another source? This batch is suspect.

    Your tea should be fine.. in terms of starter.. if you over ferment you can start again OR dilute it and use as a concentrate… however use your judgment, though I would recommend using your past batch as a starter.

    • Robert Says:

      I did this too, it was soooo bitter in the scoby maker, so I made the next batch and added fresh tea and sugar to the whole 1/4 jar and have added it to the rest with better results without wasting the scoby[ my time is 2-3 weeks brewing].

  15. Carol Says:

    To continue with my last post . . .
    I’m not sure our tea is bad, but we did feel sick after we drank it. As I said before, tea purchased from Henry’s is fermented for 30 days and we do fine with it. How can you tell if your tea has gone bad and needs to be discarded? Should I order another half gallon of tea for new starter? If you clean out the container and clean the SCOBY in white vinegar, it seems like you should start with fresh starter to not contaminate the new batch. What do you think?

  16. Dave Says:

    Hi Carol,

    Few things:

    K-tea is detoxifying and as the body cleanses itself you may feel a little sick (upset stomach, skin showing some pimples, etc)… we recommend drinking less until your body adjusts to the changes.

    K-tea should not really go “bad” per se, just might taste to strong to your liking, the great thing about the continuous brewing systems are that you now have control over too strong or too weak tea, as you just bottle earlier to make it less vinegary.

    In my opinion you should be fine, however feel free to place an order for another bottle of our kombucha at our site.

    Best,
    Dave

    • charles premoe Says:

      Yup! I had the same happen to me and thought something was wrong with my brew but remembered that you mentioned that K-tea is detoxifying and as the body cleanses itself you may feel a little sick (upset stomach, etc)…and so I backed off a little and had no problem since. But then I was also drinking some 3-4 glasses per day from the get go and sometimes you need to start out slow and build up to it. I just couldn’t help myself it tasted so good. I took some of the home brew to a party and everybody there said it was the best they had ever tasted. Yahoo!!!
      Thanks Dave for all your advice!

    • Jeremiah Says:

      I would add that if you noticed any Mold – green, white, black, etc. Then you should start with a new clean scoby. My research is saying that the mold can infect the scoby even on the inside of it where you can’t see it until it blooms. We definitely do not want to eat much mold. I’m new at this, so this is just based on my research so far. I’m really glad we have a free and open forum here to share with each other. I’m tired of all the information coming from biased sources. We the people can learn together.

      Does anyone know of any other online sites where people are sharing their experiences and methods with KT?? This site is helpful, but not entirely set up to facilitate easy to search discussion. Dave – or anyone else, if you have a list serve, or google/yahoo/etc. group you can recommend, I’d really appreciate.

      Thanks MUCH!

      Jeremiah

  17. Mary Says:

    It’s been 5 days since I made my first batch. It still tastes sweet, and when I look inside, the top is covered with what looks like grey fuzz. Is this mold? So my questions are: 1) It’s ready to be bottled after it turns from sweet to sour correct?
    2) grey fuzz is normal or not? What to do if not?
    Thanks!
    mary

  18. dlindy2730 Says:

    Mary,

    Spots, Bumps, Discolorations, etc are all OK… BUT fuzzy hairy thingys resembling the mold found on bread IS NOT OK.

    Few things: This is not normal and rarely happens. The best thing to do is throw out and start over. Though many people say that you can just cut around the mold and reuse, we do not recommend this (you can probably google info on how to do it, but I think better safe than sorry). Please post in detail the steps you took to brew (specific locations, and any ideas of how you think mold may have occurred).

    It is ready to bottle when you want it to be.. in general, though the first time we recommend a sour taste.

    • Jeremiah Says:

      I think that, the kombucha culture may not have survived in this case. Maybe the tea was too hot when the culture was added. Without the presence of the live culture, other contaminant/bacterias were able to grow. I think it is important to add culture to tea only after it has cooled to room temperature, and of course keep tea and container as clean as possible.

  19. dlindy2730 Says:

    # Kelly Says: October 29th, 2007 at 11:00 pm e

    Should I rinse the bottles I plan on drinking the tea from with vinegar before I fill them up?

    Dave:

    Any extra sanitation is always good, but a quick rinse with warm water should be sufficient.

  20. Catherine Says:

    Hello! So I just set up my continuous brewing system three days ago and I am very excited about getting this Kombucha ball rolling BUT I am a little worried because the surface of the tea mix has this ugly bubbly film spreading on it.
    Is that the culture beginning to grow or is it something else beginning to grow (like mold)?
    Cheerio,
    C

  21. Dave Says:

    Congrats! all systems are a go, that is the culture beginning to grow.

  22. mia Says:

    Hey,
    My Scoby is growing! Yay! It’s a whopping 9 days old. When I bottle my tea, what do I do with Scoby’s mom? Can I reuse her too? And how many times?

  23. Cheryl Says:

    I am just getting started with the continual brewing and I have a couple of questions: 1) do you ever take any of the scobies out (can you have to many in the bucket?) and 2) what is the difference between the concentrate and tea?

    Thanks
    Cheryl

  24. Mary Says:

    Good news, what I thought was grey fuzz, was not, just lots of bumps and strange looking lumps over the top. The flash lights illuminated things better. nothing is fuzzy–so I think all is well.
    Three questions:
    1) how much do I bottle and how much do I leave in the container for the next batch?
    2) how long do I have before I start the next batch, I’d like to stall it a bit as I already have more than I can drink.
    3) What’s with the fruit flys? I live in Michigan, it’s 65 degrees in my kitchen–they love to be next to the brewer. ewwwwww.
    Thanks!
    mary

  25. Amy Says:

    I have just started my second batch of k-tea. The culture that formed at the top of the first batch looks NOTHING like the culture I got from my local health food store. (the original culture from the store looks like the pictures on this site) Is that really a second culture? It’s very thin, uneven and has a large bubble in it. My first batch turned out great. The surface formation that took 2 weeks to develope with the first batch only took a few days to develope with the second batch under the identical circomstances. Is this really the new culture? It looked more like a film to me so I threw the first one out. Can you tell me what’s happening?

  26. yumv Says:

    they’re ugly, that’s all! check out my post and picture of what my healthy culture looks like. when they’re growing, they grow out across your brewer, they’re big, disc like, and un-evenly textured. again, check out my post & picture (ugly is the new hot) for further reassurance!

    xo
    v

  27. Diantha Says:

    OK, so I have 2 cultures going in 2 different “jars” but I do have a very large (5 gal?) glass decanter with a spigot that I could use for continuous brewing right? So….having a blonde moment here…..When my next batch (1/2 gal?) is ready to b bottled should I add it to 2 gallons of sweet tea rather than bottling it to start a “continuous brewing” cycle???? I am trying to figure this out…..It sounds right but I don’t want to mess up….also….would I keep both cultures in it or strat a new jar seperately with one of them? (I am a newbie but want to make A LOT of this since I have a large family of 7 that LOVES kombucha!!!) Additionally, will I just bottle the kombucha from the spigot when it’s ready and just add new sweet tea each time it’s ready????? Please help me!

  28. yumv Says:

    Hey Diantha! You can use your decanter for continuous brewing. make sure it is clean and there is no soap residue. you can bottle your next batch if you need to– but (i think) a pretty safe rule is 80% sweet tea to 20% prepared kombucha, in your large decanter, you can use both cultures or one single culture. check out my brewing post for more pictures that might help you out!

  29. tanya Says:

    Want a see-through glass cont. brew and how to avoid all the sediment buildup and how often to clean it. Does filtering the refrig. brew get all the strands and spores that build up and does it matter. Letting it get room temp. again won’t hurt us will it?

  30. Dave Says:

    Tanya,

    We will soon be offering a Certified Lead Free Porcelain Brewer (look for it on our site in the next week or call of when your interested to brew upscale)

    with our brewing systems you can filter much easier from our spigot when you go to bottle your tea. However we do not filter as the yeast strains are beneficial, but the most important thing is that it tastes how you like it.

    room temp is fine.

  31. Laura Says:

    I followed the instructions that came with the mushroom, except I had to go out of town right away. It has been brewing for 12 days I checked it when I got home and there was a jelly like substance on top and it looked okay but there were silver spots on the jelly. It is not furry like mold but i wasn’t sure about it? also the is a strange odor it could be normal but again I’m new at this! I checked the ph and it’s under 3.0. What do I do next strain the tea or add more tea? Please help!

  32. Dave Says:

    laura

    congrats. this is where everything should be at. the jelly on top is the beginning of a new scoby forming.. what you are describing is not mold. under 3 ph means it is time to bottle. then just make some more sweet tea to add on top. the odor is kombucha.. ha ha welcome to my world :)

  33. Rick Says:

    I just ordered the delux system minutes ago. I read above that you will begin offering a porcelain container. Can I possible upgrade to that before you ship my order? Let me know…I would be happy to pay the difference. Thanks.

    Rick

  34. Dave Says:

    rick,

    you got it. we just sent you an email on how to do it!

  35. Wendy Hemphill Says:

    I have a brewing Q- I am new to this! My blob has been sitting in the jar for 6 weeks(Kidding season started, and I have been bottle feeding baby goats,milking does, and generally living up at the barn)! My mushroom got neglected,to say the least! It does not have “mold” ,Just smells very fermented like!
    Is it o.k. to drink? And can I use it to make another batch?
    Thanks, Wendy

  36. Rich Fisher Says:

    Can anyone there tell me if Kombucha is OK for Kidney/Pancreas transplant patients that are immunosuppressed? This is the case with my wife. Are there any studies or anecdotal stories of this?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rich Fisher

  37. Dave Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Just a reminder that this section is for customers who have purchased one of our Continuous Brewing Systems. If you have a general question, please post to our FAQ section.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  38. Jeff Lewis Says:

    When I received the 1gal brown glass jar. This is the finished Kombucha tea. I can drink it. It is wonderful. I guess I’am told I can add this finished product to the new continueous brewing container, and this speeds up the brewing process? Please explain this better to me,thanks

  39. Sara Says:

    Realized I first posted this in HELLO WORLD but think I should have posted here since it’s brewing issues…-sorry!

