CLICK & SELECT BELOW
|Thin SCOBY||Holey SCOBY|
|Lumpy SCOBY||No SCOBY|
|Dark SCOBY||SCOBY Sinks|
|Brown Stringy Debris||Mould|
|Two SCOBY's||Store My SCOBY|
|Climbing SCOBY||SCOBY Dried Out in Jar|
HOW LONG DOES THE SCOBY LAST IN THE PARCEL AND DOES THE HOT OR COLD WEATHER AFFECT IT?
The SCOBY lasts easily for 3 months. They are very robust for a short period and can easily withstand transport.
KOMBUCHA MUSHROOM ALSO KNOWN AS A SCOBY! WHAT IS IT?
Most likely this widely held belief that it is a Mushroom, arises from the obvious resemblance of the SCOBY to a large mushroom cap. The kombucha SCOBY is, in fact, a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Or in short, SCOBY read more about it, click here
MY SCOBY HAS BROWN STRINGY DEBRIS ATTACHED TO IT. WHAT IS THAT?
That's the yeast! And it's a great sign that you have a lot of good fermentation going on. Yeast is a good thing ?
THE TOP OF MY SCOBY IS COVERED WITH BUBBLES. IS THAT ALRIGHT?
Yes, air bubbles are caused by changes in air temperature, airflow, or CO2 accumulation. Seeing any air bubbles on a culture during fermentation is completely natural.
MY NEW SCOBY APPEARS STRANGE & I'M WORRIED MY SCOBY HAS MOULD ON TOP. HOW DO I KNOW IF IT'S ALRIGHT?
Once you have seen mould on a kombucha SCOBY you will be a professional in recognising good kombucha SCOBY's from mouldy kombucha SCOBY's ones.
You're probably reading this because you've never seen mould on Kombucha SCOBY. So, let me assist you in deciding if you have a perfectly good SCOBY that appears to be a little funky, or whether you have a SCOBY with mould.
In general, Kombucha SCOBY's rarely becomes mouldy. I have made over 5000 brews and have had only three times mould in my kombucha brew. Once I had mould, I knew straight away that it was mould on my SCOBY.
The following points and photos should help you understand things better:
-Mould can only appear on the top surface of your new baby SCOBY. So if you see some brown dark stuff just below the new film on top of your kombucha batch (your baby SCOBY) then you are fine as its just some yeast growth, totally harmless and perfectly normal ?
-Mould on a SCOBY looks like mould in a jam jar. It's furry and often green or black. It can be partially white but is furry and has usually a green or black core.
-If you are still not 100% sure then it helps to just wait a few more days to see how the SCOBY develops.
What to do if it is Mould?
-Unfortunately, you must discard the whole kombucha batch including your SCOBY, and start fresh. Ensure to clean the jar and tap thoroughly.
What can you do to avoid Mould?
-Keep your brew preferably above 20°C .
-Always use strong kombucha starter liquid or use more kombucha starter liquid if it's not that strong.
-Keep your jar always covered. -Maintain a clean environment.
-Keep house plants in a different room.
Weak starter liquid (when we say "starter liquid," we mean previously brewed, completely fermented kombucha) is the most popular cause of mould. What causes "weak" starter liquid? It can be triggered by several factors during the brewing process, the first of which is failing to allow the sweet tea liquid to cool completely before adding the SCOBY and starter liquid to your batch. Second, it can be caused by brewing for too short of a time, resulting in incomplete fermentation of the kombucha. Then, the next time you brew, you have a weak starter liquid to start your batch with, therefore the pH does not drop low enough to protect the kombucha brew from airborne mould.
We like to recommend brewing for a longer period (typically 12-14 days) because it will help avoid mould and, in general, result in a more well-rounded fermentation. Another common problem that can lead to mould growth is a cold brew temperature during fermentation. Brewing at temperatures below 20 degrees will cause mould because the yeast and bacteria become sleepy and stop fermenting, allowing airborne microbes to take over.
Mould can also be caused by brewing with teas that contain flavours or oils. Only use plain black, green, oolong, and white teas. Often use black tea as the foundation, with a small amount of green, white, or oolong tea added for flavour (as opposed to doing just all green tea, for example). Since black tea is high
in caffeine and tannins, which are essential nutrients for the SCOBY, this will create the healthiest kombucha SCOBYs and the most healthy kombucha.
