Yeast in Kombucha - 3 Things you Should Know

Clump of brown stringy stuff growing in my home-brew kombucha.  Its just yeast!

If you’re a kombucha brewer, you’ve definitely experienced yeast before. We get lots of questions about what that brown stringy stuff is that’s floating around your brew or growing along the bottom of your SCOBY. Don’t worry, it’s not mold, its just yeast! While it might not be the most attractive part of homebrewing (and can even make your brew look a bit cloudy), yeast plays a critical role in the fermentation process and helps carbonate your kombucha by releasing carbon dioxide.  We sure love having lots of carbonation in our booch


Clump of brown good growing in kombucha Yeast is a single-cell, fungal organism that feeds off of sugar. It’s the “Y” in the acronym SCOBY! (Did you know SCOBY was an acronym? It stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast) There are nearly 30 different types of yeast found in kombucha and the specific mix and type are influenced by the SCOBY and local yeast environment. The most common strains of yeast in kombucha are Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, and Zygosaccharomyces. While the names may be a little technical for most of us, here are three interesting facts about yeast we think every brewer needs to know: 

  • Yeast is beneficial to both brewing and your body! It is a probiotic that helps keep your gut balanced and digestion moving along. It can also help reduce flare ups from harmful yeast like Candida. If you have a Candida overgrowth in your gut and begin to drink kombucha, you may notice symptoms temporarily flare up while the probiotics in the yeast go to work rebalancing your gut.
  • Yeast is rich in B vitamins, which do EVERY body good by stabilizing your mood and helping fight depression. Additionally, the B6 and B12 vitamins found in kombucha yeast are great for hormone balance, memory, skin, digestion and enzyme production - to name just a few!
  • Yeast has been given to athletes for hundreds of years because it increases vitality and decreased distractions. Yeast is also rich in zinc (repairs tissue), selenium (repairs cell damage), and reduces iron deficiency!

Yeast in jar of home-brew kombucha.

So if you’re noticing some brown stringy stuff growing along your SCOBY or in your brew, don’t worry, it’s not mold! If you’re still worried, check out our quick read about what causes mold (a very rare occurrence!). Be sure to open up a SCOBY Hotel 

Kombucha SCOBY with clump of yeast





  • Hi Kristin, while we would typically need a picture to correctly asses what has happened here, it sounds like the seaweed may be an abundance of yeast in your brew and the black speckles might be remnants of loose leaf black tea that you used in your sweet tea? If you are a YEABUCHA brewer, feel free to reach out to us directly via our brewing community group on Facebook or send a DM to our instagram @yeabucha.

    The YEABUCHA Sisters
  • Is the Kombucha spoiled when it has a cloudy substance (like seaweed) floating around with black speckles??


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