Kombucha Drink for Longevity – Make It Yourself

Apr 17, 2022Revival Recipes for Longevity

You probably already know about or have tried Kombucha drinks, which are widely available at grocery stores, health food shops, and online. These drinks have a unique flavor and are known for powerful health benefits and support for longevity. Too bad that they are typically quite expensive.

However, the good news is that you can make your own Kombucha drink with a SCOBY.

What is a SCOBY?

“SCOBY” is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is an ingredient used in the fermentation and production of Kombucha.

The appearance of the SCOBY can vary, but it’s typically dense, round, rubbery, and opaque with a mild, vinegar-like smell. You can buy starter kits or cultures in certain health food stores or online, including on Amazon, which usually comes with instructions on how to make the drink.

The best news is that you can make a SCOBY yourself from practically nothing. There are several websites with information on how to grow a SCOBY, which looks to be a simple, straightforward process. However, many people (who tried to do it) failed. Here, you can find some tricks and tips on growing, maintaining, and treating the SCOBY if it is sick.

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A little bit of history

The history of Kombucha is shrouded in mystery and hotly debated, but the general consensus is that this ancient tonic originated in ancient China over 2000 years ago in the Qin Dynasty (220BC). However, archeological evidence of fermentation via clay pots can be dated to pre-historical times more than 9,000 years ago. We will probably never know for sure where Kombucha may have originated. At the same time, several Kombucha legends and a healthy dose of common sense can give a good idea.

When I was a little girl, I heard the story that a long time ago, the Japanese emperor, who suffered from a severe stomach disease, was cured by a solution unknown to anyone at the time. A monk prophesied to him that an ant would bring the potion. One day at lunch, an ant fell into a cup of tea that the emperor was drinking. The ant whispered to the emperor that he had put a miracle cure in his tea. But he should not drink it yet. He needs to wait until the jellyfish grows in his tea and only then drink. The emperor obeyed and did as the ant said. A few days later, the disease was gone, and the emperor was healed. Many years later, I found out that, according to some scientists, there is some truth in this beautiful fairy tale. It is proved that “jellyfish” or a SCOBY is formed due to acetic acid bacteria. Scientists, however, do not have a definite answer about where it could get into the cup and the ant’s role in the event.

In the early 20th century, Kombucha became very popular in Russia. My grandmother always had a few big jars with homemade drinks. I absolutely loved the taste and freshness of it. Sometimes, I was asked to clean the SCOBY and refill the jars.

Are you ready to make your Kombucha drink?

If you need Kombucha only as a delicious drink with a stimulating effect, you can grow a SCOBY from black tea.

You will need a big glass jar, gauze cloth, teapot, boiling water, sugar, and a large-leaf black tea (preferably pure without any additives).

Kombacha drink for longevity
  1. Wash the glass jar very thoroughly. It will become the residence of your SCOBY. It is a mandatory requirement because the SCOBY loves cleanliness. Otherwise, it will die before getting a chance to grow.

Note: do not use synthetic detergents to wash the jar – ordinary baking soda will do the job.

  1. Place 5 tablespoons of black tea in the teapot and fill with 500 ml of boiling water.
  2. Wait until the brew is completely cooled, and add 7 tablespoons of sugar to the teapot.
  3. Stir thoroughly and strain the brewed tea with a gauze cloth into the clean glass jar.
  4. Cover the jar with a gauze cloth on top and put it in a warm place for about a month and a half.

In a week or two, a strong vinegar smell will appear – this is completely normal. Please be a little patient and, after 5-6 days, the smell will disappear. At the same time, a thin film will form on the surface of the liquid – this is a SCOBY. Every day it will be thicker and thicker – the growth of the fungus does not stop all its life.

  1. In a month and a half, the thin film on the surface will acquire a familiar shape and dense consistency. At this stage, our SCOBY needs more liquid to grow and produce a Kombucha drink.
  2. Pour boiling water into the teapot with used black tea (if you drink black tea) or make a fresh one. Cool it.
  3. Mix brewed tea with room temperature water (it needs to be boiled in advance). The mixed liquid should have a light yellow color.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar for each liter of liquid.
  5. Filter the prepared liquid with a gauze cloth (or fine mesh strainer).

