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When Kombucha Goes Too Far — The Grow Network Community
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When Kombucha Goes Too Far

When I discovered the benefits of Kombucha a few years ago I instantly realized that I needed to make my own as it wasn't as popular or readily available, and rather expensive to buy organically.

A couple of online videos, the purchase of a scoby and my Kombucha making days began.

What nobody mentioned however was that if the Kombucha was left for too long it turned rather sharp. Generally it's not a problem. I decanter it into glass bottles and store it in the fridge, or we drink it in time and make the next batch.

Occasionally however there's a batch that is left a bit too long and we end up with a very sharp tasting drink.

As someone who regularly puts a cap full of organic apple cider vinegar into my water, I realized that I could bottle this Kombucha vinegar style drink and use it in the same way. It contained a bit of the 'mother' in it as the good apple cider vinegars did, I knew exactly what went into it, and unlike the store bought organic vinegar, this was very cheap.

Has anyone else found a great use for their Kombucha if it's been left to ferment a bit too long?

I'd love to hear about it. 🥤


  • JensJens Posts: 384 ✭✭✭

    @Alison I use it as vinegar substitute in dressing. Or you can use it as a sour rinse for hair Care.

  • HassenaHassena Posts: 220 ✭✭✭

    I have heard animals like it and the scoby too. I haven't fed it any yet.

    Great idea on using it as a rinse. I love ACV as a rinse! :)

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 1,630 admin
    edited February 25

    Make pickles! Over soured kombucha can be used just like vinegar... only, you can make wonderful, crisp, fermented pickles with it - no need to heat it like vinegar. Try just tossing some carrots, salt, garlic cloves and maybe some dill and pepper corns (or dried chili pepper) in a jar full. Taste in 4-7 days..... I bet you'll be letting your kombucha sour on purpose from then on!

  • lmrebertlmrebert Posts: 365 ✭✭✭✭

    I second @judsoncarroll4 pickles! Works so great! I also would say to use for cleaning but strain out scobies

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I left mine fermenting too long once and it turned to wine.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 234 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz thats what I was thinking. Mine has never gotten that far though. I love these ideas and am now tempted to make a larger batch to to let some ferment to long and make some pickled veggies with it!

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭


    I'm thinking it turned to wine because it fermented the sugar too fast. Either way, was too strong for me so I gave it to my wine loving friend and she loved it.

    If that happens again, I'm going to add a little more sugar and ferment and watch it closer. I love my booch second ferment with fruit and or berries, or juice, ie I like it flavored lol.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 234 ✭✭✭

    I have yet to do a second fermentation or add any fruit, which is amazing because I have the biggest sweet tooth! I love the idea of making strawberry kombucha but after first fermentation it always tastes so good I drink it. I guess I should split my scoby and try 2 batches so I can actually get to a second fermentation. Any tips on that? @silvertipgrizz

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭


    My preference is the 'continuous brew'.

    I use a 2 gallon ceramic I got from amazon, plus the proper spout (no metal).

    I brew the tea, then when ready I just use the spigot to pour into my bottles leaving about 2 inches head space and then add either fruit, or juice about a tsp or so still leaving some head room, cap and then just continue the fermentation still in the dark/warm room and taste mine (the ones i'm going to drink) and when the carbonation is to my liking I guzzle it lol (after I strain out the fruit). I love booch. I love that I can make it for pennies on the dollar. I hate it when I get behind and let my brew become such that I have to tweek or start over, as I have had to do more than once, all on me.. too many irons in the fire, usually in the summer with the garden.

    So don't worry about 2 batches unless that is the only way you have to brew enough at a time to suit your needs, as all you have to do is bottle the ones you want to second brew with the flavors of your choice, and that way you have some you can start drinking as soon as the first ferment is ready.

    Keep your extra scoby's in your own personal 'scoby hotel' and if you ever loose it for what ever reason, don't buy one, just make your own.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 234 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz I never thought to split a batch into smaller bottles. I usually ferment in 1/2 gallon or gallon jars. Thanks for explaining how you add the fruit. It seems easy.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭


    It is very easy to make.

    If you every want me to tell you how I make my own scobys, and how I knew to flavor when I first started making booch, just let me know, even if you have to remind me... I have so much work to catch up on and my seeds to start but I will certainly go through this for you if you want...just can't do it at the minute.

    Oh, at the present I am only using gallon jars as well. The bottles I use are the G T 's kombucha bottles as that is what I drink when I am out of my own, and the bottles were built to stand the pressure so those, and the German 'groulsh' beer flip top bottles...Note on that I bought a 6 pack of beer for halibut and/or cod frying and use those bottles for my booch. Look at the money saved as those bottles by them selves are way expensive.

  • csinclair461csinclair461 Posts: 101 ✭✭✭

    kombucha can pick up wild strains of candida. A couple years ago, I was making continuous kombucha, and I developed a horrible rash on my torso, arms, legs- itchy like hives but the welts never went away. I have fought the candida beast before and recognized it. Donna Gate’s diet helped me. I believe it was a combination of things that brought on the candida overgrowth, but kombucha contributed, either by its sugar content, it’s histamines, or it might have picked up some candida. I used to keep jars of extra scobies for a long time (if they looked good- for months). Now I drink it in limited amounts, and keep the scobies fresh, and plan to grow a new one from a new bottle of unflavored kombucha from time to time to ensure the strains haven’t veered off to the dark side. I am pretty sure I read about growing a scoby from store bought kombucha here on grow network. Fantastic idea! I even got it to work on a bottle of ginger jun (couldn’t find unflavored).

