Did you know that Kombucha needs a Scoby to grow?!
If you know anything about fermentation and kombucha, you’ve probably heard of SCOBY. Did you ever wonder what it is, exactly? We want to demystify SCOBY and make sure you have all of the facts.
SCOBY is an acronym that stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” Let’s break that down a bit.
First, “symbiotic” means “an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association.”
Second, “culture” is defined as “the act or practice of cultivating living material (such as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media.”
And lastly, “bacteria and yeast.” We all know what those are. When it comes to kombucha brewing, bacteria and yeast are the wonder ingredients no kombucha can live without.
Let’s put all of that together into something that makes more sense. When certain bacteria and yeast are put together and cultivated in the right environment, you get SCOBY. It’s a living culture that grows and evolves, consuming sugar as its fuel.
It’s a jelly thing.
WHAT DOES SCOBY LOOK LIKE?
If you look into any raw kombucha bottle, you’ll likely find “stuff” floating in it. This is small amounts of SCOBY and shows your kombucha is alive with active cultures. It’s perfectly safe to drink and is one of the unique characteristics of kombucha.
During fermentation, SCOBY is a bit more obvious. As the fermentation process progresses, SCOBY forms into a thick, rubbery, jelly-like and cloudy mass that smells like vinegar. It may look and smell strange, but it’s actually a good sign that the kombucha is fermenting exactly the way it should.