Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fourth (Happy) Brew - Bottling

March 6, 2011 - Bottling "Happy"

Since I worried about salad dressing last time, I was less worried when this batch went 2 full weeks, nevertheless, I was concerned when I sampled it. Generally I was trying to taste it after 7 days, and sample every day after. That worked for the first batch, but then life set in, and it seemed I had little to no time during the week. Two weeks it is, in total isolation.

I could drink this stuff straight from the tap, no flavoring needed. This happy brew is mighty fine as it is. If you look close, you can see the fine bubbles. I've grown some wicked scobies now, and they are doing the job mighty fine.

Take a look at the family. I emptied out the hotel as well for this little photo opp. Notice the little guy on the left, he became the gatekeeper of the hotel. Scobies is the craziest people.

Simplification is what will keep me doing this for a long time. This batch is going to be Blueberry Ginger (thank you Lee for the great idea). I always try to leave one bottle plain to see how the naked booch tastes. I have a good feeling about this one.

I also decided to grate my ginger (frozen), and  try varying amounts in bottles. The little chunks of ginger I am using just are not imparting the flavor in my booch. I want some serious ginger.

Fyi, the spigot is overrated, this is a slow lazy way to bottle.

Like before, I'm making 5 bottles as I needed some booch for the Scoby Hotel. I would really like to increase the size of this batch, 5 bottle is just not enough for the work. For now though 2 Scobies, 2 weeks is the perfect recipe. This may change when the weather gets warmer

BB/Ginger - 15 Frozen Blueberries, 1 TSP grated (frozen) Ginger
Status - Unopened

BB/Ginger - 15 Frozen Blueberries, 1 TSP grated (frozen) Ginger
Status - Unopened

BB/Ginger - 25 Frozen Blueberries, 2 TSP grated (frozen) Ginger
Status - Unopened

BB/Ginger - 25 Frozen Blueberries, 2 TSP grated (frozen) Ginger
Opened - March 11, 2011 -  Somewhat sour, can feel the ginger burn on the back of the throat. Maybe too sour. Light fizz. OK. very strong

Plain - 1 TSP Sugar 
Opened - March 20, 2011 - Big fizz, very bubbly. Awesome plain taste. One of my favorite plain versions thus far. Very very good.

Stay Happy

Fourth (Happy) Brew

Sunday, Feb 20

In keeping with the theme of previous batches, I felt that given my sour mood of the post holiday, vegan funk. I thought a "Happy" brew would be just the thing. So hopefully my additional sentinel will watch over my latest creation

  • 5 spoons of High Mountain Oolong
  • 1 cup 365 Organic Sucunat
  • 2 Eldest Scobies (I moved Hannah's original to the hotel)
I am trying a variety of teas, so this batch is 100% Oolong. This was fancy stuff my wife brought back from Singapore. When its done, its done.

Its a fine looking weed

I opted for a 25 minute steep, although I confess, I lost track of the time after the timer went off, so this is somewhere between a 25-50 minute steep (eek), I'm sure it will be fine. I had good success with the Sucunat, so I elected to use it again as well.

25 Minute steep (or thereabouts), and added sucunat.  Poured remaining 8 cups of water in the vessel, and then added the sweet tea.

Time to get this covered up and put away

Interestingly enough, I waited a while longer than before to get this batch going, and my starter that I had set aside:

Had grown a little Scoby on the top. Damned if these aren't the craziest things.

Last time a 2 week window seemed to work just fine, and based on work, and my general attitude, I would say I'm not going to get around to checking this for a few weeks. Hopefully it becomes a Happy brew

Keep watch

Friday, February 18, 2011

Third (Bashful) Brew - Bottling

February 12, 2011 - Bottling

This one went way longer than I had intended, and I seriously thought this was going to be a large batch of salad dressing.  I noticed that when I tasted it, it was much more naturally fizzy than the others I have done at this point.  It was rather good, and sour.  I could have poured a big glass of this over ice, and left it.  

I pitched my shredded Scoby from the last time, and noticed I got a much nicer one this time.  The new Scoby is n the top right.  Try and guess which one came from Hannah... You guessed it, the beauty on the bottom.  Hannah has some nice Scobies ;)

I decided to simplify somewhat.  One bottle with Black Raspberries, one with Red Raspberries, and this time Meier Lemons with about twice the ginger.  I also decided to bottle one plain with a little rock sugar just to see what would happen.

