Not Enough starter? already started? ok to add vinegar?
My friend who sent me my SCOBY Mother sent all the Starter Liquid she could, but there wasn’t much as far as quantity. I just read today about supplementing with distilled white vinegar. I just brewed my new sweet tea last night (just shy of a gallon) and it cooled around midnight, and it’s about 3 pm here, CDT. I checked at lunch, and I already have a cloud of yeasty strands growing atop one quadrant of the mother, but I also was instructed to rinse my glassware and hands with ACV, not DWV…
1) did I mess up my Kombucha by using the ACV? It was a brand new bottle of Braggs that had never been opened.
2) do I need to add some white vinegar to supplement the starter that wasn’t present (I had between 1/4-1/2 cup, from what I could tell, but I did not measure it).
3) is it too late to add that vinegar now?
4) is it too late to add the protective 1-2 tsp to the top of my solution? (my mother sank to hovering an inch or so near the bottom immediately and has stayed there)..
Thank you in advance
I don’t know what ACV, DWV, CDT stand for.
If you don’t have enough starter or have non at all, White Vinegar is fine. Roughly 1/4 or 1/2 cup is fine. The vinegar is only to change the pH of the batch to be more acidic so bacteria cannot grow for the 2-3 days the SCOBY needs to get started.
If it’s about a day, that’s fine — add in the vinegar. If you don’t have vinagar and it’s been a few days, you are probably still ok — it just means the risk of the wrong bacteria / mold is higher. But if the SCOBY starts growing and the batch smells ok, you should be ok.
If it’s days and days and the SCOBY doesn’t seem to be doing so well, then restart the batch. As I said, the starter is basically just to keep bad stuff from growing for the first couple days while the SCOBY starts converting the sweet tea to Kombucha — enough at least so bad micro-organisms can’t grow.
But if you have any doubts at all, start over just to be sure. I probably would just add in the vinagar if it’s been a day. If it’s a couple days and I have some doubts, I’d start it again.
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