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Kombucha Culture Strains Worldwide

  The name Kombucha or Kombu Cha refers to any of a variety of preparations of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea beverages that are commonly used as functional beverages for their detoxifying and other health benefits. Kombucha is found in many cultures in
China it is called: chájūn (茶菌),
Japanese: kōcha-kinoko (紅茶キノコ),
Korean: hongchabeoseotcha (홍차버섯차),
and Russian: chaynyy grib (чайный гриб).
kombucha tea culture
In this Blog page, we are talking not of different flavorings of kombucha, whether through herbs, fruits or sugars but to different strains themselves.  Today in the west, other kombucha type ferments or stains are known as kombu tea SCOBY, JUN or Jun Honey culture, Snow leopard, Monk Tea, Himalayan strain, and Kocha-Konko Kombu. Much is unknown on the origins of the strains, how they traveled the globe, and their culture makeup.  We have traveled throughout the world looking for new cultures, like our water kefir strains and yogurts.
We have brought back kombucha tea cultures from many places.
Friends and customers have sent them, too.

  Many call the kombucha culture a ‘mushroom’, however, KT does not produce spores like fungi mushrooms and really is a culture or SCOBY of yeasts and bacteria. Kombucha production starts by fermenting a tea/sugar solution using a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast strains (SCOBY)”. The actual contributing microbial populations in the kombucha cultures vary, but the yeast component generally includes Saccharomyces and other species, and the bacterial component usually includes Gluconacetobacter xylinus to oxidize yeast-produced alcohols to
acetic and other organic acids.

kombucha showing CO2Common Kombucha Strain – Most widely known strain in the USA and the west. Many sellers are producing cultures for sale over the internet. The culture produces the familiar taste and
standard flavor used by commercial and home brewers alike.
Traditionally kombucha maintained with black tea and cane sugar.

Monk Kombucha teaKombucha Monk Tea Strain – A strain from Tibet made with raw honey, Pu-erh tea, and herbs like goji berries. This strain produces a rose-colored culture and taste unlike the standard strain. Procured from monks in different Tibetan monasteries,
it is one of our favorites!

forbidden city strainsImperial Place Strain – Imperial Place strain is not very renowned or even seen by the common masses. Said to be for royalty only. Chinese legend says that even the palace workers may not view the culture. This culture type seems unavailable to the public and only known through legend. The stories may be true or
just a myth, only time may tell.

kombucha tea cultureRussian Red Rose Strain – A strain called ‘chaynyy grib’, said to have survived World War II by using ingredients on hand. In this culture strain’s, upkeep and tradition, brewing happened mainly with herbs (such as rose hips and elder berries) vs. tea, with the introduction of honey or sugar beets as the sweetening agent verses processed cane sugars. Tea and sugar was rationed or unavailable to the common person at that time. Over time, this culture has adapted to the new ingredients. It produces a red colored culture from the beets and herbs
used in the brewing cycle.
Today many people use sugar again due to availability, however,
traditionalist still use the old style recipes.

Japanese Kombu ChaJapanese Kocha Kinoko Kombu Strain – Supported with matcha green tea and sea vegetables Kombu Cha is very healing culture strain. Kombu Kombucha provides umami flavor, nutrients, anti-oxidants, and minerals from the matcha tea and seaweeds used. This strain produces a very clear white culture unlike
the traditional kombucha culture.

Himalayan Kombucha Himalayan Kombucha Strain – Regionally sustained kombucha strain from Northern India. Most likely, this strain of scoby migrated from China or Tibet through the trade routes. This kombucha strain is maintained on raw sugars and fruits, with no tea used in the fermentation process. Tea is an expensive commodity to many in India and may be why this strain developed without the need for tea in the brewing process.

JUN honey cultureJun Honey Culture – Becoming more popular in the west.  Some brewers and sellers of cultures try using a kombucha culture with honey; however, this does not make it JUN.
However, close to kombucha culture it is a culture strain unto it’s self. Sometimes it is called kombucha honey culture.

It is widely found in parts of western Tibet. Each province of China has a version of Chang beer, in some parts of Tibet the beer has Jun in it. The most easily found and tastiest Jun in Tibet comes from the Khampa Nomads – former monks turned physical and spiritual warriors who learned their knowledge of how to make Jun from the Bonpo monks. The warrior/monks would carry the JUN with them as they rode into battle using it as a tonic,
energy booster, and maybe a little alcohol, too!

JUN snow leopard strainSnow Leopard JUN Strain – The rarest form of Jun is the “snow leopard” and one taste gives the equivalent effect of increased energy and stamina.  The Bonpo monks who produce this fine Jun are of Taoist, Buddhist, and Shamanic origins and are thought to have been gifted a heirloom culture by Lao Tzu.
This Jun strain is very, very hard to find.

We hope you have found this blog page helpful in learning more about kombucha types and introducing people to new strains from other areas around the world.  We are always on the lookout for more cultures to add to the ‘culture bank’, which allows others access to less common culture types.  We have some of the culture strains listed above that are available at our culture store/bank.  Instructions for the cultures we maintain can be found on our main website www.organic-cultures.com.

