When starting out brewing Kombucha there’s a lot to get your head around such as how to brew, when to brew it, where to brew it and when to bottle it. As to the why to brew it, I don’t go in to any detail on this blog about the health benefits. There’s a million blogs and now stacks of researched articles on pubmed outlining all of that. I brew it for lots of reasons, but mainly for the
probiotic goodness and the pure joy of creating something out of almost nothing.
So, some of the terminology you’re bound to come across includes:
SCOBY = symbotic culture of bacteria and yeast. This is a good thing as it equates to a natural blanket over the liquid brew, capturing and filtering wild yeast and bacteria to feed the sugary tea.
SCOBY HOTEL = holding tank for spares, and trust me, once you get going you’ll accumulate some. The idea of the Hotel is park up the spare SCOBYs in enough brewed kombucha (which will evidently become quite vinegary which is perfectly natural) until you decide what to do with them. Most KT addicts want to share and/or get creative re what else can a SCOBY be used for. See here for my SCOBY jerky recipe.
OOGLIES = strands of active yeast dancing around in your brew. They look weird but are perfectly normal and are working in conjunction with all other active ingredients to provide a banging brew.
MOULD = a brewers enemy! There is no getting around this, if you have mould on your brew you must ditch the bitch and start all over again. Sanitise your tank and all utensils and do not even think about washing the mould off. Just accept that it’s a learning curve and start again.
FIRST FERMENT = this is the initial 6 – 14 days of creating your brew. Kombucha can be drunk straight at this stage.
SECOND FERMENT = this is the second optional phase after the initial brew has reached a level of satisfying your palate. It’s at this stage you can get very creative with flavouring your brew. Best to experiment with your favourite flavours at this stage. And my rule of thumb in the tropics is to leave the second frement for 3 – 6 days depending on what you’ve added, how hot and humid it is and what’s happening in your environment.
CONTINUOUS BREW = this is when you brew in a tank with a tap and basically pour off what you want daily and replace with the same amount daily or thereabouts. You only need to clean your tank every 8 – 12 weeks depending on weather, taste of the last brew and thickness of the SCOBY build up. I’ve had 6inches of SCOBY build up which while it fermented quickly it became tart and dense quicker as well.
BURPING = COMPULSORY if doing a second ferment, particularly in glass bottles as explosions can easily happen. See my post here about how to burp the buch.