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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > Something wrong with these SCOBYs?
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
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Default Something wrong with these SCOBYs?

I have been struggling to rejuvenate some SCOBYs that seem to have gone bad. Instead of being rubbery and tough, they are thin and easily break apart.

My students started about 16 pint-size batches with the old SCOBYs. Some were in better shape than others to start with. We used various combinations of honey, molasses, dextrose and table sugar. About 7 of them have formed the nice, smooth SCOBYs I expect, but the rest have varying thickness and textures.

Here are some pictures. Do these look like mold (I don't see or smell mold, and I am a microbiologist... But, if it's some obscure kombucha mold )

The side views show that the weak SCOBYs don't seem to have as much of the brown stuff hanging down that represents yeast growth.

Any ideas or recommendations? My leaning is to scrap the weird ones and replenish my SCOBY stores with the healthy-looking ones.
scoby1.jpg   scoby2.jpg   scoby3.jpg   scoby4.jpg   scoby5.jpg  

CHERYLinND is offline
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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sweet, Kombucha online

Ive had some thin wispy ones before, and thought they were dead, but I found you can put em in a mason jar with a cloth over it and give em a 1/4 cup dose of cane sugar, then stick em someplace warm and safe, forget about them for a week or two and they seem to heal up, so to speak.(I forgot one for a month, and when I found it, it was an inch thick. the best one though was a batch that sat too long and became mostly vinegar, but instead of tossing it, I figured Id use it AS vinegar, left it in the back of the pantry and gave it a cup of sugar, forgot it for several months and when I remembered it, it was over 3 inches thick.)

as for those dry-ish looking spots?, Hmm, could be mold, havent seen mold that color on my scobies before, usually green or blue. nor in that large of quantity, mold seems to have a hard time growing on a scobie I think the critters in the scobie and the mold dont get along too well. green or blue mold wont hurt you im told (its in alot of fancy cheese on purpose), its the red and yellow stuff to watch for. Ive even reused scobies with small green/blue spots and havent had trouble. If that is mold, it seems to be doing well, and could kill it. those may be goners. if it were mine, Id taste it and see, if it tastes like scobie, its probobly fine, but if its got that moldy must to it toss em.

Here, hold my beer, watch this........
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