* Please note that this blog remains up as a resource. However, this blog is currently on hiatus until further notice. For more information, please read this blog post. Thank you and happy kombucha brewing, drinking, and SCOBY trading! Lots of love. ~Annabelle *

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kombucha Happenings Around Town!

This past year has been great for kombucha in the Cambridge area. I've been making numerous additions to my Google map, Where to Buy Kombucha Around Boston, MA, and want to highlight the latest additions:
In addition, Culinary Cruisers, which just started up this past year, has been up to a lot of kombucha fun. From their Facebook Page: "The Culinary Cruiser Team is made up of siblings, Josh and Leah Danoff, and our friend Jennifer Johnsrud. We are all incredibly passionate about food and completely obsessed with the current mobile food revolution. Here at Culinary Cruisers we specialize in custom-built, pedal powered bicycle food carts. We've recently partnered up with Katalyst Kombucha, and our first bike, the Kombucha Cruiser, can be found serving up our delicious, raw and organic kombucha on tap at:"
  • The Science Center at Harvard

    Every Monday and Wednesday from 11am - 5pm.

    At 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

  • Harvard Farmers Market:

    Every Tuesday, noon – 6:00 pm, June 14th through October 25th

    At the intersection of Kirkland St & Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138. On the lawn between the Science Center and Memorial Hall.

  • Medford Farmers Market:

    Every Thursday, 3:00 – 7:00 pm, June 16th through October 13th

    At the Whole Foods Market Parking Lot, 2151 Mystic Valley Parkway (Rt. 16), Medford, MA 02155

  • Cambridge Farmers Market:

    Every Friday, noon – 6 pm, Charles Square, June 3rd through November 18th

    Every Sunday, 10 am – 3 pm, Charles Square, May 22nd through November 20th

    At the intersection of Eliot Street and Bennett Street in the Charles Hotel Plaza at Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Sounds pretty awesome. Visit the Culinary Cruiser Facebook page for their latest updates.

All of these locations and more can be found on my map, Where to Buy Kombucha Around Boston, MA. And if you discover that I'm missing a location, please let me know!

Happy kombucha drinking!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kombucha Demo at The Boston Local Food Festival

I am very excited to be participating in The 2nd Annual Boston Local Food Festival on Saturday, October 1. "Produced by the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston (SBN), the festival is built upon the principals of creating a local, green, and fair economy and promotes the benefits of eating local food and to offer a diversity of locally grown and sourced dishes at affordable prices of $5 or less."

The festival will take place along Fort Point Channel near the Boston Children's Museum (which is located at 300 Congress St., Boston, MA) and on Children's Wharf Park form 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. For more information about The Boston Local Food Festival, visit their website.

My kombucha demo will take place at the DIY how2heroes booth from 12:15 - 12:45 pm. Unfortunately, I will be unable to provide any kombucha samples or kombucha mushrooms due to regulations. Thus, the demo will focus on the basics of brewing and bottling kombucha, as well as how to grow your own/how to source a kombucha mushroom. There will also be other presenters at the Do-It-Yourself Demo tent throughout the day, for plenty of DIY fun! Check out the schedule for the DIY Demos here.

I'm looking forward to the demo, and I hope you'll join us at the festival!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Update: Kombucha Fuel Page on Facebook

Hello kombucha friends,

I've really been enjoying Kombucha Fuel on Facebook, it's great to interact with all of you lovely readers and fellow brewers! However, it is time to move my Kombucha Fuel Facebook profile to a Facebook page, and better to do it sooner, rather than later, for various reasons. Over the next few days I will be attempting the conversion, and according to Facebook, this is what will transfer: my profile pictures, and all of my friends as people who like my page. If you somehow accidentally get lost in the conversion process, find Kombucha Fuel as a page on Facebook! This may also mean that I will need to restart the Facebook note, "Kombucha SCOBY Exchange." Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!

Addendum September 3, 2011
I have completed the conversion to the Facebook page, and luckily I believe most people were not lost in the process! You can find my Facebook page here, and my new note for the Kombucha SCOBY Exchange here. Thanks, and I hope you are enjoying this labor day weekend with some kombucha! :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Want to share your kombucha story?

Hello kombucha enthusiasts,

I hope you all are having a great summer, with plenty of kombucha! I am looking for kombucha stories, and hope to share these stories with others! I'm looking for all kinds of stories, but I am particularly interested in stories about how kombucha has affected your lifestyle, changed your life, how it has influenced someone close to you, etc. Funny stories are welcome, too! This can include stories involving homebrewed kombucha, or even store-bought kombucha if you haven't gotten your homebrewing on yet. If you have a story to share, please e-mail it to me at kombuchafuel [at] gmail.com. If you submit a story and give your permission, I'm hoping to republish some of these stories on my blog, giving the author credit or anonymity as desired. I will be taking these stories on a rolling basis, so feel free to submit stories whenever you like!

