Because a new culture is created with nearly every new batch of kombucha, it is easy to become quickly overrun with SCOBYs. Some people use new SCOBYs for making extra batches of kombucha. However, at some point, most people find they are overrun with extra SCOBYs. If the SCOBY hotel fills up, try these ideas for using up the extras.
1. Share! The best way to use extra SCOBYs is to help others start their own kombucha brew.
2. Experiment. Try a making a batch with a different sweetener, tea or juice. Since the SCOBY is an extra, it can be discarded once the batch is finished culturing.
3. Add to a Smoothie. Add a piece of SCOBY to a smoothie or other blended food.
4. Make Jerky. Marinate the SCOBY in your favorite sauce for 24 hours before drying, if desired, for extra flavor. Lay scobys flat on a piece of unbleached parchment paper and dry at 80°-90°F until they reach the consistency of jerky. Cover with a cloth to keep pests away. Consume as a treat or cut up and add to a salad, trail mix, etc.
5. Make Candy. There are a few ways to make kombucha SCOBY candy. Choose one that works for you, using your sweetener of choice.
6. Substitute for Raw Fish in Sushi. With a texture similar to squid, kombucha SCOBYs can be cut up and eaten along with the nori, rice, vegetables, etc.
7. Use as a Face Mask. Kombucha SCOBYs can be used as a face mask, either whole or ground up.
8. Use As a Bandage. SCOBYs can be used as a live bandage, or under a bandage. It will sting a little. The acidity is believed to help support healing.
9. Feed to Pets. Kombucha SCOBYs can be fed to pets either fresh or using the same process for making kombucha jerky to make a dried pet treat.
10. Add to Chicken Feed. Many chicken owners find their chickens really appreciate a fresh SCOBY as a treat.
11. Compost. SCOBYs can be added whole to the compost pile or ground up and added directly to the soil of plants.
12. Make Crafts. Kombucha SCOBYs can be dried until they are stiff but flexible. Use as a replacement for leather in toy drums, shoes, or other craft items.
13. Make Jun Tea. Jun tea is another ancient fermented drink. You can make it at home by slowly converting a kombucha SCOBY to feed on green tea and honey. This experimentation works best with backup SCOBYs so trying out this delightful drink is another way to use up extra SCOBYs.