July 5, 2011
Funny story about kombucha and my house. See, Kombucha is tea that has fermented and therefore has a slight amount of alcohol in it. I thought with yesterday’s story about tea and cheese acting as a segue that this would make a great topic for the week. I bought a little kit, brought it home, and started some tea fermenting so that I could write about it. Then I started doing research. Turns out, I may have brought plague into my house.
See, to make kombucha, you add this mass thing to it, which is commonly referred to as a mushroom even though it is a combination of bacteria and yeast, including some winemaking yeast. This mushroom is usually called a SCOBY, but another name, which if I had heard I would not have done this experiment, is mother. As in “Mother of Vinegar.” This, dear readers, is the evil enemy of the home wine maker and beer brewer. One of these things added to anything not above 20% ABV will turn the alcohol into vinegar if there is any oxygen, and once it is in your equipment, there is no destroying it. I had never planned on talking about purposely making vinegar because I didn’t want to risk the contamination, but due to my ignorance, it appears I have been duped into doing just that. Well, since I’ve come this far, I might as well talk about it. No use letting all my efforts go to waste. If it contaminates everything, well, at least I got a few blogs out of it.