For those new to making kombucha, the process can be intimidating. Every little thing is confusing. Does it matter if my kombucha SCOBY sinks? Can I cut my SCOBY in half? Why can’t I ferment the kombucha SCOBY with fruit juice? How much sugar is left in the kombucha when it’s done? How can I tell when my kombucha is done? It’s taking an unusually long time for my SCOBY to grow. How long is enough?
Today, I’m answering these and other frequently asked questions about kombucha. This is part one. (Click here for Kombucha Questions & Answers Part 2.) Hope it helps!
Does it matter if my kombucha SCOBY sinks?
If your SCOBY sinks after you put it in your sweet tea, that’s okay. A new SCOBY will grow across the top. Sometimes, if your SCOBY culture is weak, it may take a while longer to grow a new one across the top. This isn’t bad, just inconvenient. So, to prevent this inconvenience, you can ensure your SCOBY won’t sink by bringing both it and your sweetened tea to room temperature before trying to rest the SCOBY across the top. A kombucha SCOBY will sink when it is a different temperature than the sweetened tea — even a few degrees matters.
Can I cut my SCOBY in half?
Sometimes, you want to double your batch, or share a SCOBY with a friend before yours has produced a baby. You can safely cut a SCOBY in half. Just make sure your scissors or knife are completely clean before you handle it to avoid contamination. The next batch you brew with the cut SCOBY will grow a new SCOBY to grow across the top, as always.
My SCOBY is a different size than my container. Does it matter?
Nope. As with cutting the SCOBY, all that will happen is that a new kombucha mother will grow across the top of the liquid, taking on the shape of the new container.
Why can’t I ferment the kombucha SCOBY with fruit juice?
If you’re opting to use the double fermentation method to create flavored kombucha, you can’t allow the SCOBY to be in the same vessel as the fruit juice, fruit, or other flavorful additions. That’s because the fruit juice contains a different type of sugar than the one kombucha thrives on. This causes a slightly different balance of bacteria and yeast to grow in your culture. While that may be desirable for the short term results (flavored kombucha), it will ultimately weaken your SCOBY. To keep your SCOBY uncontaminated, simply make sure it is always grown in a sweetened tea with no fruit or fruit juice added.
How much sugar will be left in my kombucha when it’s done?
That’s entirely up to you! The shorter your brew time, the sweeter it will be. That’s because sugar is the food for the SCOBY. As with all cultured foods, the longer it ferments, the more sugar it consumes. For those of you who desire less sugar, just let it ferment until it is very tart. Be prepared for it to be quite sour, though.
My kombucha isn’t fizzy, how can I fix that?
There are a lot of factors that go into making a nice, fizzy kombucha. But I’ve found that if people are following my instructions for the double fermentation method, the lack of fizz is usually because they don’t leave enough air at the top of their final bottle. When decanting your kombucha into a bottle or jar that contains fruit juice for the second ferment, be sure to leave at least an inch to an inch and a half of air at the top and seal with a lid.
How can I tell when my kombucha is done?
That’s entirely up to you! So many factors affect how long it can take to get to the flavor you desire. In Texas in the summer, my kombucha fermentation takes 7 days from start to finish, including the second ferment with fruit. In the winter, when room temperature is about ten degrees cooler, my kombucha takes about 12 to 14 days to reach the same level of tartness. There are people who live in more Northern climates who let their kombucha brew for 21+ days! If you’re concerned about safety, just use a pH strip to make sure you’re drinking the brew between pH levels 2.5 and 3.0.
My SCOBY isn’t growing! HELP.
If you’re trying to grow your own SCOBY from scratch, my first response is to give it more time. Sometimes, it can take weeks for a thin layer of something to appear across the top, then it will thicken up over the course of the following week. If, however, more than a month has gone by and absolutely nothing is growing, then it means the bottle of organic, raw kombucha you purchased was weak or old. Sadly, this happens from time to time. You can try again, or you can breakdown and order a kombucha SCOBY online. (Where to buy a kombucha SCOBY.)
If you’re not trying to grow your own SCOBY, but are instead in the middle of fermenting a batch of kombucha, then you may have inadvertently killed your culture. To avoid this in the future:
- Don’t use antibacterial soap to clean your fermentation vessel.
- Make sure you’re using filtered water that’s free of chlorine and other contaminants that can harm your SCOBY. (Where to buy water filters)
- Don’t add your SCOBY to hot or even warm tea.
- Don’t add any herbs, spices, honey or anything else foreign that can harm your SCOBY.
- Keep the fermenting vessel away from any disturbing fumes such as paint or solvents.
Is kombucha safe to drink when pregnant or nursing?
Yes and no. See my post Is Kombucha Safe When Pregnant or Nursing for more detail.
I want to double my recipe and brew 2 gallons. Will it take twice as long to brew?
No. Fermentation time is affected by a lot of things from temperature to the strength of your SCOBY, but the quantity of kombucha you’re brewing is not one of those things. It doesn’t matter how big your batch is.
I don’t like sweetened teas. Can I brew kombucha without sweet tea?
No. Absolutely not. You wouldn’t be providing the SCOBY with any food, so it would die.
Want instructions for how to make kombucha tea in a print-friendly format?
I’ve created a handy, easy-to-follow, print-friendly tutorial for you!
Where to Find a Kombucha SCOBY
If you want to eliminate a lot of the guesswork, you can buy a SCOBY online from a reputable source. I recommend this company.
Want to know more about kombucha?
Check out these other articles on kombucha I’ve written:
- How to Brew Flavored Kombucha
- Kombucha Health Benefits
- How to Grow a Kombucha SCOBY
- Kombucha SCOBY Experiment
- Why Choose the Continuous Brew Method of Making Kombucha
- Is Kombucha Safe When Pregnant or Nursing?
Sara Jo Poff via Facebook says
Have you ever tested the alcohol content of your kombucha from either the first and/or second ferment? I recently used a hydrometer and tested the first batch at .5%; 2nd ferment I think added about another .5% or less for around 1% total alcohol by volume. Not sure if it’s accurate though!
Dawn Turpin Walsh via Facebook says
Does kombucha exacerbate a systemic yeast problem???
I have a systemic yeast problem and was specifically told not to use any yeast products including kombucha.
Food Renegade via Facebook says
Sara Jo Poff — No, I’ve never tested the alcohol content. But, that sounds about right. As long as there’s sufficient oxygen reaching your ferment and you’re not adding too much sugar to your sweet tea, the yeast have no reason to produce alcohol instead of CO2.
Food Renegade via Facebook says
Dawn Turpin Walsh — No, it shouldn’t.
Val @ Tips on Healthy Living says
Just an FYI, people on an anti-Candida diet generally avoid anything fermented so not sure this would be a good idea, but it may depend at which stage in the elimination diet you are on.
Joshua Allen Donini via Facebook says
Thanks for getting us started with this. We started our SCOBY about a year and a half ago, and though the original mother has long since been turned to compost, her great great (ad infinitum) grand daughters are still producing for us with very little effort on our part.
Ok. This is my first time. My tea has been fermenting for 4 days. When I checked it it looked like a mold on it. Was that a new Scoby forming ? I wasn’t sure very confusing. I took it out was that wrong? Can I put it back in? Should I start a new batch. People don’t explain very well. They forget when you are new to this we need better explanations
Vincent Mandeville Gauthier via Facebook says
This is going straight to my bookmarks! And thanks to your comprehensive guide on kombucha, I can now have my daily dose of all-natural fizzy delicousness.
Food Renegade via Facebook says
Joshua Allen Donini — You’re welcome! I just killed my SCOBY. Sad, but true. It had been getting weaker, and I don’t think it wanted to get rescued. I actually just bought a new one today from one of my sponsors so I can keep up my kombucha habit.
I had to laugh at the old shirt you use for your cover. Way to recycle/reuse! 🙂
OK…really new to this…what’s a SCOBY? I am assuming an acronym maybe?
You’re right. A SCOBY is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast — a starter culture for the ferment. Sometimes they’re called “mothers.”
For more info, read my post on How To Brew Flavored Kombucha.
David Gal via Facebook says
trying our first batch of kombucha this week!
I try to be pretty non-fussy with cooking & keep foods as simple as possible… but something I keep hearing about are the heater things you can use to keep kombucha at the right temp..? Do you worry with that? With keeping it warm enough? Sounds like extra steps, but I don’t want to compromise my brew 😉 Pros? Cons?
I personally don’t use one because I live in Texas. It never falls below 72 degrees in my kitchen, so I’ll never need a warmer. If you live in a more Northern climate and can’t guarantee a room temperature between 74 and 78 degrees, it’d be a good idea to get SOMETHING to keep the ferment warm.
I live in Pittsburgh, PA and had the heater at 68F all winter. It was on up high on a bookshelf next to the heater vent in the kitchen, but I cannot imagine it was that much warmer than the thermostat 10 feet away. I had no problem at all and have had my scoby for over a year now.
if you keep it on top of the fridge it will provide that bit of warmth for the colder months. I find this very effective.
Kaylene Hebdon via Facebook says
Could you make this with an herbal tea, instead of black or green tea?
Lauren H says
I have had success brewing very good quality organic rooibos loose leaf tea, instead of using black or green. (I am very sensitive to caffeine, and I have read though that not much remains after it has fermented…) You can also try flavoring your black tea with herbal teas in the second part of the fermentation!
