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

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

 


10 comments

  • Hi William, It sounds like something is off in your brew-likely a balance issue with an overabundance of yeast. Home brewing can be confusing, and that is exactly why we created our homebrew kits. The YEABUCHA Method simplifies the process of making and flavoring your kombucha into 3 simple steps and our brewer community is a great resource for all of your specific questions! We would love to help you repurpose your current brew setup into a SCOBY Hotel so you can start fresh with one of our amazing kits.

    The YEABUCHA Sisters
  • I have made 5 brews and every time I bottle up (after about 13 days), I have sediment in the bottom of the bottles, is this normal?
    But more concerning I also have lumps of jelly (the same colour as the fermented brew) and have to use a tea strainer to separate the jelly to pour into the glass (especially the last third of the bottle) is this again normal and if not what am I doing wrong?

    William Nash
  • Hi Mattia! We always recommend tossing everything and starting over when it comes to mold in the brew. Even though the mold may appear to be contained to one area, the mold spores have likely spread through out and will continue to grow and potentially cause harm if ingested. Always best to be safe!

    We’d recommend starting fresh with either our Essential Brew Kit or Deluxe Brew Kit. We are happy to help you with tips to avoid mold in the future and any other brew tips!

    The YEABUCHA Sisters
  • hi, this morning i found mold on my scoby, it got in contact with the liquid. should i keep the scobys i have in the bottom of the jar or i have to throw everything? greetings from spain

    Mattia
  • Hi Gwen,
    Thank you for your question on kombucha. It is normal for a SCOBY to sink to the bottom of your brew if it has been disturbed while brewing. A new SCOBY will always grow on the top of your brew. Are you brewing with a YEABUCHA brew kit? Brewing kombucha is fun and safe following our 3 step easy brew guide.

    YEABUCHA Sisters

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published