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Can I Take a Break from Brewing Kombucha?

If you’ve been brewing for a while, you can easily take time off

Have an upcoming vacation? Or, do you just want a little break from home-brew kombucha? No sweat!

As home-brewers, we often grow to care for our scobys. You will want to ensure your hard work together will survive any time apart. Two important items to consider are the length of time you’ll be away from the brew, and how to prepare your scoby for the break.

Take a Week to a Monthlong Break

Home-brewed kombucha is really easy to store while away. If you will be gone for a week to a month, read on for detailed steps.

Kombucha brewing vessel
A double coffee filter is best for shorter breaks.

Step 1: Make Strong Sweet Tea

Make about half to one-third of the amount of tea you typically would. Since your brew will be left unattended, it will get vinegary. We will dispose of it in Step 4, so why waste your products?

Follow your usual tea recipe, but DOUBLE the sugar. This extra sugar will give your scoby plenty to consume to retain its health. Let the tea come to room temperature and pour into your brewing vessel with your scoby and plenty of reserved starter liquid.

Step 2: Cover it up

Ensure your vessel’s exterior is extra clean, and the lid is dry. Cover with two coffee filters layered and a tight rubber band, as shown above. Place your brew where you typically do, ensuring that space is not a temptation for fruit flies or ants.

If possible, store it somewhere cooler than usual, around 60-65°F, which helps slow the fermentation. I put mine in the basement.

Step 3: Enjoy your Break

😀

Step 4: Come Back

Uncover your vessel, pour out the liquid and dispose of, making sure to reserve plenty of starter liquid as you typically would. The liquid will smell and taste vinegary.

Brew your typical amount and strength of tea, and return to your ritual.

Take a Break of Several Months

Plan to be away for a few months? That’s okay! You can store your scoby in strong starter liquid safely; follow the four steps below.

Two vessels of kombucha with solid screwtop lids
A screw-top lid is best for long-term breaks.

Step 1: Make Strong Sweet Tea

Make about half to one-third of the amount of tea you typically would. Again, your brew will be left unattended and will turn to vinegar. Follow your usual tea recipe, but again DOUBLE the sugar.

Let the tea come to room temperature and pour into your brewing vessel with your scoby and plenty of reserved starter liquid.

Step 2: Cover it up

Ensure your vessel is extra clean. Cover with a solid screw-top lid, as shown above. Place your brew where you typically do, ensuring it is out of sunlight.

Store it somewhere cooler than usual, if possible, for this longer break.

Step 3: Enjoy the Break

🙏

Step 4: Come Back

When you return, it is essential to know there may be some pressure built up in your brewing vessel. Open the screw-top lid very carefully, discard most of the liquid. It will stink!

Brew your typical amount and strength of tea, and return to your ritual. 

Practice Patience

Remember that starting the kombucha process takes time for success. Understand it may take a few brewing cycles for your scoby to get back into the habit of making you delicious kombucha again.

The first few batches may be tangy and lack fizz, especially the longer the break. 

More from The Booch Witch:

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Brewers Beware of Mold

Oh no. It is something every kombucha home-brewer fears: Mold 😲 Scobys can get moldy for several reasons. This post discusses how

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The Best Tea for Kombucha

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