Kombucha Klatch – ONLINE – recap

Thanks to everyone who watched the show live.  I appreciate your participation & questions.  Sadly, there were quite a few technical difficulties and the show didn’t record properly :/

Participants: chobesoy, sus1018, fermentationfestival, Wisconsin Sheri, Amanda Gunn Sekour

SPECIAL THANKS to Jennifer Harris of the Freestone Fermentation Festival for talking about the fest and People’s Kombucha Awards!

I’ve included a list of links and topics that were discussed today.  Stay tuned for the next Klatch ONLINE coming up June 12th.

Topics covered in this episode

Freestone Fermentation Festival

Fri & Sat May 20-21 in Freestone CA

The 3rd Annual Freestone Fermentation Festival is taking place next weekend.

Featuring the First People's Kombucha Awards!

The Symposium & Feast take place on Friday and feature Jenny McGruther (Nourished Kitchen), Sandor Katz (Wild Fermentation) & Dr. Charles Bamforth – “The purpose is to create an interactive forum to further understanding about fermented foods and their role in health and well-being.”  The feast is being curated by celebrity chef John Ash and will feature fermented foods from around the world including kim chi, natto and a sauerkraut German Chocolate cake to commemorate Sandor Katz’s birthday.

I will be attending both of these events and am very much looking forward to all the exotic fermented delights! Tickets for this event and the dinner (proceeds of which benefit Ceres Community Project) are available here.

The Festival takes place Saturday 5/21 from 12-5pm.  There will be presentations, music and the People’s Kombucha Awards (first ever!).  Be sure to ask for your ballot in order to cast your vote for your favorite Kombuchas in a variety of categories.  The Kombuchas will be from GTs Synergy, Bucha, Mother Knows Best, Preston Vineyard, Revive, House, Kombucha Botanica, Bauman College & Cultured Pickle Shop.

I will be on the tasting panel along with Sandor, Michael Pollan, Jenny McGruther & Chris Mann.  My presentation is scheduled for 2pm in the Auditorium – also, I will have kits for sale at my booth – stop by and say hi!

Techniques for Increasing Carbonation

I reviewed the basic techniques for increasing carbonation including adding fruit pieces to the bottling stage, removing the air from your bottles when capping & taking some starter from the bottom of the batch (advanced).

Types of Tea Suitable for Brewing Kombucha

We discussed types of tea & also using yerba mate in Kombucha.  I suggested experimenting with making Kombuffee (must be a member of the KommUnity to see this recipe) as a means of increasing caffeine in your KT.  Use a SCOBY from your Hotel for this experiment!

Sugar, Honey & Maple Syrup

Its fun to experiment!  Lately I’ve been using raw honey in my primary fermentation cycle.  These are some new experimental brews I’ve been working on and I have to say the flavor is quite unique.  Still figuring out more about using raw honey such as how it ultimately effects the culture long term.  I do recommend that your main Kombucha cultures be fed evaporated cane juice or white cane sugar as their primary sugar source, but branching out and experimenting – especially if you don’t mind if you fail every once in a while – is a fun way to mix up your brewing process.

When to Top-off tea Your Continuous Brewer

Top off tea is added when about 30% of your KT has been consumed or bottled.  I make a 1 gallon batch of nutrient solution and use it to top off my brewers – if there is any extra left, put it in the fridge and use within 5-7 days.

Chamomile Lavender Kombucha recipe

I was sipping on a new flavor of KT – here’s how you make it!

Chamomile flowers taste delicious and are very relaxing
  1. Add a pinch of chamomile & a pinch of lavender flowers to your bottles of fermented KT
  2. Let sit for 2-4 days, then taste.

Crisp & floral – very relaxing.  We discussed which other types of flowers are suitable for Kombucha.  As a general rule, only select flowers that are known to be edible.  Some examples are – rose petals, hibiscus, lavender, elderflower, orange blossoms and chamomile.

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