I keep 7 gallons of Kombucha going at all times (see my recipe). There are either 3 jars that have a younger batch in them and 4 jars with an older batch going, or vice versa. Does that make sense? This keeps us in constant supply.
But it always means that when a batch is done, I have 3 or 4 gallons to somehow store so they stay just right in sweetness, kick and taste. In other words, I don’t want the Kombucha to go sour. Even though you can’t see them, the strained and “finished” Kombucha contains microscopic little pieces of the mother scoby — and they will continue to grow and feed on the remaining sugars in the Kombucha as long as the conditions are right.
What conditions are those? Warmth, sugar and oxygen. Without one of them, the scoby cannot grow and the Kombucha will maintain itself at its current level of sweetness/taste. You can see now that it is very important to store the Kombucha in air-tight containers if you wish to keep it tasty.
I use gallon glass jugs for storing my finished Kombucha. At first, the jugs were working great. When I would open a jar to fill a carafe or a glass, I would hear a satisfying release of pressure, letting me know that the jar had been sealed tightly, not allowing oxygen to travel in and out of the jar. However, over time, I have been hearing less and less of that satisfying “whoosh” — and consequently, our Kombucha started turning sour! Those little scobys were somehow getting oxygen and eating up all the sugar. How could they? 😉
What I think happened is that the lids’ wax linings wore down over time, leaving gaps where air could pass. To solve this I have been tearing off 3 or 4 squares of natural wax paper and putting it between the lid and jar. I tighten the lid as tightly as I can. This seems to be working on all but one of the jars. (See top photo.)
Here’s another idea I have, but haven’t tried yet: melt wax, pour it in the inverted lid, rotate the lid around to distribute the wax, and let it harden. I don’t know how often this would be necessary but perhaps it is a better solution than using the wax paper lid liners?
If you have any other ideas for me, please share! Anybody else have this experience? If you’ve just begun making/enjoying Kombucha, how’s it going for you? Does anybody else feel the heavy-limbs/have-to-lay-down symptoms I do?
I thought at one point that I’d adjusted to the Kombucha’s blood pressure lowering effects, but now I’m back to laying down after enjoying a glass. A good reason for me to take a rest!
Note — I received an email from a friend yesterday. After reading this post, she sweetly reminded me that I could have a potential explosion on my hand from all the built up pressure in the bottles. She is right! However, since we drink the Kombucha in less than a week, I think I’m okay with the risk. I haven’t had any explosions yet! And I do think my jars are not completely airtight. So… please don’t follow my advice for storing the K-Tea in airtight jars if you’re not planning to drink the Kombucha right away. If you know you’re not going to be drinking it soon, the safest place to store it is the refrigerator, as this will stop the scoby’s growth altogether — and prevent explosions from built-up pressure!
Want to make your own Kombucha at home, but need a scoby (starter)? Here’s the one I recommend.
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