Brew kombucha often? Then you'll soon be overrun by SCOBYs! I was so glad when I discovered that I can save them! Learn how to make a SCOBY hotel to have extra SCOBYs, or SCOBYs to share with friends.
Kombucha is a social beverage, in more ways than one!
Yes, everyone loves to visit while sharing a glass, but get this…
This new growth can be peeled off and shared with a friend. Learn how in my post How To Divide A SCOBY.
What Is A SCOBY? What's Kombucha?
What is a SCOBY? It stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.
It's the mother culture that brews your Kombucha — a probiotic, fermented beverage we LOVE!
When wet, it is shiny, and looks a bit weird. Like a sea creature, actually — a round disc-shaped something or other you'd imagine you'd find out deep-sea diving.
It can be smooth or lumpy. Some contain holes and have ragged or stringy edges.
As long as there's nothing fuzzy on them, black/white/brown/grey specks are normal, too. (Find out if your SCOBY is healthy here.)
What Do I Do With Baby SCOBYs?
Each new batch of Kombucha will grow a new “baby” SCOBY. These babies can be passed down to friends, or you can keep them to build up a thicker, faster-producing SCOBY.
However, once you brew and drink kombucha for long enough, you won't have enough friends to keep giving the baby SCOBYs!
What Is A SCOBY Hotel?
Introducing the SCOBY hotel! What is it?
It's a large container with the sole purpose of housing a number of SCOBYs. It keeps them fresh in Kombucha liquid until they can be used or given away.
You can also use this method to create Kombucha vinegar (see more on this below!).
How To Create A Scoby Hotel
To create a SCOBY hotel…
- Choose a large, clean, glass container. (I use a 1/2 gallon glass jar that currently holds about 12 SCOBYs.)
- Place all your SCOBYs in the jar.
- Add a small amount of finished Kombucha plus a batch of fresh tea — just as you would if you were brewing a batch of kombucha. For my 1/2 gallon jar, I use about 1 cup of finished Kombucha plus 3 cups of tea prepared with 1/2 cup of evaporated cane sugar and 4 tea bags.
- Cover the jar with 2 coffee filters or a clean cloth, and secure with a rubber band.
- Store in a warm dry place for up to 2 weeks.
- Replace the Kombucha regularly with a fresh batch. The finished Kombucha can be poured off and consumed, or discarded.
Please note that Kombucha stored in a hotel (with numerous SCOBYs) ferments more quickly than normal and is much more potent. If you wish to drink it, it may be ready sooner than you'd usually expect.
How Long Does A SCOBY Last?
When properly maintained, a SCOBY will last indefinitely.
Yet SCOBYs are also very hearty and can handle a bit of neglect. If they sit too long, they'll simply ferment your tea into vinegar.
If you don't think you'll ever have a use for your extra SCOBYs, you can use your SCOBY hotel to make Kombucha vinegar. The longer your sweet tea or Kombucha ferments, the more acidic it will become.
What do you do with your extra Kombucha SCOBYs? Do you have a SCOBY hotel?
Want to learn more about Kombucha? Check out our Lacto-Fermentation eCourse to learn how to do 1st and 2nd fermentation, along with bottling!
Also, read more from the Traditional Cooking School blog about this nutritious fermented beverage:
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