Starter Mushroom or K-mama
A starter mushroom is the only essential requirement. A warm but ventilated environment maintained at around twenty four degrees centigrade helps to grow a well formed and firm specimen which in turn seems to produce effective Kombucha where the sugar is almost completely used up within seven to eight days. I have tried airing cupboards, housing a insulated hotwater storage cylinder and keeping the container on top of a wall mounted cupborad in a heated living room. But none of these matched the effectiveness of the temperature controlled heated waterbath.
I suspect a temperature controlled electrical hot plate or jacket should prove to be just as effective. I have notr tried these methods as yet.
Click here for a form to request a K-mama. There is a charge for packing and postage or carriage.
£5.00------------------------ Order code: M-MM
I have successfully employed the following items in the process of making and taking Kombucha.
The prices shown Include handling, packing and carriage to any postal address on the UK mainland excluding the highlands and islands and includes UK VAT. For destinations outside this area please ask. Telephone contact details are on this order form. or click here to send me an email message.
A substantial part of the prices shown below is taken up by postage or carriage and packing. By looking around shops in nearby towns you could save a significant part of the price.
I use a ceramic bread crock; metal vessels should not be used; approximately 23 cm. tall without the lid, 31 cm. with the lid on, base diameter 21 cm. and top diameter 23 cm. below the outward splayed top rim of the vessel. It weighs approximately 5 kg.
This holds approximately six and a half litres to the brim. I fill it with six litres of sweet freshly brewed tea before placing the mamma mushroom on/in the tea which has been allowed to cool to around 25°C. The vessel is then covered with a piece of thin cotton cloth tightly drawn over the rim of the vessel and held in place by a stretchy band made by joining a piece of string, two rubber bands and two paper clips and. It is then placed in a temperature controlled water bath maintained at around 24°C. You could also use a suitable cupboard or other enclosure; see below.
6.5 Litre bread crock.: £27.50-------------------------- Order code: CC1
A 3 litre circular ceramic biscuit crock suitable for a making around 2½ litres.
£15.00------- ----------------- Order code: CC2
Water Bath Box
I use a 40 wide x 56 long x 30 tall plastic storage box found in a local store about half full of water as a warm water bath to place the pot in. In fact it will just accommodate two of the 6.5 litre bread crock grow vessels described above.
Water bath box: £10.00------------------ Order code: GE1B
I have used a piece of chip-board shelving slightly larger than the top of the box, wrapped in a piece of polyethylene sheeting, to prevent the board rotting from the moisture in the box, as a cover. The top of this cover should also be insulated as other parts of the box. To allow some air in to the chamber to let the culture breathe I have propped one end of the cover with a length of 25 x 25 mm. Scandinavian pine timber.
Water bath box cover: £10.00--------------- Order code: GE1C
Water Bath Insulation
The box is kept snug to prevent heat loss and frequent on off cycling of the water heater, using two glass wool based hot water cylinder jackets usually used on 91cm tall and 45 cm. diameter copper hot water storage cylinders found at the shops of heating suppliers in this part of the world. Again you look around your local shops for a less costly solution
Insulating Jackets: £15 each--------------------- Order code: GE1-INS
Small Water Bath Box
Black PVC moulded small tank (heating system feed tank) and PVC cover and one insulating jacket suitable for accommodating any one of the above growing vessels: £20---------- Order code: GE2
A thermostatically controlled water heater, usually employed in aquariums in cold climates used as intended by the manufacturer immersed completely in the water bath. The body of the thermostat is anchored diagonally on the vertical plane and located on one vertical end face of the box and attached to that face using two suction cups and support brackets provided with the heater. It connects directly to a 220-240 V A.C supply and a control knob located at the cable inlet end of the glass heater envelope allows temperature settings in a rang range around 24°C . An indicator lamp inside the heater's glass envelope shows when the heating comes on dictated by the temperature setting. ( I have placed a few lengths of 15 mm. Clear PVC tubing, found at hand, located with one end at the base of the container below the heater and the other end at the opposite end of the container. These probably help to circulate the water to keep the temperature of the water uniform throughout.)
Electrically powered water bath heater for use with any of the growing vessels above 200 Watt:
£22.50-------------------- Order code: EWBH-I
An enclosure of some kind, cupboard, under-stairs cupboard or box Insulated to prevent heat loss and big enough to accommodate a culture vessel with some space for air circulation, with a 60 Watt light bulb inside wired through a room thermostat should also work. Well considered location of ventilation holes for air intake and exhaust air should produce a fairly uniform temperature within the box. Making use of the up-draught created by the hot light bulb, which provides the driving force, is key. If you are not confident with doing the electrical installation yourself seek competent help. Mains electricity can do serious harm to life and property if not handled properly.
Room Air Thermostat: £16.00----------------- Order code: GE3-TS1
An inexpensive alcohol in glass thermometer; the alcohol is usually dyed red for easy read out is useful for monitoring the temperature of the environment to ensure correct performance of the heating and ventilation and for checking the temperature of the tea. The graduated measuring range is from -20°C to 110°C and 0 to 220°F. It is approximately 30 cm long.
£5.00----------------------- Order code: GE-TM
This a food grade translucent plastic, probably nylon, one litre capacity jug with pouring spout graduated in steps of 100 ml. There are also fl. oz. and pint graduations. £2---------- Order code: M-PJG
Heat Resistant Glass measuring jug half a litre capacity with a marking at the half litre level.
£ 3.50--------------------- Order code: M-HLGJ
A 70 cl. Bottle of Kombucha if you like to sample it before embarking on producing it. It is also recommended that ten percent of the volume fresh tea for growing the mushroom is made up with Kombucha. The Kombucha is free. The price is for the postage and packing. Weight 1.5kg;
£7.50-------Order code: M-KS
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