Welcome to Kombucha Brooklyn!

Succession and Why We NEVER Continuous Brew

A Common Problem :

My Kombucha tastes like vinegar.

or

My kombucha ferments so fast I can't control it.

Time and time again, it is because they were trying the continuous brew method. Sometimes they only continuous brewed for a few weeks before noticing a dip in quality. When they attempted to revert to batch brewing with the same culture, they discovered they had fundamentally changed the culture and could not get it back to its former glory. Here is our educated assumption of what is happening....

 

Succession is the observed process of change in the species structure of an ecological community over time. Many multi-species ferments are successive in their microbial activity meaning that in the beginning of the fermentation process, a certain species or set of species is active. As their activity changes the composition of the substrate (making it more acidic, for example), the conditions become unfavorable to those first pioneering species. They grow sluggish and eventually halt their activity while the new conditions they created are prime real estate for the next wave of species to succeed. And this can happen several times throughout a fermentation process.

 

Jun sample

 

The succession process in fermentation is highly studied and documented in sauerkraut. In the beginning of sauerkraut fermentation, Leuconostoc mesenteroides is the pioneering species that gets going first. As this bacteria proliferates and its acid-producing activity lowers the pH in the crock, the conditions become intolerable for it. It’s kind of like if you keep setting up more and more kombucha brews in your kitchen, eventually it will become so overwhelmingly acidic smelling in there you won’t be able to go in without a respirator. (Believe me, we know). So, once Leuconostoc mesenteroides has chopped its nose off despite its face, other species in the crock that love lower pH conditions, like Lactobacillus plantarum and Luteimonas cucumeris, wake up and shine! They get active digesting stuff, transforming stuff, creating their own styles of acids that then lower the pH even more. They have their time in the limelight and then the conditions become intolerable to them (again by their own activity!) and they stagnate. But those low low pH conditions are perfect for the next round of fermenting bacteria to set up shop and Lactobacillus brevis begin their heyday creating their own signature acids.

 

With each wave of microbial activity, a new set of compounds is created and it is the layering of these compounds in succession that creates the complex health attributes and delicious characteristics of finely made sauerkraut. One would not throw a cabbage into a crock with only the last round of bacteria and expect it to yield the same delightful results as a ferment that has gone through all of the natural stages of complex fermentation . No no no.

 

And this explains why we don’t advocate continuously brewing kombucha. In our years of experience in home fermenting and commercially brewing kombucha, we have never tasted a kombucha made using the continuous brewing method that meets our standards for a robust, complex and delightful 'buch. Continuous brewed kombucha results in a profile that skews toward too much acetic acid. You can tell because it tastes like vinegar.

 

Not only that, but kombucha cultures that have at some point in the their history gone through a period of continuous brewing seem to lose the ability to ferment at the earlier stages altogether – the cultures seem to have lost the pioneering species and have become concentrated with the microbial species typical of later stages of fermentation. You can always tell a SCOBY has a continuous brew heritage by the immediate formation of the “vinegar” flavor that is characteristic of acetic acid just hours after a new batch is inoculated. This is not the kombucha that we like to drink and we think it may not have the same nutritive characteristics as those that are allowed to go through all stages of fermentation in batch brewing. We have also never seen a SCOBY recover their pioneering abilities.

 

If you are in the market for a new SCOBY, we highly recommend you start with a SCOBY guaranteed to have never been used to continuously brew kombucha. Your crock, palette and belly will thank you.

68 thoughts on “Succession and Why We NEVER Continuous Brew”

  • Jackie Edwards

    Well, I think you may have answered my question before I asked it. I have been making Kombucha for about 2 years, using a Scoby I originally purchased from you. I had great results. I started continuous brewing about 3 months ago, and lately my brew has not been the same quality as before. Too acidic tasting, and then this week, despite my careful precautions, one of the continuous brew jars had an infestation of fruit flies. I threw everything out, rewashed and sterilized everything, took half of the scoby from my second continuous brew jar that was not contaminated, and started again. I think now I just need to start over and go back to my gallon jar method with new scobys. Do you have any suggestions for the fruit flies? I use Tee Shirt material over the top with a rubber band securing it. My grandson made me a fruit fly trap which I set out in front of the jars, and I always seem to catch a few. They have become quite a problem, where they never were before. I usually have 3 or 4 gallon jars fermenting each week, and everyone really enjoys the Kombucha.