Food Renegade via Facebook says
Kaylene Hebdon — No. In order for it to actually BE kombucha, it needs to be a fermented tea. The SCOBY needs the caffeine, tannins, and other goodies in real tea leaves to create the beneficial acids that make kombucha so worth while. That said, you CAN add herbs for flavor if you’re willing to do a second ferment (without the SCOBY) to flavor it.
Mary Hastings via Facebook says
Finally got up the nerve and tasted (store-bought) kombucha for the first time last week and LOVED it, but it was very expensive. Now to get up the nerve to attempt making it myself. Because I could easily drink this a lot 🙂 Thank you so much for all the great info on how to do this!
Can you store your scoby in unsweetened tea between brewing batches?
I would store it with a little (at least half a cup of) kombucha OR sweetened tea, but not with unsweetened tea. Wouldn’t want it to die from lack of food.
Caitlin Grace via Facebook says
I am the same Mary! Toatlly loved it and was so excited to see it for sale here in NZ as had never found ti before. Cant wait to start making my oewn.
Diane Starbuck says
During the winter, I grew a scoby according to your instructions. It took 6 weeks but I did end up with a 1/8″ scoby. I have made kombucha several times with this scoby. The new scoby that I get on a batch is very thin. I cannot keep it intact. I usually let it brew 8-10 days. It is always a thin film, not a thicker scoby. Is this normal? I feel like I am getting a decent kombucha. It has a distinct, vinegary scent and I like the taste. Is my scoby too weak? Please advise. Thanks and I enjoy your site and use it frequently.
No, Diane, this isn’t normal. 1/8″ is about as thin as I would ever allow a SCOBY to get. Really healthy ones can be more than an INCH thick. Mine are most often at least half an inch thick.
I think your SCOBY is weak — so weak it’s barely there. If I were you, I’d buy a SCOBY or see if a friend has one to give you.
Diane Starbuck says
I thought that might be the problem. I will purchase one. Thanks.
After drinking store bought Kombucha intermittently for a few months, I finally followed your instructions and grew my own scoby, and am now on my 2nd batch of delish home brewed bucha! I have some questions, though. my home-brew is giving me headaches (i think). Do you think something is wrong with it? Or is it just more potent than the store bought? Or did my 5 day long honeymoon (a week ago) at an all-inclusive resort with way too many non-real-food pina coladas just create lots more junk to detox from my system? Opinions?
Also, My new husband and I have also decided to try to have a baby; do you think I should stop drinking it since I didn’t drink it for very long before ttc?
Thanks so much!
Headaches after drinking it can be a sign of detox. As with all detox reactions, you can either plow through it or ease off the kombucha and do it more gently (drink less while your body adjusts).
If I were you, I’d buy some pH strips and test to make sure my brew was acidic enough. Then, assuming it passed muster, I’d keep drinking it throughout my pregnancy because it’s quite beneficial.
All that said, I’m not a doctor or a medical professional. Listen to your body. Do what seems best for you.
i made my own scoby using store bought kombucha and the first batch was great. now my second batch is taking very long to brew and the ph is only about 5 after 6 days. smell kind of yeastie and vinegar at the same time but weak and not that fizzy. i’ve bottled it up with some grape juice for extra fermentation but am wondering if this is safe to drink and why is it so weak??? did it need more time?
Is there a way to strengthen a weak SCOBY? And what about mold? I had several spots of green mold on one of mine this week-the compost got that one. Thanks!
You did the right thing. If it’s molding, you need to throw it out and start from scratch with a new SCOBY.
And as for how to strengthen a SCOBY, that depends on what’s weakening it. It could be almost anything — unfiltered water, antimicrobial soaps, interference from other household appliances or EMFs, not enough oxygen, not enough sugar, too much sugar. I’d try to eliminate anything obvious first, then perhaps try adding more culture to the mix with a bottle of raw, organic kombucha (preferably locally made so that it has a shorter shelf life).
Peggy The Primal Parent says
Another common question, or suspicion, is that metal destroys the SCOBY. I have not myself observed this to be true in all the years I’ve been making kombucha. I suppose you don’t either since you advise cutting it with scissors.
I don’t think a few minutes of contact with metal (OR plastic) is dangerous for the SCOBY. I would, however, think twice before fermenting the SCOBY in a metal or plastic vessel. That’s true for any fermentation, however. Metal and plastic both have chemical additives that I wouldn’t want leaching into my acidic ferments.
Peggy The Primal Parent says
Agreed. I got a funny comment on my blog the other day about allowing kombucha to contact metal, “It is reminiscent of the Celtic fairy lore in which iron was horribly weakening and repulsive to the fairies.”
I’m not that superstitious myself. 🙂
But I’ve heard this many times before. I think that the warning against fermenting in metal has morphed into contact with metal…
Adria Torrez says
Hey there, thanks for this great Q&A article! I’ve been brewing for several months now, but my last couple batches are TOO strong/acidic. I think this is because the weather is warming up and I wasn’t shortening my fermenting time to accomodate the warmer weather (does that sound possible?) I JUST ordered pH strips (thanks to this article) so now I can remedy that problem going forward (along with shorter time). But is there any use for a too strong batch? Can I use it as vinegar? Or cook with it? I hate to throw it away, but it’s not drinkable. 🙁 Thank you!
Adria Torrez says
Oh yeah…wasn’t done with my question above (d’oh sorry). I have not been removing the oldest layers of the mother before brewing a new batch – would that cause problem of creating an overly strong brew? I had just been carrying over the whole thing from the previous batch until the bottom looked too funky (never moldy, just brown and mucky and um, just kinda “tore up” and tired) but I’m thinking I should remove a little more with each new batch? Is there a point where the mother is TOO thick that it could cause problems (i.e. is 1″ thickness ideal)?
I was wondering about the thickness also. After the first week, I drain the Kombucha into a second container, wash up the first container, and start brewing with the same scoby. I do flip it over to keep the even appearance. But because it floats very near the top, there is no baby… it just adds to the mother. This process has created a layered looking scoby. I was wondering how thick I should let it get before splitting it!
Steve, the baby SCOBY quite often grows on the underside of the mother so the layering you see is actually the baby attached to the mother. I usually pull them apart and use the baby for my next batch. I think this is the the right thing to do but I am not sure if it matters. Hope someone else with more experience will comment on this…
Some of my batches of kombucha taste a little watery. Any ideas of why this would be? It happened on the apple flavored more so than the grape. Other batches turned out GREAT. I use 5 organic tea bags per gallon in the first fermenting and add about 1/8 fruit juice for the second.
I would never buy a SCOBY when they are so incredibly easy to make. I just made a SCOBY and it took roughly a week and it’s gorgeous. Please do not buy what can be easily and cheaply made by you.
Terri B says
Not everyone has good luck creating a SCOBY from scratch. And there is nothing wrong with spending money on something that will, down the line, be healthy and save you tons of money on not buying soda or kombucha!
Dan Lund says
I’ve been looking for how to make a scoby from scratch for a while, but everywhere I look always makes it out to be some mystical thing that can’t be made, and can only be traded/bought. How do you make one from scratch?
Shubham Pathak says
Do you use the tea from scoby hotel as the starter for next or every batch of kumbucha or use the fermented tea or older kumbucha of previous batch?
But what do you do with kombucha? Is it just a tea that you drink?
Linda: It is a flavored fermented tea full of healthy-for-you probiotic organisms that you need in your digestive system. Kind of like the kind that is in yogurt. It is also fizzy like soda pop, only without all the sugar. The sugar in kombucha is mostly eliminated during the fermenting process.
How long can Kombucha brew if I’m out of town for a couple of weeks. Can it sit in the closet that long?
How long is it good for in the refrigerator?
Matthew A. says
It seems that Kevita makes a version of kombucha that’s low in calories and sweetened using stevia. I was wondering if you had any recommendations to alter your recipe so that you can make a sugar free (except for feeding the SCOBY) version of kombucha that’s sweetened mildly with stevia.
Is the fruit juice step necessary? If I skip that step and just add stevia will this give me the results I desire?
Terri B says
The fruit juice step is not necessary, it is just a personal preference thing. I regularly leave several servings plain in case I don’t want any fruit. However, I will say that I find kombucha with ginger to be incredibly delicious – and you can use ginger without adding any appreciable amount of sugar.
You may find, however, that your kombucha will not become fizzy without a second ferment with fruit or juice. Ginger might solve that issue, as well.
How do you flavor it with ginger?
And are there any more benefits to using the fruit juice?
So, it IS possible to brew kombucha using stevia instead of sugar?! That would be awesome!
Dan Lund says
No, Stevia is not a sugar. The sugar is used by the different bacteria as a food, which makes the fermentation process occur.
Melissa Taylor says
I am one week into attempting to grow a SCOBY. Can anyone tell me whether or not adding a probiotic would be beneficial?
