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Old 03-18-2013, 02:02 AM   #31
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Ok....I gota ask.....what the hell is a Scoby, and why is a picture of one in a plastic bag as part of a thread with 29 replies to the post always pictured on my front page of HBT.
Symbiotic
Colony
Of
Bacteria and
Yeast

A scoby is generated by the bacteria in a kombucha starter as they convert alcohol from the yeast into acetic acid.

This thread is discussing the usefulness of the scoby it's self in kombucha, outside of the presence of yeast and bacteria.

Kombucha is basically fermented sweet black or green tea.

Happy Brewing!
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Old 03-24-2013, 03:39 AM   #32
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The thick membrane that forms on the surface of your brew Symbiotic colony of yeast and bacteria (SCOBY) is what the living culture in the starter tea builds to create an enclosed area for in which the starter tea can safely and sufficiently eat and build up its colony of bacteria and yeast like a healthy town. The more healthy your colony living in your brew the healthier and more evenly developed SCOBY "mushroom" will grow... The scoby is a slight Bi product of brewing booch but a very dense and bacteria ridden environment for a quicker and more efficient kombucha brew. I started brewing Kombucha Large scale for market sales and its interesting when your brewing 15gal batches of it ... i think the beer and kombucha can reside with one another some how... i just read a guy brewing green tea beer and kombucha LOVES green and blk tea!

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Old 03-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #33
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Scoby Scoby Doo, I don't need you, you got some others to fleece now......
Hey all. Cheers!

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Old 04-13-2013, 11:46 PM   #34
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I know that kombucha is not the most popular research topic for biochem Phds, but how long have we known that the SCOBY (seems like a misnomer since the physical floater is not the culture itself) was just a hunk of cellulose? I started brewing barely 6 months ago and every post I read on this forum - as well as every link I found on the internet - told me to add the SCOBY to every batch. Now I am reading that this growth is like a massive pellicle (funky beer term, look it up) and nothing more, and that it may not even speed up the fermentation.

Also, a question:

If I harvest the SCOBY after each batch and keep forming new ones, what can I do with the cellulose? Links?

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Old 04-15-2013, 02:34 AM   #35
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You will have a much faster primary ferment with the addition of a scoby, all tho you can brew with just starter, the process takes 3 times longer to produce a quality kombucha. The culture will spend more time building a new membrane on the surface of your vessel. Or you help it by placing a scoby with your starter tea and the job gets going much faster. Not to mention the scoby is loaded with tons of culture as well. the more the merrier.

I brew 15gal every 8 days and the amount of SCOBY i have is insane. I chop it up and feed it to my dogs, cats and my chickens love it! People also dry it and use it as a leather replacement. Ive seen a SCOBY wallet before. A dry SCOBY will take about 2 weeks to completely rehydrate so its actually has great water repelling qualities.

And my favorite thing i love to do with all the SCOBYs is sell them! or give them away!

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Old 04-15-2013, 03:11 AM   #36
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You will have a much faster primary ferment with the addition of a scoby, all tho you can brew with just starter, the process takes 3 times longer to produce a quality kombucha. The culture will spend more time building a new membrane on the surface of your vessel. Or you help it by placing a scoby with your starter tea and the job gets going much faster. Not to mention the scoby is loaded with tons of culture as well. the more the merrier.

I brew 15gal every 8 days and the amount of SCOBY i have is insane. I chop it up and feed it to my dogs, cats and my chickens love it! People also dry it and use it as a leather replacement. Ive seen a SCOBY wallet before. A dry SCOBY will take about 2 weeks to completely rehydrate so its actually has great water repelling qualities.

And my favorite thing i love to do with all the SCOBYs is sell them! or give them away!
Interesting. Have you done head to head batches with and without scoby? I'm not sure about kombucha, but with rice wine I've found that there are to many variables to get useful data unless the batches are running at the same time.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:19 PM   #37
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A SCOBY is not needed to start a batch of KT. Large brewers inject oxygen into their tanks to keep them from forming and to feed the yeast. A SCOBY is, however much it contains dead cells, alive. The top layer is very active, in fact.

Making dozens of batches side-by-side, some with SCOBYs and some without, I find a couple things. Both will brew nice kombucha - and SCOBY-less brewing can often produce a better brew because it takes longer and more of the alcohol is turned into acids. However, in my tests a SCOBY-less brew is less protected (has fewer of the beneficial bacteria cells you want) and will more often, under regular conditions, allow for non-beneficial bacteria to interfere. You might also wonder why the formation of a top layer at all? Is it to seal of the oxygen in the battle for resources between yeast and bacteria or simply to capture all of the escaping alcohol?

Perhaps the bacteria, which require oxygen, fill with gas and produce a raft as an evolutionary mechanism in order to allow a specific colony to thrive. It's the top layer that is most active, after all, and it's also the top layer that often doesn't touch liquid but is fed by slight moisture, escaping alcohol and gasses trapped between the top of the liquid and the container -- which brings up questions regarding the type of container (tall or wide) and the type of covering (very tight, not tight at all). I've found narrow tops using coffee filters produces a much different brew than a wide top using a cloth covering. I'm just guessing, but I believe this is because there is a battle between types of bacteria (some that live in liquid, some that need to float; some that can survive in an environment rich in gasses, some that require more oxygen) while concurrently battling with the yeast (top or bottom forming), which can switch between being aerobic and anaerobic.

You can brew KT with lots of different sugars, lots of liquids, in many containers and using SCOBYs or not, injecting oxygen or adding yeast and bacteria directly into your brew ... but it begs the question: What are you trying to achieve with your brew?

I say this because my current issue is how to up my bacteria count and slow my processing time in order to reduce alcohol. It seems that using the new SCOBY layer (rather than no SCOBY), reducing ambient heat, and directing my heat source to the top of the tank rather than the bottom will increase the bacterial activity and, given the types of bacteria I'm growing (Gluconacetobacter), increase sweetness while lowering alcohol, since my sugar is already at negligible levels.

Okay, so that got a little derailed.

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Old 04-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #38
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Thank you. I found that very interesting.

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Old 05-01-2013, 10:52 PM   #39
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such an interesting post. I just watched a video by House Kombucha owner. She said in the vid (which seemed to be a few years old) that the company never saves the SCOBYs. They toss everyone after every single new batch is made. I was like, "WHA???". The video is at the very bottom of their website page. I've never tried the brand, so I have no idea what it's like but I thought it was interesting.

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Old 05-13-2013, 03:51 AM   #40
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I tried 1 gallong of tea (8 green tea bags), 1 cup of sugar, and two cups of kombucha with no SCOBY. After a week I just had a mold colony. Temps mid 60s to mid 70s. I've only made KT a few times (before realizing I don't drink enough to keep the pipeline going & went back to buying it) and just googled a recipe.

Tonsmeire says "If you go too big too fast the microbes will take a long time to grown and ferment and might get overrun by the local microbes who might not make such a tasty beverage." http://www.themadfermentationist.com...ommercial.html

Are you guys doing something else to make sure that you don't get overrun by bad bugs? Is it possible you have the kombucha bugs floating in high concentrations in the air where you ferment it? Did I just screw up my recipe or ferment too cold?

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