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  • Question for Kombucha Brewers

    I started my first batch of Kombucha nine days ago. I just tasted it and it's still sweeter than I'd like so I'm brewing it longer. I have a baby SCOBY going but it is very thin. Like 1/8th of an inch if that but it does cover the entire top of the liquid. I'm using a gallon glass jar and I pre-sterilized it plus gave it a vinegar bath prior to brewing. The temperature in my kitchen has been within the recommended range, no mold is growing, and everything seems fine other than what might be an underdeveloped new SCOBY.

    How much growth is normal? My original SCOBY came from Kombucha Camp and I've heard good things about that source so I'm pretty sure I got a good one. The original one still looks very healthy just like it did when it arrived.

    My concern is that the sweetness and thin SCOBY might indicate it's not fermenting properly. Although if it wasn't I guess it should have molded by now? How thick are the new SCOBYs supposed to be after the first brewing cycle? I could be concerned for nothing and I tried a google search but couldnt find out what the new SCOBY should look like.

  • #2
    I bought my first one from kk and have gotten many babies from it. They always start thin, but they never look quite like the ones from kk. You have the original one in there with the little one? If not, it will take a long time to turn your mixture into booch.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oceangrl View Post
      I bought my first one from kk and have gotten many babies from it. They always start thin, but they never look quite like the ones from kk. You have the original one in there with the little one? If not, it will take a long time to turn your mixture into booch.

      Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
      OK then I think I may be fine. And yes the original SCOBY is in with the batch. It has sunk down to an inch or so off the bottom while the new one is floating on top. Thanks!

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      • #4
        Yes they like to go deep sea diving. I made the mistake of bottling mine for the second ferment too soon because last time it was too vinegary. Too sweet is yucky. Also in this cooler weather, it takes longer. I have a heat strip and it the temp strip says it's only 77 degrees.

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        • #5
          Ooh a heat strip is a good idea!! I'm going to get one of those. Ty again!

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          • #6
            Your first few brews will be sub-par, that's normal. After I moved and let my scobies sit for a few months, it took until the third batch before my bucha was awesome again.


            Instead of a heat strip, I just put a solid piece of glass on top of an old aquarium and put a heater in it. It stays at the same temp all winter, and the warmer bottom isn't a problem because I add a glop of molasses to the sugar when I first brew. The molasses makes the scobies grow as if on steroids and the yeast can't outgrow it.

            Definitely get some flip-top bottles for the second ferment! Safest and best carbonation option.
            Crohn's, doing SCD

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            • #7
              I forget how much mine was, but I know it wasn't a lot. If you buy it from KK, you should get some of their Chai tea spice. It is soooo good.

              Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oceangrl View Post
                Yes they like to go deep sea diving. I made the mistake of bottling mine for the second ferment too soon because last time it was too vinegary. Too sweet is yucky. Also in this cooler weather, it takes longer. I have a heat strip and it the temp strip says it's only 77 degrees.

                Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2
                Where do you get these heat strips and what should the optimal temperature be?

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                • #9
                  Knife..so when you make the sweet tea, you plop the molasses in the jar? Or do you dissolve it with the sugar? Does it change the flavor? I like the taste of molasses a lot!!

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                  • #10
                    Yes. I put between a teaspoon (can barely taste--still grows good SCOBYs), to a tablespoon (now you can call it molasses tea) directly on top of the sugar before I pour the just-boiled water into the jar to brew. The flavor also works really well with the ginger after the second brew.
                    Crohn's, doing SCD

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                      Definitely get some flip-top bottles for the second ferment! Safest and best carbonation option.
                      I'm a little nervous about doing a second ferment but the flip top bottles might ease my mind. Do I even have to do a second one? I actually prefer unflavored Kombucha, at least judging from the store bought GT flavors I've tried, but I'm down to try some ginger lemon or maybe mango.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CaliforniaGirl View Post
                        Where do you get these heat strips and what should the optimal temperature be?
                        Go to www.kombuchakamp.com. Great website. They have tons of info and supplies. Love them!

                        Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk 2

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                          Yes. I put between a teaspoon (can barely taste--still grows good SCOBYs), to a tablespoon (now you can call it molasses tea) directly on top of the sugar before I pour the just-boiled water into the jar to brew. The flavor also works really well with the ginger after the second brew.
                          So..are you saying a tsp to TBS per one gallon of tea with one cup of sugar?

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                          • #14
                            Yep. Very little needed.
                            Crohn's, doing SCD

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                              Yep. Very little needed.
                              Trying it next time I top off my continuous brew.

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