I bought a scoby and the mother was at the bottom and a little baby was floating on top. Made kombucha. On 5th day, i checked and saw a very white disk floating on top (i didn’t know yet that it was a new scoby) and i stirred it and then asked hubby to taste and he said it tasted like sweetened ice tea. So i put it back in the laundry room. Two days later when i checked i saw that the new scoby that i stirred settled at the bottom in one piece with the mother. And then there is a new tiny white film forming on top again. I put it back in the laundry room as it was not sour enough. Today, i checked again, and the white film turned into a new scoby except that this time the edges were brown to dark brown and the original daughter has attached to it. There are also whiter and thicker spots on this second round scoby. So i took all the scobys and put them in separate bottles. The two young round scobys are not thick enough so i put them in the laundry room with the original tea where they grew. The original mother with tea is in the fridge. I added apple and grape juice to the tea and put it away in a dark closet to ferment for two days.
Will it be safe to drink this even if the second scoby that formed had brown edges? The daughter also has a round dime-sized brown spot that attached to this second scoby. Will it be ok to use this for a new batch of kombucha?
Since i made the first round scoby sink to the bottom with the original mother, will it be ok to use it when it thickens to 1/4 inch?
How will i know if i have ethanol in my finished kombucha tea? I read that sometimes the alcohol turns into ethanol (which can kill?) when implements/tools are not properly sterilized. When i read this, now hubby and i are kinda staring at our kombucha not wanting to even taste for sourness.
I wonder who would be the first to taste after 48 hours of fermenting it with fruit.
Many thanks to you for sharing your knowledge.
I got impatient and started my SCOBY with the green variety of GT’s with seaweed, etc., because they were out of the plain, but my floating blob has several dark flecks in the viscous white blobs. There does not appear to be open mold spots on the top. Do you think this is okay? I am so anxious to get this going that I hate to have to start over again. Currently this is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick with lots of bubbles resting on the bottom side. BTW, I keep mine in the cabinet over the fridge…exhaust from the fridge keeps it steadily warm year round.
Stephen Powell says
A friend told me that she cooks and eats her extra scoobys. Anyone else doing this..How?
I have been continuous brewing for about 1 year now and would like to take a break. How do I take a “vacation”?
Mike H. says
Talk to a friend and explain how making your own kombucha has improved your health and life.
If you are still determined to take a break from kombucha, give it to him/her and show them the joys of keeping a SCOBY in the family.
If they reject your gracious offer, give it a proper burial and start over by growing a new SCOBY when you are done with your break!
I’ve been brewing a batch separate from the normal tea one which is made entirely with apple cider (no tea). It does at least as well if not better than the tea kombucha, so don’t say that it can’t be done with fruit juice, because I’m here to tell you it can. I can’s say for sure that all juices work, but apple certainly does.
If others have tried this and failed, it could be because many store-bought juices contain preservatives which are specifically in there to prevent microbial growth (not what you want!). So make sure what you’re using is only pure juice with no preservatives.
Also, what you’re brewing over your apple cider is definitely NOT kombucha. You may have started with a kombucha mother, but you’ve created an entirely different colony of bacteria & yeast.
Kombucha, by definition, is fermented tea. Any studies done regarding its health benefits have been done on real kombucha, so whatever fermented apple cider you’re drinking may not have those same benefits (glucaronic acid, for example, which needs the tea in order to be produced).
Think of it like this. You can use the same culture of brewer’s yeast to ferment all kinds of things — mead, beer, or even hard liquor. But you wouldn’t call those substantially the same beverage. They’re completely different! In the same way, popping a kombucha culture on top of apple cider will produce something altogether different from kombucha (probably something much more akin to apple cider vinegar, in which case you’ve got both an ACV mother and a kombucha mother on your hands)!
I also have an apple cider vinegar mother and wondered how to used it to make vinegar. I began the vinegar using apples, honey and water per Little House on the Prairie cookbook. But I did not know what what actually growing on top of one of the batches until I can to this sight. I love kombucha and can’t wait to start up a batch.
I wanted to grow a scooby,but the unflavore at the health store are cold would that be okay to use?
I made my tea with Ginger green tea. It was mixed in the tea bags. I added the sugar to the ginger green tea and let it ferment for about 10 days. When I poured it out it was really bubbly and foamy. Smells and looks more like beer than the Kombucha it normally makes. What happened and is it ok to drink?
I’m not an expert, but my reading has led me to understand you do NOT want to use flavored teas to make kombucha. Rather, if you want it flavored, a two-stage fermentation process is necessary. The reason is this: SCOBY food is tea and sugar. Anything else – literally – can change the balance of the bacteria and yeast in the SCOBY. If you want ginger kombucha, you’ll probably get better results by adding ginger juice OR a big chunk of minced/thinly sliced ginger to the second fermentation. You want to keep your SCOBY out of that. Using it too long with additives to your tea/sugar blend can weaken it and make it susceptible to contamination, and even if it doesn’t, it will likely change the flavor/strength of at least your next few batches of kombucha, if not permanently.
John Seedner says
is it ok if your scoby floats to the top and is exposed to the open air and gets my coffee filter wet that i was using to cover the jar for a few weeks?
How long can you keep the mother and starter in the refrigerator in a glass jar? Would it still be good after a few months?
Hi, I’m very knew to brewing and haven’t even received my scoby yet, however, I’ve found conflicting info on storing your scobies. That being said, what is the best way to store them? How long usually? And, what is the best cloth to cover with? Again, cheesecloth is conflicting, thx!
I used a double fermentation method using green tea and Cran-cherry fruit juice. This is my second batch (I was given scobies) It smells sour, taste is ok and it is not real fizzy. My first batch (with a different scoby) was with a Black Assam tea and Apple-grape. It was just awesome! Did I do something wrong? I go about 7 days then bottle it. I use a seedling heater to keep them warm.
Cranberry and cherry are very sour – nearly no sugar there. Sugar feeds yeast; yeast makes bubbles. You could add a bit of sugar to that particular juice before adding it to the kombucha, or you could blend it with a sweeter juice. Make sure the bottles are closed up tightly.
how do you brew your hot water/tea since you are not supposed to use metal??? we only have a stainless steel kettle.
A stainless steel kettle is fine for brewing your tea. You brew your tea and put it in a glass jar, let it cool to room temp, then add your SCOBY. The SCOBY is not in contact with your kettle. The main concern is that SCOBY not be fermenting in contact with metal or plastic. The comments above from Kristen M on June 20, 2012, sum up the concerns nicely.
“I don’t think a few minutes of contact with metal (OR plastic) is dangerous for the SCOBY. I would, however, think twice before fermenting the SCOBY in a metal or plastic vessel. That’s true for any fermentation, however. Metal and plastic both have chemical additives that I wouldn’t want leaching into my acidic ferments.”
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I hate tea, I wish I could stomach it. I try every year to see if my tast buds have changed. It makes me gag.
can I use herbal tea like rasberry or chamomile anything that does not taste of tea.
I really wnat to try this brew. Help please.
1. Use the very best quality organic white, green, or black tea you can get your hands on, and keep the steeping time short. A couple of minutes is usually perfect. Make sure you heat the water to the correct temperature before making tea with it – black takes hotter water than green, and green takes hotter water than white. That should reduce the amount of tannins in the tea and produce a pleasant flavour.
2. No, you can’t use herbal or decaffeinated teas to make kombucha. The tea and sugar are perfect food for the SCOBY. Anything else will be imperfect food, and will eventually weaken or kill the SCOBY.
Honestly, kombucha hardly tastes like tea at all. Kind of like a really light beer or vinegar. The best way to decide if you like it or not is to buy a bottle and try some. The ones with ginger tend to be my favorites. :]
Can I boil Ceylon cinnamon stickers and ginger with the tea?
I have a pretty thick scoby and it has a top of fairly stiff white surface on top. Is this ok, or should I renew the scoby?
I didn’t think my baby had grown after 7 days so I had a dumb idea to warm it up in the oven and I forgot to turn it off, it got up to 350! Even worse when taking the mother out to toss I realized there was a baby, I just didn’t see it. So is the bacteria killed in the tea as well as mother and baby? Is it worth drinking at all?
Most certainly this would have killed it.
Hi, I have a question. I made a batch of Kombucha and added fruit, strawberries, it’s been in a glass container on th counter with a lid. Its been about 5 days, its half gone and now I see what looks like a scoby on the surface of it. It’s thick and big, it seems alive, but there is fruit mixed in with it. What can I do with this? Will the fruit eventually go bad, can I salvage this second scoby somehow?
I was told that Kombucha has to be in a cool setting 78 or under. We live in a mobile home, and it gets above 78 in the late afternoon until the sun goes down past the trees. Will my kombucha go bad?
Someone lied to you. Kombucha is happiest at 80-85.
Everything I’ve read says 65-75 degrees
Dan Lund says
My kitchen is almost always 82 degrees, and it’s been brewing okay.
My kombucha takes vinegar-y. Any idea why, or what I’m doing wrong?
Sounds like you’re letting it ferment too long.
hi, I successfully grew my own scoby and am now brewing my first batch of kombucha. it has been resting for 9 days and I simply can’t tell if it’s done. is the baby supposed to split from the mother? is it two different scobys or do they grow together? all I see is my mother getting thicker and kind of gunky looking. it definitely is beginning to be tart (I like it tart so yay) but I don’t know if I should let it rest longer or dig in! I’m in northern jersey so it’s not as warm as texas but 5 of the last 9 days have been 85 degrees outside and my tea has been in a very warm (almost hot) closet. is it possible I ruined it from heat? could it be ready already? any advice would be helpful and so appreciated! thanks in advance.