    Am loving the K Tea! First thing I have noticed is complete eradication of my constipation-yeah!!! And, I am simply addicted to the taste…My energy is awesome too!
    I just got my dispenser system this weekend and lost the directions that came with it-(stupid, I know!)and got it all going today but did something wrong and need advice: I made my gallon of sweet tea using 4 quarts of water and 1 cup of sugar, let it cool, and then added 1 cup of the concentrate Kombucha that came w/ my dispenser system thinking that was the starter tea. OOPS!!!! Then I added both scobys to the cooled sweet tea/1 cup of concentrate mixture in the dispenser… Have I screwed everything up putting a cup of the CONCENTRATE in it instead of 1 to 2 cups of starter tea? I read using 2 scobys just speeds up the process so I think that’s okay BUT what about the concentrate?

    Can someone help me?

  40. Dave Says:

    Sara adding the concentrate will also simply speed up the process, in fact you are encouraged to use a little of the concentrate to pour on top of your container to help ward off unfriendly mold! you’re doing great!

    Dave

  41. Dave Says:

    Jeff,

    If you read the directions, you need to have about 10 to 20 percent of bottled kombucha tea already made (like the one in that gallon), to add to your fresh brewed sweet tea. so hopefully you still have some left.

    ps: glad you like our tea!

  42. David Says:

    What do you think about using loose yerba mate and purple lapacho tea to make Ktea? We have drank this tea daily for several years and appreciate it’s taste and good feeling it provides in the mornings on an empty stomach.

  43. Sharon Says:

    I just received my new brewing system but have one very important question. My system was delivered while I was out by UPS and it was left outside . We have been in a deep freeze for the last few days. Will my new scobys survive that cold? I did as was instructed and got them right into a sterile glass jar and covered with cloth. Please let me know if they will make it. I may not start a batch for a few days as I have two gallons almost ready. I will use one as a starter if all is well. My other question is can Green tea be used to make Kombucha? Just wonderering. I am anxious to use that wonderful looking, and fragrant black tea that you sent me.
    Thanks.

    • Olga Says:

      I am interested in the reply to the question #43 about green tea.
      Also, I love coffee and am afraid that Kombucha and Coffee don’t mix.
      Thank you for your answer. Olga

  44. sharenlea Says:

    Was reading about the new heating pads for brewing k-tea, which is very necessary in most parts of the country. Have had one for a couple of years and highly recommend them.

    Something that might help to know you’re brewing at a good temperature – go to the tropical fish store and get one of those little plastic thermometers they use for fish tanks. Put it on the bottle you’re brewing in (I put it on the outside of the glass opposite the liquid inside) so you can keep track of the temperature of the brew, especially now in winter. With the heating pad and the thermometer, I am always sure I’m brewing at the best temps ever. Can’t imagine brewing in the wintertime without them.

  45. benbob Says:

    Friends,
    Using the continues brewing system, I have yet to
    grow a nice scoby as seen in all picture, videos, etc.
    My scoby is translucent, does not touch the sides of the
    green brewing bucket, with gas bubbles in the middle.
    I’m on my third attempt to make kombuchea. The tea
    taste good. I keep the brew at 89 degrees for about
    ten days. I would like to make nice full scobys as seen
    in above mentioned media. I start my tea at the proper
    ph and temp. Please advise.

  46. cr2h Says:

    Hi Dave, I just ordered the porcelain kit and I am excited about starting brewing.
    One question though: the porcelain in lead free, but what about the spigot/little fawcet? Is it plastic/metal? would it contaminate the tea?……would it be better if switched to a wooden spigot such as in wine barrels?..
    Thanks for your help,

    cr2h

  47. cheryl Says:

    I just ordered the deluxe system and read about a porcelain container. Can I upgrade before the one I ordered is shipped out??? If so, what is the cost difference and how do I go about the upgrade? Thanks a ton! I cannot wait to start my tea!

  48. kate Says:

    Does your porcelain continuous brewing system have a plastic or wooden dispenser? It looks plastic in the pic.

  49. spilman1221 Says:

    Hi guys,

    I purchased two cultures about 4 weeks ago & have not had time to get started making the tea. We have been buying K.T at Whole foods in the meantime. Anyway, life has been busy & I never took the cultures out of the box…when opening to make today….I read the paper that said “Let the cultures breath right away”….Help…what should I do? Do I need to re-order new ones?

    Thank you for your help.

  50. Brie Says:

    I just brewed my first batch and dispensed the Kombucha tea through the spigot till nothing else comes out but there is still about 96 oz left when using the deluxe kombucha dispenser system.

    If I want to wait a few days before begining another brew, do I just let the tea and the scoby stay in the covered container on the counter or do I need to begin another batch right away? Do I refrigerate the scoby? I don’t want to ruin my scoby. And I know 96 oz is more than is needed for starter tea.

    Thanks!

  51. Debi Says:

    I just received my porcelain continuous brewing system. The muslin cloth is quite large. Is it okay to fold it down to a smaller size and put on top of the container…..in other words will the scoby still be able to breathe?

  52. Debi Says:

    Also, I was wondering….when flavouring the K-tea do you have to use juice or can you add ingredients such as sliced ginger, spirulina, etc.?

  53. Debi Says:

    I meant to say….when bottling the K-tea do you have to use juice or can you add ingredients.

  54. Janae Says:

    can the heating pad be used in with the porcelain brewing system? Can it be put between the pot and the stand without damaging the pad and still work?

  55. Barbara Says:

    Hi Dave,

    I now have a wonderful Porcelain Kombucha Dispenser with a happy friend brewing. With the temperatures dropping and your special on the Heating Mat I am wanting to keep my friend comfortable. How does the mat work with the stand that holds up the dispenser? Does the mat go on the table or does it go directly under the porcelain dispenser (or does it work with the stand at all)?

    Thank you…Inquiring minds want to know

  56. katie Says:

    hi there, i just got my continuous kombucha brewing kit and im uncertain of the exact details. The kit comes with no instructions, this website is somewhat vague with instructions, and the 7 day course is helpful but not exact. i understand with brewing nothing is exact but how about a temperature range? How much tea is needed for the initial brewing of the sweet tea? When do you take the scoby out and what do you do with it, do you continue to fill it up with sweet tea everytime you bottle it? please help

  57. katie Says:

    Is there any way you can preserve the scoby? im making 5 gallons and not sure if i will have enough empty bottle before i need to add more sweet tea to it. please help

  58. Dave Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Here are some responses to your questions:

    Heat Mats:

    Our heat mats offer a consistent heat which raises the temperature of your k-tea by 10 to 20 degrees above you outside temps. It is constant unlike heat mats you might purchase at a store which will have an auto shut off.

    If the heat gets too hight as warm seasons approach, you can always purchase a time at a hardware store for about 5 bucks to have the heat turn on in the evening time (when the temperature drops).

    The ideal temp for kombucha is around 85 degrees. However, your tea will be fine at temperatures lower (around the 70’s), your fermentation period will just take longer to brew. What’s great about having a continuous system is that you are in complete control to taste your tea every day to get the ideal fermentation that’s right for you.

    The heat mat can rest comfortably in between the stand and the brewer on our Porcelain systems, or it can be wrapped around the brewer and fasted with a rubber band.

    A Way to Preserve the SCOBY:

    Simply keep the SCOBY in the tea solution. If the the becomes too fermented and turns into vinegar, you can either discard the tea or use it for batch water, cleaning solution, poultry/meat marinade, salad dressing, etc The SCOBY should always be in a “bath” of tea liquid and beathable.

    No Instructions:

    Printed instructions and FAQs are included with every order. Plus we have the main instructions posted on the top of this page. Plus each order comes with a table chart that gives you a guideline to how much water, sugar, tea, and pre made starter tea to use depending on what system you purchased.

    Hope this helps,
    Dave

  59. Joey Says:

    Okay so I followed all of the instructions and on the 5th day I bottled the Ktea. After a few days I check one of the bottles no effervescence and it has this jelly like substance floating on top. ( i have the porcelain brewer and I washed the bottles with warm water and let them dry. Well long story short I dumped the tea and started a new bottling. Now as for the ph strips they turn a lime green almost highlighter color but the ktea is sour and vinegary with a almost tingling on the tongue. It says the strips should look pink but the tea has been in for over a week i would say about 9 days. I boil the water and add the sugar per your instructions and I add the distilled water.

  60. Jess Says:

    I have just recieved my wee little SCOBY babe last week and I quick n transfered her into a sterile pyrex bowl where she waited while I shopped thriftstore style for a 2 gallon brew pot. Now that I am trying to move er` I am a bit scared that there is a problem with her complexion. There is a whitish circular patch sitting atop the golden brown mushroom (that was not there when I transfered it). I would love to hear that this is not mold, although it looks suspicious. I dont want to start brewing with a bad batch so Im looking for a bit of postpardum support. Thanx.
    -B’ham Baby bucha blues

  61. Diane Says:

    I found a white spot floating in my tea recently and just
    strained it off. The bad mold is fuzzy, and usually looks
    like something you would find growing on cheese or
    yoghurt, with a greenish or bluish color. Just carefully
    wash off the white stuff and brew some tea. If it tastes
    unusual, throw out the brew. It will probably be fine.

  62. Pam Says:

    I have a culture that has been enclosed in the plastic bag with the starter tea for about two weeks – in the refrigertor. Is it still good? Can organic green tea bags be used to start a fresh batch of k-tea?

  63. Pam Says:

    Is it true that bottled K-tea is only good for 3 days in the refrigertor?

  64. sharon Says:

    Pam, I do not believe that to be true. It should last a few weeks atleast…but not totally sure, sorry.

    Sharon

  65. Jonathan Daniel Says:

    I am using the Porcelain continuous brewing system for the first time and am about to test the mixture (today or tomorrow). Once the brewing is done and I bottle the Kombucha using the six bottles, how much sweet tea should I add to replenish the SCOBY?

    Thank you,
    Jonathan

  66. Dave Says:

    Hey guys,

    It is our opinion that the k tea will last in the fridge for a VERY long time. However, it will become gradually more and more fermented and vinegary tasting… the itty bitty amount of alcohol in the tea acts as a natural preservative.

    Jon-

    You just start form the beginning following the same exact recipe that is posted on the top of this page.

  67. Pam L. Says:

    Dear Dave,

    I filled my 2.5 gal standard with water and let it sit overnight as you suggested. I’m glad I did because it’s leaking, but not from the spigot. The water is seeping through the bottom. So now what do I do? Send it back?! When I’ve looking forward to drinking the tea for so long?

