I actually feel a bit silly writing this article, as the process to grow your own SCOBY is ridiculously simple. So easy, anyone can do it. I am always amazed when I see SCOBY prices online as some can carry quite the hefty price tag. Seems strange to me to charge so much for something that was literally a by-product of your own operation.
Of course, you can bypass the SCOBY buying ordeal by picking up a bottle of store-bought kombucha and growing your own! It takes around a week (2-3 maybe if it’s cold in your kitchen) and costs less than $5! I bought a bottle of unflavored GT’s kombucha, but any flavor will produce a healthy SCOBY for you. I do recommend the GT’s brand though, as it’s the only one I’ve tried or heard of others using with absolute success.
But first, what the heck IS a SCOBY?!
SCOBY stands for “Symbiotic Colony (or Culture) Of Bacteria & Yeasts.” It is a cellulose structure, or pellicle, similar to mother of vinegar, kefir grains, and ginger beer plant. A SCOBY is the main component used for brewing kombucha tea. It contains beneficial bacteria and yeasts that are then transferred to your fermented brew.
To start your own SCOBY from scratch, just follow these super simple steps!
- Procure a bottle of GT’s kombucha from any health food or grocery store.
- Pour the entire bottle into a clean, wide mouthed glass container.
- Cover container with finely woven cloth or a paper towel.
- Secure tightly with a rubber band.
Seriously, that’s all there is to it!! 😀
Here is my bottle on Day 3, sitting next to my previously neglected SCOBY hotel.
Here it is the next day. SCOBY is starting to thicken up nicely:
After a few more days:
And finally after about a week of fermenting. 🙂
Once your SCOBY has reached this stage, you want to taste the kombucha tea to make sure it is tart and vinegary. You will be using this as your starter tea in your first batch of kombucha! Directions to brew your own kombucha can be found here and here.
I hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial and let me know if you have any questions!
Happy fermenting! 🙂