How to Keep Your SCOBY Healthy and Mold-Free

Kombucha brewers often times have concerns about the health of their SCOBYs. Keep in mind that SCOBYs are generally robust and can survive in numerous conditions. They will also tend to look different from one another in terms of shape and color. You can still have perfectly delicious tasting kombucha even if your SCOBY does not look like an even, flat pancake. Below you will find tips and advice on how to keep your SCOBY healthy and mold-free.

How to prevent mold from happening

  • Make sure there is plenty of airflow for the SCOBY to breathe. Do NOT trap it in an area such as a closed cupboard or drawer. Keep it on the counter top or in an open cupboard.

  • The air quality is a huge factor. Do NOT expose the brew to cigarette smoke, plants, or garbage.

  • Keep the brew around room temperature (68 to 77°F). If it is too cold, the fermentation process will slow down giving more opportunities for mold to form. You can wrap the jar with a heat blanket or place it near the side of a refrigerator to warm it up. If it is too hot, the bacteria in the brew can die off, resulting in moldy SCOBYs. Cool your brew by placing it somewhere dark.

  • The quality of your ingredients will affect the quality of your brew/SCOBY. Make sure to use filtered or purified water to prevent contamination.

  • Lack of starter liquid may promote the growth of mold. Make sure the acidic starter liquid is also not flavored with fruits or juices.

Mold on SCOBYs will…    

  • Appear as white/blue/black fuzzy patches

  • Grow in spots

  • Be located on top of the SCOBY, where it is most exposed to airborne bacteria

  • Dead SCOBYs appear black

I found mold on my SCOBY! What do I do?

  • Toss the moldy SCOBY and the remaining content in the jar ASAP. Do NOT try to salvage the remaining liquid/scoby as it is a major risk to your health and will contaminate any brew you make with the contaminated liquid/SCOBY.

brewBeverly Nguyensafety, mold, scoby