Mike..Congratulations & good luck with your first batch of kombucha. I'm certain you'll be enjoying your own fresh delicious brew when it's ready. Sorry, I don't know the science of kombucha. And I haven't experimented with length of time for fermentation. I consistently go from new moon to full moon or full moon to new moon, but I've seen that in the warm weather, the babies are much thicker and the taste is a little more vinegary so I often shorten the fermentation by a day or two in summer and lengthen when the winter is colder. I consistently use about 1-1/2 cups of organic cane sugar, haven't experimented with different sugars or amounts. I haven't tried adding fruit juices either. Oh, and I've never refrigerated a scoby. I had never heard that. Let me know if you learn more on that. I consistently get a kombucha that tastes similar to champagne to me.