Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bottled and Labeled: Packaging is Everything!

Well, My SCOBY got to be about 1/3 inch thick and the tea still tasted a bit like an apple cider drink, but there hadn't been much change in the SCOBY for the last few days, so I decided to bottle her up.

I made a fresh batch of tea and sugar yesterday, so it was cool and ready to go. I grabbed the SCOBY and all its mess and transfered it to the new tea. I then assembled my bottles, funnel and a glass measuring cup to pour from and got to work. After each bottle was almost full, I added dried cranberries and/or slivers of fresh ginger. I left one bottle plain and some with one or the other, just to test out the flavors. Sean said that gives the Kombucha some extra fizz, so we'll see how it goes. I topped off each bottle and began making my labels.

Ok, so I come from the world of marketing and branding, so this is a very important part of the process for me. I am, however, no design guru, but I used a beautiful mandala that I colored and produced a very pretty label that I affixed to each bottle.

My beautiful bottles are now sitting, waiting for nature to take its course, and I tell ya, I want some fizz!

My new mother SCOBY is floating at the bottom of the new batch and sitting near the heater at about 78 degrees. I probably shouldn't have done this, but I put all the globs of goo from the last batch, plus one cup of tea in the new container. The globs from the bottom seemed too important to leave out and what the heck was I going to do with them anyway?

I was thinking that these globs might be good for my chickens (yes, I have two hens named Hazel and Myrtle ), but I'd have to research that a bit before I subject them to all that live active culture goo.


Sean LaFianza said...

lookin' good! I'm excited to read how they turn out! I'm glad you left a 'control' bottle to see what difference the additives make in fizziness.

A lot of people will put old scobys and leftover sludge in their compost.

Looking forward to the next update :)

TrackMom said...

I am wondering can I make label for my KT have any suggestions?

I am new to brewing and I am glad to see that my enthusiasm is "normal" LOL for the scoby and everything Kombucha.

I am on my second batch and I really liked my first but probably didn't let 2nd fermentation go long enough, fizz was just a little.
Thanks for sharing

Dot Connector said...

Hi there,

Really I just did a label in word with an image i created. Nothing particularly fancy. Since I drank them too fast, I never bothered with "real" bottle labels, which are found via home brew websites. Austin Home Brew sold lables that you affixed with a sponge and print on your own printer.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Love your pics and info!

I had 3 questions for you:

My first batch (and this 2nd one) smell and taste like apple cider. If I leave it longer will that sweet taste diminish?

I was told to let the KT brew for 7-10 days. I noticed that you were talking about bubbles. I still don't have any. Should I be leaving it longer with the scoby before putting it in bottles?

Also, where did you find your bottles and lids?!
Thanks for the advice!

Sean LaFianza said...

Thought I'd jump in too :) If your brew is tasting sweet, brewing longer will use up more sugar and leave more of a kombucha taste. As it eats up all the sugar, that's when it starts turning into vinegar (I like mine pretty vinegary)

7-10 days is a total average... I wrap my jars with a heating blanket through the winter and I'll brew for six days, through the summer with no blanket and I'm brewing for about seven. Bubbles mean you have some good CO2 levels going on that if bottled should give a great fizzy kombucha. Try adding some dried fruit (and ginger too) in your bottles and it will encourage more fizz and taste great!

Dot Connector said...

Ditto on everything Sean said realted to sweetness and fizz.

Bottles were from a friend who shared them with me, but I am pretty sure she bought them at a homebrew supply source like Austin Homebrew ( I started making so much, I just used empty soda/water/tea bottles (gasp, yes plastic). Any bottle that had a lid.

Francesca said...

For Kombucha bottling, do you have to have special lids that seal in a particular way (as in canning jam)? Or can you just use any bottle with any lid? Also, do they need to be refrigerated after bottling? I'm guessing that would prevent second fermentation?

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