5 Common Mistakes of Novice Brewers

Mistake No 1: Washing the Mother Scoby

Novice brewers always come to me and ask, should I wash the mother Scoby? It smells and there are lots of gooey matter on the Scoby.

Simple answer, No; you don’t have to wash the Scoby.  In fact the brown gooey matters are perfectly harmless dead yeast.  Also, washing will remove the yeast on the Scoby and might even stress out the Scoby due to exposure to contaminants in pipe water such as chlorine.

Dont wash your mother Scoby

Mistake No 2: Sealing the container tightly shut/ Brewing in an airtight container

It is important to seal the container during the brewing process but it has to be loosely sealed with bands and also breathable to allow a smooth fermentation process.

During the fermentation process, it is vital for the circulation of air in and out from the brewing vessel.Sealing the brewing container shut will halt the fermentation process due to the excess carbon dioxide and the lack of oxygen.

Dont seal the container tightly shut

Mistake no 3: Failure to securely cover the mouth of the brewing vessel

If the cloth on the mouth of the fermentation container/vessel is not fasten securely either with a rubber band or a rope, there is a high chance that fruit flies will wiggle themselves into the container and start laying eggs on top of the Scoby.

Make sure those covers are tight when u start brewing.  The sight of floating fruit fly larvae on kombucha is not a sight to behold.  (further reading on fruit fly can be found in my article: enemies of Scoby)

Bad Practice: The mouth of the vessel is not securely sealed with the rubber band
Good Practice: The mouth of the brewing vessel is securely sealed with a rubber band

Mistake No 4: Brewing kombucha in a plastic container

This is by far the worst mistake ever. Organic acid will slowly leech the plastic into the drink. At the end of the day brewed kombucha will be contaminated plastic particles.

I cannot emphasize more on the importance of using glass containers during the brewing process. 
Never ever brew kombucha in a plastic container

Mistake No 5: Brewing in a poorly ventilated area

Brewing in a poorly ventilated area usually leads to the increase in humidity in the brewing vessel. When that happens, this will encourage the development of mold in the brew. 

In a severe case, a novice brewer I knew unwittingly brewed kombucha in a cabinet. Sure enough all his brew was contaminated within a space of 3 days by a layer of mold.

Brewing in poorly ventilated area promotes growth of mold


  1. Hi, could you sell me some scoby? Mail me at chkken99@yahoo.com.sg


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