Kombucha

Old Jul 17, 18, 2:44 pm
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Kombucha

Six or seven years ago, Mrs BamaVol and I visited her older sister in Sedona Arizona. Her sister, at the time, was brewing and drinking something she called kombucha (fermented tea). I had never heard of it. I tried a sip -she was drinking it warm from a teacup - and can't say it did anything for me.

Last year, we were in Eugene Oregon visiting BamaVol Jr #1 and his wife. The trip focused to a large degree on breweries and taprooms. Mrs BamaVol is strictly a wine drinker and several places did not serve wine or had a selection not to her liking. Kombucha on tap was common however and she found herself liking it. Unlike at her sister's, this was served cold and flavored with fruit, herbs and flowers.

In the past year, I have undertaken a couple Whole30's and spent a month on blood thinners which kept me away from alcoholic beverages. So I started getting into kombuchas. Most of our grocery stores are now featuring a decent selection.

So what was I thinking buying a kombucha making kit? Sometime this week I will brew my first batch. I should be in bottles within 10 days or so.

Any other home brewers? Any tips?
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Old Jul 17, 18, 3:44 pm
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I've never tasted it but I have seen it in Target in the produce section. I had no idea it had alcohol it. I just thought it was a tea based fruit drink. I hope no one is buying it for their kids lol.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 5:46 pm
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I have a friend who makes it. It occasionally blows up in her kitchen. No clue why though, but something worth checking into.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 5:57 pm
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I enjoy it. We actually have it on tap in our office. Boulder has a number of kombucha brewers in the area so there are lots of variety to choose from.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by kellio33 View Post
I have a friend who makes it. It occasionally blows up in her kitchen. No clue why though, but something worth checking into.
I have a friend who makes Jewish beer.


Hebrews it.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
I've never tasted it but I have seen it in Target in the produce section. I had no idea it had alcohol it. I just thought it was a tea based fruit drink. I hope no one is buying it for their kids lol.
Less than 0.5% alcohol per any of the bottles Iíve read. I donít think anyone can get a buzz from that.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 11:48 pm
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Originally Posted by kellio33 View Post
I have a friend who makes it. It occasionally blows up in her kitchen. No clue why though, but something worth checking into.
That is a little worrisome since I will be brewing it in a glass jar.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 9:43 am
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I've tasted it a few times and concluded it's gross.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I've tasted it a few times and concluded it's gross.
I've had some that were gross. I let the color be my guide. Red or orange = good. Green = bad.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 1:17 am
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Originally Posted by kellio33 View Post
I have a friend who makes it. It occasionally blows up in her kitchen. No clue why though, but something worth checking into.
I guess it would be similar to brewing ginger beer? That needs to be vented daily to stop it exploding.

I started reading this thread then went to buy some groceries up the road and there was a whole shelf of kombucha, so I tried it. It's ok. I got the apple, but reading Barma's post above I'm guessing I should have got the cherry or plum or whatever the purple/red one was.
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Old Jul 24, 18, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
I guess it would be similar to brewing ginger beer? That needs to be vented daily to stop it exploding.

I started reading this thread then went to buy some groceries up the road and there was a whole shelf of kombucha, so I tried it. It's ok. I got the apple, but reading Barma's post above I'm guessing I should have got the cherry or plum or whatever the purple/red one was.
I brewed the first batch yesterday afternoon. No venting required as the jar is covered with a cotton cloth fastened with a rubber band. Now we just wait about 10 days or so. We have been debating what to flavor with. I see kombucha in the store that is flavored with flowers; lavender, hibiscus, rose and I'm wondering if I can just pick the hibiscus from the front yard.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 10:06 am
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I tasted it last night at the 7-8 day mark. It's still too sweet. Tasted like a weak, not-too-sweet sweet tea. I'm not surprised as Mrs. BV insists on keeping the house temperature about 2 degrees below ideal thereby slowing the fermentation process. We do have our flavorings handy, having settled on blueberry & mint.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 11:30 am
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You drank this to replace alcohol yet it has almost no alcohol. Is this *kinda* a good non-alcohol replacement like NA beers and such? Does it go well when drinking with friends?
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Old Aug 1, 18, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by Old Hickory View Post
You drank this to replace alcohol yet it has almost no alcohol. Is this *kinda* a good non-alcohol replacement like NA beers and such? Does it go well when drinking with friends?
There's no buzz. Typically ABV is under 1/2%. But given that there were multiple varieties served in the tap rooms of Eugene, it was an acceptable substitute that kept the group together despite one of us not liking beer. It's a sipping drink, unlike say, a soda. So no worries about filling the bladder while everyone else is on their second beer. And as a craft beer drinker, I'm there for the flavor and variety, not to get drunk.

I spent 15 years between the ages of 27 and 44 not drinking but never stopped going out with friends to bars. I drank everything from ginger ale to diet coke to soda water. Unfortunately the caffeine in the colas made it hard to fall asleep afterwards. I'd say kombucha is a more than acceptable substitute.

Sadly, I only find bottled kombucha in a few of my regular bars and none on tap. And having embarked on another Whole30, I'll probably be staying home more often than going out for the next month. But I'll be drinking my homemade kombucha as Mrs BV sips her wine out on the back porch at the end of the day.

ETA that I drank my share of NA beers during my 15 year abstinence. There was really only one I enjoyed, Carling I think, vs. the many that were merely tolerable.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 7:58 am
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12 days after starting, my first batch is ready for bottling and second fermentation. It was a little slow due to household temperature of around 73. It would have been ready a couple days sooner if my wife would allow me to raise the thermostat to 76. It tastes about right, slightly sweet still and has a PH of around 3.0 I need to procure a jar for storing my starter this afternoon, then I will bottle. It should be drinkable in 4 days.
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