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What to do with Extra SCOBYs?

Extra Kombucha SCOBYs in hotel

15 Ways to use Extra Kombucha SCOBYs 

As a home brewer, watching your kombucha brew change and grow everyday, it’s normal to get attached to your SCOBYs! In each batch brew, the mother culture grows a new baby SCOBY on the top of your brew jar each time your brew. As you continuing to brew, you’ll find yourself with a whole bunch of SCOBYs.

We don’t recommend leaving too many SCOBYs in your brew as it will start to make your kombucha taste vinegary before your brew has had time to properly ferment. At YEABUCHA, we find that a lot of our brewers don’t feel right about throwing away a SCOBYs they’ve nurtured for so long. So what is a kombucha brewer to do with all these precious SCOBYs?

First things first: Open up a SCOBY Hotel. A SCOBY Hotel is really easy to set up and it gives you a safe place to preserve extra SCOBYs. Grab one of our SCOBY Hotel Kits and set it up the next time you brew. Transfer your SCOBYs to a hotel for safekeeping and secure your ability to brew indefinitely. Should anything ever happen to your brew (neglect, mold, vinegar worms, etc), a SCOBY hotel allows you restart right away with a new SCOBY and starter liquid. Plus a SCOBY hotel makes sharing with friends & family super easy. Just be sure NOT to stick your SCOBYs or hotel in the fridge!

 As it turns out our natural inclination to want to save our beloved SCOBYs is leading us in the right direction because SCOBYs can be used in so many different ways. SCOBYs will be safe and healthy in your hotel until you are ready to use them in some of our creative ways below:

  • Elderberry Probiotic Gummies - Use your elderberry syrup to make these sweet and sour gummies that are kid and gut approved. These tasty treats are sure to give your digestion and immune system a whole lot of love (and nutrients, vitamins and minerals).
  • Add a SCOBY to your smoothie - soothe upset stomachs, help detox and aid in digestion with a boosted smoothie. Check out our delicious recipes here and simply add a ½ or whole SCOBY in. 
YEABUCHA Kombucha Smoothie made with SCOBY
  • Make Jerky  - cut up your SCOBY into slices, marinating in your favorite flavors (Asian or BBQ, etc.) overnight and dehydrating at 100 degrees for 15-30 hours.
  • Compost your SCOBYs -  they are rich in probiotics and will help increase the soil’s nutrient availability.
  • Give your garden some love - place pureed SCOBY around the base of your plants or mix in the soil in your planters. Indoor plants love SCOBYs as well! 
YEABUCHA Kombucha uses for extra SCOBYs in your gardenUse YEABUCHA Kombucha SCOBYs in your gardenUse YEABUCHA Kombucha SCOBYs in your garden

  • Soothe dry skin -  Puree 2 - 3 SCOBYs with a tablespoon of coconut oil. This moisture rich cream will nourish your skin and help decrease itchiness.
  • Scar Cream - Make a batch of SCOBY Scar Cream to keep on hand, especially if you have little ones. Mix a SCOBY with Vitamin E oil & essential oils and apply liberally.
  • SCOBY “Bandaids” - Use a thin piece of SCOBY to help a wound heal. Clean thoroughly and then place directly on wound and wrap with bandage. Leave on for 20 minutes or until it dries out. The low pH and unique cellular structure of SCOBYs have been known to promote healing.
  • Manage psoriasis and eczema flare ups - Use your SCOBYs to make a Soothing Skin Cream. Apply to affected areas and let it dry completely (approximately 20 min). Store cream in a jar for up to six months.  
YEABUCHA Kombucha Chopped up kombucha SCOBY used for skin care
  • Treat cradle cap - Place a thin piece of SCOBY on affected skin for 10 minutes. SCOBY will help reset the pH of the skin and inhibit the growth of microbes.
  • Soothe sunburns & minor burns - Place a piece of SCOBY on affected area several times a day to help reduce scarring and speed up the healing.
  • Play with a SCOBY -  this can be a fun sensory activity and learning opportunity for children. The SCOBY can be cut with scissors, a kid friendly knife, or with the help of an adult. Plus, it’s all natural and safe to eat if your child is curious! 
YEABUCHA Kombucha SCOBY, used for children's play, safe to eat

  • SCOBY Dog Treats - Easy to make and full of beneficial probiotics. Ditch the rawhide and give your fur baby a treat that is safe and nutritious. Our animals are often subjected to the same toxins and questionable food as humans. They too can benefit from the good bacteria, detox support and digestive aide that come from a SCOBY.
  • Make probiotics for your pet - Your extra SCOBYs can be mixed into your pets food to aid in digestion and support their immune systems. Puree one SCOBY and 2 tbs of plain kombucha until smooth (will look like applesauce) and store in a sealed jar at room temperature. Several times a week mix the SCOBY puree with pet food. 1 tbsp small animals/ 2 tbsp medium sized animals/ 2 tbsp large animals 
YEABUCHA Kombucha SCOBYs used in dog foods
  • Feed it to your chickens - If you’ve got a home coop, try chopping up your SCOBY  and sharing with the birds. There have been many reports of SCOBY fed chickens being larger in size, healthier and having larger eggs with sturdier shells. Plus the amino acids in SCOBYs will also help chickens absorb nutrients in their food.

YEABUCHA Kombucha SCOBYs being used at Chicken Food

Let us know your favorite alternative ways to use kombucha SCOBYs in the comments below or share with us on our Facebook or Instagram pages. We love engaging with brewers and hearing your ideas!

If you haven’t noticed, we LOVE using SCOBYs and kombucha for our skin, it turns out kombucha is just as good for your outside as it is for your insides! You’ve got to try our Organic Kombucha Face Mask, we swear it’s a miracle worker!

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  • The YEABUCHA Sisters on

    There are lots of ways to continue using a SCOBY if you are done brewing kombucha with it! But if you must dispose of it, it can be composted like most food waste. Alternatively, you can just toss it in the trash.

  • Linda on

    How do I let go, toss a scoby? Can I put them in the garbage? Should I empty all the liquid and let them dry out?

  • The YEABUCHA Sisters on

    We recommend keeping SCOBYs out of the refrigerator as it can kill the bacteria that is necessary for fermentation. SCOBYs can survive long term in a jar or even a really tight ziploc, as long as they have sweet tea or kombucha to feed off of. You might want to consider a SCOBY hotel to house your extra SCOBYs before you are ready to use them. However you are storing your SCOBYs, be sure they are covered in liquid. 
    For creams and SCOBY facemasks, these can live on your shelf unrefrigerated for about 6 + months. You CAN put them in the refrigerator for a nice cool effect, but it will not affect the shelf life.  

  • Jillian Johnson on

    Hello! I have quite a few extra scobys that I am ready to use for other things. Can I put them in a Ziploc bag and leave them in the fridge if I am not ready to make jerky right in this moment? Or storing any of the creams you suggest in the blog – should they be refrigerated after making? Thanks in advance.

  • Rachel Lee Robertson on

    Hi I am letting my scobie dehydrate in fridge & they
    Are sweet & chewy to snack on & surprisingly sweet

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