    Please respond soon.

    Pam L.

  68. Pam L. Says:

    Dave,

    I filled my 2.5 gal standard with water and let it sit overnight as you suggested. I’m glad I did because it is leaking, but not from the spigot. It’s seeping through the sides of the bottom. Now what should I do? I’ve been looking forward to drinking this for so long! It looks this container must be defective!

    Please respond soon.

    Pam L.

  69. niser28 Says:

    Let the company know where you got it and see what they say. In the mean time if you have a large glass jar you can brew in it , just don’t use any metal. You can cover it with the cheesecloth just like you could the continuous brewer. That is how I brewwed before I got my continuous brewer and it worked just fine, it takes about 5-7 days to brew. Just take the tast test at 5 days if you like the taste bottle it and leave it out of frige for 4 days the put in frig and drink. I love my Kombucha. I would not be without it.

  70. niser28 Says:

    I have a question. Can you drink Kombucha all day. I do and it helps my Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis tremendously. I just don’t know if it is safe to drink all day Please advise?

  71. Pam P Says:

    Help!!! I may have ruined my culture. I left my tea brewing on the hot plate that I used successfully for the last two batches. The temperture has at 78 degrees but somthing went wrong with the heat gauge. When I returned home, the jar was very hot and the tea had almost cooked down to a sludge. The brew is about an inch thick and dark brown. Is it ruined or can I clean it out and use a small amount of the tea to start another batch?

  72. Jeanne kaye-Eleck Says:

    Hi!

    I would like ot brew Kombucha but am put off by the fact that it has so much sugar in it. I have been buying very expensive brewed kombucha tea made with fruit juice…mango, guava etc. and no sugar. Is there a way that you know of to brew Kombucha tea using juices instead of sugar?

    Thanks, Jeanne

  73. Marcus Says:

    With the 2.5 crock continuous system, if you remove Kombucha daily say 1/2 gal, do you replenish it every day? When you add new food do you stir? I read somewhere this is how it is done, I am concerned about disturbing the scoby. I love the concept of continuos brewing I just need clarification on the exact process.

    Thanks
    Marcus

  74. Brandon Says:

    Hi,

    I accidentally poured my tea leaves in my bucket of fermenting scoby culture unseparated from my sweet tea. So now I have a big wet mess of tea leaves mixed in my brewing bucket.

    To separate I’d have to remove the scoby, wash it and pick off the leaves,pour out my existing tea, and start over for the most part. This sounds dangerous touching the culture and washing it near my sink, etc. Should I just dump it and start anew?

  75. james Boulton Says:

    Aloha!
    On my second batch of tea and I am wondering why I don’t have all the sediment and slimy thingys I get in the commercial blend?
    Arn’t those the enzymes, Probiotics, and Detoxifiers that are supposed to be present?
    The tea itself tastes fine and has quite a bite to it!
    How much air space should I leave at the top of the crock?

  76. Deborah Says:

    Hey! I really want to buy a continous brewing system, but do I get the half gallon glass or the 2.5 porcelain for myself? I drink 1 or 2 of the GT’s a day(16-32oz). I want to be able to keep up with how much I drink, but I also don’t want way too much and have it get too vinegary. Any thoughts from people with the continous brewing systems out there?
    Thanks!

    • Star Says:

      Hi, just saw your question, and it actually seemed like one I could answer, having gotten the continuous brewing system for myself back in May. I have the 2.5 gallon system, and since I live in the midwest, it’s been taking around 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to brew and ferment each new batch. I make 1 1/2 gallons at a time (it’s recommended to reserve 1/2 a gallon of tea from each batch to use as the “starter tea,” and not to fill the brewer all the way up so the SCOBY has room to grow). From that, I can get ten 16 oz. bottles per batch. If you like 1 to 2 Kombuchas a day (just like I do), you’ll find that you’re still buying them–just not as many. I’m actually considering getting a 2nd brewer!
      Hope this helped…

  77. james Boulton Says:

    I can no longer log into the PH strip site!
    I’m speaking of the color chart for measuring PH value…
    Could you post that here?
    Mahalo Jim

  78. Deborah Says:

    Just got my porcelain brewer, Dave! Can’t wait to start!

    Question: Does the brewer need to be in the dark(like the bottling process)? I know it needs air, but I want to find a good, safe spot for the brewer.
    Thanks!!!

  79. Anonymous Says:

    you want to keep the fermenter away from direct sunlight

  80. Lucas Says:

    Ok, so started my first batch of Scoby-Dew last week.

    Now I just need to know if I’m doing the blog right? I was having a heck of a time finding where to enter something on the site.

  81. OdieO Says:

    Hi Dave,

    I looooove my brewer! Cooking up the first batch now, and couldn’t be more stoked. Thank you!

    I see that you included a bag of sugar. I was wondering if there was anything special about this sugar that I should consider on my next batch. Like, organic fair-trade bla bla bla…

    Thanks brotha!

  82. vmg Says:

    Well, it’s hard to believe your continuous brewing system could be as fast and as easy as you make it sound, but it is. It is even harder to believe you could be as genuine as your website is enthusiastic, but I spoke with you the other day, and asked you a bunch of questions, and discovered that your website is the understated version of you.

    Thank you for all the answers which have gone into making a perfect kombucha brewing system. We’ve finally run out of questions and confusion. So now there is nothing more to do but to realize how simple it actually is to brew nice, big, quick batches of this wonderful drink. Thanks!

  83. Jeanie Rutherfird Says:

    Hi Dave,
    The blog of you preparing the tea is the most helpful. It seems to make it a lot more doable. I will want to get a continuous brewing kit and start this but now we are doing a kitchen remodel and I have to wait a month or so to do this. In the meantime i want to find out everything I can about it. I have had a serious bout with candida for almost a year now and I have been doing Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture and want to incorporate that with the Kombucha. i also have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue but the acupuncture and Chinese herb tea seem to have taken care of that. But the Kombucha seems to take care of my stomach and hopefully the candida, and I always feel better when i’m drinking it.

    I was not able to get thru the whole blog from beginning to end (the continuous part….definately the most important !!)so I don’t know if it’s from you or if I just couldn’t follow thru with the computer. Anyway, I”m a fan. thank you.
    looking forward, Jeanie Rutherford

  84. Sylvia Says:

    Help!!
    I’e just gone from two big bowls to continuous and am having problems. I also started using mason jars with metal lids. It seems like my tea is fine when I first bottle it. I could easily drink it then, but I’d like a few more bubbles…. but after a few days I’ve popped the bottles into the fridge and then they come out flat and stinky.
    I’m very bummed out.
    I’ve never had any problems before and don’t want to give up on the continuous deal.
    Thanks,
    Syl

  85. Vickie Says:

    I started my KT one week ago and would love to know the answers to these questions originally asked by Marcus on March 23, 2008:

    With the 2.5 crock continuous system, if you remove Kombucha daily say 1/2 gal, do you replenish it every day? When you add new food do you stir? I read somewhere this is how it is done, I am concerned about disturbing the scoby.

    Do you pour the fresh sweet tea on top of the new baby scobies when you refresh the brew?

    ################## DAVE’S RESPONSE ########################

    Our recommended way is to simply pour the fresh tea in a some what forceful manner creating enough pressure to mix with the left over starter tea from your last batch without extra stirring. Then we recommend adding some of our Kombucha Concentrate on top (about 2 Tablespoons), to “kick start” the brewing process.

  86. Daryl Says:

    Brewing seems to be very easy! I was quite excited when on day 5 I poured my sample and it was fizzy! It tasted great so I bottled some. I bottled more on the next day to help determine what taste is the best bottling time. Then I made a mistake (I think). I got impatient to try the finished product, refridgerated and promptly drank a bottle of my day 5 brew, 2 days after bottling. On the first swallow, in my haste, I swallowed a blob of something. I ‘think’ it was a mini-SCOBY growing in the bottle. Can you confirm? If I let the rest of the bottles ferment the reccomended 7 days will the blob go away? I can see one in several of the other bottles.
    Thanks.

  87. Denise Says:

    I have had my continuous brewing kit for almost 15 days. My first brew was not vinegary or as fizzy as the tea that I buy. I presume in my excitement, I failed to do the following:
    1. Add enough sugar.
    2. Leave long enough (9 days) after bottling before drinking.

    After brewing the 2nd batch, I added more than 1 cup of sugar and I saw more fiz when bottling. At this point, the vinegary taste is not present, but I am hopeful and will give it another 8 days before sending out a verdict. Am I accurate in believing that it just won’t taste the way the store bought version of K-tea? OR With the adjustments mentioned above, should I be patient and hope for the store-bought taste?

  88. Melissa Says:

    I have done several rounds with my brewing system ( LOVE IT) but I think I have baby Scoby in my glass jars I put the tea in after 5 to 7 days. ( I use “old” jars that tea came in from a healthfood store) What is this clear jello like thing. I had just been drinking it : ~ @ now I wonder what it is and if I should be drinking it. I read through this all but really didn’t see another post about it. THANKS Dave the brewing system really make it so easy to brew my own tea.

  89. Melissa Says:

    i.e. I brew for 5 to 8 days, leave the tes in my “clean” old K-tea 16oz jar at room temp for another 3 to 5 days then the frig.

  90. Barb Says:

    I just set up my 2.5 gallon porcelain brewing system. Made the sweet tea using enclosed tea, muslin tea bag, purified water in a stainless steel pot. I received the SCOBY which is breathing in a mason jar and a ziploc bag (about 3/4 cup worth) of something that looks like tea. Is it the starter tea? it was not labeled. Is the the kombucha concentrate? If it is the starter tea, there does not seem to be enough and I didn’t get any concentrate. If it is the concentrate, I didn’t recieve any starter tea. I bought some GT Dave Millenium tea to use as a starter tea because what I received did not seem like anything mentioned in the instructions.

    ADVICE? I should add the SCOBY and starter tea tonight! Yikes. Help! Thanks.

  91. Nancy Says:

    Do I have to use sugar? I’d rather it not be sweet. Or, does the sugar ferment out anyway?

  92. Elia Says:

    I know samthing NEW today A new way to be HAPPY whwn evrithing works just right and yu get your perfect batch THANKS. ps I read the instructions many times until i got familiar with it.

