Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Sign in to follow this  
JadeOrchidSong

Talk to me about kombucha

Recommended Posts

A friend gave me kombucha with SCOBY floating on the surface. I pour a pint to another container and added some fruit. A mini SCOBY has grown, which is very cool. The tea tastes like strong vinegar after a few days. Do you drink the very strong vinegary kombucha or do you add more sugary tea to the jar to make it continue the brew and make it less vinegary and more mild?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my experience it should not taste like strong vinegar. It's not terribly sweet but not vinegar. Are you doing a continuous brew? I'm unfamiliar with how that works.

 

We brew our tea and add sugar (1 cup per 3-4 quarts) 1 cup kombucha and the scoby. Let sit 7 days. Remove scoby, add fruit or fruit juice, bottle in flip top bottles and let sit another 3 or so days. You can taste it periodically to see if it's fizzy and to your taste.

 

Each bottle will grow its own little scoby that we just strain out before we drink it.

 

Each time we bottle the kombucha we start a new batch brewing with the scoby

 

I hope hat answers your question. I throw out vinegary kombucha - ain't nobody got time (or taste) for that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should not have added fruit to the brew until you are ready to do a second ferment.   Emcap has the right sequence of how it should be done.    I would not use the scoby you have to do a continuous brew because adding the fruit runs the risk of yeast overgrowth.   Google around how to  "do" kombucha.  There are tutorials all over youtube.

 

FTR, I prefer vinegary kombucha.   I add a swig of it to all my drinking water. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the tastes nasty opinion. We bought some at Whole Foods because several local folks raved about it. Even my dh who will consume pretty much anything spit it out. We all thought it was seriously one of the most nasty things we've ever tried. 

 

Must be an acquired taste.

 

But we do have a substantial number of local people who like to post pictures their brew systems on FB and talk about what they are making now.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off -topic - I *love* that rationalwiki site. I'm just wasting time now reading various articles about all the things people advocate for here!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eewww. That sounds disgusting. And they tout it is a cancer and AIDS cure?! Yep. Let's give some people with depressed immune systems a drink with a slew of uncontrolled bacteria and fungi in it. Sounds like a great plan. Sigh. I like they compare to drinking pond water in your link. That made me laugh.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love kombucha. I agree w/ the info above about the how-tos. I got a scoby in my frig now, I need to start brewing.

Edited by soror

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Off -topic - I *love* that rationalwiki site. I'm just wasting time now reading various articles about all the things people advocate for here!

I love that whole section on food woo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still a newbie on brewing Kombucha, but you should never store scoby or starter in the fridge as it will kill off the yeast and bacteria, making it susceptible to mold.

The Kombucha Nation FB group is a great source of reliable and knowledgable information on all things related to Kombucha making.

Edited by kandesmom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eewww. That sounds disgusting. And they tout it is a cancer and AIDS cure?! Yep. Let's give some people with depressed immune systems a drink with a slew of uncontrolled bacteria and fungi in it. Sounds like a great plan. Sigh. I like they compare to drinking pond water in your link. That made me laugh.

 

Gaining a balanced view is a tedious process; sites like rationalwiki are often in it for the rush of the debunk, and it can show in their tone. :)

 

HAtNvaK.jpg

(Gustav Lindau, the German mycologist who introduced kombucha to the West)

 

Kombucha is a folk beverage first discovered in the Courland region of Latvia about 100 years ago. Despite its name, it is not Japanese. Most likely it is Russian or Manchurian.

 

The organisms used are not a random mish-mash, but their precise makeup has not been studied much by the scientific community; most brewers rely on folk knowledge to produce it, much like beer brewing before Pasteur and the other brewer microbiologists. This has sometimes lead to high-profile accidents, as people try to make it without training or knowing what to look for.

 

The cancer cure part is related to the modern American revival -- GT Dave, the first commercial manufacturer of ready-to-drink kombucha, used that as part of the marketing for his brand before the FDA told him to knock it off. The origin of the AIDS claim is a little murkier -- ads for kombucha culture started quietly showing up in the classified section of The Advocate (a popular LGBT-interest magazine) in the mid-90s, but the roots of the idea are more obscure.

 

In 1994, the New York Times tried to get to the root of the revival. According to Molly O'Neill's December 28th article, "A Magic Mushroom or a Toxic Fad?", it arrived in America by way of Austria, and quickly became a "California thing". :)

 

The American Kombucha vogue began in 1992 when Tom Valente [sic Tom Valentine], the publisher of Search for Health, a bimonthly magazine in Naples, Fla., touted its virtue to the 5,000 readers of his magazine. Mr. Valente became the American distributor of one of the few books on the subject, "Kombucha: Healthy Beverage and Natural Remedy From the Far East," by Gunther W. Frank (Wilhelm Ennsthaller, Austria, 1991).