    Reply
    • Chris

      Hi Jackie, as for fruit flies, it's as simple as keeping the brew jar covered - a tee-shirt type material is just fine. Many people think that cheese cloth is okay to use, but in fact the weave is too porous. Let us know how it goes, and happy brewing!

      Reply
  • Matt

    Hello,

    I guess I've been doing a variant on the continuous brew. I have a 3 gallon crock, and as the buch ferments to how I like it I siphon off everything except for an inch or so of liquid at the bottom and put it into growlers. Then I put the growlers into the fridge to stop the fermenting. The 1 inch brew sits for a week or so in the crock at room temperature while I drink from the growlers, then I add another 3 gallons of sugared tea and go from there. I would think this would allow all stages of bacteria to co-exist as the ph would go almost to neutral when I add the new tea.

    Is this correct, or do I need to do something different?

    Thanks,

    Matt

    Reply
  • Tony

    Sorry in advance for the dense question I'm about to ask, but I think I'm missing something here. I was definitely having a problem with my brews having a heavy vinegar flavor. I just couldn't get it to taste good. Long story short I am in the market to start brewing again with a new scoby soon. So, in the past my routine was to brew a 1 gallon batch, & let it ferment for about 14 days (I think this was too long now). Then at the end of 14 days, would brew another batch, bottle the first, then set up the next batch using the 2 scobys from the freshly bottled batch. The 3rd batch, I would get rid of the 1st brews scoby only keeping the most recent 2 scobys in a brew at a time. rinse and repeat. Is this what you're referring to in regards to "Continuous Brew"? Or is continuous brewing something else entirely?

    Reply
  • Deirdre

    Help! What exactly is continuous brewing, and what is the correct way to home brew? I think I'm "continuous brewing" currently.

    Reply
    • Chris

      For the purposes of this article, I would define continuous brewing as the practice of periodically removing and "topping off" a kombucha brew without ever removing a majority of the brew. You might describe, then, "continuous batch" as removing 90%, leaving 10% as starter for the next brew, and refilling with sweet tea - though I would call this standard, and not "continuous" at all. Hope this helps!

      Reply
      • Ola

        I am from Russia and as I grew up my mom and grandmas all had kombucha in 3 liter jars. The different thing from american brewers is that we give a bath to the scoby ones in about 2 weeks. We take the scoby and the liquid out, rinse jar and wash scoby in water. Filter liquid through the cloth and only then make a new tea plus some old solution. We also drink it beginning from the day 3. Or later, depends on taste prefference. I have not found any info about washing a scoby on american websites...

        Reply
  • Bonita Fisher

    Wow - and you have answered mine as well, I suspect. Not so much from continuous brew, as from leaving the 'buch to brew *too* long, repeatedly. As in, trips abroad, busy with home and work - in fact, months-worth . . albeit at ~ 68-70 degrees. So, often I have wondered about just this thing - if I was losing certain healthful species to a plethora of low-pH species.
    Hmmm - now to figure if I must start . . again . . !

    Reply
  • Jo

    I use an unbleached coffee filter with a Rubberband to keep the flies out

    Reply
    • Gibson

      Great explanation of the details regarding each bacterial strains' lifecycle and needs. Very interesting and definitely helps to better understand fermentation/brewing as a general topic.

      I have personally only been brewing since the beginning of March, harvesting my first batch (48 oz mason jar) at around day 18. The SCOBY I used was one I grew over a period of 45 days from a bottle of GT's Original (the "non-reformulated" version). I found the taste akin to commercially-available booch, but definitely having a more vinegary taste and in general just more "raw" (both in a good way). I have a second batch brewing now with both the first SCOBY and the baby SCOBY grown during the first brew.

      Should I be concerned about my SCOBYs' lineage, coming from that bottle of Original? Or is it safe to assume GT's brews in batch, and thus any cultures stemming from that will be fairly healthy?

      Thank you!

      Reply
  • Ann {Created To Cook}

    Fascinating article... And now it's got me wondering... You know how raw apple cider vinegar is suppose to have all these health benefits and be able to help control blood sugar levels. I wonder if Kombucha left to ferment into Kombucha vinegar would have similar health benefits. I wonder if this has ever been tested in a lab. Have you guys had much experience with cooking with and using Kombucha vinegar???

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Ann, great thought! I would love to see the levels of acetic acid in both apple cider vinegar and kombucha vinegar. Im sure they are much the same. We have tons of recipes using KB vinegar! Check out our book.

