I wanted to start brewing my own kombucha, so I mixed my own sweetened with storebought kombucha in a glass jar which I covered with a piece of cloth, as per standard percedure, and the scoby is growing at half the speed of smell. I put it in about two months ago, and though it's getting thicker and fleshier, it's nowhere ready to use yet. I currently have it in a cupboard by the stove, but is there some better location where the scoby might grow faster? I'm considering moving it to the top of my bookshelf in a paper bag (it can keep my dolls and CDs and action figure company!), but I live in earthquake country and I don't exactly want broken glass falling on my bed in case of an earthquake. Where do you suggest I leave the scoby where it will grow the fastest?
Did you add enough sugar to your batch of tea? I use a 1/4th cup sugar per quart, the sugar feeds the bacteria to make a new scooby. Growing a scooby should only take 1-4 weeks, 2 months seems like much too long to get a batch of kombucha. The best place to brew kombucha is in a dark warm place, the warmer the place the faster it'll grow. I've had success on my kitchen counter in the winter, it took 2 weeks for a big new scooby to appear, 1 week if it were summer.
You may want to look into getting some ph test strips to check the acidity of your kombucha. Longer brewing time will make kombucha more tart, but risk it dropping to unsafe ph levels.
Or, maybe you didn't add enough store bought kombucha to your tea? When I made my first batch, I used half a bottle of GT Kombucha in a half gallon of tea.
I have a heating strip--it totally fixed this issue for me. You can get one here or you can go out to your local hardware store and find any comparable heater (probably cheaper).
Ideally kombucha should be brewed around 75F. Lower temps are ok, but kombucha brewing really should not dip below 70 degrees because that's where safety concerns come into play.
During winter, especially in colder areas, it is recommended to leave the kombucha heating mat/strip on constantly. During warmer seasons you can try cycling with having the heat on during the night (when temps dip down), and off during the day. This can be done for you with either a timer or if you want to get fancy pants a thermostat.
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