El’s rabbit trails: Kombucha science

I have a very engaging book review in draft. It may even get up later this evening. Meanwhile, it’s been some time since we’ve hopped off on a rabbit trail and my kids and husband produced an entertaining one for me this morning. I figured in the spirit of getting ready for back to school, we’d talk some kombucha science.

A little over a year and a half ago, a friend of mine brought me a SCOBY. I was just getting into the kombucha craze (you know how we chicks love a good bandwagon), so she figured I would enjoy brewing my own. And I did. At first.

However no one else in our house liked the stuff, and the sight of the SCOBY jar was, to quote my husband, “like a science experiment gone bad”. I kept brewing it and kept the SCOBY alive. I even gave one or two away to fellow bandwagon chicks so they could start brewing their own. We talked kombucha. We compared flavors. It was a kombucha paradise.

After a while, as I am prone to do, I grew weary of my growing SCOBY hotel, and my man was not under any circumstances going to allow his kitchen to be overrun with jars of multiple SCOBYs. It was more than enough asking him to look at one or two. Couple that with my tendency to be ever on the lookout for a new bandwagon, and it wasn’t long before my poor SCOBYs went longer and longer periods without fresh tea being added.

Somewhere along the way my man and our two youngest kids developed a taste for the stuff, and my neglected SCOBYs found a savior in my husband’s willingness to make new brews of different flavors. This morning he and the younglings got busy bottling up different flavors, cutting off layers of SCOBY for the fall planting soil, and having an all around good time making several bottles of the stuff:


Individual flavors of kombucha on their second ferment.

Ever the teacher, it occurred to me that perhaps we should have an impromptu lesson on what a SCOBY is, fermentation, the meaning of symbiosis, and why things work together the way they do to produce the fizzy flavored teas that they enjoy so much.

“Way to suck the fun out, MOM!”

No, no one said that, but their faces said it all.

8 thoughts on “El’s rabbit trails: Kombucha science

  1. Elspeth says:

    I prefer the fruity flavored ones as well. He started out not even liking the flavored ones, which might just be evidence of the fact that making flavored kombuchas is yet another thing that he does better than me, LOL.


  2. Bike Bubba says:

    There’s a reason it tastes like vinegar–it is, effectively. pH of kombucha is typically 2.5, vinegar is 2.4, and a primary ingredient for both is acetic acid. Hint; have a drink of water after you drink kombucha, ’cause it will go after your teeth.


  3. Robyn says:

    ““Way to suck the fun out, MOM!”

    I had to laugh out loud when I read that. Our son extracted a promise out of me that I couldn’t make a “school lesson” out of it unless it happened during school hours. A little bit of honesty here, he said, “mom, why do you have to wreck it by making a lesson out of it?” Fast forward 20 years and what my wise (and young at the time) son was telling me was, ‘you don’t know how to just enjoy and live in the moment.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elspeth says:

    Thanks, Mr. Science aka Bike Bubba. I’m not surprised the pH is the same as vinegar (after all they taste similar) but I had no idea what the numbers are.

    And yep. I’ve heard about the tooth enamel thing before.


  5. Elspeth says:

    Fast forward 20 years and what my wise (and young at the time) son was telling me was, ‘you don’t know how to just enjoy and live in the moment.”

    Yeah, I have a real problem with that too. Thankfully, God has a sense of humor and sent me a guy with no such problems in that department. I’m slowly learning.

    Even after 24 years, still learning…


  6. Crystal Keller says:

    Just today I was wondering what was happening with your kombucha journey. I popped open a mighty fine and extra fizzy bottle tonight that was second fermented with watermelon and basil. Man that stuff was good! I want to hear more about your second ferment flavors. Glad your guy is now on board.


    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

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