April Van Wagenen says
I am on my third batch of brewing kombucha and I am loving it! I want to expand to a larger vessel. I have read conflicting opinions on using a vessel with a spout and how it can harbor mold and bad bacteria. What do you think?
Dan Lund says
The spout on the container makes for a great continuous brewing system.
Use best judgement on taking the spout off and running water through it to clean it out, since the bacteria will definitely grow in there… but definitely not bad bacteria. The pH of the kombucha will stop bad bacteria from growing inside of it since the liquid will be in constant contact.
I have a continuous brewing system with 1 gallon of tea in there now. It will hold up to 3 gallons and I’d like to have at least 2 in there. How do I increase it? Do I just add another scoby and another gallon of tea? I don’t want to mess up the balance that is in there. Also, should I remove a baby scoby each week? I am new to this and just realized I had 5 scobys in there!! My tea was starting to have a very strong vinegar taste. I have removed all of them except the mama now and hope that helps. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Dan Lund says
If you keep every scoby in there, it will basically end up being a scoby hotel. That will make it so sour and vinegary it will be almost undrinkable. (well, by most 😉 )
There are a couple of ways of doing it of course, it’s all a matter of taste. I’m new to it all but have done alot of research so far. I’ve seen collections kept in a separate jar with starter tea surrounding it, and stored in the cabinet. (refreshed every so often as well, with kombucha that has been made)
Some people rotate their scoby taking the oldest from the jar and putting the current in, and some others just take the extra and put in the jar continuing to use the same one. Whatever the case, it’s best to only have one (or maybe two if you want a quick brew? I don’t know) in there.
Elma Chambers says
How do you store your Scobys if you are not ready to make another batch? My friend puts hers in the refrigerator and puts a lid on it. Doesn’t it need air or does it go dormant?
I heard a lot about the benefits of kombucha but never tried. Recently i am searching for the best way of healthy life and food/beverage intake. I was advised to drink alkaloid, enhanced PH (8+) water to push my blood PH to the alkaloid side. I noticed that the recommended PH for kombucha is very low, 2.5 PH; how would consuming this acid product and my alkaloid water would interact?
Just going off what I’ve read, you can either store it at room temperature in kombucha with a cloth lid, or seal it up tight and put it in the fridge. The latter will slow the fermentation process.
Dan Lund says
The thing is, kombucha is an aerobic fermentation, not like kefir which is anaerobic. If it’s kept in a container which doesn’t have oxygen, the bacteria will not survive.
They use oxygen.
The rest is correct though, room temperature with a cloth lid to keep the bugs and environmental doohickeys out.
I was cooking brown rice last night under low heat. I always place my kombucha vessel onto the burners after cooking to try and get it to it’s happy temperature. Stupidly, I didn’t realize I hadn’t shut the heat off. About 30 minutes later I went to feel my vessel and realized what I had done. It wasn’t boiling but it was really warm to the touch. I tried measuring the temp but all I have are candy thermometers and it wouldn’t read on those (it was less than 110F) I had a beautiful big SCOBY growing on top. How do I know if I killed it? Thanks, Sarah
Mary Noll says
i have brewed 3 batches of Kombucha with my Scoby, and it has not produced a daughter scoby. I have no idea why and i tried to research it and found nothing. There is no mold and it produces Kombucha but no daughter scoby.
Yesterday when I was stirring the sugar into my tea with the scoby in there I forgot to use my wooden spoon and instead used my rubber one with a metal handle and I know it got in contact with the liquid where the scoby was ! If so … what do I do ???? Please help !
Hi Food Renegade,
Could you please tell me if I could brew Kombucha with fruit tea, like raspberry tea? It is without caffeine and has licorice root in it. Or do I have to use black or green tea?
As I understand it, you need to use teas with caffeine as the scoby needs that in order to do it’s thing. It does get rid of most of the caffeine content, though, in case you’re worried. And they recommend not to use teas with additives because the oils used in many of these tea bags can kill the scoby, and also (as seen above) fruit has different sugars than the scoby is used to and so you don’t want to contaminate your mother. Keep them separate is what I’ve gathered.
Dan Lund says
Actually, caffeine isn’t used by anything but the person drinking. If you steep the tea in freshly boiled tea for 30-45 seconds it should remove the majority of the caffeine. It will still have some in it, but not nearly as much.
Hello. I just made my second batch of Kombucha ever and have a few questions.
My first batch worked great. A beautiful large “baby” grew across the top of my bowl. This second batch, not so great. After a week I went to check on it. There was a baby but it was quite small. At first I thought maybe it was because I used a large jar with a smaller mouth as opposed to a large bowl. Then, when I transferred my kombucha to mason jars I realized it was already a little carbonated. I think what happened was that the towel I put over top the second batch was thicker and did not breath nearly as much as the first batch. I am assuming this is why the baby did not grow very much as well as why it is already slightly carbonated, but that’s just a theory… you may have a better answer. Anyway, that leads me to several questions.
1) Is my kombucha safe to drink since it became carbonated while the scoby was still in it?
2) Is my scoby ruined because it is now sitting in carbonated kombucha waiting for me to make another batch or can I still use it like normal?
And several general questions:
3) How old should children be before they drink kombucha? ( I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 13 month old)
4) I am nursing my 13 month old and read your post on nursing / pregnancy. Where do I buy a ph test to make sure it’s safe for me to drink while nursing?
5) I am yet to start ovulating since the birth of our 13 month old. As far as we know I am not currently pregnant but there is always the chance I could become pregnant. Is it safe for me to start drinking kombucha for the first time during this “wild card” time?
Thanks so much for your help! I greatly appreciate it!
pat salem says
I had a 2 gallon jar that I put in the frig cause I was gone for 4-6 wks. My scoby is thick, like 3 inches and there is not much kombucha left is it ok to go ahead and add more sweet tea like I did before or do I need to decrease the size of the scoby first…? Thanks Pat
I am buying Kombucha at a local juice place on tap in a large bottle and storing it in the fridge. Can I reheat it on cold days and drink it hot? I mean will that change it? Also how long willit last in the fridge?
The heat will destroy the bacteria that you have tried to reproduce. Let it go to room temperature, but I wouldn’t heat it up.
Maybe someone can help, I am using the double fermentation approach, and have removed my Scoby from my first successful batch of kombucha. I put berries and lemon in my strained tea (Scoby free) and that batch is growing another Scoby altogether! Should I be concerned? Is the Scoby strong enough to use in brewing a batch of kombucha with sugar/tea? Thanks!
Mary meyer says
I just made my first batch. I like the flavor now. Do I take the scoby out of container and put in refrig. While I drink it? Do I have to start a new one right away is there a way to “store ” the scoby if you can’t make another batch for a time? A week?
I bought a bottle of original Kombucha [enlightened] and there inside already was a beautifully formed SCOBY..it was less than half inch when I bought it and now it is almost an inch in size..i am new to SCOBY and learning about making my own, but after reading about how it is not as good to use Kombucha, erm,now what..
i mean can I use this still..?
felt kinda like I hit the jackpot in getting such a perfect (it seems) ready made SCOBY..heh
I really like your blog, too..!
I have a SCOBY. Looks happy and healthy. The tea beneath is quite tart, or sour even. Did I not provide enough sugar at the beginning or should I wait even more time? and what do I do now? do I consume the tea from the birthing vessel? I know I am to use about a cup to create the next batch but what can I do to minimize the sourness?
I am interested in making my own kombucha but was wondering about temperature. It’s winter now and we keep our house sort of cold(57degrees). Will this affect the kombucha?
Danielle F says
Hi, I am interested in making a continuous brew kombucha, but had a question. If it isn’t safe to use a plastic container to brew kombucha due to the plastic leeching into the kombucha.. why is it all right to use a container with a plastic spigot? Won’t the chemicals from the plastic spigot leech into the kombucha that way also?
I was wondering because I recently am in the process of making kombacha if I totally screwed it up? I added raw cultured organic butter not really knowing the differences of probiotics yet…. I also used organic brown sugar. Umm I know this probably sounds ridiculous but can my baby kombacha be saved or should I just start over to be safe?
Hi there! Thank you for sharing. I’m about to start my first kombucha batch and am pretty stoked. I’ve done a fair amount of research lately and one of the articles I read had some serious warnings about leaving too much space in your bottle during the second fermentation. They claimed that leaving too much room can provide more space for dangerous gas to build up, increasing the chance that your bottle will explode. They also claimed that the second ferment thrives in an anaerobic environment created by filling the bottles to the top. Have you heard anything like this?
Dr. Green Mom via Facebook says
I love this idea! One day I’ll have to try it!
Ellie A. Akers via Facebook says
We tried and failed to brew Kombucha even with a scoby from Cultures for Health. We live on a well so chlorination was not the issue. Turns out our water was two pure after going through the filters and was killing the scoby. I now add a few milliliters of Andersons Mineral drops to every batch and now it grows great. (I also add it to my regular drinking water because if it does that to the scoby…)
Food Renegade via Facebook says
Glad you figured it out, Ellie!
Karen Barger via Facebook says
Just started with kombucha. Going to try a couple of commercially mixed to see what I like. Looking forward to really getting this going.
Jean-François Lepage via Facebook says
The kombucha in the picture is smiling at me!
Shelley Lisko via Facebook says
Kim Daniels, this is for you!