  93. Don Says:

    I am interested in making a large amount (5-10 gallons) of Kombucha Vinegar. I understand that if I leave it brew for about 30 days it will produce vinegar. Is this correct? Do I then take out the SCOBY and a little vinegar for the next batch?

  94. 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…… :- (

  95. Is there an upside and a downside to my SCOBY? I don’t want to drown it (him? her?).

  96. The cloth is quite large. Should I put it on single thickness or should I double it? Triple it? Quadruple it?

    RESPONSE———–

    HOWEVER YOU’D LIKE, AS LONG AS IT COVERS THE BREWER

  97. *Lena Says:

    People!!!! Do you gave to take the baby out after the first batch??
    How???? Hello………. Earth to Mars

  98. Sue Says:

    I did not see an answer to the person that had stated that her delivery was left outside in cold weather and whether or not this would kill the Scoby,, I ask as I live in Canada and the weather has turned somewhat cold and I have just ordered and am very worried that this could happen, if she get hyperthermea how do we warm her little body or does she die from the cold,,, Please help so that I can plan revenge of the UPS person,(just kidding) but plan to have someone meet them at the door..

  99. Meg Says:

    quick question:
    I am leaving town for about 3 weeks and don’t want my scoby to die off. Can I leave it in the brewer for that long? Should I keep it covered in tea? Thanks!

  100. rich Says:

    can i cut my scoby and my two batches or will it hurt the scoby? this thing is getting really big!!

  101. beth Says:

    #1Okay, a friend gave me a scoby baby to start. Now baby has grown and is a happy mommy. How, When, and Why do I remove babies. They seem to help the fermentation process.

    #2 The holiday found me in the thick of busy, did not have time to bottle my 8 liters of K tea. I know it is too vinegar tasting but did I ruin my scoby? Maybe this should have been question #1.
    Beth

  102. edie Says:

    We used it in Russia daily, it’s absolutely great for any skin burns. Take a slice of the Kambucha and put it directly on the burn. The results are great.

    —— DAVE’S RESPONSE ————————————

    THAT’S RIGHT! WE WILL BE DOING A VIDEO ON THAT IN THE FUTURE :p)

  103. 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, not sure if the “scoby” was compromised in any way?

  104. joyce kahn Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I received my starter kit, and the scoby and tea were partly frozen from being left on the porch outside. Can I still use them?
    Also, there were no systematic instructions.

    Thanks!

    ========================= RESPONSE ===========================================

    NO PROBLEMO… just follow the steps and make sure that the culture is at the same room temp as your sweat tea. Also check out this video we did on storing cultures, the same applies for really cold cultures too!!

    Happy Brewin!

  105. rob Says:

    i “pull back” my last comment… the kombucha seemed to be forming another culture- hence the filmy greyish layer… however, now that i have bottled it seems that inside the bottle it is somehow forming another scoby?… is that suppose to happen?… should i chuck the bottle or siphon out the new scoby’s and drink the tea? or, wait to drink it?

  106. Tahiti Says:

    this blog site is new to me, so I’m not sure if this is where I should post a question. So, I’ll just try and see what happens! I have been brewing Kombucha for a while now with varied results, and finally came across your website and all the great info you offer? Your detailed instructions are very helpful. I’m just a little confused~the previous method I used(prior to finding your info) “required” the entirety of the fermentation process to be in the dark. After bottling, I put it directly in the fridge~eeks…
    So my question is, does the fermenting brew need to be in the dark for the first phase of fermentation?

  107. Sherry / Long Beach, Ca. Says:

    I added the tea that came w/ my culture to 2 gallons of sweet tea.and placed my clear glass jar with a cloth for a lid in a dark closet. That is the way i used to brew it in 1995. Dave, is this ok?
    if so how many days.? And please don’t refer me back to the confusing recipe. Sherry

  108. skye Says:

    I have a glass container for brewing, but it has a medal spout about 1/2 in diameter.Can I use this for my KT?

    =========== RESPONSE========================

    Should be ok, but b/c I can not see it I can not say for sure.. did you have a chance to check this out?

    http://getkombucha.com/kombucha-brewing-and-dispensing-systems.html

  109. PatriciaB Says:

    I purchased one of your K-tea makers recently. My first batch was great but my last two have been horrible. I had one sip last night it really burned my throat. I haven’t had GERD symptoms in months but since I started brewing the tea I’ve had problems. I have brewed k-tea many times before using the traditional method and I never had a problem. I did notice that the scoby thickened and grew really fast which could be the issue. My first batch took about 9 days and the last batch soured on day 4. My throat still hurts today. I never have these issues with KT I buy at the store. I’m hoping someone can help me out. I’m thinking I should of never bought this system and should of stuck with just buying the tea every so often.

  110. emma Says:

    what is the best way to keep the temperature up and constant without a lot of sunlight? Also, how thin or thick should a new offspring be when you separate it from the mother?

  111. Jay Fo Says:

    How long can I leave the culture in the tea when I am not brewing? I am out of containers and have nowhere to put the brewed tea for another week or so. Can I just leave it out or should I put the culture in the fridge? I am just afraid that if I leave it out it will get too vinegary. Thanks

  112. Jimmy Says:

    Dave,

    How often do you reply to the blog comments? I don’t see any replys to Nos. 109,110 and 111. All of which I’m interested in you replys.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Jimmy

    ============ Dave’s Response =====================================

    HI JIMMY – THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT. THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG IS TO BUILD A COMMUNITY AND HAVE OTHER PEOPLE BESIDES MYSELF RESPOND AND SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH KOMBUCHA. AS OUR COMPANY http://WWW.GETKOMBUCHA.COM CONTINUES TO GROW, I HAVE BEEN FOCUSING MY ATTENTION ON HOW TO ENSURE OUR CURRENT CUSTOMERS ARE RECEIVING THE BEST SUPPORT. IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE WE WILL SOON BE OFFERING A FORUM FOR OUR CUSTOMERS WHICH WILL DEFINITELY HELP WITH SEARCHING TO FIND YOUR ANSWERS. I AM ALSO PLANNING ON HIRING A FULL TIME DEDICATED KOMBUCHA EXPERT TO PERSONALLY ANSWER EACH AND EVERY QUESTION AND HOST GUEST SPEAKERS SUCH AS NUTRITIONISTS AND MEDICAL DOCTORS TO ADDRESS EVEN THE MOST “TRICKY” QUESTION SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE,

    UNTIL THEN, PLEASE ENJOY THE ALL OF OUR FREE RESOURCE FOUND ON YOUTUBE, OUR NEWSLETTER, THIS BLOG, AND OUR 7 DAY MINI COURSE. ALTERNATIVELY YOU CAN ALSO PURCHASE SOME OF OUR PREMIUM VIDEOS AND PRODUCTS.

    WE WILL LET EVERYONE KNOW WHEN THE FORUM IS UP AND READY TO ROLL!!

    BEST,
    DAVE

  113. Willow Says:

    Hi got your kit as a present. will it grow with honey instead of sugar?xx thanks willow

  114. Willow Says:

    hi got your kit as a gift. can i use honey instead of sugar to make the liquid?

  115. Jonathan Says:

    I have been brewing kombucha now in the continuous brewer for about a year. It seems I remember in the instructions that every now and then the SCOBY should be cut or reduced, but I can’t find the instructions on your website about this. Can you give me detailed instructions as to what to do with the SCOBY? It is getting larger and larger.

    • Dave Says:

      We now have available a premium video series which discuss maintainability techniques – the series contain 12 videos and is much better qaulity than any of the stuff we have up on youtube!

  116. hughes Says:

    I’ve heard bottling k-tea in anything but clear glass is a no no.. is it that big of a deal? I heard the amber colored bottles can react with the culture…and I’m using green wine bottles…any opinions?

    • Kate Says:

      One brand (High Country) purposely bottles in amber to protect the live cultures and GetKombucha’s brew now comes in an amber bottle. I say “now comes in” because it appears as though it did not used to, as the videos show Sean and others with clear glass starter tea bottle, and I just received mine yesterday and it was amber.
      HTH!

  117. mirinda Says:

    once the scoby is removed and the k-tea is bottled can it be left sit at room temp for another 15 days so the gases can build up. I always thought it had to be refrigerated as soon as the scoby was removed and I always have flat k-tea. Reading through the instruct. when you place the tea in the refrig it stops the yeast hence no fizz or is there something I am doing wrong not getting the fizz earlier on.

  118. Brooke Says:

    I am on my 8th day brewing in the porcelain continuous brewing system. My SCOBY is beautiful – no bumps or discoloration at all, just smooth and huge. I feel like I have the Kate Moss of SCOBYs! But, I need to know when it is appropriate (if ever) to separate my SCOBY. How can I tell when it is ready to split? I thought the whole purpose of the contiunuous brewing system was to not disturb the SCOBY. So, can I just leave it alone and never peel the “baby” SCOBY off if I so choose? Will it harm the “mother” SCOBY if I don’t rid it of the “baby”? Please advise! Thanks

  119. gwen Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I am on my first brew of k-tea. I have one question do you evey stir before you bottle?

    ======== GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE ======

    THIS IS ANSWERED ON OUR KOMBUCHA LONGEVITY VIDEO!

    Best,
    Maria
    customer service

    PS: If you have not done so already, for a limited time, pick up the $37 Premium Kombucha Longevity Video Series (16 videos in total) – for FREE!.

    ==> http://getkombucha.com/colovi.html

  120. Patrick Says:

    I just read ceramic should not be used for brewing Kombucha because after a while (~ 5 years) it ends up leaking dangerous chemicals. Is it so? Why don’t you have your brewer made of glass to be safe?

    Also, what about the plastic spigot, doesn’t it leak into the Kombucha?

    Thanks.

    ============= GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE ===============

    WE HAVE TESTED SEVERAL OPTIONS – GLASS BEING ONE OF THEM – AND FOUND THAT OUR TYPE OF CERAMIC CERTIFIED LEAD FREE CONTAINER IS THE BEST. THERE ARE LOTS OF “STUFF” OUT ON THE INTERNET – PEOPLE CAN CHOICE WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE IN, WE FOUND THIS PRODUCT TO BE SUPERB, – THOUGH ONE SHOULD BE MINDFULL THAT NOT ALL CERAMICS/PORCELAINS/CLAYS ETC ARE CREATED EQUALLY

    OUR SPIGOTS ARE CREATED WITH FOOD GRADE PLASTIC AND IS SAFE – WE DO NOT RECOMMEND STAINLESS STEEL OR METAL SPIGOTS.. BUT MORE SO DUE TO THE UNDESIRABLE TASTE THAT IT GIVES OFF.

