jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

topic posted Wed, December 14, 2005 - 12:08 PM by  Shakti Kati
I've heard some people talking about "jun" but can't find much about it online....what's the difference between it and Kombucha besides the fact that it eats Honey (if that is true)?
posted by:
Shakti Kati
San Antonio
  • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

    Wed, December 14, 2005 - 12:53 PM
    There's some threads about that here, just buried in previous posts. If I recall correctly no conclusive information was available. Try a tribe search for "jun". My impression is that it's someone trying to pawn off good ol' kombucha as something more exotic (as if K isn't exotic enough).
    • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

      Wed, December 14, 2005 - 2:17 PM
      jun is made with honey instead of sugar. it tastes similiar to kombucha. there is a company in eugune that sells tiny elixer bottles of jun with different herbs mixed in- i like them much better then kombucha, but they cost $3-4. each and get pricey.

      i was given a jun culture this summer and have been making some- i have always heard you can't brew kombucha with honey (although i have never tried), so i don't believe they are the same.
      • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

        Thu, October 29, 2009 - 12:20 AM
        i see your post was some years sister and I are seeking a jun culture to experiment with our medicinal herb combinations.
        if you still have a jun culture and open to sharing....we are so grateful!

        lots of love,
    • jun love

      Mon, January 2, 2006 - 2:43 PM
      i have definately been an instigator on this vibe.

      i'm way more into brewing jun then kombucha- although i brew them both.

      i recently took a jun baby and tried to brew it just like kombucha (with sugar)-- at the 10 day mark, it wasn't doing anything and i thought i saw a bit of mold...i've been out in coastal forest the last few days, so i'll be checking it again (and tasting my newest jun batch, which i know will be delicious)..i'll report back if i see any signs of the jun culture brewing in the sugar/tea water...

      • Unsu...

        Re: jun love

        Mon, January 2, 2006 - 4:13 PM
        ive heard sugar will kill jun but dont know first hand.... i also heard that kombucha is many kinds of bacteria and yeast and jun just one... also, i heard it is very hard to get a jun culture because they dont reproduce like kombucha. some are around for hundreds of years... or so im told.... :)
      • Unsu...

        Re: jun love

        Tue, January 3, 2006 - 5:31 PM
        Hi Eric,
        You were gifted jun culture? What does it look like?

        Only one person in the US is making jun commercially, a guy named Jerry Smith in Eugene, and his company, Herbal Junction Elixirs., (541) 334-5025. They have an elixir booth at many green festivals. FYI prior to 3 years ago he was not the only one making it commercially.

        Several people are making it now privately and information has become somewhat secret. People who are making it at home are reluctant to talk about it openly on tribe because they feel they don't want to hurt Jerry's business.

        However I can say that it is not a "flower" or "mushroom" like kombucha, and you don't make it in the same kind of container as Kombucha. It is a an anaerobic fermatation that must happen under pressure. I would be be very suspicious of any supposed "jun culture" that looks like a Kombucha mushroom.

        As far as making it yourself, you can take the same approach as making kombucha without a flower. For example you can get 3 or 4 bottles of G&T kombucha from the store, and use that to start more kombucha. It will generate its own flower after 2 or 3 generations. Similarly, you can get a few bottles of Jerry's jun, and start your own at home, although the process is different. (you can also do this with yogurt and many other fermented foods).

        The claims Jerry has made about the health properties, the "single organism", etc. are the only information available. I don't have any reason to disbelieve him, but the information doesn't have the long history that Kombucha does, and jun hasn't been studied by independent neutral 3rd party like kombucha has. If the claims are coming from ther same people that profit from its sale, there is reason to be suspicious. I drink it and find it uplifting, and I hope it's not bad for me. His claims may be true, but they would have more credibility if they came from other independent sources.

        Happy junning
        • Re: jun love

          Thu, January 5, 2006 - 7:14 PM
          I always got frustrated with Jerry's attitude of ownership. As if he created the ferment (sure he is the herb crafter, and so I continue to occasionally buy from the local source of his).
          I also know that for a while one had to lie and say they were a shop or tea shop to get the jun.
          Great stuff. Well made and, I think, better than 'boucha, but i got hooked on jun first.

