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Mr. Biscuits Presents: A Basic 1 Gallon Kombucha Recipe


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#1 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 12:28 PM

Alright. Let's see how this attempt goes...

 

As I hate when instructional guides ramble on before presenting anything, let’s just go right to it and discuss later if there are discussions to be had. I will make footnotes where I see fit to keep the process streamlined. (Maybe they'll even work?)

 

Buch 1.jpg

 

 

Ingredients

 

- 1 Gallon of filtered or Spring Water

- 1 Cup Sugari

- 1 Ounce Tea Leavesii

- 6 Ounces Kombucha starter culture and/or SCOBYiii

 

Tools ***Do Not Use Metal Tools!***

 

- >1-Gallon Pot with lid

- Wooden spooniv

- Fermentation vessel(s)v

- 1-Cup measuring cup

- 1-Tablespoon measuring spoon

 

Process!

 

1. Add 1 Gallon of water to a pot. Bring to a boil on Medium-High heat.

 

Buch 2.jpg

 

2. Once Boiling, stir in 1-Cup of sugar. Allow to boil for 10 minute

 

Buch 3.jpg

 

3. After 10 minutes, remove from burner. Add tea loose into your pot.vi

 

 

Buch 4.jpg

 

 

4. Steep tea for 15-45 minutes with the lid on. (I go for about 25 with a mix of green and black teas.)

 

 

Buch 5.jpg

 

5. After steeping tea for 15-45 minutes, sanitize your fermentation vessels (boiling water works just fine) and strain in the sugary tea liquid. Allow to cool to <100‬°

F. Approx. 3-4 hours at room temperature. (I do this with lids placed on, not tightened at all, just to avoid airborne contaminates from falling in)

 

Buch 6.jpg

Buch 7.jpg

Buch 9.jpg

 

 

6. After cooling to <100° F, measure 6 Ounces of SCOBY culture liquidvii and add it to the cooled sugary tea liquid along with your slimy disc of a SCOBY body!

 

 

Buch 10.jpg

Buch 11.jpg

 

 

7. Cover your fermentation vessel with a cut of paper towel, doubled-over cheesecloth, clean tea towel, clean t-shirt, or set it up with a fermentation airlock. If it doesn’t breathe, it won’t form well and fermentation will be fickle.

 

 

Buch 12.jpg

 

 

8. Now just store in a dark, 70-90° F area for 1-4 weeks.viii  (Mine found a nice home next to my incubating spawn jars, as the winter here has my house at a steady 68° F, so I have a nice, cozy corner of the house with extra heating)

 

Buch 13.jpg

 

 

9. When the 1-4 weeks are up, seal the fermentation vessels to allow them to carbonate for that desirable effervescence.

 

 

 

All done!

 

Some notes:

 

- I decided to do this today because my SCOBY hotel had not been fed since mid summer (about 7 months). I filled the two ½ Gallon Mason jars to the brim so that I had some extra sugary tea liquid to feed to the hotel. So...these are resilient cultures if started the right way.

- If you are quite a fan of kombucha and find this process easy enough to frequently replicate, I highly recommend designating a “SCOBY Hotel”, which is basically just a bunch of SCOBY bodies in a jar full of their own vinegary water culture. This does need to be maintained, but, as I stated just above, they are quite the resilient little buds.

- There is also the “continuous brew" method. This entails removing all but 1/10 of the kombucha liquid, leaving the SCOBY body and simply refilling the 9/10 with new sugary tea liquid. There are even ceramic/glass containers with a spigot for easy pouring. I’ve heard mixed opinions about whether this method is superior or inferior to “batch brewing”. What I can surmise is that, if there is a difference, it is negligible. Basically, do whichever method better suits you. They will both offer great rewards.

- It is said that if your SCOBY body sinks, it is no longer viable. I beg to differ. I’ve had them sink for days, only to revive and establish quite a strong top-layer.

 

That’s about all! Open to questions. Hope this helps someone. I decided to put it in All Edible, Medicinal, and Other Fungi, as...it is all of those things! (Just hangin’ with some bacteria). Mods, feel free to move it if you see it necessary.

 

 

 

i   As little as ½ Cup sugar can be used, depending on water quality, type of tea/phytochemicals present in base herb, temperature, etc. Also, other sugars can be used. The one finicky one is honey, as it has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. I have, however, successfully used honey as well

 

ii   Black teas tend to have the highest concentration of available phytochemicals used by the culture. However, many different teas and herbs can be adequately used as a replacement, though fermentation time will be altered.

