Yes, you can.
*To ferment a smaller amount of , use a ra Manchurian Mushroom tio of 1:3 [1 part fermented KT starter, to 3 parts prepared nutrient solution].
Yes it is possible while there is oxygen and some sugar for food.
You can ferment Manchurian Mushroom in a dark or in a light place.
It is best to store a Manchurian Mushroom in a covered glass bowl with some fermented tea added. Be sure the cover will allow air to reach the colony.
If you have a large container there is no problem with putting in more than one colony. Many people don't separate the colonies but just let them stack up in the fermenting vessel, while periodically removing the oldest one from the bottom of the stack. However, a single colony is sufficient to ferment Kombucha, additional colonies will just take up volume in your container.
Yes. Because of the acidic nature of the colony, using metal may turn the cut edges black, so be sure to use a stainless steel knife or scissors.
There are many names for Kombucha, both common and scientific; however, there seems to be little agreement among consumers as to what to officially call it. The colony is composed of yeasts (which are fungi) and bacteria. While the term mushroom is very misleading, people have "nick-named" it that because of the way it grows.
It doesn't matter which side is up. A new colony will form on the surface regardless of where the "mother" colony is situated in the container.
If you have extra colonies you can't give away, put them into a blender with some fermented Kombucha Tea and pulverize them into a cream. This cream can be used on the face as a skin cleanser, or, when put on abrasions, it seems to help them heal faster. You can also toss them into your compost bin for use in your garden.
No. Although Acetobacter (the main bacteria in Kombucha) often comes in contact with humans--due to its widespread presence in the environment--it does not colonize human skin nor does it inhabit the human body. The optimum temperature for the growth of Acetobacter is below that of the human body.
You can use the parent for three or four months with no problems.
Some say you can wash the mold off the Kombucha with vinegar, but I would advise that for safety's sake you throw out this batch of fermented tea as well as the Kombucha colony and start again with another Kombucha. Always add a 10% solution of ready fermented Kombucha Tea to each new batch you start. This is done to acidify the fermenting solution at the very start--to deter mold growth.
No. Sometimes it grows on its side, sitting on the bottom, or floating halfway up in the container. It doesn't make any difference. A new colony will form on the surface no matter where the old one is situated.
Although the original Kombucha will eventually wear out from age and use, it can be used repeatedly for quite a few months--as long as it remains in healthy condition. The life-span of a particular colony probably varies with use and feed-stock as well as growing environment, etc.
Just trim it to fit the new container using a sharp stainless steel blade.
There is not much difference whether the Kombucha colonies float or sink. Its density is close to that of water or a little heavier, so when undisturbed, the gas out of fermentation will keep it afloat on or near the surface until someone disturbs it and releases the bubbles underneath, then it will sink. A new Kombucha will start on the surface whether or not the parent is floating or has sunk.
Yes. The bacteria and yeast which make up Kombucha are aerobic.
Yes. However, it has recently been established by lab tests conducted by the Kombucha Consumer Research Group ™, that some plastic components in Ziplock bags will be leached into the contents of the bag during long-term storage.
The following advice is provided by Carl Mueller, a former member of the Kombucha mailing list. "I state the following based on my knowledge and experience brewing wine and beer. I feel that this is applicable here because a lot of what has been previously stated i.e., sterility, alcohol production, etc., are the same. Yeast will die in a fermented liquid after the food source has been exhausted--a process known as drying out. Yeast is also killed from long term exposure to alcohol, although the amount we make in the tea in small. When a batch is allowed to stand at room temperature for long periods of time all the food sources for the microbes are used up, and some will die, others may go into a suspended state in a cyst and survive, which ones I don't know, and from what I have seen stated, I wonder if anyone else might know.
Allowing the tea to stand for long period of time causes another phenomenon to occur, and that is oxidation. This occurs in wines when the surface boundary of CO2 dissipates, and oxygen is absorbed. While the yeasts are active this is constantly produced, keeping the oxygen out. I keep hearing everyone refer to the colony breathing, but what is taking place, is the release of pressure from CO2 production. If it isn't released the container will rupture. Oxidation will cause an off-flavor to occur in the tea as oxygen reacts with the alcohol that is present."
