Scoby sounds a bit like a wonderful mythical creature from a fantasy world. In fact, it is the Kombucha culture. What exactly does the name stand for How do Scobys work in detail? How do I grow my own little mushroom and you can find many more answers to your questions about the miracle mushroom here!
First things first: what is kombucha actually?
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink with a centuries-old tradition. With the Support of the Scoby, also called Kombucha mushroom, tea, sugar, water and a starter liquid are transformed into a delicious drink.t. The Scobys with their many small microorganisms and their enzymes does a great job within 7-14 days. From a liquid with four simple ingredients, the end result is the fermentation a soft drink full of healthy nutrients and other microorganisms. Kombucha contains e.g. various organic acids, vitamins and trace elements . You would like to find out more about the topic and the microorganisms. You can find more detailed information about Kombucha on our KOMBUCHERY blog .
What does SCOBY stand for?
You have probably already wondered what the name stands for or where it comes from. Scoby is the English abbreviation for SYMBIOTIC CULTURE OF BACTERIA AND YEASTS . Simply put, a symbiosis of bacteria and yeast cultures. The culture is also called Mushroom, miracle mushroom or as Kombucha mother designated. Scobys can be kept for weeks in a jar with masking liquid and will not go bad if you take good care of them. Without the hard-working Scobys, our unpasteurized and probiotic kombuchas would not exist.
What is a scoby made of?The scoby is actually not a real mushroom. In the botanical sense it is more of a lichen. It has a whitish-beige substance and takes on various round shapes. A wide variety of microorganisms, bacteria (e.g. lactic acid bacteria) and yeast live together in this substance, similar to a symbiosis. They basically help each other to survive. This is also held together by cellulose. For example, yeasts produce alcohol, which in turn can be used by bacteria. Which then produce valuable organic acids from alcohol and oxygen. A pretty ingenious concept from nature!
At a glance:
- Bacterial cultures (e.g. lactic acid and vinegar bacteria)
- Yeast cultures
- Interplay in a kind of symbiosis
This is what a kombucha scoby looks like
He almost always has one thing in common. Its round pancake-like shape. It consists of whitish, gelatinous layers. These feel a little slimy and take getting used to. Depending on the type of tea used, its color can vary from beige to dark brown to slightly pink. Its surface can be smooth, but it can also be very uneven. During the fermentation process, holes or small bulges can even appear - this is completely normal! Depending on the proportion of liquid, its composition is either more or less glassy. If you breed your own Scobies at home, they are initially thin. They form new layers from day to day and are getting thicker and thicker. Scobies also have a slight smell of vinegar..
Check your Scoby: Is that normal??
You are not entirely sure whether your tea mushroom is still healthy We help you to interpret your little Scobies. A few simple checks and you're on the safe side.Your little care instructions!My scoby…
… has small black or green spots: Caution, please throw mold away..
... has different colors: this can happen and is completely normal.
... has small white vesicles in the early stages: This can also happen and does not have to be mold.
... lies at the bottom of the vessel: No panic! In the worst case, a new kombuchascoby will form on the surface.
... is dark brown and falling apart: Your mushroom is a bit exhausted and should be sent to the end of the day it deserves.
... my scobies smell like vinegar: This is completely normal, this is how healthy Scobies should smell. The approach liquid is also usually more intense in smell.
... my Scoby sinks to the bottom of the vessel: Do not worry! That happens and faster than you can see, a new scoby forms on the cover liquid!
This is what a healthy scoby looks like!
This is what mold looks like on a Kombucha culture!
From scoby to kombucha: this is how the tea mushroom works
- Similar to kefir and kefir grains Kombucha is created during fermentation with the Support of a culture.
- The culture, consisting of bacteria and yeast, uses the sweetened tea as a nutrient solution.
- One is common Tea infusion as a base from black tea or a mixture with green tea.
- The Kombucha tea fungus initially spreads on the nutrient solution in the vessel. In some cases the fungus sinks to the bottom. Then a new one slowly forms on the surface, and the lower one usually stops growing. With a little time it forms more and more gelatinous layers and becomes thicker and thicker.
- The yeast first metabolize sugar into alcohol.
- The Bacteria and metabolize the alcohol and various substances from the tea in turn into organic acids and other valuable nutrients.
The symbiosis with the look that takes getting used to really does a great job!