          Like GTs and yer own home brew, there's room and need for both.
        • Uma
          offline 0

          Re: jun love

          Mon, January 30, 2006 - 5:41 PM
          Hello Cuga,
          glad to read of your interest and knowledge of Jun, I too am in love w/ it and have been experiementing w/fermenting foods of verious kinds, mostly inspired by "Wild fermentation" and "Nourishing traditions", neither of which describe "Jun". So I am on the search to figure it out!
          If you've succeded in making Jun, please share if you would, what you've found to work. You mentioned a pressure needed, but I don't quite understand...? Any help/leads would be highly appreciated!
          Yum Jun Hmm(?)
          • Re: jun love

            Mon, January 30, 2006 - 6:37 PM
            does the preparation require boiling the honey or heating it to a high temperature? i've heard this is not recommended for honey....
        • Re: jun love

          Tue, September 18, 2007 - 9:43 PM
          Perhaps this thread is a little old but I will post anyway. I have a couple of comments first. First of all there seems to be much erroneous information regarding kombucha as well as jun. There is an e-book online which is based on the research of Michael Roussin who is a research chemist. He became interested in kombucha and was perplexed by all the conflicting information regarding it. So he analyzed over 100 samples to see what the story was. It is rather interesting and really points out how much misinformation there is out there regarding it. For instance, it is entirely possible to brew kombucha with honey. He spoke with a man in Oregon who has been doing it for over two years successfully. All books on kombucha I have read state that because of the anti-microbial properties in honey, the culture will degrade over time. I have switched to honey for over a year now and the cultures continue to thrive and by the way I add the honey after the tea cools to preserve that valuable enzymes and other properties that are destroyed by heat. I have found that using elderflower tea in the brew seems to be particularly invigorating to the culture.

          Now regarding the jun, I received a bottle containing some that came from the Oregon Country Fair this summer. I found someone who had been brewing it for some time and helped me with some information that I would like to share. I believe that we are in an information age and that to hoard information is just not the right thing to do. That is what the corporations do when they patent plants, something that is our common heritage. There are many paradoxes that do not make sense to me and I have heard that much information is spun by the Herbal Junction. I certainly would not want to compromise their livelihood but look how much kombucha is on the market now and nobody seems to be hurt by it.

          So here is the procedure that I use. Start with a batch of jun that is as free from additives (fruit juice, herbs,etc) as possible so that you can get it off to a strong start. By the way, I have now produced about six batches and it tastes great. Also, jun and kombucha are absolutely distinct. The jun has to be fermented in a bottle that is capable of very high pressure. The only thing I have been able to find so far is plastic beer bottles (regrettably). I am still looking. I add about 1/4 of the volume of the container with the jun starter. For the tea, I use 12 teaspoons tea with 1 to 1-1/4 cup honey - added when cooled to lukewarm. It takes somewhere around 7 to 10 days. You need to sample when getting close to determine when it is finished.

          Now here are some of the paradoxes which I am trying to resolve. How did the Chinese ferment jun in high pressure bottles? Certainly they could not have had that technology hundreds of years ago. I tried using heavy beer bottles called growlers and two out of four broke from the pressure. How is it that one can not propagate the mother culture except with a piece of the original? How could it have started in the first place? If the culture is fermented with a mother culture, how can it be contained in such a high pressure environment as it would need to in order to be so carbonated? I have heard from my friend that jun was not the name for this beverage in China. Actually it seems a bit unethical to me that someone would take something like this and claim it as their exclusive possession when it had to have been part of a common heritage, like kombucha. As it is an anaerobic culture, I am going to try to do some work to see if I can create a mother culture using beer making techniques, using a water seal on a bottle.

          This is my offering in the spirit of sharing what information I have at present. Hope it helps. Oh, one further thing I was told is that by using this method of fermenting in the bottle, the culture will eventually get contaminated by yeasts and other micro-organisms in the air so when adding to make a brew one should try to minimize the exposure by keeping it capped when not pouring it into the fermenting vessel.
          • Re: jun love

            Sat, November 24, 2007 - 8:31 PM
            Here's my experience, I don't know what it means:

            Over the years, I've run out of Kombucha babies a few times. Each time I get some straight Jun from the booth where they sell it at outdoor music festivals. I mix it with some tea and sugar and let it sit at room temperature until a baby forms on it and I use that as my Kombucha baby. The brew that it creates and the babies it forms are identical to my previous experience with Kombucha

            For what it's worth


          • Re: jun love

            Sat, February 16, 2008 - 2:28 PM
            Trying an airlock method is a good idea to try.
            Being a beer brewer, the thing that came to mind when you said you needed pressure is: used soda kegs (the kind they use for soda fountains). They can handle up to 130 psi and you can also vent the gas out of an emergency release valve in the top periodically to keep the pressure from building up too much (if needed). They also have a wide enough mouth that you could probably pull out any "pads" or whatever shaped organism is produced.
            Check with local beer brewing supply stores, and if they don't have it, I got 4 of them shipped to me from for about 20 or 25 bucks each, including shipping, which you could probably sell off the extras to friends interested in making jun as well.
            Hope this helps.
            good luck.
            • Re: jun love

