Author Topic: Kombucha tea anyone?  (Read 10881 times)

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Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Kombucha tea anyone?
« on: April 29, 2011, 05:55:07 pm »
Hi all,
Was wondering if anyone has ever tried kombucha tea? It’s a fermented tea. Supposed to have a lot of health benefits. Some claim its liver detoxing due to the glucuronic acid present.

I have been getting into fermenting stuff lately starting with kefir last week (both water and milk) Feel great when drinking both! My digestion has definitely benefited from those probiotic beverages. Came across this kombucha tea and got very curious. The process is similar to that of water kefir (both are yeast bacteria symbioses) but water kefir has a much higher alcohol content (0,5-3%) -[ Wondered if kombucha would be a good non alcoholic substitute.

Also, does anyone has experience using waterkefir grains to ferment vegetables like carrot juice? The starch in the carrot should feed the kefir grains. Gonna try that this weekend. ;D

Have a good weekend!
“A man should be able to build a house, butcher a hog, tan the hide,
preserve the meat, deliver a baby, nurture the sick and reassure the dying, fight a war … specialization is for insects.”

Offline eveheart

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 11:17:42 am »
I ferment kombucha. My adult daughter drinks it every day. It's her favorite thing to be addicted to, and it's much better for her than diet cola. I don't drink it regularly, but I let part of the batches go for 30+ days and use the resulting kombucha-vinegar for cleansing my body.

I am familiar with milk and water kefir grains, and also with wild fermentation of vegetables. As far as fermenting carrot juice with water kefir grains, I've never heard of anybody doing it. My skeptical side says that carrot juice (1) oxidizes almost as fast you juice it, (2) separates when it is left to sit, and (3) the grains go dormant in the refrigerator and room temperature might not be good for the carrot juice... but go ahead and try it. Successful food fermentation has a delicious smell, so if it stinks, throw it out.

Have fun!
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 03:09:46 pm »
thanx for the reply. I've read a lot of scary things about people getting very sick from the tea. I guess you have no such experiences?

you can buy lacto fermented carrot juice in the nl which is delicious. wanted to try myself! I know the right smell. In the past I made a lot of sour dough bread. has a similar beery smell.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 04:41:52 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline eveheart

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 11:17:01 pm »
Homemade and store-bought kombucha is very popular here, and I've never known someone to suffer a bad effect.
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2011, 01:11:59 am »
all right good to hear!
Have you noticed an improvement in health? You're right about the quick oxidation of carrot. I blended some lemon juice with it to prevent oxidation and get the right ph for the kefir. added the grains to this mixture. I noticed oxidation mostly happens when straining a smoothy (don't have a juicer) so I left the fiber in. Will strain it when ready.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 02:10:01 am by TylerDurden »
“A man should be able to build a house, butcher a hog, tan the hide,
preserve the meat, deliver a baby, nurture the sick and reassure the dying, fight a war … specialization is for insects.”

Offline Fermenter Zym

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 09:23:37 am »
thanx for the reply. I've read a lot of scary things about people getting very sick from the tea. I guess you have no such experiences?

you can buy lacto fermented carrot juice in the nl which is delicious. wanted to try myself! I know the right smell. In the past I made a lot of sour dough bread. has a similar beery smell.

The most popular stories of the danger of kombucha are linked not to the kombucha, but to poor knowledge of fermentation. The first story is of a woman dying from kombucha, but really she died of lead poisoning from fermenting her tea in a lead crock.

The second common story is that a mushroom expert said that fermenting any mushroom would be deathly dangerous. Maybe yes, but the kombucha scoby (acronym for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) which is commonly called the "mushroom" is actually a cellulose structure that the bacteria and yeast create to procreate, much like kefir grains do, not a real fungus. It simply looks like a mushroom when it grows on the surface of the tea.

I doubt kombucha is dangerous, unless you believe that all sugar is dangerous. There's some research to say it contains chemicals that aid in detoxification and it obviously helps gut flora. I've often felt euphoric after drinking it and find it absolutely delicious in a way that only fermenting foods can.

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2011, 03:20:55 am »
I make kombucha. The difference between correctly home-made and store-bought is gigantic. Kombucha is made with sugar but should have no sugar left in it when you drink it. The sugar should be used by the scoby. Also, capping off the kombucha to make it bubbly makes alcohol and carbon-dioxide - neither of which is good for you. That's why traditionally you put a cloth over the kombucha so these things are released. Home-made kombucha is more like vinegar than the bubbly sugar drink that most people think of it as.

Once you know how to make it, it's almost impossible to get sick unless you are a complete do-do. It's quite clear if your scoby is healthy or not.

