Of late I’ve seen Kombucha referred to as “Buch” – maybe a rhyming simile of Hooch – but Hooch doesn’t have the healthy benefits of Buch, yet Buch does contain a small amount of alcohol.
I’ve begun to view my SCOBIES as beneficial critters who live in my home with me; they magically convert sweet tea into a delicious healthy elixir by working quietly unattended in their Buch filled vessel and with each batch the mother SCOBY makes a baby SCOBY that can then make a new batch of Buch of her own.
If you didn’t read my other articles about how I grew my first SCOBY from my favorite commercial brand of raw organic kombucha you can find the last Buch update I wrote; in that article you will find all the links to the other articles that I wrote before that one.
When I made the first SCOBY I bought my favorite commercial brand of raw organic kombucha [GT’s Kombucha Gingerade] then I drank all the Buch except the bottom inch of sediment, which I reserved for my batch of SCOBY making Buch. See how I did it here. Another bonus is the nice glass bottles with lid that are reusable and very convenient with wide opening that any bottle brush can fit in to scrub-a-dub-dub to make clean for the next batch. I like using my swing-top glass bottles and the glass bottle that I’ve collected that require me to cap with the non reusable bottle caps, but I haven’t found a brush that fits into the neck of those bottles yet and so I have to take extra care to make sure they are sanitary.
My first batch of Buch had been fermenting for 19 days as of yesterday [5-4-15] Everything I have read or watched indicates that 14 days is minimum for the probiotic benefit and it can ferment up to 30 days with the longer the ferment the less sweet the beverage will be and probably the higher the alcohol content. I decided the Buch was fermented enough to have the probiotic benefits, the new SCOBY was fully formed, it appeared to be about 1/2″ to 5/8″ thick, and I could see the original mother SCOBY had made her way back to the top and was actually pushing up the new SCOBY. There were lots of bubbles pushing up the SCOBY and so I decided it was time.
I made the pot of tea for the new batch #2 of Kombucha, added the sugar and let it steep, and as it steeped and began to cool off, I calculated how much Kombucha to reserve for the new batch of Buch from the last batch. I used the factor of 10% of the quantity of the new brew, so since I was making a 2 gallon batch for the new brew I calculated that I needed to reserve 3.2 cups of the current batch. I actually used 3-1/2 cups of the first batch. I got the jar ready for the new batch of Kombucha, then I added the new SCOBY and the 3-1/2 cups of reserved Buch to the Kombucha vessel, then I covered the opening with a coffee filter and towel. I plan to make some covers from 100% cotton unbleached tight woven fabric but for now I have a lot of coffee filters I still have from a Mr Coffee that broke years ago.
One thing I like about making Kombucha that is easier than the lacto-fermented fruit sodas is because once it is in the vessel you cover it and leave it alone to work on its own. It don’t like being disturbed, unlike the lacto-fermented beverage that must be tended a couple times a day. The lacto-ferments need feeding and stirring once a day and then stirring again a second time in same day. The Buch takes about 20 days to be ready to bottle, whereas the lacto ferments take about 3 days before its ready to bottle. Once bottled the Buch takes another 10 days for full flavor and effervescence. Where as the lacto-fermented beverage takes maybe 2 more days to reach its effervescence.
I like the new Buch home being clear. I cover it with the kitchen cloth but I can peek in anytime to see how it looks.
Then I prepared the bottles for what was left of the first batch of Kombucha. I cut up ginger to add to the bottles to flavor it during the second fermentation.
I will leave the bottles in a cool dark place for 10 days to allow the second fermentation to happen. I also gave the old mama SCOBY a white vinegar bath to clean her up, she had changed drastically. Her size dwindled and when I started cleaning her she separated into 2 thin layers. More on that later, both sheets of her are living in the SCOBY hotel for now.
I bottled 3 of the recycled GT’s 16 oz glass bottle and one of the 12 oz fliptops. I drained most of what was left into a clean container, I dubbed the container the SCOBY hotel. [ I got the term from Gina of Pioneering in Detroit ] That’s where the old mama SCOBY will live for awhile. There is probably about 2 cups of the Buch 1st batch in that SCOBY hotel; I will keep it in the ferment fridge so that the SCOBY will hibernate. At the very bottom of the gallon jar that I had fermented the first batch in there was about 2 or 3 cups of liquid filled sediment that didn’t look like anything I wanted to save so it went down the drain into my in ground septic tank where I’m sure it will do good things for that system.
The idea of secondary fermentation is similar to when you bottle homebrew, that is the time that the CO2 is trapped and that is what makes the fizzy beverage. You can drink the Kombucha without secondary fermentation but it isn’t fizzy because all the CO2 has been escaping into the air during the open fermentation stage. Closing the Buch inside a bottle or jar with a lid will trap the CO2 inside the bottle, it is also the time to add the flavoring, be it ginger or fruit or whatever.
I have read numerous online sources including YouTube and websites. One very informative website is called Kombucha Brooklyn – check it out!
I just recently acquired “Delicious Probiotic Drinks” by Julia Mueller. I haven’t read it yet but I browsed through it before I bought it and I know it is going to be a great addition to my reference library.