How To Make Your Own Scoby
Many people love kombucha for both its flavor and health benefits. If you love kombucha or are just an eager learner, this guide will take you through the first step of making it yourself.
Acquiring a SCOBY(Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) is the first towards making your own homebrewed kombucha. You can choose to either purchase a SCOBY or make one yourself. Making one is cheaper, surprisingly simple, and of course more fun. So follow along to learn how to make your own SCOBY!
Some of you might be wondering what exactly a SCOBY is. Often referred to as “kombucha mushrooms” or the “mother”
What You’ll Need:
- 7 cups water
- 2 1/3 cups white granulated sugar (1/3 cup sugar per 1 cup water)
- 4 black or green tea bags(or 1 tablespoon looseleaf)
- 1 cup of store-bought, unflavored, unpasteurized kombucha
- 2-quart or larger saucepan
- spoon with a long handle
- 2-quart or larger glass jar
- paper towel, coffee filter, or tightly woven cloth(not cheesecloth) to cover the jar with
- Make sweet tea in the saucepan on the stove. To do this you will first bring the water to a boil. Once the water is 130 degrees Fahrenheit (or just started to form bubbles on the sides of the pan) remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the sugar and add the black or green tea tea. Allow the mixture to steep for 3-6 minutes (depending on the type of tea). Then set aside until it has reached room temperature(80 degrees Fahrenheit or less).
- Combine sweet tea and kombucha in the jar. Now that the sweet tea has cooled off you will add it to the large jar. Then add the kombucha on top. Stir to combine.
- Cover and observe mixture for 2-4 weeks. Now that the mixture has been combined you will need to cover the mouth of the jar with some sort of tightly woven cloth, a coffee filter, or a paper towel. Secure the covering with a rubber band(or two). You want to keep the jar somewhere where the average room temperature is around 70°F, it won’t get carelessly moved around, and where it is out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can circumvent the fermentation process so it is important to protect your jar from too much direct sunlight.
- Observe the changes. You won’t notice anything different about your mixture for the first few days, but gradually bubbles will begin to form on the surface. These bubbles will over time gather into a filmy layer. Bubbles will gather at the edges of the jelly-like film. This is due to carbon-dioxide from the fermentation process and is a good sign that all is going well!
- Eventually, this film will thicken into an opaque layer. This process can take 2-4 weeks depending on the conditions in which the jar is kept. Once this layer is about a ¼ inch thick it is ready to be used to make kombucha! Don’t be thrown off by the color or texture of your scoby. It will be opaque and tough on the top, and a light brown and loose on the bottom.
Once all of these steps have been completed you will be ready to try a recipe to make your own kombucha! You will keep the SCOBY from this recipe, but the liquid will be far too vinegary to drink. You can discard it or use it as a cleaning solution for your counters if you like.