Kombucha how to prevent scoby from forming

Jun-Kombucha - The noble tea mushroom

This is how the SCOBYs are delivered by fairment

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink and has been a buzzword for healthy food for years. For kombucha you need a stock culture of bacteria and yeast, known as SCOBY (= symbiosis of bacteria and yeast, in German: symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

We got a Jun-SCOBY through a competition. Jun-Kombucha is practically the "champagne" among the Kombucha mushrooms, because it is not made with sugar, like normal Kombucha, but with honey. This of course makes the whole thing much more elegant and particularly mild in taste.

Why should i drink kombucha?

Similar to milk kefir and other fermented foods, kombucha has many, but sometimes different, advantages. It is therefore always useful for the (intestinal) health to settle as many different bacterial cultures as possible. In a healthy adult, the number of bacteria in the body should be ten times that of its own cells!

Here are just a few reasons to enjoy kombucha or probiotics in general:

  • Dental health: The bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri, which is involved in lactic acid fermentation, kills bad bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Diarrhea prevention when taking antibiotics: The drug destroys the healthy bacteria in your intestines. Consuming more probiotics prevents this and keeps your gut healthy.
  • Respiratory infection reduction: Probiotics in the intestine reduce the frequency of respiratory infections (e.g. colds). Because the bacteria in the intestine are involved in the regulation of our immune system.
  • Lowering blood pressure: The above-mentioned bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to lower blood pressure in studies with placebo groups.
  • Eczema Prevention: The itchy, uncomfortable skin disease in babies can be prevented if mothers take probiotics during pregnancy.
  • Bowel Calming: A number of digestive disorders are treatable. Consuming more probiotics can be helpful in treating irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal infections, gastroenteritis, and even the inflammatory diseases of Crohn's disease and colitis.
  • Brain Health: Research has shown that everything that lives in your gut affects the development and structure of your brain. One often speaks of the “gut feeling”, of the second brain. We have heard many times that when we have to make an important decision, we should rely on it.
  • Happiness: It is estimated that 50% of our neurotransmitters are produced in the gut. Including serotonin, the so-called happiness hormone.

Kombucha, although fermented, is not alcoholic. It may contain small, insignificant amounts of ethanol, but is suitable for people of all ages. In Germany, drinks with an alcohol content of less than 1.2% are considered non-alcoholic. Kombucha usually has no more than approx. 1% alcohol and is of course limited to around two percent alcohol by volume. Alcohol is a by-product of the fermentation process.

By the way: high C orange juice also contains alcohol. This is completely natural and also not harmful. 😉

Simply make Jun-Kombucha yourself, this is how it works:

Ingredients:

  • 1 liter of filtered water
  • 60-80 g honey
  • 8 g green tea (without additives such as flavoring!)
  • 150 ml starter or preparation liquid (finished kombucha), always 15% or about 1/10 of the total amount of the finished tea
  • 1 Jun-SCOBY

Equipment:

  • water heater
  • 2-5 liter fermentation vessel (IKEA has a nice selection or other decorative stores)
  • A close-meshed cloth to cover it up - e.g. clean tea towels, hand towels, or I've recently started using nylon stockings 😀
  • If necessary, a household rubber
  • Bottles with a cap (swing-top bottles or old milk bottles are very suitable)
  • Funnels made of plastic (Why plastic?

Preparation:

Add one liter of filtered water and brew the tea with it as usual.

Remove the tea strainer and loosen the honey in the hot tea by stirring continuously.

Now let the honey-tea mixture reach approx. 30 ° C (not hotter!) cooling down, so as not to damage the SCOBY.
Tip to speed up the whole thing: instead of 1 l, simply boil 600 ml of water and proceed as described in the step with all the ingredients for 1 l. Then simply add the missing 400 ml of cold water after removing the tea. The mixing ratio is then still the same, but the tea cools relatively quickly.

Add the Add starter fluid. The pH value is lowered and the added bacteria and yeasts will help your SCOBY. This means that no pollutants can arise in its environment.

Pour the finished mixture into your fermentation vessel and add the to ferment SCOBY added.

