Hi! Have you met SCOBY?
What is SCOBY?
I guess if you are new to the Kombucha world you might feel initially a little bit confused with all that hype around a drink prepared from a weird looking pancake. That just means that you haven´t had the pleasure of meeting SCOBY yet. His full name is Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast but as he is quite a humble guy he just asks to be called SCOBY, or for friends and family SCOBY-DO. ;)
What SCOBY needs?
SCOBY is a quite easy going guy but deep inside can be quite sensitive. To keep him happy and productive (so it can work hard on your Kombucha fermentation process) you must provide him with certain conditions. Ensure that your SCOBY has enough supply of oxygen and adequate nutrients to keep him always in good shape. Because a SCOBY can be used for life and you need to look after it.
In each brewing batch SCOBY will create its own offspring floating on the surface of the fermentation pot. If you happen to have a friend that brews Kombucha tea with healthy, organic ingredients and in clean, suitable conditions you can always ask him to spare you one SCOBY. Otherwise, you can order it from a reliable source (like Kombucha Comunity for example. ;)) Before ordering it online make sure that your SCOBY will be of good quality. Find out what kind of tea was used. Ordinary black and green unfermented teas have proved to give the best health benefits in the Kombucha tea. It is also very important to know what kind of water was used in the brewing process as SCOBY only likes chemical-free water (do not use water straight from the tap!). Make sure the SCOBY was not growing in a container made out of plastic, aluminum or lead crystal glass as it could release some toxic substances into the drink.
Why is SCOBY so essential in the KOMBUCHA brewing process?
Without adding SCOBY to your sweet tea you will just end up with well…just a sweet tea. It might be tasty but won't have all benefits of Kombucha tea. Remember that SCOBY is indeed a live symbiosis of yeast and bacteria. If you provide it good conditions (meaning nice sweet tea so it can ferment and warm (but not hot), dark and airy environment) SCOBY will start working like a little chemical factory. It will feed on sugar and turn them into organic acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that are super beneficial for our health. Kombucha tea will reach its optimum benefits when the SCOBY has processed all the sugar. In this way you don't have to be worried about putting on weight as our little ´pancake-like´ fellow takes that burden from you. As you can see you just need to understand SCOBYs needs and it will pay you back. And I can guarantee… your guts will thank you for that too!
Whatever the colour, it's still beautiful
SCOBY will get different colours, depending on the tea that was used during fermentation process and how old the SCOBY is. The colours can differ between clear, creamy colour and a brown, dirty like shade. All of them are fine and we advise that you to love your SCOBY no matter what its colour is. Each time you brew a new Kombucha batch SCOBY will produce an offspring on the surface of your fermentation pot. The baby SCOBY can also have slightly different colour than its ´mummy´ and there is no reason to panic about that. It just mean that you have used different tea types in the brewing process than the person you have taken the ´mummy´ SOCBY from.
The shape doesn't really matter
SCOBY come in different shapes. Mother SCOBY will produce its off-springs each time you brew a new drink. SCOBY it not a lonely type so it creates a friend with each fermentation batch. The offspring will always take the shape and size of your brewing pot as it will grow on the surface of the drink. The new offspring staying on the surface of your drink will cover all the surface of the vessel and create a sort of the seal on the top, creating the perfect environment helping Kombucha tea in the brewing process.
Let us know how your brewing process is going on. In case you have any questions about SCOBY or a brewing process write it in the comment or send us an email.