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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Kombucha & Fermented Tea Forum > Is my SCOBY okay?
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
road_to_larissa
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Default Is my SCOBY okay?

I'm new to brewing am unsure if this is the normal kind of stuff or the bad kind of stuff.


You can see that on the right-center there is a brown spot. It wasn't dry or fuzzy like mold, but it had texture to it.

The darkish spot on the upper-right is bothering me too.

Any prognosis?


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Old 06-21-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
Zapped
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It's tough to spot a problem with mold after you've removed the scoby from your fermentation jar. But just to make sure I'm on the same page with you, is the top 2/3rds of the image showing the top of the scoby, and the bottom 1/3rd showing what was the underside? If that's the case, it looks like you've got some *very* active yeast, dominating the acetobacter bacteria. Nothing terrible about that, and the relative strength of yeast vs bacteria is dependent on a lot of factors - ferment temperature, type of tea used, sugar type & content etc.

As I understand it, mold can't grow on the underside of the scoby, so the question is whether there was fuzz on that greyish spot in the upper-right before you removed the scoby from the ferment. You mentioned there was no fuzz on the brown spot in right-center, and assuming the same about the greyish spot in the upper-right, you're probably ok. That spot isn't leaning towards blue/green is it? That could be bad.

[ edit: attached are some images of a batch I'm brewing right now. I made up two gallons of sweet tea (50% back, 25% white, 25% rooibos) and split it between two 1-gallon jars. You can see that one batch has a nice white, thick scoby, and the other batch is all mottled, with a whitish baby slowly forming over the whole mess. There is no green/blue coloring and no fuzz. I'm just assuming that two different mothers behaved differently under the same conditions (mix of tea & sugar, fermentation temperature, fermentation time of 8 days). The last picture just shows my "hotel" with baby scobys ready to rumble in future batches. ]


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Old 06-21-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
road_to_larissa
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply! Correct, the top 2/3 is the top of the SCOBY. Mine definitely doesn't look as nice as yours, but I guess I'll keep going for now and see how it progresses.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
Zapped
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Your scoby looks funkier than my 2nd picture, but the scoby I'm growing in my 3rd picture is way funkier than yours. My point was that it's the same tea, same fermentation time & temperature, but two completely different results. My only guess is that the mother scobys caused the difference - mother of prettybaby was fresher and mother of uglybaby might have been through more fermentation cycles. But it's only a guess.
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