 

Laurel Farms, the most visible of the commercial Kombucha cultivators, began growing and shipping the fungi in Los Angeles in 1994. Healthy customers are charged $50, the chronically ill $15. Each of the 400 slippery disks shipped monthly from Laurel Farms bear a sticker that reads "Expect a Miracle."

 

Supposedly GT's kombucha mother was indirectly from Laurel Farms -- the founder, Betsy Prior, shared it with Beverley Hills juice shop owner David Otto (or perhaps more likely he purchased a starter), who in turn shared it with GT Dave's father. :)

 

The Independent in the UK also had an article on kombucha a few months after the New York Times, "Grow Your Own Miracle Cure" by Edward Hellmore, that goes into more info on the provenance of the LA kombucha mother:

 

Apparently the roots of this cult can be traced back to a "well-known Hollywood producer who got it from Manchuria". Afficionados like to say this was in fact Tyler Moore. He in turn gave a piece to Sister Denise of the Brahma Kumaris Meditation Centre in Hollywood, who gave some to Sister Joan, who then passed it on to Betsy Pryor, co-owner of Laurel Farms, a leading commercial grower.

The "got it from Manchuria" part seems a little far-fetched -- I'm not really sure how kombucha fared in the region after the Sino-Soviet split and the Soviet collapse. (Personally, I would guess that they got the mother from Germany.)

Edited by Anacharsis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Gaining a balanced view is a tedious process; sites like rationalwiki are often in it for the rush of the debunk, and it can show in their tone. :)

 

HAtNvaK.jpg

(Gustav Lindau, the German mycologist who introduced kombucha to the West)

 

Kombucha is a folk beverage first discovered in the Courland region of Latvia about 100 years ago. Despite its name, it is not Japanese. Most likely it is Russian or Manchurian.

 

The organisms used are not a random mish-mash, but their precise makeup has not been studied much by the scientific community; most brewers rely on folk knowledge to produce it, much like beer brewing before Pasteur and the other brewer microbiologists. This has sometimes lead to high-profile accidents, as people try to make it without training or knowing what to look for.

 

The cancer cure part is related to the modern American revival -- GT Dave, the first commercial manufacturer of ready-to-drink kombucha, used that as part of the marketing for his brand before the FDA told him to knock it off. The origin of the AIDS claim is a little murkier -- ads for kombucha culture started quietly showing up in the classified section of The Advocate (a popular LGBT-interest magazine) in the mid-90s, but the roots of the idea are more obscure.

 

In 1994, the New York Times tried to get to the root of the revival. According to Molly O'Neill's December 28th article, "A Magic Mushroom or a Toxic Fad?", it arrived in America by way of Austria, and quickly became a "California thing". :)

 

 

Supposedly GT's kombucha mother was indirectly from Laurel Farms -- the founder, Betsy Prior, shared it with Beverley Hills juice shop owner David Otto (or perhaps more likely he purchased a starter), who in turn shared it with GT Dave's father. :)

 

The Independent in the UK also had an article on kombucha a few months after the New York Times, "Grow Your Own Miracle Cure" by Edward Hellmore, that goes into more info on the provenance of the LA kombucha mother:

 

The "got it from Manchuria" part seems a little far-fetched -- I'm not really sure how kombucha fared in the region after the Sino-Soviet split and the Soviet collapse. (Personally, I would guess that they got the mother from Germany.)

I just get super skeptical of anything that is touted as an anti-viral or a cancer cure. It makes me angry because I feel like they are praying on vulnerable populations. If you're a healthy person who feels compelled to try it, I say go for it. I don't judge on that, but I do on the cure selling. I'm glad the FDA told them to knock it off, but once the myth is out there then you end up with the conspiracy theorists out there saying the FDA is trying to hide the real cure for cancer because then the pharmaceutical companies would all go out of business. People are still buying Dave's stuff for that reason I bet. Having worked in infectious disease and oncology trials, I cannot tell you how many people I have heard spout that line. These are the same type of people who paid this vulture in Houston $200 for five gallons of mystical water- desperate people. It's just sore spot from watching so many reject real treatments for ones sold by snake oil salesmen. I'm not taking anything away from a healthy person trying it. But I think there should be a special spot in hell for people who exploit the severely ill and dying.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The origin of the AIDS claim is a little murkier -- ads for kombucha culture started quietly showing up in the classified section of The Advocate (a popular LGBT-interest magazine) in the mid-90s, but the roots of the idea are more obscure.

