I stumbled upon directions for making a SCOBY years ago, but since I always had a few of them on hand I never had the opportunity to make my own. Now's my chance! I referenced the kitchn blog, just to make sure I was doing everything right, but honestly the directions are pretty much the same as brewing a batch of kombucha with a SCOBY. If you've made kombucha before, this is a cinch! (All the same, there are some fantastic pictures on the kitchn blog! Check it out for more precise directions)
What you'll need:
about 7 cups filtered, non-chlorinated water
5 small tea bags (black or green-I used green)
1/2 c sugar
1 c store-bought, raw, unfiltered, non-flavored kombucha
A fermenting vessel (clear glass)
Start with brewing your tea. Bring the water to a boil, then (off heat) add your tea bags. Let the tea steep at least 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and add sugar while the tea is still warm. Let the tea cool completely. Pour sweetened tea into your fermenting vessel and pour in the kombucha. Cover with a towel secured with a rubber band.
If you have more than one culture sitting on your kitchen counter at once, be sure to separate them to prevent cross-contamination. I have my sourdough and kombucha at opposite ends of my kitchen.
The SCOBY will be ready in 1-4 weeks, depending on the temperature in your home. Since it is pretty cold here, mine will take closer to 4 weeks...
4 days later:
I noticed that "yeasties" were starting to form on the surface of my brew. If you are familiar with kombucha, the "yeasties" are the brown tendril-like things that grow beneath (or between) your SCOBYs. After all, SCOBY means: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. The yeast isn't bad, but it does show me that something is alive in there! In the upper left of the picture, you can see the baby SCOBY that was in my store-bought bottle of kombucha. I included it in my cup of starter, just to get things moving along! The bubbles around it tell me it is consuming the sugar in the tea and breeding more good bacteria. Life is beautiful!
6 days later:
The new SCOBY is a thin film over my kombucha. It is finally forming! As I said before, it can take up to 4 weeks for the SCOBY to fully develop, so I will keep checking it daily...
1 1/2 weeks later: