Mold in Kombucha - 3 Things That Cause Mold on a SCOBY

Photo of kombucha SCOBY growing mold

Mold - let’s talk about it. Everyone is afraid of growing mold on their SCOBY. The truth is, when we first started home brewing kombucha we had that fear too! But here’s what we learned: It’s REALLY hard to grow mold. We’ve actually found it to be a super uncommon problem. What most people think is mold, is usually just yeast which is essential to the brewing process. The symbiotic nature of kombucha actually PROTECTS your SCOBY from mold by creating an environment too acidic for other microbes to survive in (which generally takes 3 days, so if you’re mold free after day 3, you’re in the clear)! But if you’re still worried about mold, here are 3 things to avoid:

Photo of brewing kombucha and how to avoid growing mold on your SCOBY. Not enough starter liquid & a weak SCOBY - If you compromise on quality, you open your brew up to the potential of moldy invaders. (Don’t worry-when you order your kit from YEABUCHA, you’re guaranteed to get the highest quality SCOBY and strong starter liquid). Make sure you always save 2 cups of starter from your F1 brew and make sure to not separate the layers of a single SCOBY -  you need that thick barrier to keep the mold out.  

 

 

How cold temperature is bad for brewing kombucha. Cold brew - Continuously having your brew temperatures fall below 64 degrees will slow down the fermentation process. Remember, it’s the fermentation that produces the acidic environment which keep unwanted mold away.  Keep your brew strong and healthy by keeping the temp in mid 70s - if it sounds like perfect weather to you, you’re SCOBY will love it too! 

 

 

 

 

Brewing kombucha with flavored tea can cause mold grow on a SCOBY.Brewing with flavored tea- When you introduce oils and other flavor compound into the first fermentation phase of your brew, the environment within your brew is altered. Essential Oils or other chemical flavoring, aka “natural flavors” may make the tea taste delicious, but it can harm the SCOBY, (which will inhibit the natural protection of your brew). We source the highest quality, organic black tea, that we know grows beautiful SCOBYs and brews delicious booch. If you want to try using flavored teas be sure to use only organic blends without any additives.

 
If in the off chance you do end up running into mold in your brew, you’ve got to throw it away. It unfortunately cannot be washed off or removed, and once it’s there it will continue to grow back. Go ahead and compost that batch and start fresh from your SCOBY Hotel! Didn't have a SCOBY Hotel set up? We’ve got you covered with our Single SCOBY to restart your brewing!

 

 

 

Below is a photo gallery of moldy SCOBYs. 

photo gallery of moldy kombucha SCOBYs

 


2 comments

  • Hi Johnny,
    Great to hear you love Kombucha! We have played around with incorporating CBD oil into our kombucha and will be sharing more about this soon (so be on the lookout :). You can add the CBD Oil in two ways – either when you do F2 or put drops into your glass just before drinking. We have done both and see no difference in the effects of the oil, it really comes down to the taste. Let us know what you prefer!

    YEABUCHA Sisters
  • Hello I love kombucha and I am a small business owner and sell cannabidiol CBD is it possibke to add CBD to my batch of kombucha?

    Johnny

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