 

iii   SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) can be easily obtained by simply leaving a store-bought kombucha out on a counter for a week or two (be sure to drink about 2/3 ot 3/4 of it, lest it get explosive!). In fact, my original culture was obtained from a bottle that I had lost in the back of my fridge

 

iv   It has been reported that contact with metal can slow, stall, or downright kill a kombucha culture. The only exception to this is Brewery-grade Stainless Steel. I have personally used metal strainers, knives for cutting SCOBY, and metal measuring cups with seemingly no trouble, but it is certainly advised to avoid them if you can.

 

v   ½ Gallon Mason jars are quite convenient for smaller batches like this. Getting the SCOBY out is something easily overlooked when starting a culture from liquid.

 

vi   Tea leaves like to open up and breathe! So let’s allow them to do that in the full volume of your pot. This also gives the most amount of surface area to allow maximum efficiency of extraction.

 

vii   If you do not have a SCOBY starter culture, you can use apple cider vinegar in it’s stead, coupled with the SCOBY you obtained via my 3rd footnote. You are mainly looking to assist the culture in it’s microbial warfare with a nice acidic environment to start with.

 

viii   Higher temperatures ferment kombucha faster. Lower, slower. For a more sugary beverage, ferment for a shorter duration. For a more vinegary beverage with more health benefits, ferment for a longer duration.


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#2 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

Well. The footnotes don't work, but they're at least aptly labeled.

Maybe someone can give me insight as to how to make them work in an online forum setting? I'm no HTML expert or anything of that nature, so descriptions in laity would be superb.



#3 Teonanacatl38

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:17 PM

Great stuff Mr. Biscuits...

 

Another wonderful medicine for the people.

 

I'v actually been working with Jun for a while now.   Jun is very similar to kombucha, but it's fed with Green Tea and Honey, instead of Black Tea and white sugar.

 

They are two different cultures as well.  I believe the Jun culture is primarily Lactobacillis, and the Kombucha is Acetobacter.

 

While Kombucha is primarily aerobic, Jun is both aerobic &  anaerobic....which has allowed for some  variation of flavors and properties, depending on how you layer fermentation methods/periods.   That's not even getting into the addition of fruits/herbs/medicines/etc to the second fermentation stage  :thumbs_up2:


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#4 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:55 PM

I've been meaning to get into Jun.

Kombucha tends to work quite well with black and/or green teas. Here, I used Assam and Gunpowder Green in equal portions. I have also done a successful run with green and honey, it took quite some time...probably closer to the 6-8 week mark to get the desired taste and effervescence.

 

If you haven't, and you're interested in various ferments, I cannot recommend highly enough The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Ellix Katz. It's not so much a cookbook as it is a philosophical study of just about every ferment you can think of. His genuine philosophies and concise elaborations on the different practices and their place in human tradition really teach you of the relationship aspects that are necessary when dealing in ferments.

 

I can't wait to try so many of those foods, drinks, what-have-yous....once I get off municipal water and have more space to dedicate to their proper storage. Running to a spring for each recipe and gathering, at most, 20 Gallons of water is quite tedious. Though, the reward is exceptional beyond even well water, in my experience.

 

Thanks for the extra encouragement! I'll be sure to share any of the processes that I get into.



#5 fungi2bwith

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 02:56 PM

I used to brew gallons of my own kombucha....I mostly just gave it away.....I prefer water kefir nowadays....



#6 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 03:17 PM

Yeah, I tend to go in and out of affinity. Hence why my hotel was in such dire need. I just didn't want to see it suffer any longer and some of the super thick SCOBY bodies I had in there were beckoning my attention. I'm glad I did it, my affinity for it is back.

 

Also, I got a nasty bout of salmonella and never really addressed my gut biome afterwards. Eventually it got to the point that I had Seborrhoeic dermatitis, absorption issues, frequent bouts of nausea, susceptibility to stomach pathogens. After about 2 months of daily consumption (roughly 8-16oz daily), all of those issues were just about entirely resolved. No supplemental probiotics, no pharmaceuticals. Just 'buch.

At that point, I was perpetually brewing ~6.5 gallon batches for almost a year. Then it just went by the wayside and I, sadly, let my 12" SCOBY go to waste (well, not quite, my garden was extremely happy to receive it.)

So..it has a special place in my heart. Not to say that kefir ferments wouldn't also adequately address the same issues, but I never got into the taste. Haven't tried in many years, I'll have to give that a go, as well.