Offline Fermenter Zym

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 12:15:13 am »
I make kombucha. The difference between correctly home-made and store-bought is gigantic. Kombucha is made with sugar but should have no sugar left in it when you drink it. The sugar should be used by the scoby. Also, capping off the kombucha to make it bubbly makes alcohol and carbon-dioxide - neither of which is good for you. That's why traditionally you put a cloth over the kombucha so these things are released. Home-made kombucha is more like vinegar than the bubbly sugar drink that most people think of it as.

Once you know how to make it, it's almost impossible to get sick unless you are a complete do-do. It's quite clear if your scoby is healthy or not.

Great insight. Thank you, Dorothy. I enjoy fermenting ginger carrots and then making juice out of them mixed with some raw eggs.

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 11:44:21 am »
Great insight. Thank you, Dorothy. I enjoy fermenting ginger carrots and then making juice out of them mixed with some raw eggs.

Oh - please tell how you ferment ginger carrots! Do you mean you ferment ginger and carrots or is there something called a ginger carrot that I'm not familiar with?

A friend just brought me buy some of her home-made ginger beer. Yum. I'm going to have to learn how to make that. It's not really beer - more like fermented ginger, but I'm not complaining. ;)

Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 04:32:56 pm »
Oh - please tell how you ferment ginger carrots! Do you mean you ferment ginger and carrots or is there something called a ginger carrot that I'm not familiar with?

A friend just brought me buy some of her home-made ginger beer. Yum. I'm going to have to learn how to make that. It's not really beer - more like fermented ginger, but I'm not complaining. ;)
I make ginger "beer" using water kefir grains. Its very simple water, sugar (i use sundried raw cane juice powder), lots of ginger juice and kefir grains. I often add some dried fruits as well. Very tasty beverage.
“A man should be able to build a house, butcher a hog, tan the hide,
preserve the meat, deliver a baby, nurture the sick and reassure the dying, fight a war … specialization is for insects.”

Offline raw-al

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2012, 12:08:06 am »
Recipes please?

I had some while on the west coast recently and it was fantastic.
Cheers
Al

Offline Ioanna

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 12:29:05 am »
i haven't made this in such a long time. i liked it, but in one experiment i tried substituting raw honey for the sugar... this was not good at all  :o

raw-al, i think i got my recipe from the book 'wild fermentation', but i'm not sure.. maybe it was just word of mouth?  if you have a convenient source for a healthy scoby it will be easy :)


Offline raw-al

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 12:40:03 am »
OK thanks, I ordered it from the library.

There are youtubes but I would be interested in any favourite recipes from raw ingredients.
Cheers
Al

Offline raw-al

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 01:52:57 am »
Cheers
Al

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2012, 12:01:51 pm »
The sound on my computer isn't working so couldn't watch the video on how to make kombucha - but most of the instructions on the internet are way too complicated. You don't have to super sanitize anything. A scoby is really a very strong entity. Basically you make tea and let it cool down, put in the right amount of sugar (not too much!) and enough previous kombucha to make the mixture acidic enough - in non-leaded glass of course, covered with a cloth and that's it. You wait until there's no more sugar left in it and drink it. That takes different lengths of time at different temperatures (times of year). I make mine in a massive sun tea jar with a spigot at the bottom so I never have to touch the scoby - just keep on adding tea and sugar. It's really a no-brainer.

Hit - I thought ginger beer you had to have a starter - like making sourdough starter you can make one using commercial yeast or get a starter from someone called a ginger plant that is a lot like a scoby. I put ginger in my kombucha all the time - actually the best why I've found is to just put some ginger tincture into the kombucha. Putting ginger in kefir might perhaps even make me like kefir - ginger is that good.  ;)

Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2012, 03:33:28 pm »
Hit - I thought ginger beer you had to have a starter - like making sourdough starter you can make one using commercial yeast or get a starter from someone called a ginger plant that is a lot like a scoby. I put ginger in my kombucha all the time - actually the best why I've found is to just put some ginger tincture into the kombucha. Putting ginger in kefir might perhaps even make me like kefir - ginger is that good.  ;)
Hi Dorothy. I use the kefir grains intead of a starter. Commercial yeast starters are refined cultures with just one type of yeast. The same aplies to bakers yeast. Kefir grains are a natural symbiosis between some 50 different strains of lacto bateria and yeasts. A natural sourdough is also a symbiosis between lots of different yeast.

I here you on the ginger I love it too. very high energy stuff!
“A man should be able to build a house, butcher a hog, tan the hide,
preserve the meat, deliver a baby, nurture the sick and reassure the dying, fight a war … specialization is for insects.”

