What is Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha tea is a slightly sweet and tangy fermented tea made by brewing a sugar tea solution using a Kombucha SCOBY. Read more about what is Kombucha and why you should drink it.
How many times can I use my Kombucha SCOBY?
Provided you care for your Kombucha SCOBY adequately, you can reuse it at as many times as you like. As they get older the SCOBY tends to get a little darker in colour but should still work fine. If the mother SCOBY starts to look a bit too dark and too old then you can change it out with one of your baby SCOBYs.
What is the thin film forming on top of the fermenting sugar tea solution?
The thin film forming on top is a baby SCOBY. Over time it thickens up. It thickens up quicker during warm Summer months. You can either transfer the baby SCOBY to a new jar and start a second brew, leave it in the current brew (note that your kombucha will then ferment faster and have a shorter brew time) or you can dehydrate it at pop it in the fridge in a sealed container and keep it as a backup. You can also give dehydrated SCOBYs to your dogs as chew toys.
Sometimes the mother and baby SCOBY stick together. You can use them together. Sometimes they may grow unevenly or have holes or tears in them. They still work fine.
What tea can I use?
We recommend you start out with black tea. You can also use a combination of black tea and green tea.
What water can I use?
Filtered, mineral, spring or distilled water. Filtered water is preferable. DO NOT use chlorinated water.
What sugar can I use?
White cane sugar. (Organic white cane sugar is preferable if you are able to obtain it.)
What containers can I use?
Glass containers are the most suitable. The baby Kombucha SCOBYs will grow to the size and shape of the glass container you use.
How to take a break from brewing Kombucha
For breaks of up to about 45 days you can leave your Kombucha SCOBY to brew on your counter top (provided it is not too hot). It may have a very strong vinegar taste. You can either discard most of it (remember to keep aside starter liquid for your next batch) or use in recipes as a vinegar replacement.
You can make a SCOBY hotel which is also a great way to store multiple SCOBYs. A SCOBY hotel is when you utilise the same jar with one or more Kombucha SCOBYs and you top up the fermented tea with a fresh sugar tea solution. You need to top up every week or two. New baby SCOBYs will grow on the surface. You can either remove them or leave them to grow and thicken and be a part of the SCOBY hotel.
For a much longer break you can dehydrate your SCOBY and store in a sealed jar in the fridge. Keep some starter tea liquid in a glass bottle in the fridge to use for when you plan to rehydrate your SCOBY. We recommend you store a few dehydrated SCOBYs. There is a failure rate for rehydrating SCOBYs therefore the more you have stored the more likely you are to successfully rehydrate. Dehydrated kombucha SCOBYs can last about 90 days in the fridge.