Troubleshooting - Kombucha

This page is where you can troubleshoot almost anything on your Kombucha making journey!

Visible changes
As culturing takes place, the sweet tea may become lighter or cloudy. You may also see another SCOBY form on top of your original SCOBY, as well as yeast strains and residue at the bottom of your culturing jar.

You’ll notice a tart, slightly vinegary aroma coming from the jar.

Floating or sinking SCOBY
The position of the SCOBY does not influence their effectiveness.

No growth or multiplication of the SCOBY
While Kombucha SCOBYs do grow and multiply, they are sometimes reluctant to do so. Even if your SCOBY does not immediately grow or multiply, it should still make good Kombucha indefinitely.

SCOBY has bubbles on surface
If the SCOBY has an uneven surface, it is not a bad sign. The tea can be changed to see if the SCOBY changes, however this is not necessary.

Brown pieces or stringy particles on the SCOBY
The Kombucha SCOBY forms yeast strains that sometimes leaves some residue on the SCOBY itself. The residue is not harmful, and may be left in the Kombucha or removed and discarded.

My SCOBY has a hole in it
Kombucha SCOBYs will work even if they have holes in them or have been torn. They will eventually grow to the size and the shape of the fermentation vessel they are placed in.

Rapid growth of the SCOBY
Under the right conditions, your SCOBY may grow and multiply very quickly. Too many SCOBYsin a batch may crowd the bacteria and cause the sweet tea to culture several hours faster than usual. In this case, you can slice off the newly formed SCOBY and place it in a new jar with sweet tea.

Kombucha develops mould
If your Kombucha has developed mould, please discharge it and do not use the starter liquid or SCOBY from that batch to culture any other batch.

Taking a break
To take a break from making Kombucha, prepare a fresh batch of sweet tea and place the SCOBY along with the tea in a jar, cover and store it in a refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. For longer storage, ask somebody to take care of them.
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