I know what your thinking…..”What is a kombucha SCOBY and why would I want to grow one!?!” First off, kombucha is a fermented tea that is full of gut loving bacteria and in order to get those gut loving bacteria into your tea you need to ferment it. A SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) acts as a starter for the ferment. Basically, a SCOBY is a blob of bacteria and yeast that floats inside of the tea and converts it to the sour tasting kombucha we all love! The yeast in the SCOBY feeds off of the sugar which turns it into ethanol. The bacteria in the SCOBY feeds on the ethanol which turns the tea acidic and makes it sour tasting. To grow your own SCOBY takes patience; the entire process can take 3-4 weeks but the end result is a fully formed SCOBY that you can use over and over again to brew your own kombucha! To grow your own SCOBY you’re going to need:
1/2 gallon mason jar with band
6 black tea bags
6 cups water
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups pre-made unflavored kombucha
Step 1 : Brew the tea – In a medium saucepan combine 6 cups of water with 6 tea bags. Once the tea comes to a boil, remove from heat and take out the tea bags. Stir the 3/4 cup sugar into the tea until fully dissolved. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Once the tea is fully cooled, pour into a 1/2 gallon mason jar. Pour your pre-made kombucha (can be store bought – original flavored) into the tea. Cover with a coffee filter to allow the tea to breathe without becoming contaminated with airborne particles. Place a ring or some sort of band around the coffee filter to hold it in place.
Step 3: Place jar in a warm place – a SCOBY will grow best when temps are between 72°F and 80°F – Your going to leave the jar in the warm location for 3-4 weeks.
Check on your tea once a week to be sure a SCOBY is beginning to form. Your tea should begin to smell acidic and vinegar like.
Week 1 SCOBY growth
Week 2 SCOBY growth
Week 3 SCOBY growth
When the SCOBY is about an inch thick it is ready to use. Pour 2 cups of your starter liquid into a separate container and save for your next batch of kombucha. To store your SCOBY place in a glass container and pour the remainder of the starter tea over the SCOBY. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Coming soon….Brewing Kombucha