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Kombucha Starter Culture

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SKU: 6100

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Kombucha Starter Culture Scoby

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Brew delicious, organic kombucha at home and save money! Commercial kombucha sells for $3+ per bottle. Using our kombucha starter culture you can brew your own kombucha for $2 per gallon. When combined with sweetened tea and fermented, the resulting kombucha beverage has a tart zing that can be flavored in a variety of ways!

  • Each box contains 1 dehydrated kombucha starter culture (SCOBY) and 10 pH strips.
  • Cultures at 68° - 85°F. Initial batch must culture for 30 days. Subsequent batches culture in 7-30 days.
  • This starter requires white cane sugar, plain black tea, and distilled white vinegar for culturing.
  • Reusable culture - transfer the culture (SCOBY) from batch to batch.
  • With proper care, the culture can be used indefinitely to create delicious, fermented tea!
  • Instructions for using this culture are included and may be found here.
  • Having trouble making kombucha? Browse our Kombucha Troubleshooting Articles or contact us for assistance.


Kombucha Starter Culture Instructions and Troubleshooting



  • Organic sugar, organic black tea, live active cultures.


Allergen Information

  • Manufactured in a facility that also processes products containing soy and dairy.
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegan


Additional Details About the Kombucha Starter Culture

A kombucha starter culture consists of yeast and bacteria existing in a symbiotic relationship. When combined with sweetened tea and fermented for 7 to 30 days, the resulting kombucha beverage has a slightly carbonated zing and is packed full of B vitamins. 


Shipping and Storage Information

Our Kombucha Starter Culture is shipped in a dehydrated state and must be rehydrated. The starter keeps:

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 3 to 4 weeks
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 9 months
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): not recommended


Actual product may differ from image shown above.



Why I Love This Product

Kombucha is one of my favorite cultures. Not only does it taste fabulous, but this low-maintenance culture fits in my busy life! And who is not busy? All I need are a few ingredients and 7 days. Although you can brew for 30 days, we prefer a 7-day period that produces a much milder kombucha. My husband prefers it chilled, so several bottles are set aside just for him in the fridge while the kids’ bottles enjoy a second ferment on the counter. Another reason I adore kombucha? Free dog treats! I dehydrate the scobys and cut them into smaller pieces for our dog. Click here for the storyJerri, Customer Support Representative


Questions on Kombucha Starter Culture

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  • From Ashley at 1/2/2011 2:00 PM
    • I know brewing Kombucha requires a starter liquid, is this included in the culture or available?
    • To activate this dehydrated culture, use white vinegar and sugared tea according to the directions included with your kombucha.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Tom at 2/25/2011 8:42 PM
    • I was wondering if the fermenting process reduces or eliminates the caffeine that is naturally in black and green tea?

      Thank you,

      Tom N.
    • The amount of caffeine in kombucha is up for debate. Some sources claim that the caffeine is reduced by as much as 60% from what is in the tea originally; other sources say that there is no change in the tea. In any case, tea is usually on the low range for caffeine-containing beverages, although the caffeine content will vary with the type of tea used.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Verna at 4/15/2011 1:59 PM
    • I am wondering if it will be safe to make kombucha in my house if it has kind of a musky smell? Will it create mold in my kombucha? We are wanting to take care of the musky smell but at this point we don't have the finances.
    • If your house has a musky smell, it may not be good for culturing, due to excess mold in the air. However, if you keep the area around the Kombucha very clean and follow the directions, you will most likely have no problems.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Adrienne at 6/8/2011 6:29 PM
    • hi - is there any way to use decaffeinated tea to make the kombucha? thank you.
    • Yes, you can use decaffeinated tea to make kombucha - but make sure it is naturally decaffeinated, not chemically processed, as the processed teas may contain chemicals that can harm the kombucha culture.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Rach at 8/2/2011 2:08 PM
  • From Val at 8/31/2011 10:40 AM
    • I have followed the instructions for hydrating my mushroom. And it has been almost five weeks and nothing has happened, except that it swelled a little and only half of it. what should I do now?
    • There is often no visible sign of culturing with the first, or even the first few, batches. Aroma and flavor are the best indicators of fermentation. The kombucha should smell and taste rich and vinegary.

