In between batches or while you are gone, you might wish to preserve your Scoby if you make your Kombucha. Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, or “Scoby,” is the mother culture used to create Kombucha. Simply brew some new beer if you wish to keep your Scoby for shorter than a month. Additionally, putting your Scoby in the fridge will stop the fermentation process. If you want a storage option for 1-3 months, take this action. Create a “Scoby Hotel” to keep your Scoby long-term!
What is Scoby?
Kombucha is made using the Scoby(Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), a live culture of bacteria and yeast. To make Kombucha, these bacteria and yeast consume the sugar and nutrients in sweet tea and ferment them into alcohol, acids, and carbon dioxide.
Most people refer to the bacteria-filled disc that rests on top of Kombucha as the “SCOBY,” which can range in thickness from 1inchesch to 2 inches. The pellicle is the name for this disc on the book’s surface.
The pellicle is made of cellulose, which is essentially a collection of sugar that the bacteria have linked together. The bacteria that produce this sugary stringsally be seen working on them under a microscope if you examine a pellicle. It’s really neat.
The pellicle technically makes up a portion of the Scoby but not the entire thing. The term “SCOBY” refers to all the bacteria and yeast present in the Kombucha, including those in the pellicle and those floating in the Kombucha.
How to Store a Scoby?
In the Fridge
The simplest place for your kombucha scoby to be kept is in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
Always put a label on the jar to prevent accidental disposal by members of the family!
After that, the scoby enters a latent state and can be kept for up to 6 months.
However, we have witnessed scobys that were left inactive for over a year in a refrigerator corner come back to life without any issues. These tiny organisms are tough!
At Room Temperature
Your kombucha scoby can be kept at room temperature in a cloth-covered jar. But you’ll have to provide it with food regularly.
The Kombucha’s microbes are not inactive at room temperature like they are in the refrigerator, thus, the scoby will continue to acidify. As a result, you will occasionally need to add sweet tea.
How to Prepare a Home for Scoby?
In a SCOBY hotel, you can store SCOBYs in another method. Simply said, a jar or other container filled with an extra stack of SCOBYs is a SCOBY hotel. In case your primary SCOBY becomes damaged or mouldy, SCOBY hotels let you have backup SCOBYs on hand.
Your primary SCOBY will develop as you brew Kombucha until it reaches a size where oxygen cannot enter the liquid underneath it.
You can avoid this by using scissors or a knife that have been cleaned with Kombucha or distilled vinegar, or you can pry apart the old SCOBY layers with your clean hands.
The SCOBY hotel will then be created by stacking these old layers into a jar filled with sweet tea and beginning tea and covering them with a coffee filter or cotton cloth.
Similar to how one SCOBY is stored, a SCOBY hotel needs to have its liquid replaced every four weeks as opposed to every six. This is due to the fact that when there are many SCOBYs in a single container, the liquid ferments more quickly and the nutrients are used more quickly.
The extremely potent Kombucha that you remove from the SCOBY hotel every four weeks can be used as a great beginning tea for your brews or as kombucha vinegar for salad dressings, vegetable glazes, cleaning solutions, skincare products, and other things.
Can you Refrigerate Scoby?
Some brewers and brewing manuals out there advise cooling your SCOBY before storing it.
They contend that cooling it will slow down fermentation and activity levels, allowing the SCOBY more time to consume the sugar and nutrients in the tea, reducing the need for frequent refills of the container with fresh sweet tea.
Although it may seem like a smart idea, storing your SCOBY in the refrigerator is not worth the risk and is more likely to cause harm than good.
The fact that cold temperatures slow down fermentation is correct, but this is undesirable. Never brewing Kombucha below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) is advised since the delayed fermentation and activity caused by low temperatures results in the production of very little acid. In addition, Kombucha’s acidity stops mold from forming.
Therefore, by placing your SCOBY or SCOBY hotel in the refrigerator, you are slowing the bacteria culture, resulting in a less acidic liquid that will be susceptible to mold damage. Additionally, all those SCOBYs need to be changed if mold grows within a SCOBY hotel.
Placing your SCOBY and starter liquid in the refrigerator could result in it absorbing aromas from any raw meat or seafood placed there with it and increasing the likelihood of mold growth.
Even if your SCOBY does not develop mold or stink when stored in the refrigerator, taking it out may need many brewing cycles or weeks for it to reawaken and acclimatize to room temperature.
As a result, you will either need to wait a few extra weeks to utilize it or be prepared in advance and remove the SCOBY or SCOBY hotel from the refrigerator a few weeks early.