No. Chlorine can cause damage to the Kombucha colony. The best way to clean your colony (to remove the brown stringy yeast etc.,) is to simply bathe it in some of the kombucha ferment it came out of. This practice will also serve to maintain the pH of the colony. Washing it in water--even cooled, boiled water, could change the pH and make it susceptible to mold growth.
Be sure to thoroughly clean your hands (or use latex gloves) and the equipment used in fermenting the colony. This is very important.
DEEP-FREEZING THE KOMBUCHA COLONY
By Günther W. Frank , author of the book, Kombucha - Healthy Beverage and Natural Remedy from the Far East ISBN 3-85068-337-0 http://www.bawue.de/~kombucha/english.html
One is also often advised to deep-freeze the culture in the freezer during a break in production, together with a little of the ready-fermented beverage. To do this, the culture can be heat-sealed into a freezer bag or else put into a screw-top jar. When using screw-top jars, they should be left open at first so that they won't burst, and the lids only screwed on tight once the culture has been shock-frozen. The lids should be removed again before thawing, so that a vacuum does not form above the liquid.
Prof. Dittrich (1975, p. 70) writes about the influence of cold on the general development of micro-organisms: "Compared with heat, it is virtually ineffectual. Reproduction is certainly very much slowed down by low temperatures, but death by freezing is hardly possible. This is of course in line with natural conditions, for whereas boiling heat hardly ever occurs, freezing of the substrate containing bacteria (e.g. earth) for months on end is the rule, even in our latitudes."
Prof. Henneberg (1926, Vol. 1, p. 6) confirms this: "In general, cold does not kill fungi. Bacteria, yeasts, mold spores can remain viable in ice for a long time. Even a temperature of - 113 Centigrade (about 235 Fahrenheit) does not kill yeasts."
In my opinion, one has to be careful when freezing the culture that it does not suffer any damage due to the freezing process. If the temperature sink so slowly during freezing that the culture remains for a very long time in the critical zone of 0 Centigrade to -5 Centigrade (32 to 41 Fahrenheit), this can damage it. This temperature range is critical because long sharp ice crystals slowly form during this time, and they destroy the cell walls. Crystals need time to grow. If they are not given this time, they cannot form. So it all depends on the culture being frozen to sleep very quickly - if possible, shock-frozen. It may therefore be advisable to turn on the fast-freeze equipment or flick the super-frost switch and get the temperature right down ready before you put the culture in. Because of the speed of freezing and the intense cold, the critical zone of low temperature is passed through so quickly that large ice-crystals with their dangerous sharp edges and points cannot form. Rather, only small crystals develop which cannot injure the cell walls and the structure of the culture.
When thawing out the culture, the block of ice should be laid in fresh nutrient solution. In my experiments with frozen Kombucha cultures I have observed the following (the cultures were frozen from 8 days to 3 months): At first the cultures lay as if dead on the bottom of the fermentation container, and I thought they had frozen to death. Then little bubbles gradually began to rise - sign that the yeasts were beginning to work and that carbonic acid was being produced. Only after some delay - about 14 days after thawing out the culture - could I observe a thin skin beginning to form on the surface of the tea. This told me that now the bacteria had taken up their production of cellulose, from which the skin is formed. After a little while a beautiful culture had formed again, although it seemed to me to be rather more jelly-like than usual. These processes happened much more quickly in control glasses.
For a long time I could not explain the reason for this delayed development, and wondered whether some of the micro-organisms had not been destroyed or damaged by the freezing process after all, and the remaining bacteria and yeasts must first build themselves up again. Then I came across the following statement in Dr. Helga Schroeder's book "Mikrobiologisches Praktikum" (Microbiological Practice - 1975), which could account for my observations: "If a nutrient solution is inoculated with bacteria, then growth does not begin in the 'typical' exponential way, but goes through a more or less marked phase of delay. This initial phase is called the latent period. The length of time it takes is influenced among other things by the age of the inoculum (Note: the substance which is added; old cells go through a long latent period) and by the composition of the milieu (when the composition of the nutrient solution in which the inoculum is cultivated and the one which is to be inoculated is the same, the latent period is shortened)."