      Email us at [email protected] for individual troubleshooting if you have further questions.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Philip at 10/10/2011 1:29 AM
    • What are the strains of yeast and bacteria found in your Kombucha tea starter SCOBYs. I understand how important and intricate the relationship is between the yeast and bacteria; and I am particularly excited about the potential benefits of the S. Boulardii strain of yeast. Many of the Kombucha products sold in stores involve this yeast. My hope is that your product (which I am currently brewing) involves the same strain of yeast. Thank you in advance for any information you might be able to provide. Philip.
    • Following is a link to our page describing what is in Kombucha http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-yeast-bacteria The Saccharomyces boulardi is not always present in komucha and we don't have an analysis of our particular scobys however all kombucha including ours has various Saccharomyces strains.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kathy at 10/27/2011 1:27 PM
    • I bought your tea, and your kombucha starter. My first batch smells like rotten eggs. I made a second batch, it too smells like rotten eggs. Both times I used filtered water, natural sugar and Braggs ACV.
      I am now making a 3rd batch with the same scoby using filtered water and Heinz ACV.
      Thinking maybe I might be having contamination going on and wondering where its coming from. I'm using very clean gallon jars. What do you think?
      Am I using the wrong vinegar? Is the scoby bad?
    • Apple cider vinegar, especially raw, will interfere with the culturing process. Always start with distilled white vinegar.

      Please contact customer support for troubleshooting at [email protected]
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Dallen100 at 12/27/2011 8:21 PM
    • I have flip top bottles. How full do I fill them? I've heard some say to the very top to keep air out, but your picture shows bottles filled just to the neck.

    • Leaving some headspace will provide more carbonation. 1.5-2 inches is fine. Air is more susceptible to changes in pressure than liquid, so leaving too much headspace can lead to overflow or exploding bottles.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Kelly at 2/15/2012 1:27 PM
    • Does it matter what size glass jar is used to rehydrate the scoby? I understood from the directions that it did not necessarily matter. I had a 1 gallon glass jar that I bought to make the kombucha, and that is what I have my rehydrating scoby in. I just watched the Kombucha videos and am concerned I should have just used a quart size jar. My scoby has been in the rehydrating process for 20 days at this point, and I don't think much is happening.
    • We recommend using a quart sized batch for the activation and first batch. Larger batches can be made once the culture is fully activated.

      For troubleshooting help, contact us at [email protected]
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

Everything about this is great! Review by Erin

I found this company by looking for instructions on YouTube. The videos are all so clear and helpful. I just finished my first batch and the kombucha is better than any I've had from the store. The SCOBY was very easy to rehydrate and the price is fine considering how much I'm going to save by making my own. I also love the daily emails from Cultures for Health and I can't say that about almost anyone else.

(Posted on 11/20/2015)

Tasty and easy Review by EJGryphon

It's taken me two tries to get this going, but now that I feel I've gotten it figured it out I'm really enjoying my kombucha tea.

(Posted on 11/10/2015)

Would not buy again Review by R

I loved the idea of having a kombucha starter that allowed for some flexibility (i could place it in the fridge until I was ready to brew). What I recieved was a dud. I followed the directions exactly and nothing happened. I was fortunate enough to have a friend who provided me with a SCOBY which has worked beautifully. I would not purchase a dehydrated SCOBY again.

Response from CFH: Please contact Customer Support before discarding any products. Some cultures can be salvaged with minor adjustments.

(Posted on 10/9/2015)

crossing my fingers Review by fermenting chicken

I have had the kombucha for about a month now, but not much has happened. I have changed out the tea/sugar mix once and it was very vinegary. Im hoping this second mix will be better. I hope the scoby has not died. I'll let you know how it turns out.
crossing my fingers

CFH Note: The dehydrated scoby may not change much, it is quietly processing the sugar and lowering the pH, getting ready for your next batch. A dead scoby will not process sugar, as long as your kombucha is less sweet or the pH is dropping, the scoby is working. The process will take more time in cooler temperatures so don't be afraid to find a slightly warmer location for brewing and contact Customer Support if you have any questions.