Dottye Holt via Facebook says
Been making my own for about 6 months and it’s just as easy as you say it is!
Annie Rogers Fischer via Facebook says
I’ve been brewing Kombucha for 18 months. It’s the easiest thing ever, and I love it. I’m not sad, either, that my husband and son don’t care for it.
Jennifer Boucher Bartush via Facebook says
I just made my first batch yesterday.
Amanda Woods-Osman via Facebook says
A couple months, using your instructions.
RE: this FAQ: “Why can’t I ferment the kombucha SCOBY with fruit juice?”
I’ve successfully made my first batch of kombucha using a SCOBY I made myself. However, when making my second batch, I accidentally forgot to reserve some for the next batch before adding fruit juice 🙁
So I’ve had to go with flavoured starter for my second batch. Do you think this will work out OK? Or will it kill my SCOBY and I will need to start the whole process again? I added a bit more starter than I did for the first batch because it’s obviously somewhat diluted by the fruit juice.
Today I tried brewing my first batch of kombucha in a growler. The scoby wouldn’t fit in the mouth so in my haste I just put the room temperature tea and scoby in an aluminum pot. It sat in the pot for around 3 hours before I did my research and discovered how harmful aluminum is. My question is: Should I throw out the scoby? I’ve moved it to a glass jar with some of the liquid that was in the aluminum. Is there some way to salvage the scoby or is it dangerous to use now?
Can you use decaf tea to make kombucha, if not, does the fermentation cancel out the caffeine for those that can’t drink caffeine?
I switched to a Rose Tea when brewing the sweet tea because I too have problems drinking caffeine. What I found is it was infact the best ‘recipe’ I had made, with a much softer, sweeter flavor Kambucha. I found no problems doing the switch, I think any tea is fine to use. 🙂
I bought a 2 gallon jar from Amazon and make mine in that, but my scoby is almost 2 inches thick. Is that going to be a problem at all?
Evelyn Koftinoff says
I have been making kombucha for 1 year and my recipe for brewing the tea is…..
1 gal. water, 8 teabags (5 red rooibus organic tea bags, & 3 organic Oolong tea bags) and 1 cup organic sugar. I bring the water to the boiling point then take it of the stove and add my sugar and teabags, take the bags out after 15 min. or so, and cool the tea to luke warm then pour it into my gal. jar then add my scobie.I haven’t had any trouble
with the kombucha, it always turns out very tasty. I taste the brew with a straw to test the flavor to my liking.
I am trying to make diabetic friendly kombucha for my daughter – using continuous / double ferment and leaving second ferment a week. Would this be enough to reduce the sugar? I’ve trying using a hydrometer but the method of measuring the usage left me stumped !
why did kombucha give me a yeast infection and why won’t it go away? 🙁
got a good strong scobys, making great kombucha, but after second ferment, I regridgerate, but one of the bottles partially froze. (my silly fridge) will that destroy the benefits of the kombucha, or is it ok since there isn’t a scoby in it any more?
Thanks for this great information! So a friend gave me an already prepared Kambucha – with SCOBY and vessel – as a gift about 8 months ago. I have been brewing and using since and LOVE it.
Unfortunately, within the last few weeks I have neglected it and there is a very potent smell and what is left in there is undrinkable. 🙁
What should I do? Which is old/new SCOBY (there are many)and should I clean, is it salvageable etc? Unfortunately I have never cleaned or done anything more than brew fresh batches of tea to refill. (I am sorry if my ignorance insults anyone!) Thanks for the help! 🙂
How long is too long to leave the kombucha fermenting?
More importantly, although I covered my Kombucha, two fruit flies got into the jar. Should I throw out the whole batch? . . . .the SCOBY (if touched)?
I would like to take a break from Kombucha tea and make some kefir grains probiotic water. Can I store my SCOBY from Kombucha tea so I can reuse it in a couple of weeks or months? I am not sure I am going to like the water kefir grains. Thanks Karen
I recently started making my own Kombucha and we just love it! My question is I do a second fermentation into long neck glass bottles and leave about 1-2 inches space at the top. When it is time to enjoy the brew…I loose a lot of the brew from so much fizz. I am doing or not doing something right?!!! Thanks for the help!
Loa Andersen says
I’m LDS (Mormon) which means I don’t drink green or black tea. Can herbal teas be used to make Kombucha? Or anything else other than green or black tea? Help!
You.Naturally. via Facebook says
love making homemade kombucha. SO much better then store bought!!! thanks for the tips 🙂
Eilish Foley via Facebook says
I want to start
Download free instrumentals of songs, unprecedented photos and others via Facebook says
very good article
Christopher Dobbins via Facebook says
mine really really taste like vinegar…
That means either you added too much vinegar or fermented you kombucha for too long.
Susan Hamilton Roberts via Facebook says
I’ve been making water kefir for a while now, and it’s so easy. I don’t know why making kombucha feels more intimidating. Maybe I’ll try next week…
Monica Oxendine via Facebook says
It’s not hard. Just people write bad info on it on the internet
The Herbal Face Food via Facebook says
We love our Kombucha, always have a jar or two in the works!
Its not my first time to visit this site, i am browsing this site
dailly and take nice data from here everyday.
Laurene Lacaden says
Hi my wife just bought a fresh kombucha, but we don’t know to prepeare it for a recipe. Can you help us by explaining how to start preparing it, because we have never used. We would appreciate it .
Kelly Garner via Facebook says
Just started mine tonight. Wish my SCOBY luck!
Dave Elliott says
Hi, I used to brew kombucha years ago and I know how to, etc., but what I wondered is: how did the first kombucha scobies form, and is there a list of the type of yeasts and bacteria that form the scobies? I recently noticed – in a bottle of home-brew beer that was put aside because the lid was not secured and I presumed it would be on its way to becoming vinegar – that a few layers of what appear to be a kombucha scoby had formed. I have been brewing beers, wines and meads for 38 years now and I know what a normal ‘gone-off’ beer looks and tastes like- but this is not at all like that: it looks exactly like a kombucha scoby. I know the best advice would be to discard it and buy a fresh one… but, isn’t it possible that I have discovered an original spontaneous scoby? (Just seeing this site has made me want to buy a fresh one too, and start a bonafide batch).
Dave Elliott says
Actually I’ve just found the answer to my questions (thanks Wikipedia – very precise) and I will try growing my spontaneous scoby to see what happens. I’ll compare it to a shop-bought one and let you know.
hello! I have started growing kombucha and i have a question i have searched high and low for the answer and found nothing. I fed my kombucha scoby and in the process i think the scoby might have turned upside down, I’m not 100%. If it has indeed turned upside down will this be a problem? Thanks in advance! I’m hoping someone, anyone, can answer my question! oh i guess i should also ask in the event it is bad to be upside down: How can you tell what is the top and what is the bottom?
Noel Palomer says
It should be fine. sometimes they tend to sink to the bottom but another one just appears at the top.
Kris Ness says
Thanks for this. I have been making it for about a year, and kind of had it down, but had given so many gallon starter jars away I ended up making my last batch in an agua fresca jar, so my main scoby grew to about 14 inches. A lovely neighbor gave me 6 more gallon jars, so I am going to do my first “surgery” on the monster mother, but will put it into a different jar just in case. Fingers crossed…thanks for the no-nonsense advice. New smaller babies were “hatched, of course, so they went into a separate storage jar.
Hi! I was just wondering if you might be able to answer this question…. my son is quite sensitive to cane sugar and I have recently been giving him kombucha (store-bought) based on the fact there is no sugar listed in the ingredients but after reading your posts about making kombucha I am guessing that sugar was involved in making the store-bought stuff as well. But if the sugar is eaten by the bacteria, does that mean that there is none left to cause a reaction in my son?? It was a blood test that told us of his sensitivity and unfortunately I have not been able to pinpoint exactly HOW he reacts so I am not really sure if there has been any effect on him since he has been drinking it. Meanwhile we are trying to heal the sensitivity and dont want a hidden form of sugar to thwart our efforts. If you are able to help me with this query i would be most appreciative 🙂 I am fairly new to your site but loving it!
Noel Palomer says
Hi I made a batch of Kombucha and since then i have been busy moving to a new address and other life events.I let my bactch sit with the scoby for about 2 and a half months but my scoby looks good. its a little skinny im gessing from not having much more sugar to eat but i did trow away the batch that was with it. my guess is that it might have to high of a PH level to be safe to drink.
My question is do you think its safe to make a new batch with the new scoby?
Kristine Terry says
I have a question. I have had a batch of Kombucha brewing for about 39 days. The Soby is huge and does not show any signs of mold. I would like to start a new batch and thin out the Scoby a bit. My question is…Is it ok to use the tea that has been brewing for so long as my starter tea for the next batch?
Jane Metzger says
I just brewed my first kombucha. I am not sure if it is successful or not. It brewed for longer than average, maybe 3 weeks. I have three layers of white disks. one really thick and the next not so much and the last pretty thin. My question is, what are the disks and what do I do with them? I just put together a new batch.