Make kombucha yourself: This is how it works [recipe]:https://kombuchery.de/blogs/kombucha/selber-machen-fuer-beginner
Where can I get a scoby for kombucha??
Now that you already know so much about the miracle mushroom, you surely want to know how you can bring it to your home. This is not difficult at all and possible in different variants.
Make Scoby yourself
Many people do not know it, but growing your own kombucha is not difficult at all. All you need is sugar, tea, water and an unpasteurized kombucha as a starter liquid (e.g. our Original). This way you can save money and watch the fermentation process from the beginning. You can find detailed instructions for making them at home here.
Making the kombucha mushroom [instructions]:https://kombuchery.de/blogs/kombucha/kombucha-selber-machen-rezept
Various providers have practically made a business out of kombucha scoby breeding and sell this and the so-called liquid on the Internet. This saves you time in which you would have to plant the mushroom yourself. These are then sent in a starter liquid. Which is actually just very acidic, unpasteurized kombucha.
Get Scoby for free
If you are really lucky you have someone in your circle of friends who can do without a miracle mushroom and some starter liquid for you. With this and the Kombuchascoby you can then tackle your new approach.
Save scoby for kombucha
The great thing about a kombucha mushroom is that you can't just use it once for fermentation. Well cared for and stored, it can give you pleasure for a long time. Kombucha lovers and gourmets also like to affectionately call the storage place a hotel. A place where the Kombucha mushroom feels comfortable and is waiting for you for the next fermentation. The hotel is, simply put, a large glass filled with lump liquid. You use unpasteurized sour kombucha as the starting liquid. The jar should be stored at room temperature. Your kombucha mushroom should be completely covered with batch liquid and covered with an air-permeable cloth. A pH value of 2.3 to 3.5 is ideal for your scobies. The low pH value makes it difficult for germs to multiply.
At a glance:
- store at room temperature
- no direct sunlight
- Cover the glass with a light cloth
- The tea fungus should be covered with liquid
- If necessary, feed with a little sugar every now and then
- can also be stored in the refrigerator with the glass closed (must be reactivated afterwards)
- Follow care instructions
Everything to store in the Scoby Hotel: https://kombuchery.de/blogs/kombucha/scoby-hotel-lagerung-und-haltbarkeit
Scoby or not Scoby the mushroom makes it bubble!!
As you have noticed, the Kombucha Scoby is a true wonder of nature. With the Support of its many small microorganisms, it conjures up a delicious probiotic tea drink. With a little patience, you can grow your own scoby at home and start making your own kombucha straight away. If this is too time-consuming for you, that's not a problem. We ferment our kombucha like your grandma and bottle it directly for you. You can still make your own kombucha mushroom from our unpasteurized Original .
FAQs about the Scoby and Kombucha
How long does it take to breed my own Scobies
Depending on the condition, it can 6 to 21 days take time for scobies to form. It often takes longer in winter than in summer.
Can you accidentally break the mushroom??
The tea mushroom can take a lot. You can even use scissors to remove yeast streaks or the like. However, it can suffer from various conditions and become inactive and sluggish. On the one hand, it shouldn't be too thick. In addition, never wash the vessel in which he lives with detergent beforehand (preferably with vinegar). Maintain a hygienic environment free of fruit flies. Do not put in hot tea.
Can you eat the scoby?
In fact, you can even eat Scobys. Whether as an ingredient in a smoothie or dried as a jerky. Some kombucha hardliners also use it as a substitute for raw fish.
How is a scoby made?
The complex structure of cellulose, yeast and bacteria is created during fermentation through budding and / or splitting. First a gelatinous layer forms on the surface of the sweetened tea. Over time, new layers keep forming.
Is it dangerous to breed the scoby yourself?
Breeding a scoby is by no means dangerous. It is important to comply with all hygiene regulations. Of course, if the fungus is infected with mold, you have to be very careful and dispose of it. Important: Small bubbles, foam and tea deposits are not mold, but normal results of the fermentation process.
How often can you drink kombucha?
There is no exact consumption recommendation for kombucha. We recommend slowly approaching the tea drink. Everyone tolerates the drink differently. A bottle every day integrated into everyday life is, however, a good measure.
How healthy is kombucha?
Kombucha offers a healthy alternative to traditional soft drinks. With the many living cultures and diverse nutrients, it is a drink that not only quenches your thirst. But it also applies here that a kombucha with a lot of sugar is of course not as healthy as one with as little as possible.
Thank you for reading!