SCOBY Care - 3 Things That Should NEVER be Done to a Kombucha SCOBY


The key to good home brew kombucha is the health and quality of your mother culture-- the Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast that we call SCOBY. It is a cellulose disc that makes the fermentation process happen turning your sweet tea into kombucha. Home brew kombucha is made with just three ingredients. That is why we think the quality of your sugar, tea, and SCOBY really matter. Unfortunately not all SCOBY sources are equal. We believe these living cultures should be grown with the highest quality ingredients and in a loving and positive environment to promote SCOBY health. Here are 3 promises of what we, the YEABUCHA Sisters, will NEVER to do our SCOBYs - and what you should promise to never do either! 

Never dehydrate a kombucha SCOBY. We all know what happens when living things become dehydrated- we don't perform well. This is not just the case with humans, but for SCOBYs as well. While the brew liquid will eventually rehydrate the SCOBY is definitely at a disadvantage. If the SCOBY is able to rally and produce kombucha, there is a greater chance that  it may eventually become moldy. The bacteria will most likely not be able to reproduce at the necessary rate needed to achieve balanced fermentation, leaving you with a brew that has too much yeast. The bacteria and yeast work in a symbiotic (remember the “S” in SCOBY) relationship that must maintain a proper balance of bacteria and yeast for a kombucha brew to be powerful and effective.

Never freeze or refrigerate a kombucha SCOBY. SCOBYs are at their best in warm temps, we find 75-80 grows the best SCOBYs. This living culture can be negatively impacted by extremely hot and cold temps. We recommend our brewers keep their brew no cooler than 64 degrees. Yes, we think the fridge is too cold for a SCOBY. When a SCOBY gets cold the bacteria go to sleep. Without bacteria the fermentation process cannot occur. The good bacteria in kombucha also provide a layer of protection to your brew and can protect it from mold.  

Never cut a kombucha SCOBY down into mini or test tube sized culture. The size of your SCOBY matters. Just like continuous brewing makes SCOBYs that are too big and speed up the fermentation process to much, small SCOBYs can slow down the fermentation process. It is next to impossible to get a healthy brew going with such a small SCOBY. The diameter of the SCOBY should be similar to the diameter of your brewing vessel.  A successful brew undergoes two processes: respiration (aerobic) & fermentation (anaerobic), and these occur naturally as oxygen goes from being readily available in the very beginning to the oxygen being cut off as the new layer of cellulose forms a seal at the top of the culture. A tiny SCOBY will not be able to grow a layer big enough to foster the beautiful symbiosis that is necessary to brew flavorful and powerful kombucha. 

Big beautiful SCOBY Hotel by YEABUCHA

SCOBYs are very hearty cultures, which is why a quality sourced SCOBY is so important if you are going to home brew. We are committed to growing healthy SCOBYs at YEABUCHA! This sister run business happens because we want to support others and their health and wellness journey. Our SCOBYs are packaged right before they ship, which means they spend all their time in an ideal environment until we send them to you (they will never sit in a warehouse.)

We also know that our brewers grow SCOBYs each week and love to share. A wonderful perk of home brew is getting your family and friends involved. Kombucha naturally encourages sharing by continuously growing new SCOBYs. Just remember it's not just sharing but also preparing that is caring, so make sure you get an Everything but the SCOBY kit before you get a SCOBY from a friend or family. Find the right brew kit for you in our shop!


  • Hi Priscilla,
    That is totally normal and common. Because your hotel has strong starter liquid and is full of SCOBYs, the fermentation process is occurring and a new SCOBY acting as a protective layer will grow along the top. Cheers!

    The YEABUCHA Sisters
  • Hi Dina,
    Unfortunately, the fridge is too cold for a SCOBY. When a SCOBY gets cold the bacteria go to sleep. Without bacteria the fermentation process cannot occur. The good bacteria in kombucha also provide a layer of protection to your brew and can protect it from mold. You can always start over with a fresh SCOBY and starter liquid, and in the future, a 10 day first fermentation is perfectly fine.

    The YEABUCHA Sisters
  • My hotel keeps making its own big white Scoby. Is this normal? I can’t find any info on it

  • I started my first fermentation 7 days ago. Had to leave town this morning for 3 days. No time to do anything with my fermenting booch so I stuck it in the fridge scoby and all. Was that a mistake?

  • Hi Thomas, SCOBYs grow in thickness (not diameter) as a new SCOBY grows on the top of your brew during fermentation, so you would be better off using a smaller fermentation jar. If you want to brew in a gallon jar we would recommend purchasing a SCOBY + starter liquid from our store, it is grown to specifically fit. A SCOBY hotel is a great place to store extra SCOBYs when you have too many in your brew jar. While a new new SCOBY often grows on the top of a SCOBY hotel when you have a lot of a SCOBYs and starter in it, it’s not intended to be a place to grow SCOBYs per se. Best wishes with your brewing!

    The YEABUCHA Sisters

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