Hot answers tagged kombucha
If the white bits are on the top, it is probably a mold. I once got this when I tried using honey as a sweetener instead of sugar. To get rid of the mold I first skimmed all of the white bits off the tea and then poured most of the brewed tea out except for a very very small amount. I then rinsed my scoby and added it to the small amount of brewed liquid and ...
You can't ferment straight tea, because the yeast won't have anything to eat. You need to add some kind of fermentable (sugar, honey, etc) and some yeast. You're probably better off taking a recipe for something that's already fermentable (beer, wine, mead) and adding your tea to it for flavor.
I would think that chemicals in your starting ingredients can affect fermentation if they contain preservatives. I imagine the right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it) kinds of preservatives will prevent fermentation (that's sort of their job, you know). Of course, since kombucha is usually just made with water, tea, sugar, and a starter culture ...
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