(Posted on 10/7/2015)

A Dehydrated Scoby is a Dehydrated Scoby Review by Katey

I've ordered two types of kombucha scobys in the last few months, one was a dehydrated scoby from Cultures for Health and the other was a live scoby shipped in some starter tea from another online retailer. I will preface the rest of my review by saying that I live in a cold climate and I think if you live in a warmer climate and have optimum conditions in your home for kombucha you might have better success with a dehydrated scoby.

For me, buying a live culture is hands down the better way to go if you want to get into kombucha. I got a massive, thick, healthy scoby that I was able to start brewing with right away and I didn't have to deal with any of the hassles of re-hydration. Even in my fairly cool kitchen I didn't have any issues.

Now, with the dehydrated scoby I followed all of the Cultures for Health instructions regarding re-hydration to the letter, found the best spot in my kitchen that I could, and waited 30 days. Still no sign of a new scoby. Honestly, though, by the time the 30 day mark came around I had already made two full brews with the live culture I ordered and I had kind of already given up on the re-hydrating scoby. Had I persisted with it I'm sure it would eventually come back, but it just wasn't worth the hassle for me, and I've read that a lot of people have frequent issues with mold with rehydrated scobys. I ended up composting the CfH scoby.

I will say that the CfH scobys are cheaper than the live cultures I purchased by about $10, but for me, I think the extra money you spend on a live scoby is worth it so you don't have to deal with the headache of rehydrating. That's just me. As I said before, I think if you have optimum conditions for it and are patient, I'm sure these cultures are fine. I also think that CfH has great follow up and customer service for their products.

Note from CfH: We dehydrate our cultures for the health and safety of our customers. This allows us to perform regular pathogen testing. We ask that you contact Customer Support if you have questions or concerns regarding your products.

(Posted on 5/20/2015)

it doesn't work Review by Jatiga

I received the dehydrated kombucha, follow the instructions that came with it and watch the videos. I am at 3 weeks and there is absolutely no activity.

Response from CFH: It is normal for there to be no change to the scoby for the first few batches. Our support team is happy to help with your cultures if you have any questions or concerns.

(Posted on 5/3/2015)

It Works! Review by M

We got the culture and followed instructions. Slow start but after three weeks it is making a baby. Hopefully we will get many batches.

(Posted on 4/15/2015)

I'm glad to be able to get the starter culture Review by Liisel

This is my second kambucha culture. The first one is still going strong . I just didn't have a baby one and wanted more than I get from one batch.

(Posted on 4/14/2015)

Looks Good Review by Tilly

Or, rather, looks weird, but that's what its supposed to look like. I'm so excited about finally making this on my own- great directions and video and I've had success so far!

(Posted on 4/7/2015)

5* Review by Vicky

Just activated my scoby, 3-4 weeks ago, and just flavored my remains....Just started batch 2.....All seems good!

(Posted on 3/24/2015)

Not complete yet Review by Cidy

It has been 30 days and my Scoby has not really gotten any bigger and nothing has come to the top. There is no fizz at all. So I am not sure if it's ready yet or not. Still a little confused as the directions in the box differ from your video..???

Response from CFH: It is normal for there to be no change to the scoby during activation. For more the most current information, please see our Troubleshooting guides (http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha#troubleshooting). If you have any questions, please contact customer support at [email protected]

(Posted on 3/4/2015)

Culture needs to age for 30 days before you can brew kombucha Review by T

I was really disappointed that this culture needs to age for 30 days before I can start brewing kombucha. Other scobys I've purchased came fully hydrated and ready to use.

CFH Note: All of our cultures are dehydrated which allows us to safely ship cultures during extreme (hot or cold) weather.

(Posted on 2/12/2015)

Easy way to begin brewing your own kombucha Review by Heather

I love the taste and health benefits of kombucha and have been buying a 16-ounce bottle at the local grocery store every week. Well, the bottle of kombucha costs nearly $4 and it's hard to make it last! I could easily drink 16 ounces a day! So we decided to try making our own kombucha to save money and to have all the kombucha we wanted. Cultures for Health provides a dehydrated scoby culture that re-hydrates in about a month. The instructions and videos on their website were extremely helpful as we started. Our very first batch, which was brewed to rehydrate the scoby, produced a baby from the mother culture. Awesome! This is a great quality product that is affordable and easy to use. Delicious kombucha made at home. Thanks, Cultures for Health!

