What people say

Kelsey of Brentwood, CA

...on Water Kefir Grains

“Love that these come fresh and not dried, so I can make kefir right away!”

Jen J. of Fergus Falls, MN

... on the USA Made Stoneware Complete Package

“I love this brewer! It is a beautiful addition to our kitchen, and it makes continuous brewing a snap! We are having a fun adventure brewing Kombucha ourselves, the only problem is keeping our little people out of it until it is ready (a problem I am happy to live with).”

Patience C. from Rhode Island

... on the Kickstarter Kombucha Kit from KKamp

“The kit was great… the scobys where very thick and healthy looking. Everything I needed to get brewing (except the vessel)… the support from Kombucha Kamp is fantastic, as is the forums on KomMunity. I was extremely happy with the kit.”

Rita P. from Minnesota

... on The Brew Now Kit

“The service is excellent, the SCOBY and starter tea made the best kombucha, and Hannah’s special tea blend is delicious.”

Edie from Charleston, SC

... on KKamp's Full Sized Kombucha Culture

“I am so happy to have found Kombucha Kamp. My SCOBY arrived super fast, and I love that it was a fresh one and I didn’t have to spend weeks rehydrating it.”

Bert Seager

... on Continuous Brew

“If you are thinking about brewing your own Kombucha – you need look no farther than this web site – and store. I live in Boston MA as far away from Hannah, the Kombucha Mamma, as you can get in the USA – yet I felt her support every step of the way.”

Jane Park

... on Continuous Brew

“I love seeing my CB kit…makes me feel like I am consciously caring for myself, which I am more convinced now than ever before that women need to do more of. My first batch was really simple, mostly due to really simply laid forth instructions.”

Alysia McDonough

... on Continuous Brew

“I love this continuous kombucha brewer. It is beyond awesome. All you have to do is make the tea and add it to the container and decant from the spigot and repeat. I don’t think it can get any easier.Also everyone loves my kombucha better than the store bought kind.”

Julie Akerman

... on Continuous Brew

“When I first started continuous brewing I was very nervous…but after getting the hang of it..I LOVE IT!!! I love that your brew is always ready to either drink right out of the spigot or to flavor for the second brewing process. The crock is beautiful sitting in my kitchen and there is virtually NO MESS!!!”

Sally Fallon

... on Continuous Brew

“I am set up with your continuous brew jug and making Kombucha again after many years. How much easier than the old method! Thanks for paving the way to getting us all making Kombucha in our kitchens again.”

Kelsey of Brentwood, CA
Jen J. of Fergus Falls, MN
Patience C. from Rhode Island
Rita P. from Minnesota
Edie from Charleston, SC
Bert Seager
Jane Park
Alysia McDonough
Julie Akerman
Sally Fallon

Kombucha Glossary

Check out Kombucha Glossary and let us know what other terms we should add! 🙂

Kombucha Glossary Definitions of Terms

 

Acetic Acid
Baby
Bacterial Cellulose
Batch
Batch Brew
Brewing Vessel
Burping
Cloth Cover
Continuous Brew (CB)
Decant/Harvest
Flavoring
Fruit Flies aka Vinegar Flies
Glucuronic Acid
Healing Crisis (aka Herxheimer Reaction)
Kahm Yeast
Kombucha Tea (KT)
Kombucha Vinegar (KV)
Mold
Mother
Mushroom
Ooglies
pH
Primary fermentation (1F)
Probiotics
SCOBY
SCOBY Hotel
Secondary fermentation (2F)
Starter liquid
Tea
Tisane
Vinegar eels
Yeast strands

Acetic Acid
Acetic acid is produced by the fermentation and oxidation of sugars and ethanol. It gives vinegar as well as Kombucha & JUN their signature tang. Vinegar is legally defined as having 4-8% acetic acid. Kombucha and JUN are typically less than 1% acetic acid. We like to think of them as “easy drinking tea vinegar.”

Baby
The new pellicle that grows across the top of the fermentation vessel

Bacterial Cellulose
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that inhabit every surface of this planet including every square inch of the human body both inside and outside (yay bacteriosapiens!).

Certain types of bacteria are able to spin nutrients into fibers or more specifically, bacterial cellulose. Cellulose is the main substance that makes up plant cell walls and vegetable fibers and is used to make fabric, paper and a host of other valuable products. The dominant bacteria in Kombucha, acetobacter or gluconacetobacter, create the mild vinegar flavor as well as cellulose leading to the formation of the pellicle, also known as a SCOBY.

Bacterial cellulose from Kombucha is being explored as a biodegradable material, living bandages as well as a food supplement.