 

A bit more digging leads to an update. :) The November 1994 issue of New Age Journal did a feature on kombucha that traced the connection back to an article in the August 1994 issue of Positive Living, the newsletter of the AIDS Project of Los Angeles, titled "Reborn on the 4th of July". The article was a profile of AIDS survivor Joe Lustig, a Long Island man who insisted that kombucha was the secret to his renewed lease on life. This created a local boom that helped fuel the growth of the early American kombucha groups.

Edited by Anacharsis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit more digging leads to an update. :) The November 1994 issue of New Age Journal did a feature on kombucha that traced the connection back to an article in the August 1994 issue of Positive Living, the newsletter of the AIDS Project of Los Angeles, titled "Reborn on the 4th of July". The article was a profile of AIDS survivor Joe Lustig, a Long Island man who insisted that kombucha was the secret to his renewed lease on life. This created a local boom that helped fuel the growth of the early American kombucha groups.

That makes more sense on the timing. The few drugs we had back then were not kind to the patients. I think everyone was praying for an alternative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rather like the taste of kombucha. I even like the very vinegary version I am brewing in the smaller jar. I surely do not like to picture kombucha as "pond water".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like there was also a Northwest group that predated the Californians; mycologist Paul Stamets writes about being baffled by a hippie friend who in 1980 gave him a kombucha mother in a mason jar along with a tall tale about its mystical origins.

 

From The Manchurian Mushroom: My Adventures with the Blob, an article in the Winter 1994 edition of Mushroom:

 

 

I first was introduced to Kombucha around 1980 when a friend brought me a Mason jar filled with what might be best described as a close relative of the Blob. You know, that corny Sci-fi thriller from the 1950's starring, I think, a very young Steve McQueen. But this Blob seemed a bit more cohesive and since the lid was tightly screwed on, I felt secure from immediate attack.

 

He passed it on to me with some ceremony, even reverence, in a ritual that had been repeated for centuries. He called it a miracle cure that could fight cancer, slow or reverse the aging process, i.e. a panacea, a remedy for the ailments afflicting human kind. People in Tibet lived into their 100's because of it, he said. The cardinal rule was that it was a gift, never to be sold, but to be cared for and passed on freely to anyone willing to accept it. Anyone who profited from selling it would reap personal disaster and be doomed to a life of ill-fate.

Naturally skeptical, I looked at this gelatinized rubbery goop submerged in water and was completely baffled. What was it? "The Manchurian Mushroom", he replied, smiling enigmatically.

First off, I thought this Blob does not look like any mushroom I had seen - in culture or otherwise. I wondered if he was playing a practical joke. But his sincerity seemed real and he urged me to keep the Kombucha alive by giving it sugar, tea and water. "It came from Tibet" where "monks have used it for hundreds of years".

 

[. . .]

 

I called Dr. Daniel Stuntz at the University of Washington and asked him if he had heard of this thing. He hadn't. On my next visit to Seattle, I brought him one of the daughter colonies and told him very little about its history.

Naturally inquisitive, Dr. Stuntz took on the Kombucha as a low priority project. Weeks later, he told me it seemed to be a mixture of yeast and bacteria, somehow held together by a mucous membrane of unknown identity. He was totally baffled and asked more questions.

I told him what I could, hesitatingly, because of the extravagant claims. Years later, I heard from others in his laboratory that he was truly mystified, finding that the coexistence of yeasts and bacteria in this gelatinous matrix a highly unusual symbiosis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My son makes his own, but it looks terrible!  I get it at our State Fair every year when I'm working, and they make it so that it actually looks and tastes decent.  It's cool and refreshing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just mixed a new batch tonight! I take a swig every morning. Love it, but is is an acquired taste. I don't like it too vinegary, but I like it fizzy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just get super skeptical of anything that is touted as an anti-viral or a cancer cure. It makes me angry because I feel like they are praying on vulnerable populations. If you're a healthy person who feels compelled to try it, I say go for it. I don't judge on that, but I do on the cure selling. I'm glad the FDA told them to knock it off, but once the myth is out there then you end up with the conspiracy theorists out there saying the FDA is trying to hide the real cure for cancer because then the pharmaceutical companies would all go out of business. People are still buying Dave's stuff for that reason I bet. Having worked in infectious disease and oncology trials, I cannot tell you how many people I have heard spout that line. These are the same type of people who paid this vulture in Houston $200 for five gallons of mystical water- desperate people. It's just sore spot from watching so many reject real treatments for ones sold by snake oil salesmen. I'm not taking anything away from a healthy person trying it. But I think there should be a special spot in hell for people who exploit the severely ill and dying.

