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If you are activating/rehydrating your kombucha scoby and have questions or concerns, click here for comprehensive troubleshooting advice for scoby activation.
Click here for general Kombucha FAQ.
A. Click here to view the kombucha instructions.
A. For the initial activation batch using a dehydrated culture, there may be no visible signs of culturing. The best way to check on the progress of your brew is to test aroma and flavor. However, you may notice further signs of fermentation:
A. The best way to check on the progress of your brew is to test aroma and flavor. As it cultures, the kombucha should develop a rich, vinegary flavor and a pleasant but sour aroma. Click here for troubleshooting information specific to activating a dehydrated kombucha scoby.
A. Yes. The cloudy white layer is the beginning of a new baby kombucha culture. The formation of a new culture is a sign that your batch of kombucha is fermenting properly.
A. The brown stringy particles are yeast particles and are harmless. They are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. You can strain them out of the finished kombucha if desired.
A. Depending on a number of factors, the culture may sink, float, or sit sideways. Any of these is normal and will not effect the brewing process.
A. Having the baby culture detach from the container opening is common if the jar is bumped or moved. It does not effect the fermentation process.
A. The jelly-type mass is the beginning of a new baby kombucha culture. Even after the main kombucha culture is removed, the kombucha remains full of living yeast and bacteria which continue to ferment slowly on their own. Consequently idle kombucha will eventually form a new baby culture.
A. Kombucha cultures will work just fine even with holes or if they have been torn in half.
A. No, even a small kombucha culture will effectively ferment a full gallon of kombucha. We do recommend using a culture that is at least 3 inches in diameter.
A. Once mold has developed, it is very important to discard the whole batch, including the kombucha scoby. Please contact Customer Support if mold develops.
A. A black scoby is a sign of a kombucha culture that has been contaminated or is worn out. It takes a long time and many batches before a scoby is worn out. Turning black is not to be confused with developing brown or slightly discolored patches. Yeast build-up will result in brown spots or stringy particles attaching to the scoby and is a normal byproduct of the fermentation process. If your kombucha culture turns black, it should be discarded or composted.
Best practice due to the ick factor is to toss it. However, if there are only a few, it's probably ok to get rid of what you see, and then rinse well with organic distilled white vinegar before culturing. If there are many little critters, or the few critters have burrowed down into the scoby, it's best to toss it. If it totally grosses you out, toss it to be safe! To prevent pests, always cover the fermenting vessel with some kind of lid. A clean cotton cloth or coffee filter secured tightly with a rubber band is enough to keep flies out. Always keep 4 feet of distance from contaminant sources (garbage, compost, cat box, house plants, etc.).