Prepared this way, light and slightly sweet tea will be our refill every time the liquid in the jar becomes low. The amount will depend on the size of the glass jar where our SCOBY lives.

Note: Sugar should be completely dissolved. Grains of sugar should never be in contact with the surface of the SCOBY.

  1. Pour the liquid into the glass jar with the SCOBY. The level of the liquid needs to be comfortable for our SCOBY, depending on the jar shape.
  2. Place the jar where the daylight is at least 8 hours, but direct sunlight must be avoided. Do not place it on the windowsill.
  3. The optimal temperature should not exceed 65 F (18 C).
  4. After a couple of days, a colorless film should appear on the surface, which at first is barely noticeable, and then begins to grow.
  5. After a few weeks, the thickness of the film will increase to 10-12 millimeters. The liquid should remain transparent throughout the entire process of cultivating the SCOBY, while the film should exfoliate.
  6. Over time, the lower layer of the film will darken and become brown-brown in color.
  7. A week after that, the drink can be considered ready. It would be best if you poured it through gauze.

The right drink should be pleasant with a somewhat sour taste and should not irritate the mucous membrane of the mouth.

Maximize the health benefits

Health benefits of Kombacha drink

If you would like to maximize the health benefits of your Kombucha, you should grow a SCOBY from rosehips. The principle of cultivation is the same as from a simple black tea brew with some nuances.

  1. Prepare an infusion of rosehips. To do so, you can use both fresh and dried fruits, which you can buy in any pharmacy or online. Place four tablespoons of rosehip pods in a thermos, pour half a liter of boiling water and cover with a lid.
  2. Wait for five days. After the infusion of rosehips is ready, you can proceed directly to the cultivation of the SCOBY.
  3. Brew a black tea in the teapot. Use 1 tablespoon of large-leaf black tea and a glass of boiling water.
  4. Wash a big glass jar (as described above).
  5. Pour the rosehip infusion and brewed tea into the jar.
  6. Add 5 tablespoons of sugar and mix thoroughly; leave for a day.
  7. The next day, strain the liquid with a gauze cloth, rinse the jar and pour the filtered liquid back into the jar.
  8. Cover the jar with a gauze cloth pre-folded in several layers and place it in a warm dark place.

Further, the process of SCOBY growth will develop similarly to that described above. In about two weeks, a strong vinegar smell will appear, soon disappearing. And the SCOBY itself will form in one to two months.

If you bought a SCOBY or got it from somebody   

SCOBY for sale

You can purchase a SCOBY on specialized websites that trade them or get it from somebody. If you took a SCOBY, for example, from friends, then follow simple steps to take care of it.

  1. Wash the glass jar very thoroughly with baking soda. It will become the residence of your SCOBY.
  2. Separate the layered part from the main mass of the SCOBY. Do not pinch off the pieces of the SCOBY because this will injure it.
  3. Put it in a clean jar, add warm water (about 2 inches deep), and cover it with clean gauze.
  4. Keep the jar for a day in a dark place at room temperature. It is not necessary to feed it immediately. It must first adapt to new conditions.
  5. If everything was done correctly, the layered SCOBY should settle to the bottom of the jar.
  6. After a day, prepare a liquid from black tea. Put tea leaves into a teapot and add boiling water. Dilute the brewed tea until it gets a light yellow color, and add 1 tablespoon of sugar per 1 liter of liquid.
  7. Pour water from the jar and fill it with the prepared liquid.
  8. Place a jar in a warm place away from direct sunlight.
  9. After a couple of days, a colorless film should appear on the surface, which at first is barely noticeable, and then begins to grow.
  10. After a few weeks, the thickness of the film will increase to 10-12 millimeters. The liquid should remain transparent throughout the entire process of cultivating the SCOBY, while the film should exfoliate.
  11. Over time, the lower layer of the film will darken and become brown-brown in color.
  12. A week after that, the drink can be considered ready. It would be best if you poured it through gauze.

The right drink should be pleasant with a somewhat sour taste and should not irritate the mucous membrane of the mouth.

How to take care of the SCOBY?

