How to Dehydrate a Kombucha SCOBY
If you want to take a break from Kombucha brewing, you have a couple options:
1. Ignore It for a month (leaving your SCOBY in the container)
2. Create a SCOBY hotel, refilling it with fresh sweet tea every 4-6 weeks
You can read our full guide to taking a break from kombucha making for more info.
There is another third option: Dehydrate your kombucha SCOBY mushroom.
This method can preserve your SCOBY for up to 6 months (but likely only 3 months) in the refrigerator without you having to replenish with sweat tea, sugar, or do anything.
Typically we do not recommend this unless it’s your last resort (such as you are moving to another country and can’t bring a living SCOBY with you on the airplane). The reason is that there is a failure rate when you dehydrate the SCOBY (your dehydrated scoby might not come back to life), it can take weeks to reactivate it, and the Kombucha brew might taste flat and weak because the culture is permanently damaged. There is also the risk of MOLD growing on your brews — many people report mold infestations in kombucha brews during the second or third brewing cycles when using a re-activated SCOBY that was dehydrated.
Nevertheless, if you want to take the risk, then here is how you dehydrate your scoby.
Dehydrating your Kombucha Scobys
- Place SCOBY/s on paper (unbleached) and allow to try in a warm area that’s between 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep dehydrating them until they are dry and leathery — the same texture as beef jerky.
- You may have to cover the scoby with paper to ward off pests like fruit flies and flies
- Because the failure rate of dehydrated scobys, you should do more than one at the same time so you have backup options
- When the scoby is dehydrated, place them in a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator. Your dehydrated scoby can live between 3 months to 5 months, though we suggest you take them out after 3 months. Longer then this and you risk them dying.
Reactivating Your Dehydrated SCOBY
The process is itself an article. Go here to see our guide on this.