Since we are all dying to know how my new kombucha brew is coming along, I took some photos of the recent feeding and bottling. As you can see, I switched from the easy to clean mason jars with their handy screw on lids to the glass beer bottles with ceramic flip caps. I like these bottle so much, I was willing to drink an entire case of Grolsh beer just to get at the bottles. That's how much I love my SCOBY - I'll drink beer for it!
As you can see from the particularly gloopy looking SCOBY that formed on the top of my brew, my kombucha is thriving in my counter top farm.
To harvest my kombucha tea from under the biofilm on the surface, I just tipped the jar and let the tea flow from under the film. Since the SCOBY is larger than the opening, it stayed in the jar without a problem. Near the bottom of the jar was some cloudy sediment and strands of SCOBY, so I stopped pouring off the tea when the sediment started to be disturbed. The tea is a lovely golden color with tiny bubbles that stick to the glass. It's quite pretty and appetizing once it's away from that ugly SCOBY.
For this batch, I put a teaspoon of tart cherry juice concentrate in each bottle, and then filled the bottle to the neck with the kombucha tea. The ceramic caps make a very tight seal, so the all the gas from the organisms, as they digest the sugar in the cherry juice, will be trapped in the tea, making it fizzy like a soda.
Even though I've been juice fasting from Monday morning to Friday evening, I allow myself kombucha, and since I don't get other snacking events during the fast, it's become a special treat. I put ice in a fancy glass, anticipate the POP! of the cap and the aromatic mist that comes off the bottle, and I admire the color and flavor like it's precious wine. Anyone in the house with me gets a fancy glass of it too, even if they don't really want one, and we clink glasses and make a toast. Cheers!
While I was bottling, I was steeping some fresh tea in water to add back to my SCOBY and residual kombucha in the jar. Since I have several large SCOBY's now, I was considering feeding the ugliest ones to the chickens and only keeping the pretty smooth one in the photo on the left. But then I though, why waste it, why not spread the joy of kombucha brewing to a friend at work, and let her have the pretty SCOBY. Jamie walked through the kitchen as I was divvying up the fix'n's, and when I told him I was giving the extra SCOBY away, he worriedly asked "Does she know she's getting one of those?" Like everyone wouldn't enjoy this gift!
Later, when Brandon came home from work, I proudly showed him my kombucha gift, to which I added sweet tea and covered with a paper towel tied down by one of my precious twisty-ties from my collection. He was also concerned, and wanted to know if I had warned my friend that I was giving her one of those. What's with these guys?! Of course, it is like giving someone a chore, since it's one more thing to feel guilty about if you let it die because it wasn't fed. But now that I know how to make more, no one has to worry.
My brew is already making another SCOBY. Be warned friends, I come bearing gifts!