...breakfast of champions!

Ask the Dude!

Hello there my friend, you fearless and intrepid explorer of the fermented kingdom of culinary delights…

You say your old SCOBY dried up and you tried to bring it back to life by floating it in vodka?
So you boiled up a purple brew on the stove and three thousand volts go through ya?
And your brother made a Kombucha bottling machine out of your old Erector set and Grandma got her thumb stuck and can’t get it out?
And someone opened a window while you’re sortin’ tea and all your Earl Grey is now sprinkled around the house?
And one of your latest batches, turns a strange black color, suddenly takes off and is now circling the earth at twelve-hundred miles-an-hour?

Is that what’s troublin’ you, bunky?!?

Well, Ask the Dude!


  1. Pearl

    Is there a way to test how much sugar is in the brew? I heard refractometers don’t work for kombucha

    • The Dude

      A refractometer and a hydrometer will provide you with all of details regarding the sugar and alcohol content of your kombucha. It’s not the devices that are the problem. These both require some expertise and an accurate set of conversion formulas to complete the analysis… This thread should help you get started on the right foot..

  2. Irina Cioclina


    Do you know if I could decrease acidity by adding soda? What is the process and amounts for that?

    Thank you,


    • The Dude

      The acidity is vital to ensure the destruction of any foreign molds or yeast. It will drop naturally as the brew progresses as long as you have a healthy and active scoby.

  3. Lori

    Why is my Kombucha the right level of sweet to sour in only 4 days?? It can’t possibly be as full of good as longer ferments……..though it has positive bowel effects 😉
    What could I be doing wrong??

    • The Dude

      I would try to verify that tasting-it method with an actual pH measurement. You can use inexpensive litmus paper or a digital device if you can afford one. Then you will know for sure that the brew is complete. If you are brewing in a warm room like the kitchen, you could slow the process by trying to ferment in a cooler spot like the basement.

  4. mike

    hey dude, can i add nutrients like an effervescent multivitamin to the brew?

    • The Dude

      Hi Mike, I would only add additional flavors and nutrients after the 7-10 days initial ferment. Some brewers do a second ferment after adding extra ingredients for 1-3 days in the capped bottle. But be sure to check the pressure buildup during the 2nd ferment to avoid an accidental explosion.

  5. aline

    Hi, we made a decent batch of combucha, but were going away for 3 weeks. mushrooms sat in the originating tea for 3 weeks. I have bottles in the fridge from the first batch which have been in the fridge for those 3 weeks- they are growing whatseems to be a small skobe in each flavored mason jar??? are they safe to drink.? Am I growing skobes by accident?

    • The Dude

      Kombucha is alive… real kombucha that is. Most store bought varieties are not quite as alive. The SCOBYs that grow in your refrigerated bottles are safe to eat or drink, but some people will filter them out if they have not accepted or cultivated an appreciation of that aspect of the brew. I drink them up as part of experiencing and benefiting from a natural, organic food source. It’s no accident and is proof of the life force. Usually the old brew after 3 weeks will turn to vinegar and that too can be used like any other vinegar.

  6. Mike


    I live in Thailand and got into kombucha brewing after I discovered kombucha in the USA. Found a scoby on line and started from that. Anyway…I seem to get decent results but my recipes seem a lot different than what I’m seeing from others.

    I use 30 grams of loose tea (15g each green and black), 225g (I think that’s a little over a cup) of white granulated sugar, 4 liters of water and about 2 cups of starter.

    My starting pH is right at 4 and it rolls down to 3.5 within a day or so. I like the taste at about 2.8 to 3 (5 days typically) and do a secondary using apple juice or lynchi or occasionally even pomegranate.

    Here’s my questions….

    1. Does 30 grams of tea seem like a lot? I see recipes using 4-2 gram tea bags. I’m using 4 times as much tea

    2. Like another person posting here, i have fast fermentation times… typically less than a week with 4-5 days being common. Yeah, I live in the tropics and I can’t leave my brew in air conditioned comfort 7×24. Am I losing out on nutritional benefits? I just tried going with a full 14 day ferment and pH dropped to 2.4 in about 9 days then slowly crept back to 2.7. flavor is ok but too vinegary for my taste so I just now bottled it with 2tsp of sugar per 1 liter bottle to try and get some sweetness back as well as some carbonation.

    I like my flavors but wonder if my short fermentations are cheating me out of health benefits and is my tea/water/sugar proportion contributing to the short times

    Many thanks. Sorry for the length of this post.

    • The Dude

      I use 2 tablespoons of tea per gallon of brew and I usually brew in 2-gallon sized container, so 4 tablespoons is plenty. I also let the tea steep in the water until the entire batch cools (usually overnight) and then I strain out the tea when I pour it into the brew container. This seems to work well. Here in Vermont, the batches brew slowly taking a few weeks in winter, so I am going to add a heat pad. In summer, there’s no problem completing a cycle in 10 days or less. If you are fortunate to have tropical heat to speed things along, so much the better as long as you get to the proper pH and the flavor is right. I have also rescued batches that went to vinegar by adding honey or maple syrup and they too are delicious. I think the real test is whether or not they have effervescence after being bottled for a few days. That’s a sure sign that the brew is alive and thriving.

  7. Graeme GOREY

    I want to buy scoby in the Philippines.

    • The Dude

      Hi Graeme, Your best bet might be to order one from Amazon. I have done this and had great success. Here’s a link to a good one for $7.99: https://amzn.to/2Q8lM4h

  8. Rob Munster

    Hi Booch Dude, I have recently neglected my Kombucha brewing and scoby for a couple of months and through laziness, did not save another starter at freeze a spare scoby. I also let the scoby dry out in the vessel (yes I know, extremely bad parenting!)
    I added 4 litres of tea and sugar back into the vessel on the weekend in an attempt to revive the scoby. PH started at around 4.1 and 4 days later is at 3.7. The scoby itself has not risen to the surface, but there is a thin skin forming with white spots.

    My intention was to empty this batch when ph reaches under 3 and then make another batch. Is this a good a good idea with what I have described, or am I better off starting again from risk of bacteria or contamination?

    My other idea was to empty this batch and add another starter for next batch (in hindsight I should’ve done this first!)

    Would be grateful for any Booch Jedi knowledge!

    • The Dude

      White fuzzy mold is quite easy to spot. Here’s a terrific collection of photos showing all sorts of scoby variations that are NOT mold… If this were my batch, I’d let it continue to process and watch to see if a new scoby is generating on the surface. I’d also taste it to see how it is progressing, as long as it’s not moldy. If that were the case, I’d start over from scratch. You want to work with a strong and vigorous scoby, one which may now be forming. If the PH drops down in the 2.5 realm you can always add more sweet tea.

      “The greatest teacher, failure is.” – Yoda

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