Showing posts from 2016

Help!! My Scoby is Floating!!

Believe it or not, the phenomena of a floating Scoby happen quite regularly and it will spook the daylight out of 10 novice brewers.
The newly formed Scoby will slowly inch higher and higher from the surface and in certain cases looks as if it is actually levitating. Quite a feet to achieve for a group of bacteria and yeast isn’t it? Based on experience a floating Scoby does not harm the end product, in fact it kombucha that is produced in such a scenario has extra fizz to it. The downside?  A thinner baby Scoby because the baby Scoby cannot grow consistently as it the gas will disrupt its growth by pushing it away from the brew.
If this is happening to your brew, there is nothing for you to worry about. This phenomenon occurs due to excessive carbon dioxide that is produced through the fermentation process. In other words, the yeast in the brew is very active.
Excessive carbon dioxide will slowly push the newly formed Scoby away from the brew. If left unchecked, the baby Scoby will…

Brewing Bamboo Cha

As the Raya season winds down, it was that time of the year again for Lemang! I do love Lemang.  Sticky rice cooked in natural bamboo dipped in rendang is worth its weight in gold. While I was enjoying a piece of Lemang, I had a brewer's Eureka moment. The bamboo husk which is usually thrown away is an excellent piece of natural vessel to brew kombucha.

The idea got me all excited because I was really curious how does the natural taste of bamboo blend in with kombucha?  I went on to work straight away. Finishing my last piece of lemang, I took a good look at the remaining bamboo that still can store water.
Next I sanitized the bamboo with hot water. This step is vital because the inside of bamboo is very prone to mold growth. Cool it to room temperature and proceeded to brew using my preferred blend of oolong and black tea. As the surface area bamboo container small, I topped up the ratio of starter to 25% to reduce the risk of mold.

7 days later…..

The final brew from bamboo? The…

How to Make Kombucha - A Video Collaboration

I was approached by a group of science students from Taylor's University who were on an assignment to learn more about Kombucha. Their timing couldn't be better because I had scheduled to conduct a clinic on kombucha-making.

So I invited them over to the workshop and also had a separate QnA session with them. With the info at hand they went back with the information and tastefully produced a video that encapsulates the very essence and benefits of kombucha brewing.

To watch the video, click on this link . (Tried to upload here but the size was too big lol).

I was really blown away by the quality of the video and hats off to these hardworking group of students and such a excellent piece of work.

The video above only shows the very basic information on kombucha brewing. If you are interested to learn even more about kombucha brewing and also Kefir. Join me and my partner in crime CY in our next workshop at Granny Doris on the 23rd of July 2016.

Email or call me for more informat…

Civil War! Kefir (Water) vs Kombucha!!

I just came out from the cinema after watching the excellent movie Civil War. Seems like pitting one versus the other is the flavour of the day now and I had decided to jump into this bandwagon and pit two of our lovable Scobys against each other. 
Kefir and Kombucha are very similar. Both are Scobys and its consumption assist in the well being of our gut and it also has assist in detoxification
However there are 3 obvious differences that I would like to highlight here.
1. Choice of water and sugar
When I brew kombucha I try to avoid mineral-rich water (mineral water) and raw sugar (mineral rich also), because kombucha mostly gets its minerals from the tea it is brewed in. Mineral-rich water actually impedes the growth of kombucha Scoby. The opposite is absolutely true with kefir. Kefir gets its minerals to build its pollysaccharide wall from the water and choice of sugar, thus both needs to be rich in minerals.

2.Brewing time
Kefir is the sprinter in the world of fermentation while …

Worried mom wants to try kombucha for son with eczema

I received this a while email a few weeks ago from Miss Farzana which I think is worth sharing (with her permission of course).

Dear Boon,
I am eagerly interested to try kombucha on my son who has eczema since he was born. He's now 5 and i've been reading about probiotics foods and came across kombucha but I amnot sure if there are parents in Malaysia who takes kombucha to treat their kids with skin problems.
My question is why is it called kombucha tea?does it taste similar to tea?my son loves tea so i thought if kombucha tea could become a substitute for his usual tea,plus the probiotics benefits that comes with it..i'd be a happy mom at this point,i am looking into fixing his gut lining in d im starting with some probiotics packed foods. Thanks!

Dear Farzana,
With regards to your questions, it is a yes. Parents had approached me before about the consumption of kombucha to.cure eczema.
My answer is this. Kombucha is never a cure for any type of illness. Having sai…

Kombucha Clinic

2 weeks ago I was invited to conduct a clinic on kombucha by a wellness group. It was a totally different experience altogether compared to the usual one on one coaching.
The leader of the Wellness group, Mei was kind enough to offer her place to conduct the clinic. Some of the ladies already had experience with Scoby fermentation with Kefir while others were totally new to the experience.

So I started off by showing the “pancake” aka Scoby and what it does to the sugar tea. Naturally most of them were worried when they saw the amount of sugar needed to brew and I assured them that the sugar was food for the bacteria.
I took them through the step by step process to start the brew, talked about the importance of sanitation and ventilation and common mistakes made by novices. The Wellness group was anything but boring and there were so many colourful comments on the brewing process and kombucha. Case in point, there was a question on “the floating bulu” in the brew which really caught …

Do Kombucha Scoby suffer from a sweet tooth?

The logic goes like this;
Premise 1: White Sugar is harmful to the body Premise 2: Kombucha has white sugar Conclusion: Kombucha is harmful to the body?
Yes it is true, white processed sugar is a vital ingredient in Kombucha. In fact, if you say that kombucha Scoby has a sweet you are spot on!! Before you put your arms up high and swear off kombucha for life, let me make it clear. The sugar is not for you its for the Scoby!
Hear me out. In a typical brewing process, for each liter of tea, the default amount of sugar is 80g/liter. The amount of sugar looks like this:

                          Sugar amount day 1
During the brewing process, yeast will break down sugar to fructose and glucose. The yeast will then consume the glucose producing carbon dioxide, etanol in the process. The main bacterium in kombucha, Acetobacter sp. will then oxidize ethanol to acetic acid. Fructose will still remain at a very low level in the drink.
Fast forward to day 9, The content of sugar will reduce by 48% t…