Kombucha Update

Big news this week:  I drew some kombucha off of my continuous brewer on Sunday. I had started that brew on 3/27, and Sunday (4/7) marked day 11. The pH checked out at around 4, but Lauren thought it was still too sweet. I pulled about 2-3 quarts over the course of the day, and checked it again the next morning, before feeding a gallon of new sweet tea to the crock. It was noticeably less sweet on Monday morning, with less volume in the container. It’s only been 24 hours since adding the new tea, and it still tastes pretty sweet. I’ll be checking it every day or two. I’m sure that as the SCOBY gets bigger, the brewing time will go down. (*fingers crossed*)

Somehow, my week got away from me, and I didn’t get around to harvesting my B2 batch on Friday. I bottled it and started a new (B3) batch on Saturday morning. The extra day didn’t adversely affect my B2 batch, but now my schedule is slightly skewed. Meh.

C1 and A4 were both harvested on schedule (4/1 and 4/3, respectively–7 days each), but then, I discovered a new problem. When I needed to brew more tea for my continuous brewer, I discovered I was on my last Kombucha Brooklyn tea bag. So, C2, which was scheduled to be bottled on 4/8, will now be bottled today 4/9, now that I have more tea bags (but not from Kombucha Brooklyn).

I had previously decided that I would try using regular old black tea bags once the KB tea was all gone. I just figured I’d get some Lipton individual serving bags and experiment with the number I’d use in each batch (5 or 6). Today, I was at a local health food store and had trouble finding just plain ol’ black tea. The store has one of the largest tea sections I’ve ever seen, but the tea was all herbal spices and flavorings, or about 9 different green teas, some white teas, etc. I know I could use green or white tea, but I just wanted to continue using black tea. I don’t want to experiment THAT much. Yet.

I was just getting ready to leave the aisle, in disgust, when I saw on the endcap that they carry Newman’s Own Royal Tea. “Ingredients:  Organic Black Tea.” Perfect. Also, the box has 22 “Family Sized Tea Bags.” Each bag makes 1 quart of tea, so technically, I would need to use 1.5 of the Newman’s Own tea bags to equal 6 Lipton single serving tea bags. Since the Newman’s Own calls for a steeping time of 3-5 minutes, I think I’ll be OK to use 1 bag, and steep it for 10-15 minutes.

We’ll see. C3 is coming up today, and I’ll be using the Newman’s Own Royal Tea.

Note to self for a future experiment:  Oolong tea.

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UPDATE:  I just checked Kombucha Brooklyn’s website and it looks like their teabags are actually a blend of black, white and green teas. So, it looks like C3 will be an experiment, with just the black tea. Since I have really enjoyed the flavor of the KB tea, I’m going to be getting some white and green tea bags, so I can figure out a blend that works for me.

BATCH C2 UPDATE:  This was the batch in which I had used 1 1/2 cups of sugar, instead of just one. I just bottled it. When I tasted it, it was more sweet than any batch I’ve made, so far. I’m hoping that the sweetness continues to break down while it sits in the bottles.

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