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At the heart of any batch of Kombucha is the SCOBY. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Mother,” but it’s actually an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.
If you’re short on time, or not feeling very adventurous, you can purchase a SCOBY online. But if you, like me, take pleasure in doing things completely from scratch, read on.
To be honest, I’m not sure what kind of yeast or bacteria in the SCOBY are responsible for the fermentation of the sugars and the creation of that funky tart taste in a finished Kombucha, but to borrow a phrase from Charlie Papazian, “Relax and have a homebrew.”
Ingredients to make a SCOBY
- 1 bottle of unflavored Kombucha
- 1 Cup of tea sweetened with a Tablespoon of sugar
- A jar big enough to hold the tea and Kombucha
- Some paper towels and a rubber band
Brew a cup of Black Tea and add the sugar. Let it cool to room temperature then pour the Kombucha and tea into the jar and cover the lid with the paper towels secured by the rubber band. Let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. For the first week or so, it won’t look like anything is happening but then a film will form on top. That film is the beginning of the SCOBY, let that film grow until it’s at least 1/4 inch thick, which usually takes 2 or 3 weeks. If the temperature is cooler, it will take longer to form, and conversely, if it’s warmer, it will take less time.
Once the SCOBY is thick enough, you can use it brew a batch of Kombucha. The easiest way to keep your SCOBY is to constantly have a batch of Kombucha going. You’ll notice new layers are formed from each batch. If you want to share your SCOBY with friends, simply peel of the new layer and use the instructions above to get it growing.