Enemies of SCOBY
There are 2 well-known common enemies of SCOBY;
2. Fruit flies
Both are equally harmful to any brew. Once a SCOBY had been infested with either one, it is best to dispose of the affected batch.
On a macro level, fruit flies are the most harmful to any kombucha brew. Fruit flies usually enter when the cover to your brewing case is not secured properly. Attracted by the fermented brew, fruit flies will usually lay their eggs on the culture itself and within a day or two you can see its larvae crawling on the SCOBY. It is not a pretty sight.
To prevent this it is vital that the cloth covering the top of your brewing container has no holes/gaps and the sides are secured with strong bands allowing no gaps whatsoever for the adult fruit flies to enter the brew.
On a micro level another equally harmful enemy to any SCOBY is the development of mold. There are many reasons why mold can develop.
a. The Mother SCOBY is already old .
b. Air ventilation at the brewing area is poor.
c. Brewing container, equipment was not sanitized before starting a new brew.
d. Cloth covering the brewing container is dirty/ not sanitized prior to use.
e. Brewer did not wash their hands with antiseptic hand wash before preparation.
SCOBY is most susceptible to mold during the first few days of the new brew as the level of organic acid is not enough to deter the formation of mold. So, extra care must be taken to reduce the risk of mold infestation.
Below are the two common molds that usually attack SCOBY. I dont know the exact name of the molds; so i will name it mold A and mold B.
Mold A - It forms a very fine brownish web-like layer on top of the SCOBY
Another example of Mold A
Mold B- This mold forms an orangy clump around or on top of the SCOBY.
Always remember, once a SCOBY is infected either by mold or , please do not attempt to save the SCOBY or the batch of kombucha because the brew is now contaminated.