Wild Fermentation: Phase Two

Hooray!  I am happy to report that Phase One was a success!

Baby 1

Look at that slimy Baby SCOBY!

Now we head on into Phase Two!

Before I get in to the 2nd part of our Kombucha growth – I want to share some bumps in the road we had on this first go.

Having never done this myself before, I was anxious about what would become of my SCOBY.  After it sat for 4 days, we checked on it… and there was no improvement. We found that while we had it in a dark, warm place – but it wasn’t quite warm enough.

This old Charleston house we live in, built in 1840,  is a bit drafty in the winter.  Once Jonathan found a warmer spot, the yeast took off wonderfully.  I suspect that in the summer & fall months, the growth would be a couple days short of this go around.  It took 9 days, rather than 7, to get our baby SCOBY ready for Phase Two. The time it takes for it to thicken is very much dependent on outside factors.  I am learning it’s not an exact science.

Also, I understand from my research online that it is good to find some litmus strips/paper at this stage.  As the Baby SCOBY grows into the Mother SCOBY, you may need to check the acidity levels to protect the SCOBY and to ensure your final product is still sweet and tasty, rather than bitter and vinegary.

Into Phase Two – we continue with our “recipe”!  Once the film/Baby SCOBY has grown to be about ⅛th of an inch thick, you’ll need to feed it again and start creating the Mother.

SCOBY Baby 2 - GratefulStills

Phase Two – Instructions

  1. Boil 4 cups of water.  Add ⅓ cup of sugar to the boiling water; stir to dissolve. Turn off the heat, and this time add 2 bags of green tea.
  2. As done in Phase One, cover the saucepan to prevent the mixture from evaporating and let it cool down thoroughly to room temperature. Again, it is very important that the mixture has cooled before moving on to the next step or you may damage the Baby SCOBY or kill all that good bacteria.  
  3. Once cooled, remove the tea bags and transfer the mixture to a large, gallon glass jar (I switched from the 1 Quart Ball jar to a 1 Gallon glass jar that we found at World Market for $6).
  4. Add in to that the contents of the original 1 Quart jar.  this is all of the kombucha liquid and the Baby SCOBY.  Be gentle and careful with this tranplanting both SCOBY and liquid.
  5. Again, cover the top of the jar/container with  2 layers of paper towels or some cheese cloth.  Secure it with a rubber band, and return it to the warm, dark spot for another week to 2 weeks.
  6. Once the scoby is ¼ to ½ inch thick, it’s ready to make your first batch of kombucha!
  • If at any point during the process you notice green mold forming in the mixture, toss it and start over. This can happen when the liquid isn’t acidic enough, or has been contaminated. 

So…. we wait again and shall report as we go! Fingers crossed!

SCOBY Baby 3 - GratefulStills


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