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bumblebeezgw

Anyone make Kombucha?

I love Synergy GT's strawberry, watermelon and guava kombucha and wonder how hard it would be to make my own that TASTES LIKE THEIRS.

I've looked at bottles for kombucha on Amazon and would buy a ph meter but I hate the idea of spending a lot money then having yucky kombucha.

Any thoughts, tips, instructions?


Comments (12)

  • plllog
    last month

    I have a friend who does it right--and I have known a lot of people who didn't and brewed up horrible filth that leads to distressing and debilitating illness.

    My advice is to learn how to make it safely first. Get the techniques down, always with a thought to controlling the quality and safety of the product. Once you really know how to make the kombucha is soon enough to start worrying about copycat flavor recipes.

    If you want something that "TASTES LIKE THEIRS", the easiest and least costly way is to just buy the kind you like.

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you pllog! I may experiment with this, I know a lot of people who have been very successful and I have two engineers who can help me out who have done it well and will provide the scoby.

    I thought I would see if I could get any additional flavor tips here though.

    I don't see it as any scarier than canning.

  • nandina
    last month

    I made Kombucha for about 20 years, not for myself but for a friend with an autoimmune

    problem. It did extend his life span beyond the Doctor's expectations.


    I am glad that you are working with successful experts. It is a fairly easy project with rules.

    Above all, sanitation is very important. Everything must be sterile. Do not use herb teas with high volatile oil content. Black or green tea is best. And, at no time allow the making process to come in contact with metal. Do not brew near plants or other sources of mold and mildew.


    Frankly, I would not try to add additional flavors. Play carefully and with persons of knowledge.

    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked nandina
  • plllog
    last month

    LOL! Not scarier than canning—less actually. Just that you have to take safety as seriously as for canning, and a great many people don't—and brag about their fithy methods and dangerous results. I think maybe harder to tell if it's contaminated, and too many people think that they can just wing it, either canning or fermenting, and end up just plain lucky to be alive. I always say, ”Wild hemlock is natural and organic. Shall I brew you some?” I have no doubt at all that you can do it right. Just beware of bad advice.


    My point was to thoroughly learn the safe way to do it first, that's all. The flavors come at the end and require refrigeration, as I understand it, and as Nandina seems to imply. The brand you like probably starts their flavor process with the tea, and figuring that out, and sourcing it, could be a big hunt. Or it could be ordinary black China tea of middling characteristics and easy to duplicate. Does the ingredients label hint whether they use concentrates for the flavoring? Those should be easy to make. Perhaps tedious and expensive, but not hard. If they're using some king of industrialized natural flavoring syrups, that could be a lot harder to duplicate, and may take a lot of trial and error, depending on how exact you want it.


    I thought your point was to duplicate the one you like at home so you wouldn't have to buy it. If it's about learning a new, fun project, by all means, go for it!

    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked plllog
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    Lets take a pause. Those that have never fermented anything are making off topic guesses and projecting bizarre cautionary tales un-founded. One case in one hundred years was related to fermintation but no details provided.

    50 re-calls this month FDA alone due to mishandled produce, and many salad greens/sprouts the past few years.

    Stay on a basic script like canning and it is so simple.


    I boil a full pot of water in my stainess steel stock pot. 5-10 minutes. Dip and sterilize my cotton cover for the eventual rubber band cover...Empty that into my clean gallon kobucha jug afor extra sterilizing. Piggy-back and pour it in my sink for an extra cleaning. (bonus).

    Re-fill my stainless pot with filtered clean water....boil, then rest a few minutes....add 5 black tea bags and three green tea bags...organic. Rest twenty minutes. Pour into my gallon glass jug over one cup organic sugar, stir, then and add cold filtered water and rest until 70-75º. (room temp).

    Then add my scoby/mother, cover and place in a dark spot in my pantry.

    Stay on a basic script and nothing should go wrong.

    Do not use paper towlels or nasty sponges like i X'd. Those came from an amazon order and are a nasty breeding ground for bacteria...(they will go into my car washing bucket)

    Just stay on scrpt.

