In the world of experimentation, sometimes you succeed and sometimes you flop. Most of my cooking experiments have succeeded but the flops are generally pretty big. A week or so ago, this is what the top of my refrigerator looked like:
The giant jar (front, left) is a gallon of kombucha. Last time I brewed half a gallon. Since it was a roaring success, clearly that means I’m a master kombucha brewer so it was time to step it up, eh? Turns out I’m not quite the expert I thought I was. That half gallon batch was better.
In the little pint jar next to the giant kombucha is my ginger bug. That was also an experiment, as I posted a while back. It turns out, you don’t need to constantly add ginger every single day although I suspect if I had done it, say every other day, the mixture added to the finished kombucha would have been properly fizzy. I’m still waiting on the fizz.
In the back are two quart jars that were truly experiments. It happened like this – on our first trip to Saratoga, I wandered into the Saratoga Tea & Honey store. (If you are a fan of either tea or honey, it is a must to stop there.) I wandered around a bit and two teas caught my eye: a chocolate mint and something called Genmai Cha (a type of green tea and rice). Hmmm….. those might make interesting kombucha flavors.
Keeping in mind kombucha is, by nature, just slightly sour, the chocolate mint one was an epic failure. I don’t even know what I was thinking, trying to make that one into kombucha.
The Genmai one was very interesting. It tasted good but I thought it would make a better vinegar, similar to a rice vinegar. That one is still sitting on top of the refrigerator. It will likely take a month to be sour enough. Meantime, it has spawned multiple baby SCOBYs:
At last count, there were five. According to my research, once you grow a SCOBY in anything other than sweet black tea, you alter the colony so these will only be used for making more rice kombucha vinegar. I’m thinking we’re going to have some great tasting marinades and dressings by the end of the month.