Can a Kombucha Mother Be Too Big?

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jpolchowski

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I have been continuous brewing kombucha for nearly a year now, in a big 5 gallon water jug that I customized with a spigot. For such a length of time, the mother has gotten pretty massive-it is the diameter of the container, about 10", and probably pushing 2" thick now.

I was just wondering if it can ever get too big. Is it better to trim it down, either discarding the original mass and using the babies, or the reverse, removing the babies and keeping the original, cutting down the whole thing to a smaller diameter, or does it not matter and I can keep up with it at this size?

I unfortunately don't know anyone to give pieces to as I live in a fairly secluded area. I'm just more concerned about the quality of the brew, if it will weaken, if I can "starve" the mother as it gets too big, or if there really aren't any issues? Thanks!
 

porcupine73

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What I have noticed is that when the mother gets too thick, the fermentation seems to speed up. I usually clean my continuous brewers every two weeks to get rid of the dead yeast at the bottom, and just keep the top of the scoby, maybe 1/2" thick or so. I toss in a piece of the yeasty stringy bottom of the scoby too hoping that helps the yeasts re-establish quicker.

I like to keep the scoby so it does cover the entire top of the container, i.e. not just tearing off a scrap so that the entire scoby has to regrow.
 
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