Batch
One vessel’s-worth of Kombucha

Batch Brew
Method of brewing Kombucha wherein the entire contents of a vessel is harvested

Brewing Vessel
The brewing vessel is any container used as the primary “home” for the fermentation culture and substrate. Ferments create acids that could potentially leach toxins from inappropriate materials, so it is important to select wisely. Here is a post to help determine which vessel is best → https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-jar-container-spigot-best-options

Burping
The act of opening the cap of a bottle slightly to release a small amount of built up carbonation in order to prevent the bottle from exploding or foaming over. Over burping can result in no carbonation. Here is an article that describes it in more detail –> https://www.kombuchakamp.com/bottling-kombucha-tea-jun-water-kefir-and-milk-kefir-without-explosions-geysers-or-blowouts 

Cloth Cover

The cloth cover is a tightly woven yet breathable fabric cover used to keep bugs, dust and debris out of the brewing vessel to prevent contamination. Cloth covers (https://www.kombuchakamp.com/cloth-cover-lid-kombucha-jun-kefir-fermented-vegetables) may be upcycled from used bed sheets, t-shirts or other materials or they may be brand new. KKamp also makes cloth covers with gripper elastic to hold the cover snuggly to the vessel.  → https://store.kombuchakamp.com/fermentation-covers/

Continuous Brew (CB)
A method of brewing Kombucha wherein 25-50% of a vessel’s worth is harvested and then more sweet tea is added back into the vessel. The vessel is cleaned once every 3 to 6 months. Read more about Continuous Brew here –> https://www.kombuchakamp.com/what-is-kombucha/continuous-brewing

Decant/Harvest
Decanting or harvesting is the process of removing the Kombucha from the vessel after Primary Fermentation is complete. You may either bottle unflavored or do a 2F using any flavorings you like depending on your personal preference.

Flavoring
One of the most fun and creative parts of fermentation is inventing flavors! During primary fermentation, the culture converts the substrate (sweet tea in the case of Kombucha, milk in the case of milk kefir and so forth) into a tasty treat. However, we can take advantage of the nutrients and flavor profiles of fruit, juice, herbs, spices, vegetables, mushrooms and just about anything your imagination can dream up! The organic acids in ferments helps to extract the nutrients quickly so after a few days, it’s ready to drink and might have even more bubbles. Need some help deciding what flavors to try? Check out the Big Book of Kombucha for over 250 flavoring inspirations!

Fruit Flies aka Vinegar Flies
Drosophelia melanogaster are the tiny flies that carry acetobacter and other organisms that turn wine or fruit into vinegar. They also love Kombucha and will start to gather near your brew. Here’s how to make traps and send them to a heavenly demise –> https://www.kombuchakamp.com/fruit-fly-trap-video-quick-tip

Glucuronic Acid
Glucuronic acid is an organic acid that is produced by the liver. It’s role is to bond to xenobiotics and escort them from the body to prevent toxic build up in the body. Xenobiotics are chemicals not native to the human body ie caffeine, pharmaceutical drugs, hormones, etc. Unfortunately, these days, humans are exposed to higher levels of toxins from a broader range of sources (food supply, polluted water and air, chemicals in cleaning & beauty products, pesticides, etc) which means our bodies are not able to produce enough glucuronic acid. To prevent poisoning the blood stream, those toxins end up sequestered into fat cells where they accumulate over time.

Kombucha fermentation naturally produces glucuronic acid which then helps to support the liver and gently rid the body of excess toxins over time. These acids are often formed later in the fermentation process and are enhanced through the Continuous Brew process.

Healing Crisis (aka Herxheimer Reaction)
A healing crisis is the body’s “it gets worse before it gets better” reaction. Often illness and disease form over many years of exposure to toxins or malnutrition. When the body is first introduced to healing modalities or different types of nutrients, toxins stored in the body may be released. As they are released, they can cause side effects such as a mild fever, light rash, nausea and so forth.

Often these symptoms pass within a couple of weeks but sometimes they can be severe. Observing how the body responds to inputs and making adjustments based on biofeedback (ie Trust YOUR gut), is the best way to sense if what the body is experiencing is actual illness or a temporary healing crisis. Every body is different so should any symptoms linger or worsen, contact your primary health care professional immediately.

Kahm Yeast
A non-toxic yeast that can invade a young brew, it appears as a white, stringy film (almost like spaghetti) that may cover the top of a ferment. It serves as an indicator that the ferment may have had weak starter, not enough salt in the brine or improper temperature. It may be possible to get rid of Kahm yeast. Try skimming the surface of the brew to remove it wherever it appears and then make a new batch using extra starter liquid.

Kombucha Tea (KT)
The drink created by the Kombucha fermentation process. Fermented tea.

Kombucha Vinegar (KV)
Kombucha vinegar is the result of an extra long fermentation or a purposeful souring of Kombucha to create a higher acetic acid content. May be used in place of vinegar for salad dressings, marinades, hair tonic, facial toner, and more. See this post for more ideas on how to use KV –> https://www.kombuchakamp.com/top-5-uses-for-kombucha-vinegar

Mold
Any foodborne contaminant that may colonize a Kombucha brew. Similar to other foodborne molds in appearance. Any Kombucha brew that has mold is considered unsafe to consume. It is advised to dump everything and start over with a fresh batch. See Mold images & learn how to prevent it here → https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-mold-information-and-pictures

Mother
The SCOBY that is used to propagate a new batch of Kombucha. A “baby” quickly becomes a “mother” if it is moved forward to propagate a new brew.