Now seal the jar with one of the above covers. A rubber band may be helpful to fix it. This way, no annoying fruit flies can get to your kombucha.

In contrast to conventional kombucha, Jun-Kombucha ferments a little faster. After about Wait 3-4 days at room temperature can you try it. The first approach can taste very sour and unusual due to the potent starter liquid. So maybe 2 days is enough for you the first time. Then you can slowly increase the fermentation time, depending on your taste and needs.

It is normal and even desirable for a new SCOBY to form on the surface of your kombucha. By the way, it is possible that your SCOBY is floating under the surface of the water or even lying vertically. That's perfectly normal too, don't worry. Brownish scraps that hang down from your SCOBY are also normal, these are simply strands of yeast. Your fermentation is going well when you see signs like this.
Be sure to keep your container out of direct sunlight. So no window sill! The good bacteria like it dark, warm (21-25 ° C) and calm.

If you like the taste, it's time to try the ripe kombucha harvest and bottle. Wash your hands thoroughly or use a plastic strainer to get the SCOBY out of the fermentation vessel. Put it on a clean plate (and cover it immediately with a second plate if you have a lot of fruit flies in your kitchen!). If the SCOBY has increased, you can simply detach the new SCOBY from the previous one and give it away or set up a second batch.

Take off 150 ml of the finished kombucha for your next batch as Starter fluid and use a funnel to pour the rest into your provided bottles.

If you want to enhance the taste of the kombucha, you can now add fruit juices, real fruits or spices and the bottles for the 2. Fermentation let stand for another 3-4 days at room temperature with formation of carbonic acid. Then it's off to the fridge for a nice cool, tangy drink. It can then be kept there for at least a month.

DANGER:It is recommended to watch the bottles and, if necessary, to vent them if there are bubbles or foam formation on top. It has happened before that Bottles burst if the pressure is too high!

After you have thoroughly cleaned and rinsed the fermentation vessel with detergent, you can start all over again or ...

2. Fermentation

... use the SCOBY hotel

If you have too many SCOBYs, can no longer find a buyer or are going on vacation, the SCOBY Hotel is the perfect choice.

You can store all SCOBYs together in a glass jar in liquid. The liquid is preparation liquid, i.e. finished kombucha. The whole thing can then Weeks, months, or even years because Kombucha SCOBYs are very easy to care for. You don't have to feed it regularly like kefir and the low pH, which is roughly between 2.5 and 3.5, makes kombucha one of the safest ferments to use at home and virtually immune to the hostile microorganisms that can spoil it.

There are two different hotel options: Either you leave the vessel “open” and cover it (as during fermentation) only with an air-permeable cloth or you put everything in the refrigerator, hermetically sealed.
In the open version, the mushrooms continue to grow, but only on the surface.

If you decide to store it completely closed, be aware that the mushrooms, if you want to use them again for kombucha production, will take a little longer to wake up from their "hibernation" and that the fermentation will take a little more time afterwards will take.
SCOBYs that come from a cool environment are also a little more prone to mold, spoilage or a bland taste. But this improves after the first fermentation.
We therefore use the first variant at home and can recommend it to you.

The whole thing then works as follows:

Take a sufficiently large, clean vessel, fresh honey tea until the vessel is about half full and starter liquid. The ratio of fresh tea and starter liquid should be around 50:50. This ensures a suitable (not too basic) pH value, which then prevents the culture from spoiling. Add SCOBYs - DONE!

Every now and then, some care is still necessary:

1. Remove yeast: From time to time the yeasts that form need to be removed. If they are in the vast majority, there is an imbalance between the yeast and bacteria and hinder the symbiosis, i.e. the optimal interaction between the two organisms. The yeast components are dark and hang as lumps or scraps on the SCOBY or collect at the bottom of the vessel when they have completed their life cycle.

