What do I do with gigantic scoby???

kitchendetectiveAugust 4, 2014

A neighbor left me with a gigantic five gallon jug purported to contain a gigantic scoby. This item is three inches thick in a layer across the top of a tea-like liquid. The appearance is rather off putting, shall I say? He will be gone for six months. Is it imperative that I maintain it? If so, what is the minimum I have to do? I have not cared for any of the Kombucha teas that I have sampled.

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Kitchendective, I asked Dana (my son's partner) about your scoby. She has one on the go. Her description of a scoby was that it looks like something that comes out of your nose, so I can just imagine how "off putting" it must be.

I was chatting with her this morning and asked her what you need to do to maintain this for your neighbour:

Her response:

"She may have to brew a batch every now and then. I use 13 cups water (I use tap but we have decent tap water, many use distilled) 8 tea bags of black tea and one cup of white sugar. Take the scoby out with clean hands and put it on a plate. Dump all but one cup of the fermented tea liquid out. Put the new sweet tea in the bucket/container (it MUST be cool, heat kills the scoby). Then gently dump the scoby back on top. Cover with cheese cloth so it can breath but things like fruit Flys can't get in.
It's important to not use metal due to their reactivity. Use glass, plastic or wood.

If she isn't going to drink it she can let it ferment for several weeks, 4, before having to start again. Once a month is fine if she's just tryin to keep it alive.

The scoby will grow a lot though. I cut mine in half when it gets thick and either give it away, compost or through it out.
It tastes kind of like apple cider vinegar but a bit more sweet. Matt says it tastes like iced tea with a lot more citrus/sour taste."

Hope this helps.

(sounds like of disgusting to me).

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:59PM
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Thank you so much for obtaining and giving me this information. (We won't go into my detailed thoughts about the appearance.)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Here is some more information from Dana:

"I've been researching lots about kombucha. Its pretty hard to mess up badly.
If the scoby turns black and looks fuzzy, as in mold fuzzy, it is bad, throw it away. But it doesn't happen that often as long as you only touch it with clean hands and keep it covered.
If she lets it over ferment the vinegar is kind of nice in place of other vinegars for salad dressings and such."

"This is mine. But I do "continuous brew" so I get a couple jars off it every 2-3 days. The thing sinking there is the scoby.

It sinks because I stir it up when I add to the top. It generally will float its way back to the top. It is fine if it doesn't though. A "new" scoby will start to form as a thin film on the top. Thats why I cut mine down every so often, or peel the layers apart."

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:23PM
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Here is the new occupant of my baking counter.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 8:46PM
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After googling, I'll admit I'm mildly interested in SCOBY. That said, based on your question I'm thinking you were left with little to no instructions on how to care for a $5 pet on your counter for six months. If it were a cat I'd probably feed it, but a disk of bacteria would probably die an "unfortunate death" despite my "best efforts."

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Nooooooo! Drink that? Never!!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:35AM
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