Organic Kombucha

Kombucha Tea, Cultures, Benefits and Hazards

Question about my first kombucha brew January 24, 2009

Here is a question we recently got:

Got the brew kit a week ago, and am about to start to bottle my first batch. I noticed yesterday that the new culture that formed on top looked kinda blue. I read that cultures can mold and infect the tea, and now I am scared. how does this look to you?

Picture of a Healthy, yet Very young baby scoby

Picture of a Healthy, yet Very young baby scoby

If it is ok (i really hope it is), after i bottle the all the tea (and leave a little?) can i just put new brewed sweetened tea right on top of all the culture, or do i take some out?

Thanks for helping me out I am really excited to finally be brewing my own kombucha.


As far as I can see you look good to go!! just save around 15% (usually the spigot placement is a good measure of 15%) and pure some fresh tea on top.


To ensure a healthy and more evened out batch: After you pour your sweet tea on top of the SCOBY, draw a big ole glass from the spigot and pour it on top. This will take part of the 15% starter tea from your last batch that was on the bottom and place it on top of your new sweat tea. Kind of like a starter tea sandwich where the starter tea is the bread (rye, pumpernickel, any kind you want) and the sweat tea is the turkey (unless your a vegetarian, and then it would be the tofurkey).

This gently mixes the older more acidic brew with the fresh sweat tea, causing the ph level to drop a little bit faster before the sweat tea can become susceptible to harsh environmental conditions.

Happy Brewin’!


PS: Congrats on rockin out with the culture and a helluva great pic!


29 Responses to “Question about my first kombucha brew”

  1. Suzy Says:

    Wow, great idea on the sweet tea & how to blend new & old. But the “sweat tea” sounds a little less appetizing, bet you have to do some serious working out for that, huh? (LOL)

  2. Dianne Williams Says:

    This is a big help to me. I have jars “full” of culture. My culture looks like this one. I have wondered if I need to trim it or cut it in half, etc. Thank you! My tea is great.
    How much is too much to consume and how can you tell when the alcohol content is too much?

    • llindalogan Says:

      I do trim my scoby about every two weeks to keep it around an 1″ thick. This keeps my tea brewing at a good rate. I pull off 20% of my brew almost everyday and replace it with new tea. Then I do a secondary ferment with blueberries, ginger juice, raspberry or blackberries. I put the fresh brewed kombucha in a plastic container with a few inches at the top. Squeeze to force the liquid to the top and then screw on the cap. This leaves an empty space. A few days at room temperature and I have a nice fizz and then I bottle it.

  3. MARTIN Says:

    What in the world is “sweat tea?”

    Do you mean “sweet tea?”

    It’s a bit questionable.

  4. Debra Hargersilver Says:

    Dave has never been very good at spelling, I’ve noticed. But he means well, and that’s more important. We still love you anyway!

  5. Rahn A. Stephens Says:

    You should really be sure to let the fresh sweet tea cool down to room temp. before adding to the brewer with culture, or the “hot tea will KILL YOUR CULTURE”! ALSO,” YOU CANNOT CONSUME TOO MUCH.” Any k-tea your body cannot use or absorb is just passed out through waste, so drinking more than a pint between pit stops to the restroom is usually a waste. you cannot raise the alcohol content to too much because it will be almost straight vinegar by then, and you would have to brew the batch for a couple of months to achieve that.

  6. annette Says:

    i, have been brewing for about eight months now but now that it has gotten cold my tea doesnot brew as will as it does in the summer months . when i,m not brewing what can i do with my culture ?

    ———- GETKOMBUCHA RESPONSE ——————————–



  7. Dianne Williams Says:

    Rahn, thank you for your response about how much is too much and the alcohol content.

    Dave, spelling is an aptitude, so all of that studying for a spelling test helped your memory, but, did not insure your being a good speller. I had to quickly check to see if I had used the word sweat. I often switch those words as well as many others.

    By-the-way, Kombucha is $3.59 a bottle at my grocery store. It was $2.99 last summer. THANK YOU DAVE! I make 2 gallons for under a dollar.

  8. Madelene Says:

    Can someone that is pre-diabetic drink the tea?

    • Deborah Says:

      Up front let me say this is only my experience. I am diabetic, I take metformin. My last A1c was 6 which is great. I usually drink 12 -16 oz a day. I haven’t found it has changed my diabetes.

  9. Deanna Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I wanted to share something about using a piece of culture and taping it on a wart my son had on his hand. It seemed to help it over night. I read in a book somewhere that ACV (apple cider vinager) would help kill warts so I tried a little piece of culture and I really think is killing the wart. Has anyone else tried using this method. Just a thought. I really think its working

  10. Kelvin Forrest Says:

    I recently bought a home brewing system from you and have been pleased with the Tea. My concern however is the new scoby now growing on the tea that is now stored up in my glass drinking container. It is thin. is it because there is nho more suger in the drinkable to feed this newly forming scoby, and if not what do we do with this formikng scoby?

