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How many times can I use a Kombucha Mother?

Written by Hannah Crum on May 08, 2012 with 1 Comment

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The SCOBY is the mother ship of bacteria & yeast.

The Kombucha Mother, also referred to as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is the mother ship that transports the bacteria and yeast from batch to batch of Kombucha tea. But how many times can it be used? Does it ever “die?”

Typically a culture can be used for up to 10 brewing cycles before it atrophies and gives out. Since a new culture is produced with every batch, there really is no need to use the same old culture until it dies. You can detect decaying culture or weak bacteria by how easy it is to tear or rip the culture. You may notice your culture has died if it stops making Kombucha.

I like to keep 1-2 cultures together from batch to batch. Then, when there are 3, I peel the bottom layer and put it in my SCOBY Hotel. I continue to use the top 1-2 cultures in the next batch and then repeat the proceedure.

If you are using a Continuous Brewer, when you clean your vessel (every 2-4 months depending on how much Kombucha you are making), remove atrophied culture and either compost it, bury it in the garden or dispose of it in the trash. Here are some other great ways to use your old Kombucha mothers!

What do you do with your old Kombucha mothers? Leave a comment below!

Got questions about brewing Kombucha, fermented foods or traditional diets? Drop me a line at or leave them in the comments below!





1 Comment

There are currently 1 Comment on How many times can I use a Kombucha Mother?. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. I think this SCOBY stuff is similar to nata de coco. It’s a by-product when coconut water is fermented into wine or vinegar. The main difference perhaps is the color. While kombucha scoby is brownish/yellowish, nata de coco is more of white-ish.

    Anyhow, the “raw” nata de coco is thoroughly washed many times to eliminate the “sour” taste. Then, it’s cut into small pieces and cooked in water and sugar. The end product is chewy and sweet.

    So, I guess this process can also be done with kombucha scoby. =)

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