How To Grow a Kombucha SCOBY from Scratch

Did you know it is possible to grow your own SCOBY from scratch, in your own home?

Kombucha has made a huge comeback in the last several years. It’s available in big stores such as Costco, and small health stores as well. 

A fermented tea that has been around for a long time, homemade kombucha has the same health benefits as other tea, plus more. Because it is rich in beneficial probiotics, it can be helpful in fighting disease and killing harmful bacteria. 

Advocates say that Kombucha helps your digestion, rids your body of toxins, as well as boosts your energy. It is a delicious and refreshing drink on a hot summer day. 

To make Kombucha, you need green or black tea, white sugar, and a SCOBY. 

What is A Kombucha SCOBY?

SCOBY stands for “ Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast ”. Also called a Kombucha mother, starter, or mushroom, it looks like a slimy, thin, or thick, pancake-like blob.

kombucha scoby made at home

It does not look appetizing at all.

My first impression of a SCOBY was not great, but once you understand the process, it makes a lot more sense. 

All fermented foods contain active bacteria and yeast that cause the fermentation process.

One of the most important parts of a SCOBY is Komatagaeibacter Xylinum or Acetobacter Xylinum. This is the most prolific bacteria in a kombucha SCOBY, helping to produce cellulose.

The SCOBY is used to start the fermentation process for Kombucha. 

Making a SCOBY from scratch was a lot easier than I expected. It takes a while, although you can speed up the process by feeding it more often. 

To make Kombucha quickly, you can get a SCOBY from a friend. But what if no one you know has an extra SCOBY? 

That’s where this tutorial comes in. I will teach you how to create your own SCOBY!

How Long To Grow A SCOBY

It can take anywhere from 2-4 months to grow your own SCOBY.

Depending on the conditions in your home, as well as how often you feed it, a SCOBY can grow rather quickly. 

How To Create Your Own Scoby

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Growing your own SCOBY requires only preparing a sweetened black or green tea, and adding several cups of store-bought Kombucha.

It is a good idea to add some of the little blobby things that float around at the bottom of the bottle to your tea.

Growing a Scoby Mother From Scratch requires only four ingredients. 

To grow your own SCOBY, you need:

2 Cups already prepared Kombucha tea. This is your starter tea and is readily found in a lot of stores. 

2 cups Water

1/2 cup White Organic Sugar

2- Black or Green Tea Bags

A Glass quart jar. 

Instructions: 

Thoroughly clean your glass Quart Jar. Fermented foods are susceptible to mold contamination, so it’s important to sterilize your container.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add ½ cup of sugar, and mix well.

Steep 2 tea bags in the hot water. You can also use loose leaf tea, and strain it out before adding the store-bought Kombucha. 

The caffeine in the tea is an important part of feeding bacteria and yeast.

Once the tea cools to 105*F, carefully add 2 cups of Kombucha tea. Stir to combine. Coffee filters are what I use to cover my jar and a rubber band.

A thin cloth or even paper towels work as well. Don’t skip this step.

Your tea needs to be able to breathe and yet you don’t want any fruit flies in your tea mixture.

Set it in a safe spot in a cupboard, or pantry. It needs to be stored at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight.

.

A month later, repeat the steps above. Save 2 cups of the tea that you prepared the first time, and add it to your fresh “tea”, once it has cooled down. 

If there is ANY film or little blobby parts in your liquid, SAVE THIS. This is a baby SCOBY and the start of a healthy and thriving mother. 

As you continue feeding it, each batch will grow a stronger symbiotic colony of bacteria (SCOBY).

Repeat each month until the new SCOBY is at least 2mm thick. Your first batch of Kombucha starter will probably not have a lot of activity.

It took a couple of months before mine was active and healthy. Feeding it more often will speed up the growth. The next step is to make a big batch of Kombucha. 

SCOBY Growth Stages

After the first month, you will see a thin film on top. This think film is the start of the kombucha mushroom. Be sure to add it to your fresh tea. 

This film will grow thicker with each month. A viable SCOBY will never have mold growing on it. It is smooth and has a glossy, clear surface.

After making Kombucha many times, a healthy SCOBY will continue to grow in thickness up to several inches thick. 

Making your own Kombucha Scoby is not difficult. It is easy to be intimidated by things such as making your own sourdough starter, or your own SCOBY for Kombucha.

Sometimes it takes a while before you find success, but don’t give up. A whole process is an act of learning and experimentation.

Making your own SCOBY is a great way to save money and have continuous access to kombucha. It is also a fun project that can be completed with relative ease.

If you want to try Kombucha but don’t want to make your own SCOBY, you can get a Kombucha Starter Kit here that will make it super simple for you.

By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can be on your way to brewing your own kombucha in no time!

How To Make A Kombucha SCOBY From Scratch

How To Make A Kombucha SCOBY From Scratch

Yield: 1 SCOBY
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Making your own SCOBY for Kombucha takes some time and a little patience. With only four ingredients, you will be well on your way to making your own Kombucha in no time.

Materials

  • 2 cups already prepared Kombucha tea. This is your starter tea and is readily found in a lot of stores. 
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup White Organic Sugar
  • 2 Black or Green Tea Bags
  • 1 Glass quart jar. 

Instructions

  1. Thoroughly clean your glass Quart Jar. Fermented foods are susceptible to mold contamination, so it's important to sterilize your container.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add ½ cup of sugar, and mix well. Steep 2 tea bags in the hot water. You can also use loose leaf tea, and strain it out before adding the store-bought Kombucha. The caffeine in the tea is an important part of feeding bacteria and yeast.
  3. Once the tea cools to 105*F, carefully add 2 cups of Kombucha tea. Stir to combine. Coffee filters are what I use to cover my jar and a rubber band. A thin cloth or even paper towels work as well. Don't skip this step. Your tea needs to be able to breathe and yet you don't want any fruit flies in your tea mixture.
  4. Set it in a safe spot in a cupboard, or pantry. It needs to be stored at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight.
  5. A month later, repeat the steps above. Save 2 cups of the tea that you prepared the first time, and add it to your fresh “tea”, once it has cooled down. 
  6. If there is ANY film or little blobby parts in your liquid, SAVE THIS. This is a baby SCOBY and the start of a healthy and thriving mother. As you continue feeding it, each batch will grow a stronger symbiotic colony of bacteria (SCOBY).
  7. Repeat each month until the new SCOBY is at least 2mm thick. Your first batch of Kombucha starters will probably not have a lot of activity. It took a couple of months before mine was active and healthy. Feeding it more often will speed up the growth. The next step is to make a big batch of Kombucha. 

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