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Q. My kombucha has been fermenting for a period of time and is developing a cloudy layer on top. Is this normal?

A. Yes. The cloudy white layer is the beginning of a new baby kombucha culture. The formation of a new culture is a sign that your batch of kombucha is fermenting properly.

Q. My kombucha has been fermenting for a period of time and is developing brown stringy particles. Is this normal?

A. The brown stringy particles are yeast particles and are harmless. They are a natural by-product of the fermentation process. You can strain them out of the finished kombucha if desired.

Q. My kombucha culture sank to the bottom of my container, is floating sideways, rose to the top of the liquid, etc. Is this normal?

A. Depending on a number of factors, the culture may sink, float, or sit sideways. Any of these is normal and will not effect the brewing process.

Q. The new baby kombucha culture seems to have detached from the container opening. Will this mess up the fermentation process?

A. Having the SCOBY culture detach from the container opening is common if the jar is bumped or moved. It does not affect the fermentation process.

Q. I've been storing a batch of finished kombucha for a few days and it seems to be developing a jelly-type mass on top. Is this normal? What is it?

A. The jelly-type mass is the beginning of a new SCOBY kombucha culture. Even after the main kombucha culture is removed, the kombucha remains full of living yeast and bacteria which continue to ferment slowly on their own. Consequently idle kombucha will eventually form a new baby culture.

Q. One of my kombucha cultures has a hole in it or is only a piece because I had to separate it from the mother culture after they fused. Can I still use it?

A. Kombucha cultures will work just fine even with holes or if they have been torn in half.

Q. Does the size of the kombucha culture matter in relation to how much kombucha I will be brewing?

A. No, even a small kombucha culture will effectively ferment a full gallon of kombucha. We do recommend using a culture that is at least 8 centimetres in diameter.

Q. My batch of kombucha has developed mould. What can I do?

A. Once mould has developed, it is very important to discard the whole batch, including the kombucha scoby. Please contact Customer Support here if mould develops.

Q. My kombucha culture has turned black. What should I do?

A. A black scoby is a sign of a kombucha culture that has been contaminated or is worn out. It takes a long time and many batches before a scoby is worn out. Turning black is not to be confused with developing brown or slightly discoloured patches. Yeast build-up will result in brown spots or stringy particles attaching to the scoby and is a normal by-product of the fermentation process. If your kombucha culture turns black, it should be discarded or composted.

Q. Help! My culture has pests in it!

A. Best practice is to toss it, no attempts to salvage should be made. To prevent pests, always cover the fermenting vessel with some kind of lid. A clean cotton cloth or coffee filter secured tightly with a rubber band is enough to keep flies out. Always keep 1 meter of distance from contaminant sources (garbage, compost, cat box, house plants, etc.), remember that fermentations breathe the air around, so a clean hygienic room should be a standard.