Bonnie Lee Staab says
Can I use frozen concentrated juice(with out the water added) and how much to a quart of kombucha tea to ferment
I’m getting ready to make my second batch of kombucha tea and I wanted to know if it’s ok to use a gallon glass jar that’s tinted blue
Can I place bottled kombucha in a cooler while it builds carbonation? So if it explodes it won’t be as much of a danger?
vicki johnson says
I have been successful in brewing my first batch of Kombucha and although its still a bit too sweet for me, its good.I want to reuse the mother and make a new batch and I have two questions. one, can I reuse in the same container leaving the original scoby to work its magic. Two, can I use an Essaic tea as my base?
Thanks for listening.
when making kombucha can I use honey or maple sugar?
I don’t have a comment I have a question and since I didn’t find a forum for questions to be asked I am asking it here. does it matter if I put the sugar in the water to boil that means the sugar has been through the boiling process or is that a complete no-no. please let me know because I made this mistake half an hour ago and I need to know if I can still use the water with the sugar that I boiled together thank you
Ok- rookie mistake- I added ginger and tumeric straight away to the sweet tea. I realise I will have to start again, but have I killed my Good looking scoby on top? It looks healthy? Will I need more starter? Help!!! 🙁
Pls help to avoid traces of alcohol in Kombucha.
do they have an instrument or meter to check the alcohol level in the drink?
Can there be a possibility of stopping the fermentation process after a certain level other than refrigeration ?
Kevin Larkin says
I have a question and have not found a place to just ask questions. I am hoping you can help. I went from one gallon jars to a 5 gallon container. They first batch of tea was ok. The second batch was so tart it was almost unusable. I have let the SOBY sit for several weeks and it has formed a nice large disc. I am not sure if the tea is bad or what. I am wondering if you could speak to this. I love making tea and am looking to bigger batches, but am unsure what to do now.
My scoby had a baby. Yaaa. The original is thick and the baby is whiter and thinner. Which one should I use in my new batch?
Does all of the tannin in tea remain in the fermented kombucha? Have any studies been done on how much tannin remains? Thanks!
I just recently read that the amount of alcohol in finished kombucha is about the same as that contained in freshly squeezed orange juice.
My Kombucha went to vinegar is my scoby safe to use?
I started off trying to make hard cider from apple scraps a while back. When i tested it it was obviously fermenting but not sweet and nothing like apple cider. Last week i had my 1st kombucha from the store & when i opened it it smelled exactly like what i brewed. Is that possible & what are your thoughts? I cant test the alcohol content since i didnt teat it before fermentation.
Thanks for any advice
Hello I was just wondering if my scooby is ok I haven’t ️made kombucha in months and I want to try again but not sure if I should use it thank u for your help kelly
Linda Cornelius says
I was given a Scooby starter with the 2 cups of tea I put it in the fridge or raider for a week before I can start my new batch is that bad will it taste bad if I started now or should I start over with a new Scoobystarter
Linda Cornelius says
I have a question. I put my Scooby starter in the refrigerator for a week I want to make my first batch. If I use it will it taste bad or get moldy after the second and third batch
Hi. I’m a Type 1 diabetic of 43 years and with Hashimoto’s disease (non-functioning thyroid for 12 years) which are both auto-immune diseases. I have a family history of cancer. What is the likelihood that drinking Kombuch tea would restore my immune system and restore function of my non-functioning glands and hormones? This drink sounds too good to be true! If I were to try it, I wouldn’t know how to calculate an insulin dose for it. What carbohydrate content does it have per serving if brewed for a longer time to remove sweetness? Are the health benefits still good if Stevia in the raw were to be added?
Hi do you have any ideas on why the scobys dont seperate fully They seem to be hanging off each other connected at centre/bit on sides
I made my second batch of kumbucha but can I go ahead and add more brewed tea and sugar so I get a bigger batchin this already made but not done yet?
kate reed says
Loved reading about your Kombucha tea. i have been brewing about a year and I found one step helped me – I use distilled water, boil it then pour it over 1 1/2 cup of sugar which dissolves very quickly then I put the tea bags in and close the lid on my 1 gallon jar to seep for 15 minutes to one hour. I was finding it hard to dissolve the sugar after seeping.
Michael Anasakta says
I simply can’t find the answer anywhere on the internet.
Everyone talks about the number of tea bags or the number of teaspoons of loose tea, but nowhere can I find reference to the amount needed of WHOLE leaf tea.
Are you possibly able to tell me a suggested amount of whole leaves to use per gallon?
Thanks so much,
Vickie Ball says
After brewing a batch of Monica , how do I store the the scoby tell I’m ready to brew another batch?
Vickie Ball says
Kombucha not monica
I have left my kobucha brewing for over a month, I just kept putting the bottling process on hold. should I be worried and or throw the tea away and start over or can I bottle it?
I successfully grew my Scoby from a bottle of raw organic plain Kombucha!
My first batch of Kombucha is brewing and should be ready to bottle in the next day or two, it’s hot here in CA.
Can I pre-make my next batch of sweet tea and have it sit out for a couple days on my counter before adding the Scoby from the soon to be finished batch?
That way the two containers, exact same size, will be at the same temperature when I move the mother and baby Scoby over …
Some say tea will go bad or get bacteria
Any advice will be greatly appreciated
So, if I choose to make larger jars, making each batch in half gallon mason jars then that will be okay? I want it really fizzy too (so refreshing this time of year) and the larger jars I feel will allow more air space as recommended! Curious if that can work. Thanks!
Annette Collazo-Comito says
Thank you so much for this information. I have a question can you dehydrate the scoby’s and how?
Debora Dammann says
Do you have any idea how many carbs are in a 3 qt container of home brewed kombacha (1 cup sugar, black tea). I love this stuff and would like to see my Mom and Dad drink it but my Mom is pre-diabetic and worries about carbs, and my Dad has Sarcoidosis which means a lowered immune system. They are 77 and 79.
I grew my own SCOBY and it grew great! I bottled just one bottle from the original liquid to grow the SCOBY and after one sip it made my stomach hurt. I was wondering if you knew if it is only safe to drink kombucha fermented with an already established SCOBY? I love KT kombucha and thought it would be fun to make my own, but after that sip I am a little nervous that it will be unsafe?
Therese Jackson says
I’ve been brewing Kombucha since March. I now have 5 scobys. I “think” I made the mistake each time I made a new batch of leaving all 5 scobys in…Am I supposed to only have 1 scoby per a batch? (This could be why the last two batches have been very sour.)
And if my scobys are dark colored (no mold) does this mean they are done and ready to be be composted?
What is the shelf life of Kombacha?
Sylvia Love says
I have made a batch of Kombucha, but sadley it didn’t form a Scoby on top. Can I still use the tea blend.
Thank you for those answers, I’m sure they willl be very useful in the future.
I was thinking about starting to make my own kombucha, and I thought I could try it with a very small SCOBY (the size of a coin) that is inside an organic Kombucha bottle that I previously bought. Do you think it could work? If so, would it influence the quantity/ratio of the other ingredients?
Thank you very much 🙂
If my SCOBY and tea is too vinegary and I use the SCOBY and tea for another batch will it also end up being vinegary as a result?
Andrea Francom says
I grew my own SCOBY from scratch and it looks great! The smell is vinegary and it all looks healthy. I think it’s thick enough to be considerd done but my cat just jumped up and jostled the jar and it sank! Will it “drown” if I don’t fish it out and start a batch of Kombucha right away? Will it continue to mature if it’s no longer on the surface?
I grew my own SCOBY from a store bought bottle of raw plain organic kombucha and one cup of room temp. Black tea with 2 Tbl organic sugar dissolved in it in a 1/2 gallon mason jar!
I have two one gallon glass jars that I rotate between now. I boil 8 cups water and add 1 cup organic sugar and stir till dissolved. Add 4 organic black tea bags and 4 organic green tea bags steep for 20 min. Add 4 more cups of spring water. When at room temp, I pour into my one gallon glass jug, that I rinsed with white vinegar. Wash my hands in vinegar and place all my scoby’s into it. All my scoby babies are the circumference of the gallon jug. The mother is smaller. I cover with a cloth and rubber band it. When I notice the new baby has completely covered the top and is starting to thicken, that’s when I remove the scoby’s and put them in the other gallon jug with 2 cups of the tea and cover with the cloth and rubber band and set aside. I then peel about an inch and half of raw organic ginger, slice it into four slivers and drop it into the tea, cover with coffee filter and screw top of jar for twenty four to forty eight hours. Stir contents, pour into old kombucha bottles and put into fridge … Then start all over again with making my sweet tea and next batch :0) keeps my drinking a bottle a day! I love it! I tried fruit, fruit juice etc. Ginger is my favorite! I think my hair is getting darker and my eyebrows are too …
My last batch of kombucha seems to have gone bad as the Scoby got moldy. The top layer one which was a new Scoby. Shall I through the whole batch? The bottom layer scoby’s are fine and have no mold on them. Can I keep the clean scoby’s? I am unable to use any of the liquid because it may be contaminated.
Please let me know.
Thanks for the advice, Kristen! I have a question about what to do when a new scoby is forming; I purchased a scoby which sank to the bottom. I think my ratio of kombucha to tea was to weak too. Anyway a new, delightful scoby is now forming on the top. But it’s going slow and I’ve tasted the brew and it’s neither very sugary OR acidic. It’s kind of bland. Should I still just leave it be (it is still thin and fragile) and let the scoby grow or should I give it a new batch of sugary tea to work with?
Thank you so much.