              Sat, February 16, 2008 - 2:31 PM
              oh yeah, and be sure to vent off all gas before you open it to check on it or drain it. This is for safety...don't want any exploding kegs!
              You could also use the pressure to push out the liquid from the bottom (if the organism floats) into another container using a beer tap that has been adapted to a soda keg (again, beer supply places).
              • Re: jun love

                Fri, February 22, 2008 - 12:37 PM
                Wow...I'm really glad this thread came back to life, as I'd never heard of Jun...There seems to be a lot of conflicting information though...

                The idealist in me really wants to take the info from the post James G made and kinda toss out the rest, but that's silly. Thoughts anyone? Does this substance really exist as a separate entity from Kombucha?
                • I love Jun (but don't know how to pronounce it)

                  Sat, March 15, 2008 - 1:01 AM
                  I've been making something that is supposed to be Jun for months now.
                  I like it lots. It started off whiter-looking, more pure-seeming than Kombucha (which I've brewed for years).

                  I've been feeding mine Agave mostly. Never heard about any high-pressure requirements, but it does seem to get very carbonated, especially if I screw a lid on the brewing containers (gallon jars). I started off putting about 8oz agave into each gallon of tea I make, but recently I've wondered if this isn't more than necessary.

                  The culture seems to grow slowly, and some imperfect ones have fallen apart on me. It takes a good deal longer to finish brewing than my roommate's Kombucha batches. The taste is twice as good, as far as I'm concerned.

                  I've also tried using date sugar and succanat - these both worked fine, but I had to filter out a lot of fiber before I put the culture in.

                  I started one experimental batch with honey, and checked on it two weeks later to find that it had exploded. So I figured the honey killed the Jun - but I've never tried this with Kombucha before either. There were just little brown (dead?) squiggles and pieces left. I left it in a jug for another couple weeks and a white mold seems to have taken over. The flavor is and has been... weird.

                  I'll have to try the pressurized bottles. Love the carbonation - I feel like it's healthy soda!

        • Re: jun love

          Fri, April 4, 2008 - 7:57 PM
          I disagree with one thing here. The jun is not brewed under pressure. It is initially brewed similar to Kombucha, and then bottled to develop the fizz.

          Everything else looks acurate here though.

      • Re: jun love

        Mon, June 2, 2008 - 5:08 PM
        What up Jun love? Where oh where can I get a jun culture? And instructions how to's ? I have had Herbal Junction's Jun and fell madly in love with it , however I have had a difficult time getting it.

        Big thanks,
        Monkey Wrench
  • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

    Fri, April 4, 2008 - 7:53 PM
    Jun is different. It does it honey. The microbial contents of Jun are different from those of Kombucha. Each Kombucha may have a slightly different microbial content. Generally Kombucha's and Jun's are a symbiosis between a few yeasts and bacteria. The diversity of the drink is low, which adds to the claim that it exhibits an antimicrobial effect. Jun seems to have alot of lactobacillus while Kombucha seems to have more Brettanomyces type yeasts with gluconacetobacter bacteria.

    If you are into brewing Kombucha try brewing it with honey and see what happens. You cannot brew a jun from a kombucha, you must have a jun culture to brew a jun.

    • Unsu...

      Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

      Sun, May 18, 2008 - 10:28 AM
      Does anyone know where I could get a Jun culture in the North or East San Francisco Bay Area? well as more information about the Jun culture? I looked up Jun on internet search engines and couldn't find any references. I'm a beekeeper and would like to make Jun with my own honey.

      Also...the reports of using honey to brew Kombucha seem a bit incongruous and conflicting.
      Would someone who has experienced repeated success using honey in Kombucha share info as to how much honey they used and in what form? (liquid or crystallized)

  • Unsu...

    Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

    Sat, July 26, 2008 - 8:50 AM
    Hi everyone,
    I was just given a jun mother. Can anyone share specific recipes (cups/water/honey/tea etc) what kind of jugs they use, and can you use DECAF tea???? Or does the caffeine get eaten by the jun? Also, I just found a cute video on jun.
    It mentions the company that sells it, but just let me say that I think sharing is a wonderful thing and keeping secrets for business and profit purposes perpetuates an attitude of scarcity.
    • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

      Sun, August 17, 2008 - 6:32 PM
      Has anyone picked up on the fact that Jerry's company is called Herbal JUNction? That alone gives me the impression that he may have made up the entire Jun story.

