I have been sipping a bit every day, and it's time to start adding more sweet tea to get the continuous process moving.
So today i am heating up 1 gallon store bought distilled water (austin water is not acceptable as it's treated with Cloramines). I heated to just prior to boil and slowly mixed in 1.5 cups sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. I then put in 10 bags of tea (in this case 8 bags green and 2 bags chai), covered with lid, turned off heat and will allow to steep all day until cool. At that point I'll pour the sweet tea back into the gallon jar the water came in and keep this at room temperature for occasional addition to the KT jar. I plan on siphoning off two mason jars tomorrow for flavoring, thus I will add two jars of sweet tea back into the KT jar. I am interested to see how the new types of tea will or will not affect the flavor of the KT (last time used earl grey and darjeeling).
This week I'm trying some festive flavored teas. One will be ginger cranberry: grated fresh ginger and several frozen whole cranberries. The other will be cran/christmas: cranberries and whole cloves with a cinnamon stick. I foresee tastiness, will update.
2 jars: One with 1 cranberry, teaspoon shredded ginger, 1 clove; The other with 3 cranberries, 4 whole cloves, one cinnamon stick.
Into the fridge over night. Should be flavored by tomorrow - will try each a little at a time to see if it gets stronger daily.
Just tasted the flavored teas, and my my my they are DELICIOUS! Delicate flavors, but the cranberries actually sweetened and flavored the tea awesomely - not too tart at all. Some fizz was maintained, and by golly this was a success! I will continue doing this with all my tea from now on! or at least most of it.
Monday morning - tasted the KT in the replenished jar, and it is already ready to go. So later this afternoon I'll be flavoring a larger jar with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cranberries. Yum!