Homemade Kombucha Week 3: Is There Anything Uglier Than a SCOBY?

Spring Projects From The Kitchn

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For my spring project I'm making homemade kombucha, and I've encountered some strange, mostly interesting things along the way. Last week I said I was worried that my SCOBY might have developed some kinda mold: There were strange white spots on the mother, and something that looked like white film was growing beneath it as well.

This week it was time to bottle the kombucha for flavoring and make a new batch. When I took my SCOBY out this is what it looked like. Ugly? Yes. But As it turns out, everything was just fine.

You see, my original SCOBY was much smaller than the mouth of the jar I was making kombucha in, and therefore the SCOBY needed to grow to cover the entire surface area. The brown blog you see sitting on top of the white blog was the original SCOBY, and it slid off very easily after fermentation. The white spots were just air pockets, and the brown stringy stuff was just some good yeasty-ness. Huzzah!

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This week I flavored some of the kombucha with ginger, let it carbonate, and it's now sitting in my fridge waiting to be consumed. I can't wait to try it! I also made a new batch.

Next Week:

Next week I'm testing the kombucha, making a new batch, and maybe trying out a new kind of flavoring –– anyone have any suggestions? Something you really love?

(Image credits: Ariel Knutson)

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Ariel is the Assistant Editor for The Kitchn, where she writes and manages social media. She lives in New York.

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