Day 4 and there’s white specks . Are they mold? 🙁
liz toth says
any chane for my scoby? was left for 10 months in liquie. still looks alive. no sugar has been added. how sad.
Karen Lison says
I’ve been making Kombucha for my daughter, age 34, who is recovering from colon cancer. Her doctor wants her to drink 2 glasses/day and the commercial drink became very costly.
But I’m afraid I may have a problem with my several month old scoby:
It has become very large. It is still whitish in color, about 1.5 inches thick but it now has a brownish, less dense layer in the center. Also the Kombucha it creates is much darker and cloudier than the Kombucha it made when I first purchased it as a “baby.”
Is my scoby contaminated?
Is it time to divide it?
I appreciate that you have this website for questions like mine.
Hello I was reading up on kombucha tea and I’m in the process of trying of adding the tea and the sugar to my mother my vessel will only allow for about 8 cups how many tea bags and how much sugar should I use?
Chris W says
Do you know anything about kombucha that becomes infected with a “wild yeast strain” called Brettanomyces that gives the smell and flavor
similar to bandaids to the kombucha?? Please help me out as I have had this problem now a couple of times! Can you help with any tips on what to do,
as the I am using bottled water and great ingredients.
I have well water but have a water softener as well., will this harm the scoby?
Homebrew Recipes says
Kombucha is delicious. It has amazing cider/beer qualities from the fermentation. Like anything you are fermenting at room temp be careful that you are purposely creating an environment for bacteria to grow, but in this case, only the ones you want. Sanitize correctly and enjoy the heck out of it!
I have been making kombucha for years, but lately mine all died
Due to a long absence. I purchased 2 more on line, made the batch as usual. When it was time to bottle, scoby was on bottom of jar and
the little thin one on top was full of mold. I ordered 2 more and
now the same thing has happened. What is happening?
I forgot to put my KB in the fridge before leaving for 10 days. Upon returning I put it in the fridge but now I’m not sure what to do. I know it is going to be very sour/vinegar. Can I start over but use the same scoby but all new liquid?
What a fabulous website – I was initially reading about Kombucha tea and all it’s benefits and then scrolled down further. Congratulations on this site and keep up the good work!
I transported my scoby in a jar I got at target with a metal lid. Not sure what kind of metal – the lid was on for 9 hours. Is my scoby contaminated? It’s been two days and seems to be fine.
I have 2 batches of Kombucha brewing (made one day apart) and have tasted one, which is still too sweet, but the other one, I made up one day before has a slight sour taste, not very vinegary, just sour. What could this mean?
GWEN MARTINE says
how do I save my scoby I just brewed a new batch of tea I bottled the old batch and then I sweetened one bottle so I could drink it with artificial flavoring and I noticed I needed a little more tea in my new batch and poored in the tea that had the flavoring. Help. I want to save my scoby should I just leave them in there or make a new batch
Diana Kelly says
HI! I am new to making kombucha – I was not sure about the solid part of the prepared “mother” I purchased and I removed it and set it aside for a few hours. Should I disguard the entire new patch and start over?
My scoby sank before I had time to make my Kombucha. A new scoby seems to be forming on top and the 3 week old one that is down below. Is this normal and can I use both?
Emily Teague Cluff says
My scoby hasn’t grown in over a year. I use herbal tea and white sugar. I don’t think the scoby is dead because the batches taste great. Should I be worried? Thanks.
Amelia Bell says
I wasn’t thinking I put ginger in with my tea to start my Kombucha…. will this kill my Scoby:-(
Judy Hill says
Hello! I am currently making kombucha in a ceramic container and the brew sits for 2 weeks before I bottle for a second fermentation. This batch produces only about 2 litres at a time. My vessel has enough room for at least 4 litres so I am wondering if I can just double my recipe to get twice as much or will this affect the whole process? Or do I just make 1 1/2 batches then double?
I would also like to know the proper way to separate my scoby to pass on one to my daughter but can’t seem to find any video or instructions on the proper way to do this.
Thanks so much!
You said not to add anything to mixture except sweetened tea. I have been making a ginger kombucha for the last 4-5 months with the same mother and it appears to be doing okay and the brew is amazing. I’m in the process of experimenting with turmeric root as well. The process involves boiling down grated root with desired amount of sugar and water. Then i Filter out all the detritus, let cool, and add SCOBY. Is it just a matter of time before SCOBY goes bye bye?
How do I store my Scooby when I can’t make any for a while?
Hi! I’m on my second fermentation I already added fresh diced pineapple and peaches- however, my second fermentation is in a 2 gallon jar with an airtight lid. It has 3 inches of head space. I’m 3 days in and not very much carbonation. Which I’m thinking I left too much head space. It is still sweet with a just a little vinegar taste….Do you think I can add more juice to fill the head space to help create carbonation? Or should I just go a few days longer? I was really hoping for more bubbles. 🙁
Adele White says
My scobie has died i think. Little whte spots have appeared on the top of the mixture with the scobie has it died?
Super helpful website – thank you. I am still fairly new to kombucha. Whenever I make kombucha and ferment it for two days and then stick it in the fridge, I notice that tea makes a scoby as well. What am I doing wrong? Is that safe? Thank you!
Is it really a SCOBY or just sediment?
Webb Christel says
My Jun and my black tea kombucha are making scobies in the second ferment and then when I bottle them into my drink bottle it starts to make scobies again, which means that when I drink it I often get a slimy substance in my mouth which I think is the beginning of another scoby. How can this happen and how can I stop that?
Thanks for your help
james neal says
Can I use black tea from Republic ginger peach to make kombucha
No, because the flavored teas have oils that will not allow a SCOBY to grow.
Sue Nelson says
I just made my first batch of kombucha and I am noticing I sometimes have a small SCOBY growing in my bottled (2nd fermentation with fruit) kombucha. Is this normal? How can I avoid it?
Hi there! I bought refrigerated Kombucha yesterday and left it in my car overnight. Think there would be any reason not to drink it? It’s not particularly warm here yet and when I got it out of the car this morning, it was cool.
I have bought kombucha twice from our local grocery store, ginger berry flavor I really like it.. I have many digestive, and allergy issues including food. I have been going to a Dietician for 1 1/2 months trying to get healthy. I have become over weight and just feel lowsey. I was told I have celiacs disease ,3 years ago. I have not ingested and gluten or wheat since. I try my best to eat very healthy but, I never feel any better and I continually gain weight. Do you think drinking kombucha would be a good idea for me.
Amedee Nedeau says
Hello, my name is Amedee, 2 days ago i got my first scoby and starter in the mail, looked good a nice opaque color and a cup of starter. this is my first time brewing. so i prepared mt tee in 1 gal distilled water, used 8 organic green tea bags and2 organic black tea bags. 1 cup organic raw cane sugar. let cool to room temp, scoby and starter at room temp. added starter then added scoby and it came right back up to the top. i covered with a coffee filter placed on the counter in my kitchen and its been two days now and when i came home and looked at my kombucah mix the scoby is now on the bottom it still looks the same but on the bottom do i have a problem?
I have a question that you may be able to answer. I just grew my scoby and transferred it into another batch of sugar tea to ferment. What can I do with the tea that it was used to grow? The recipe I followed asked for a gallon of tea to be brewed to grow the scoby. No idea why though. I read your instructions and realized that you really don’t need that much. So now I have a gallon of tea. Any uses?
I’m brewing green tea for the 1st time anyhow! I checked ph 3.8 as I know it needs a couple more days!! Ok the problem! The baby scobby that was at the top sunk ! What to do?
Okay, there are all kinds of recipes for Kombucha, but to get a Mother I have to buy something either at a store or online or get something from someone else. I want to have the full experience and make everything myself, but I cannot find anything that tells me how to create a Mother on my own without involving an outside source. I do not wish to order a Mother online or buy Kombucha from the store, I want to make it myself, how do I accomplish this please? Thank you for your assistance.
I grew my own Scoby by buying a bottle of GT Gingerade Kombucha. I looked at each of the bottles in the store, watching for small, whitish things floating in it. I bought the one with the most floaties. I then boiled 2 cups of water and 6 black tea bags, Lipton, and added three cups of sugar. When this cooled down, I added about a 1/4 cup of the store bought kombucha with floaties in it. You could add the entire bottle, but I wanted to drink the rest..lol. I put everything into a one gallon glass bottle, filled the bottle with water and covered it with a paper towel. It took about a month to grow a full Scoby. At first it looked like nothing was happening, then it looked like a layer of scum was growing over the top, then it finally developed into a beautiful Scoby! I moved the starter kombucha into smaller bottles and used the Scoby to begin a second batch.
John yorger says
If I cold crash my kombucha in order to make the secondary fermentation fruit fall to the bottom so I transfer less solids will it have less health benefits from having less active bacteria left to be consumed
Lara Demetriades says
My Scoby has tails growing underneath it, is that normal?
I didn’t realize that I shouldn’t add fruit or ginger. I have made 4 or 5 batches that way. How can I decontaminate my scoby.
Larissa Ginther says
I accidentally didn’t transfer the baby scoby to my next batch. Will everything still be ok?
I’m on third batch of kombucha where my scoby has sunk. I have a new scoby growing on top. When I go to second fermentation do I keep or throw out the sunkin scoby and just keep new one?
Can I use the sunkin scoby still if I wanted to double my kombucha on next round?
