SCOBY = symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.
Hit up your local food coop and spread the word that you’re looking for a scoby. Someone will come to your brewing rescue.
Be mindful when choosing tea that there’s no essential oil in the black tea - we’ve found that the scoby doesn’t like some oils.
Adding the pre-brewed kombucha provides bacteria to help kick start your brew.
Do not use a stainless steel brewing container as the scoby can react to it. Don’t use plastic either (BPA, yuk!). We prefer glass.
When you put scoby in, it could sink, or it could float. Either way, it’s all good.
While your beverage is brewing, the scoby will start to grow a baby on it. This will happen over and over. Just keep using the original scoby as you like, or use a baby. Whichever way is cool. You can gift your friends baby scobies at their parties. I think they’d like that.
What about mould? Sometimes the new scobies forming look like mould - but in fact it can be the new yeast growth forming. Have a look at it. Mould on top appears dry and furry, with separate clump dwellings. Scoby growths look moist. It can start out as separate clumps, but then merge together as one flap. Scoby growth will also grow mostly submerged beneath the liquid.
Support: Kombucha Brewers Group - here you chat with a community of keen brewers about your kombucha making journey, send in pics for clarification, and have a merry time.