Komboucha Chronicles: Magicking up a Mother

You don’t need a lot to make a batch of kombucha; all it takes is water, sugar, tea, and a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. What, you don’t have symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast? Don’t worry, we’re going to grow one.

It’s called a SCOBY for short, but can also be known as the Mother or the Mushroom. It is not in anyway a mushroom but a colony of bacteria and yeast that live in harmony together, eating sugar and turning it into the acids, vitamins, and enzymes that make kombucha so tasty and healthy. A scoby looks like a nasty gewy pancake:

the mother.jpg
my home-grown 2 week old scoby

You can buy a scoby on the internet, beg one from a booch-brewing friend, or you can grow one at home from a bottle of store-bought kombucha, like me!

It’s like the “I’m gonna leave this at the back of the fridge” science experiment you always wanted to conduct as a kid but your mum would make you throw out just as your results were getting interesting. Oh, did you not attempt gross science experiments as a kid? Okay then, its like a magic trick.

What you need:

  • 1 bottle of store bought kombucha with a lot of sediment
    (you can drink the top 2/3s)  
  • water
  • organic black tea
  • white sugar
  • a mason jar, a dish cloth, a rubber band
  • a belief in magic or science (preferably both)

What you do: 

  • bring 1 cup of water to boil, remove from heat
  • add 2 tablespoons of white sugar, stir to dissolve
  • add 2 bags of organic black tea
  • remove tea bags after about 5 min
  • cool completely, pour into a clean glass jar
  • add kombucha  tea
  • cover with a cloth and seal with the rubber band
  • wait & watch as your scoby grows until 1/4 inch thick
    (between 1 and 2 weeks)

SCOBYAnd just like that, I have my very own kombucha Mother! This little scoby is going to make me a whole lot of delicious bubbly healthy goodness. All it will take is a bit more time, tea, and a plethora of microbial fermentation, oxidation, and cellulose synthesis reactions! … I mean *magic*.

mother, top and bottom

TIP: rinse your hands with distilled white vinegar when handling the Mother to keep her clean and healthy. You can rinse your jar with vinegar too.







5 thoughts on “Komboucha Chronicles: Magicking up a Mother

  1. GROSS!! Just kidding… it’s cool. Well actually, it’s definitely both. I am impressed Liam likes it… maybe he could convince Étienne, too?

    1. It is for sure both! Liam loves it because it’s bubbly like pop. Get Etienne to try a store-bought bottle and he’ll be hooked. After my first brew I can give you guys a baby scoby and you can start making it at home too!

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