they don't look so good...

topic posted Fri, February 18, 2005 - 1:29 AM by  karen...
it's sort of bubbling and the kombucha is brown and maybe looks like it's moldy? not green or anything, just bumpy. it's starting to gel and form a skin... it's tripping me out... doesn't like the picture... the babies i inherited had been grown on a variety of test teas and it ok to look so brown?
  • WOG
    offline 6

    Re: they don't look so good...

    Fri, February 18, 2005 - 12:01 PM
    Hi Karen,

    you will see all kinds of things happening.... the tea will become cloudy sometimes, the new "baby" culture on top will start to form, there may even be an air pocket in between the middle of the culture. This is all normal !
    I freaked out with my first batch as well and threw part of it out because I thought it was mouldy, it wasn't though.
    You will want to pick up a package of cheese cloth at the store. Use a section of the cheese cloth to strain your brew as you pour it into the glass you are about to drink. Then just rinse out the cloth. this way you don't have to play Fear Factor with your tea...

    Hope this helps,

    • Re: they don't look so good...

      Fri, February 18, 2005 - 4:25 PM
      Good info... sounds like Kombucha Tea is something I wanna have a go at... I love growing things! Where can I get some?
      • WOG
        offline 6

        Re: they don't look so good...

        Fri, February 18, 2005 - 7:04 PM
        Well..........where are you located?

        There are lots of people on here brewing the tea, and if you brew the will have extras in no time at all.

        You should be able to find someone in your general location that will help you out with a starter. If you can't find someone close enough, a few also will ship you a starter if you want to pay the shipping.

        • Re: they don't look so good...

          Sat, February 19, 2005 - 1:21 AM
          I'm in Los Angeles (Highland Park to be exact) between Downtown and Pasadena. So I take it that Kombucha isn't sold in store and is usually only passed on via propagation? Is it because it's a live organism?
          I'm finding all or this too fascinating!!!
          • WOG
            offline 6

            Re: they don't look so good...

            Sat, February 19, 2005 - 10:44 AM
            You will find it in some ( Few ) stores, but it I am pretty sure because of the FDA requirements thet it has to be processed or preserved in order for it to be sold. With that, I don't know ythat you would get the full effect of the tea you can brew in your own home for almost nothing. The tea in stores is usually pretty expensive as well.

            Also, part of the fun is getting new people to drink the tea. You get a starter culture from someone, and then you pass some of your starters to someone else etc....

            Look through the members list and see if there is someone close to where you are...............maybe you can get them to hook you up with a starter... Or post in here as "looking for a starter"

            • Re: they don't look so good...

              Sun, February 20, 2005 - 10:41 AM
              it's definitely better and more nutritious to brew it yourself. i would say the best product out there would be GT's. It's manufactured by Millennium Products out of Beverly Hills, which i thought was funny. They have regular Kombucha, Gingerade, Citrus Kombucha, and another line called Synergy, which is %95 Kombucha but mixed with organic fruit, gauva, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, and a few other elixers. It is certified organic by the USDA. It's the tastiest stuff that you can buy in the stores, in my opinion. It usually costs $3-$4 depending on where you get it. It's usually available at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, or your local co-op. In the bay area you can get it at most natural marketplaces.
    • They're lookin better...

      Sat, February 26, 2005 - 5:56 PM
      trust and have faith in this process, wow....they look more consistent and whitish with some crazy lookin style of bubbly brown blistering on the you need to dip them down into the tea every now and again to keep the top wet? the top is always dry with a skin on it...
      is it better to fill the gallon jar only to the widest part of the mouth before it slopes into the lid? since they grow to the limit of the space you give them....the babies were bigger than the mouth of the jar so they were kind of dipped sideways trying to get the tendrils..either way, they look encouraging ( i tasted it , kind of mild still-another week i think?) cheers! k
      • Re: They're lookin better...

        Sat, February 26, 2005 - 6:32 PM
        "I freaked out with my first batch as well and threw part of it out because I thought it was mouldy, it wasn't though. "

        Gave a culture to a friend and she threw it out because she thought it was moldy. It wasn't, though, and luckily I was there and I rescued it and took it home and revived it.

        Don't assume the culture has mold by visual appearance. Only if you can SMELL or TASTE mold is it moldy.

