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Kombucha starter wanted!

subinai Feb 12, 2007 09:54 AM

Hello! I'm interested in starting my own kombucha fermentation at home. Would anybody like to donate a culture to a good home, please?!

Thanks,
ian.

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  1. Nab RE: subinai Feb 13, 2007 08:10 AM

    You can order colonies from here:
    http://www.kombucha.org/

    I've got to start thinking about this myself, as the GTs Kombucha is really drilling a hole in my wallet.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Nab
      Pei RE: Nab Feb 13, 2007 08:28 AM

      What's a GT?

      If you're talking about commercially bottled kombucha, bear in mind that homemade versions are superior (in my opinion) because:

      -you make it as sour or mild as you want. I find commercial versions incredibly sour and hard to drink, almost like vinegar
      -if you do it right, you'll get fizz. My kombucha has always been incredibly fizzy, like a light beer.

      1. re: Pei
        Nab RE: Pei Feb 13, 2007 08:54 AM

        Pei,

        GT's Kombucha is a commerically bottled product and, yes, it is quite tart like vinegar, and is the very reason it probably appeals to me. It's also got a nice fizz to it.

        I hear ya loud and clear on the benefits of making it myself -- I just need to round up the inclination to do it.

        Subinai,
        I have not ordered from it before, however, I came across it on another food forum.

        1. re: Pei
          mr mouther RE: Pei May 1, 2007 03:32 PM

          I've been brewing my own kombucha for about 2 months now. love it. 2 gallons going constantly and one drinkable one in the fridge.
          can someone tell me what gives it more fizz? letting it ferment longer? i already let it rest for 14 days...and it's in a nice dark spot (though temp might not be quite warm enough)

          1. re: mr mouther
            Pei RE: mr mouther May 1, 2007 05:00 PM

            I've realized kombucha is fickle. Sometimes mine are flat, sometimes they are incredibly fizzy. I had one batch that fizzed more like champagne, one that frothed like beer. My friend who makes kombucha says mine are somehow always more fizzy and hoppy than hers.

            You can start with fermenting it longer, and also using more tea.

            You bottle it after it ferments, right? When you bottle it, make sure you fill it all the way to the brim before you screw on the cap. Basically, there should be no air between your kombucha and your cap.

            The jury is out on this step, but I let it sit in a dark cabinet for 4-6 days before putting it in the fridge.

            But uncontrollable factors like how warm it is, how old the particular kombucha you're using is, how thick it might happen to be...I suspect these all affect fizziness.

            1. re: Pei
              mr mouther RE: Pei May 2, 2007 02:31 PM

              I actually don't screw on any caps - i cover it with cheesecloth for fermentation, and then afterwards i pour it in my jug for the fridge.
              I never thought about bottling it afterwards...

        2. re: Nab
          subinai RE: Nab Feb 13, 2007 08:38 AM

          Have you ordered from this website before? Thoughts?

          I agree that GTs is really expensive hence why I want to make my own.

          Pei, your post about Kombucha on your blog is super informative!

          1. re: Nab
            s
            soupkitten RE: Nab Feb 13, 2007 09:47 AM

            thanks to ian for starting this thread & for the links for colonies. has anyone actually made kombucha at home, and can comment?

            1. re: soupkitten
              FoodFuser RE: soupkitten Feb 13, 2007 12:44 PM

              Haven't yet made it, but it's high on the list of getaroundtuits.

              This link to the guru of fermented foods should answer many questions. (His main site is worth checking, too). Scroll down to kombucha. Also has links to other sites:

              http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/komb...

          2. FoodFuser RE: subinai Feb 13, 2007 09:25 AM

            Here's an international network where folks offer starter, listed by state for the USA. Some are "local pickup".

            http://www.kombu.de/suche2.htm

            1 Reply
            1. re: FoodFuser
              subinai RE: FoodFuser Feb 13, 2007 10:10 AM

              wow thanks!

            2. s
              shesamazingnyc RE: subinai Feb 24, 2007 07:14 AM

              Hi there! I love GT's kombucha, too, but it's way too expensive. I started my own little experiment using the SCOBY from a bottle of GT's as a starter. It does seem to be growing in the two days it's been floating in my homemade brew... If you do a little googling, you can find directions for using a bottle of GT's as a starter. Good luck!

              1. b
                ben61820 RE: subinai Feb 25, 2007 08:21 AM

                yeah, find someone to give it to you for free. i found someone who gave me a bit of his kefir culture and so far i have had tremendous luck with that. but, yeah, i too would love to try the kombucha thing. one thing that i have to say always perplexes me tho is everyone's recommendations to use white, refined sugar to 'feed' the kombucha 'mushroom', or culture. i realize that the bacteria eats that white sugar and turns it into something else (not too sure on the science here but i believe it is somewhat similar that happens with kefir, bread, etc) but it just seems so counterintuitive to be using white, refined sugar when making something so...anti-that, yknow what i mean?

                1. k
                  kja1 RE: subinai May 2, 2007 09:00 AM

                  Has anyone actually noticed the health benefits of the Kombucha? I actually like the flavor but can't say I've noticed any differences in my health.

                  1. JK Grence the Cosmic Jester RE: subinai May 4, 2007 01:59 PM

                    A terrific resource for this will be your friendly local-owned health food store. Many of these have community bulletin boards where you might be able to post a request. It wouldn't surprise me if one (or several) of the employees might be able to provide one themselves. If you only have the national ones like Whole Paycheque around, try asking the employees anyway, you just might be pleasantly surprised and you'll get to know the people in the store better.

                    1. p
                      pwooding RE: subinai Jun 11, 2007 06:19 PM

                      I see you posted this in Feb. Did you have anyone donate you a culture. I too am looking for a donated culture

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: pwooding
                        subinai RE: pwooding Jun 12, 2007 08:41 AM

                        I bought one off of eBay.

                        1. re: subinai
                          mr mouther RE: subinai Jun 12, 2007 10:57 AM

                          i have a bag of several extra cultures in my fridge that i keep and try to push on my friends. Just aded another this morning in fact.
                          if you're in LA, i can help with starter culture

                      2. s
                        shesamazingnyc RE: subinai Jul 16, 2007 09:02 AM

                        Ian, I noticed you're in NYC. If you haven't gotten one by now, I'd be happy to donate one. (I'm on the Upper East Side, but hubby has an office in Union Square and you could pick it up there, if it's more convenient.) It'll only cost you subway fare!

                        I've got a nice strong culture now, which I have nursed along from a GT's bottle. It's been making lovely, hearty, fizzy brews. If you're still interested, e-mail me at: shesamazingnyc@yahoo.com

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: shesamazingnyc
                          oaklandfoodie RE: shesamazingnyc Jul 26, 2007 01:46 PM

                          Can you elaborate on how you got your own going from GT's? I'm wanting to try that!

                          1. re: oaklandfoodie
                            s
                            shesamazingnyc RE: oaklandfoodie Aug 5, 2007 03:21 PM

                            Here's a link to a good source of info. I used these directions and have been growing a terrific culture. It started out as a really feeble lumpy mass and in a few months, it became the thick, creamy, even mushroom you see in the photos people post. Good luck!

                            http://curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=4...

                        2. h
                          helhead RE: subinai Oct 4, 2007 12:13 AM

                          I'm in the Bay Area and also looking for a culture. Anyone around here have extras lying around? :)

                          1. sixelagogo RE: subinai Oct 4, 2007 03:48 AM

                            Can someone please tell me what kombucha is? I thought it was a japanese squash, (but not with fizz?)

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