Top 5 Tips for Bottling Kombucha Tea, Jun, Water Kefir and Milk Kefir Safely In Hot Weather Without Explosions, Geysers or Blowouts

Who loves bubbles in their beverage? We do! In fact, most Kombucha homebrewers desire more fizz in their brew. Any why not? It’s fun, adds texture and flavor, looks cool in the glass and reminds many people of good times. How exciting when a new Booch is opened, bubbles rush madly upward, increasing exponentially, frothing to the top of the bottle and spilling forth gently!

There may even be a secret reason we crave those carbonated quaffs…could it be nutrition? Natural fizz – the kind found when bottling Kombucha, JUN and Kefir homebrews – indicates the presence of living yeast, which contain B-vitamins that the body can use in bioavailable form.

Usually, if carbonation is a problem, the issue is not enough bubbles (See Carbonation Techniques Basic & Carbonation Techniques Advanced for more help with those issues). However too much of a good thing can transform pleasantly bubbly Booch to messy geyser or even bottle bomb under the wrong combination of conditions. Signs of over-fermentation when bottling Kombucha, Jun or kefir include bubbles leaking from the top, hissing sounds as CO2 tries to escape any which way, and stressed or bulging caps.

Bottling Kombucha, Jun, Water Kefir, and Milk Kefir Safely at All Times of YearThe good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid a mess when bottling Kombucha or any fermented drink at most times of the year, especially cooler seasons when carbonation can be a fickle friend. But as temperatures rise, the yeast become more active, and coupled with sugar in the form of fruit or flavorings (especially pureed fruit – see below), the excessive pressure produced by this dynamic duo is the issue to be on the lookout for.
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Part 2: Diving Deeper Into Detoxification

…with Trish Carty

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah

rocks with healing words

In part 2 of the detoxification series, we will cover an in-depth study of the body as it relates to detoxification. How do the systems within your body operate optimally? What are the 5 foundations that are considered top priority when addressing detoxification? What happens when the body is overloaded with toxins? What are the modern day toxins we need to be aware of? How do we remove them from our surrounding environment?

In part 1 of our study of detoxification, we covered what, why and how to start a safe detoxification program. How did you rate in the toxicity quiz and did you start the 14 day elimination challenge?

In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.

PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.

How Do The Systems Within
The Body Operate Optimally?

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Cucumber Salad w/Milk Kefir Dressing from Nourished Kitchen

Yay! Jenny McGruther’s new cookbook is here! If you are not familiar with Jenny’s work, she is the artistic eye and culinary genius behind Nourished Kitchen. We first met Jenny at the Freestone Fermentation Festival in 2011 where she was one of the speakers. Her passion for fermentation was obvious as she spoke of the myriad families that had been healed through eating a traditional foods diet that also included ferments.

McGr_Nourished Kitchen
First cookbook from Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen!

At that time, I was just learning about the research of Weston Price and deepening my own understanding of the role fermentation has played in the evolution of humankind. What I’ve gradually come to realize is how much chaos the Industrial Foods Revolution has wrought on the health of our entire nation. Home cooks were enticed away from the hearth with easy bake cake mixes and TV dinners that purported to be just as nutritious as their homemade counterparts.

Gradually, convenience foods along with innovations such as microwave ovens have led to an erosion of basic cooking skills. Moreover, packaged food itself is now comprised of chemicals, additives and generally lacking in the very things we eat food for in the first place – nourishment!

Enter Jenny McGruther’s beautiful blog (now turned cookbook), Nourished Kitchen, featuring recipes with traditional ingredients and cooking classes to help people reclaim the lost skills that had traditionally been handed down generation to generation. Jenny’s writing style and striking photos illustrate the simple beauty of how to make bone broth, ferment kefir and prepare nutrient dense organ meats with mouthwatering appeal. Paired with the science of nutrition, Nourished Kitchen closes the knowledge gap created by our wholehearted adoption of “the foods of commerce.”Continue Reading

Ask a Nutritional Therapist: Spring into Health!

…with Trish Carty

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah

Part 1: Rites of Spring – Detoxification

We all know that one of the important benefits of consuming kombucha, is its ability to detoxify the body in a gentle way. Detoxification is important because we are exposed to many toxicants on a daily basis. We are exposed to over 800 different types of chemicals in the air, water, and the food supply. While the amount of toxicants might be minute, over time they accumulate in the body. If the buildup is not removed, it leads to many problems in the body.

In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.

PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.

What Does It Mean To Detoxify Your Body?

GreenLiving_Detox
Photo credit from Green Living Magazine

How is the toxic load in your body? Take this quiz and see! (pdf)

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pH & Kombucha

Kombucha Defense Mechanisms

Kombucha is a living symbiosis of bacteria and yeast that has been brewed in homes and shared with others for hundreds if not thousands of years. A living culture with such a long history must have some way of protecting itself from causing harm to those who care for it (i.e. homebrewers) or surely it would have been ditched generations ago.

While our ancestors simply had to trust their gut, modern science is discovering the important role fermented foods have played in our culinary culture since recorded history (if not longer).  The Human Microbiome Project has just begun to illuminate our understanding of the relationship between gut bacteria and health, but some of the preliminary findings are confirming what our ancestors instinctually knew: As Bacteriosapiens, fermented foods provide us with the regular influx of healthy, living bacteria our bodies need in order to boost proper functioning. The Kombucha culture evolved a few different defense mechanisms to protect itself from invasion from harmful microorganisms – low pH, ethanol and the SCOBY itself are all means that ensure the longevity of the culture. Let’s take a look at pH and the role it plays in protecting the culture.

pH & Kombucha

As you recall from the Top 5 Signs of Healthy Kombucha Brew, pH plays an important role in protecting the SCOBY from microbial invaders. Kind of like a chemical force field, the low pH creates a highly acidic environment in which our native bacteria and yeast thrive but simultaneously inhibits the growth of disruptive foreign & potentially harmful microorganisms.

pH was first conceived by Danish chemist Søren Peder Lauritz Sørensen at the Carlsberg Laboratory in 1909. Carlsberg Lab was set up by the Danish beer brewing company to advance biochemical knowledge, especially as applied to brewing beer. While studying proteins, Sørensen devised the pH scale as a means to express the concentration of hydrogen ions present in a solution.

While there are conflicting explanations for the definition, the most commonly accepted answer is that “p = potential” and the “H = hydrogen.” pH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. When a substance dissolves in water, it produces charged molecules known as ions. Acidic water contains extra hydrogen ions (H+) and basic (alkaline) water contains extra hydroxyl (OH-) ions. As we can see on the chart below, the relationship from one pH level to the next is exponential.

The pH scale ranges from 0-14 with readings in the 0-7 range termed acid and readings in the 7-14 range termed alkaline. 7 is considered neutral and the ideal pH for our blood is just above 7. Without going into too many details, there is an important correlation between pH and health. While Kombucha tests on the acid side, much like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, when it hits the digestive system it creates an alkaline ash. (See pH post part 2 which will also include how to track your own pH).

pH scale representing the full spectrum from 0 to 14, acid to alkaline
Image courtesy http://web.archive.org/web/20131216153241/http://staff.jccc.net:80/pdecell/chemistry/phscale.html

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