Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What's that Smell?

There's that smell again.

For the past week, whenever I've walked into our living room, I've smelled something rancid.

Was it rotting fruit? Nope. Everything looked fresh.

Was it the fridge or the garbage? All clear.

Did something die in the other room and I haven't found it, amongst some old bills and papers? Doubt it.

But then, all of a sudden, it dawned on me.

My Kombucha.

The smell was coming from the fermentation of Kombucha, a centuries-old fermented tea that some people drink for its purported medicinal benefits.

A few weeks ago I took a local class that showed me how to nurture what my instructor called the  Kombucha "mother" -- basically its starter -- by concocting a warm environment of bacteria and yeast using black tea. After the class, I brought home a beautiful mother in a jar, and brewed some tea to make my own Kombucha. I placed the mixture in a warm window and simply forgot.

Until today.

My Kombucha has another week or so of fermentation, and, for now, the smell is a little off-putting. Until it's ready, I just might have to open a window.

I'll let you know if it's worth the stink.


  1. Hm. I've been brewing my own kombucha for months, and the smell has never been much beyond a little musty-vinegary. I have also not kept it anywhere near sunlight. If I were you, I would take a peek in there, and make sure you don't have any mold colonies moving in...


  2. OK - you are NOT going to drink that stuff are you? I recommend an ounce of Crown Royal - it will probably do the same thing as that gross tea.

  3. Like Kate, I have been making kombucha for months - probably 25 gallons worth for my wife and I - using the continuous brew method. In that method, you just siphon off part of the kombucha and add fresh sugared (cooled) tea to replace it and wait a couple of days and you will have more kombucha.

    And like Kate, I have never detected any bad odors other than a slight vinegar odor from it. I keep a 2 gallon batch going on top of my fridge.

    We use pH strips to test the acidity - it is usually between 3.0 and 3.2 when we pull some off to drink.

    BTW, if and when you do get some good kombucha, try mixing it with a bit of pomegranate-blueberry juice you can find in your grocery store. It'll knock your socks off!!! 2 cups kombucha to 1 cup pomegranate-blueberry is what we use and sometimes add a cup of 7up for fizz.



Shout a cluck out for me!