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @csinclair461 Thant's a really good idea to start new batch from time to time for strain purity.

    It's amazing how much we learn from each other.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 234 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz I never new we could start a new scoby from scratch.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 When you are ready to grow your own scoby, ie, you will be making a new batch of tea and want to use your own scoby from scratch, et me know and I'll share the recipe and the directions. But first, you have to find: GT's Kombucha 'organic and raw' note:

    GINGERADE... Not any of the flavors, just this one.

    When I first started learning how to make my own, It was stated that to have a scoby one would have to buy one from someone, or from a neighbor/friend.

    No one I knew was making it and one of the people pushing this had scoby's, hers, to sell with shipping only in season so it would not ruin in transit and NO GUARANTEE or refund if you recieved it growing mold, ie useless.

    And they all want around $35 each. That was about 6 or so years ago.

    I did some research so when I tell you how I make it, and the recipe, I will also tell you where I learned how.

    The moral of this story is, don't let anyone keep you from seeking out your own info just in case you might be able to avoid shipping, handling, and a bad product or esp one that you have no idea how healthy the one's being sold are. Like growing your own food..you do know where that food came from, the love of our own hands and hard work.

    I an't wait to share with you and everyone else. There is no reason anyone should have to buy a scoby when they are so easy to make.

    I have had to restart new batches at least 5 times and every scoby I ever made was healthy and and each batch tasted awesome with the same boost in my energy and aid to my digestive gut as GT's does. Only I control the flavoring of each and every batch.

    Now, I sure wish I could figure out how to create and grow my own 'water keifer' grains. The only time I bought any I bought from a company I will not buy from again because my grains never multiplyed and that was one of the reasons I wanted the grains...was to be able to make lots and lots of it. And they never gave me a reasonable answer and the amount of grains was very small, not size, but amount and I followed their instructions to the letter just as I did with their milk keifer which with practice turned out real good.

    Let me know if and when you want me to tell you how, but have your gt gingerade and try to give me about 2 or 3 days heads up. In the mean time I'll gather my notes/recipe.

    Have a great day!!

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 234 ✭✭✭

    @silvertipgrizz what is a gt gingerade? We ended up buying a scoby, twice, as the first one molded. It was a few years in between before we decided to try again. We do make our own ginger bug and ginger ale. I will NOT drink store bought ginger ale and grew up thinking it was because I hated ginger. We now know that’s not true.

  • MommaMoMommaMo Posts: 105 ✭✭✭

    We use our Kombucha vinegar to wipe down our sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and other veggies for storage.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 GT's is the brand name of kombucha aka booch... It is organic and the one with the least amount of 'flavorings'. It is the only one I use to create my scoby's as needed.

    Please share your ginger bug and ale recipes as your time allows.

    Just let me know when you have the GT's organic, the one that's gold in color because it has prolly more ginger than the rest of theirs. The other common ones they have on the shelves at the walmart where I shop is trilogy, which is more mild flavored with raspberry etc, gingerberry is a dark blue in color and their green version which is green in color, referring to the booch you can see through their clear bottles. Also their bottles are great for your second batch as the glass and the lids are solid enough to withstand the carbonating pressure and huge savings on second brew bottles..Oh and the trilogy is a lighter color, I think a very light pink, can't remember off hand but it is one of my fav's as it allows you to enjoy the flavor without so much carbonation as the plain gold or the gingerberry.

    When I send you my recipe and how to to make your own, I"m also going to send you a link for the people I learned from. It may surprise you the origins and therefore encourage you to always seek out ways to do things others tell you you can't do.

    You will never have to buy another scoby as long as you can find an organic un flavored booch, just incase life gets in the way and you need another scoby.

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MommaMo Thats an awesome idea thanks!

  • moby_lumbramoby_lumbra Posts: 4 ✭✭✭

    Not totally unrelated. I had way too many scoby hotels hanging around lately. So I blended them up with some home made applesauce and dehydrated that to make fruit/scoby leather. Not for everyone, but I am enjoying it.

  • norabelehcimnorabelehcim Posts: 47 ✭✭✭

    I, too, have used too-sour kombucha for salads. It is interesting used as liquid for yeast breads. If you still want to drink it, try adding small amounts to a fresh fruit, cucumber, herbal water or.other beverage. Also, it could add the bright notes to a modified Tom Yum, Pho, or other Asian style soup

  • pseaboltpseabolt North Carolina Posts: 48 ✭✭✭

    You guys are all so brave and creative! When mine went too far, I just tossed it.

  • AlisonAlison Posts: 158 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for so many extra ideas about the sour Kombucha.

    I had considered pickled eggs but don't know if it would be ok for that. Has anyone tried?

    When I get too many scobies or too large I give them to the chooks. They are happy to eat them. I figured that they were getting some great gut health and it was much better than tossing it out.


  • CaraCara Posts: 3 ✭✭✭

    I grew my first scoby by following these instructions. It worked perfectly, and others have also had success.


  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cara Thanks, checking it out now. Always interested in how others are doing things to poss improve on mine

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cara Just enough time to glance at it and the booch brand GT's is what I use but I use the 'organic and raw: gingerade'

    Can you list or show a pix of the ingredients list to the right of the name label? I might want to try your method and that particular 'flavor' of GT's.

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