      Reply
  • Lisa

    You said you recommended starting with a new scoby that had not been from continuous brew, but could you grow a new baby Scoby and separate it from the old one (that was from continuous bew) and be ok?

    Reply
  • Jack Wilson

    What should the pH be? I have been using the continuous brewing method and if I leave it too long it will get a vinegar smell and taste, I just find that I have to bottle it quicker.

    Reply
  • Michael cokkinos
    Michael cokkinos April 13, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Sucsession brew in a continuous vessel

    I just set up a system where I brew in a spigot glass carboy then bottle everything but 2 cups for the next batch
    Add sweet tea and ferment

    Is this considered continuous?

    Reply
  • Marlene

    When my gallon jar is ready to bottle there is sediment in the bottom. Should it be mixed in before bottling, or discarded.

    Reply
  • Blake G

    Very interesting article, but i'm left a bit confused with the plethora of opinions i have read on proper brewing.

    Where does this leave the SCOBY hotel? It would seem to follow logically that because they are usually stagnated for long periods of time they too would lose their ability to ferment at earlier stages. Leaving them "duds"

    Also, i have been looking to upgrade to a charred and aged oak barrel as a brewing vessel for my Jun as i've heard of a nice flavor being infused into the brew; But this method seems to always use a continuous brew method. Would a batch brew method still give that extra flavor with so little time in the barrel?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Blake, you should store your SCOBY hotel in the fridge to lock in the microbial content. It can stay unchanged for up to 3 months. After that time it is best to cycle through the SCOBY stored.

      An oak barrel can be used for batch brewing and makes some amazing kombucha. Let us know what you come up with!

      Reply
    • Becky

      Doesn't putting the scoby hotel in the fridge promote mold?
      Is this just old information ?

      Reply
      • Eric Childs

        Becky, this is a very common question. I just gave a good answer on the subject on this thread. check it out. That said, putting your SCOBY in the fridge for the right amount of time will not promote mold growth.

        Reply
  • Cheryl

    my buch turned to vinegar, I removed my SCOBY and saved 2 cups of liquid in a qt ziplock bag, should I wait before starting another batch, and where should I keep my SCOBY/starter? fridge or room temp? FYI I found a sticky thermometer at the pet store for $2, it is on my buch jar.

    Reply
  • Stefanie

    Ah! So what about if you're taking a break from brewing - I have my scoby in a jar and I have been pouring off half the liquid and replacing it with sweet tea every so often....just to keep it going...but this is awfully close to a continuous brew situation! Am I killing it? Thanks!!!

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Stefanie, the only way to store a SCOBY without it changing is to put it in the fridge along with fresh kombucha. You can keep it like that for 3 months without much change.

      Reply
  • Frankie

    Hello, thank you so much for this information. Most of the web is crazy for continuous brew. We have just had our kombucha turn too vinegary too quickly from continuous brew. If we buy new scobies can we use our kombucha from these continuous brews as starter but buy new scobies? You say that you've never seen scobies turn back after continuous brew, but buying all new scobies would be rather costly. Is it the scobies, kombucha or both? Thanks for your input

    Reply
  • Lindsay

    I am new to home brewing and I am a little confused after reading this article. I want to describe to you my process and I would really appreciate your input:

    I use a Jun scoby and a 1.5 gal vessel with a spigot. I add about 1.2 gal of green tea sweetened with 1C of honey to the vessel and put the scoby on top. I let it sit for about 3-4 days depending on how hot it is in the house then use the spigot to bottle up my brew (I keep a little medicine dispensing cup on top and taste it from the spigot to see if it's getting vinegary). On day 3 or 4 I bottle the tea using the spigot. I do not stir the tea before bottling it. I then reserve about a cup of it from the spigot for my next batch, discard the sludge at the bottom, rinse the vessel, clean my scobies and start again. I left the sludge in the bottom the first couple of times as my starter, but feel like there is too much yeast in it and it makes the brew sour so fast that I started feeding it to my house plants instead. Is this they way to do it? Thanks so much for your awesome website.

    One more question: My husband and I are doing a ketosis reset diet and we want to know how many carbs (approximately) are in a 16oz bottle of plan jun that has had a second ferment. If you have any input here, that would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

    Lindsay Behr

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Lindsay, you're doing great! This is exactly what you should be doing. I hope you are still enjoying your brew. Im not sure about JUN but tradition kombucha has around 10g of carbs per 16oz serving.

