After writing my Kombucha Diaries from Vancouver over the summer, I made a couple of batches of flavoured Kombucha, then got caught up in wedding planning madness and headed back to Wisconsin for the fall.
I thought for sure my Kombucha scoby would have shriveled up and turned to dust after sitting entirely unattended in an old yogurt container in my mother's basement for the last 6.5 months. When I came home for the holidays, I decided to crack the lid on my Kombucha and see what my scoby had been up to.
I wanted to see if there was any chance it could grow again...
When I packed up my scobies after my last batch (I had two, a mother and a baby), I followed the basic directions I'd read on some very useful sites, namely The Food Renegade, Happy Herbalist, and Kombucha Kamp. They all suggest storing your scoby in a glass or plastic container along with about 1/2 cup or so of kombucha tea.
So I put my scobies in a plastic yogurt container with a lid on the floor in the basement stairwell and left it at that. I wasn't sure if I should refrigerate it or not, so to the basement it went!
Now these sites all recommend periodically adding some more Kombucha tea to feed your scoby and keep it from drying out. Obviously, I didn't do this. I don't doubt that it's a good idea, it's just that I wasn't able to.
When I got back home I opened my container, and lo and behold, my scobies were going strong! In fact, they had even gotten bigger! There was also a fair amount of liquid still in the container, enough to work as a starter for another batch.
|3 Scobies fermenting, 2 old and 1 new|
Reviving the Scoby
Although the scobies were in very good condition, I wasn't sure if they would still make a good tea. Luckily, my mother had also stored a bottle of my last batch in her basement fridge for me. That tea was flavoured with blueberries and mint.
So I brewed a batch of sweetened tea and proceeded as one normally would to make Kombucha.
*However, instead of just putting in one scoby and a bit of starter, I put in both hefty scobies and the whole Mason jar full of blueberry mint Kombucha.
After ten days of fermenting on the kitchen floor near the heating vent (this wasn't intentional, but I don't think it hurt in this cold weather) the result was even better than any previous batch! It was wonderfully fizzy and fresh. I don't know if this is because of the blueberry mint starter, the extra scoby, being near the heater, or some mysterious miracle.
Since my starter is now flavoured with blueberry and mint I guess we'll find out with the next batch if that is what made the difference.
Not only that, but it rapidly grew itself a nice fat new scoby, so now I have more to share!
So I don't know if this half-hazard approach is really what created such fizzy Kombucha, or if it's standard for a scoby to survive over 6 months unattended, but it definitely worked for me this time.
Flavouring the Kombucha
Right now I'm "double fermenting" my Kombucha again for another day or two as I try out a couple of different flavours. Right now I've got two bottles of ginger lemon and two of pomegranate tea on the kitchen floor. I'll let you know when I crack them open how that turns out, and if they work I'll share the recipes later this week.
For the rest of the Kombucha diaries, check out:
Kombucha Diary: Day 13 - Bottling and Flavouring Kombucha (blueberry mint flavoured)
Resurrecting a Kombucha Scoby
Resurrecting a Kombucha Scoby
Have you tried reviving a Scoby? How long did you leave it dormant and what was your method?
|New scoby growing over 2 old ones|