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best bottling techniques

topic posted Wed, December 14, 2005 - 2:23 PM by  eric
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i usually just pour it all into a gallon glass jar or sun tea container and drink it pretty quick.

just wondering what other people do for bottling.

has anyone bottled with those machines and the pop tops- like beer? just wondering if that would really really make a difference (as opposed to just pouring it into bottles and screwing on a top)
posted by:
eric
Portland
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  • Re: best bottling techniques

    Thu, December 15, 2005 - 6:40 AM
    I've been wondering about the bottle-capper too...

    This summer, when I really was just experimenting with some Kombucha before I knew anything about it, I blew up a Pelogrino litre bottle because I screwed the cap on it and let it sit and build up pressure for about two weeks while I was gone....

    So, I recently tried using corks, but they didn't seal well enough to get very carbonated....

    So, I'm back to using the caps, but not letting them sit for that long.

    Do you think a beer cap would pop off before the bottle exploded? It would still make a mess, but there wouldn't be shards of glass in the wall (like this summer)...Woops!
    • Re: best bottling techniques

      Thu, December 15, 2005 - 8:13 AM
      One (more) question, when the K is ready to drink & U transfer it to the container to put in the fridge....Does the jar where the baby is need to b washed before starting another batch or can I just pour the tea & the baby in there?
      • Re: best bottling techniques

        Thu, December 15, 2005 - 12:49 PM
        I just use the old bottles that I drank GT Kombucha out of. The only problem is that if you spill Kombucha on the bottlecap and you thread it too tight, you scratch the cap and the Kombucha oxidizes the exposed metal.
      • Re: best bottling techniques

        Sun, December 18, 2005 - 3:11 AM
        i use the flip top bottles and leave them at room temp for about a week or two to build up fizz. i haven't experienced any explosions yet. i rarely wash my bottles and brewing containers with soap. sometimes just a hot water rinse, and sometimes not at all. seems to be working just fine.
        • Re: best bottling techniques

          Sun, December 18, 2005 - 12:27 PM
          Any one know where to get those flip top bottles for a reasonable price? I am interested in buying wholesale if anyone knows of a place. let me know.

          I have been using GTs used bottles to bottle mine up as well. But I have the same prob. with the metal oxidizing and creating a funky metal taste on the rim of the bottle. It dose not contaminate the kombucha with in. but still...
          Love that fizzzzzz!

          I dont really clean my brewing jars to often. When I do I use hot water and a little white distilled vinegar.
          • Re: best bottling techniques

            Mon, December 19, 2005 - 1:41 AM
            Ok...I'm out of it...is GT a brand of Kombucha? And I still don't know what these flip top bottles are....
            details?
            • Re: best bottling techniques

              Mon, December 19, 2005 - 12:16 PM
              GT, Synergy is a brand of kombucha sold across the US now. Mostly in whole foods markets. But Ive seen em in smaller co-ops as well. I met him like over 6 years ago in S.F. he was doing a demo for his kombucha. Real nice guy! His mother had a tumor in her breast and feels kombucha helped her with that battle. So they decided to bottle it and sell it. I think its one of the better kombucha products on the market. But I have only seen about 4 brands so far. I live in Southern Cali. now.

              Flip top bottle? I am not exactly sure my self. But I think they are like some bear bottles that have a resealable cork or top.
          • FLIP TOP BOTTLES

            Mon, May 5, 2008 - 8:10 AM
            (grolsch bottles) CAN BE PURCHASED AT IKEA for two bucks each. They are sturdy 34-ounce clear glass bottles with polyethylene lids and rubber seals. I discovered this the day before yesterday while on a lamp expedition. I bought ten of them.

            Here is a product link: www.ikea.com/us/en/catal...cts/50108908

            Unfortunately they can't be purchased online, so if you don't have an Ikea in your area you might try thrift stores which often have these types of bottles.
            • Re: FLIP TOP BOTTLES

              Sun, November 23, 2008 - 12:05 PM
              A few beers also come in grolsch/wire gasket bottles. Specialty beer stores or places like Total Wine might have a good enough beer selection to have beer that comes in these bottles. The benefit, of course, is that you get some good beer. Hey, you gotta empty the bottle somehow :)
    • Re: best bottling techniques

      Tue, December 27, 2005 - 3:15 PM
      Dont use a beer cap if you are not refrigerating the bottles. They will not come off if they are put on right.