Because Kombucha won’t fully ferment if you don’t wake it up and reacclimate it to warmer temps, resulting in odd flavors and a lack of acidity.
Should a Scoby be Dehydrated Before Being Stored?
So now we are aware that cooling a SCOBY is not a good idea. But what about dehydration, another popular recommendation for SCOBY storage?
A SCOBY is dehydrated by placing it on parchment paper and heating it to a warm temperature of 80 to 90 degrees until it becomes leathery like beef jerky. Then, the SCOBY is put in a plastic bag and chilled.
A dried SCOBY can remain viable for up to three months in the refrigerator before being rehydrated and used to brew Kombucha once more.
Similar to refrigeration, drying a SCOBY is not worthwhile. It takes up to 6 weeks for the item to rehydrate and become active, and there is a great chance that doing so will kill it. When that happens, it probably won’t be as lively or active as before, resulting in sour flavors and a chance of mold development.
Using the method I described earlier, you can store your SCOBY and need to refill the jar with fresh sweet tea once if you need to take three months off from producing booze.
When you’re ready to start brewing, you might discard the SCOBY and purchase or create a new one.
Which Signs Indicate Bad Scoby?
My Kombucha has a Bad Smell.
You’ll recognize the sweet-sour aroma of fermenting tea in a healthy kombucha scoby. Keep in mind that until the scoby has been established, this healthy odor won’t be noticeable. So give it a few days. The amount of vinegar in the tea can occasionally be excessive. That frequently happens during the fermenting phases, so don’t be alarmed.
However, if your scoby starts to smell terrible, it’s a surefire indication that the scoby is unhealthy. An offensive, putrid smell is a sign of harmful germs and needs to be thrown away. It is as simple as to start a fresh batch, thus, it is not worth the risk.
My Scoby has Mold Growing on it
The idea of mold developing in my kombucha drink can be frightful! Small scoby’s may begin to build on the top of your brew throughout the brewing process, giving it the impression of having mold spots. This is natural, and these young scobys will eventually join together to form a single scoby.
Mold will always be outside of the scoby, and it will always be green, black, or blue in hue. Since mold always seeks out air, it will float on the beverage and develop an unpleasant fuzz layer. A moldy scoby will also emit a foul smell.
My Scoby is Not Growing
It may indicate something is wrong with your brew if your scoby appears to cease growing. Healthy Scobys will keep expanding until they completely cover the surface of the brewing vessel. A healthy scoby will add layers during fermentation. These “baby” Scobys will manifest as layers of yeast and bacteria on the brew’s surface. You can start brewing a fresh pot of tea using the newly produced scoby. The present that keeps on giving is this one!
What are the Side Effects of Consuming Scoby?
For most adults, kombucha scoby is POSSIBLY SAFE when consumed orally. There have been reports of kombucha scoby’s adverse effects, including nausea, vomiting, mortality, allergic responses, jaundice, stomach issues, yeast infections, and allergic reactions.
It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to make kombucha scoby when it can be contaminated with bacteria or fungi that cause illness. An example of this would be at home. Additionally, it is LIKELY UNSAFE to make kombucha scoby in containers that contain harmful substances, such as the lead used in ceramic glazes. These substances may contaminate the Kombucha and result in toxicity or other consequences.
Reference: SCOBY papaya beverages induce gut microbiome interaction as potential antiobesity in weight management control supplement
One of the greatest health concerns in the globe is the predominance of obese people, which has put a financial strain on governments and led to a rise in the usage of medical resources. Using a carefully controlled fermentation technique and a chosen symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), we have created new fermented papaya beverages in this study. SCOBY papaya beverages caused tremendous body weight loss of 21.3% (SCOBY papaya leaves) and 23.4% (SCOBY papaya pulp) in high-fat diet-induced obese mice after two months of treatment, which was much higher than the weight loss achieved by the commercial anti-obesity medicine Orlistat (11.3%). A healthy level of blood glucose was found after additional analysis of the blood glucose profiles of all mouse groups.
A SCOBY hotel is a place to store your SCOBYs, so you can keep them ready to brew Kombucha whenever you need them. A SCOBY hotel is easy to build and maintain. It can last forever if you take care of it.
First, make sure your room is warm. The best temperature for the SCOBY to grow is around 75-85 degrees F. This is important because cold temperatures slow down the fermentation process. Next, fill your jar with a strong starter liquid. Fill it to a depth of about half an inch. Cover the top with a tightly woven cloth or coffee filter. Make sure that the cloth is secured by a rubber band.