  121. Anonymous Says:

    Dave, I have the deluxe model and am very happy with it. I like it so much that I bought two more containers, one for my daughter and one for my granddaughter. Now they can brew thier own K-tea. We all love this tea and plan on drinking it every day. Thanks so much, your instructions are very easy to follow. Keep up the good work.

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      Hey thank you so much!! It so nice when people take the time to “smell the roses” (you could also stop to smell the kombucha, but I prefer tasting it).

      Stay tuned… a full 2 hour DVD is about to be released!

  122. kirk Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I just purchased the continuous brew system. If your culture is kept healthy and I maintain the tea at the correct PH etc. How long can I go with out cleaning the inside of the porcelin container and flushing the system? (During the flush I would obviously transfer the scoby to a glass jar along with 1/3-1/2 gallon of the fermented tea to get the next batch going after the container has been cleaned.

    As a side note is 16oz a good daily dose to build up to?

    Thanks guys,
    Kirk

    • Kate Says:

      The Longevity Video series covers this if you haven’t already gotten answers to this.
      Bottles of GT Dave’s state that the 16 ounces is 4 servings and I have done extensive reading on KT brewing and consuming and it appears that 16 is probably a good healthy amount to work up to. From reading the posts, others drink more, some drink less.

      • Kate Says:

        The videos cover the question about cleaning the brew vessel, that is. I just realized that wasn’t very clear – they DON’T cover what an “optimal” dose is.

  123. BuchaBaby Says:

    If I am brewing the traditional way in a glass jar (love the idea of Dave’s continious brew system which I will surely upgrade to one day) if my scoby is large enough can I make 2 gallons with it? It seems all the recipes I have found all make just 1 gallon.

  124. Star Says:

    Hoping someone on this blog can tell me what I’m doing wrong… I’ve purchased the deluxe continuous brewer (which I love!) and am on my second batch of kombucha. The first batch tasted fine in the brewer, but when I bottled it, despite leaving it out of the fridge for an additional TWO weeks, it never developed any additional carbonation. It went completely flat, as a matter of fact. Still tasted okay–just no bubbles!! I bottled it into the plastic bottles that came with the continuous brewer, as well as some glass bottles I had kept from some store-bought Kombucha. Neither type of bottle developed any fizz! Can someone give me some advice on how to get some of that lovely carbonation going in my second batch? Any tips will be greatly appreciated!!

  125. Tina Says:

    star….

    Are you by chance filling your bottles all the way to the top? They will not recarbonate without a little head space of air at the top!

    I also put mine on top of the fridge where the warm air off the fridge coils keeps them a little warmer than the room temp. (my kitchen stays pretty cool). SO it could be lack of air or low temps.

    Tina

    • Star Says:

      Tina,

      Have been away for a few days, so have not been back to check for responses to my question ’til now. Thanks so much for responding, and for your great suggestions.

      I had read somewhere in Dave’s brewing instructions that I should be sure to leave a little bit of room at the top of each bottle, so I’ve already been doing that. As a matter of fact, the tea comes out of the continuous brewer so fizzy that I HAVE to leave about an inch or so of space for it. Every bottle grows its own cute little SCOBY, too.

      However, I DO live in the midwest, and we’re having an unusually cool summer (unlike so much of the rest of the country >:-0) , so maybe the back bedroom I’ve turned into my “brewing plant” isn’t warm enough to allow the fizz to build up. I’ll start looking around for a warmer spot to store the bottles in.

      Thanks again, Tina! I’ll post again after the next batch ferments and report my results.

      Star

  126. Jenbee Says:

    I’d love to hear from Kombucha drinkers who have found relief from gastric reflux (heartburn). I take two “purple pills” daily and sometimes still have a problem. How much do you drink to get relief, and do you do that before, during or after meals? Thanks for any help out there.

  127. Loretta Says:

    When do I add the new organic flavor of the month when I am brewing new tea?

  128. Maria Says:

    I just bought the porcelain dispenser. I was brewing the Ktea a couple of years ago and have wanted to start drinking the tea again. This method will be easier and I think a whole lot faster.

  129. kristin Says:

    hi I just ordered the deluxe system, I haven’t recieved it yet and I already have a ?. can I replace the sugar with honey? If so how much do i add?

    • Kate Says:

      Where you wanting to do this because of vegan ethics or health (sugar being evil) or ???
      If it’s about health and the taboos against sugar, fear not – adequate fermentation by a healthy SCOBY will convert the “white devil” into beneficial compounds. No need to try honey. Scour the internet (and Dave’s site) and you will find scores of info to ease concerns about sugar. (I had some of the same concerns, it’s how I know). ;)

  130. wargon Says:

    if any one know how to make a kombucha concentrate … send me some instructions ..please .. my e-mail is – kaldrma2009@hotmail.com .. thanks

  131. wargon Says:

    any one know how to make a kombucha concentrate

  132. Lisa Says:

    Just got a continuous brewer… I know I read about fruit flies somewhere, but now I can’t find it. Advice for prevention of fruit flies? Because they have arrived.
    Also it would be great if you had a search feature so then one could just type in “fruit flies” or “ph levels” and find the related comments.

    • Kate Says:

      yep. Just watched that video myself so it’s still clear in my mind:
      Take a glass and put a small amount of KT into it (maybe 3 ounces or so) and take either a funnel and invert it into the top of the glass or else take an empty plastic water bottle and cut it to make a funnel and invert that into the glass. Either way, make sure that the fit between the circumference of the inverted funnel/makeshift-water-bottle-funnel and the glass is significant enough to hold the funnel above the KT in your glass. Did that make sense???
      Ahah! Found the video. Hopefully the link is actually to this video, I am not super tech-savvy and don’t know if it will actually bring up the vid or just the blog page…
      https://kombuchatea.wordpress.com/?s=fruit+flies

  133. cheryl Says:

    I have a question. I haven’t started brewing yet. I have Lupus Erythemetosis, is the K-tea harmful when taken any kind of meds? Is it beneficial for people with lupus in relation to the lupus?

  134. Kaya Says:

    Has anyone tried brewing with a tea that was pre sweetened with stevia? I did and it still tasted super sweet even after 10 days of brewing. I am not convinced that the sugar was converted properly?

    • Brad Says:

      Stevia is not a sugar. So the sweetness will not be metabolized by the yeast/bacteria culture. Stevia is a glycoside, so it can activate the sense of sweetness on our tongues but is prevented from fermentation and digestion due to other elements connected to the glucose molecule.
      Stevia cannot be used to grow SCOBY it will actually slow the growth and evenutally go dormant due to starvation.

  135. Sandy Ruggles Says:

    We plan on going to Florida for a month. What do we do with the
    scoby? Weather here in michigan is cold.Brrrr.

    • Sandy – I saw no one had replied to you yet and just found this website. If you go out of town you can put your brewing system in the fridge, the cold temps will stop the brewing process. When you return you can just pull it back out and let it continue brewing. Of course there are other options, like bagging your scoby with 10% KT and putting it in the fridge then starting a new batch when you get back or continue to let it brew while you are gone. What you will get as a result of brewing longer than 3 weeks is called K vinegar but you can still use it for all sorts of things, its great for removing soap scum just like regualr white or apple cider vinegar. I ended up with about a gallon of K vinegar and used it in the washer to remove soap scum since I cloth diaper.

  136. Gary B Says:

    Dave….

    It seems that the brew continues to go from sweet to sour even after it have been bottled and left on the pantry shelf. Is that your experience? Does it stop going sour in the fridge?

  137. Gary B Says:

    It seems that the brew continues to go from sweet to sour even after it have been bottled and left on the pantry shelf. Is that your experience? Does it stop going sour in the fridge?

  138. I’ve heard that the scooby can go bad. I’m trying to figure out if mine has gone bad now. I have recently started using a heating mat because of the cold weather here,-about 50 or below. Should I not use it? Also the tea does not tast fermented after around a week.

  139. GIGI Says:

    I HAVE BEEN USING YOUR DELUXE SYSTEM FOR WELL OVER 4 MONTHS, I AM USING YOUR NON-CAFFEINATED TEA, I AM FOLLOWING YOUR INSTRUCTIONS,–UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET THE TEA I BOTTLE TO FIZZ, WHAT COULD I BE DOING WRONG

  140. shylo Says:

    Hi, i can’t figure out why my tea is not getting carbonation, it taste real sugary still and it’s been almost 2 weeks. and is it ok for scoby to rest on top of tea?

    thank you

  141. Devon Says:

    Hey Dave,
    Thanks for the brewer- I’m excited to have home made kombucha. It’s been quite a science experiment so far!

    I just wanted to let you know your instructions are a bit hard to follow. Maybe you could make a simplified version? (the steps on this page if for right when you get it right?)

    Also, perhaps you could transcribe the video tutorials?

    Keep up the good and funny work!

    Devon

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      yes! we agree — that’s why we spent a year filming and editing the step by step 50+ vids (along with the printed instructions with your kit) – we were going to transcribing the vid tutorials but we realized that it would be 500+ pages long!!! thank you for the kudos – and the feedback and we will continue to work at improvement :)

  142. Terri Says:

    Two months and I have some gallon jars of kombucha that I made at the same time that keep producing more skobys and stringy things, but it never gets sour. Just tastes like sweet tea. This is boggling me. It seems that if they got ruined they wouldn’t reproduce…Do you know what might be going on? Also, there’s no mold.
    Thanks

  143. Liz Says:

    QUESTION:
    My SCOBY doesn’t look pretty like the ones we see on the internet :-/ My Ktea tastes good after 5 days, but some of the culture looks like a brownish blob… Should I worry???

  144. Laurie Says:

    This is my first batch of making Kombuca using the whole foods bottle as my starter…
    I met someone who did this the same way…
    Perhaps due to the temperature in my kitchen it is taking longer than I anticipated. Tomorrow is three weeks and I have a small mushroom at present.
    Any comments of knowledge or experience…
    Thank you in advance.
    L.