#7 Arathu

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 03:35 PM

Cool....I might just have to try this......gonna brew some reishi tea soon anyway. I definitely could use some tweaking of the guts and help with my getting old and worn out joints..............Thanks Biscuit..........

 

 



#8 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 03:54 PM

Of course! Happy to spread some seeds of health.

 

It really is remarkably simple.

 

If you want to get into flavorings, fruits and herbs and such, it gets a little more specific as to how to not inhibit the culture.

But once you get one going, with minimal effort, you'll have it, and many more, forever. So, experiments are really approachable and non-terminal.

 

Some of my favorite flavorings are single varietals - Sage. Lemon Thyme. Lavender. Chamomile. I've gone away from the fruity ones a bit, but they are nice when I have a particularly sweet tooth. Blueberry Coconut is a favorite in that front.



#9 Arathu

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 04:27 PM

It does seem fairly simple...where does one get the SCOBY, a health food store? Surely online..........I'll have to go out and read a bit, and see what I can find.

 

EDIT: Answer 1 

 

SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) can be easily obtained by simply leaving a store-bought kombucha out on a counter for a week or two (be sure to drink about 2/3 ot 3/4 of it, lest it get explosive!). In fact, my original culture was obtained from a bottle that I had lost in the back of my fridge

 

 

A


Edited by Arathu, 08 February 2017 - 04:29 PM.


#10 Juthro

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 05:02 PM

Great stuff, Mr. B!

Very nice write up :)

Edited by Juthro, 08 February 2017 - 05:03 PM.


#11 wharfrat

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 05:58 PM

nice write up.. guess i dont have to finish my kombucha write up :biggrin: ... still working making my own scoby https://mycotopia.ne...w-log-kombucha/

 

anywhoo, moving thread to the cookbook in back to the land



#12 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 07:20 PM

It does seem fairly simple...where does one get the SCOBY, a health food store? Surely online..........I'll have to go out and read a bit, and see what I can find.

 

EDIT: Answer 1 

 

SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) can be easily obtained by simply leaving a store-bought kombucha out on a counter for a week or two (be sure to drink about 2/3 ot 3/4 of it, lest it get explosive!). In fact, my original culture was obtained from a bottle that I had lost in the back of my fridge

 

 

A

 

Indeed! GT's, will be the most available. I have heard (never confirmed) that their SCOBY had to be altered because of certain litigious repercussions involving Lindsay Lohan (I kid you not). But I've gotten numerous cultures from their jars and the end product seems to be genuine..

 

My culture right now is a combination of quite a few different brands' cultures.

If you're having trouble either finding it or growing it, let me know and I will try my hand at dehydrating and shipping some out  :smile:

 

GT's bottle: EK_Original.png

 

nice write up.. guess i dont have to finish my kombucha write up :biggrin: ... still working making my own scoby https://mycotopia.ne...w-log-kombucha/

 

anywhoo, moving thread to the cookbook in back to the land

Thanks wharfrat!

Sorry if I stole your thunder...had I known there was a work in progress, I would have refrained.


Edited by MrBiscuits, 08 February 2017 - 07:21 PM.


#13 wharfrat

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 08:04 PM

 

 

nice write up.. guess i dont have to finish my kombucha write up :biggrin: ... still working making my own scoby https://mycotopia.ne...w-log-kombucha/

 

anywhoo, moving thread to the cookbook in back to the land

Thanks wharfrat!

Sorry if I stole your thunder...had I known there was a work in progress, I would have refrained.

 

no worries brother.. just a grow log for me, no thunder :biggrin: .. i will update soon, my scoby is about an 1/8" thick so i think i'm bout ready to make some booch! besides two write ups are better then one, get more people interested in fermentation.


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#14 MrBiscuits

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 08:26 PM

Couldn't agree more.

1/8th of an inch should be great! I've had some that just had a film that ended up producing some excellent booch. I'd say get it going!


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#15 MrBiscuits

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Posted 11 February 2017 - 04:34 PM

1 Week Update!

 

20170211_145819.jpg

 

 

Here we are 7 days after I started this kombucha. The original SCOBY bodies have sunk, no big deal!

 

As you can see, there's already a 1/16" top culture making up it's own body

And the sugary tea liquid is becoming much brighter

 

This is also in an environment at about 75F, so, not the most optimal temperature, but clearly this culture does not mind.

 

 


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