To Mold or Not to Mold

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KombuchaJim

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First batch of Kombucha and it looks terrible....smells great! Do I have mold.

The scoby is a translucent gelatin that has grayish/blue blotches. No little dry patches or hairs...

The temperature has been a from 74 to 80 degrees F the whole time.

It is the 5th day also. My wife thinks I am crazy to even think about drinking this stuff. Heading out to buy a glass tube for tasting.

What do you think?

Thanks, Jim

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KombuchaJim

KombuchaJim

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I tasted it yesterday after my friend looked at he pics. Still a bit weak (5 days). I know it is early...just a bit impatient.
Thanks,
Jim
 
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KombuchaJim

KombuchaJim

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I bottled 4-16 oz bottles today....tastes fine. I left a good 4 cups in the jug to let the scoby continue to develop. It is very flimsy and I do not believe it will stay together if I transfer to another batch. I have a second gallon started 4 days ago and the scoby looks more normal than this one.

I also purchased 2-2 gal American Heritage jars (only $13.95) with wide openings from Target. I don't like the idea of plastic nozzles in my brewing that my current jars have. They are a good 8 inches wide so I need a larger scoby to manage a gallon to a gallon and a half. I figure I will grow it as I continue to brew.

Hopefully I will have more to bottle in the next 4 days.

Best wishes all....
Jim
 
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KombuchaJim

KombuchaJim

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I decided to add tea and sugar to the first batch with the ugly scoby. It is so thin I do not believe it will transfer without falling apart. Going from a canning jar size scoby to a 1.5 liter glass dispenser spread the scoby out over a 8 inch diameter. Now on Day 9 it has more substance to it. As this continues it will be strong enough to move to the 2 gallon container.

Without realizing it, I began a growing a larger scoby process....
 

Morden2004

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I too thought my Scoby farm was butt ugly - and it is BUT the Scoby's themselves are not a major part of the equation - the yeast and bacteria is. This came from a brewer who is also a biologist and I believe him. Your Scoby farm looks almost identical to mine and I've figured out why; I too brew in a large (read diameter bigger than a Mason jar) 23 liter (5+ US gallons) fermenter and that seems to be the reason for the ugly looking farm.

Yours looks just fine to me! My Booch is awesome so something is working right.

Bottom line; keep the pH < 6 and you will not have mold.
 
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KombuchaJim

KombuchaJim

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Thanks for the affirmations. I resigned my self to growing my scoby cultures slowly in hopes of getting a more resilient scoby to transfer from one container to another. I found this article or large scoby diameters creating more vinegar tasting kombucha. So I opened a vent and lower the temp in my brewing room to 72 degrees. I am seeing the new scoby grow more solid and stable.

I also have a continuous brewing scoby going and the scoby is thickening also. It is the one with the mason jar scoby dangling downward.

Thanks again for the information. I am enjoying the kombucha and have started to flavor my brews.
Enjoy!!!!

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New scoby at low temperature.jpg
 
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KombuchaJim

KombuchaJim

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I too thought my Scoby farm was butt ugly - and it is BUT the Scoby's themselves are not a major part of the equation - the yeast and bacteria is. This came from a brewer who is also a biologist and I believe him. Your Scoby farm looks almost identical to mine and I've figured out why; I too brew in a large (read diameter bigger than a Mason jar) 23 liter (5+ US gallons) fermenter and that seems to be the reason for the ugly looking farm.

Yours looks just fine to me! My Booch is awesome so something is working right.

Bottom line; keep the pH < 6 and you will not have mold.
I'm curious...how large are your brewing pots and how long does it take to brew a batch (on average). I usually drink a quart and a half of ice tea a day and plan on replacing that with kombucha.

Thanks
 

Morden2004

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I'm curious...how large are your brewing pots and how long does it take to brew a batch (on average). I usually drink a quart and a half of ice tea a day and plan on replacing that with kombucha.

Thanks
I brew in standard 23 liter wine fermenters.

Paul
 

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