I'm making 5 bottles as I used a bottle to start a Scoby Hotel.  This is a cool picture before I extracted and separated the scobies. Look at how they form a nice tight seal across the top.  This I think is a big reason why I got a nice fizzy batch.  2 scobies are the way to go

Only 5 bottles this time

Frozen Red Raspberries - Small Handful

Feb 25 - Opened - This was mega fizzy, so much so i lost half the bottle on the counter. very strong and sour

Meier Lemon/Ginger - 3 slices of lemon, about 1/2 oz. of juice and about 10 pieces of ginger

Mar 6 - Opened - Big fizz, still in need of more ginger, but it was very tasty!

Frozen Black Raspberries - Small Handful 

Feb 19 - Opened - Light Fizz, similar to lindedmans lambic, very nice. will do again soon

Plain - Teaspoon of German Rock Sugar

Feb 20 - Opened - Almost no fizz, light sour, plain , simple. just ok

Meier Lemon/Ginger - 3 slices of lemon, about 1/2 oz. of juice and about 10 pieces of ginger 

Feb 19 - Opened - Not so tart, lt fizz, still need more ginger, need more 2nd ferment time too

Third (Bashful) Brew

Sunday, January 30

I decided I needed other watchers over my booch, since the cracked vessel, the shredded scoby, and the mediocre performance on my last batch.  I decided to simplify a little, only do two flavors, and appoint another sentinel.  Bashful.
  • 2.5 spoons of Lychee Black Tea
  • 2.5 spoons of High Mountain Oolong
  • 1 cup 365 Organic Sucunat
  • Original KK Scoby, my eldest Scoby
Decided on a mix, instead of all black tea.  I was running low on Lychee

These are both very good teas, and make a nice pair.

As before, all tea was steeped and tempered prior to putting in the vessel.  I don't need another busted contain.  I also tried using Sucunat, as opposed to straight sugar.  I just like saying it... Not sure if I'm saying it right, but it is fun.. Imagine this with a thick southern drawl "Suck-You-Nat"

35 Minute steep, and added sucunat.  Poured remaining 8 cups of water in the vessel, and then added the sweet tea.

Time to get this covered up and put away

This one is going to sit awhile.  My schedule indicates that I have a few trips to make, one in which I plan to see the Steelers win their 6th super-bowl (2/18 ok, that was a disaster, hope it doesn't rub off on my kt)

Keep watch

Friday, January 28, 2011

Second Brew - Bottling

January 28, 2011 - Bottling

Did not get a chance to check this much, so I was hoping that the booch would be good.  Tonight it just started to change from sweet to sour, so I knew the time was right.

And then there were three.

The baby scoby is the one on the left. Hannah's is the pretty one on the bottom.  Not sure why my scobies look so poor, I'll have to get a little more scoby advice going forward.  The new one on the left is in a few shreds, not looking healthy at all.  Hopefully she'll get better

On my own this time, no flavor packets from Hannah.  Since the ginger really stood out on the last batch, I wanted to incorporate it as much as possible.  Making 3 flavors:

Dark Red Cherries. If you can identify them, let me know.  This time of year at Kroger, they are just labeled "cherries".

Lemon and Ginger has been a popular flavor in twitter-land.  I'm showing rind here, but I also made a bottle with lemon slices instead.  I want to see which is better.

My daughter brings these home from school all the time.  Never seems to eat them, so I thought I would try them as well.  In this pic I show slices, but I also grated rind to compare the two

My spigot is slow.  Its a personal issue.

One glass left which I shared with Maddie over ice.  Actually she only took a sip, she claimed it had a winey taste to it.  Which just dawned on my how she knew what wine tasted like hmmm.

Clementine/Ginger - ounce of Clementine juice, 3 slices of clementine, 3-4 cubes of ginger

Open - February 4 - Just OK, same as the others, too light on the ginger.

Dark Cherry - 5-6 cherries pitted, chopped up

Opened - February 12 - Sour cherry. Big Fizz, very good. Nice dark read color.

Lemon/Ginger - ounce of lemon juice, rind of 1/2 lemon, 3-4 cubes of ginger 

Open - February 3 - Almost no fizz, way too lemony, almost no ginger.  Drinkable, but barely

Dark Cherry - 5-6 cherries pitted, chopped up

Open - February 4 - Very good, nice and red. fizzy. Very tart.

Lemon/Ginger - ounce of lemon juice, 3 lemon slices, 3-4 cubes of ginger 

Open - February 12 -  Better, crazy fizzy, but still too tart, and needs more giner

Clementine/Ginger - ounce of clementine juice, grated rind of 1 clementine, 3-4 cubes of ginger 

Open - February 10 - Mildly fizzy, good, but needs more ginger.  Mild orange flavor