        The cultures can grow in lots of strange ways. Brown and whitish are normal colors. One of my cultures swells up with big air bubbles inside. Some look like jellyfish, some like chicken livers. There is no one appearance, and sometimes they LOOK gross, but appearances are deceiving!

        "do you need to dip them down into the tea every now and again to keep the top wet?"

        I don't think you have to, the cultures are adaptable to all kinds of conditions. If you dip them down, they may sink, which is okay too.

        "do you need to dip them down into the tea every now and again to keep the top wet?"

        Just make sure there is enough air in the jar for them, the culture needs oxygen.
        • Re: They're lookin better...

          Wed, March 2, 2005 - 7:57 PM
          I did the same thing on my first brew. It looked like a slimy green and brown mold floating on top, with specks of white. I threw it out and the second turned out the same. Finally I spoke to someone that enlightened me. It's onlyt he fuzzy white and green mold that you have to look out for. THAT IS MOLD. and you should throw it out. you can't save it.

          it looks funky for sure...

          • OM
            offline 0

            Re: They're lookin better...

            Sun, March 6, 2005 - 1:58 PM

            Sorry to say, but anything fuzzy does not belong on your Kombucha and is probably mold. It can be any color. It looks just like the mold on fruit or bread. If you see mold on top throw everything out and start with a fresh Kombucha colony and fresh Kombucha tea. Mold can also be in the middle of the colony and you wouldn't see it unless you cut it open. So if mold appears on top don't just wash it off, toss it!

            If little white, non fuzzy dots appear as the culture is forming that may be the Kombucha colony starting and you need not worry if it goes on to become a healthy colony but anything fuzzy is mold and some of them are very toxic. Please don't take any chance can you imagine what would happen to Kombucha if someone got sick from the mold on it? It would be outlawed and none of us would have it's benefits.

            Better safe than sorry. For this reason it is a good idea when you have healthy Kombucha to share it with others and to keep a backup of Kombucha tea and a Kombucha Colony youself.

            Happy Brewing!

            Peace, Love and Harmony,
            Manna International
            Kombucha Manna Drops and Manna Green Tea Extract
            • Re: They're lookin better...

              Thu, November 18, 2010 - 8:23 AM
              So my new SCOBY sunk to the bottom and a film formed on top of the tea w/white spots on top. I assumed this was bad and scooped it out. Should I allow it to brew again and hope that it's okay. Or should I take the SCOBY out and start over? I read that soaking the SCOBY overnight in distilled vinegar will take care of a mold issue. But is some mold part of the process?
              Also, my SCOBY was stored in a fridge for a day or so - I'm hoping it's not dormant.
              Any advice would be appreciated... :)
          • Re: They're lookin better...

            Sun, March 13, 2005 - 10:55 AM
            It has to SMELL like mold (and look fuzzy, not slimy) to be mold.

            Well, actually a green color sounds weird. But any shade of brown from off-white to coffee color is normal, or any combination of brown and white (speckles, whatever).

            I gave a lovely culture to a friend, and she saw "mold" forming on top of the brew and nearly threw it out. It was a new culture forming, not mold.

            Remember, mold SMELLS like mold. Kombucha does not SMELL like mold. It can look like mold (but slimy, never fuzzy).

            The culture can look really varied. And funky for sure. It can look like chicken livers, like jellyfish, like tortillas, or even like whitish mold.

            It amazes me that centuries ago, someone found this thing floating in their tea and actually decided to drink it...
            • Re: They're lookin better...

              Sun, March 13, 2005 - 11:06 AM
              One thing I have discovered. The shape of the culture is affected by whether it is moved or jostled much in the early stages. If you want a pretty, uniform, evenly shaped culture, then don't move it while it is forming.

              All my cultures were shaping up like jellyfish or fistfuls of chicken liver. I discovered that that was because of my practice of continuously drinking some of the brew every day, even while the brew was young, and replacing ingredients. The new ingredients dumped in every day caused the cultures to move around and develop some weird funky shapes. Still brews just fine. But I am just noting this discovery for those who are into visual aesthetics. (I now make just the nice tortilla-shaped ones to give to friends.)

              Anyway, as I said, the cultures can have any shade or combination of brown (dark or light) and white.

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