How long is too long?

Discussion in 'Kombucha Brewing' started by Brendan S, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Brendan S

    Brendan S New Member

    so I brewed my first batch of Kombucha successfully. So I repeated everything for a second batch. Life got in the way and I forgot about it. Until now. It's been fermenting for a bout 2 1/2 months. I know the liquid it self is probably just vinegar now. But my question is are the scobys ok to use again?
  2. Ben

    Ben Administrator Staff Member

    It should be fine.

    I myself have a batch of SCOBYS that have been sitting around since the beginning of June. They will be fine, 5 months later!

    I've heard stories where people forgot about SCOBYs for 8 years (put away in a sealed jar), and those SCOBYs were able to make kombucha when reactivated.

    So, you shouldn't have any problem with 2.5 months! It may take a few cycles of brewing for your culture to start brewing at full power though.
  3. Margaret Ricketts

    Margaret Ricketts New Member

    I have just restarted a jar full of SCOBYs stored for 6 years! They look and smell fine so it will be interesting to see if they can recover, and how long it will take.
  4. Misschief

    Misschief Member

    Wow!! Pretty amazing! I'll have to remember that when I start feeling guilty for having so many scobies waiting around in jars.
    Margaret Ricketts likes this.
  5. Margaret Ricketts

    Margaret Ricketts New Member

    My brew is now 12 days old; no sign of a new culture growing yet, but there are groups of bubbles on the surface and the flavour is pleasant...lively, but not as acid as it should be, so I'm guessing the yeasts is working but not the bacteria. I did add a small amount of vodka to the brew to help the bacteria get going - hopefully there are enough left from the old cultures.

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  6. Misschief

    Misschief Member

    Vodka?? I have a feeling that you may be inhibiting your kombucha by adding alcohol to it.
  7. Margaret Ricketts

    Margaret Ricketts New Member

    Hello :) The reason for adding alcohol was is my understanding that the yeasts in the kombucha culture first work on the sugar in the tea to convert it to alcohol. As this is happening the bacteria in the culture convert the alcohol made by the yeasts into various organic acids etc - therefore adding a small amount of alcohol at the start should give the bacteria something to feed on whilst the yeasts get going.

    If anything, alcohol inhibits yeast (but only once it gets to a certain level) but my yeasts seem to be thriving - it's the bacteria that are lacking, hence no new culture forming? Adding alcohol was advise given to me a few years ago and worked well then - but that culture had not been dormant as long as this one has! I was also advised to add L-Arginine, but I'm not sure if this was for the benefit of yeasts or bacteria, so I'll look into that before I use it.

    The tea is now 15 days old and tastes good - but maybe I've just got tea wine? It's acidic, but that might be from the tea starter and vinegar I added at the beginning. I'll have to dig out my test strips and measure or invest in an electronic pH meter...I've always fancied one of those ;-) I'm using a continuous fermentation vessel and have been drawing off a little tea now and then to test it, so I think it's about time to top it up - maybe that might help things along a bit? :)
  8. Margaret Ricketts

    Margaret Ricketts New Member

    Well look what I have just found at the back of a cupboard...6 year old kombucha tea! Today I topped up the batch started three weeks ago (but which has not yet formed a new culture) and also added some L-Arginine, calcium coral and glucose, as well as a teaspoon of some rather unusual honey which the old culture used to enjoy 6 years ago when it was last active. Now I'll clean up the old bottles of tea, and see what they are like.

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