SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast.


1-gallon and 2-gallon batches of kombucha using thick walled cookie jars

They look like a cross between a jellyfish and a mushroom, floating serenely on the surface of the fermenting brew. In fact, some people refer to their SCOBY colonies as mushrooms. Since they spawn a second child SCOBY with each fermentation cycle, they are also typically called mothers.

Don’t settle for anything less than a live SCOBY. Don’t even waste your time trying to work with a dehydrated one.

When you do start brewing, you will soon come to the realization that you are continually expanding your family of mothers with healthy and robust daughters. SCOBY mania sets in when you can no longer interest your friends in starting their own kombucha breweries and your refrigerator begins to get crowded with homeless orphan mothers…

Here are some suggestions on what to do with the extra SCOBYs.

Eat them… Annabelle Ho says,“it was chewy, sticky, and the texture reminded me of the cold Chinese appetizer jellyfish noodles, which I actually really like!”

Substitute for Raw Fish in Sushi.
With a texture similar to squid, kombucha SCOBYs can be cut up and eaten along with the nori, rice, vegetables, etc.

Add to a Smoothie
You can add pieces of SCOBY to a smoothie.

Kombucha Jerky.
Cut SCOBYs into strips and lay them flat on a piece of unbleached parchment paper, cover with a cloth to keep fruit flies and pests away or place them in a food dehydrator set at 80° – 90°F until they reach the consistency of jerky. Consume as a treat or cut up on a salad, in trail mix, etc.

Kombucha Candy.
Tear SCOBYs into bite-sized pieces, then soak overnight in a solution of 50% water and 50% sweetener such as Vermont maple syrup or honey. Dehydrate the same as for kombucha jerky above to a gummy candy consistency.

Make things from them…

Face Mask.
Kombucha SCOBYs can be used as a face mask, either whole or ground up.

As a Bandage.
People are using SCOBYs as a live bandage.

Pet Treats.
Kombucha SCOBYs can be fed to pets either fresh or using the same process for making kombucha jerky to make a dried pet treat.

Chicken Food.
Some chicken owners report that chickens really appreciate a fresh SCOBY as a treat.

SCOBYs can be added whole to the compost pile or ground up and added directly to the soil of plants.