Kombucha Question - How often do you separate the SCOBY?
I'm still by all means a Kombucha tea newbie, having started brewing my own just a few months ago. For the most part, it's going good. I've encountered some issues here and there, like fruit flies getting in through the cheese cloth (I now use a piece of paper towel) and very slow fermentation due to how cool the temp is in our house.
OK, so I've been wondering how often I should separate the old culture from the new one. Also, last time I did so, I had to slightly tear the SCOBY as it wouldn't part easily. I think the poor thing didn't like it. Is there an easier way of doing this?
Hi Carmella, as someone who got her first kombucha baby 10 years ago, I can only advise you to separate the layers where it comes apart easily. If you absolutely cannot separate it (it often grows together) you can use a knife to help separate the layers gently. Tearing weakens the scoby, because it has to invest a lot of energy to repare the hole. It's better to wait till it's a bit thicker (older), it will separate much easier. But how fast it grows depends on the temperature and sugar amount you use for the tea. Normally it grows (gets thicker) faster in the summer and slows down when the temperatures drop.
I hope this helps...
Thanks, that helps a lot! It totally makes sense too. As a living (and somewhat magical, if you ask me! ) organism, I can see how the tearing is not a healthy/good thing for it. I'll be more careful next time.
And thanks for the info regarding how quickly it grows; I was wondering about that.
I guess my concern was that if an old layer has been there too long, it would give a bitter taste to the brew. Has this been your experience?
Yeah, it's been more than 10 years now... My family got the first culture when my father was diagnosed with cancer, but unfortunately it was too late. Kombucha is known to have a huge cancer-fighting potential as well as many other health benefits.
I took a bottle of the drink with me when I came to Canada and started a new culture. It was fine for a long time but it died last year (didn't like to move too often ). I was lucky to get another one so I just continued to grow it.
Nothing wrong with the old layers in my experience. It's better to separate the scoby when it becomes too thick, because your drink will become too strong. Maybe that's what you describe as a bitter taste. I always separate mine when it's more than cca. 2 cm thick, even if I have to throw out the old one, which I hate to do, but you can't find a person who wants it each time. But, your situation is different, you have a dog and they like to eat it.
I so appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with Kombucha. I only got to 'talk' about it with one other person before and that was a while back so it's been a lone journey for me.
I first heard about kombucha only a couple of years ago. I know it is said to be of assistance with a number of conditions, but in my case, what particularly drew my attention was how it can help with candida overgrowth. Although raw foods seems to have taken care of it for me, when I was recently given an opportunity to get a culture from someone locally, I jumped on it anyways. John dowsed about KT and it revealed that it would have a positive effect on my health if I took it.
You're being so helpful and I'm so glad to know that I don't have to throw the old culture out. Yay! I never felt good about doing that.
Let's hope my culture will recover from the trauma I caused it. Scobies sure seem to be pretty tough little guys.