Following Papawow Dave’s Kombucha Rave described here, I started tasting GT Dave’s Kombucha from local stores. I soon became addicted, and started drinking the stuff on a regular basis. GT Dave’s is not cheap, however, and having just read about Dave Koch’s Kombucha-making adventures, I decided to give it a try myself. Being experienced in beer making and other various culinary compilations, I was well prepared for the Kombucha challenge.
Three batches later, I realized that with a little experimentation and adjustment, homemade Kombucha could resolve my craving and save me some money at the same time. I was really starting to enjoy my homemade Kombucha when disaster struck…well, sort of.
Back when I was waiting for my first batch of sweet tea to convert to Kombucha, I contemplated the packaging of my expected quaff. I was planning to use traditional beer bottles and crown caps, which I already had on hand. Dave recommended swing-top beer bottles, used commercially as the vessel of choice for Grolsch and some craft brews. His sagacious advice was that the pressure can build substantially in Kombucha, bursting traditional crown cap beer bottles. “No-no,” said I, “that will never happen to me.”
Then one day I was sitting in my home office on a quiet afternoon. A loud explosion followed by the sound of falling glass startled me out of my chair. What I thought was an RPG entering my living room, or at least a baseball to be followed by a “who broke my window?” chorus line, turned out to be a “chemical” explosion of sorts.
When I walked into the kitchen I was shocked to find a large, dripping gash in the ceiling, just above a six-pack of homemade Kombucha that just moments earlier was peacefully sitting on top of the fridge. Kombucha was dripping from every surface within a five food radius, and the six-pack was now one bottle short. One-inch shards of glass blasted as far as 20 feet from the epicenter, and cabinets five feet away sustained shrapnel injuries. It’s amazing how much surface area 12 ounces of carbonated liquid can cover.
Based on this experience, I advise strict adherence to safe Kombucha-making practices, or accept the “blind” fate of Champagne monks. Listen to your friends who know better. And for crying out loud, pay the extra $1.50 for the swing-top bottles; my exploding bottle could have seriously injured anyone standing close by.