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3 Things That Cause Mold on a Kombucha SCOBY

Health YEABUCHA SCOBY. Read our quick read article if you are wonder what to do if you've got mold on your 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:

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.  

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 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

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  • YEABUCHA Sisters on

    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.

  • Gwyneth on
    Hi. I currently have started my first batch of kombucha. It’s been going for about two and a half weeks now. The daughter scoby began to grow on top & I got excited. It has since dropped into the liquid & another layer started to form on the top. Mold has started to grow on that layer. I have pictures if I could get someone to confirm & would appreciate some advice for my next batch because I’m feeling very discouraged now.
  • The YEABUCHA Sisters on

    Hi Rosalie – feel free to shoot us an e-mail at and we can take a look for you! If it is mold, you’re going to have to throw it out unfortunately. But you can grab a new kit from our shop!

  • Rosalie on

    Hello, i tried for the first time to brew my owm kombucha. I had my first brew started on Mach 25 and today, April 7 when i checked my brew i noticed there is something different in my scoby but i am not sure/difficult for Me to really identify if it is mold. I took a photo and wanted to share with you for advice but there was no way to attached the photo here. It does look like the photos i see in your blog aa well as the book i have. I have not thrown my brew yet. What should i do? Appreciate your help. Thank you.

  • YEABUCHA Sisters on

    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!

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