So, I did a thing. A real bad thing. I’m not even sure why it happened.
I killed my SCOBY.
I have been brewing kombucha for a few years now. I have built a small SCOBY hotel, I have shared SCOBY with friends, and I have fed SCOBY to my livestock. Needless to say, I am getting quite good at making SCOBY.
Boil some sweet tea, add starter tea & SCOBY and in 1-4 weeks you have a healthy SCOBY on top of your fresh kombucha.
Until the fateful day I didn’t.
I opened the batch of kombucha and had fuzzy black spots staring back at me. BLECH!
I will admit, I had procrastinated my second ferment a bit. This is not new for me – I don’t mind sour vinegary kombucha, so if it goes a little over time… then so-be-it. If anything, I’ll add some fruit or sugar and mask the flavor.
I opened up my jar, salivating at the fact that I will have a NEW batch of kombucha soon. The swing-top jars were ready, I got the filters ready, and as I lifted off the cloth to remove the new baby SCOBY – I was mortified. Disgusted. Nasty black circles right on my baby SCOBY. The SCOBY was contaminated – moldy, along with my entire 1.5 gallons of kombucha. I can still hear the doves cry.
THIS, folks, is why we keep a SCOBY hotel.
I am not one to condone or even recommend having 21 SCOBY in there – I MEAN FOR WHAT?! You just need 2-3 SCOBY. The SCOBY hotel should house enough for you to continue brewing should you mess up, as well as to give to a friend if they ever need.
Maybe this happened to you – and that’s why you’re reading this. The SCOBY you were growing and taking care of and feeding just ghosted you. The SCOBY just left you like that. Now what?!
If the SCOBY you loved betrayed you and grew mold instead of new kombucha, please create a new home responsibly for your new SCOBY.
- Dispose of the old SCOBY.
- Dispose of the kombucha it was growing in.
- Dispose of any other SCOBY in that batch.
- Thoroughly clean the glass container that held the kombucha and SCOBY – take care to use scalding hot water and soap. Really clean it out.
- Brew your next batch of tea.
- Use a SCOBY from your hotel – I used all of the SCOBY because they were small, and I didn’t have any leftover starter. I’ll take the other two out and put them back into hiding after this batch.
If all goes correctly I will have a healthy, fleshy, pale SCOBY at the end of this batch of kombucha.
Some folks say that you do not need a SCOBY to brew kombucha – you simply need starter tea. However, each batch of kombucha will produce a new SCOBY.
I had been transitioning my old SCOBY from a black tea kombucha to a Green Tea kombucha. I have to wonder if that is why I ended up with mold? I went from 50:50 green:black tea to 75:25 when I ended up with mold. Hmm…
Seeing as I am using an entirely new SCOBY that is still acclimated to black tea, I will begin to transition this SCOBY to green tea.
Green tea has a bit more health benefits, in my opinion, and also a lighter flavor.
If you ever have any questions, or ideas for future blogs, comment below or shoot me an email!
From the farm,