We like to experiment here at Keg Outlet and given our recent kombucha kick, we thought it was about time to harvest and grow our own scoby from a store bought bottle of kombucha.
We took on a similar project a few years back when we were able to get our hands on a rare(ish) can of beer from Vermont – Heady Topper from The Alchemist. Heady Topper is arguably the beer that made Hazy IPAs what they are today, and their proprietary “Conan” yeast strain was highly sought after, so given the fact that their beer was unfiltered, we decided to try to harvest it when we were able to get our hands on a couple of cans – you can read that full post here if you’re interested: Harvesting Heady: Culturing the Conan Yeast from the Alchemist’s Heady Topper.
Anyways, back to the kombucha side of things. GTs Kombucha was the first kombucha I had ever tried, so you could say that I developed a taste and liking for it over the years.
I was at Costco the other day and saw a case of GTs Gingerade Kombucha, so I decided to purchase it. Upon getting home and cracking a bottle, I saw plenty of sediment (yeast/bacteria/etc) at the bottom of the bottle, so I decided I’d try to brew a small 32oz batch of kombucha tea to see if I could grow a new scoby from this bottle of GTs.
All of my previous batches of kombucha have been 1 (or more) gallons, so I had to do a little bit of math to get my recipe down to scale. This would be a 32oz batch and my recipe and measurements were as follows:
- 3 grams of black/green tea blend
- 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
- 32 oz of water
The steps I took to brew the tea in an attempt to harvest a scoby from a bottle of GTs Kombucha.
- Brought 24oz of water to a boil. I left out 8oz of water so that I could add ice to cool this after steeping the tea.
- Removed from heat.
- Added 3 grams of black/green tea blend and steeped for 20 minutes.
- Removed tea.
- Added 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar. Stirred until dissolved.
- Added ice cubes to cool the tea.
- Poured into a 32oz mason jar.
- Poured the remainder of my GTs Kombucha bottle into the mason jar.
- Covered with a breathable cloth and placed in away from light.
I should note that I plan on leaving this to sit for about 2 weeks and may add some updates between now and then.
Harvested Scoby Growth Updates
Over the course of the next couple weeks, I’ll try to take pictures and update as regularly as possible (which I can’t guarantee will happen).
Update 1 / 2 days in at about 78ºF
Two days in and there is some visible activity in the mason jar. There is a layer forming on top, and there is a bit of yeast on the bottom of the jar. Funny that this really reminds me of fermenting beer. The yeast at the bottom of the jar seems to be kicking off quite a bit of CO2 and the white layer seen on the surface seems to be more small CO2 bubbles than it seems to be any real scoby growth. We’ll wait and see what happens over the next few days.