Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kombucha on the Road

On a recent family vacation I brought my giant jar of Kombucha tea complete with mature culture. This was not the first time I took Kombucha tea on vacation with us. I use a deli-size pickle jar. During regular fermentation I use a cloth and rubber band to allow air flow but when I take it on the road I use the glass lid it came with and tape the lid to the jar using masking tape. I line a special box, saved specifically for this purpose, with bubble wrap. I carefully nestle the sealed jar into the box and lay a towel on top before folding the box top closed. I’m sure the jostling of the car is not the best thing for the culture as the film on top disconnects from the sides of the jar. It takes a few days for it to settle in but it still tastes just fine.

On this vacation we were met with large, hungry mosquitoes that gave us large, itchy bites. My 11 year old grandson was very uncomfortable and after getting no relief from products that were supposed to reduce the itch I suggested the Kombucha tea. My grandchildren thought that “thing” was weird enough, with its brain-like culture... “you mean you’re going to drink that???” but discomfort pushes us to try new things so we poured some Kombucha tea into a cup. He dipped into it and began dabbing at the nasty bites. He said the itch was almost gone! He returned almost hourly for reapplication and in a day he had no more discomfort. Chalk up another use for Kombucha tea!

When it was time to pack up the mostly finished Kombucha I got out my trusty box and bubble wrap only to find the bubble wrap had lost all its bubbles! When I asked around I learned that my 5 year old grandson had found the bubble wrap and decided to have a bubble wrap stomping party.
Oh, well…no problem. I used towels to cushion the jar on the way home.

After vacation I have noticed that when I make a new batch the fermentation time is slower probably due to all that disruptive jostling. It’s good to know so I can allow some extra time until it returns to its normal fermentation cycle.

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