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Cold brewed tea for kombucha?  RSS feed

 
Hans Harker
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Location: Chcago IL
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My wife likes kombucha which i don't drink because of the alcohol content. But it seems that the task of making it is mine.. Anyways i just had a thought of dipping tea in unboiled (mineral) water in a glass container which i'd set out to stand in sunlight for a day. Would kombucha like the tea?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Voy,
Are you asking if you can use sun tea to make the kombucha? Anbd you want to use mineral water to make the sun tea?

I have some experience with Kombucha brewing, but I don't know a lot about the 30 days white sugar black tea scoby method.

I think the sun tea part would be fine if you did not overpower the Kombucha organisms with too many others which might have been on the plant leaves that went in to the sun tea.

I make all kinds of herbal teas to flavor my Kombucha, I don't use caffeine teas for personal preference reasons. I usually make a very concentrated flavoring tea, dilute the sweetener, I use honey, with enough boiling water to dissolve it. I keep a pint / half a liter of kombucha liquid from the last batch as starter. When the sweetener and the flavor solutions are the appropriate temperature, or at least cool enough they won't kill the starter, I add them to the starter.

I add enough water to come up to the right volume for the amount of honey I've used. I brew mine in a "growler" with the cap on because I like the carbonation. Kombucha likes a temperature of approximately 72 F. At that temperature, I usually find it is ready in 12 hours. If I hear the pssst when I open the cap, then it's ready and I put it in the frige.

So, depending on the mineral water and what's in it, you could substitute it every step of the way if you wanted, or you could just add it to bring it up to volume.

A final thought about making the tea: if you are paying a lot for the mineral water, you might not want to use it in making the tea, because you will lose some of it when you strain the leaves out.

I think you are going to have to do some experimenting, and them maybe teach the rest of us.

Thekla

 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Tea brewed as you describe should work just fine. Make sure you seal the lid tightly while you brew to discourage molds,wild yeast and bacteria from setting up shop and competing with your SCOBY. You may find it difficult to dissolve your sugar completely unless the tea is sufficiently warmed from being in the sun. Also make sure not to add the sugar until after the brewing process is completed, again just to hedge against any unwanted visitors to your brew. Here's a post we did about brewing kombucha: http://traditionalcatholichomestead.com/2015/08/18/brewing-kombucha/
As long as you're following the basics in the recipes, I don't think you'll have many problems.

BTW: I think the mineral content should help invigorate your SCOBY (similar to adding molasses or yeast nutrient to the brew every so often), and add to the benefits of kombucha!
 
John Master
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I have found the alcohol from some brews to be beneficial. Big difference between distilled alcohol you get from from jack daniels and jose cuervo, and the natural alcohol present in mead and kombucha. I used a lot of info from sandor katz, wapf, Harold Stephen buener to come up with an idea of good alcoholic beverages and otherwise. Not sure if tea brewed in the sun would work well, most teas have ideal steeping temps and times, for instance 5 mins at 200 degrees.
 
r ranson
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So, did you try it? How did it go?

Sounds like a great idea. In theory it 'should' work... however, with fermenting what works for one person may not for the next. Every ferment is unique, and every environment also so.

If it was me trying this, I would probably separate a Kombucha Mother into two parts (they don't mind being cut with scissors or just ripped apart if you are feeling strong) brew one part the normal way, and then experiment with the other half. That way if the new method gives horrid results then I would still have a back up.

Do let us know how it goes. It maybe that after a few tries with this new method, your SCOBY will have adapted and become even more awesome than a normal Kombucha brew.
 
Hans Harker
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R Ranson wrote:So, did you try it? How did it go?

Sounds like a great idea. In theory it 'should' work... however, with fermenting what works for one person may not for the next. Every ferment is unique, and every environment also so.

If it was me trying this, I would probably separate a Kombucha Mother into two parts (they don't mind being cut with scissors or just ripped apart if you are feeling strong) brew one part the normal way, and then experiment with the other half. That way if the new method gives horrid results then I would still have a back up.

Do let us know how it goes. It maybe that after a few tries with this new method, your SCOBY will have adapted and become even more awesome than a normal Kombucha brew.


Well i finally did it today. i put some green tee bags in a glass jar, added sugar, one bag of mint tea and poured in mineral, lightly carbonated water. I covered the jar with a glass lid and set it in full sun for half the day.

Later I fished out the bags, mixed the liquid a bit, added some Kombucha from the previous batch and put one of the Mothers from the previous as well - the one that had gone to the bottom.

The ingredients and sequence have got to do with the five elements of the Traditional Chinese Medicine. I did add sugar before i let it sit in the sun but my thoughts were that the sun rays would inhibit any unwanted microbe activity enough until Kombucha and the Mother take their part in it.

I'll report what it looks like in a few days.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Could you expand a little on the order according to TCM? Just curious. The only thing that would worry me is putting the sugar in when you did, but if there's a solid reason to, then you thinking on the solar exposure seems reasonable enough to risk it.
 
Hans Harker
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Dave Dahlsrud wrote:Could you expand a little on the order according to TCM? Just curious. The only thing that would worry me is putting the sugar in when you did, but if there's a solid reason to, then you thinking on the solar exposure seems reasonable enough to risk it.


The life circle can be described as a continuous (circular) flow of five elements (transitions): Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. They feed and stabilize each other in a particular way: Wood feeds Fire which feeds Earth which feeds Metal which feeds Water which feeds Wood and so on.

In preparing meals it is said to be beneficial to add ingredients in an order of which element they represent (nourish most).

Tea being bitter belongs to the transition of Fire, which is followed by sugar - sweet belongs to Earth, mint(spicy) belongs to Metal and (cold) water belongs to Water as on might guess. (hot water would belong in the order of Fire though). Kombucha being vinegary (sour) finds it's place in the element of Wood.

There's a whole lot more to it (a lot of which i don't know) but it works as basic patterns in preparing basic food.


BTW Five Elements is a spiritual concept and from what i gather it's not allowed to be tough in the Peoples Republic even though TCM has a prestigious place in todays China.
 
r ranson
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Thanks for the update. Very interesting about the TCM elements.

Looking forward to hearing how it turns out.
 
Hans Harker
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It's been looking fine. I didn't pay that close attention to the process when i brewed the tea with hot water so i can't tell if there's any difference, but the new Mother has formed nicely, the liquid smells nice and looks normal. Few more days and i'll report my wife's opinion regarding the taste.

BTW i used mint to close the circle this time to make it more refreshing in hot weather. I'll probably use ginger or cinnamon instead of mint when the weather gets cold. Those two belong to the element of Metal as well but, instead of mint's cooling abilities, have warming properties.
 
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