      I read in an older post that he stopped selling it- because some guy claimed to be drinking it when he got a DWI. Is it available again? If so, would anyone be interested in chipping in to get the culture professionally analyzed in a lab? I would. I'd like to know once and for all what it is. If I'm going to ingest it I feel that I have a right to know.
    • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

      Tue, January 27, 2009 - 3:50 PM
      Jun is news to me. I've read over this post and I'm inclined to believe jun is kombucha under a different name.
      The posted video
      seems to make false claims.
      According to the video kombucha ferments in black tea. I've been fermenting my culture in green tea.

      Where do the people who know of jun live?
      Anybody outside of proximity of Herbal Junction Elexirs?

      I found this post while trying to figure out if the scone is edible.
      I have been eating kombucha babies.
  • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

    Mon, August 18, 2008 - 12:00 PM
    all i know is that I brew my Kombucha with honey and it turns out wonderful!!! It is a bit sweeter (not that I'm complaining) and takes a little longer to brew.

    If Kombucha can eat honey then I think that Jun is a silly little marketing scam. :P
    • Re: jen/jun? Honey eating Kombucha?

      Wed, June 27, 2012 - 1:47 PM
      Julia-how much honey do you use per batch? Right now I do 1 C sugar to 6 C of tea. Want to use honey. thousands of years ago, they must have used something way different. Also does anyone know if I let the Bucha sit too long, will it starve to death?
  • how to brew jun

    Sat, November 29, 2008 - 11:04 AM
    i just brewed my first batch of jun, it is yummy! i was gifted the mother. i did a gallon - i used 1/2 gallon of green tea, after it was brewed, i added some organic fruit tea and dried tea flowers for 10 minutes and then strained it out, then i waited for it to cool down and added a little more than 1 cup of raw honey, let is dissolve well, then added the other half gallon of cool water. i covered my glass vessel with organic cotton cheesecloth, let it sit for about 10 days until it had a bitey flavor, then i strained out the mother, placed the liquid in the pressurized bottles for 24 hours in the dark, and tasted it today, yum!!! i like it alot better than kombucha, i have heard that it is supposed to have more health benefits.
    but i'd like to have more info on it too!
    email me for more details, rawgirlchicago at yahoo
    • Unsu...

      Re: how to brew jun

      Tue, February 3, 2009 - 12:16 AM
      The first appearance of Jun culture, was about 25 years ago, with the introduction of a product called "Dragon Brew", originally produced under the moniker of "Dragon Eggs Herbs". Its original medicianl claim, is that Jun "enters all 8 meridians" making spreading of medicine thruout the body more effective. Dragon Eggs was an exclusive with Auro Trading. When they broke away from them, They became "Jade Medicine" in Eugene. Now it seems there is some dude called Jerry doing this stuff. If it is Jun, then he really is a third or forth generation proprietor of the culture, and has no more right to it than any other business. From what i understand ( i used to be in communication with the company, as a retailer) the culture is originally from central asia, perhaps brought over by the monks (from vietnam if i rememeber correctly) that originally taught the companys founder, the recipes of what are called the five element teas. Originally, their product came out as large teabags.
      • Re: how to brew jun

        Sat, February 7, 2009 - 11:17 PM
        Thanks for your information. I have not checked this page for some time and it heartening to see that interest has generated some new responses.
        There are a couple of things I want to contribute to this discussion. First, I have now been brewing kombucha with honey for going on three years with no problem. I do not quite see how the whole sugar thing fits with kombucha anyway if it has been brewed for a couple of thousand years as some claim. How long has sugar been around? My kombucha cultures are doing just fine with the honey.
        The other thing I want to touch on is the jun. I have been brewing the jun for over a year now. It is clearly different than kombucha. Kombucha is a SCOBY, a symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria and is aerobic. Jun is anaerobic. My sense is that it is a single organism but I have nothing concrete to back that up. My recipe is for two gallons - 2 gallons water boiled, 16t white peony tea, 12t mate, 2-1/2 c honey. I wait until the tea is cooled to lukewarm (to the touch) before I add the honey. I directly bottle into screw top bottles capable of high pressure using 1/4 of the volume of jun as starter with the remainder as the tea/honey mixture. Here in Hawaii my batches go off in about three days, much faster than my kombucha 7+ days. I have heard from someone from California that there are others who claim to have a mother culture, something akin to the mother for kombucha. The jun is HIGHLY effervescent and seems to have a different type of carbonation in that the bubbles are more fine and it seems to go flat very quickly.
        • Re: how to brew jun

          Tue, March 17, 2009 - 3:46 PM
          I have been lurking over this thread for the last week or so and am finding it highly informative; thank you all~

          My son (15yo) was recently gifted a Jun momma by a friend of ours when she realized how interested he was in the brewing of Jun and Kombucha. He has been scouring the internet for any information he could use and this site has been valuable.

