White mites in my kombucha brew

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What to do with the infested kombuch brew?

  • discard and start again

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • continue and drink it

    Votes: 1 33.3%

  • Total voters


New Member
Jan 3, 2019
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I have an infestation of some kind of white insect, very tiny, like half a mm or less. I redid the batch, rinsing the scoby well, and ensuring that the tea remained covered while it cooled, yet I have run into this infestation again.

I'm in New Zealand, it is summer, about 24 deg and the brew is in a dark cupboard.

Have a look at these pics. This time I'm inclined just to let the batch ferment, see if the bugs die off and filter them out..


See movie of the critters here (just open in a new tab and download): https://mega.nz/#!zUVlSCJR!TngHBTBKMw0y8yxID0KcLEz3Ib4ELcWvLkLx_B3poyw



Well-Known Member
Feb 28, 2014
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The best insurance for kombucha is continuous brew..... If you are having problems with things like this, it tells me that you are batch brewing. Once the kombucha is properly soured in a continuous brew, pull only a percentage out and replace with sweet tea........ Keep the percentage below 50%... preferably 25-30%. This will keep a strong culture and a low ph (very acid), which will prevent many problems. Pour your replacement sweet tea right over the scoby.... sinking it and giving it a good bath.

If this were a continuous brew, I would simply tap the kombucha below the scoby from the spigot I use in my contiguous brew jars, leaving the scoby undisturbed. The insects are on the scoby, not in the kombucha. Once the liquid is drawn well down, throw away the scoby and remaining liquid along with the offending critters. Continue fermentation in a fresh container........ do not do this until the kombucha has reached drinking stage of sourness. The booch will make a new scoby....................... Ignore the nonsense you see almost everywhere. The scoby does NOT make the kombucha, the yeasts and microbes in the kombucha do, and the acetobacter and gluconobacter make the scoby. You can throw it away at any time with no ill effect. I've done this for many years now, and thrown away more scobies than I can count......... When they get thick and a nuisance I just toss them.

Nearly all of the folk lore surrounding kombucha is utter nonsense spread by ignorant people repeating what someone else has repeated that they heard somewhere. I've discovered that there is very little truth to be found in the kombucha community. The scoby for example is a pellicle... a mat of microcellulose, which is a byproduct of acetobacter and gluconobacter fermentation. It is NOT a living organism that feeds on caffeine or tannins from tea. The microbes require virtually the identical nutrients beer yeast require to grow and prosper.... sugar and yeast available nitrogen.