Think you’ve got some mold growing on your SCOBY? Take a deep breath, don’t panic. We’re here to help! Brewers often think they have mold, when really it’s just yeast from a funny looking SCOBY. Mold is fairly uncommon problem when home brewing, but it's important to know what can cause mold and how to tell if it mold. Here are 3 steps you should take to determine if its really mold.
- Take a picture and send it to us! This is one of the many perks of being a YEABUCHA brewer - membership to our exclusive online community for occasions just like this! Kombucha brews depend on a living relationship between bacteria and yeast and the processes they undergo create vitamins, acids and enzymes. The appearance of your SCOBY and brew may change and this is never a reason to panic. Mold will appear furry on the top of your SCOBY, the same kind of white and green fuzz that grows on old produce.
- Wait 3 days-- if it’s mold it will continue to grow and spread making it very obvious. After 3 days a healthy brew will have a proper balance of bacteria and yeast that will protect it from any sort of moldy invader.
- If you’re certain it is mold, or aren’t up for finding out, go ahead and toss it! Start again with a fresh SCOBY and starter liquid from your SCOBY hotel! Didn't have one open? We've got your back. Since we've got the set up already, grab a YEABUCHA grown SCOBY & Starter Liquid so you can get back up and running.
These images above are ALL HEALTHY SCOBYs. They can be discolored from yeast, bumpy, have holes, etc. If you have mold it will look like sandwich mold you see on bread pictured below.
In terms of rotten odors, we always err on the side of caution. When it smells like something rotten, it is safest to discard the whole batch and start from scratch. We’ve only ever experienced a rotten odor when we were experimenting with alternative sugars. Were you using organic cane sugar? Typically when using organic, high quality ingredients (free from flavors, or any other additives) we don’t experience these issues.
If you are still in the market for a new SCOBY and brew method, you can grab those both in our online store.