When brewing, make sure to use only refined/granulated sugar! Using any other form of sugar will interrupt the fermentation process and leave your brew exposed to mould and other wild yeasts. Finally, if your SCOBY developed mould on top of it during storage, it was exposed to too much oxygen and didn't have enough starter liquid to rest in.
When you're about to drink your kombucha brew, make sure you leave your SCOBY with at least 2-3 cups of starter liquid so you can push the SCOBY down into the liquid now and then, protecting it. Apart from those causes, it's often likely that airborne moulds from your kitchen food, house plants, garbage, and other sources landed in your brew container. Also, the strongest kombucha SCOBY can't always prevent it from happening. If mould appears, try storing your brew jars in a more sterile region of your house.
I'VE COMPLETED MY FIRST BREW AND NOW I'VE GOT TWO SCOBY'S. HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONE TO USE?
Both SCOBY's can be used! When brewing kombucha, we suggest using anywhere from 1-3 SCOBYs. After five or so kombucha brews, if the SCOBY turns dark brown and can be quickly torn apart, the SCOBY is ready to be retired. We recommend brewing with the most recent SCOBY's you've produced.
Most of the time, the old and new SCOBYs will combine to form one big SCOBY, which is perfectly good. If your SCOBYs continue to grow on top of one another, keep the total thickness of the SCOBY under 2 inches (height). What is the reason for this? I f your SCOBY is over 2 inches thick and covers the entire top surface of your brew, it will begin to obstruct the flow of oxygen to your brew, as well as allow the sugar to be extracted too quickly, causing the ideal yeast/bacteria ratio to be thrown off.
MY SCOBY IS NOT FLOATING ON TOP!
Yes, that's completely normal; there was most likely a temperature change that caused the SCOBY to sink. It doesn't matter if the SCOBY sinks, floats on top, or sits in the middle; your kombucha is still fermenting. Your SCOBY is already hard at work making a new SCOBY to cover the surface of your brew. By Day 7, there should be evidence of this latest SCOBY.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN A SCOBY IS READY TO BE RETIRED?
An old SCOBY is ready to be retired after five or so brews, or if it turns dark brown and can be ripped apart easily.
HOW DO I STORE MY SCOBY WHEN I WANT TO TAKE A BREAK FROM BREWING?
We recommend keeping it on your counter in a glass jar (the 4 and 8 litre brewing jars work well), with 1 to 2 cups of starter liquid (your previously brewed kombucha) and a cloth and rubber band covering it. You can keep it for up to 4 weeks in this state, after which it will most likely need to be fed.
When feeding a SCOBY you need to make one cup of hot caffeinated tea and dissolve 1/3 cup of sugar in the hot tea solution. Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature before adding it to the jar containing your SCOBY and starter tea. To keep your SCOBY healthy, repeat this process every four weeks.
Going away for less than two weeks – just leave your kombucha jar with about 15% full and make a new kombucha brew on return and be ready to bottle in a few days.
Going away for two to four weeks – ensure you have about a third of your jar full with kombucha, leave it like that and make a new brew on return, be ready to bottle in few days.
Going away for four to 6 weeks – do the above or place your SCOBY in a SCOBY hotel. A SCOBY hotel is an extra jar that you keep full of SCOBY's and kombucha. Leave your SCOBY hotel in a dark, cool place. You can leave your SCOBY hotel for 6 weeks.
THERE'S A BIG FUNKY YEAST BLOB IN MY BREW! IS THIS SAFE TO DRINK? SHOULD I STRAIN IT OUT?
It's perfectly safe to consume the yeast and SCOBY bits, although some people choose to strain it out along with fruit/etc during your second fermentation. It just depends on what you prefer.
I'M ON DAY 9 OF BREWING AND MY NEW SCOBY IS PRETTY THIN. IS THIS NORMAL?
