You are fermenting a fresh brew of homemade kombucha, and you find your kombucha scoby sunk at the bottom of the jar.
Don't worry, it's normal! A new scoby will form on the surface.
Now that you are reassured, read the rest of the article to understand why a kombucha scoby may (or may not!) sink, and what to do if this happens.
My Kombucha Sank To the Bottom, Why?
A kombucha scoby (stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is cellulose woven by microorganisms that create a film floating on the surface of the sweet tea.
This film is useful for bacteria to ensure better contact with the oxygen they need to survive.
The scoby is kept at the surface by CO₂ bubbles that rise during fermentation.
With a young kombucha scoby, the production of CO₂ may not be active enough and the scoby will remain at the bottom of the jar.
Indeed, yeast colonies need a few brews before they are sufficiently vigorous to create enough CO₂ to keep the scoby at the surface. So, everything is normal!
What To Do If My Scoby Sunk At The Bottom Of The Jar?
Your kombucha scoby sank to the bottom? That's alright! You don't have to do anything except leave it alone.
After a few days, a new scoby will form on the surface of the liquid, shaped like the mouth of the jar.
The scoby that sunk could rise when gas forms in the kombucha or remain at the bottom of the jar. Either way, it is normal!
Why Is The Scoby's Position In The Jar Not Important?
When we talk about kombucha scoby, we often think of the solid and gelatinous parts.
However, it is the bacteria and yeast that live in this film and in the kombucha that are important.
Adding a kombucha scoby to sweet tea has two functions:
- Adding microorganisms, which will turn the tea into kombucha.
- Acidifying the environment, preventing mould from setting in.
These two functions can be fulfilled by the starter liquid culture, the liquid in which the gelatinous scoby is immersed. It is simply plain kombucha!
The starter culture (plain kombucha) contains all the bacteria and yeast needed to ferment the sweet tea by itself.
It even contains the bacteria that form the scobies from cellulose and is acidic enough to prevent outside contamination.
Therefore, the position of the kombucha scoby in your jar is not important.
What is really important is to have enough starter liquid culture. A new scoby will always gradually form in a healthy kombucha.
For Further Information
While you are waiting for your kombucha to ferment and for your scoby to rise: