Goldfinch Kombucha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottling & Recipes

Q: How long before I can bottle and drink my first batch?
A: Usually 14-21 days to bottle and another 5 days to drink. Your scoby is dramatically affected by temperature. The cooler the space, the slower the conversion from tea to kombucha and vice versa.

Q: If you add flavors, does it affect the potency of the drink?
A: Not unless you significantly dilute the kombucha. Don't be afraid to experiment with flavors while bottling, however, avoid adding solids to your bottled beverage. Strain out any pulp from juices before adding. Do not try to flavor your kombucha while the SCOBY is still present. Until you're dealing with a finished beverage that is being bottled, stick with tea and only tea.

Q: There seems to be debris in my bottled kombucha. What is it?
A: If it's fuzzy, it's mold. If it's mold, throw it out. Otherwise, and much more likely, it's either yeast or strands of kombucha that have grown to a significant size from the find particles that made it through your kitchen strainer. Both are harmless, but can be annoying when they prevent you from enjoying the entire beverage. The presence of air triggers kombucha SCOBY growth, so make sure your bottling container is sealed tight. The yeast will likely precipitate to the bottom of the bottle and will be relatively easy to avoid if you don't like the texture. If the yeast is floating at the surface, it's likely that the cap is not sealed tightly and the escaping carbonation is pushing the yeast to the surface. In this case, tighten the cap.

Q: I bottled my kombucha and after a few days it developed a brown film along the surface area. What is it?
A: It's the yeast. And it's not harmful. Typically, the yeast will float to the top when the cap is not sealed tightly enough. If the natural carbonation developing within the kombucha is allowed release at the top of the bottle, it will push the yeast up with it. No problem, tighten the cap. The yeast should gradually precipitate to the bottom.

Q: It looks like a little SCOBY growing at the top of my bottled kombucha. What's going on?
A: Awww…there is a baby SCOBY in the jar. If the cap to the jar allows for any air transfer, the kombucha strands in the beverage will continue to grow. Other than continuing the natural metabolism that occurs when the SCOBY is present in the tea – i.e. everything that occurs in the fermentation jar before you bottle - the tea should be just fine. You can pitch the little thing and drink it.

Q: I want more carbonation in my bottled kombucha.  How do I get it?
A: Secondary fermentation must occur to produce carbonated kombucha.  Here is how you ensure it is occurring:

Sometimes, the yeast just punks out.  That doesn’t mean that your SCOBY is rotten, but you might have a batch that’s flat after doing all the right things.  It happens.  The next batch will be different. 
Here’s a bit of useless information - White Zinfandel, in fact, was the product of what was supposed to be a bone-dry, super-fresh rosé made from Zinfandel grapes.  The yeast punked out, didn’t ferment all the grape sugar and left a handful of confused winemakers scratching their collective heads staring at giant tanks of barely-fermented, tutti-fruity grape juice.  One brazen, young, millionaire-to-be said, “Screw it!  Let’s bottle it.” 

Here are some suggestions if you want to yield kombucha that is similar to the bottled product on grocery shelves:

Kombucha production has a bit to do with "touch," just like baking really good bread.  Also, kombucha drinkers each prefer wildly different styles.  There is a way to produce the style you like best, but it might take a few batches to get it right.

 

Suggestions on additional flavors/ingredients during bottling:

 

Remember to keep all of these flavors away from the SCOBY itself.  The kombucha will be great, but the SCOBY might get harmed by the oils.  Also, please remember that regarding additional flavors, this is strictly on a “season to taste” ratio.  Most measurements I would recommend will likely be too much or too little for many.  Keep that SCOBY alive and growing and you’ll have plenty of time to find the perfect recipe for you.