How To Grow A ‘Mother’/SCOBY From Store Bought Kombucha

May 6th, 2010 - filed under: The Food » Recipes


I’m *so* excited to share this tutorial! The hardest party about home-brewing kombucha is getting your hands on a SCOBY – it’s either too costly or too hard to find – and I think that’s what stops a lot of folks from getting in on the game. But this is really easy and it really works, which means homemade kombucha is accessible to all!

I’ve written about kombucha in the past, what it is and also how to brew it. I was an avid aficionado until I got pregnant, at which point I decided to play it ‘better safe than sorry’ and put my operation on hold. Unfortunately, during my ten month hiatus my poor SCOBY went kaput!

Now wee Waits is here and I’m ready to re-enter the kombucha arena. I missed it! I missed the DIY satisfaction of it, the mad scientist aspect of it, and the probiotic action of it. That enigmatic elixir does my body good, and I wants it! So here’s what I did :

1. Buy a bottle of RAW, unpasteurized 100% kombucha (no fruit juice added). You will also need – a glass bowl, caffeinated (green or black) tea, sugar, a small towel or wash cloth, a large rubber band, and a glass jar with a plastic lid.


2. In a large, clean glass bowl, place 2 tea bags and 1 tbsp of sugar. Add 2 cups boiling water and allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.


3. Remove tea bags and stir to make sure sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool a bit, then add the entire bottle of store bought kombucha.


4. Cover with the towel and secure it with the rubber band. Place the bowl in a warm dry place (I put it on top of my fridge) and forget about it for 2 whole weeks. No peeking!

— 2 weeks later —

Take the bowl down and uncover it. OMG, you totally grew a SCOBY!



Store your SCOBY in the fridge, in a clean glass jar with a plastic lid and floating in the extra liquid. Brew kombucha according to these directions. ***Always handle the SCOBY with very clean hands!!!


Good luck!