Growing a SCOBY at home from scratch is just half the battle. To enjoy your Kombucha drink on a regular basis, the proper care of the SCOBY is critical. Otherwise, you risk getting not a delicious drink but something resembling vinegar. Or even worse – a SCOBY grown with such care will simply die.

Once every two to three weeks, be sure to give your SCOBY a bath day.

  1. Very carefully remove the SCOBY from the jar and put it on a wide plate, trying not to deform much.
  2. Strain the liquid from the jar thoroughly through a gauze cloth into a clean container.
  3. Wash the jar thoroughly with baking soda and fill it with the filtered liquid from the container.
  4. Put a plate with the SCOBY in the sink and gently rinse with warm (but not hot) water.
  5. Then, gently transfer the Scoby to a jar and cover it with a gauze cloth.

This simple procedure will help to keep your SCOBY healthy.

The overgrown SCOBY can be exfoliated; only this must be done carefully. The separated layer needs to be washed and transferred to a new jar. After that, a new life of healing SCOBY begins.

Sick SCOBY

How to determine if your SCOBY is sick?

There is an excellent indicator of the SCOBY health – it should always be on the surface of the liquid. If your SCOBY has sunk to the bottom or, after refilling, it refuses to float again, there is a very high probability that it is sick.

If the SCOBY gets sick, there is only one treatment. Give it a bath, clean the jar, and properly prepare the liquid.

In the case when the SCOBY acquires a brown tint and begins to exfoliate altogether, it is a sign of a serious problem. Typically, it is very difficult to save it at this stage. It is easier to grow a new one. A Kombucha from a sick SCOBY is not recommended for drinking. It not only loses its benefits but is more likely to become dangerous to health. Remember that the Kombucha drink from your SCOBY should always be highly transparent.

Frequently asked questions about the care of SCOBY and its diseases

What conditions are needed to keep SCOBY at home?

Place a jar with SCOBY in a room in which the usual humidity and moderate heat are maintained. Avoid sudden changes in temperature. Do not put a jar in place with direct sunlight.

What temperature should be the nutrient medium for SCOBY? Can I dip it in hot tea?

Before you put SCOBY into a sweet solution prepared for it, you need to make sure that the liquid has cooled to room temperature. It is strictly forbidden to use a hot liquid – this will lead to the death of SCOBY.

Is it possible to use tap water to prepare Kombucha?

If you want to get a truly healing drink, then be sure to filter the water before preparing a tea infusion. A large amount of chlorine in tap water can damage the health of SCOBY. Filtered spring water or drinking water from the store are the best for the preparation of Kombucha. 

Is it possible to pour Kombucha into a cup directly from the jar, leaving the SCOBY to float in the liquid?

No, the finished drink must be drained and stored separately from the SCOBY.

What happens to the SCOBY if you do not drain the liquid?

This will lead to the death of the SCOBY. If you keep it in the same liquid without feeding it, you will get vinegar instead of a nutritious drink. The SCOBY will gradually be covered with holes, sink to the bottom, and die.

How long can I store the strained Kombucha?

After straining the Kombucha into a separate container or bottle and tightly closing it with a lid, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 months.

How often should the body of the SCOBY be washed?

It should be rinsed 1 time in 3-4 weeks in winter and 1 time in 1-2 weeks in summer.

How to wash the jar which is home for SCOBY?

Do not use chemical detergents to wash the jar. After thoroughly washing it in running water, pour boiling water over the jar for a few minutes.

I want to share SCOBY with my friends. Is it possible to tear a piece away from it?

No, you can not do that. From such a treatment, the SCOBY can suffer greatly. If you need to get a new SCOBY, you should carefully separate one of the upper layers from its body, place it in a clean container with warm water and transport it in this condition.

I need to leave for a few weeks, how do I save my SCOBY?

Re-fill the jar with fresh liquid and place it in the refrigerator on the bottom shelf.

What kind of water is needed to wash the SCOBY?

Never rinse the body of SCOBY with raw tap water. It is best to take drinking bottled or filtered spring water. As a last resort, use boiled tap water.

The SCOBY has become so thick that I’m having a hard time taking it out of a jar. Is there any way to separate it?

A large number of layers is an indicator of the health of the SCOBY, so the more layers – the better. However, if it starts to make it difficult to care for the SCOBY, then it is better to remove the several upper layers from its body.

