General Kombucha & SCOBY Questions
Can I use any type of tea to make my kombucha?
No, it needs to be real tea from the Camellia sinensis plant. The easiest tea to produce a quality kombucha is a organic black tea, so that no pesticide residue will interfere with the SCOBY.
For the details on which tea to use – please read through this article ‘What to know before starting your own Homemade Kombucha’ and the Homemade Kombucha instructions.
Should I use white or brown sugar to make my kombucha?
The best sugar for the health of the SCOBY is white sugar and the next best option is organic evaporated cane crystals. Brown sugar has a high molasses content which will produce a poor quality kombucha brew.
For the details on which sugar to use – please read through this article ‘What to know before starting your own Homemade Kombucha’ and the Homemade Kombucha instructions.
Are the SCOBYs reusable?
What equipment should I use to handle my SCOBY and how do I prepare everything?
Can I cut my SCOBY in half?
Theoretically, half of a SCOBY will still ferment the sweet tea into kombucha. However, if you are going to cut the SCOBY please do not use metal, and please avoid contaminating the SCOBY with other bacterial strains.
For more information, read this article.
My SCOBY is a lot bigger than my container. Does it matter?
How will I know when my kombucha is done?
Can I add flavours while brewing my kombucha?
No – you can flavour kombucha after the first fermentation cycle is complete and the liquid has been removed from the SCOBY.
The SCOBY can be contaminated and be harmed or die if you add flavouring while it is still brewing.
Can I drink kombucha while pregnant or nursing
What do I do with my SCOBY once I have finished with it?
Can I add flavours while brewing my kombucha?
Once the batch is ready, harvest the kombucha and add any flavours you want.
What do I do with my SCOBY if I am going away or want to take a break from brewing?
A SCOBY can survive for at least four weeks without any fresh sugar to feed the culture. Most experienced brewers will make something called a SCOBY hotel to leave their SCOBY for extended periods of time.Essentially this is a large jar, stacked with SCOBYs and a 50/50 mix of kombucha tea and fresh sweet tea. Leave the jar in a dark, cool place for the SCOBYs to slowly ferment the sweet tea.
After about six weeks it is a good idea to clean up any excess yeast strands and then replenish the sweet tea.
Can I drink any of the tea my SCOBY comes in?
The entire contents of the tea needs to be used for your initial brew to give your SCOBY the best chance of creating quality Kombucha. The tea inside the vacuum packaged pocket will also be very acidic on its own.
About My Order
After receiving my SCOBY, how long can I wait before I start my first ferment?
A SCOBY needs oxygen to survive, it should be immediately opened up from the packaging and used as soon as possible.
If you cannot make your kombucha brew straight away, it will be ok to leave the SCOBY in a clean jar with the starter liquid and a cotton cloth over the top to keep dust and insects out.
How can I store my SCOBY prior to my first ferment?
Why does a green tea SCOBY cost more than a black tea SCOBY?
Can I use a black tea SCOBY to make a green tea kombucha or vice versa?
Changing the tea base may stress the SCOBY, triggering a change in the flavour for the first batch or two. If you want to switch to a green or black tea, brew gradually by mixing in a different ratio of the teas over a few kombucha batches.
Where can I find out the steps for making my first kombucha?
How are the kombucha SCOBYs transported?
Our products are packaged into boxes, using either recycled cardboard, paper or plastics or FSC certified paper/cardboard for padding. We aim to limit our plastic waste as much as possible and encourage our customers to reuse or recycle the packaging materials.
How are the kombucha SCOBYs packaged?
How long will it take to get my SCOBY?
In some cases you will receive your order in only a couple of days – we will always keep you updated of when your order is packaged and dispatched.
Delivery times will also depend on where you are located in Australia – for Victorian orders expected 1-3 days for shipping. This may be longer for interstate orders.
My order has been damaged by Australia Post – what can I do?
Firstly, please take photos of the damage and send them to us. You will need to keep all packaging to make an insurance claim with Australia Post so please do not throw anything out!
After receiving compensation from Australia Post you can reorder a replacement.
There is information on the Australia Post website here about how to do this.
When our customers have made claims in the past sometimes Australia Post may say that the packaging was insufficient. Stand your ground on this and they should honour the insurance.
My SCOBY is not staying at the top of the liquid. Is this normal?
What should my culturing kombucha look like?
It is perfectly normal for ‘strings’ and ‘blogs’ to appear in the liquid – these are usually related to the yeast found in the SCOBY.
The film on the liquid surface is the baby SCOBY starting to form.
What should my SCOBY look like when the kombucha is finished?
These are some examples of the physical variations you can see in a normal SCOBY.
It has been a couple of weeks since starting my first kombucha batch. How do I know it is brewing properly?
Normally the kombucha will be ready after about two weeks if everything was done correctly. The obvious signs are a new SCOBY on the top of the liquid, a tart, acidic taste and a low pH.
For more information read through this article.
My kombucha SCOBY has brown strings coming off it. Is this normal?
You can see the yeast strings coming off the mother SCOBY with the baby SCOBY formed on the surface. These strings and blobs are normally a light to dark brown colour.
My kombucha is extremely vinegary. What have I done wrong?
My SCOBY have developed holes and rips in it. Can I still use it?
There appears to be mould on my SCOBY. Can I still use it?