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy brewing,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Next Kombucha Demo: July 23

Looking forward to my next Kombucha Demo on Saturday, July 23, from 2-3 pm in Brookline, MA. For more details and to RSVP, please visit the event page on the Urban Homesteaders' League here. You can also RSVP by e-mailing me at kombuchafuel[at]gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies can be quite troublesome for kombucha brewers, particularly during the warmer months. To help prevent fruit flies from getting into your brew, it is suggested to cover your ferment with a breathable covering with tight weaving. If you do use cheesecloth, layering the cheesecloth with multiple layers is also recommended.


Making a fruit fly trap is an effective and easy way to catch fruit flies. To make a fruit fly trap, take a glass jar, and add some kombucha or apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar other than white vinegar) to the bottom with a few drops of liquid soap. Placing an inverted funnel in the glass jar (such as the top half of a plastic water bottle) also helps to ensure that the fruit flies won't escape.

Fruit fly trap

Read some more about kombucha and fruit flies and other kombucha cautions and concerns on Happy Herbalist.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Q&A: I left my kombucha mushroom in the fridge for awhile. Can I still use it?

I've been receiving many questions about individuals who have SCOBYs stored in the fridge, or brews forgotten on the counter. Can you still use the SCOBY to brew?

I typically say yes, but it also depends on various factors.

Usually I recommend to individuals that SCOBYs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a year, with increased chances of the SCOBY remaining viable the better your sanitation is. In addition, I usually do not recommend individuals to leave their brews out for more than a few weeks, but this is also dependent on several factors (for example, fermentation goes slower at cooler temperatures). If you do leave your brew forgotten on the counter, it's still possible that you can use your kombucha mushroom.

Typically, kombucha smells like hard cider or apple cider vinegar. The longer the kombucha and the mushroom are stored, the more acidic the kombucha will be in taste and smell. Here are some suggestions for what to do if your kombucha is too sour.

If you notice anything funky, such as mold, or off-odors, it may be safer to just discard your kombucha mushroom in the compost. If this is the case, you may consider growing a kombucha mushroom or finding other sources for a SCOBY.

However, if you don't find anything out of the ordinary, you may just want to give brewing with the mushroom a try! If you have some fresher starter tea to use as well, that can also be helpful.

If a SCOBY has remained dormant in the fridge for awhile, it may take a few cycles for the mushroom to kick back into gear. And if your intention is to grow a nice thick mushroom (because brewing good-tasting kombucha and growing a thick SCOBY do not always equate to the same thing), you may consider reading this post for tips. Once you have a good younger mushroom to brew with (or a few), you may want to put the older SCOBY to rest in the compost. In my experience, the younger mushrooms tend to out-perform the older ones.

Unsure if your brew or mushroom are safe? Read Happy Herbalist's Kombucha Cautions and Safe Brewing Tips. Some pictures of healthy mushrooms can be found in this post, and pictures of healthy (and unhealthy) mushrooms can be found on Happy Herbalist's Kombucha Pictures page.

Happy brewing!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Upcoming Kombucha Demo on Monday, May 16

My next Kombucha Demo will be on Monday, May 16, from 7-8 pm in Brookline, MA. For more details and to RSVP, go to the event page on the Urban Homesteaders' League here. You may also RSVP by e-mailing me at kombuchafuel[at]gmail.com. Hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kombucha Demo on March 21

I am happy to announce that my next kombucha demo will be on Monday, March 21, from 7-8 pm in Brookline, MA. For more details and to RSVP, please go to the event page on the Urban Homesteaders' League. If you have any questions about the event, please e-mail me at kombuchafuel [at] gmail.com.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Keeping the Kombucha Brew Warm

It's been a pretty cold and snowy winter this year in Boston, and because the house that I'm currently living in is on the chilly side, I finally decided to purchase a seedling mat for my brew!

Ideally, kombucha brews at around 74 - 84 degrees F. According to Happy Herbalist, the warmer temperatures produce a "faster more consistent ferment while the lower temperatures produce a less harsh more mellow taste though more inconsistent and with a greater susceptibility to molds and pathogens forming. Kombucha brewing seems to work better in the summer than in the winter months."

I agree that kombucha brewing works much better during the summer months than in the winter. So to keep my kombucha warm, I purchased this seedling mat from Amazon. The mat, which you plug into an electric outlet, is supposed to warm the area about 10-20 degrees F above ambient temperature. Although the kombucha and SCOBYs still don't seem to be as happy as they typically are during the summer, the seedling mat has definitely helped!

Other ideas to keep your kombucha warm:
  • Brewing your kombucha in a warm (but undisturbed) location, such as in a kitchen cupboard
  • Brewing the kombucha in a cabinet with a light bulb (as recommended by Happy Herbalist)
  • Using a heating pad

What do you do to keep your kombucha warm?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Next Kombucha Demo: Jan. 31

My next Kombucha Demo will be one week from today: Monday, January 31, from 7-8 pm in Brookline.

For more information about the demo and to sign up, please go to the event page on the Urban Homesteaders' League here.

Hope to see you there!