When removing part of the layers from the SCOBY, on which side is it better to do it – from the top or bottom?

The bottom side of the SCOBY consists of colonies of acetic acid bacteria, which are engaged in the synthesis of organic acids that give the Kombucha its healing properties. Therefore, only the upper layers of the SCOBY should be removed. However, if any of the bottom layers have already separated, they should be removed from the liquid.

Does the speed of preparation of the Kombucha depend on the time of the year?

Yes, in summer, the Kombucha is usually ready for use in 3-4 days after the beginning of the fermentation process. In winter, this may take 5-7 days.

Is it possible to speed up the process of making Kombucha?

Yes. To do this, it is necessary to add a certain amount of the finished Kombucha to the freshly prepared nutrient medium. So, if you are using a 3 liters jar, then leave 1-2 cups of the drink from the previous portion in it.

Does the rate of fermentation of the drink depend on the age of the SCOBY?

As a rule, an older SCOBY produces Kombucha faster than a young one.

My SCOBY is covered with some dark spots, what should I do?

Sometimes brown spots appear on the surface of the SCOBY. They are burns caused by granulated sugar that gets to the surface. If there are only spots, the SCOBY is quite capable of recovering itself as soon as the direct contact of its body with sugar ceases.

If the burns occupy a large surface of the SCOBY, then the upper layer should be removed. Oxygen does not penetrate through the affected areas into the SCOBY.

The top of my SCOBY became dark brown. What’s the matter?

Most likely, you keep SCOBY in the same liquid for too long. Update the nutrient medium more often.

My SCOBY floats at the bottom of the jar and doesn’t float to the surface. Is it ok?

 Yes, this happens with young SCOBY, whose body is still too thin. In some cases, this can happen with more mature ones (for example, when several layers are separated from it at the same time). If within a few hours, the SCOBY has not moved to the surface, you need to drain some of the liquid, reducing its volume. 

 My SCOBY came off the bottom but did not rise to the surface of the jar. What’s going on with it?

Perhaps the room temperature is too cold. Try to move the jar with the SCOBY to a warmer place – most likely, it will be activated.

What is so good about Kombucha drinks?

SCOBY is a floating symbiosis of fibrous cellulose filaments and colonies of beneficial microorganisms. The bacteria and yeast in the SCOBY break down the tea’s sugars and convert them into alcohol, carbon dioxide, and acids. The result is a fizzy product with a tangy, sweet, and vinegar-like taste. Its specific flavors depend on how long it is left to ferment, the type of tea used, and the addition of other ingredients like fruit, juice, or herbs.

One of the most common beneficial bacteria in the structure of Kombucha is Gluconacetobacter xylinus, the primary producer of microbiological cellulose. This microorganism converts ethanol to acetic acid, which reduces the alcohol content of Kombucha and increases probiotic products.

The acidic environment of Kombucha prevents infection with mold and pathogenic bacteria. In addition, SCOBY produces many substances:

  • organic acids (acetic, gluconic, oxalic, citric, malic, lactic, kojic);
  • ethyl alcohol;
  • vitamins (ascorbic acid, thiamine, vitamin D);
  • enzymes (catalase, lipase, protease, carbohydrase, zimase, levansaccharase);
  • lipids (sterols, phoefatides, fatty acids);
  • sugars (monosaccharides, dieaccharides);
  • pigments (chlorophyll, xanthophyll);
  • purine bases from tea leaves;
  • resins and tannins from tea leaves;
  • antibiotic substances.

The antibacterial effects of Kombucha deserve separate notice. According to a study conducted at the Department of Microbiology of the Yerevan Zooveterinary Institute in 1946-1947, Kombucha has antibacterial activity with a broad spectrum of effects. According to scientists, the antibacterial activity of the culture in the liquid is mainly due to the presence of biologically active substances in it.

Kombucha is effective against a number of bacteria. Many bacteria died in the Kombucha solution within 10 minutes to 2 hours. Some bacteria and mold fungi may show significant resistance but still die at exposure from 1 to 4 days. These included spores of anthrax pathogens, spore-bearing soil bacteria, and fungi of the genus Penicillium, Aspergillus, sem. Mukor. The most sensitive to the action of Kombucha are streptococci, which die after 1 hour when exposed to undiluted Kombucha.