      Reply
  • John

    So if Continuous Brew is not a good,

    so how long do we have to wait for next batch then leave 90% of the fermented and put a new batch of tea?

    Its good to know the Continuous Brew is not good but the solution towards isn't very clear.

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Hi John. The best way is to first remove your starter liquid for your next batch. Then bottle all but the last 1/2" of kombucha in your jar. That last bit is full of yeast and can be dumped. This will help keep the yeast colony in check. Rinse your brew vessel then start again using all new sweet tea, the starter liquid you set aside and ONLY the new SCOBY that formed on the surface of your last brew.

      Reply
  • Oscar Angulo

    Hey chris. Here's what i do. I make 2.5 gallons of oolong tea kombucha using one large scoby and a regular size(but multiplying) scoby. I let it ferment for 10-12 days in room temperature and then bottle it with whatever flavor my family wants. I leave about 15% for the starter batch which i start right away. so far, everything seems to come out fine. Is what i'm doing ok? will it have any effect on my scoby or my finish batch in time?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Hi Oscar. You're doing great! The only improvement I would make would be saving the first 2.5cups of kombucha for your starter liquid and not your last. We dump the last inch of brew that is full of yeasty sediment. This helps keep the yeast colony in check. Also get rid of all old SCOBY and keep only the new.

      Reply
  • Pamela

    I always wondered why my batches always tasted so vinegary. Thank you for the explanation.

    Reply
  • Amy

    Very informational, thank you so much! I'm definitely not going to try continuous brew now. My first Scoby is arriving next week, along with tea, thermometer, heat mat. I already have a glass jar with spigot, organic sugar, agave or honey. When saving the Scoby from my first batch, should I take it off the top along with 2 cups of liquid for the next batch? Or off the bottom and out the spigot for the next batch liquid? Would off the bottom and they the spigot get yeast in it? Do I use my orig Scoby or just the new baby going forward each time? Got cool ideas of how to "recycle" the Scoby we are getting rid of? I've heard of composting. What else to use the old Scoby? Thanks again. Happy brewing!

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Amy, if possible you should take the starter from the surface. This will indeed keep excess yeast get in to your next brew. Also, make sure to only use that pure cane sugar in your brews as the honey and agave will not be the nutrients the SCOBY is looking for. In your next batch use the new "baby" that has formed on the surface. If it is not to big and not about 1/4 cup worth of SCOBY you can use the original too.

      Reply
  • Ashley

    Hello! I am confused as how you make larger batches if you can only use the newly formed SCOBY each time for a new brew. The new SCOBY is much larger than the one you sent me, does that mean I can make a larger new brew and if so, how do I figure the ratio?
    Also, What purpose does keeping the old SCOBY have? Or do you not keep it?? Im so confused. LOL.
    I just made my first batch and definitely left it to long and it is vinegar, however, we drink ACV every day, so we will just drink the Buch vinegar instead. I am waiting to hear back from you before I start my new brew! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Ashley, You can use a SCOBY at least 3 times before it becomes less complete of a colony. That is why you can save them for up to 3 months in the fridge to use again or use for another brew. You would scale your brew by adding some of that SCOBY to your new brew. if you were to equate the amount of SCOBY to brew with per gallon by volume it would be around 1/4 cup.
      Let us know if you have any more questions!

      Reply
  • Ariesbear

    Ok, my first batch has brewed for 14 days. Nice looking plump baby... clear yellowish buch.. Looks good, smells fine BUT it tastes like vinegar. That said, it doesn't taste aweful... Winter in Wisconsin means that the temperature in my house during the day (when I am gone) is 68 degrees... At night its 72 then 68 degrees when I am sleeping. Do I need to keep my brew warmer..?

    Best Regards, AB

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Ariesbear, warmer conditions will mean a quicker fermentation and more acid. Usually these lower temperatures will give you a lower acid taste. This would be true if the culture you were using had a nice full spectrum of microbes. If acetobacter is dominent batches will go to vinegar at low or high temps.

