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Wednesday, October 08, 2014


I have brewed up my very first batch of kombucha, five bottles!  Two are flavored with a powdered spirulina blend, and the others are just plain.  Everything is bottled up and on its second ferment (I like kombucha a bit bubbly and slightly sour).  CG, a prizewinning beer brewer, was very helpful in his suggestions (he has been helping out with Thistle in particular after school, which I have appreciated).  He once made an ale with his brewing partner which they dubbed "Vlad the Impale Ale".  I was smiling at his suggestions about "flavor profiles" (though it turns out they are true), but heeded his warnings about bottles blowing up from over-carbonation.

If you don't know what kombucha is, it is basically a fermented black tea-and-sugar combo (CG calls it "tea beer").  A very odd-looking yeast/bacteria colony is used to start the ferment.  It tends to ferment faster in summer than winter.  I do limit my consumption to about four ounces a day.  I don't know if it makes me feel better, but it is fun to make and enjoyable to drink.

Here is a good link if you want to know more about it.  Big warning: you really need to exercise excellent sanitation for your kombucha to be safe; I sterilize everything and put the bottles through a dishwasher with a heat dry before bottling up the kombucha for the second ferment.