Happy Culturing!
Live, Grow, and Share Cultured Foods.

We’re Back to Culture…You! With JUN !

Greetings All!

We have not posted of late to the Blog.  We have been traveling about the planet looking for new food cultures to pass along to you.

It has been a very great outcome!!!  In the near future, we will tell you more about the food cultures in detail.

At the store page, there is now JUN cultures (somewhat like kombucha tea), a new Russian Rose kombucha strain (using traditional old school rosehips & elder berries),  and topping it all off is Sea Rice from India!

You can visit our store front at any time to read more on these new food cultures
http://store.organic-cultures.com

JUN

Jun Culture
Jun Honey Culture – Like Kombucha

What is Jun?  Those of you who are familiar with Kombucha may have heard of its rarer cousin, Jun.
Kombucha is a slightly different fermentation process from Jun, and contains different strains of bacteria.
Some call Jun Honey Culture the ‘champagne of kombucha’ due to its slightly sweeter more exotic qualities.
Jun taste like a raw honey mead with a sour note – fizzy sweet with a tangy back taste.

Jun Honey Culture
Jun Honey Culture use Raw Honey

Kombucha is made by the fermentation of raw sugar and brewed black tea by a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast –
also known as a SCOBY.  It likes warm, humid climates and takes an average of 5 to 14 days to ferment –
once the fermentation process starts

Jun, on the other hand, is a fermentation of raw honey and brewed green or white tea also by a SCOBY.  However, since Jun
was widely brewed and cultivated in the colder Tibetan regions, it may take longer to ferment and reproduce a new JUN culture if the climate is cold.  It likes slightly cooler temperatures and seems to have as shorter brewing cycle, 3 to 7 days,
to complete the fermentation process if temperature are higher, around 65 to 70 deg F.

Jun, is known to some as the ‘champagne of kombucha’, it is like a honey mead when finished brewing   The fact remains that this is still a relatively unknown quantity with a deep mystery and reverence surrounding it.  The oral tradition of Jun goes back several millennia and it is thought that, Lau Tsu, himself gave an heirloom culture to the monks of Bon in Tibet.

Our JUN culture was brought back from Northern China/Tibet within the last few months and is a new strain that we now carry.  The price is higher over kombucha starter, due to the cost of ingredients (raw honey) and the rarity of the strain.  You will maintain the Jun culture strain (oc-0978JUN) on a food source of raw or pasteurized honey and good quality green or white tea.  Darker black teas are not recommened.

Buy your Jun honey starter culture today and start making this new honey beverage that is x2 as good as kombucha tea!

Next posting we’ll talk about the Russian Red Rose kombucha strain (oc-0643RRR)
Talk to everyone again soon.  Until Then…Happy Culturing!

Kombucha Tip For the Week 10/16/2013

kombucha tea cultureKombucha Tip For the Week… As requested again… Kombucha Tea Fast Brew Method V02:
Our fast brew method can save a bit of time and the tea/sugar solution is ready to inoculate with the kombucha cultures and start tea.
KT Classic Recipe… is as follows: – 1 gallon water, bring to boil – Add 6 teabags or teaspoons per gallon – Add 1 to 1½ cups of sugar, stir – Allow to cool to room temperature and inoculate with culture – Brew 7 to 14 days
KT Fast Brew Method: – ½ gallon of water, bring to boil – Add 6 teabags or teaspoons per gallon – Add 1 to 1½ cups of sugar, stir to dissolve – Add ½ gallon of cold water, mix – Allow to cool to room temperature and inoculate with culture – Brew 7 to 14 days   The difference is that the fast brew method will require less time to cool the raw tea/sugar solution, thus, getting the round brewing faster. The basic difference is cutting the water in your recipe by half and then adding the other half of the water (cold) at the very end. This cools the solution faster, to get the batch started and help to prevent mold.
Happy Brewing, Nirinjan Singh

Kombucha Tea Question of the Week…

Kombucha tea in Grolsch
Kombucha tea in Grolsch style beer bottles for safety

“Hi, I’m new to making Kombucha and I have a concern about bottling KT after the second ferment.  I have read on many sites that there’s a chance the bottle can explode from carbonation buildup and that …I should be very careful. So how do I be very careful?  Moreover, is that really a concern?  I see on your site that you do not mention it when explaining how to bottle KT.  Is that only a concern after the second ferment?”

To Answer Your Question…
Bottling is the best way to extend the shelf life of the kombucha beverage.  There is a concern with excessive buildup of carbonation when bottling.  Below are some steps to follow when doing the secondary fermentation:
1.  Do NOT add extra sugar or juice when bottling.  This adds raw sugar source which the yeasts will turn into carbonation & alcohol)
2.  Use quality bottles such as Grolsch style beer bottle (Grolsch or standard beer bottles are designed to hold extra pressure)
3.  Leave a 5% head space when filling each bottle and the pH is below 4.5
(In the beverage industry, this amount is required by the FDA)
4.  Just to make sure all is safe, keep your bottles in a cardboard or plastic box to keep glass and liquid from going every where    Following these easy steps will assist you in your secondary bottling process.  Please comment below with any other questions or a tip you may have to share.

Happy Brewing!