My First Batch (A1) of Kombucha

First batch

Kombucha Brooklyn Starter Kit

Yesterday, I started my first batch of Kombucha, using Kombucha Brooklyn’s starter kit.

I used Arrowhead Spring Water, boiling 1 quart of it in my electric tea kettle and using it to brew the tea directly in the 1 gallon brew jar, for the full 20 minutes.

As soon as the 20 minutes were up, I removed the tea bag and added the sugar, stirring until it was dissolved completely. I then added more spring water until the tea reached the “fill level.”

Once the temperature had fallen to 84 degrees, I added the SCOBY and kombucha starter, then covered it all with the provided cloth and sealed it with the rubber band. (I had previously removed the SCOBY from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter while I prepared the sweet tea.)

The high temperature yesterday was about 72.5. Today’s high temperature is forecast to be 74.

The temperature on the brewer currently reads:  68-70.

I’m concerned that the temperature is too cold, and that the environment is too bright, so today I wrapped a towel around the jar and will now check it every day or so.

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My First Batch of Sauerkraut

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I started my first batch of sauerkraut on Saturday afternoon, anxious to start using the fermentation crock that I had ordered for Lauren for Valentine’s Day.

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I cut up 3 heads of cabbage, but now I’m wishing I had cut up 4 or maybe even 5. I just wasn’t sure it was all going to fit, but now (just 5 days later), the crock is only about 1/2 full.

I used about 3 tablespoons of sea salt and sprinkled it over about every 1/2 head of cabbage just as I was adding it to the crock. I lightly pressed the cabbage down, as I filled the crock, and only pressed more firmly once the crock was full.

Then, I re-read the recipe, which indicated I should probably have been pressing more firmly, as I went along, to start releasing the moisture from the cabbage. I then placed the fermentation weight stone over the cabbage.

I checked it a few times over the first 24 hours, waiting to see if the moisture (brine) would cover the cabbage. It did not, either because I didn’t compress the cabbage enough, or the cabbage was dry or old. So, following the recipe, I added more salt and water; this took about 1 tsp salt in 1 cup of water to bring the level to the top.

I’ve been peeking at the mixture every day and taking a whiff to try and gauge its progress. Not really sure what to expect, so I’ll be pulling some out on Saturday (one full week) to try it.

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