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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > I grew my KB in a jug and cannot remove the scoby
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default I grew my KB in a jug and cannot remove the scoby

I used a one gallon glass jug to ferment my Kombucha. I didn't realize the scoby would be so large and solid. I've made about 4 batches and the scoby is huge. I would like to use the jug for other purposes, so I wonder is there a chemical way to break up the scoby so I can continue to use the jug or is it just impossible to remove the scoby without breaking the jug?

I don't need the scoby since I have a lot of them from better vessels. I'd like to get the jug back though.

thanks

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Old 11-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #2
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You'll have to cut it out. You could try to dissolve the SCOBY but that could render your vessel unfit for brewing.
Just use a thin sharp knife like a fillet knife to cut it best you can. The chunks are unnecessary but you could use them if you wanted.

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Old 11-17-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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I'm not an expert in this but I believe a SCOBY is a decentralized entity. So if you cut in four you then have 4 triangle shaped SCOBYs. No harm is done and they should continue to work fine albeit slightly smaller.

I believe this is right, maybe someone can verify that.

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Old 11-17-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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The SCOBY is a cellulose based pellicle; a zoogleal mat. It is not required for brewing. It sort of just provides a blueprint and a substrate for the microbes to build on, if it is floating on the surface. It helps isolate the solution from invaders and contaminants. If you do not have one, the microbes will provide one to you. Whether you want it or not.

You can pick at it with needle nosed pliers if you like. I suggested a knife as that's what I would grab first.
If you get it out in big chunks you could brew with it if you wanted. If its shredded I wouldnt bother as its presence is not required and would probably just make a mess in the batch.

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Old 11-19-2013, 06:29 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the great info.

I did get it out using needle nose pliers. I have read that you should not use metal with a scoby, unless you are certain it is stainless steel. So I tossed it.

The scoby was flexible and slippery, knife wouldn't cut it. I think I could have yanked it out with a bent piece of plastic. It just kept tearing as I tried to pull it out of the bottle with the pliers, and after tearing a few chunks it came out just fine.

I used the dregs from the 1 gallon to start my 2 gallon fermentation in a corny keg. I had a couple of older scobies I threw in there too.

I love having the KB on tap. I have club soda (some salts in water) and KB both on tap and I mix the two.

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Old 11-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #6
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Is your corny keg glass lined? If not you need to contact the manufacturer and find out the acidity tolerance.
Kombucha will be around 3 pH and will cause the keg to pit. Which will leave heavy metals in your brew and eventually, your keg will get a hole in it. There is a very specific grade of stainless steel which you can ferment kombucha in, I don't remember what it was called, but it's expensive and I seriously doubt they make kegs out of it. It was an Italian manufacturer that makes those fermentors, I think.

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Old 11-21-2013, 02:33 AM   #7
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Huh. Well that is disturbing. I have been serving my Kombucha out of a new 2.5 corny keg and I am fermenting it in an old Dr Pepper keg.

Sometimes I go to Brooklyn Kombucha, they have a happy hour at their HQ once per month and do serve Kombucha out of kegs. I think I will miss the next one, but I can check with the owners and ask about serving KB out of kegs.

off topic, but the Brooklyn Kombucha founders have a book out about Kombucha, Ericband Jessica Childs. It was just released. Look for it if you are interested. They have recipes for Kombucha of course, but also for cooking SCOBYs

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Originally Posted by kyt View Post
Is your corny keg glass lined? If not you need to contact the manufacturer and find out the acidity tolerance.
Kombucha will be around 3 pH and will cause the keg to pit. Which will leave heavy metals in your brew and eventually, your keg will get a hole in it. There is a very specific grade of stainless steel which you can ferment kombucha in, I don't remember what it was called, but it's expensive and I seriously doubt they make kegs out of it. It was an Italian manufacturer that makes those fermentors, I think.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismcnally View Post
Huh. Well that is disturbing. I have been serving my Kombucha out of a new 2.5 corny keg and I am fermenting it in an old Dr Pepper keg.

Sometimes I go to Brooklyn Kombucha, they have a happy hour at their HQ once per month and do serve Kombucha out of kegs. I think I will miss the next one, but I can check with the owners and ask about serving KB out of kegs.
You may be ok with the Dr Pepper keg, since soda is acidic as well.
Dr. Pepper pH 2.92
http://www.21stcenturydental.com/smi...pH_drinks.html

I rarely brew KT below 3.00 unless it was on accident, then I use it for vinegar instead. You should be able to contact the manufacturer of the keg and ask what pH range can be used in it.
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