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Early expectations

Beautiful scoby

Your patience will be rewarded

Getting your scoby happy at home may take some time. Let’s talk about expectations for the first few weeks of your home-brewing kombucha.

First, take a couple of breaths. It will take a few weeks for your scoby to grow across the surface of your brewing vessel. During my how-to classes I call this the First Timers Club!

The key to healthy and productive homebrew is a thick, yeasty, happy scoby. There’s no good way to rush this process, so enjoy watching it grow. Check on your scoby and brew every couple days, but be careful to not open the filtered top or disturb your jar much.

Slow but steady progress

Depending on the warmth of your brewing environment, after a few weeks your scoby will start to look a bit like a thick, creamy gel. Pictured below is my very first attempt, after 15 days.

Early stages of scoby
My first attempt after 15 days

Because the length of time may vary, but is usually longer than normal for a continuous brew, I recommend you start with significantly less tea than a full brew your first time. Consider your first batch your investment. It will be helping your scoby develop for weeks, but won’t produce anything delicious. 

When your scoby has spread over the surface and is getting thicker, you are ready to start over with Step 1 again. Now’s the time to pour your brew down the sink, but retain the scoby and a couple of inches of liquid in your vessel. The brew will be too vinegary to bottle your kombucha.

You’re almost there!

Below is my first attempt after 24 days. See how the scoby has spread over the surface, and has gotten thicker? I had a little air bubble pop up the scoby here, which is normal. Just gently shake a jar a bit to dislodge.

Mature scoby
My first attempt after 24 days

Depending on the temps in your brewing space, lengths differ. Expect it to be six to eight weeks before your first really good and satisfying brews.

Need some help getting started?

To get more tips and techniques, sign up for one of my how-to classes, or get a group of friends together for a private event.

The Booch Witch is happy to offer email support to those who have registered for her classes, or purchased one of her products.

More from The Booch Witch:

The integrity of kombucha and why reading labels matters

Why reading the label matters

Your favorite kombucha brands may be watered down. Kombucha Brewers International released a Code of Practice. The code distinguishes between the following

Use what you have at home for kombucha

How to Flavor Kombucha

Selecting the best fruits, fruit mixtures, and flattering herbs and spices is a creative part of the home kombucha brewing process.

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