Friday, February 22, 2013

Storing Extra Scobys

You've been brewing for a while and now you are over-run with babies! You have a few options for extra scobys, you can give them to friends that want to brew as well. Or you can store them in a couple different ways. 

I keep my extra scobys in what I call my Scoby Hotel. It's a secondary gallon glass container that I put my extras in. I switch out the Kombucha every 1-4 weeks, depending on how many scobys I have in there, If I'm trying to achieve extra Kombucha, or make Kombucha Vinegar. You set it up just like you would a batch of Kombucha only it holds all your extras. The benefits of storing your extras this way are they are in a separate container from your main brew so you always have an extra one on hand should catastrophe strike and you loose a batch (and scoby) to mold/flies/etc. Since this container is kept on the counter you don't have to worry about the bacteria and yeast becoming sluggish like you do if you store in the fridge. Plus if you replace the kombucha with new tea when you bottle your normal batch its a way to get even more home brew while achieving a nice habitat for the scobies. 

You can also leave your extras in with your regular brew, however some risks come with this if you are brewing in a single container. If you happen to have a batch that goes bad, becomes infected by flies or mold you loose all of your scobies. I only recommend this approach if you have a couple of containers and can spread your extras out evenly between them. Just remember to keep a check on the brewing Kombucha because with the increase of bacteria and yeast it may get to the point you prefer your Kombucha a few days earlier than if it just had one scoby in it. 

If you are needing to take a short break or want to store your extras in the fridge, make sweet tea to feed the scoby, put it in a jar and place a lid on it. It will stay in the liquid for some time as the cold slows down the metabolism of the scoby and it takes it longer to then convert the sugar and tea to Kombucha. Please note if you choose to store your extras in the fridge you should check on them at least once a week and add more tea if it seems low or less sweet. Also the first round of Kombucha may take longer to brew after your Scoby has been in cold storage. It can take a couple batches to speed the metabolism of the yeast and bacteria back up, so don't be alarmed if your initial batch afterwards is a bit slower than you are use to. 

10 comments:

  1. Hi- I was going to go to your workshop last weekend but it did not happen but I would still love to coordinate with you about getting a mother!

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    1. Yes I am sorry it had to be postponed. We are hoping to reschedule it soon. Please email me at dotnikdavis@gmail.com to set up getting a scoby to you.
      Thanks!

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  2. Should I store the extra scobys in an airtight container or should i put a breathable cover over it? Also, how much kombucha should I store in the scoby hotel? Enough to cover it? I just got done making my first batch of kombucha, so this is my first time dealing wtih an extra scoby :)

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    1. The extra scobys need a breathable cover just like your primary brewing container. I replace the tea in my scoby hotel every few weeks. Congrats on your first batch! You can also just leave them in the container you are brewing in if you don't want to have a second container.

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  3. hi...i am a newbie to homemade kombucha, but have created a few really delicious batches. Problem...i am over run with scobys. lol. my scoby hotel is growing more scobys...looks like about 5 layers in the over crowded jar. i have not convinced any friends to start the adventure with me so i have no one to give them to.
    Question...i'm not sure i understand how to feed the hotel. the liquid/tea in there slowly evaporates. should i put "new" sweet tea in OR a little of "brewed" kombucha from a recent batch...OR could i feed it with GT's raw original kombucha from the bottle. i feel the jar needs about 3-4 more cups of liquid.
    thanks so much for some great information...looking forward to some h e l p

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    1. I feed my hotel sweet tea every couple weeks or so when it looks a little low. I also routinely have to find new homes for my new babies.

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  4. hi...one more question...is it okay if the stored scobys are squished a little because the hotel is smaller than the gallon brewing jar?

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    1. That shouldn't cause too much of an issue. :)

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  5. Hi I just got my jars of mothers out from the garage they were in the fridge for about 12years seem fine, the past year they have been in the sealed gallon jars in the garage they look the same as they did 15 years ago. What do you think? Gonna try a batch now, some have holes in the center I only put sugar water in the jars to feed them in the past year when they were in the garage....

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    1. Kim, I'm not following what you are asking, can you please ask again, thanks.

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