What To Do With An Extra Kombucha SCOBY? 19 Ingenious Ideas
by Susan Grey on September 28, 2019
After every brew of kombucha, your mother SCOBY produces a second SCOBY. Once you've regularly been brewing, you'll end up with a lot of SCOBYs. What should you do with all of them? We wouldn't want to waste them and throw them in the trash.
There are so many ingenious things to do with your excess SCOBYs. From eating, cooking, and composting to feeding your pets or making a jacket out of it!
Common Questions Before We Get Started
Can You Eat A SCOBY?
Yes - you really can eat it. There have been many positive benefits claimed to have come from eating SCOBYs, including probiotic and gut health benefits. Gut health is only starting to be understood, and it has been said to influence the way you feel, your weight, and even how often you get ill. So trying to maintain and improve your gut health is essential.
What Does A Scoby Taste Like?
Raw SCOBYs have a gooey texture, with a flavor that resembles kombucha tea. A lot of people do not like the taste of cooked or uncooked SCOBYs. It's very much up to personal preference. Once cooked, it can be a bit like leather and very chewy. That's why in the suggestions it's either fully dehydrated or just there to infuse a dish. Not to be enjoyed without cooking.
Is It Safe To Put On My Skin?
Yes - fermented skincare products are becoming more and more popular. Other example included kefir and kimchi serums
19 Ingenious Ways To Use Your Kombucha SCOBY
Compost - Feed your garden with a SCOBY. Packed with nutrients, bacteria, and yeast; it will breakdown quickly to nourish your plants. Be aware that it will attract fruit flies if you're placing it outdoors - place away from your house!
There are a couple of methods to composting:
Place the SCOBY directly in your compost bin or tumbler
Wait until your bin has fully decomposed before using in the garden
Slice into very small pieces
Sprinkle or add directly into the desired area
Brew Another Batch - Now you've got two SCOBYs why not brew two batches? Now would be an excellent opportunity to experiment and try a different blend. Think: how could you change the flavor? The possibilities are endless: tea blends, sugar substitutes, and time brewing are just a few examples.
To give you a few ideas, check these out:
Other Teas To Try:
Oolong Tea: A semi-fermented tea coming in 100's of variations
Green Tea: Un-fermented tea, a popular choice for kombucha is "Green Tea Kombucha Tea" By Yogi
Blended Teas - Bringing out different flavor profiles and tastes
Honey - Jun Tea is made from green tea and honey, a refreshing alternative brew
Molasses - Strong and bitter. There are several types of molasses, each with different amounts of sucrose. Check the kind you're brewing with as often you'll need to change the required quantity.
Maple Syrup - This Canadian treat will make your brew sweet and tasty
Store In SCOBY Hotel - Take some of your starter tea from the previous batch and turn a jar into a new scoby hotel. A SCOBY hotel can be a great solution if you're looking to store them for a more extended time period. Remember to change the starter tea and keep them alive!
For a healthy SCOBY, you should be able to reuse 8-12 times, so your hotel will start to fill up quickly.
Sushi - For vegetarians, vegans, and plant-based souls, it can be challenging to find anything resembling raw fish or sashimi. Many are opting for an avocado maki, cucumber roll or other meat-free options. SCOBY sliced thinly could give you a similar texture to octopus.
Clean your scoby with filtered, unchlorinated water to remove all goo
Trim the strands and fibrous goo around the scoby
Using a very sharp knife cut extremely thin slices to place on top of your sushi
Jerky - We've all heard of beef jerky and South African biltong but scoby jerky not so much. Something between parma ham and beef jerky in appearance, the snack is a great meat-free alternative. You can marinate them and infuse the jerky with flavor. Have fun experimenting with the size, texture, and flavors.
A full recipe of how to make SCOBY jerky.
Make Energy Balls - It may not look too appealing, but a SCOBY can be used to infuse or make many delicious recipes. An energy ball is meant to give you a burst of energy and sustained energy after consumption. With all of the probiotic and bacterial benefits, be sure to infuse your energy balls.