  • Take the SCOBYs out of the hotel and clean them with lukewarm water or vinegar water.
  • Filter the liquid from the hotel through a cloth into a clean container (do not throw the liquid away, it is your new potent starter culture, which you can also use for new approaches at any time!) - despite the filtering of the large yeast components, enough yeast still remains in the Liquid as well as in the SCOBYs themselves.
  • The hotel jar is then washed out to remove the yeast that is still stuck in the jar

2. Trim SCOBYs: In the hotel too, if it is stored at room temperature and air can circulate, a new SCOBY will form on the surface. The longer the period, the thicker this SCOBY naturally becomes. And the thicker the SCOBY, the less oxygen gets to the liquid underneath (if there is no air, carbonic acid is also produced). Crushing the tea mushrooms helps keep the oxygen available.

  • With some mushrooms, you can simply peel the layers off each other manually, turning one thick slice into several thin slices. If something tears in the process, it is not a problem and it does not hurt the SCOBY either.
  • If the layers are not so easy to separate, you can do this with a knife or scissors (clean the utensils with vinegar or kombucha vinegar beforehand!). Then cut the SCOBY lengthways to reduce the thickness. Soft or frayed ends can also be cut off.
  • When the SCOBYs have all been trimmed to the optimum size, they can be returned to the hotel.

Advantages of the hotel in addition to the long storage:

You always have a potent starter liquid at hand that you can use for new approaches. Keep in mind that this is very acidic and that it also shortens the fermentation time, as already mentioned above.
It is also not necessary to add new sweetened tea every time you take out liquid. From time to time you should do this, however, so that there is always enough liquid in the hotel and you always have sour kombucha ready.

Some Kombucha brewers prefer to let the SCOBYs and some liquid wander back and forth between the fermentation vessel and the hotel. The SCOBY, which was previously used for the Kombucha production, then goes back to the hotel and waits to be used for a later approach.

With this method, the cultures always remain active and at the same time always get a certain rest period, which may have a positive effect on them.

In the middle: the SCOBY Hotel

Versatility

With Kombucha, there are no limits to your imagination. We currently use it mainly as a lemonade or fizzy drink, in various flavors.

But I've also seen it as a punch, cocktail, beer, ice cream or candy.

Just like milk kefir, it can be processed into sourdough bread.

You can also make vinegar from Kombucha if you let the mixture stand long enough. This is then suitable for salad, for making ketchup or as a cleaning agent.

Many have also reported about soap, face cream or hair treatments.

Some use their SCOBYs as fertilizer in small mashes.
Here you will find more ideas on what you can still process the many SCOBYs into.

And now you!

As you research and research about fermented drinks and recipes, you may stumble upon claims (or family members with their hands clasped over their heads ...) that they can be harmful. Infections from harmful microorganisms that contaminate the probiotic cultures used in production are said to be at risk. Whenever you work with bacteria and yeast, you should be careful and work very cleanly to avoid contamination! But the risks of brewing your own fermented drinks are very small.
Kombucha is a drink with an acidic pH. In such a milieu, bad bacteria & germs have no chance to grow, as described briefly above. It is inherently safe. Fermented drinks have been around in cultures around the world for thousands of years and they have always been brewed in much more unsanitary environments than they are today and have always been safe. Incidentally, fermentation is the only one of all processes for “preservation” in which there is no documented case of poisoning.

If it does go wrong, the following principle applies: Whenever it gets hairy, green fur, throw everything away! Many in various forums and groups are still trying a rescue operation in order not to have to dispose of the beloved SCOBY. I can only strongly advise against that, as mold spores are spread everywhere and you cannot see them! These spores are very dangerous to health.

Nobody needs disgustingly sweet Cola, Fanta and Co. when there is a healthy, probiotic, wonderfully sparkling "lemonade" that you can easily make yourself at home with a lot of fun.
You don't even have to buy the starter cultures dearly. As they continue to grow or multiply, the enthusiastic home brewers are always happy when there are new customers. You are sure to find what you are looking for online. So, what are you waiting for?

good mood with blueberry kombucha

 

Author

Verena
As someone who works in a medical profession, I deal with the human body from home. However, since my "diagnosis of insulin resistance" I live it out a lot more with my wife and deal a lot with health and nutrition issues. In addition, years ago we turned our back on the "mainstream" and dealt more closely with political issues ... and food is very political.