Decaf, refined-sugar-free kombucha

I can't believe this actually worked! Two quart jars of kombucha, each brewed with half a thinly sliced Fuji apple. The brew on the left is two regular black tea bags and the brew on the right is two decaf green tea bags because I wanted to try a decaf brew, but I wanted to make sure my scoby got some as many camellia sinensis nutrients as possible, and it did! It actually made the stronger scoby! Also, adorably tiny. The regular black tea produced just a skin of a scoby.

And how does it taste? Like apple cider vinegar, which I think is yummy. Okay, full disclosure--it isn't 100% refined-sugar free; for the starter tea (the kombucha added from a previous batch to help inoculate the initial fermentation with even more of the beneficial yeasts and bacteria), I used half a cup of straight-brewed kombucha and half a cup of scoby hotel tea, which is supposedly to be an even more concentrated source of yeasts and bacteria. These kombuchas had at least some sugar added at the beginning of their initial brewing process. I used my friend Holly's scobys, which come from her well-established continuous brewing process, which had the added benefit of being big enough to drape over the apple slices and keep them submerged. I hoped this step would lessen the fruit's exposure to any airborne mold spores. Because these batches were so small, it took only a week to reach the level of sourness I wanted. These two jars will last me about a week, so it's a good brewing cycle. I rinsed all these scobys off and put them in a regular scoby hotel to recharge, and I'll see how they recover before using them in another batch. I'm looking forward to playing around with these more.


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