In other words, Kombucha can become a remedy for a home medicine cabinet for infectious diseases caused by various pathogenic microorganisms. And for prevention, it is enough just to drink a drink daily.

What is most surprising, fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha are the only food sources of NAD+Fermentation uses NADH to produce lactate, and the byproduct is NAD+.

How can Kombucha help?

Many people say it helps relieve or prevent a variety of health problems, everything from hair loss to cancer and AIDS. There’s little scientific evidence to back up the claims, but some elements of the drink may be good for you.

Because of its antibacterial properties, this drink will help to fight against inflammation in the nasopharynx, as well as the oral cavity.

With angina or pharyngitis, you should gargle every two to three hours to remove inflammation rapidly.

Purulent wounds are also well treated with Kombucha against infection.

A healing infusion of Kombucha helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood and can have a calming effect on the nervous system.

Recent studies from Georgetown University showed that people with type 2 diabetes who drank kombucha for a month lowered their blood sugar from dangerous to safe levels

It is also used to prevent various gastrointestinal disorders and is recommended to drink for colitis, gastritis, constipation, and dysentery. Traditional medicine also advises using it for hemorrhoids, tuberculosis, furunculosis, and edema.

Having excellent therapeutic properties, Kombucha can be used for cosmetic purposes. Washing with Kombucha helps improve skin elasticity and gives it freshness. Baths with the addition of Kombucha to the water will help with sweating of the palms or feet. It is also useful to rinse hair after washing with pre-boiled water containing Kombucha.

Fermentation also increases the concentration of probiotics — a type of beneficial bacteria in your gut with many positive health effects. In fact, studies have linked probiotic consumption to reduced cholesterol levels, improved immunity, and enhanced weight loss, among other benefits.

As you can see, there is nothing complicated in the cultivation and care of the Scoby. Therefore, if you set your mind on brewing this miracle drink yourself – go ahead because the benefits are obvious!

Kombucha – An ancient fermented beverage with desired bioactivities: A narrowed review

Black tea kombucha: Physicochemical, microbiological and comprehensive phenolic profile changes during fermentation, and antimalarial activity

This website is dedicated to all aspects of longevity with educational and inspirational purposes only. Understanding of the biological basis of aging is important since it gives us ideas on how to slow down and, possibly, even reverse the changes in our bodies leading to aging and illnesses.

We accumulate so-called positive traits of old age during our whole life, such as knowledge, experience, wisdom, empathy, and freedom. Too late! We are approaching our time to die. However, it doesn’t need to be this way.

If you have an opportunity to live active life longer without pain, disease, or cognitive decline, would you? Imagine a possibility to enjoy and watch your family growing beyond grandchildren, travel the world, realize your skills and experience in something you always wanted to do down to perfection. Sounds not bad, does it?

Well, according to science, it is quite possible!

Where do you stand on your longevity?

Definitely, when it comes to our body and mind, everyone has a right to a personal choice on how to maintain health, treat the problems, or take steps for further improvement. We defined three different levels for longevity approaches depending on your condition (perfectly healthy or have pre-existing conditions), your goal (maintain or improve your health), and the complexity of life extension methods (easy, moderate, or advanced).

Level 1 – Simple

You can choose to maintain or improve your health by easy and cheap methods such as healthy eating, herb therapy, or general supplement arrangements (vitamins, minerals, etc.). You can find information on these methods in our “What Can You Do” Category or go to the “Anti-aging methods and techniques” page.

Level 2 – Moderate

If you wish to take a step further, you may consider IV therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or extreme fasting. You can find information on these methods in our “What Can You Do” Category or go to the “Anti-aging methods and techniques” page. The cutting-edge achievements can be found on the “News & information” page.

Level 3 – Advanced

At this level, you must be totally dedicated to your longevity and target the most advanced treatments toward lifespan extension (regenerative medicine such as stem cell treatment, cartilage regeneration, platelet-rich plasma therapy, prolotherapy, etc.). Most of these methods are being used now and show even greater promise for the future. “News & information” page.

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