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2012, 01:23:32 am »
Really makes me wonder though about that "ginger plant" they talk about though and what it is. They say most of them died in WW2 - kinda brings up images of scobies or plants carrying guns and going off to war doesn't it? I guess keeping things like starters alive wasn't exactly a priority in Europe at the time. I'm wondering if real ginger beer isn't a whole different animal like the difference between kefir and plain old fermented milk would be. It probably had its very own distinct set of bacteria and yeast combo and hence it's very own flavor.

I might try to hunt one down --- as if I need any more "pets" in my kitchen.  ;)

Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2012, 05:24:02 am »
Really makes me wonder though about that "ginger plant" they talk about though and what it is. They say most of them died in WW2 - kinda brings up images of scobies or plants carrying guns and going off to war doesn't it? I guess keeping things like starters alive wasn't exactly a priority in Europe at the time. I'm wondering if real ginger beer isn't a whole different animal like the difference between kefir and plain old fermented milk would be. It probably had its very own distinct set of bacteria and yeast combo and hence it's very own flavor.

I might try to hunt one down --- as if I need any more "pets" in my kitchen.  ;)
I didn't knew about ginger "plants" now I got to have one :-) I had a few organic peers starting to rot so instead of throwing them on the compost pile I used them to make a kind of peer cider. cut them in small pieces added water kefir grains and a pinch of sugar. Fermented 48hrs then sieved and fermented another 48 hrs in a closed glass bottle. very nice sparkling cider. Felt like it had a high percentage of alcohol. Not my healthiest brew but certainly one of the most enjoyable.
“A man should be able to build a house, butcher a hog, tan the hide,
preserve the meat, deliver a baby, nurture the sick and reassure the dying, fight a war … specialization is for insects.”

Offline Dorothy

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2012, 01:09:14 pm »
I didn't knew about ginger "plants" now I got to have one :-) I had a few organic peers starting to rot so instead of throwing them on the compost pile I used them to make a kind of peer cider. cut them in small pieces added water kefir grains and a pinch of sugar. Fermented 48hrs then sieved and fermented another 48 hrs in a closed glass bottle. very nice sparkling cider. Felt like it had a high percentage of alcohol. Not my healthiest brew but certainly one of the most enjoyable.

Hmmmm - sounds yum!
I've also heard the starter for ginger beer called a "bug". I kinda like that one. I mean I already raise lots of "bugs" so having a ginger bug seems like it would fit right in.

Offline eveheart

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2012, 01:54:19 pm »
A reliable US source for water kefir grains, AKA ginger plant, is Marilyn Kefirlady: www.kefirlady.com
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Offline HIT_it_RAW

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2012, 03:20:30 pm »
A reliable US source for water kefir grains, AKA ginger plant, is Marilyn Kefirlady: www.kefirlady.com
so your saying water kefir is the same as this ginger plant Dorothy talked about? Bummer I would have liked another pet/bug
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Offline eveheart

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2012, 01:34:03 am »
so your saying water kefir is the same as this ginger plant Dorothy talked about? Bummer I would have liked another pet/bug

A ginger plant is the actual plant zingiber from which the ginger root is taken.

Dorothy might have meant ginger beer plant, which is a SCOBY used in two-stage (non-alcoholic) fermentation. Kombucha is made with a SCOBY, too.

In the US, It is common to find what are called "kefir grains" (AKA tibicos, sugar kefir grains or water kefir grains).  They are clump-like colonies of living organisms (bacteria and yeasts). They are used to ferment a probiotic ginger-flavored beverage. They do multiply like crazy. The recipe for this would include sugar, water, ginger root, and water kefir grains.
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Offline Dorothy

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 01:40:20 am »
A ginger plant is the actual plant zingiber from which the ginger root is taken.

Dorothy might have meant ginger beer plant, which is a SCOBY used in two-stage (non-alcoholic) fermentation. Kombucha is made with a SCOBY, too.

In the US, It is common to find what are called "kefir grains" (AKA tibicos, sugar kefir grains or water kefir grains).  They are clump-like colonies of living organisms (bacteria and yeasts). They are used to ferment a probiotic ginger-flavored beverage. They do multiply like crazy. The recipe for this would include sugar, water, ginger root, and water kefir grains.

Thank you Eve for the correction. I truly did mean to type ginger BEER plant. I did mean the scoby or "bug" used to make traditional ginger beer.

Offline eveheart

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Re: Kombucha tea anyone?
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 04:01:53 am »
Thank you Eve for the correction. I truly did mean to type ginger BEER plant. I did mean the scoby or "bug" used to make traditional ginger beer.

There are so many regional words for things like plants and foods. As long as we all know what we're talking about, anything goes!
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