 

I've never really figured out how to see G.T. Dave. I think when I'm an optimist, I veer towards deluded or perhaps overly hopeful, when I'm a pessimist, towards someone who no longer feels anything for others.

 

The L.A. Times did a write-up on him in 2008:

 

"Everyone who came over always asked, 'What's that smell?'" Dave recalls. "You'd take off the lids, and it burped at you. I thought, 'Everyone thinks we're the Addams Family.'"

 

His opinion of the concoction changed dramatically in 1994, when Laraine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy, followed by about a year of chemotherapy and radiation. But she credits kombucha with helping her beat the disease and preventing it from spreading--a point that is stressed in the marketing of GT's Kombucha.

 

Dave is convinced that kombucha arrested Laraine's cancer by boosting her immune system and flushing toxins from her body.

 

"My mother is and will always be my everything," says Dave, who is single and living with Laraine until his new house on the Westside is finished. "The concept of her not being in my life shook me up. The idea that a health food helped her really spoke to me. It inspired me to think that something like this could help other people."

 

[. . .]

 

Laraine's cancer is not the only illness to have struck the Dave family. G.T.s' other brother, Justin, succumbed to bone cancer in 1996. "If he had been drinking it, he would have survived," Laraine says flatly. "We tried to sneak it into his smoothies, but he didn't want it."

 

That's not to say that kombucha is just vinegar-water -- Paul Stamets mentioned in his article sending a kombucha culture to a pharmaceutical company that was looking for mushroom extracts to patent after having no luck with his other samples. They were very excited about its potential, at least until they realized that Stamets had no clue how the kombucha SCOBY worked:

 

Soon I found myself sitting in a board room of a pharmaceutical company with lawyers and contracts discussing the particulars of patents, sub-licensing agreements, market territories, and dollars running into the millions—if FDA approval was granted for a novel drug. As a whole, the group was, you might say, "straight-laced", conservative, and exceedingly better dressed than I was.

 

The time had come to lay the cards on the table—the time for full disclosure. I asked them about the results of their tests. "Very interesting" they started. "Our tests show that this thing produces what could be a novel antibiotic, effective against methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus " (The common bacterium responsible for " Staph " infections. Due to the wide use of antibiotics, strains of S. aureus had evolved resistance to many antibiotics.)

 

The company's benchmark test was designed to discover new antibiotics in the race between science and bacteria's ability to evolve. Their tests did not type the antibiotic produced by the Blob. Later studies, termed "dereplication trials" would serve to match the Blob's antibiotic with those already patented. It may be novel. It may not. If novel, patents could be pursued. To this end, they were willing to spend $50,000-$100,000 immediately on more tests.

 

Now it was our turn. They asked "What is it?" A long silence ensued. I hated telling them what little I knew. This was not my forte—mushrooms were. I secretly wished one of our mushroom strains would have garnished this much enthusiasm. I was noticeably uncomfortable.

 

I told them that, as best as we had been able to determine, from analyses by several independent mycologists, that the Blob was a polyculture of at least two yeasts and two bacteria, living synergistically.

 

The silence was deafening.

 

"Say what?"

 

Perplexed looks crossed their faces, soon followed by exasperated expressions of deep disappointment. Which of the organisms are producing the potentially novel antibiotic? Was it one or several? Was it one in response to the presence of another organism? Was it one in response to several organisms? The sheer numbers of permutations would complicate trials and given the FDA's disposition, a polyculture is de facto contaminated.

 

The meeting was abruptly adjourned. Soon thereafter, I received a bill for nearly $10,000 which fortunately, after much haggling, I didn't have to pay. I don't know if they did any more studies. I do know they have a living culture. Go figure.

Edited by Anacharsis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My friend makes and drinks the tea. I tried it and don't like it.  Friend keeps trying to get me to drink it anyway.

 

Tell your friend to make it with the Dilmah brand of Rose and Vanilla tea.

Kombucha made with plain tea is :ack2: but made with the rose and vanilla tea, it is  :drool5:  :drool5:  :drool5:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been brewing kombucha for few weeks now

when i add juice to the tea for second brew which take about 3-5 days it produces plenty of carbonation (as i burp it to check) but when i place in refrigerator to chill it looses its fuzz quite easy and have to leave out for another day at room temp to build up the carbonation  again 

If anyone has any information or tips would be much appreciated thanks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...