Dog Treats - When eating the same food day after day, dogs often become bored or disinterested in eating. Especially if they only have a diet of dried biscuits, imagine only eating dried biscuits - eww! Coming up with cheap alternative dog foods can be tricky. You don't want to fork out lots of money for specialty raw meat diets or feeding them prime cuts from the butcher. Give scoby dog treats a try.
Clean your scoby with fresh water to remove the goo
Slice very thinly into around 1" wide strips
Place in a dehydrator or outside drying rack for 6-8 hours at 80-90F or until fully dehydrated
The alternative texture and flavor of jerky will make sure your dog loves them.
Give To Someone - When starting to brew kombucha, it can be a little confusing about what equipment and ingredients you'll need. If a friend fancies brewing a batch give them one of your SCOBYs.
Facebook groups have become a hive for kombucha lovers, you can use them to see if someone is asking where to buy or what type of SCOBY they need. Just reply and offer to send them one.
Sell - If you're looking to make your love of kombucha and brewing pay for itself or put towards some new equipment, try selling your spare SCOBYs. Try local facebook groups, market places, or Craiglist. You may get an extra $5 - $10 per sale!
Dehydrate For Storage - If you don't have space or will be away from your brew for a long time, an option is to dehydrate it. Although lots of people don't have 100% success when trying to reactivate their SCOBY, it still is a standard solution.
Place scoby on a drying rack or tray
At a temperature of 80-90F leave for 6-8hrs
When it becomes a firm texture remove
Store in an airtight bag somewhere not exposed to moisture, or direct sunlight
Dehydrate For Probiotic Pills - By slicing and dehydrating into sheets, you now have wafer-thin layers of SCOBY. These are ideal if you're looking for that probiotic goodness in an easy to consume way. You can crush the dehydrate sheets and consume a little bit of concentrated goodness daily.
Moisturizer - When feeling a SCOBY, you may not get the reaction that you'd like to smear it all over your skin. However, it can be a 100% natural alternative to moisturizer. Turn your fresh SCOBY into a pulp using a blender then apply like normal. This could make an excellent present for a friend's birthday or Christmas.
Face Mask - A gooey facemask alternative too. There have been several reports of individuals using the pulp to smear over their face, with excellent results reported also. Best to be used fresh after blending for the best results.
Plastic Bags - With so much single-use plastic being used and just thrown away, individuals have come up with an ingenious solution: packaging from a scoby. One company commercially produces the SCOBY packaging called "Make Grow Lab." It's 100% renewable, biodegradable and you can even reuse it. For more information, I would search on youtube or check out their website.
Fake Leather - Animal activism has been pushed ever forward, with fake leather or free-from leather taking a leading role. A mixture of science and entrepreneurship is finding ways to produce materials that have all of the same qualities as leather without the suffering. Make Grow Lab also commercially make leather. To learn more about the process, check it out on youtube or their website.
Place On Burns - The pure or pulp from a fresh scoby can be used to soothe burns. The antibacterial nature of a scoby is used to kill harmful bacteria within the wound while providing relief too. Although we would always recommend seeking professional advice from a health professional, this is another ingenious use of a SCOBY.
Cookies - There are a limitless number of ways to use a SCOBY in cooking. Some adventurous chefs and adding the probiotic goodness to the otherwise not so healthy cookie. An example recipe you can find at cultured food life.
Animal Feed - If you have pigs, chickens, or other farm animals, you can use SCOBYs as part of their feed. Just like humans, your animals can use it too. Although unlikely that you're brewing so much kombucha it's going to save you any significant amount of money, you can use it occasionally as a fun change.
Candy - If you have a sweet tooth, this could be ideal for you. They're sweet snacks infused with cinnamon, coconut, and sugar. Perfect for the kids to take to school of your after-dinner treat. The recipe is simple yet delicious.
Zero-waste lifestyle has become a common phrase that helps us to become more conscious of our waste and excess. By not throwing anything away, instead: reusing, repurposing or giving to someone who will use it helps the planet. A SCOBY has many uses, and unique in the way it's so versatile. We hope this post inspired you to make use of the beautiful SCOBY.
Can Your Fry Scoby?
I'm sure you can. I just haven't seen any recipes or success anywhere of it being done. On a few forums, I've seen scoby calamari attempts, but nothing reported to be that tasty.