How To Make Your Own Kombucha Scoby — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

This is a mature scoby – after a few rounds of making kombucha, it will thicken, become smooth, and take uniform color

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

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This helps ensure a healthy, happy new scoby, but if you can’t find one, it’s fine. “,”image”:{“id”:”32a64a35bfa933742144ae9cc27c466c05ebd129″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:22:44.564-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356dda0dbfa3f62b7012c22″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”8ddd5f4490f0d0917a9c490c71b4c1c7ab9947c9″,”caption”:”Combine the sweet tea and kombucha in a jar.”,”image”:{“id”:”8ddd5f4490f0d0917a9c490c71b4c1c7ab9947c9″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:22:25.487-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356dd8ddbfa3f5e0200194f”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”78d92c1434497620b5f0f084ae9df84b39a16fd6″,”caption”:”Make sure the \”baby scoby\” from the store-bought kombucha gets in the jar! It will probably float on the top, but it’s ok if it sinks to the bottom.”,”image”:{“id”:”78d92c1434497620b5f0f084ae9df84b39a16fd6″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:21:51.737-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356dd6adbfa3f5848013ac1″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”bf46d767b785720ebf75bc3219a983b5a9ac7cac”,”caption”:”Cover and store somewhere at average room temperature (70\u0026deg;F), out of direct sunlight, and where the jar won’t get jostled for 1 to 4 weeks. Check the scoby every few days.”,”image”:{“id”:”bf46d767b785720ebf75bc3219a983b5a9ac7cac”,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:22:24.189-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356dd8bdbfa3f7b26000ce7″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”8827dca751da8f943cc18e1c9dabeff1abfca728″,”caption”:”For the first few days, nothing will happen. Then you’ll start to see groups of tiny bubbles starting to collect on the surface. “,”image”:{“id”:”8827dca751da8f943cc18e1c9dabeff1abfca728″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:23:41.070-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356dddbdbfa3f210400259c”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”ba8a65552f1f290d63d7ce8e36daecf13ff68e13″,”caption”:”After a few more days, the bubbles will start to connect and form a thin, transparent, jelly-like film across the surface of the tea.”,”image”:{“id”:”ba8a65552f1f290d63d7ce8e36daecf13ff68e13″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:23:56.030-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356ddeadbfa3f58d3013891″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”1204bb1ca158cf68ffa7dfe53727b2e8d2f01b1b”,”caption”:”You’ll also see bubbles forming around the edges of the film. This is carbon-dioxide from the fermenting tea and a sign that everything is healthy and happy!”,”image”:{“id”:”1204bb1ca158cf68ffa7dfe53727b2e8d2f01b1b”,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:24:18.882-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de00dbfa3f21040025a1″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”e2feeaedea85ed7a596c9cf4fabf7d5e53bdd417″,”caption”:””,”image”:{“id”:”e2feeaedea85ed7a596c9cf4fabf7d5e53bdd417″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:24:39.806-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de15dbfa3f59f30137b7″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”dd569ad2291b363f80b243875eee80d623ff3d8b”,”caption”:”A few more days, and this film will thicken and become opaque.”,”image”:{“id”:”dd569ad2291b363f80b243875eee80d623ff3d8b”,”width”:1417,”height”:1833,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:27:46.773-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de8cdbfa3f6b900136e8″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”4334bcde041283459912aa5a19a43c9ed04dddcb”,”caption”:”A few more days, and the scoby will become even thicker and more solid.”,”image”:{“id”:”4334bcde041283459912aa5a19a43c9ed04dddcb”,”width”:1201,”height”:1555,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:27:49.533-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de82dbfa3f571d0138b0″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”02d315b5a067dd2431625e7c992eb80e37bbbfac”,”caption”:”When the scoby is about 1/4-inch thick, it’s ready.”,”image”:{“id”:”02d315b5a067dd2431625e7c992eb80e37bbbfac”,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:25:52.998-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de5cdbfa3f68370120a3″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”cbd50af7dd758c2c4d9db9e5b7a0ff73a0583b0f”,”caption”:”You can remove it from the tea and use it to make your first batch of kombucha.”,”image”:{“id”:”cbd50af7dd758c2c4d9db9e5b7a0ff73a0583b0f”,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:24:50.048-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de1fdbfa3f6b900136d2″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”556d374c24c21c02d55f8809a5e83337c36d358e”,”caption”:””,”image”:{“id”:”556d374c24c21c02d55f8809a5e83337c36d358e”,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:27:44.002-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de94dbfa3f7b26000d22″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”dcaaafac46bb3256c9ceedc3d0ed474eac22fbe8″,”caption”:””,”image”:{“id”:”dcaaafac46bb3256c9ceedc3d0ed474eac22fbe8″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:26:39.781-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de8edbfa3f5e0200197c”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”81fb1a23d06da2065f24f82126dbde724488cc39″,”caption”:””,”image”:{“id”:”81fb1a23d06da2065f24f82126dbde724488cc39″,”width”:2318,”height”:3000,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T17:26:15.988-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356de76dbfa3f6b900136e5″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”58dbef33a176fdd4ab4923d238bd53ca1e177337″,”caption”:”Your finished scoby might look a little nubbly, rough, patchy, or otherwise \”not quite like a grown-up scoby.\” It’s ok! Your scoby will start to smooth out and take on a uniform color over the course of a few batches of kombucha”,”image”:{“id”:”58dbef33a176fdd4ab4923d238bd53ca1e177337″,”width”:1936,”height”:2419,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T19:01:08.915-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356f4b4dbfa3f3ffe012f51″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”7f7afec0cde5b988837d3181a8a8956fc4b02e53″,”caption”:”After a few batches, this is how your scoby will look. The bubbly parts will become smooth and the color will become more uniform. The brownish bits you see are pockets of yeast (healthy!) and the pockets around the edges are where bubbles of carbon-dioxide pushed through the scoby during fermentation.”,”image”:{“id”:”7f7afec0cde5b988837d3181a8a8956fc4b02e53″,”width”:2208,”height”:2858,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:null,”created_at”:”2014-04-22T19:01:07.734-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:null,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5356f4b3dbfa3f4c3c01327f”,”focus_z”:null}}]};

There’s really no arguing that it’s ugly. And kind of alien-looking. And yeah, even downright gross. But dang it! Scobys make some delicious kombucha! If you want to save a few bucks on your ‘booch habit, there’s just no getting around it. You’re going to need a scoby.

You can beg a scoby from a kombucha-brewing friend, or you can order a fresh one online. But there’s one more option: you can grow your own.

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