          Although he has most of the things that he needs in order (large glass jar, cheese cloth, tea, honey, etc), we are a little perplexed on what to use for the actual bottle. Maybe a Grosche beer bottle with the ceramic cap? Our friend has tried a few different bottles and has had several explode on her, so we would like to avoid that. Any opinions on what works best? I told him he cannot begin until he has everything in order.
          • j-j
            offline 0

            Re: how to brew jun

            Sat, March 21, 2009 - 5:37 PM
            Hi ~ saw your post and am wondering if you would be willing to share where your son recieved a jun momma or how one could obtain one....
            • Unsu...

              Re: how to brew jun

              Sun, March 22, 2009 - 1:39 PM
              yeah, im intrested in a jun too, if i can find one. Or, does anyone know if jun will reproduce one, the same as when one takes a bottle of GT's kombochu and restart it to grow a scoby.
              • Re: how to brew jun

                Mon, November 2, 2009 - 10:44 PM
                about 6/7 years ago, when I lived in Boulder, I stopped into this oxygen bar and proceeded to "get" some oxygen & a delicious drink the "bartender" referred to as jun. I liked it so much I went back multiple times to indulge in this mysterious & tasty drink.
                7 years later- Lived in tucson for the past 5 years. Visited Portland and found Jun again, in the form of the Herbal Junction elixirs.
                So happy my interest has resurfaced.
                Does anybody have a jun culture in the Tuscon area?

                For what it's worth: if one uses sugar to make their Kombucha let it sit longer than usual. I've heard certain Kombucha brands, like GTs, don't let it sit long enough for the culture to consume all the sugar. So, despite some of the health benefits you may receive, you're still drinking something full of sugar. I've heard of companies & individuals using something called Benedicts Solution to measure the amount of sugar that has been converted to amino acids, etc..(I think High Country uses it).
                Thanks for the tip on the raw honey! I'll definitely try that for my next batch.
                • JUN For ALL

                  Wed, June 30, 2010 - 11:19 PM
                  Now I've read this whole posting. Thank you so much every one for commenting. I'm still a little confused about the culture its self. does it indeed make a mother scoby on top? or is it just living in the liquid? I live in Eugene and know of Herbal Junction and I'll talk to Jerry but don't know how much he is willing to share. I'm going to buy a drink and try and make it myself to see. I've also tried making kombucha out honey and it seemed to hurt my culture but it did survive and tasted great. I'm going to try it again and see what I get. We all need to eat and drink more culture. Shit, we need to have more culture as well. Peace Love and Harmony

                  Sammy Bee
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: JUN For ALL

                    Sat, July 17, 2010 - 12:56 AM
                    If anyone has a jun mother they would be willing to send me in Colorado, please message me. I will pay you.

                    Thanks, Matt.
                    • Re: JUN For ALL

                      Wed, July 21, 2010 - 5:38 PM
                      I would also be interested in getting a "jun"- baby!! I'm currently living in Mill Valley and would be great if someone local had a mother.... hope to hear from you soon!! peace <3
              • Re: how to brew jun

                Sat, December 25, 2010 - 7:10 PM
                I am looking for information on starting a jun culture form a couple bottles of herbal junction's jun elixer. Is it possible, and how do you go about doing it? I have read a few different, and conflicting ways. One of them was to simply put two bottle in a cheese cloth covered contaner and wait. Which doesn't sound right to me. I think you need to add alittle more honey to the bottle for the culture to grow. I also have read that you put the elixer in a bottle with more tea and honey and wait.....any thoughts on how to get a culture form 2 bottle of jun elixer?

                give thanks for anyone feed back

        • Re: how to brew jun

          Thu, May 31, 2012 - 7:20 AM
          Thanks for all the great info! I am a professional beer brewer, though and can't imagine any benefit in fermenting under pressure. Pressure causes stress on bacteria and yeast (not sure what the jun culture is but it'got to be one or both). If you are just trying to achieve anaerobic fermentation (like beer) then you would only need to use an airlock. It seems that the benefit in capping is to carbonate the beverage. Maybe you could try fermenting it in a carboy with an airlock then bottling when you think it's ready? I make fermented soda this way.

          I look forward to experimenting.

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