      Reply
  • Karen Cayen

    Great site and terrific information - thank you! Please comment on the use of SCOBY hotels. I had read that storing in the fridge would kill a SCOBY and that keeping extras on hand via a hotel was a good practice. Your "pioneer" bacteria concept would challenge the hotel theory wouldn't it?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Karen, thanks for the kind words. We work very hard to do this! Ive just answered a question on this thread about refrigerating your SCOBY. Long ago we used to say what other brewers say about storing your SCOBY outside the fridge which would challenge this "pioneer" theory. We now only suggest brewers keep their SCOBY storage in the fridge to protect the microbial balance. Let us know if you have any more questions about it.

      Reply
  • Lin Mercer

    Refrigerating VS NOT for SCOBY Hotel:
    I'm JUST starting to do my own continuous brewing at home. I had problems with mold from a gifted SCOBY (from a health food store!) that was refrigerated. My new batch is now a gifted Scoby from a local brewer who says they always throw out their "once used" Scoby and so that is what I have. I've read so much info on "DO NOT" refrigerate your Scoby Hotel.
    My question also is, Do I put a plastic lid on these? They are stored in half the growler and half sweet tea. I've been very concerned about who is reputable on this process. Yet this is supposed to be a 1000 year old ancient brew. What did they do that was successful? hmmmm.
    Thanks for any input about lids, cloth, refrigerate (check out Kombucha Kamp!) or no refrigerating. Sweet tea or just a jug of GTs?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Lin, this is a very common question as there are a lot of sources that are talking about not refrigerating. A good example of why not refrigerating to keep microbes alive does not make sense is by looking at other microbial/living foods. All other microbial/living foods like kombucha, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, etc are all refrigerated foods. This it to slow down their fermentation to a point where it will stay in the range the maker intended it to be until consumed. The shelf life of these products all have to do with the time the microbial colony will either be living or take over and spoil. If any of those foods were taken out of the fridge they would continue to ferment. Try it with a bottle of kombucha or a cup of yogurt.

      In the case of a kombucha SCOBY, refrigerating at temperatures between 32-40F will keep the microbes at a dormant state for around 3 months. Any longer and many lesser dominent microbes will start to die off and others take over. For example Acetobacter can survive for 12 months+. This is also true for much of the yeast. The only temperatures that can truly kill your microbial colony are when they go below 32F and even then some survive like Acetobacter and yeast.

      Rest assured, you can refrigerate and should refrigerate your SCOBY if you want them to stay the same colony as you wait to brew again. Just make sure you use them within 3 months or before. We have been refrigerating our SCOBY for years and have started thousands of mold free brews.

      Reply
  • Utku

    Can I using only sugared water to make kombucha without tea? I wonder that can bacterias grow without tea?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Utku, sugar water would work to propagate a lot of yeast. It would also be a tasty treat for Acetobacter. Most the bacteria is looking for the tea. Try it, it will be a fun experiment!

      Reply
  • Sam

    Thanks so much for all the tips on this site as well as this helpful article reaffirming my batch brew method. I'm a homebrew beer guy, who always keeps a batch of buch on the side, cuz it's so darn easy and so damn tasty in the morning back sweetened with some tropical fruit medley... anyway, I just had my first mold infection on a 4 gallon batch I've had going for over 7 YEARS! I know you warn against anthropomorphizing your SCOBY, but I am still in mourning since this morning, and wondering what I did wrong or differently this time around. I think I must have left a finished batches sitting through past winters in a sort of "hibernation" and making a new batch in the middle of winter this year did not bode well for the culture, which left the door open for some errant mold to take hold. aaanyway, I'm taking this all as a learning experience as I plan start completely over with a brand new batch this weekend after the New York City Fermentation Festival. Hope to see you there.

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Hi Sam,
      Sorry to hear about the mold but it happens. Dont fret it. Were you using the same SCOBY each time over the last 7 years?? Best way to keep a full spectrum highly active SCOBY is using the newly formed SCOBY on the surface along with fresh starter liquid. If you have been doing that the most common cause for mold is temperature if below 68F. Also improper acidification. If you have a PH meter make sure your sweet tea is at a PH of 3.6-3.8 at the start of fermentation. This will ensure no mold will form if you have an active culture. Hit us up on email if you have any more follow up questions and Happy brewing!
      Come visit us in Kingston!

      Reply
  • Steph

    You say "kombucha cultures that have ... gone through a period of continuous brewing … seem to have lost the pioneering species and have become concentrated with the microbial species typical of later stages of fermentation".

