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Grow own SCOBY without using a store-bought booch

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JoeBeer12

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I live in an old house in which the basement is constructed of stone and timber. I'm thinking the age of the space might harbor some interesting bugs (for better or worse), thus I want to attempt to grow a SCOBY completely from scratch. In other words, I would prefer the environment as the starter.

I've only been able to find a reference to grow one with a store-bought booch as a starter.

Are their any references that you know of that provide instruction on growing a SCOBY completely from scratch without using a store-bought booch?
 

RPh_Guy

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Yeast and bacteria are all around us. You can certainly ferment sweet tea using your own wild microbes.
Using the term SCOBY may be a little misleading since that generally refers to an established kombucha culture, but you can easily capture similar microbes from your environment.

For best results, adjust the pH of your tea down to 4.5 or lower. This helps prevent growth of unwanted/dangerous bacteria.

Cover your sweet tea with cheesecloth (to keep out insects, optionally) and leave it in the basement overnight. A fan may help to provide air circulation.

Allow several weeks before tasting.
Monitor for mold growth (not to be confused with a pellicle, which will almost certainly form). Mold is bad.

Cheers
 
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J

JoeBeer12

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Yeast and bacteria are all around us. You can certainly ferment sweet tea using your own wild microbes.
Using the term SCOBY may be a little misleading since that generally refers to an established kombucha culture, but you can easily capture similar microbes from your environment.

For best results, adjust the pH of your tea down to 4.5 or lower. This helps prevent growth of unwanted/dangerous bacteria.

Cover your sweet tea with cheesecloth (to keep out insects, optionally) and leave it in the basement overnight. A fan may help to provide air circulation.

Allow several weeks before tasting.
Monitor for mold growth (not to be confused with a pellicle, which will almost certainly form). Mold is bad.

Cheers
Thanks much for this response. Any references on how I could intentionally lower the pH?
 

RPh_Guy

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First you need a way to measure pH. A quality pH meter is a good investment. Strips can be pretty inaccurate.

You can add any readily-available food-grade acid to lower pH.
Examples: Lactic acid, citric acid, phosphoric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, acetic acid (vinegar), lemon juice, lime juice, etc.
 
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JoeBeer12

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First you need a way to measure pH. A quality pH meter is a good investment. Strips can be pretty inaccurate.

You can add any readily-available food-grade acid to lower pH.
Examples: Lactic acid, citric acid, phosphoric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, acetic acid (vinegar), lemon juice, lime juice, etc.
OK. What I imagined but wanted to be sure. Thanks again.
 

z-bob

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If you leave tea sitting out, it gets a scum on top pretty quick. I wonder if that's the beginnings of a scoby? That's what I would start with; the bacteria that's already in the tea plus whatever yeast it picks up.
 

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