  145. dragonfly Says:

    Hi,
    I peaked at my first batch of kombucha ever today and there was no film at all (day 5), just a little (nickel sized) blob of fuzzy mould. I saw somewhere else if you just swish a little liquid over that it will be killed and things will carry on but the lack of any film at all at this stage is worrying me and it still tasted very sweet with just a hint of acid so maybe it’s just not happening. The poor struggling SCOBY is sitting on / close to the bottom, it was huge initially but became kinda stuck to one of the babies that was for my friend in transit and was slightly damaged in the separation. I’m brewing in a ceramic continuous brewing container. What should I do, throw it out and start again or leave it for a while longer and see what happens? Help!
    Thanks.

  146. dragonfly Says:

    Follow-up question: if I discard it all can I recover the SCOBY, can I wash it, cut it somehow and start with that or do I have to get a new one, is it contaminated?
    If I can continue to use this SCOBY, how do I clean it up and is there a way to proceed without starter tea – I won’t be able to get more starter for a couple weeks.
    Hope to hear back from you and thanks alot!

  147. Aydin Says:

    Mine is actually a question.

    What is the best way to store my combucha mother, say for 3-4 weeks, when I’m on holidays?

  148. 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

  149. Jackie Says:

    Just ordered deluxe kit and read above that you will be offering a lead free container.

    Is the container in the kit I ordered not certified lead free?

    Is this new container clear glass?

    Can I change my order to the new one?

    ==== GETKOMBUCHA.COM =====

    HI JACKIE,

    YOU WILL BE RECEIVING OUR CERTIFIED LEAD FREE PORCELAIN BREWER.. NOT SURE WHERE YOU READ THIS BUT WE HAVE SINCE UPDATED OUR BREWERS 3 YEARS AGO!! SO TO BE CLEAR FOR EVERYONE READING THIS– THE ONLY BREWERS WE CARRY ARE CERTIFIED LEAD FREE PORCELAIN. :)

    HAPPY BREWIN’,
    DAVE

  150. Eliza Says:

    What’s the longest one can go with fermenting kombucha? I’ve had a batch fermenting for six weeks. Do I have to throw it out?

  151. Tamara Says:

    Just wondering where all of the answers to the questions being posted are. Lots of good questions- so where do I find the answers if not posted in a reply right below…which it seems most are not.
    Thanks

    ========= GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE ====

    This blog is set up to build a kombucha community.. occasionally Dave will read some questions and create a video or article to answer but the day to day should be participated by everyone.. we encourage if people can respond to do so.

    If you would like immediate assistance we highly recommend picking up Dave’s 2 DVD Kombucha Brewing Set available here: http://www.getkombucha.com/cobrlovi.html

    Hapy Brewin’

  152. M Bailey Says:

    have you ever had worms or little white things crawl over the mother while fermenting?

  153. Mike Says:

    Dave, all these questions and so little time. Just received my kit and can’t beleive the reserved nature of your answers to these questions. I haven’t opened the scoby yet and have figured out this is like makin kraut. the cooler the longer the ferment (should also have more complex flavor like bread and kraut). the cleaner the more successful you’ll be. My only question is do your laugh muscles hurt? TTFN Mike

  154. peggy Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I ordered the complete deluxe set. I had to leave town to care for my parents . That was about a little over a month ago. I put my mushroom in a large glass jar and put the cloth over the top so it could breath.. Just wondering how long the shelf life is. I wanted to start my brewing. Is the culture still viable ?
    Thanks Peg

    === GetKombucha.com ====

    Hi Peg, does the culture still have some tea? you can watch a great video about what to do when you go on vacation that Dave did a while back here:

    Also we have improved our customer service experience with a fancy shmancy ticket support system, please email support@getkombucha.zendesk.com if you have any other questions!

    Happy Brewin’

  155. Robert Says:

    Anybody, What about using Honey for the sugar part? I have asked in my area and been asked, so now with this nice addition information page I can ask.

    • Mike Says:

      I was thinking about doing that but orgaic raw cane juice is less expensive. It would be something to try when you divide the mother, the tea might taste way good with hints of clover or wild flower. I am only on my 5th or 6th batch, and seem to drink it as fast as i make it. Later

    • Mike Says:

      Me again just thought I only use honey( raw organic) in bread backing and the yeast go wild for it TTFN Mike

  156. Adam Says:

    Just got my deluxe kit and started brewing! Couple of things … the directions for brewing the sweet tea above are different than the directions/demonstration on the videos (mainly steep time) – whatever, it should work (I went with the videos) … and your 1.5 gallons looks a lot smaller than my 1.5 gallons! Also, should my scoby be floating right now? Maybe it starts to float after the first day or so?? Kind of freaked, but ok. Can’t wait for five days from now. Thanks!

  157. Mike Says:

    Adam, don’t freak out. My scoby didn’t float until the 2nd batch. Check your temp, I use a heating pad. I also like my tea strong and use 13 to 20 grams tea and 2 rounded cups sugar to 1.5 gal filtered water. Using well water it keeps the minerals intact, and cleansing the body depleats mineral supplies so if I can get them in my tea they might be better absorbed.( just a thought not a scientist). I will be bottling my 8th or 9th batch today or tomorrow. My batches take from 7 to 12 days to get the rite taste, remember that a tea you enjoy the taste of is a tea you’ll drink more and be proud to share it. I know that this is not a (study) but when my mom was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer I went on a research bender and this was the only organic product that she found palatable, and has been drinking 4 to 6 oz a day and is the talk of the oncology ward. It hasen’t migrated anywhere and it helped keep her regular with all the meds she was on. I also am on pain meds and I drink between 1 and 2 bottles a day with no constipation. I bottle the 64oz starter bottle that came in the kit and it has way more fizz then the smaller ones. Does size really matter? LOL TTFN Mike

    • Adam Says:

      First batch was good – bottled after eight days. Maybe a little too vinegary. OK, maybe a lot, but I like apple-cider vinegar hot tea so I’m used to it. My goal is to match the taste of the 64 oz sent with the kit. Nice.
      Heat pad works great. My scoby was growing up, attached, to the wall of the porcelain brewer! Plus I crank the heat with a little space heater in the room when I can – otherwise the room temp would hoover around 65 – too cold … and not even winter yet in Seattle – ugh!
      How much do you drink? I’m reading 4-6 ounces all over the place, but I can take in 16-20 ounces no problem (I think). Is that normal?? Are my insides going to explode? No worries!

      • Mike Says:

        That 64oz tea was the bomb, I’m trying to duplicate it. As far as consumption, Dave says to start wit 4oz and build up from there. I to am looking for a limit or a maintaining amount. For now I drink about 24oz a day and my mom about 8oz(any more and she gets really loose stools. I was drinking one Braggs health drink a day until I found this, do you still drink yours? The only thing that keeps me from drinking more tea is I’m feeding 2 with the 1.5 crock and would run out. I just love the taste of the straight tea, i tried flovoring with cran and blue berries, it was Ok but straight is way better. Hey saw the bottles in the store yesterday for the first time since they took them off the shelfs. the GT stuff was 3.49 a bottle, am I glad I brew my own or what. TTFN Mike

  158. vlad Says:

    I learned 6-10 days was enough to make kombusha tea and it tasted good(summer time) but know with colder weather and learning that ph has to be between 2.5-3,even temperature in my home is never under 70F it look like its taking for ever,its 18th days and ph is still 3.4 and taste and color of tea(using same tea for brewing)is completely different from what i had during summer.Does anybody have an idea why is like that?

    • Mike Says:

      ya you need to keep the temp above 80f I had to unplug my crock during a remodle and it wasn’t tasty at all didn’t get fizzy after bottleing and didn’t have any sediment after a week in the fridge. I don’t have a thermometer on it but i’m thinking that you need to keep the temp consistent to repete good results. I made one batch that tasted like the starter batch I got from Dave, it was awsome and I haven’t been able to repete it. New batch going in tonite and I’m getting a thermometer today and try to hit 86f like Dave says. Let me know how you do TTFN Mike

  159. Linda Says:

    I have brewed sucessfully 21 times so far and have recorded every batch – how many days. I have not had to have consistent temps. I did at first, because I thought I had to and 80 is all I can handle. I live in New Orleans and the air conditioner is on and off – so the temp is at tops 80 and goes down to about 76. I still bottle it every 4 days to 4.25. I put it then in a closet in glass 16 oz. bottles. I ran out and used a 750ml wine bottle with cork. It blew off! So to be safe, I put it in the refrig after 3.5 days. I bought one GT at wholefoods today (only 2 left) and it was extremely fizzy even spilled out after opening. Anyway, I like mine less fizzy than that. Mine I think is got a good compromise with a tangy taste that is refreshing like a soda pop used to be (don’t drink those anymore) I think that the problem might have been putting the Scoby in the refrigerator for a week. Dave did say to have a back up one in case you kill it. There is no guarantee that it will recover from the refrig. Sometimes it does ok but I am leaving for 2 weeks and I am not going to risk the cold temps of the frig, I’ll leave it brew and I throw out the vinegar stuff and do fresh tea. Thats the plan

    • Mike Says:

      21 batches and how often do you clean the crock ? I ended up with 2 batches in the fridge after 5 or so batches and just let it idle in the crock without heat in the leftover tea for over a week, poured a new batch over it and 5 days later it was ready, but none of the bottles had any fizz. What do you do with your scoby trimmings?

      • Linda Says:

        I havn’t cleaned out the crock yet. It is the continuous brewing system. I started on July 8, 2010. Dave said, to clean out a couple times a year. No more than 4 times and not during the winter when the SCOBY will be less active. So, I havn’t yet. My mother fell apart and I didn’t know what to do with it so I left it in there for a couple weeks – then decided it was the mess of the mother and took it out and dumped that. I have examined the SCOBY and appears alright to me. It doesn’t have little babies but formed a thicker one. I look in it and smell it and as long as it smells like a yeast ferment and I see bubbles on top, I know it is doing the job and I have left it be. My brew is ready to my liking in 4 days. My temperature is from 76 to 80 and I wonder if your temp is warm enough bc my tea is always fizzing straight from the brewer. It fizzes more bottled in the closet. I fill the bottles about a half inch from the top. I experimented with a wine bottle on different levels and the less full, the more it built up to even blow the cork off. I put the bottles in the fridge in 3 days no longer. I have gotten used to the taste to know when it is ready.

