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 firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comments below!