A S.C.O.B.Y (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) sometimes referred to as a
kombucha mother or mushroom. You are going to use it to make your own Kombucha!
Things you will need to make your new Kombucha:
Tea: Black, green, white, rooibos, the possibilities are endless. We suggest using green tea to start. This jar contains a green tea base and will react best to an organic green tea . Further down the road you may want to experiment with other teas.
Sugar: Use raw organic sugar to begin your first batch, this SCOBY was created using raw organic sugar. Once you are familiar with the brewing you can experiment with such sweeteners as maple syrup or agave syrup.
A One litre jar, a rubber band and something to cover your jar with that is able to breathe and keep dust or bugs out. We suggest a clean fabric such as cotton and advise to not use cheese cloth. Fruit flies can make their way through cheesecloth.
Step 1: Brew a batch of STRONG TEA. 3 tea bags or the loose equivalent to 3.5 cups of water to start. Always let the water cool down to room temperature before continuing. The colour should be light green or brown.
Step 2: Add 1/4 cup of sugar to your tea and dissolve completely.
Step 3: When the mixture is room temperature,add the complete contents of this kit into your one liter jar. Pour gently adding all of the culture and the SCOBY.
Step 4: Cover the top of your jar with your fabric and use a rubber band to hold it in place. This makes sure your Tea can get air, and keeps undesirable contaminants out.
Step 5: Wait. You do not need to put your tea in the fridge, a counter top is fine. Kombucha brews best at room temperature.
The time it takes to make Kombucha can vary. 11-14 days is a rough guideline. We suggest tasting it after after a few days. It should be starting to get a slightly sour taste with very mild carbonation. This is a good sign. Your SCOBY should also be slowly starting to get thicker and grow. The more growing time you give your Kombucha, the stronger it will taste. Find your personal desired level of sweetness and sour and go from there. Always keep your SCOBY clean! The bacteria are very sensitive to other bacteria and contaminants. Your SCOBY should be a translucent white or slight brown colour.
Additional tips for your first batch of kombucha:
1. Start small. Only brew one litre of kombucha for your first few batches. The reason for this is that the culture you have bought from Pyramid Ferments will react best when slowly grown in to a bigger batch. After three one litre batches the SCOBY is yours, it's used to you, your habits, your house, your air etc... It may sound silly, but believe us, they can be a little stubborn and will continue to serve you best if you cultivate them slowly.
2. Never use hot or boiling water on your SCOBY. This is a LIVE culture of bacteria and yeast and you will do a great amount of damage or even kill the culture. This also goes for freezing the SCOBY, just remember, if you wouldn't like it, the SCOBY probably wont as well.
3. You don't need to store your SCOBY in the fridge. All this does is slow the fermentation to a crawl and make it way more difficult for your bacteria to latch on and make a new batch. Room temperature is best,always.
4. Keep a backup SCOBY if you are going to experiment. We fully endorse experimentation of any kind, it's part of the fun of brewing kombucha, making it yours. Our SCOBY's react best to Organic Green Tea and Organic Cane sugar because that is what they are used to. That being said, once you have a backup and have grown out additional SCOBY's, the sky is the limit, different teas, sweeteners, fruit, waters, herbs etc... Have fun and don't get discouraged if every batch doesn't work perfectly.
5. "Is this mould ?" We get this question a lot and 90% of the time the kombucha isn't mouldy. What's happening is your kombucha is growing a new SCOBY on top of your brew. Sometimes this can look a little strange to start. Sometimes SCOBY's float, sometimes they sink, sometimes they are brown, they can really vary. Eventually after several brews it will start to thicken up and not look so strange. All of his being said, mould can happen, nothing works 100% of the time. The main reasons we see batches going to mould are:
1. Trying to make too much kombucha at once and not starting slowly. There is not enough culture in our SCOBYs to ferment large batches to start.
2. Using hot water or keeping your SCOBY in the fridge prior to brewing and not letting it come back up to room temperature. The SCOBYs will have a hard time starting fermentation when cold. There may be websites or blogs that say to keep your SCOBY in the fridge, but trust us, they are wrong.
3. Not having your batch covered properly. Make sure your batch of Kombucha is covered and able to get air without bugs or dust being able to get in the batch. Fruit flies LOVE kombucha and will try to get in to your jar all the time to lay eggs, make sure it is secure.