      Will
      Katalyst Kombucha
      • Re: best bottling techniques - beer caps?

        Sat, June 27, 2009 - 9:19 PM
        I've got loads of well brewed kombucha waiting to be bottled. I tend to use the clip top 1lt bottles (like grolsch) to store in the fridge.
        Running out of space in the fridge, so need to bottle and set aside in a cool spot somewhere, maybe under the house at the moment during our winter months. Have a box of empty ginger beer stubbies, and bought some beer bottle/stubby sealing metal caps. Planning on using my friend's beer capper to seal the brew. Do you still think the bottles will explode w my kombucha? They are quite well brewed, not sweet, lots of fizz.
        Eager to know and act promptly.
        Thanks,
        Fran, from Melbourne, Australia :)
  • Re: best bottling techniques

    Thu, December 15, 2005 - 1:10 PM
    I also harvest into a spigoted suntea jar.
    It sits on the counter next to the fancy water...
    this has been best way for our house to enjoy it.

    ive also used a variety of glass wine and juice bottles
    (that hangout behind the water and suntea jar).
    excelent for friends to recieve and take to go for lunches/adventures etc...

    I havent seen a reason to 'bottle-cap' it...ive found it to be best freshly enjoyed. I like to taste the tea and a lil of the sweet...
    I dont enjoy vinegar flavor at all.

    Its true that 3 days sitting sealed in a bottle post harvest
    allows the process to continue only without oxygen
    so really only some parts of the process continues...
    making more bubbly upon opening, however,
    the bubblyness seems to disapate quickly and ive found it not worth the process to try to make extra bubbly,

    Inevitably when the buch is plentiful, some sit in sealed bottles.
    sometimes i refrigerate it to slow the process, othertimes i leave the lids sealed on the counter if it looks like i can hand them over to friends to enjoy in the soontime...and if the harvest is a lil early, i leave the lids off, throw a towel over them, and let them hang out for a few more daze.

    fun!
    • Re: best bottling techniques

      Fri, December 23, 2005 - 12:01 AM
      on bottles:
      i don't know the correct term for them, but they are the old-fashioned looking bottles that have a rubber seal on a ceramic lid that tightens down with a metal clasp--like how many canning jars are set up, but a bottle. i usually find them very cheap at thrift stores, but you would probably be able to find them other places as well. as for fizz, i still get a loud pop everytime i open a bottle that i have already poured from if it sits for a day. i haven't experienced it going flat when using these bottles and having leftovers in them. i do experience flatness after the initial pour when using screw top lids.
      • Re: best bottling techniques

        Wed, January 18, 2006 - 8:52 AM
        i wanted to put some in bottles to develop a little more fizz, so i just went to the liquor store and bought several bottles of tuborg beer. it comes in those flip-top bottles. drink up the beer, and voila! a great bottle for your 'bucha.

        i've found that if i put them right in the fridge after bottling, the flavor and fizz level stay about the same. but if they sit out at room temp with the cap on, they do develop a nice little fizz.

        i think these flip-top bottles are probably the safest way to develop a little carbonation because the rubber seal will release any explosiveness before it will blow up the glass bottle and end up in your wall.
      • Re: best bottling techniques

        Sun, May 4, 2008 - 3:51 PM
        Grolsch bottles work well too! thanks all for setting me straight about fizz - I had been putting them in the fridge way too early :(
        • Re: best bottling techniques

          Mon, May 5, 2008 - 7:05 AM
          I too have been using Grolsch Bottles, they seal well enough to cause carbonation to build up, and can be reused without any damage to bottle or buccha. I try to make sure they're well rinsed the first time i use them, but after that it's good times all around!
          • Re: best bottling techniques

            Mon, May 5, 2008 - 8:00 AM
            I use one of those bottle cappers mentioned in the post--- it's a little plastic thing and you press the handles down and one of the pop-off caps gets sortof squeezed into place. A beer bottle capper. With that I reuse old pop-off beer bottles. Those Grolsch bottles are expensive if you can't find them used!!! Like down here they're like $12-15 for four! As for the buildup of pressure, I drink my kombucha too fast for it to build up enough pressure and explode.
  • Re: best bottling techniques

