Kombucha SCOBY: What is it and How do I Make it?
Kombucha is an ancient, fermented tea beverage believed to have come from East Asia and Japan over 2000 years ago. It is full of living bacterial cultures which are otherwise known as a SCOBY. Contrary to some ‘Kombucha myths’, a SCOBY is not made of mushrooms! Short for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’, this […]
Kombucha is an ancient, fermented tea beverage believed to have come from East Asia and Japan over 2000 years ago. It is full of living bacterial cultures which are otherwise known as a SCOBY. Contrary to some ‘Kombucha myths’, a SCOBY is not made of mushrooms! Short for ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast’, this blog is a homage to the incredible superpowers of our SCOBY’s.
- What is SCOBY?
- Why is SCOBY Used in Kombucha?
- Is SCOBY Good for You?
- How to Make Your Own Kombucha SCOBY
What is SCOBY?
At Equinox, we have been growing our SCOBY’s for years now, carefully cultivating their health in the right environmental conditions and energetic vibe! When we add healthy SCOBY to our organic green Chun Mee tea and cane sugar, it starts a fermentation process where the SCOBY breaks down the sugars and converts them into alcohol, Co2 and organic acids, which play an important role in promoting gut health. This doesn’t mean that our kombucha is alcoholic though, as the alcohol is only present in very small quantities (less than 1.2% abv). It is the organic acids that give kombucha its distinctive ‘tangy’ taste and the Co2 provides the ‘fizz’.
SCOBY is known as ‘The Mother’ because of its ability to replicate and give ‘birth’ to kombucha cultures again and again, if cared for properly. SCOBY Mothers are truly magical!
Is SCOBY good for you?
Our SCOBY ferments the green tea and sugar mix: a process that can take several weeks, during which the sugar is gradually consumed, and probiotic compounds are created. Probiotic cultures can hold several different species of lactic-acid bacteria and in clinical trials, lactic-acid strains have been observed to improve cardiovascular, immune system and even metabolic health! You can read more about these super strains in our blog about the health benefits of fermented teas!
The ‘floaty bits’ you can often find in our kombucha are pieces of SCOBY that have grown from particles once we have filtered and bottled our kombucha. This shows that our kombucha is ‘alive’ and contains living cultures – they are completely safe and indeed healthy to consume!
How to make your own Kombucha SCOBY
If you want to try your hand at some home brewed kombucha (which we always advocate), then you will need to source or grow your own SCOBY Mother! There are several reliable places online where you can purchase SCOBY culture (we love the team at Happy Kombucha) or you could try your hand at cultivating your own!
To grow your own SCOBY Mother, you will need to purchase some real living kombucha, ideally with no flavours or additives – you could try our Original Kombucha for this as it works really well. Then you can add the cold tea of your choice (we always recommend green tea but black, oolong or even chamomile all work well) and sugar. Combine these ingredients and cover them with a coffee filter or muslin. The mix should be tightly covered and left to ferment in a warm spot (no less than 20 and no higher than 30 degrees celsius) for around a month.
After 30 days or so, your SCOBY should be coming on nicely! If it’s healthy, it should be at least 2cm thick and look like a pancake. At this point, it can be cut into smaller pieces and used to make new batches of Kombucha or shared with friends to make their own. Be careful to handle your SCOBY Mother with care and love, however, contamination can occur and cause mould or a strong smell which will tell you the SCOBY is decaying and needs to be discarded.
Hopefully you will be getting the sense by now that SCOBY’s are indeed magical creatures – at the very least, healthy SCOBYs can play a really important part in assisting your gut health and overall sense of wellbeing. Cultivating and caring for your own SCOBY Mother is an amazing thing to do for your physical and mental health, but if you would rather shortcut the process, you can always buy some of our magical Equinox Kombucha and drink a little bit of living SCOBY inside every bottle and can!