Kombucha brewing is a rewarding process that allows you to create a unique, fermented tea beverage right at home. However, life can sometimes get in the way, and you might find yourself taking a break from brewing. Whether you’ve been away for a few weeks or several months, reviving your kombucha brewing process is entirely possible and easier than you might think. This article will guide you through the steps to revive your kombucha brewing after a long break.
Understanding the SCOBY
The heart of kombucha brewing is the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). This gelatinous disc is responsible for transforming sweet tea into the tangy, fizzy beverage we know as kombucha. If you’ve taken a break from brewing, the first thing you’ll need to do is assess the condition of your SCOBY.
Assessing Your SCOBY
If you’ve stored your SCOBY in a SCOBY hotel (a jar filled with mature kombucha), it can survive for several months without fresh tea. When you’re ready to start brewing again, take a look at your SCOBY. A healthy SCOBY should be creamy or light brown in color and have a slightly yeasty, vinegary smell. If your SCOBY has black or green mold, or smells rancid, it’s best to discard it and start with a new one.
Reviving Your SCOBY
If your SCOBY looks and smells healthy, it’s time to revive it. Here’s how:
1. Brew a fresh batch of sweet tea: The ratio is typically 1 cup of sugar to 1 gallon of tea. You can use black, green, or white tea, but avoid flavored or herbal teas as they can harm the SCOBY.
2. Cool the tea: Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature. Adding a SCOBY to hot tea can kill the beneficial bacteria and yeast.
3. Add the SCOBY: Once the tea is cool, add your SCOBY along with at least 1 cup of the liquid from the SCOBY hotel. This acidic liquid, often referred to as starter tea, helps to create the right environment for the SCOBY to ferment the fresh batch of sweet tea.
4. Ferment: Cover your jar with a breathable cloth, secured with a rubber band, and allow it to ferment in a warm, dark place away from direct sunlight and strong odors. The ideal temperature for kombucha brewing is between 70-85°F (21-29°C).
5. Wait and taste: After about a week, start tasting your kombucha. Once it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that you like, it’s ready to drink or move on to the second fermentation.
Restarting with a New SCOBY
1. Brew and cool a batch of sweet tea.
2. Pour the store-bought kombucha into the jar, making sure it contains the bits of SCOBY often found at the bottom of the bottle.
3. Cover the jar and let it sit in a warm, dark place.
4. After 1-4 weeks, a new SCOBY should form on the surface of the liquid. Once the SCOBY is about 1/4 inch thick, you can start using it to brew kombucha.
Reviving your kombucha brewing after a long break is a straightforward process. Whether you’re reviving your old SCOBY or starting with a new one, the key is to create the right environment for fermentation. With a little patience and care, you’ll be back to brewing and enjoying your homemade kombucha in no time. Happy brewing y’all!
Interested in a deeper dive. Check out this Youtube video link on reviving your Kombucha Brewing!
Need a refresher on next steps to brew? Check out some of our other Blog Posts!
- Check out our QuickStart Guide
- Supplies you need to Brew Kombucha
- Top National Kombucha Brands to buy from the store!