Experimental Kombuchas: Beet, Carob, and Raspberry Leaf

I generally make one post for each experiment. In this case, I started and ended these three at the same time, and none of them were particularly noteworthy. Well, almost nothing was noteworthy. Obviously I found value in noting the fact that they didn’t work.

Following my usual formula for kombucha experiments, 2 tablespoons of “tea” was extracted using 1 pint of boiling distilled water for three hours (until it was cool). To this was added 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup kombucha tea, combined in a 1 quart jar and topped off with more distilled water. Here are the results:

Beet

  • 15 days: It tasted watery and slightly sour, with a pH of 3.6. It had a healthy-looking 3mm scoby floating on the top.
  • 30 days: It still tasted watery, this time without any sourness. It had a light funky odor that I didn’t care for. The pH was over 4.4, suggesting that the culture ran out or nitrates/sugars and started metabolizing the acids. The previous scoby sank, and it had an additional 1mm scoby on top. The scobies are smooth, cloudy, and pink.

Carob

  • 15 days: Like the beet kombucha, the flavor was watery and lightly sour, with a pH of 3.6. It had a .5 mm scoby on top with a .5 inch of “webby” sediment in the bottom.
  • 30 days: Noting changed in two weeks. The flavor was still watery and lightly sour, with a pH of 3.6. The previous scoby sank, and it had a .5 mm scoby on top with .75 inch of “webby” sediment in the bottom. The scobies were smooth, regular, and clear

Red Raspberry Leaf

  • 15 days: The flavor was watery, with a sharp acetic acidity, and a pH of 4.0.
    1mm scoby, with what looked like a 1″ x 2″ cotton ball in the bottom. At a pH of 4.0, normal kombucha would not have as strong an acetic flavor, because of a larger proportion of gluconic acid.
  • 30 days: The flavor is now watery, without any sourness, and a pH of 4.4. , As with the beet kombucha, this suggests that the culture ran out or nitrates/sugars and started metabolizing the acetic acid. The scoby has grown to 2mm thick, but the “cotton ball” looks the same. There were fine 1″ long white fibers hanging down from the scoby, and a patch of white fuzz growing on top of the scoby. This is the first time I’ve encountered anything resembling mold on kombucha.

 

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