- One method is to brew a batch like you normally would, and then leave the SCOBY in the tea, with a breathable cover. Over time the tea may become over-fermented and very acidic, but you can use this as your starter tea. (Happy Herbalist also lists several other uses for extra kombucha). Depending on how long you are storing the mushrooms for, you should occasionally add sweet tea to the container, as the liquid evaporates over time. This method is ideal for the health of the cultures.
- Refrigerate your kombucha mushroom in a glass jar with some unflavored kombucha tea. Or kick-start the brewing process for several days to get the pH down, and refrigerate the mushroom in its brewing container. This method can be used if you are storing your mushrooms for more than a few months.
-This will make your kombucha culture dormant. It won't be completely inactive, but the SCOBY will be active at a very slow rate, and it can keep this way for months.
-I recommend keeping the lid loosely covered so that CO2 doesn't build up and so the top doesn't pop off.
-Consider giving the SCOBY some fresh air/oxygen by opening the lid every now and then. If the kombucha has become/smells really acidic and the SCOBY has been in the fridge for awhile, I sometimes add a little sweet tea to the kombucha (sweet tea ratio: 1 quart water:1 tsp (4 g) loose-leaf tea:1/4 cup (50 g) sugar) to give the yeasts something to feed on.
-However: when you start brewing again, you need to remember that the TEMPERATURES NEED TO BE THE SAME for the sweet tea and the SCOBY, because hot temperatures can kill the mushroom. The easiest way to do this is to let your hot sweet tea solution cool down overnight to room temperature, while letting the culture that used to be in the fridge warm up overnight to room temperature.
-When you start brewing again, it may also take a few cycles for your SCOBY to kick back into full gear.
- It's not recommended to freeze your kombucha culture but it is possible:-It is recommended to use the "fast-freeze" setting of your freezer so the SCOBY will be frozen ASAP. If your culture is frozen too slowly, crystals may form which may damage the culture's cells. See more information here.
- If something unfortunate happens and you need a new culture- try asking a friend for a new mushroom, try growing your own, or try any of these other options.
* Please note that this blog remains up as a resource. However, this blog is currently on hiatus until further notice. For more information, please read this blog post. Thank you and happy kombucha brewing, drinking, and SCOBY trading! Lots of love. ~Annabelle *
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Storing Your Kombucha Culture
If you want to keep a back up culture safely away, if you're going on vacation, or if you just need a break from brewing, you have several options.