    Mon, May 5, 2008 - 4:32 PM
    Grolish beer bottles work great. Any bottle with a flip ceramic/metal top is best. I have seen Lemonaid in these bottles too.
    --DR. D
    • Re: best bottling techniques

      Mon, April 13, 2009 - 12:09 AM
      Perhaps this is only something the purists profess, but I was under the impression that clear glass was the safest bet for storing kombucha. I'm not sure if its true, but I've read that the acid in kombucha can pull the additives out of colored glass. So I've been using only clear glass with a beer bottle capper.This limits ones options as there are few pop-off clear glass bottles. I'm using Coke and Corona bottles. In todays more recycle friendly world, I've found that a visit to a few local bars usually turns up a bar tender or server who is willing to save the bottles you request if you provide a box or a milk crate. It helps if you agree on a time and date for pickup and be punctual.

      Happy brewing.

      On a side note, K-Tea looks a great deal like Corona to the untrained eye. Using Corona bottles may reduce the number of settings in which you can comfortably enjoy your homebrew.
  • Re: best bottling techniques

    Mon, April 13, 2009 - 12:53 PM
    Not sure if anyone has noticed, but Synergy recently changed their bottles. They no longer use metal caps. They are now very strong reusable plastic caps. Yay!
    • Re: best bottling techniques

      Sat, May 2, 2009 - 8:41 PM
      I have re-used the GT bottles, til the lids got so bad. Most of my organic salad dressing bottles have the same lid, but they have foam inserts which I don't trust not to react with the kombucha. I cut out squares from zip lock bags, put it over the bottle, then the lid. This is how I bulk store in mason jars also. Plastic square, steel lid, then white plastic lid for mason jars (Ball) from wal mart. We did have two quart jars blow up last year. I just tried someone else's brew in re-capped beer bottles, it was good. I also used mona vie bottles. I now have a glass gallon that I got 365 organic apple juice in from whole foods, it's not bad. Nothing really seems to seal real well. Even the GT bottles from the store leaked before on the way home when we used to buy them. You can buy new metal lids from GT Dave's for 10 cents ea. The shipping is high for a few, but doesn't go up for more quantities. Thanks for the tip on the GT plastic lids.
      • Re: best bottling techniques

        Sun, May 3, 2009 - 12:36 AM
        barry, you'll be happy to know that GTs bottles now have plastic lids.
        • Re: best bottling techniques

          Tue, May 12, 2009 - 1:56 AM
          I've reused the plastic lids a couple of time now. They are very durable. The only drawback is that they seal a little too well at times. I hade to use a pipe wrench to get one off. Do not over tighten when recapping... unless you have a pipe wrench...
  • j
    j
    offline 0

    Re: best bottling techniques

    Mon, May 4, 2009 - 7:50 AM
    I kept my eye on Craigslist until one day, like magic, 12 grolsch bottles for $5 appeared. They make a very big difference in the product. If I do secondary fermentation in KT bottles, I'll get a nice slightly fizzy drink. If I do the second ferment in grolsch-type bottles I'll get so much carbonation I can lose half the bottle to foaming over when I open it - much more fun.
  • Re: best bottling techniques

    Mon, June 29, 2009 - 10:40 AM
    Whew! all these fancy ideas!

    I love it.

    I am actually looking into getting some
    Grolsch bottles for friends. (Please return bottle)

    But for at home consumption, I just use mason jars.
    It is SO hot in Austin! It feels good to sit around and
    drink some gool ole lemon flavored KT out of a wide-
    mouth jar in front of a 12 inch 3 speed oscillating fan!
  • Re: best bottling techniques

    Wed, July 29, 2009 - 1:47 AM
    oh come on, guys! it isn't that hard, or costly, or dangerous.... find jars which seal. I like ball jars, aka mason jars, aka canning jars. they are not expensive. they are portable, they make fine gifts, they store easily. etc. forget about ikea! try price chopper, or any grocery store, or any store at all. don't fill the jars ALL the way to the top. don't let it sit for three months. give it a couple of weeks, and listen to that satisfying pop when you get the top off. I have been using pint-sized jars, and experimenting with all different flavors during the bottling process. don't make this too hard on yourself! mind cleanliness during the whole process, everything else is personal preference.

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