I have been reading up about this because my SCOBY keep sinking. I found an article about why a SCOBY sinks, but no other websites have the same information. I was wondering your thoughts?
Some I my kombucha is extremely carbonated and other bottles out of same batch are completely flat, I use the swing top amber bottles and do second fermentation at same time and place all together at same temperature, what would cause such a difference in the carbonation
Rose Schiowitz says
HI! I brewed my second batch of kombucha last Wednesday and today (8 days later!) I realized I forgot to add the sugar! What should I do? Is my SCOBY done? Thanks!
Colleen Saylors says
do you think I would damage my scoby if when making a batch I use 5 bags of black tea and 3 bags of a flavored tea?
I want to make 30 gallons of kombucha in a 32 gal. rubbermaid brute trash can lined with multiple food grade plastic liners lining the can. I will use proper amounts of sugar, tea, scobys, cloth to cover can in dark warm place. I have been making kombucha over 2 years making 5 gallon batches. Question: Can it be done? Will the scobys ferment properly in that FDA food grade white, really clear lined rubbermaid can? Anyother ideas or opinions would greatly appreciated. Doing this for large outdoor event with friends.
What if a Scott forms on the fruit of second fermentation?
I meant scoby
I mistakenly brewed my kombucha with a lid on NOT the mesh…is it still good to drink?
I bought a scoby from a store. It been 4 days I accidentally put the scoby in cold also. I don’t see a scoby growing and the tea is souring. I made half a gallon with 4 tea bags 1/2 cup of sugar. One green tea and one black. Do I need to get another culture like from the store. Maybe buy a bottle of synergy? Do I keep the scoby from this batch? I tasted the tea and it’s getting sour. Thank you so much for your help!
Hi I’ve just started brewing kombucha. I’m using a 5 litre container but brew use about 3-4 litres. The taste has been great but both this time and the last time the new scoby on the has gone green and moldy do you know why?
The room I’m keeping it in is not hot and I’m keeping it in a bag the top is open to the air. I have been reusing the scoby that was originally given to me and sinks to the bottom.
Thanks for your help
Thank you for a nice post!
As far as I know, Kambucha cannot live in the area where one smokes, so I am wondering if I burn incense sticks close to my SCOBY, would it affect my litte SCOBY-Doo. 🙂
wave marie says
Hi Scoby friends
My Scoby has bubbles inside it? It’s actually got air locked in amongst the folds , is that healthy? Or has it gon bad ?
I’m working on my first batch of kombucha. I bout my kit off line. It’s been brewing for 6 days now. My mother scoby is setting in the bottom and no new scoby has grown on top. The tea has a nice smell tho. Why is this happening and is it still safe to drink?
Hi, I’m in Australia where our current summer temperatures are averaging about 37 degrees Celsius. It’s taking on average between 3-4 days for my first ferment and 2-3 days for my second flavour ferment (I’m using uncrystalised ginger). On my second ferment I’m noticing a brand new SCOBY growing in every single bottle. My question is is it ok to use the new SCOBY even though it has been grown with the ginger?
Do I have to wait until the new scoby on the top is fully grown before I can drink the kombucha? It’s 7 days now so how long does it take for the scoby to be fully grown?
Erica Brown says
Do you know of an up to date forum I can attach photos to and ask questions? I am making Kombucha for the first time and I want to make sure it has not molding. I am not sure I selected the correct venting cloth. Thank you for your help!!!!!
Yes, increasing the quantity of kombucha you want to brew can affect the time it takes to ferment. If you use the same amount of starter/SCOBY and add it to twice the amount of sweetened tea, you have a lower relative amount of microbes, which increases fermentation time. Only if you keep the relation of starter to tea the same, the fermentation time won’t be affected. Just wanted to clear things up.
My supermarket only carries flavored kombucha. Can I start my own kombucha utilizing a ginger flavored store-bought kombucha?
When I was adding my starter tea and scoby to a new 2 gallon batch of tea, a second baby Scoby slid into the mix. Is this a problem?. It’s been about two weeks and I don’t see any new scoby growth, although there is a film at the top. Maybe I just need to wait longer? Both scobies are at the bottom of the jab.
I made kombucha tea yesterday and the scoby sunk and is still hovering toward the bottom of the jar. Is this normal?
brenda castillo says
I forgot to take tea bags out after 10 minutes will it make kombucha bitter or to strong? Should I remake tea?
Kim Seiferth says
I make my own kombucha and I love it! My daughter just made a batch and flavored it (second fermentation for 6 days in the pantry before putting it in the fridge) with caramelized pineapple.
Is it safe to add sautéed or cooked things in the second fermentation? I know raw fruits and veggies are safe, but….
Karen Schmitt says
My Scoby has a bit of brown slimy stuff on it…is that ok?
Shamina Boardman says
With what utensil do you cut a SCOBY?
Can you start your first batch in a glass container with a plastic/rubber spigot?
Carmen Larkin says
Question ? How often should you drink the tea?
Elizabeth O'Hagan says
What do you do when you realise that two days into your first fermentation you forgot to add the correct amount of kumbucha starter to the recipe. I doubled my recipe but forgot to double the starter. Thanks
Karen Mottley says
Can I use the bottle, that I have just taken my Kombuccha out of. for the next batch of Kombuccha .
Rodney Reed says
Thanks so much for much info even though it didnt answere my question
How do I know when to remove the new scoby that has covered the surface of my jar and original scoby
Lawrence Marais says
I would like to know how much sugar is in a serving of Kambucha I have fermented it. My recipe is as follows:
6 Green tea bags
It normally takes 7 days to reach pH 3.4
To ferment and flavor my KT I do the following:
Naked mango juice 70 ml per bottle (approximately 9g sugar)
1 Serving = 100 ml KT + 100ml Le Croix carbonated water.
How do I calculate how much sugar is left in my KT serving that I drink.
Norma Neudorf says
Will fumes for my gas stove effect my kombucha batch? How about paint fumes? This is my first try to grow a scoby from scratch.
Pam Turner says
My SCOBY is getting thin in the middle and the top of the middle feels hard. Is this ok? We’ve been brewing for 1 1/2 years.
I’ve been looking online and I can’t seem to find an answer for my question. I just made kombucha for the first time, I just finished a 2 week first fermentation process and my kombucha get two new stobys. I understand it will duplicate but to clarify, I started with 1, and now there’s 3 and I’m curious as to why this has happened?
Hello, I split my SCOBYs and made a few other new batches. All three SCOBYs (3 jars) have sunk. Once a new one forms on top do I leave the sunken one in the jar or remove it? Also, will they eventually rise? Last time I made a new batch, the SCOBYs floated.
Hello! I am new to kombucha brewing and just made 1 gallon of kombucha two days ago. My SCOBY sunk to the bottom and I don’t see anything at the top of the liquid, how long does it take for a new SCOBY to form?
First time kombucha maker. I’m growing my scoby from scratch how do I know it looks right?
I’ve had a Kombucha scoby in the fridge in sweet tea for months, it dose not smell,but how do I know it is still GOOD ? Thanks Dave
Becky Brainard says
Did I ruin my Kombucha during my second fermentation? I accidentally used and combined COLD juice from my refrigerator with the first fermented Kombucha without letting the juice come to room temperature.
Looking for a possible answer. I make my own wonderful‘strawberry sauce’ by food processing organic strawberries with a little bit of lime juice until they are as smooth as I can get it. Then I freeze the sausce and use it all year on plain yogurt. A few weeks ago I brought a jar from my freezer and stick it in the fridge after it had defrosted a little. Then we never used it. Today I opened it and at first I thought it maybe had gone bad because the top looked gray. However as I rinsed our tge jar I realized the top was a rubbery layer that handled like a kombucha scoby!!! I couldn’t believe it. And of course I really don’t know what it is for sure. But it is really looks and feels and holds together like a scoby. So, I wanted to ask if you or any of your readers have ever seen something like this develop on top of fresh strawberry sauce that has a minuscule amount of lemon/lime in it.
I have tried to make kombucha on the 6th of June I left it in the cupboard till now is it dangerous to drink a tastes very vinegary and acidy what should I do
I have fruit flies that get into the bowl that I store my SCOBY in between making. Can I cover the bowl with plastic food wrap?
Mildred Breakspear says
My scobie does don’t completely form, after weeks fermentation only a thin bumpy layer. Have been making kombucha for 20 years successfully, recently moved and have had no luck with reproducing a healthy scoby. Wondering what is wrong.
A teabag broke in my Scoby hotel is it ruined or should I just filter it out
I have brewed Kombucha in the past with great success until overtaken with fruit flies. So trying again. I grew my own SCOBY 1/2″ with GT’s plain raw kombucha 1 C bottled water, 2 tea bags and 1 TBS sugar. That took 2.5 weeks. on 09/18/22 I started a large batch with 12 C water, 8 green tea bags (which I have used in the past), 1 C sugar and 2 C of starter left from when I started my SCOBY. So far my original SCOBY sunk and I have grown a 2nd SCOBY (~ 1/4″ thick) and tasted tested on day 7 and day 9. Still tastes like sweet tea. I’m not getting the vinegar tones yet. Do you have any7 re commendations? Should I add another 16oz of raw plain Kombucha, just wait it out a few more days? It is in my pantry covered with a coffee filter. Thank you in advance for any thoughts .