(Posted on 2/1/2015)

No baby scoby after 4th culture Review by Calvin

I have ordered many starters from CFH and have been very pleased. However, this dehydrated kombucha starter is a dud. I have passaged the scoby 3x since rehydration and still don't have a new scoby. I'm now 3+ months into the process and am just going to start a culture from a store-bought raw kombucha.

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Most cultures can be saved with minor adjustments.

(Posted on 11/28/2014)

prolific culture Review by miriam

I bought this 2 years ago and since then it has propagated and fathered many more cultures. It has produced hundreds of gallons of Komboucha for my family and friends

(Posted on 10/30/2014)

> 3 weeks and nothing happening... Review by EmilyRHN

I followed the instructions and put my starter culture in cooled sweet tea. Storing it in a warm closet for 3 weeks did nothing. It's on top of my fridge now, with the SCOBY floating near the bottom but no sign of a "daughter" culture. Hope it wasn't damaged by being heat while on my doorstep in NC for a few hours! I continue to wait....

Response from CFH: Please contact customer support for troubleshooting advice before discarding product. Many cultures can be saved with minor adjustments.

(Posted on 9/23/2014)

Great product and fantastic customer support Review by Barb

In the spring I activated my first SCOBY and all was well for awhile. But somewhere along the line I goofed up and ran into problems. Every step of the way the online support has been above and beyond helpful. Having them available into the evening and on Saturdays is great! With a second try I'm pleased to report my SCOBY is lumpy, bumpy and getting thicker. In a few days I'll be ready to harvest a batch, then it's on to a continuous brew! I appreciate all the info on the website and have four different cultures and ferments going now in my happy little kitchen.

(Posted on 7/19/2014)

four. Review by Ray

Got tired of waiting for a mother, so I added half a bottle of store bought Kombucha. Drank the rest. Have a mother now 1/8" thick. The freeze dry grew right into it. Waiting for a 3/8" thick mother.

Response from CFH: It is normal that no baby scoby form for the first few batches, though to speed up the process, it is fine to add raw store-bought kombucha to a batch.

(Posted on 7/13/2014)

Still a work in progress Review by Richard

BUT so far I am very much impressed.

1. Although for some still unknown reason I was unable to order online, the customer service folks at CFH were very helpful and entered my order for me. It arrived in the amount of time they promised.
2. At the same time I am re-hydrating my scoby from CFH, I'm also attempting to grow a new one from a bottle of raw kambucha that I purchased. Why? Just for comparison's sake. I love a science project.
3. For the first five days the scoby sat on top of the tea mixture and seemed to me to grow a bit thicker. Somewhere around day five or six, the scoby fell at one end so it is now only on the surface at one end and is somewhat "sideways" in the tea.
4. At day 8 because I could not wait any longer (impatience) I used a test strip to find out the pH of my tea. It was a good 3.5 (acidic). I'm encouraged and impressed.
5. Particulars: I used a quart mason jar and simply followed the instructions that came with the scoby. The instructions say to use a kitchen towel, a coffee filter, or cheesecloth. I used a paper towel because it was thin enough that I could place the band of the mason jar back on over the paper towel to hold it in place. I put the scoby in the tea and it floated at first (see above) then went catty whompus.
6. I have purchased a one gallon "sun tea" jar so once the scoby is rehydrated I can make a gallon at a time. I also plan to experiment with "flavors" once I have the kambucha in bottles. So far, I'm thinking spices more than fruit flavors (ginger and cardamom head the list).

(Posted on 7/13/2014)

Waiting for my Culture to complete Review by Puter

This is my 3rd attempt at making Kombucha....it's on my fridge, where the temp is approx 78 degrees F. I'm hoping that this time, I'm successful. Past 2 attempts may have been due to user error, I don't know, but this time, I was glad to see the sticks to read the Ph of the mix. Will let you know how I make out!
This is an absolutely wonderful company to deal with: professional, always there to help!!

(Posted on 7/7/2014)

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