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My SCOBY after a year of taking a break from brewing.

My SCOBY after a year of taking a break from brewing.

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pokemontrumpet

Damnnn it's a trooper


GeneBoatman

I've got a scoby that's been chilling for over month. How do I start a new batch? I ask this because the (starter?) liquid tastes way too strong of vinegar and I don't want to affect the new brew.


get_psily

A strong starter makes for a great brew


ILoveChey

had the same problem. I just only left about 1/5 starter liquid every new brew. It took about 6 brews to get it back to normal. Also, when you do the second fermentation, you can add some sweet tea to the bottle, to make it taste less sour


sittinginthesunshine

Use 2 cups of the liquid as starter and toss the rest. It will be fine.


samanthasharxn

You could just use storebought plain kombucha (I recommend GTs) with your scoby to start a new batch!


GeneBoatman

I can't get GTs over here in Madrid, but I was planning on doing something like that. Thanks for confirming!


DentRandomDent

I'm no expert but what I've done is tear off the Scoby baby and and a bit of the mother, discard the huge built up part and only use a small amount of the vinegar, like 1/4 - 1/2 cup, then make your new batch.


drizzzybeats

is it eatable


PleiadianJedi

Not anymore, it's file 13.


i_am_ash

What does file 13 mean?


ggabukas

trash


methnbeer

Killin me OP, we need to know.


A_Man_Of_Earth

I just googled it and apparently it means trash can. Especially used in the US military.


kingmazzi

my mom also used that saying and she works in HR lol


methnbeer

Must've been an admin term then, i never heard it.


cipolski

I know this pain too well


Orange_Pukeko

So what is the best course of action here? Separate layers and take the freshest looking one for the new batch?


PleiadianJedi

Actually, you do not even need the pellicle. I instantly throw mine away after every batch. It is mostly fiber and not NEARLY as concentrated with bacteria and yeast as the liquid is. It's simply a waste of space, that I could be using for extra liquid.


Orange_Pukeko

Oh, I never knew that! So you only need it for "long" term storage? I imagine they are a bit more durable than the liquid is.


PleiadianJedi

Think of the pellicle as cellulose. Only solid. SCOBY is barely in the pellicle. It is very strong and concentrated in the starter liquid. This response from u/zethien is perfect v Its literally bacteria poop. You can dispose of the whole pellicle at the end of each batch. The yeast live suspended in the liquid generally at the bottom of your vessel but also throughout. The bacteria likes to hang out up top, but its also throughout. People think the pellicle can inoculate a new batch because generally the pellicle has liquid in/on it which has the yeast and bacteria in it. But in reality, its best to inoculate a new batch with starter liquid, this is the actual SCOBY. The only way the pellicle may be somewhat useful is that it eventually creates a seal which can help trap and therefore suspend CO2 in the liquid. The pellicle doesn't usually affect the bacteria's ability to breath oxygen because the open air interface isnt actually where it gets its oxygen, it gets its from oxygen suspended in the liquid. This is why its recommended to agitate your liquid when starting to trap air inside for the bacteria. But eventually the CO2 pressure gets strong enough to move the pellicle out of the way, which is why your F1 stage wont be as carbonated (if at all) as it will be when you go to bottle and therefore trap the CO2


Orange_Pukeko

I thank all three of you for your in-depth replies. I'm definitely a beginner and apologize for the beginner questions, there's just a lot of information that's either from questionable sources or speaks in a wavy, unscientific language. Thank you all for changing that.


Bad_Droid

Hi, I thought as you do but was recently given more information by another member here u/intelligenceunknown who graciously took the time to put a lot of effort into their replies. Please take the time to visit [this comment thread](https://www.reddit.com/r/Kombucha/comments/n1gmjw/my_3_scoby_each_almost_the_size_of_a_dinner_plate/gweo78e/) and read the discussion. The pellicle is a scoby and is beneficial. Much more so than I ever thought.


zethien

Intelligenceunknown is not wrong but I feel parts of that comment are not totally appropriate for the homebrewing community. The pellicle creates (can be referred to as) a substrate for the bacteria and yeast. In the vinegar industry, they often use wood or corn husk as a substrate (notice that both of these are essentially cellulose). The use of a substrate like this is called [solid state fermentation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_fermentation). SSF provides a way for nutrients and waste (mostly oxygen and CO2) to more effectively travel throughout an environment without the addition of more water. But this only really becomes a concern on a large scale. Liquid fermentation on a small scale works perfectly fine as water (or in our case for kombucha, tea) is already a very good substrate. Oxygen can still dissolve throughout the small scale volume of liquid and the CO2 can still dissipate out from the small scale volume of liquid. Either way, to use intelligenceunknown's own analogy, the SCOBY will build its own city to live in. The city is not a necessary prerequisite for the SCOBY to live and do its thing. SSF is used for *low water* environments. For example, vinegar production uses a substrate because often the goal of vinegar production is maximal acetic acid production, you therefore dont want too much water to dilute your acid. This is not a concern for homebrewed kombucha as we want our liquid to be *drinkable*. Once you are looking at commercial scale production, accelerating fermentation, acidifiers, etc. then all this substrate stuff (might) become more important. (personally, we use other methods: agitation, as I mentioned in whatever comment I was quoted in) The important thing for homebrewers however is to not do weird things like: * only use the pellicle to inoculate a new brew (the SCOBY within might not be enough to establish a successful culture, putting your "starter liquid" however **will always** establish a successful culture) * wash off their pellicle between brews (which washes off whatever SCOBY might be on/in the pellicle) * or otherwise give their pellicle weird special treatment To avoid getting the same beginner mistakes and questions over and over again, I advocate for our community to not only draw a distinction between the pellicle and the SCOBY, but to also make it clear that to start a new brew the pellicle is not the important part, the liquid is.


Orange_Pukeko

I thank all three of you for your in-depth replies. I'm definitely a beginner and apologize for the beginner questions, there's just a lot of information that's either from questionable sources or speaks in a wavy, unscientific language. Thank you all for changing that.


Bad_Droid

Thanks for the reply :D


Orange_Pukeko

I thank all three of you for your in-depth replies. I'm definitely a beginner and apologize for the beginner questions, there's just a lot of information that's either from questionable sources or speaks in a wavy, unscientific language. Thank you all for changing that.


PleiadianJedi

Wooooow. I loved that article. I will now keep my biofilm pellicle and not throw it away. Thank you!!!


Due-Significance3140

So why can’t you just empty most of the vinegar and use a little and the scoby for your next batch?


PleiadianJedi

I throw the pellicle away each time, it's simply a waste of space and there is no need for it. I'm not ready to brew again yet, however if I was, I do not even know if it is safe to use such old liquid.


morry32

I've got the feeling one person knows what they are doing and the other two have never seen or heard of kombucha. I'll let you decide who is who


HeftyMeme

Yeah it's funny to hear the fear and disgust.


morry32

"I swear I'm not trying to say nothing" followed by "oh my god, oh shit" and what I believe to be "you gonna git bit" "you trying get it out of dere?"


PleiadianJedi

You guys hit the nail on the head!


morry32

I've got a strong feeling my parents would react in very familiar in this situation.


LoopyLadyCA

It's the size of a large animal's liver...are you sure you're not growing a new life form🤣?


PleiadianJedi

I could've sworn it had a pulse. I may celebrate Father's Day this year.


LoopyLadyCA

😂