My Jun has been fermenting for about 2 weeks now. It’s normally faster, but of course it’s a little cooler at this time of year. If I feel the room is going to be really cold, I actually wrap the jar that the mother SCOBY is in, just to prevent loss.
I used Gunpowder Green Tea and raw honey from Ben’s Sugar Shack to feed the Mother. Jun does not like sugar or black tea like Kombucha does. I used 3 teaspoons of tea and 1/3 cup of honey for my half gallon of water. I brewed the tea hot and allowed it to cool, I dissolved the honey in hot water and cooled that also. Once cooled I added it to the Sun Tea Jar where I keep my main productive Mother.
When it was ready, I decanted some into an old seltzer bottle, added an air lock and some sliced ginger and sliced lemon. It’s going to take about two days for the flavours to ferment into the Jun. Once I am happy with the taste, I’ll put it in another bottle and close the lid. This will make it fizzy. I’ll burp the bottle regularly if I don’t drink it straight away. This prevents explosions.
I use a Sun Tea Jar because it means that I don’t have to disturb the SCOBY everytime I decant some of the Jun. The only time I disturb her is when I add more liquid, and I gently move the SCOBY from one side of the jar with wooden tongs. The Mother will immediately sink. If you are lucky, she’ll float back up to the top but if not, she’ll form a new SCOBY on top of the liquid which will then become the new active SCOBY.
You can leave them all in the jar until you feel it’s getting crowded, and then just take it out and divide it up. I keep an old gallon pickle jar as a Jun Hotel. It’s where I park my retired SCOBYs in case my current one dies. I do have to feed it now and again, but just enough to keep things moist and comfortable for the Mother.
You can give them away, keep them, feed them to your chickens, make Jun candy and a myriad other things. Nothing gets wasted.
I use fresh lemon and ginger and I leave the peels on. You could add herbs of choice. I have used hibiscus flowers and it gives a lovely pineapple flavour. Make sure that you only add flavours to second ferment because the inclusions will affect your SCOBY if you add it at that point. This way, if you kill off the enzymes, you still have your untarnished starter. This is especially helpful when trying new flavours, in case it doesn’t work. I tried blood orange and it was disgusting. Luckily it was just a batch and not the whole thing.
Lavender works well, but tends to be very strong, just add a pinch. I’m aiming at a mango one sometime in the future, but I’m going to try drying the mango first, and if that doesn’t work for me, using canned or fresh. It’s a lot of fun being a mad scientist and ending up with delicious healthy soda.
If you are not used to probiotics, please just drink a shot glass each day for the first few days, you want to get your stomach used to it.