For brew days 9 to 10, we would expect a SCOBY to be about half a centimetre thick. However, the majority of SCOBY growth tends to happen between Days 8-14, so no need to worry just yet. Make sure that your brew jar is in the proper temperature range (20-28 degrees) as being too cold or hot can inhibit SCOBY growth. Also, keep in mind that the first time brewing with the kit is usually the slowest. After a couple of brews, the SCOBY and starter liquid begin to establish themselves in their new environment and fermentation happens faster. If, after a few more brews, your SCOBY isn't growing in well, or your kombucha tastes off, then you may need a new SCOBY/starter liquid pouch. Keep and set aside your current SCOBY and starter liquid, and once you receive a new SCOBY pouch you will be able to brew and determine if your SCOBY/starter liquid was the problem, or if something else is amiss.
I AM SWIMMING IN SCOBYS! WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THE EXTRAS?
There are a number of things you can do with all of your extra SCOBYs. You can gift them to a friend (along with 1-2 cups starter liquid), compost them, or feed them to your chickens (they love SCOBYs). You can dry them out to make dog treats, or marinate and dehydrate them to make vegan jerky. You can flavour them to make kombucha gummies, blend them into smoothies, or use them as brightening face masks. If you’d like to put them into storage for future use, you can also make a SCOBY hotel. To start your SCOBY hotel, just place your extra SCOBYs into a glass jar (a 4 Litre and 8 Litre brew jars work great), and completely submerged them in at least 1 to 2 cups of liquid starter (your previously brewed kombucha). Cover your jar with the cloth and rubber band, and place it on the countertop or another well- ventilated area. You can store your SCOBY's like this for up to 4 weeks, at which point they will likely need to be fed. To feed your SCOBY's, make one cup of hot caffeinated tea, and dissolve 1/3 cup of sugar in the tea. Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature(hot tea kills your SCOBY) and add it to the jar housing your SCOBY's & starter tea. Repeat this process every 4 weeks to ensure the health of your SCOBY's.
CAN I STORE MY SCOBY IN THE REFRIGERATOR?
We do not recommend storing your SCOBY in the refrigerator. The cool temperature poses a risk—the yeasts and bacteria can go dormant, and have a hard time bouncing back to full brewing strength after they have been chilled. Sleepy yeast and bacteria leave your brew more at risk for developing mould.
Instead, we recommend storing your SCOBY's at room temperature in a glass jar (the 4 litre and 8 litre brew jars work well), placed in at least 1 to 2 cups of liquid kombucha starter tea (your previously brewed kombucha) and covered with the cloth and rubber band, then placed on a countertop or other well- ventilated area. You can store it like this for up to 4 weeks, at which point it will likely need to be fed. To feed your SCOBY, make one cup of hot caffeinated tea, and dissolve 1/3 cup of sugar in the tea. Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature(hot tea can kill your SCOBY) and add it to the jar housing your SCOBY & starter tea. Repeat this process every 4 weeks to ensure the health of your SCOBY.
I WENT ON VACATION AND WHEN I RETURNED, MY SCOBY HAD DRIED OUT IN ITS JAR. BASICALLY ALL OF THE STARTER TEA EVAPORATED. DO YOU THINK IT'S OKAY TO TRY AND USE THE SCOBY?
Unfortunately, you won't be able to brew kombucha with just a SCOBY. The liquid starter is perhaps even more important than the SCOBY during the first few days of brewing. Without it, the pH of your brew won't drop to the necessary level and you won't have enough yeast and bacteria to ferment the sweet tea. Brewing kombucha is a learning experience! Next time just be sure to leave the SCOBY with a few cups of starter tea to rest in so it doesn't drink it all up before you get home. And store it somewhere cooler (18 to 21 degrees) so the yeast and bacteria aren't as active and are instead just resting. Fixes for this situation, 1) order a new SCOBY and starter liquid pouch. 2) get some starter from a friend 3) try to find a bottle of totally plain, raw, unpasteurized kombucha at the store. Leave it out at room temp for a day, then use the whole bottle as your starter liquid along with your SCOBY.
MY SCOBY KEEPS CLIMBING UP OUT OF THE LIQUID! WHAT DO I DO?
Not to worry – you can simply tap the SCOBY back down into the liquid using a clean spoon or your finger. However, your SCOBY might start to climb up again. This usually happens when there is strong yeast activity in your brew, creating CO2 which is pushing your SCOBY up and out. Simply tap it back down when you happen to see it pushing up and out again.