Mushroom
A “term of convenience” based on the appearance of the SCOBY, which can resemble a mushroom cap. There are no mushrooms in Kombucha → https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-is-not-a-mushroom-people

Ooglies
The scientific term, ehem, rather the layman’s term for the strands of cultures that appear in the brew after fermentation. The Kombucha continues to ferment even in the bottle which can lead to the formation of new SCOBY growth. It often looks like a clear jelly or glob floating in the liquid. Also referred to as “snot globs” – knock em back like an oyster shooter for extra organisms or strain at the time of consumption.

pH
A measurement of potential hydrogen atoms present in a liquid. For Kombucha, our product is acidic and ranges from 2.1-3.8 with 2.5-3.5 being the range at which most people prefer taste wise. But just measuring pH isn’t enough to determine if the brew is ready to drink → https://www.kombuchakamp.com/ph-kombucha-alkaline-acid-balance

Primary fermentation (1F)
This is the first stage of fermentation with tea, sugar and SCOBY. We always recommend following the recipe the first time around to ensure that the culture is reproducing properly. Once you have extra cultures in your SCOBY Hotel, then you are free to experiment with different teas, sugars and substrates in primary.
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/tea-and-kombucha-what-to-use-and-what-to-avoid
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/exotic-teas-kombucha
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/faqs/what-types-of-sugar-must-be-avoided-when-brewing-kombucha
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-recipe

Probiotics
According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are strains of living organisms that “confer a benefit to the host.” All fermented foods are probiotic as they contain live organisms and nutrition in a living form. Some would prefer to narrow the definition to only include strains that can withstand the acidity of the stomach acid but most of those types are manufactured in labs. We hope that continued research will demonstrate that food in living form provides a greater impact than patented pills.

SCOBY
Acronym developed in the 1990’s to distinguish the Kombucha culture from the Kombucha drink. Stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Some use colony or community instead of culture.

SCOBY Hotel
Invented by Kombucha Kamp, a SCOBY Hotel is simply a jar with extra Kombucha cultures hanging out in Kombucha. The cultures must remain immersed in the Kombucha to prevent mold and remain viable for future use.
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/scoby-hotel-video-quick-tip
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/scoby-hotel-maintenance

Secondary fermentation (2F)
After Primary Fermentation (1F), we can either drink the Kombucha as is or add flavorings to enhance the taste and benefit of the brew. Most flavorings are added in secondary to avoid compromising the mother.
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/how-to-flavor-kombucha-mushroom-tea
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/10-easy-recipes-for-flavoring-kombucha
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-flavoring-recipe-turmeric-the-queen-of-spices
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-flavoring-recipe-elderflowers
https://www.kombuchakamp.com/kombucha-flavoring-recipe-blood-orange

Starter liquid
Starter liquid is simply fermented Kombucha. It typically comes with your mother and at least 1 cup per gallon is suggested to prevent mold. To get starter liquid for your next batch, remove 1-2 cups of Kombucha from your vessel before decanting. A SCOBY Hotel is a great way to make strong starter for future batches.

Tea
Tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. According to legend, it was discovered over 5000 years ago by the Chinese Emperor/God of Agriculture, Shen Nong, when the leaves fell into his cup of boiled water. Upon sipping, he felt energized yet focused and thus tea became highly prized and ultimately, the national beverage of China.

In fact, tea is the most popular beverage in the world and is consumed in every culture, second only to water. “Tea” is also a term of convenience for many different types of herbs that are also steeped or infused in water – for example, chamomile tea, peppermint tea, etc yet they do not contain the same nutrients as tea. So when we brew Kombucha or JUN, it is important that we are using tea leaves from the tea plant.

The different styles of tea (white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, …) are created from the same leaves yet yield different flavor profiles and nutrient content based on where they are grown, when they are picked and how they are processed. The longer they are permitted to oxidize (exposed to oxygen), the darker their color and the more tannins they contain.

Traditionally Kombucha has been brewed with black tea which is high in tannins however over time we’ve seen many different types of tea used in primary fermentation. If your SCOBY or Kombucha flavor is weak, add more black tea and it will bounce back. Try Hannah’s Special Tea Blend for Perfect Kombucha

Tisane
Tisane is the fancy word for herbal tea. Any type of herb that can be steeped in water and consumed is a tisane. Popular tisanes include chamomile, peppermint, and hibiscus. Tisanes may be used in either primary or secondary fermentation but will impact the health of the SCOBY as well a the flavor and nutrient profile of the final product. Tisanes may also be mixed with tea to produce lower caffeine blends that still support healthy culture growth.

Vinegar eels
Vinegar eels are a harmless to humans nematode that feast on bacterial cellulose. Often found in traditionally brewed vinegar, they can mellow the flavor as they prevent all of the acetic acid from being formed. Unfortunately, they will destroy your culture and must be eliminated entirely to prevent recontamination.

Yeast strands
The yeast are larger organisms than the bacteria and when they aggregate they form brown strands which may also appear green or black depending on where in the vessel or on the culture they form. Yeast are the “Y” in SCOBY and are vital for the fermentation process. They also provide fizz and are necessary in the bottle to build natural effervescence.

Have a word we should add to the Kombucha Glossary?
Email us your suggestion!


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