Top 3 Kombucha Dangers and 1 Kombucha Mistake To Improve

Boy this is morKombucha Mistakee intensive than my college Economics 101 class (though we won’t get upset if you play hooky and sleep in class… or ask the cute boy or girl sitting next to you, c’mon what are you waiting for, pass them a love note already!).

This class will focus on the top 3 mistakes beginners make brewing their first batch.

We will then discuss the number one problem that experienced brewers don’t tell you with brewing and continuously drinking and bottling kombucha tea.

Top Kombucha Dangers To Avoid

Preparing Your Sweet Tea: 

  • Though already discussed, the sweet tea solution should not be prepared using an aluminum pot. In fact aluminum should NEVER come in contact with your kombucha culture or your kombucha tea.  You won’t turn to stone or anything, but possible avoid aluminum.
  • Be sure to add the proper amount of sugar to your Sweet Tea Solution. You would be amazed how many people still don’t believe that the majority of this sugar gets converted into the kombucha benefits and properties of what makes kombucha tea healthy for you. Remember, the sugar is not for you to ingest, but for your Kombucha SCOBY to live and grow.
  • Don’t use overly flavored teas (especially ones with a high essential oil content, like peppermint).  Remember, I am not saying don’t use these teas, experimentation is the best part of life (that and Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia).  Just make sure that you use it either with our Kombucha Tea Blend or some other comparable Camellia sinensis tea.  Also it is always recommend to have a back up culture is a separate jar or in the fridge, just in case the experimentation party has to end early (Mom and Dad ended up getting early reservations and are on their way home!!!).

Incorporating Your Sweet Tea:

  • Make sure your Sweet Tea has cooled down to room temperature. You can use the quick cooling method from the last class to speed the process or just let the tea rest over night.  Don’t wait too long once it cooled though as regular tea without a kombucha culture and starter tea will start to be vulnerable to pathogens if left at room temp.
  • Be sure to always have at least 10% of brewed kombucha tea with your Sweet Tea solution when brewing again. This will both “jump start” your brewing, as well as ensure that your SCOBY is protected from the elements those critical first few days.
  • Make sure after you incorporate your sweet tea, starter tea, and kombucha culture, you cover with a breathable cloth (but not too breathable.. think paper towel over cheese cloth) over the top with a rubber band and place in a warm place (68 to 78 F) and away from smoke and plants.

Stop Worrying:

  • It’s great if you decide to choose to purchase a kombucha brewing system and learn how to brew your own. Enjoy it, everything will work!
  • Once you placed your SCOBY, Sweet Tea Solution, and Starter Tea in your brewer, give it some quite time for at least 5 days. Over checking your kombucha will disturb the fermentation process.

Is My Kombucha Molding?Kombucha Dangers

Mold CAN occur… though it is highly unlikely because your kombucha culture is most susceptible to Mold during the bottling and transportation process of separating your SCOBY from your freshly brewed Kombucha Tea. So kombucha mold is very unlikely.

Please make sure everything is sterile (hands washed with vinegar, clean working surface, no smoke, etc). This is a very critical time. If you can commit to do this with every batch you should be fine.

Did you know, 90% of what beginner brewers think is moldy kombucha, are actually tannins forming from the tea. If the spot resembles the mold you find on a piece of bread (fuzzy appearance), it is mold. Otherwise, you should be good to go!

The Problem That Experienced Brewers Won’t Ever Tell You!

If you speak with people who have already begun brewing their own kombucha tea with kombucha cultures, they will tell you it is wonderful. However, the biggest obstacle is constantly keeping up with changing the fermented tea out with the new sweet tea.

Traditionally the process involves, removing the kombucha culture from its brewing container, removing the fermented tea from the container and bottling the tea. Putting back the kombucha culture into the container, and finally starting from scratch by adding a new round of freshly made tea and sugar.  And all this has to be done in a complete sanitized environment.

This can be very time consuming, not to mention the risk of having the culture more susceptible to air born harmful bacterias and unsanitary handling.  As we just discussed, the more time your SCOBY is removed from its tea solution, the higher risk of the SCOBY being susceptible to mold.

The Solution That THOUSANDS Will Tell You!

By using one container to both ferment and dispense will allow you to brew  kombucha extremely easy and remove the risk of your SCOBY coming into contact with harmful elements. This system allows you to constantly drink home made kombucha tea without ever removing the kombucha culture from its container.

Tomorrow we will delve into the Continuous Brewing Method in more detail, and show how you can use it to cut your bottling time in half! Hmm… now if I can only say the same about it cutting my rent in half…

Happy Brewin’,

Dave 🙂

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11 thoughts on “Top 3 Kombucha Dangers and 1 Kombucha Mistake To Improve

  1. Getting ready to start my first batch of Kombucha, and am wondering the best way to sanitize my bottles. I have run them through the dishwasher, so should I now rinse them out with 100% white vinegar to make them hospitable to my first batch KT? I have read that I should wipe out each brewing container with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar before I start brewing, but for the small mouth bottles I thought I would just swish a little vinegar in each bottle, then dump it out.

    Looking forward to trying my first batch! Thanks for a great website to help us get started, will look to you for my needs as I progress into continuous brewing.


    • Hi Ron! yes.. there are two different things.. cleaning and sanitizing. the dishwasher will certainly clean (and most likely sanitize too).. but a swish of vinegar will sanitize the bottles as well!

      happy brewin’,
      dave 🙂

  2.  A friend had told me about it and I really wanted to help my husband, so one October about 6 years ago I started making K-tea.  By Christmas the splits in his fingers by his cuticals had healed.  His whole family gets these.  He went to his family Christmas dinner and everyone was complaining about their fingers.  He held his out and said he didn't have that problem any more.  They asked what he took to get rid of them and he said, "Ask Kathy".  I never got a phone call and they are all still getting these splits when the winter comes.  I'm in the Midwest, so we're talking below 0 and snow.  I love Kombucha!!!  I never thought of using a crock to make mine tho, and I want to thank Dave for giving me that idea – I have a 2 gallon crock with a spiggot in it for summer drinks.  What an idea.  Thank you Dave!!!

  3. Hello,
    I love Kombucha and have been brewing it for several months.  Although I have my own set up, I am thinking of buying your starter kit and starting another batch to see if the flavor is any different.  Also I always run out before my next batch is ready.
    Thank you for the news letters.

  4. I too like Glen Ochi (see pervious question) would like to have some gauge againdt the test strip.  I see the going to brown but do not know what stage it is in…Thanks

  5. My kombucha is often ready to bottle in 2 or 3 days!  I live in Marin County – maybe it's the fresh air and golden hills!  I always use pu-erh tea and a a mix of organic white sugar and turbinado sugar.   I made a very bizarre batch using lemon-ginger-tulsi tea along with pu-erh and some fresh lemon verbena leaves.  It tastes like medicine… but before I used it to clear the drains, I tried it again and now I think it is just weirdly interesting!

  6. So I really want to start continous brewing.  I have purchased 2 glass 2 gallon jars off the internet. They both came with flimsy plastic spouts.  Now, is this little bit of plastic (unsure of plastic being food grade) going to affect the health of Scoby? Is it best to buy a stainless steel food grade spigot? $40 is the least expensive I have found so far, and What spigots do your kits come with? The local kombucha circle thinks that using a plastic spigot would be bad for the Scoby and myself. NEED FEEDBACK!!!!!

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