making my own kombucha culture?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Jun 13, 2019 at 2:32 PM.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Tell me if this is in the least bit plausible. Instead of throwing a scoby in a batch of tea and dextrose, pitch a pure Lactobacillus culture and let it sour for 24 hours or so, then pitch a combination of Pedio, Acetobacter, and Brett, and just create my own house culture?

    Yay or nay? I used to work at a kombucha "brewery," and we never had any mother discs, just a bunch of 1 gallon jars of extra ripe starter tea that got propped out to 5 gallon buckets, and then propped out to 200 gallon fermenters. The scoby cellulose would naturally grow in the fermenters over a 2 week period of fermentation.

    the reason for this is because the White Labs scoby packs have seemed to be duds, no fermentation activity, mold growing, no carbonation in the bottles, etc. I've tried it with my own recipe, i've tried to follow the white labs recipe, no luck with them, and it's been really confusing me.
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    It might work. You may be too heavy to lacto, though. Or not heavy enough. Can you just grow a culture from a bottled kombucha that you like?
     
  3. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    yeah. i can probably pop in ask some of the guys i know there if i can steal some out of the tanks... But i definitely can't start selling that in my shop. the SCOBY can retail around $40, and 4 packs of bacterias and yeast is comparable or cheaper.

    the issue i think i foresee is not knowing what bacterias are going to go heavy and take over like you mention. But that was always a gamble on the commercial level too. sometimes the acetobacter created really thick floating cellulose on top, while other times the cellulose was dominated by pedicoccus that was like these strings that would almost melt into the liquid
     
  4. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I've been keeping the same culture for about 3 years, and I have no idea of the actual make up, but it's perfect for us and I'm babying it along as much as I can. I have a good mix of yeast and bacteria apparently- not too tart, but definitely a good mix of lacto and acetobacter, and a good amount of yeast to ferment the sugars.

    We are serving kombucha at HomebrewCon with that same culture, and I think I'll flavor it with lemon zest and ginger and carb it up fairly high.
     
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    We've just dumped ours (getting too acetic) and wondering how we'll start again. As it's home scale we were just going to steal the dregs from something we liked. You could always try a spontaneous first and then add various bugs to fill in the holes if you wanted to be completely independent.
     

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