  160. Linda Says:

    vlad,
    Dave said that the scoby has cycles. Will in other words take longer regardless because it apparently needs to slow down like plants do I guess according to its season. Winter is the slow season for it. I am wondering too if mine will take longer too even though I live in New Orleans. So far it is the same time. I havn’t done any cleaning of the unit at all (brewer) Dave said not to in the winter cause you need to have the ph lower for the slower season. Hope this helps.

  161. Adam Says:

    I’m on my third batch. My turn-around time is about 3-4 days before it gets too vinegary. My scoby is huge – the whole porcelain container. New brew three days ago and my pH is in the red. At a low boil for around 10 minutes, I’m steeping some premium loose-leaf black/green tea with two rounded cups of good ol’ C&H in probably less than 1.5 gallons. The quick-cool method in a bath tub of ice works in under an hour. I leave the heat mat on at all times. I’m headed to a brew shop in town for some nice corked bottles. Other than that, I’m just drinking as much as I can. I figure, “it’s time.” Love reading through this and other blogs. I’ll give my scoby about two more weeks before I trim it and make some hair tonic (my wife already things I’m totally whacked!). Next post I’m going to chart the pH of my next batch – borrowed a digital pH probe. Nice.

    • Mike Says:

      Today is day 7 of my 10th or so batch and haven’t tasted yet. Bought a digital thermometer for this batch, heating pad with a towel around the hole thing keeps it at 87.4F. It’s funny that they sent some ph test strips but no chart to read them, so don’t know what mine is. Hey Adam what temp do you brew at? What’s hair tonic?

      • Linda Says:

        Mike, I read in my komtea readings that a lab test of the method of brewing that the perfect temp was 86 F. Mine does fine though at 76 – 80 F. Dave says above 70. I think the heating pad will help with yours. The chart for PH is online or with the DVD that Dave has.

      • Adam Says:

        Ok, I must have been high on kombucha when I said my turn-around time was three-four days … here I am four days into it and it tastes like nothing I like. I’m going to ignore it for a few days and hope. I have no idea of the temp or my pH, no thermometer, no digital pH, no bottles. Best laid plans …
        Hair tonic? I have no idea. Dave sent out some crazy “free” video where he blended up a scoby, some oatmeal, vitamin C, lemon juice, E oil, etc., and then did up his hair. Hilarious.

      • Mike Says:

        Adam are you sure it was K-tea you were hi on? I checked my tea temp after 2 days and it was 74.6 F all things being equal to my last batch. I’ll be maping the temp because it was at 87 F after 5 days. Maybe the more active the scoby the higher the temp. I will still bottle acording to taste, I’m just hoping for a bit more fizz.

      • Adam Says:

        Ok, I confess, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not sure I like the “premium” tea I got from the local tea shop. Whatever, I’m ready to just can it all and use Lipton. I pulled out my scoby today and cut the edge off a little. Hard bugger to cut. Definitely getting the kitchen scissors for next time … if there is a next time (wish I didn’t trim it). I think I’m over-thinking all this. Just trying to match the taste of what Dave sent for starter tea. Elusive by design I gather.
        I did get my hands on a digital pH, but no big whoop. After day 3 it reads 2.9ish. Day 5 = 2.8ish. Anything less and it starts to taste too vinegary for me. I wish I could pH his starter tea.
        One thing different … after I bottle, I’m leaving the 10-20% in the brewer overnight, cooling my new sweet tea overnight (no quick cool anymore). Also using only distilled water.
        No fizz in any bottle. Elusive to many I see. Picked up a case of the swing top bottles, and I leave lots of room for fix to gather. No luck. Seems the more I brew the more questions I have.

      • Mike Says:

        Adam, don’t quit, what is your temp? mine is around 81% . Using different sugars changes the taste. I found a 6 lb sugar in the raw at cosco for 7bucks, it has some carmel color from molasses. The cane juice sugar makes it fiz more I think. I got some organic breakfast blend from THE MIGHTY TEA LEAF,use 4 heaping tablespoons, and 2 1/4 cups sugar, to 1 1/2 gal filtered water. I do the ten min sugar and water boil and then a ten min tea simmer and leave the tea in until cool. I think your better off with a thermometer instead of a ph meter and bottle when it tastes good. If you let it get to vinegery there will be no sugar left in the bottle to turn to fiz. Also good move on those bottles thats what i’m doing I can’t get the plastic ones to seal. I’ll just have to drink Grolsh beer for a while and recycle the bottles.

  162. Mike Says:

    Linda, thanks , I to tell by the taste but sometimes forget to check. I bottled yesterday it was day 7. I always turn the heat off and wait a day to make more tea. I can’t find the dvd’s( I hide stuff on myself all the time) My mother hasen’t cycled yet and i don’t understand why it would. I make sourdough bread and my starter doesen’t cycle. Maybe I’m missing something.

  163. Sue Kennedy Says:

    I have been making my own kombucha and drinking it daily for the last 15years.I’ve enjoyed many health benifits from it and have taught several “how to” classes on brewing. I was happy to come across this website for helpful tips and information. I have seen a lot of changes in public perception of kombucha and am glad that it has become so popular.

    • Mike Says:

      Hi Sue, 15 yrs is awsome, how much do you drink in a day? Can you help adam with his concerns? What is your recipe, or would it be a formula? Thanks for any help.

  164. Linda Says:

    I am back from a 2 week vacation. I left my brew in contact with SCOBY the whole time. It was diffently vinegar. It has been 4 mos since I started brewing and there was a lot of sediment in the bottom and when I poured from the tap, it would get clogged with sediment and probably the stringy stuff. So, I decided to clean it all out. b4 I left I had stored bottles to use for the new batch. One thing very interesting was – where the gasket went on the inside of the brewer. Could only be in the sink, not there. I hope the Ktea didn’t disolve it. I saved some of the vinegar (only enough that covered the SCOBY) and used 3bottles of starter tea and some of the concentrate. My SCOBY always floated on the top. It did this time too, except the next day it sank. I hope it will turn out. I don’t think my turnover time of 4 days will work this time, probably 5 to 7 days because of starting over. Seems though, bc the SCOBY is a lot larger than when I got it that it shouldn’t take as long. Will update to let you all know my results. P.S. I didn’t peel off the baby just cleaned the SCOBY in white vinegar. I use btw 2 level cups of sugar. I think that the sugar amount may have something to do with the fizz. Maybe, I will add 2 1/4 cups next time to see. I don’t get the baby scobies in my bottles even though I leave them out in a closet for 3 days.

  165. Adam Says:

    Tomorrow will be day-seven since I was last frustrated with another funky batch and my botched scoby surgery. I’m going to bottle with a few apple slices. Hey, why not? Looking forward to just straight black tea and maybe a little more sugar next time.
    I wish this “bog” was a forum. I’ve seen some good forums that users can upload pictures, there’s polling, the posts are categorized. Looks like there’s going to be a move to FB. Not for me. Oh well. Thanks Mike, good luck. I’m definitely not quitting. For $200 I have to brew a lot of get my money’s worth … But “journaling” here is not doing a whole lot. We can’t even PM to exchange emails. Sorry to be such a downer. It could just be so much better. I’ll feel better after I get my K-fix tomorrow… Hope FaceBook is profitable…

  166. Linda Says:

    I can’t believe it – it was 3 days this time, the shortest time ever and it is strong! So, I am pouring off a little more this time and see what happens. I had to taste by hour it was going so fast. I ran out of the loose tea I get from Dave and used black tea. I probably used too much – 12 bags. Maybe that was why it was strong. I cut it back to 8 bags today. Experiment, experiment. I know the caffeine helps the SCOBY somehow, so maybe the stronger tea I will like better. It is fun though. Makes one proud of the fruit of our labors. Fun.

  167. Mike Says:

    I Know what your talking about Adam , some sites on other subjects have it so simple to post threads under different headings so it becomes more friendly to navigate. I’ll bet dave is working on something better, can’t wait to use it. Found some organic cane juice sugar in the cupboard(must have hiden it on myself) and the tea I made with this stuff was the bomb, so I’ll let you know in a few days. mean while I’m still looking for some kind of maximum consumption for my 75 yr. old mom. They want her to go on radiation treatments and if I can up the amount from 8oz a day to 16oz it might make a difference at the next ct scan.

  168. Nancy Lipshutz Says:

    I am so discouraged. I am 1 week into my second attempt at brewing Kombucha and I think that it has failed again. I have followed every single instruction and it doesn’t even seem like a new scoby has formed at all. I live in Chicago and it is cold in my apartment much of the time. I don’t want to invest any more money into my brewing until I feel that I can successfully brew. I can’t begin to figure what I have done wrong.
    Dave, do you have any ideas? I know it is hard to figure out without literally watching me,but I so love drinking Kombucha and hate to fail so miserably at something that shouldn’t be this difficult to accomplish.
    I would love to get some feedback. Thanks everyone.

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      ======= DAVE’S RESPONSE ========

      Hi Nancy – My first question would be.. what is the temperature in your home? Anything under 70 degrees really should be using a heating mat (or raising the temp in your home though that will not be as economical). We provide mats on our site here: http://getkombucha.com/heatmat.html, or if you can find a local plant shop perhaps you can pick one up there.. ask for a “heating mat for seedlings”. They provide a consistent temperature vs the heat real high and shut off kind you would get at a local pharmacy for a sore back.

      The next question is what is your starter tea to sweet tea ratio? during winter time you want to make sure you are adding MORE starter tea to your sweet tea.. so either add more starter tea or add less sweet tea.

      You mentioned that a new culture is not growing on top.. this is not necessarily an indicator of a bad batch of k-tea.. instead focus on testing your tea every day and see if it is going from sweet to sour to tangy vinegar. If it is then it is fair to say your brew is fermenting :) A culture may not form simply b/c it has been disturbed too soon.. did you see a thin film on top? That would grow into a culture eventually but will be compromised if you are constantly adding more tea on top or swirling around your culture. Finaly during the winter time it takes a little longer to ferment.. in some places as much as 3 weeks!!