The above-mentioned exponential growth means the phase during which the bacteria divide so quickly and so well that at certain intervals a doubling of the number of organisms takes place: one bacterium divides, and two cells are formed. They grow and divide in their turn, so that after the second division there are four cells. The number of cells are therefore doubled at every division. This system of constant doubling causes the quickest growth and in all cultures only lasts for a short time. We should otherwise soon be up to the ears in Kombucha culture.
I suspect that the micro-organisms need the long starting phase, as explained above, because of the complete contrast of the change in their living conditions. This should be understood, and concessions made for the culture if you think it should be frozen. Some people have even thrown the culture away because they thought it was dead after they had thawed it out.
Enjoy your Kombucha!
Greetings from Germany,
It doesn't matter. There is no advantage to using one or the other. Each will produce a new colony when put into a feeding solution.
No. Thin spots or holes or if the parent colony tears while being separated from the baby, doesn't mean there is a problem with the Kombucha. However, if the colony smells "off," and tears or falls apart very easily, throw it out and use a different one in your next batch.
Günther W. Frank, author of Kombucha-Healthy Beverage and Natural Remedy from the Far East, suggests the following method: "I mail Kombucha colonies like this: I put the colony, including about 9 ounces of ready fermented beverage (very important!) in a plastic bag--like one use for deep freezing food in a deep-freeze. Then I seal the bag with a bag sealer. This bag I put into another bag, which I seal again. So it is double sealed. For mailing, I put the double sealed bag into a box and fill the inner space with Styrofoam flocs. Thus, I send colonies round the whole world, and they all arrived in good condition."
John A. (Jack) Barclay -- a member of the Kombucha mailing list, stated the following : "Someone was told that if the Kombucha colony doesn't float to the top within a day or two, it should be thrown out. Not so. Whether the Kombucha floats or sinks or rests somewhere in the middle is a function of the density of the Kombucha compared to the density of the liquid. The density is affected by the amount and kind of sugar, temperature, water hardness, kind of tea etc. Each Kombucha will be slightly different in density depending on where and how it was grown and how dense the cellulose matrix is and the number and size of air pockets in the matrix. Which normally can't be seen with the naked eye, but affect whether the Kombucha colony sinks or floats. It has often been recommended that if one can't figure out where the new Kombucha is when looking at it, weigh the mother Kombucha to the bottom and the one that forms at the surface is the obvious offspring."
Absolutely not! Do not try to salvage a moldy colony, throw it out along with the tea it was growing in. Chances are very good that the mold has already infiltrated into the colony itself. Sterilize the equipment and start over with a Kombucha colony from another source. throw it out
Mold is usually hairy or fuzzy looking--like the mold on cheese, bread, or fruit--and can be either black, green, yellow, gray, or white and usually grows in circular patches. throw it out
According to Michael R. Roussin, Director of the Kombucha Consumer Research Group ™ "the two molds which are found most often to be growing on Kombucha are: "Penicillium notatum," and "Aspergillus niger."
Here are some possible causes and prevention tips posted over the Kombucha Mailing List by Ariana Estelle-- Author of the kombucha booklet, Kombucha 101-A Kombucha Primer.
CLEANLINESS is of utmost importance
Michael Roussin, Director of the Kombucha Consumer Research Group ™, has the following to say: "On the topic of nicotine and molds, I have to disagree about acids preventing molds on one point. Tobacco smoke is highly alkaline (about 12.0). Ferments that are exposed to tobacco smoke, get an alkaline layer on top of the new culture, which quickly grows common molds. Even ferments with a pH below 3.0, will grow a mold on a new culture in a room where tobacco is smoked. If you smoke, find a room where you can grow Kombucha that is a no-smoking area. Keep the door closed, and do not smoke when you are around your ferments. We established this in an experiment. Two cultures cut from the same parent, raised in the same nutrient, and with the same starter tea. One was exposed to cigarette smoke, and grew mold. The other was not exposed to cigarette smoke, and grew Kombucha. It is also covered in the books by Frank and Tietze."
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