With so many people trying their hand at home fermentation these days, we asked our bullfrogpowered friends at Booch Organic Kombucha to tell us all about their brewing process.
Booch Organic Kombucha answered all our questions about SCOBYs, cleared up some common misconceptions, and explained the purpose and functionality of the curious substance floating in our kombucha.
What’s a SCOBY?
SCOBY is the acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. A SCOBY is the living organism that ferments the tea into our delicious craft brew kombucha—Booch! A SCOBY, along with mother tea vinegar, are how you start the process of turning tea and sugar into the fermented beverage known as kombucha.
What does the SCOBY do?
Think of SCOBY as the starter kit for kombucha: it’s the culture invigorator that initiates the fermentation process. It digests sugars in the kombucha blend and produces all the beneficial by-products—the vitamins, acids, enzymes, probiotics, and more. It also eats away at the caffeine and sugar, but not all of it, because without some sugar, Booch would be pure tea vinegar (often called “mother vinegar”).
Aside from being the home of the bacteria and yeasts used to make kombucha, the SCOBY seals off the kombucha from air during fermentation—which protects it from the outside world to ensure growth of beneficial bacterias and yeasts.
Why is the SCOBY called the “mother”?
A healthy SCOBY produces a baby SCOBY with each batch of kombucha that’s brewed. The term mother can be used to describe the rubbery disk-like culture used to start a batch of kombucha or that forms in the bottle of raw kombucha that has been sitting for a period of time.
How do you make a SCOBY?
Patience is the secret to making healthy, vibrant SCOBYs. In the Booch brewery we groom and record our culture’s health, making sure they have plenty of rest and get lots of love from our staff. We monitor the health in a number of ways under the close supervision of our brewmasters and lab director.
If you’re making kombucha at home, you can purchase a SCOBY from our Tap Room in London or make your own from scratch. SCOBYs can be grown from a bottle of our Old Fashioned kombucha—it’s pH is low enough to ensure the SCOBY grows instead of mold. That said, there are many safety precautions that need to be in place for home brewing, so make sure to follow reliable resources if you’re home brewing any fermented beverage.
Is kombucha sustainable?
We choose our ingredients and processes carefully to ensure our business practices are eco-regenerative and sustainable. We use local, organic ingredients, and we’re passionate about the stewardship of sustainable food systems.
Green energy is also a key ingredient in our Booch. It takes about 0.02 kWh of electricity to make a litre of kombucha, and Bullfrog Power makes sure that energy comes from clean, renewable sources.