  11. Elsa Says:

    Hi All,

    I would like to see the premium video series for customers, but don’t know what my password is…? Is this series for all customers?

  12. jane Says:

    my tea taste more like vinegar lately than kumbocha, any ideas? not much fizz either.

    • Jill Says:

      I live in a warm climate and notice that when the weather is very warm my Kombucha brews much faster. When this happens I need to bottle it much sooner to prevent it from getting very vinegary. Also when mine gets vinegary, it is also less fizzy. If you can control the temp. in the area you are brewing your tea, try bringing the temp down some, or just bottle it sooner. When it is very warm, I actually have to bottle after only 5 days of brewing to prevent it from getting too vinegary!

  13. Tina Says:


    When my ktea is a little vinegary I just add some fruit juice with it when I bottle. This dilutes the vinegar taste and the sugar in the juice gives the culture present in the mix a more to go on to make that nice fizz with carbonation.

    You could be letting your brew time go too long or the temps could make the whole process speed up. Either way you can end up with too much vinegar taste.

    Also are you making sure the tea you are using has no essential oils added (flavoring) this can definitely slow down or even stop the process, leaving no fizz or a weak culture can also fail to recarbonate but still make vinegar.


  14. Janeen Roark Says:

    Dave I love my Brewer and all that you do to help us be a success in our brewing experience. At first I did not know how to get fizz but with Ron’s help and yours I have conquered that. We drink all we can make and more if we can get it. I would be interested in knowing how long do you go before you think about cleaning you brewer out and how to accomplish this. thanks Janeen

    • marla Says:

      can you provide that info on how to get more fizz. I have been searching and it seems everyone has that question, but can’t seem to find the answer…
      any help would be appreciated! thanks!

      • Claus Says:

        Brew your tea four 5 days, or after your taste. Pour the tea into another jar or bottles, live for another 2 to 3 days with a top on, and you got your fizz this way. The plastic bottle you use will go hard due to fermentation.

  15. marya Says:

    Got my brewer for myself for Christmas and each batch has been an adventure! After I trimmed my scoby (every 5 batches or so ~ and I rinse out the crock, just because), the new batch looked just like this pix (good photo!), but because I’d read most all Dave’s tips, I knew it was OK. The flavor tends to be very mild with the young scoby, getting more full bodied as it ages, but turns vinegar-y more quickly, so have to stay on top of taste-testing….dirty job but someone has to do it! I’ve increased the amount of tea (up to 4T now) to the initial brew. Also love to add fresh ginger when bottling….yuuummmm. Only one problem ~ waiting long enough after bottled! And have a hard time abstaining one day/week 8 ) Thank you, Dave ~ you rock, indeed!

    • marla Says:

      I was going to clean out my brewer because the scoby is SO big… it has multilayers! Did you use the top layer or the bottom layer? would love some help…I don’t many people get their questions answered here..but thought I would give it a try.

  16. marya Says:

    First time I tried to seperate the layers…..I gave some to someone else, and tried to make the remaining pieces round and nice looking (OCD?). I was afraid I’d done something wrong because they SANK when I added the new tea! within a day or two tho, they floated to the top and eventually turned into another giant, leathery scoby……the flavor was weak at first, but after the 2nd or 3rd batch, it was perfect. I trimmed it a second time and just made three nice rounds and that was maybe 3-4 batches ago and it’s all leathery and one piece again…….with a faint outline of the individual 3 rounds. My batches mature quickly (in Arizona) so by 5 days I have to start bottling. I also found that if it gets too vinegary, I add some lime flavored seltzer to half a bottle and it’s delicious. Only use that when I need to salvage the vinegary ones tho. And I like the tip of saving a cup of the old batch to pour over the scoby after adding the new tea.
    I have a question ~ mine comes out of the spigot with a head on it like beer, but the effervescence seems to diminish after it sets for 3-4 days? I keep hoping it will INCREASE, but it doesn’t….. : (

  17. Joyce Fisher Says:

    I am no my 6th batch. Up till now I have used the same pancake for all my batches. Today I separated and put the white ones in the new tea I am brewing now and will start another batch with the browner ones. I hope that is right. So far I am very fond of the drink but would like to know as a diabetic on insuline if I can use a sweetner with maybe a little sugar or if that is not a good idea. Also do you have a list of helps this tea gives you. I would like to lose about 125 pounds. I weigh 263 now and on a 1400 vegitarian diet. I do eat eggs and milk and fish. Thanks

  18. Nina Joy Says:

    Absolutely amazing! I’m in the first three days of brewin my first crock of Kombucha! Yippee!!! Totally enjoying the vids & email Lovenjoy

  19. Rodger Thompson Says:

    I notice that not very many of these questions are answered here. Many of the questions are ones I would ask also. Please post the anwers after each one.



    THANKS! 🙂

  20. Richard Says:

    Please can people check their spelling and grammar before posting.

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