Hello Colin! Thank you for offering your experiences and expertise through this site. So appreciated! I was hoping you could help me with my Kombucha adventures. I recently started brewing some and was told to let the dried scoby sit in the tea/sugar/vinegar mixture for 30 days in order to activate it. After 30 days, I tried the kombucha but it was SO sour. Is it because I left it to ferment for too long? Or did I maybe use too much vinegar? (The instructions I had told me to keep the napkin that covered the kombucha damp with vinegar, so I would simply pour vinegar on the napkin once in a while and sometimes some would drip into the mixture.) Any thoughts would be helpful. I am going to try again with the scoby and starter tea from the first batch, but I’m definitely not drinking any of it!
Hey, no problem! I’ve not read too many great things about starting Kombucha from a dried scoby, pretty much the opposite. Your first “brew” sounds like it just didn’t work. Did you get a “baby” on top of that Kombucha batch? You should have seen a second scoby start to form. If not, it was just a failed experiment…a learning opportunity! I have always started my Kombucha with living mothers. I usually buy a bottle of “original” Kombucha, of whatever brand I like (usually Synergy), and make a tea/sugar mix and pour the teeeeny tiny mother at the bottom of the cold bottle (she floats when it warms up) and about 1/3rd of the bottle into a quart of room temperature (70-80f) tea and sugar mixture. I think I have had a 100% success rate using this method, starts growing in a couple days. I’ve even grown mothers from other brands that filter their scoby out. Give that a shot, start a batch at the same time you try again with the dehydrated scoby, let me know how it goes!