DO NOT DUMP your beer, kombucha, wine or hard cider before contacting us! More than likely, your batch is just fine. Be sure to snap a photo and shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns.
Beer Kit FAQ:
Collect pre-fermentation trub BEFORE pitching your yeast if you did not separate your hops. To cut down on the number of mason jar removals/trub dumps (and to save precious beer) we recommend waiting a few hours before pitching yeast to allow pre-fermentation trub to settle and collect in the jar. This typically makes up a large portion of the sediment collected during the process and removing it before adding yeast can help curb the number of jar dumps. Larger volume mason jars can also help, but time is the biggest factor. We’d recommend waiting 10 days before removing your first jar of sediment during fermentation.
Don’t worry, what you’re likely seeing is a new baby SCOBY forming on the surface. A new culture will grow with each fermentation - it can stay connected to the mother SCOBY or will grow separately. At first, this baby SCOBY can look thin & fuzzy, but it will get thicker and more opaque:
Mold development on a SCOBY is quite rare. Sometimes pockets of yeast or even trapped air can develop and look a bit like mold. If your SCOBY does develop fuzzy blue, white or green spots (like you’d see on food), this could be mold. Snap a photo and we can take a look.
If mold does begin to grow, it can be caused by a few things:
- Adding hot tea to the SCOBY. Brewed tea must be cooled to room temp before coming in contact the SCOBY or else you risk scalding it.
- Airborne mold spores from things in your house near the fermenting jar like house plants, produce, etc. Be sure to store your jar away from such things.
- Storing the SCOBY in the fridge for an extended period before brewing
- Using fruit or other juices during fermentation, exposing the SCOBY to them (instead of waiting until bottling)
- Fermenting at too cold a temperature. SCOBYs like it warm, be sure to ferment within our recommended range of 70-85*F. You can always wrap the jar in a towel to insulate.
- SCOBY growth (whether the mother SCOBY gets bigger OR whether a thin haze of a new culture develops on the surface of the liquid - see photo below)
- The tea will get a bit more hazy and lighten in color (immediately after brewing, the liquid will be pretty dark brown/orange).
- As you taste your kombucha per the instructions, you should taste the ‘tang’ increasing with time. So on day 7 the booch may still be pretty sweet, but at day 12 or 14 you should taste more tart, ‘vinegar-y’ flavor like your favorite kombucha.
If you see these signs, your SCOBY is happy and fermenting as it should :) If you don’t see these happening, it’s likely that your kombucha is fermenting in too cold a location. Your SCOBY is happiest between 70 - 85*F and can ferment slower in colder temps or even go dormant. You can wrap the jar in a towel or blanket to insulate.
- Your bottles likely need more time. We recommend carbonating for 3 - 5 days and then opening a bottle to test. If it isn’t fizzy enough, re-seal and leave the batch at room temp for another 2 - 3 days and check again.
- Bottles may have been stored at too cold a temp. Ensure bottles carbonate at room temp. If stored in the fridge, the yeast (which consume sugars to create CO2) will have gone dormant and will not be able to carbonate your booch.
- Your bottles may not be filled enough. Too much headspace can mean carbonation takes longer. Make sure the bottles have no more than an inch of headspace. More headspace = less carbonation.
- You didn’t add fruit or juice to the bottles. While this isn’t required, the addition of sugars from fruit & juice give the yeast more fuel to create CO2.
- Per the instructions, we recommend fermenting for 7 days and then tasting your tea with a clean spoon. If it isn't tart enough or strong enough for you, continue fermenting. More time will give it more tang.
- On your next batch, try fermenting for a bit longer (10 - 14 days) to create a stronger base and create more CO2 in bottles.