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Culturing your own SCOBY for Kombucha

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  • Culturing your own SCOBY for Kombucha



    Question for those that cultured their own scoby...


    Are you supposed to start off with 1 cup of tea and 12oz of raw store bought kombucha to culture your initial scoby?


    OR


    Can you start with 1 *gallon* of tea and start making kombucha right off the bat?


    I'm venturing into this and am excited to start. It'd be great to hear what worked for you guys.


  • #2
    1



    I bought my first scoby online and it was surprisingly small (about 3 inches wide), but I learned that all it takes to get a scoby from a store-bought kombucha is to let the bottle sit for a while at room temperature, and before you know it you'll have a scoby. I got a very nice one from my mom's unwanted "mango" flavored kombucha. She's not a fan. LOL


    Even a small scoby like that will make a gallon of kombucha. Just make a gallon of tea, add a cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, and your scoby.


    Now that I've started the process, I just take one of my scobys out of a finished gallon, and a cup of finished kombucha, and add it to the fresh gallon of sweetened tea.

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    • #3
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      I cultured my SCOBY off of 32 oz of tea and a bottle of commercial kombucha. From there I stepped it up to a full gallon.

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      • #4
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        I remember my mum maintaining a scoby. I tried it a few times (didn't really like it that much) but it tasted sweetish and a bit acidic.


        So what actually happens to all the sugar in kombucha? Is it converted into something? Otherwise, drinking it would not be very Primal, would it?

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        • #5
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          The scoby feeds on the sugar and consumes most of it.

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          • #6
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            Yup, the scoby eats the sugar. Just like when you make wine, the bacteria eats the sugars and excrete alcohol. With kombucha it's very little alcohol, and lots of various acids.

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            • #7
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              Thanks for the replies!


              So, should I just let the store bought Kombucha sit out until I see the scoby growing? OR should I go ahead and brew a gallon of tea and let 'er rip?


              Also, for the sugar can I use organic raw sugar (from sugar cane)?


              And can I use raw apple cider vinegar? Is vinegar even needed? I didn't see that listed as an ingredient for some of the sites I've been visiting.

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              • #8
                1



                I would stay away from organic raw vinegar - don't want to cross-contaminate the kombucha culture with the vinegar culture. I use the vinegar to clean my jar between brewings. I have had good results using organic raw sugar.

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                • #9
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                  Let the store bought kombucha sit until you have a scoby. Maybe add some sugar to give it something to grow with, but even if you don't, a scoby will grow.


                  I just use plain white sugar. *shrug* It's cheap, works well, and the bacteria don't seem to be complaining- lol.


                  Nope, no raw vinegar. Go with plain white distilled.


                  If you have kombucha to start with, you don't need the vinegar. I had to have vinegar to start initially because I bought my first scoby. The purpose of the vinegar/kombucha is to make the sweetened tea an acidic environment for the scoby.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Ok, I'm going to start off with adding 32oz raw Kombucha, 1 cup sweetened tea and let it sit out for a few weeks and hope for the best. THEN I will go for the gallon kombucha making. Does this sound about right??


                    Geoff- did you just pour the 32oz of raw kombucha into a bigger container and let it sit until a scoby formed? You didn't add anything else?


                    I can't wait. I've been buying Kombucha everyday and it's been getting pricey. Time to make my own! You guys rock.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      This thread ought to be called "SCOBY Do"


                      When I did it, I let the commercial kombucha come to room temperature and a tiny scoby had started to form, but I just added the bottle's entire contents (16 oz.) to the 32 oz. of tea. The 2:1 ratio of sweet tea to starter was enough to defeat any "baddies" that might have been lurking. DR's got a point though - if you can culture a more robust SCOBY in the bottle it can't hurt.


                      DR did you grow your bottle SCOBY topless? Sorry, did you take the lid off?


                      +1 plain white sugar (though I do use organic white)


                      One thing I find very weird - commercial kombucha in plastic bottles.

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                      • #12
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                        No... I just let the bottle set at room temperature. It was sort of accidental with the mango one. My dad got it for my mom and she didn't like it. She left it setting on the counter and when I got to it, there was a scoby on top. Then I bought a bottle of GT's original, and it had a floaty in it. I decided not to finish the bottle and instead just let the scoby grow.


                        I've never seen commercial kombucha in plastic bottles. Course, all I've ever seen around here is GT's.

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                        • #13
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                          SCOBY SCOBY do! Should've been more inventive with the name


                          Thanks guys. This is all really helpful!!!

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