    No idea why anyone would not recommend a second fermintation. Bad advice. That is the best part of fermintation/kombucha.

    Clueless what ilness plllog mentions. Don't eat a piece of bread with mold, or cheese with red/green mold...any jarred things in the fridge moldy...toss it. Sloppy fermintation using nasty sponges and 'off script' basics can be moldy. Like anny foods. Best to not consume a canning product that has the lid not secure...



    My last batch



    Baffled by the odd ones that find this so odd being a fermintation not different that what has been done for decades....

    The second fermentation with fruit is no different.

    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you all. I will have a ph meter and stay on script, use bottles from the sterilized bosch dishwasher, use black tea and add 7% kiwi and strawberry juice at the end. Although just reading all this makes want to garden some more! Easier, and I'm clearing undeveloped land....

  • plllog
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Sleevendog, your yesterday's post just appeared. I don't know the specific illnesses--vile, hard to kill bacterial food poisoning. I'm talking about homemade, badly. Your process sounds clean and well described. A lot of people don't follow best practices and brew up filth. That's the best word for it. No doubts at all of Bumblebeez ability to do it right, and avoid the bad instructions and advice.


    Bumblebeez--enjoy your garden! Beware of the weeds while you're clearing (here, there's always lots of lovely poison sumac :) ).

    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked plllog
  • KatieC
    last month

    We do a second ferment with our kombucha to get flavors. It's pretty simple, but be careful....I have a picture somewhere of a raspberry second ferment that I put in a bottle with a ceramic bail-type stopper. When I burped that thing, it exploded like champagne all over my kitchen, lol. But mostly, it's better than anything you can buy.


    Basically, we take done kombucha, put it in a bottle with fruit of choice (sliced ginger is also good), let it go another few days, burping it after the first couple of days. Then strain and bottle.


    I've been fermenting kombucha for many years and it is pretty simple if you have good fermentation practices (=clean!). I've never pH'ed it, or really measured anything, but I have ruined batches...it's easy to tell if it's not good, just like anything fermented.

    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked KatieC
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    My first bottle choices were a bit nail biting. Many choices and recommendations. I first used the ceramic wire spring-loaded. Then came across a way to lessen the wires so they self burp. But the height was an issue in my fridge. Then read the smaller dark glass with the plastic caps are a bit safer as the plastic will 'go first' if pressure builds up. Different fruits also react differently if experimenting.

    The first scoby/mother i gave to a co-worker...he went mad scientist trying many different fruit combinations and had an eplosion in his mother's kitchen. All over the ceiling. Spooked me. So i use the glass milk jugs with the pressure caps. They will pop and fly off randomly so i keep them covered with a damp towel. In a sense, self-burping. 2-3 days, then strained into the plastic capped dark glass bottles. 24 hours counter, covered with a damp cloth, then into the fridge. Lightly effervescent and always ginger, +asian pear in the Fall, rhubarb in the Spring....we keep it basic, not to fruity.

    All my containers are rescued from work = free. The same co-worker started saving the small milk jugs for trying different fruits. After re-painting his mother's ceiling.

    Even though i've been fermenting for years including AC vinegar every Fall...that first batch made me nervous even having an excellent teacher. By the 3rd batch or so, the scoby was well in harmony with my kitchen/pantry environment.



    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • wednesday morning
    last month

    Hubs has been making it for almost two years but his has devolved into a nasty mess and the latest batch got poured down the drain. He did not take the care that he needed to take and it all turned cloudy and nasty. No telling what he was growing in there!

    Bumblebeez SC Zone 7 thanked wednesday morning
  • Jasdip
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I just saw this post. I've never made kombucha, and there's a local Freecycle member who regularly gives away a scoby. Apparently it breeds/multiplies

    I do make water kefir regularly, I have 1/2 dozen bottles in my frig at all times, with different flavours. I'm currently on a flavoured tea craze. Lime juice with ginger and fresh basil is wonderful summery drink.

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