Goldfinch Kombucha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Q & A

Q: Is kombucha good for me?
A: As with any tonic, it is up to the consumer to decide its benefits. We cannot make any specific claims because people metabolize differently. We can say that if you have a hard time metabolizing alcohol, kombucha probably is not for you.

Q: Can I get drunk from drinking kombucha?
A: I can't get drunk from drinking kombucha. I've tried. Typically, the ABV of kombucha at the time of bottling is around .5%. However, there is some alcohol in kombucha so people who are extremely sensitive to alcohol can be affected by drinking it. If kombucha is kept refrigerated from bottling until consumption, the yeast will likely remain dormant which should prevent further fermentation.

Q: Is my Goldfinch Kombucha SCOBY organic?
A: The Goldfinch Kombucha facilities are not certified organic. However, every SCOBY can trace its origin to one, certified organic mother. The tea we use is certified organic green tea. The sugar we use is fair-trade, certified organic cane sugar. The cloth we use is certified organic cotton.

Q: How much space will I need?
A: It depends on how many jars you'd like to have around. You'll need a warm, dark area to keep your jar(s). Store your kombucha away from areas of food preparation to avoid contamination.

Q: Is there a weird smell?
A: Well, it depends on what you consider weird. Right now, we have a 100 jar SCOBY farm and our space smells a little like fresh peaches. The closer your kombucha is to its bottling time, the more potent the vinegar aroma. Keep your kombucha production clean and the aroma shouldn't be a problem.

Q: Can mold grow on the kombucha?
A: Yes, it can. Although, I don’t think it’s that common.  I’ve yet to see any mold anywhere in our SCOBY farm.  If it does occur, it will resemble the fuzzy mold that grows on any old food. You can avoid mold by keeping everything clean while producing kombucha. If mold occurs, discard the liquid and the kombucha SCOBY.

Q: I don't have enough mother or starter liquid.
A: Non-fermented vinegar will work in a pinch such as white distilled. For your one gallon glass jar, use 3 tbsp of vinegar.

Q: What is up with the fruit flies?
A: Tell me about it. I found two solutions that work and I recommend you do both. 1. Pour boiling water down your sink drain once a day. They lay their eggs and do their general socializing down there. Make it uninhabitable for them. 2. Build a trap: Place a cup of strained kombucha (to remove all the little scoby particles) in a shallow bowl or container and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Secure with a rubber band and, using a toothpick, poke 10-20 holes in the plastic. Store the trap near your kombucha jars.

Q: When is it time to split my kombucha into another jar?
A: The mother scoby you started with was just large enough to support kombucha production in a 1 gallon jar - about 1 inch thick. When your SCOBY has doubled in size, it's ready to split. Gently pull them apart. They should split easily. If you're not ready or interested in producing multiple jars, you can leave it alone and the scoby will grow quite large. The larger the scoby, the faster it will produce finished kombucha.

Q: Where can I get more 1-gallon jars?
A: If you’ve got a friend in the service industry, some foods come in 1-gallon glass jars.  If not, contact, www.specialtybottle.com. It’s item # GAL1F.

Q: How important is cleanliness during kombucha preparation?
A: Cleanliness is vital. During kombucha production, you're dealing with micro-organisms. The highest standards of hygiene must apply at all times. If you think it might need to be cleaned, or cleaned again, do it.

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: There is a film growing on the surface of my kombucha. It kind of looks like mold. What is it?
A: If it's fuzzy – really fuzzy - it's mold. Discard the whole thing, SCOBY and all. If it starts as a clear film and grows larger and milky in color, you're growing a healthy daughter SCOBY. Leave it alone and let it develop in peace while you're waiting for the kombucha solution to ferment. Since the SCOBY needs air to grow, all new growth will occur on the surface area of the liquid. When pulling this new SCOBY and your previous SCOBY out of the solution during bottling, cover both with enough prepared kombucha to service your next batch(es) as starter. When placing the SCOBYs into the next batch, always place the developing SCOBY at the top of the nutrient solution to promote its growth. When the daughter SCOBY is large enough to support its own batch, you can separate it from its mother and allow it to ferment on its own.

Q: Where can I learn more about kombucha without having to rely on myriad contradictions on the internet?
The authority on kombucha (most kombucha producers agree on this, at least) is Gunther W. Frank.  His book, cleverly named Kombucha, is well-researched and incredibly detailed.