What’s that big blob floating in my Kombucha? Oh that’s my friend, SCOBY!
SCOBY is not a dog, although at first you might think about the fun loving, klutzy dog Scooby Doo.
SCOBY is not a person, although it may be referred to as “the mother.”
SCOBY is not a food, although it may also be referred to as the “mushroom.”
SCOBY is a live bacterial culture used to make a fermented beverage called Kombucha.
SCOBY stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.” It looks like a slimy pancake or a large mushroom, and it is a coveted possession to those wishing to make Kombucha.
The SCOBY has a very important job in the Kombucha making process and that is to digest all of the sugar and caffeine in the liquid mixture. Essentially, the SCOBY eats the caffeine and sugar, which in turn creates beneficial enzymes and other metabolites that make Kombucha the healthful beverage we enjoy.
Do you want to make your own Kombucha? First you need to find a SCOBY.
Contact your local fermenter to see if they have a SCOBY available for purchase. You can usually find fermenter’s at your local farmer’s markets. And who knows, they might even gift you one for free. You see, a SCOBY births many new scabies (yes, that is the plural of SCOBY) throughout it’s very, very long life. You could also seek our a fermentation loving friend and see if they have an extra SCOBY to give you.
I purchased my SCOBY from a local fermenter (Food and Ferments in Philadelphia) whom I met at my local farmer’s market. Since then my SCOBY has birthed many new babies and I’m always happy to share with a friend, just ask.
Ready to make Kombucha? Let’s get started with an easy peasy recipe.
Your Basic Kombucha
– 1 kombucha SCOBY
– 3 quarts of boiling water
– 1 gallon wide mouthed glass jar (sterilized)
– 1 cup organic white sugar
– 4 organic black tea bags
– 1/2 cup of existing kombucha (usually your SCOBY is living in this already)
– cheese cloth
– Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Turn off heat.
– Add tea bags and let them infuse until the water cools to about 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. This may take some time. Be patient, you do not want to add your SCOBY to boiling water, as that will kill it.
– Once your tea is cooled, add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon.
– Pour the tea into a a clean, sterilized glass jar.
– Add your SCOBY, plus the kombucha which the SCOBY had previously been hanging out in.
– Cover with a cheese cloth and rubberband
– Find a warm, dark spot in your kitchen to place your tea. Be sure to find a location that it will not be disturbed.
– Every 7 days for 2-3 weeks taste test your Kombucha. You are looking for a slightly sweet taste but not too vinegary.
– Once you have reached your desired taste, cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator.
– You can add different flavorings by doing a secondary ferment.
– After you finish brewing the booch, place your SCOBY (the larger one) into a wide mouthed container with enough Kombucha to cover it. Use the smaller one to start a new batch or gift it to a friend.
– If your Kombucha ferments too long and turns too vinegary, you do not have to toss it. You can use this as you would use apple cider vinegar. Save it!