    Please help, because I can't make sense of this. It seems logically backwards. A SCOBY that is continually supplied with fresh sugars will surely, necessarily, retain its pioneering species. By contrast, a SCOBY that is allowed to brew past the point at which the pioneering species are required (i.e. A long batch brew) will surely lose those pioneering species and become dominated by later stage fermentation species.

    Is that not so?

    I hear what you are saying that your continuous brews turn vinegary, but this cannot be the explanation, because the opposite is logically true.

    Or what am I missing?!

    Thanks :)

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Steph, Good question! To explain, think in terms of pH. Although there are other factors at work here, pH is a good example of the type of condition that would affect a community of microorganisms. So. When you start a new one-gallon batch of kombucha, you will use about 1 cup of already fermented kombucha (or "starter") in a little less than a gallon of sweetened tea. The pH is lowered slightly by the addition of that one cup and the microbes that like a more neutral pH will have their heyday...gobbling up sugars and nutrients and creating acids (and other things)....until they wind up lowering the pH to the point that those same species can no longer tolerate it. Then those hang back and go dormant while the next wave of lower-pH-loving species have they way with the brew. And so on and so forth.

      Now picture this: You have a very acidic gallon of kombucha that has been fermenting for a while and you draw off a cup or a quart or a half gallon and replace that volume with sweet tea nutrient. The pH in that crock will already be too low for those first pioneering species to come back to activity. Eventually, those first-wave species retreat into the great beyond and are no longer present in the brew.

      I hope this helps to clarify. Feel free to ask away if you have further questions. Best brew on the block is our goal!

      Reply
  • Joanie

    Thanks for clearing up this issue. NO more continuous brew for me ever...and now I need to buy a freshy from you.

    Reply
  • Yu

    I am a newbie and started in Dec. We love it and want to make more and I started researching on continuous brew and found your article...
    My question now is about the SCOBY hotel, if I have some stored in a jar at room temperature for less than 2 months, are they still good SCOBY if I now put them in the fridge now? And will I need to "air out" from time to time with a lid on? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Yu, 2 months is a pretty long time to keep them unrefridgerated. Acetobacter has most likely taken hold of your colony along with yeast. That said only testing can be the judge of that. If you get vinegar in a few days you will know your answer and should probably look to get a new fresh SCOBY.

      Reply
  • Denise

    Confused about two points. First when you say take the liquid you need for your next batch first. This seems to be the answer you give to people who ask with or without a spigot would that not make a difference? Second if you always use the new scoby what is the point of saving any if they are not good for a second use? Or why not use them for ____ # of times then throw out or use for something else?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Denise, It could make a difference if there is a spigot on the vessel when taking starter out. If a spigot was used more yeast could get in the starter then you want. That is one reason we dont sell spigoted vessels. We have found a SCOBY can brew 3 full spectrum batches. Thus saving them can be useful if stored refrigerated for no more then 3 months. That said, the youngest SCOBY will always make the best kombucha.

      Reply
  • kris

    I just bought a 3.5 gallon acrylic container with a spigot. I would like to use it to continuously brew my kombucha. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Kris, if you use this container just make sure you do a complete reset of tea/sugar every time you harvest your brew as well as pulling off old SCOBY/yeast. This will ensure you keep your colony the same and not turn to "vinegar."

      Reply
  • cynthia swinimer
    cynthia swinimer April 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I have a question on the scobys.
    I added 16 c if sweet tea to about 4 cups of brew after I bottle off my KT.

    I left all the scobys in the bottle.
    From your comments I now know next time to take out all the old scobys and only leave the newest top on for the new brew.
    Is this all correct?

    What do I do with the old scobys? Do I add them to a hotel?
    If so will they get too old as you noted only to use new babies for the new brew .

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Cynthia, looks like you got it right on the money. SCOBY can last in a refrigerated SCOBY hotel for 3 months. You should try to cycle them out so you never have a SCOBY that goes past that point.

      Reply
  • Gary

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for the great article. Spot on as to why I've been drinking sour Kombucha for so long. I would like to switch to a Jun SCOBY (and batch brew) but have heard that they don't always have a newly formed SCOBY at the end of each batch. Would I continue to use the same SCOBY until a new one is formed? Any suggestions as to amount of tea bags per gallon and how many days I should brew each batch before bottling?

    Reply
    • Eric Childs

      Gary, JUN brews should be giving a new SCOBY just like traditional. Brewers might be confused if the original SCOBY joins with the new. Let us know if you need help with a set up!

      Reply
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