Kombucha mold?

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Kombucha mold?

Postby mindful on Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:18 pm

I just took a class on making Kombucha and was given a gallon jar, a small SCOBY, sugar, tea and a bottle of pre-made Kombucha. When I opened the bottle of pre-made stuff, there was a thin, dark brown stringy, film on the top. I tasted a spoonful of it and it was great so figured it was just fine. The Kombucha is sitting on top of my fridge now and the brown stringy stuff is still there and has grown a bit and is now floating on the top along with the SCOBY. Is this normal? It has only been a few days and I have not tasted the mixture yet but it smells correct. Should i remove these or is it just a bit of a different colored SCOBY? I am so new to this that I had not even tasted Kombucha before this class!

A person who arrives at a feast when the cooked meat is being pulled out of the pot does not know what was endured by others to catch and cook it. - Igbo Proverb
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Re: Kombucha mold?

Postby sequoia on Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:18 pm

Sounds perfectly normal! The brown stringy gooey bits are strains of the culture, if I understand it correctly, and they will usually gather under the mother culture or collect at the bottom. They can even generate a new mother culture if removed and put into their own tea mixture, but this can take a while. When you harvest the kombucha you can strain them out or keep them in and ingest them; it's up to you.

Mold contaminating kombucha is, in my experience, pretty easy to recognize, as it grows on top of the culture and is a very different color.

Good luck with your kombucha!
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Re: Kombucha mold?

Postby mindful on Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:00 pm

Unfortunately, now my Kombucha has actual mold on it. since the SCOBY is still sitting at the bottom I assume I can re-use it but not sure. Should I get a new SCOBY?
A person who arrives at a feast when the cooked meat is being pulled out of the pot does not know what was endured by others to catch and cook it. - Igbo Proverb
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:12 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Kombucha mold?

Postby fungitobewith on Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi there everybody,

Here's my noob post. So im experimenting with this whole deal and am curious about whether or not my batch is okay. I used green tea, distilled water, roughly 2 cups of sugar (and a bit of brown sugar), a Dave GT Cranberry kombucha, and a gallon glass jar - let it sit for 2 weeks/14 days in roughly warm enough temp (round 78-80 F with a light on it because my room is around 69-70 all day) - the scoby that formed from the premade kombucha didnt form until the last 3 or so days and looks like the attached pictures now. But during the process the brown stuff from the original formed those blackish colonies that are hardened and I really dont know whether its mold or not - everything smells kosher, I even tasted the batch before I bottled it and it was quite acidic and vinegary minus any carbonation. It was pretty sweet surprisingly, but it didnt taste "bad".

Thoughts? Could I continue with this scoby?


scoby bottom
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scoby top
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close up of stuff im skeptical about
DSC02000.jpg (209.58 KiB) Viewed 7969 times
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Re: Kombucha mold?

Postby Fubar on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:31 pm

That is not mold. It is more likely a mixture of the yeasts in the SCOBY. You can tell it is mold if it grows on the top of the SCOBY and looks fuzzy. It will also have that musty mold aroma. Your culture looks perfectly fine.

@mindful. If your SCOBY is still sitting on the bottom of the jar after several days, it is most likely no good. Usually, they will rise to the top after a day or 2.
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Re: Kombucha mold?

Postby FermentingFoods on Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:17 pm

I would agree that is sounds perfectly normal, I like when my "creature" (my nickname for the mushroom) keep growing. Keep up the good work.
The Fermenting Foods Guy
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Re: Kombucha mold?

Postby anahatabalance on Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:14 pm

You KT cultures look fine. However, using a beverage to start may weaken the first round, since there is no culture to start. If your pH is off then your brewing time can increase and run the risk of contamination. It can be done however! I would suggest using only a cup of sugar per gallon, as why your tea may still be sweet.

The dark areas are just the old yeast chains/strands. It is normal for the kombucha to do this and tells one that the yeast are active and healthy. If your culture gets to much build up of these old yeast on the bottom side, just wash in the kombucha tea(not under running water) before straining or bottling.

In a gallon size jar, the yeast chain can hang 6" down and back to the top again. See attached photo...
kombucha_culture_yeast_001.jpg (42.63 KiB) Viewed 6855 times
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