Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kombucha SCOBY from scratch progression part 1

About a year ago a friend of mine gave me a yogurt maker that ended up collecting  dust in the basement until last Sunday.   On Sunday I cleaned it up and poured one 16 oz jar of GT Daves Synergy Kombucha divided between the 5 glasses to grow my own SCOBYs.  GT Daves is organic and raw and because it is raw you can grow your own  SCOBY.  If you have had Kombucha before you may have noticed the floating brownish yeast colonies.  This is the signs of life that make this drink so wonderful!
  A Kombucha SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.  It needs to breathe so you will see in the photo above I placed a clothes pin under the lid to allow airflow. I also ditched the plastic cup lids in favor of paper towels held on with rubber bands. This keeps out dust and pests especially in the summer when fruit flies will seemingly come from out of nowhere to try and get to your kombucha!

 This setup is what I am using to keep the temperature warm for the growth.  We keep our house quite cool in the winter and not warm enough to make Kombucha so I am using a yogurt warmer to start out with.  Kombucha thrives at a temperature between 70-80 degrees.
 Kombucha, while brewing, likes  a warm dark environment.  For now this is setup on my kitchen counter. Since I used GT Daves Synergy Kombucha as a starter the color is quite bright.  It is from the juices that they use for flavor and color.  I will grow mine with organic green tea so mine will be lighter in color although I plan to experiment with adding flavors and colors as well.
3 days
The above photo is after 3 days of being undisturbed in the warmer.  You can start to see a thin film at the top of the glass.  This is the beginning of a SCOBY.  Below the film you can see the yeast colonies doing their thing as well.  This is fantastic progress!
6 days of growth

Now my babies are 6 days old and growing quickly.  The key to growth is the proper PH level and the temperature is what determines this level.  I am going to pick up litmus paper and a thermometer the next time we head to the store although the way it looks and smells I am confident that it is growing nicely.
This shows bubbles trapped under the SCOBY and you can see the off white color nicely from this angle.
Kombucha feeds on tea and sugar.   In another day or two I will add the whole mixture to a tea that has been brewed with organic green tea and a bit of sugar.  As the SCOBYs grow the batches will gain volume to sustain them.  

Stay tuned for more updates!

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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
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