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Thread: OT: Kombucha

  1. #1
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    OT: Kombucha

    Well I started this as a joke in another thread, but seems like a good topic, though not completely beer related.

    So, who drinks it? brews it? loves it? hates it?

    For those who don't know what it is, or have not tried it: Kombucha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Fermented tea, using a "Mother" or bacteria culture that forms at the top of the fermenting tea. Looks like a gnarly flat jellyfish, and is super tough (sometimes used to make artificial leather). Alcohol % is kept very small, and many claim lots of health benefits.




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    I drink it, I love it, and I have a friend who brews it.
    I've been offered a "mother" before, in order to brew my own, but haven't taken up the task yet.
    My favorite...and most readily available (in my area) commercial offering is Synergy's Multi-Green. Earth Bread + Brewery in Philly makes a house tea that is great as well.
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    ^^ I figured, seems like a lot of beer drinkers love the stuff.

    Personally it bores a hole through my gut. My wife is obsessed with the stuff and usually has a batch or two going. She also has given away several "children". Unfortunately she tends to make what i call "weapons grade" kombucha, mostly due to neglect and forgetting when to pull the mother. When opening the "fermentation cabinet" you are hit with a wall of vinegary fumes, and the mother is thicker than your thumb. I will still try her "sissy" brews, but for the most part it does not settle well with me. Maybe one to many belly nukes with the strong stuff.
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    I like it, but note that it wasn't ever intended to be consumed in 20oz servings (as is the 'merkan way). It was meant to be consumed in smaller quantities only occasionally, as in ceremonial settings.

    As much as I like it, I really limit any consumption of it to the occasional 6oz serving.

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    It's hugely popular where I live (Santa Cruz, CA) but I'm not a huge fan. I gave it a shot a while back and while it definitely has that funky bacteria thing going on, which I typically like in beers, it's just not something I would typically reach for as a casual afternoon drink. I'm sure it's an acquired taste like everything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CharacterZero View Post
    I like it, but note that it wasn't ever intended to be consumed in 20oz servings (as is the 'merkan way). It was meant to be consumed in smaller quantities only occasionally, as in ceremonial settings.

    As much as I like it, I really limit any consumption of it to the occasional 6oz serving.
    Explain.

    I have never heard of or read anything related to a Kombucha tea ceremony, nor any dangers, or misconceptions about daily intake quantities.
    Different tea varieties have different ceremonial practices, sure...but Kombucha?

    Not saying you're wrong, I would just honestly like to know a bit more of the history.

    As for serving sizes, it's all relative I guess. I highly doubt they intended a 20oz bottle to be consumed in one serving, heck the serving size of a bottle of Synergy is 2.
    It's like being expected to sit down to a 750ml of Black Tuesday by yourself...just because it's all contained within one vessel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFryauff View Post
    It's like being expected to sit down to a 750ml of Black Tuesday by yourself...
    Ummm...where do I sign up for that?

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    when i worked at an all natural grocery store we use to call it hippie kool aid, I know you are suppose to only drink maybe half a bottle.



    they also got pulled from the shelf, mostly becuase they said they had low percentage of alcohol in them. We were having teenagers come in to the store and buying 10-20 bottles a time, they were drinking them all at one point. Which caused them to become a little intoxicated. Well the they pulled them from the shelf and tested them to see if the alcohol percentage was high enough. It took them maybe 6 months to test and they forced companies to change the process of making them some how.

    Now i don't know if this acutally happened, this was just told to me by a rep of a company.So take it with a grain a salt...
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    Quote Originally Posted by blumena84 View Post
    We were having teenagers come in to the store and buying 10-20 bottles a time, they were drinking them all at one point. Which caused them to become a little intoxicated.
    Oh man, i don't want to think what that would do to my stomach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blumena84 View Post
    when i worked at an all natural grocery store we use to call it hippie kool aid, I know you are suppose to only drink maybe half a bottle.



    they also got pulled from the shelf, mostly becuase they said they had low percentage of alcohol in them. We were having teenagers come in to the store and buying 10-20 bottles a time, they were drinking them all at one point. Which caused them to become a little intoxicated. Well the they pulled them from the shelf and tested them to see if the alcohol percentage was high enough. It took them maybe 6 months to test and they forced companies to change the process of making them some how.

    Now i don't know if this acutally happened, this was just told to me by a rep of a company.So take it with a grain a salt...
    you'd think that teenagers would have easier access to beer and mary jane than the effort required to consume 10 bottles of kombucha.

  11. #11
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    I think it's decent - I haven't had homemade versions of the stuff, but my girl likes to pick it up at the store from time to time. Lately we've switched to making fruit smoothies and adding this stuff:


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    I like it a good deal.

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    I've been brewing it for over a year now. I do a straight black tea version and then a hibiscus/green tea/ mate'/ etc... kitchen sink blend with whatever tea I have available.

    Its great, I usually cut mine with some kind of juice when I drink it. If I stay up on the harvest/batching schedule it can taste very good straight though. The longer it conditions in the bottle the better it tastes also.

    The store bought stuff has really taken a dive in the last two years. Sometimes when traveling I will see if there are any local brands available. In CO, a guy has a brand he calls CliffHouse Kombucha, and it tastes very agreeable if he is still doing the same thing he was when I tried it.

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    kombucha starters

    It's been years since I've grown kombucha tea, and am ready to start again. Can anyone let me know where I can get starters?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vivian View Post
    It's been years since I've grown kombucha tea, and am ready to start again. Can anyone let me know where I can get starters?
    You can use a store bought kombucha and grow a starter from that, or ask around locally to find someone with a culture. My first culture came from The Happy Herbalist.

    At the height of my kombucha making I would give away a dozen or so cultures a month. Every once in a while I get to try a drink from a culture I gave away many years ago.

    To the OP, I think this thread fits in the beer forum perfectly and is in no way OT. Kombucha and wild fermented beers are very closely related. Many of the same yeasts and bacteria are present in both.

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    My gf loves it and I think it tastes like stale day-old beer.

    Couple of the organic food marts around here fill growlers of kombucha so we've got one in the fridge most of the time.

  17. #17
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    Someone mentioned a small glass of this, served ice cold, is the bomb for curing hangovers, and it takes effect almost immediately.

    Can someone here verify this?

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