I’ve been making kombucha for a couple of years now. I guess it was my first fermented food I had on our kitchen counter.
I’ve tried many combinations of tea, and have enjoyed some more than others. I drink decaf tea, and so I’ve tried black decaf tea, as well as brewing herbal teas. I like how it tastes. But reading Sandor Ellix Katz’s book, The Art of Fermentation, I learned that “heavily flavored or scented teas, as the added essential oils, may inhibit fermentation.”
So this week I’m going less fruity. Decaf Ceylon tea and another jar with a little lemon herbal tea, to see if does something different, now that I’m paying attention.
I’ve had some batches where the “mushroom” or SCOBY has stayed in the bottom of the jar, the whole time I’ve left it to ferment. Like in the picture above. Which I learned today too, means the “mushroom” is no longer able to work and ferment.
So now look at this jar here below… not good.
I had three jars brewing on top of the fridge, and one of them had mold. I had mold growing in a couple of batches in the winter, and threw those away. But luckily I’ve had an extra “mother” (or a friend with an extra mushroom!) to start anew.
So this one also, had to be thrown away. I know…. it looks like a science experiment, doesn’t it?
Now this week, I have two batches fermenting. Back to two jars, but I’m sure it will be enough to share with a friend of ours, who doesn’t like to make it or see it, just drink it when it’s strained and already brewed. And I love sharing it. It works out for everyone!
This SCOBY is now in a jar with its sugared tea, ready for its magic. Let’s see what happens.
After making the sauerkraut from Alex Lewin’s book, Real Food Fermentation, I was reading about kombucha there too. The pictures in his book are great again. And I’m thinking I’ll do a couple other fermentations… hard apple cider, ginger ale, mead, buttermilk, maybe? Oh… so many foods and recipes to try, so little time.