      So increase your heat, add more starter tea, and patiently taste test. You will be a brewing master in no time… Keep Going You Are Doing Great and I am sure other people that are reading this that once had these same frustrations who are now succesfully brewing batch after batch are all rooting for you along with me :)

      Happy Holidays!
      Dave

      • Nancy Lipshutz Says:

        Thanks, Dave. There is a film on top and I haven’t moved it at all. I got the scoby and starter tea from the website. I will be able to order a heating pad later this week and just add more starter tea. I really don’t want to quit now.
        Nancy

      • Nancy Lipshutz Says:

        A quick update: I just ordered the heating pad. What am I waiting for?
        Nancy

  169. Michele Chalice-Throop Says:

    Just received my Deluxe system. Read all instructions, so excited! Taste of gallon of enclosed tea is exquisite. But TWO QUESTIONS:

    #1 Instructions do not say whether loose tea needs to be in enclosed muslin bag or can be loose. Can the tea be loose? I’m not too concerned with loose tea later.

    #2 Nothing is labeled Starter Tea. This Deluxe system came with a whole gallon of Kombucha Tea. Is this it and if so, what is the amount I need to add, proportionately to each gallon of tea I’m brewing?

    Please Advise!!
    michele.chalice@gmail.com

    • dlindy2730 Says:

      =========== DAVE’S RESPONSE =============

      HEY MICHELE, THIS QUESTIONS ARE ALL ANSWERED WITHIN THE 51+ KOMBUCHA SET UP VIDS… THE VIDEO ACCESS NOW COME WITH THE KIT (AND YOU SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED AN EMAIL WITH THE ACCESS LINKS).. OR YOU CAN PURCHASE THE DVD VERSION.

      IN CASE YOU DID NOT RECEIVE THEM, I JUST PERSONALLY EMAILED YOU THE ACCESS LINKS AGAIN!

      YOU ARE ABOUT TO BECOME A KOMBUCHA BREWIN ROCKSTAR!

      DAVE :)

  170. Glaze Says:

    NEWBIE HAS THREE QUESTIONS!

    1) I am converting from regular brew to continuous…I have 1 gallon that has been fermenting for 7 days; due to mid- to high- 60’s in my apt it I go the full 2 weeks & just got a 2.5 gallon ceramic dispenser.
    *How much new sweet tea do I add to the dispenser? I want to have at least 2 gallons of continuous brew…I would assume I add one gallon of new tea but not sure due to concentration.

    2) I know my tea was too warm when I added SCOBY last time…I was worried that she’d die but it’s been a week, she’s still floating, bubbles are forming, stringies are dangling and her color is OK…is she OK? Any way I can test her for ‘virility?’

    3) How can I tell if a baby is growing? I just can’t identify one…is it another layer?

    Thanks!

    • Linda Says:

      Glaze – on how much new tea to use – I put in 6 quarts to my continuous 2.5 gal brewer. I leave in the brewer the starter tea at spigot level. (just covers the spigot when I look inside) I have warm temps in the apt. so mine brews fast even in the winter. My scoby has always been just one with layers that are the babies. The mother did fall apart and I had to clean out the brewer. Lately there was a dead looking spot and I ripped that off(was just a partial layer) and it is going very good dispite the little disfiguration. Dave said to use “stainless steel scissors” soaked in white vinegar a few mins. I havn’t done that yet. As far as getting yours out??? To bad you can’t reach in your sterile hand. I guess I would use a plastic tongs to grab it then cut with sterile scissors. Good luck!

  171. Colin Smith Says:

    Ive been brewing Kombucha for about a year now in a 6 gallon carboy in a continous fashion. The Kombucha is great, but the mother is taking over my container and because of the small mouth size (about 2 inches) I cant get any of her out. Any suggestions? Ive heard you shouldnt touch the SCOBY with metal, so I dont want to reach in with a knife and chop her up. Anyone know about this?

    • Linda Says:

      I know you aren’t supposed to let metal touch the scoby but Dave does recommend a stainless steel scissors, sterilized, so perhaps the minimal, very rare contact with the metal is ok.

      • Linda Says:

        When I think about it – the metal issue – it is probably due to the acid that cause a leach of things from metal. You notice he is making sure you don’t use cheap scissors which are questionable metal. If you use, for instance, a alum pot for cooking anything acid, such as tomato sauce, the acid will discolor the pot wherever the tomato touches it. Dave was saying on a previous post not to use metal spigots either, mostly (he says) because of off taste due to metal contact. So, the little contact to use the stainless steel is very brief and acid will be unable to leach anything in that short of time.

  172. J. Farr Says:

    I have a question about brewing with Hibiscus flowers. I read somewhere that you can brew with them. My question is can you brew with them exclusively? or do you need to include black tea. Has anyone tried it? I’m getting ready to experiment with it, but would love input from anyone who knows anything about it. Thanks.

    • elie Siag Says:

      I tried it ! it tasted kind of funny ! i’m pretty sure you need black tea as well ! hibiscus flowers are not caffeinated ! my understanding is that scobies like black tea and sugar !

  173. elie Siag Says:

    Hey Guys ! i closed the jar on my Kombucha :( i kept thinking if it needs to ferment ! it has to be an anaerobic process ! they look fine ! but i’m not sure if they molded or if i killed them?? how can i know?? can someone please reply ?

    • marcus Says:

      Don’t do that! The yeast don’t need oxygen but the bacteria do! Kombucha is about multiple elements working together, so what you suggest could be disastrous over time. I stress over time because Kombucha is resilient and it may take awhile for ill effects to take place. Okay, If you do continue this jarring while brewing, try significantly reducing the boiling time when initially steeping the tea. I only bring the water to a boil for a minute or so. By reducing boiling time you leave a lot much oxygen in the water. Also, It sounds like what you’re trying could end up in a more alcoholic, less fizzy product, which doesn’t necessarily sound bad. Good luck!

      • Jericho Says:

        Based upon new info.that I THINK I read on this site, I brewed my two current batches of K with water that was boiled for 10 minutes, then steeped for 10 minutes in lightly-boiling water. Neither batch has developed ANY fizz. My prior batches developed fizz, so I think whoever wrote (above) that overboiling and oversteeping makes for a non-fizzy brew is spot on.

        Get back to snail eyes, not boiling, and don’t oversteep. I think the English know best! I now have to brew two new batches and dump these – it’s OK but it is not kombucha without the KICK! Live and learn, it is still better than drinking water ’cause we all know what fish do in that! Love ya Dave!

  174. treen Says:

    Hey y’all, I just ordered some tea and a new mother culture, and I’m about to start brewing again. I haven’t done it for probably a year, but I originally got the brewing system here about 2 years ago and completely loved it.

    The only problem I had was- the spigot would get kinda clogged with strands and I guess some sort of kombucha jelly stuff… and the flow during bottling would be so slow. Has anyone else had this problem? Is there any way this can be avoided, other than emptying out the whole container to clean out the spigot?
    Thank you, thank you… :-) Happy Brewin’

    • Jericho Says:

      I got the strings in my spigot too (HOW embarrassing, SO like wearing thong underwear….) I had to clean out Wanda the Wonderpot but found that if I leaned the pot backwards a little bit that I have not had the problem since. Worth a try! Jericho

  175. Jericho Says:

    Supposedly, Houston is the most air conditioned city in the world. When I got my porcelain continuous brewing system, the outside temperature was in the 50’s and 60’s, and I keep my house cold. As I began to brew, I used a heat mat and the kombucha got vaguely fizzy. (Unfortunately, for some reason, I have not gotten the fizz to stay after bottling, then resting for five days, then refrigerating. Ergo, I am eager to try the new SCOBY.)

    Now that it is summer, and most of us in a warm, humid climate keep our houses air conditioned to between 70 -77, I am not getting the same result; there is VERY little fizz. Despite the warm weather, I am again going to put Wanda the wonderpot on a heating pad in an effort to kick up the brewin’ and fizzin’. Also, I didn’t realize there was so much boiling of water, I thought bringing it to snail eyes temp. was fine, with minimal steeping (my English cousins would NEVER boil their water, oh new, new new, my deah!!). Now I see there are three stages of boiling. Okie doke, will do. Onward and upward to kombucha heaven. Love ya, Dapper Dave! Jericho

  176. Linda Says:

    I do the water boil and the 10 min steep of tea and I have fizzy k. The water boil was to make sure all impurities were out which would kill the K. My k sometimes is a little dull and sometimes fizzy straight from the spigot. But I let mine set in a closet bottles for 3.5 days. Havn’t needed to longer. Also, I brew only for 3 to 3.5 days. Live in Louisisana but air is set quite warm bc the thermometer is whacky. A terribly big span in the degrees, so to keep it above 72, a have often a temperature of 78 to 80 degrees. I read that the best is 80 to 84 degrees done by a lab that I read about on here for 6.5 days. Mine would never make it to 6 days. It is starting to be like vinegar at 3 days. TIP: for me to get more fizz, I shake the btl gently 1 or 2 times, then open, take a swig and then recap and shake again more hard. I do that cause in the refrig after it has been opened it goes kinda flat, so I shake it and it works.

  177. ash Says:

    I just got the deluxe continuous brewing kit and am setting up first brew. Got an extra Scoby thanks to Dave’s kind promo/offer. BUT I can’t remember what to do with it and it’s not in the instructions. Am I supposed to add it to the first brew? Or store it for emergencies? Or what?

    1. What happens if I add to brew? (If I don’t get an answer SOON, I’ll probably do that).
    2. Could I store it in freezer for emergencies if I wanted to?
    3. What if I leave in fridge, how long will it last?

  178. […] https://kombuchatea.wordpress.com/kombucha-recipe: Step by step instructions, recipes, and a community of other kombuchaheads to answer all your questions. […]

  179. Hi There! I’m so excited that I found your blog! My boyfriend and I will be making some home made kombucha – just ordered our starter kit over the internet! Your instructions are so thorough, we’ll be following them to the T, as we really have no clue what we’re doing ;) You’ll probably be hearing from me soon as I bet we will run into some hiccups along the way. Thanks for all of the information!

  180. Cookie Says:

    I am sooo excited! I got my brewer today! I feel for you cuz I think my questions may drive you crazy. . .I just opened the package and have questions on the first line of the instructions, lol! I put my scoby in a glass jar but there is not enough liquid to cover it totally. . .is this ok? Also. . .I have a bottle of GTs original raw organic kombucha. . .is it ok to add to cover completely if necessary? Thanks and I will see you on the forum soon! Also. . .do I put them in the fridge? I will be going on the forum and website for answers but the letter said to take care of this part immediately. Thanks for the help (in advance) and patience for a newby!


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