Homebrew Kombucha 2.0: How to Store SCOBYs


Kombucha Homebrewers, don't throw out those SCOBYs! Inevitably, a batch will mold or a friend will want to join in on the fun and you'll want to have some on hand. So build a SCOBY Hotel! // The Ezer WifeThe fizzy, fruity, tart drink of choice in our house. Full of probiotics and so much cheaper to make at home than to buy. If you missed it, be sure to check out my series on how to homebrew kombucha: Gather Supplies, Let’s Ferment, Flavor & Bottle.

If you’re making homebrew kombucha you’ll soon be overrun by SCOBYs since each batch produces a new one. What to do with so many symbiotic colonies of bacterial yeast…ah hem, SCOBYs?

Start your very own SCOBY hotel, of course!

Wait, did this crazy lady just say SCOBY hotel?! What in the world is she talking about?

Here’s the idea. Inevitably you’ll have a batch of ‘booch mold or your friends will taste your homebrew and decide they need to start making their own. You will need to have at least a few SCOBYs on hand, trust me.

So instead of throwing them out after each batch, you need a place to house them– a SCOBY Hotel.

Build a SCOBY Hotel

Supplies Needed: large glass jar, brewed tea, one SCOBY, kombucha-brewer to periodically place SCOBY in hotel

After your next batch of kombucha, reserve some of the tea for the hotel. Place SCOBY in large jar, cover with tea and rubber band a cloth over the top. Place in dry, dark place (mine stays on the counter).

When you’re in need of a SCOBY, grab one out! To stay alive (yes, your SCOBY is alive…it’s bacteria and yeast!) a SCOBY just needs to be immersed in tea. So, if you’re taking one to a friend or mailing one to your sister, just make sure it’s covered with tea.

Every week or so you’ll have a new SCOBY growing on top. Simply push it down into the liquid and another one will form. Just be sure that as the SCOBYs multiply they are covered with tea.

If your hotel becomes overrun, toss them in the compost. Because I have super weird friends who don’t homebrew (and thus nobody to give my SCOBYs too) I recently composted about 6 SCOBYs. It hurt a little, but my hotel was way too overcrowded.

What about storing the hotel in the refrigerator?

Long-term refrigerator storage will eventually kill the bacteria and yeast, so that’s not recommended. But if you’re going out of town for any amount of time and don’t want to worry about bugs or critters getting into the hotel (no fun!), stick it in the fridge. Just don’t forget to take it back out! I’ll keep my hotel in the fridge for a week or two at a time while I’m away, otherwise it stays on the counter and I kick guests out as needed.

If you’re looking for another way to use your SCOBYs, I know I’ve seen recipes for fruit roll ups, gummy treats and believe it or not, band-aids. Weird, right?

What do you do with all your extra SCOBYs?

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