More Kombucha Brewing Tips

Alright, so it seems that folks have enjoyed our initial posts on kombucha (including the kombucha recipe we provided).  Because the level of interest on this topic seems high, we’ve provided some additional insights to guide you in making your own kombucha below:

  • The ideal temperature range for brewing kombucha is 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. While the yeast can thrive below 70 degrees, the acetobacter cannot, and undesirable microbes might take hold. Temperatures warmer than 84 degrees will kill the SCOBY. In general, low-temperature fermentation takes longer and produces a lighter brew, while high temperature fermentation goes faster and produces a darker brew with a more powerful flavor.
  • Your SCOBY might float to the top of the solution, stay the middle, sink to the bottom, or slowly move from one level to another; all are normal, resulting in good, healthful kombucha.
  • Allow the fresh kombucha to “rest” in the refrigerator for a day or two — a process wine brewers call “cold stabilization.” This reduces the acidic bite and allows insolubles to settle out. The result is a clearer brew with a more subtle, complex flavor.
  • Store your SCOBY covered in kombucha (at least ½ cup). It can be stored either in the warm, dark place where you ferment your kombucha, or in the refrigerator — just be sure and check it frequently, to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Although a SCOBY can be frozen (again, making sure it is completely covered in kombucha), doing so runs the risk of killing the SCOBY.
  • Over a few dozen batches, your SCOBY will get old and exhausted. A ragged, dark brown SCOBY is ready to be retired (throw it away, compost it, or feed it to your dog), and replaced with one of your backup “daughters.”

August 19 2008 10:47 am | Kombucha

2 Responses to “More Kombucha Brewing Tips”

  1. Mia on 16 May 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    Hi, I had asked a friend for a scoby and I was given one of that is dark brown and grayish on the edges. It is definitely not moldy, it just looks like what you may have referred to in your post that is ready to be retired. I was wondering if it, and the kombucha from it, is still okay (ie: SAFE) to use one more time (so I can create a new scoby and have kombucha). I would appreciate your response. Thanks!

  2. Jeremy on 19 May 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Hi Maria! If you’re certain it’s not mold, then it’s probably safe to keep brewing, but probably time to retire that scoby soon. Please note that it might have a hard time brewing another batch of kombucha if it’s really worn out… Good luck!

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