Thursday, 11 September 2014

Growing Your Own Kombucha SCOBY

So you have decided that you quite like kombucha and you think you might like to start brewing your own.
But you don't know anyone you can get a SCOBY from and you are not sure you want to spend the money buying one.  Well not to worry you can brew your own.
The first thing you need to do is go out and buy yourself a nice big bottle of kombucha. You will need at least 500ml of raw kombucha.  When you are choosing your bottle of kombucha get one that has floaty bits in it if you can because these floaty bits a little bits of SCOBY culture/mother.

Once you have your kombucha at home you need to pour it into a very clean glass jar along with 2 tablespoons of sugar that have been disolved in 1/4 cup of boiling water and cooled.  I suggest you wash it and rinse it well then add a few tablespoons of vinegar swish it all around then give it a rinse with water again.
You then need to cover the top of the jar with a clean piece of cotton fabric like a hankercheif and leave it on your kitchen bench.
Over the next few weeks a SCOBY will begin to form on the top of your kombucha.  It may start of looking like a mold spore floating around in the tea and gradually it will form a thin skin over the top.

The SCOBY starting to form

Over a period of about 3 weeks (depending on the temperature) the SCOBY will thicken up and once it gets to between 1/2 and 1 cm thick it is ready to use.

A new SCOBY still building the top layer.  All the pale spots will
eventually join up

As your SCOBY forms it can be anything from a pale creamy colour to a darker brown and sometimes it can be splotchy too.  Be patient and don't freak out that something has gone wrong, just wait.  If it has gone wrong it has gone wrong, and there is no harm in waiting a bit longer to see what happens.  If it turns out that it does grow mold of any sort you should throw the whole lot away and start again.

Once you have you home grown SCOBY you can make your first batch of kombucha.  Because your SCOBY is just a baby you should only make a third of a batch of the recipe I posted here.  You can then gradually increase your brew by a third every second batch until you reach the full quantity.

And that's it.  So easy just a little patience required.
Have you brewed your own SCOBY?  Are you tempted to give it a go?

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