Sunday, 24 August 2014

Meet my new friend SCOBY!

We held our Simple Living Toowoomba Fermentation Workshop yesterday and were introduced to  a weird creature that looks quite alien but is actually a Symbiotic Culture of friendly Bacteria and Yeast... commonly known as a SCOBY!

A SCOBY turns black tea and sugar into Kombucha which is a fermented probiotic drink. 

Racheal dissolved some sugar in black tea and then added the alien SCOBY to the tea and then it will be left until it has fermented and ready to drink. The SCOBY will have grown somewhat by then and Racheal's had grown so big that she was able to give all of us some to take home to start up our own. I have some tea cooling down at present and when cool will add the SCOBY, cover it and leave it undisturbed for a period of time until it has turned into Kombucha. Another learning curve!

Lynda then demonstrated how to ferment vegetables and it was a tad messy but a lot of fun. It is amazing watching how the addition of salt to vegetables creates so much juice. First we cut up the vegetables we wanted to use and we all had different combinations of green and red cabbage, carrots, onions, capsicums, beetroot (I left mine in the fridge at home), coriander etc.

We ended up with some very colourful bottles of veggies!

Lynda brought along some of her own bottles of vegetables and it was interesting to see the different combinations she had made up. 

Mandy from The Old Dairy and our co-ordinator Margy, having a taste test. 

Prior to the workshop we had our morning tea and swap and Racheal brought along some lovely Rosehip and Jasmine solid perfume and Rosemary soap which I picked to bring home. She always wraps and packages her skincare products so beautifully. I am not quite sure where she gets the time as she is expecting her sixth child in November. 

We will only hold two more workshops before the Christmas holidays and have a breadmaking workshop in the pipeline for October and Christmas gift-making for November. So if you live in the region and would like to come along for one or both of these workshops, you would be most welcome. 


  1. What Fun. I know you are not meant to say anything if you cant say something nice but your new friend is UGLY!!! Im waiting for your opinion of taste test.

  2. Ha ha, you are right Lynda! Very ugly! I forgot I was supposed to leave Scoby undisturbed while doing his/her 'thing' and lifted up the bottle of tea today to see what was going on. I hope I haven't upset my new friend.

  3. What interesting work shops! I have to tell you that your new friend is not the most attractive thing I've ever seen but seems to be hard working! Have a great day.

  4. Melanie, the workshops are great. None of us are experts but everyone is happy to share their skills.

  5. Hmmm, sugar and salt - both of which I'm supposed to limit because of my high blood pressure. I'll have to research pros and cons on this I think! It has to be better than consuming commercial products and easier on my vital organs than taking pills.

  6. Robyn, you don't have to use salt to ferment vegetables. I bought a culture a while back to do that. I will let you know about it.

  7. I think my scoby is dead, I put the tea jar on the kitchen bench near the window to try to keep it warm and it must have got too much sunlight, it looks quite pale and there are no bubbles, which WERE there on the first day, will have to get another bit from someone and try again. far so good.

  8. Hmmm, I think it is time I did something with my Scoby today as I made the tea concoction on Saturday night. Margaret, mine isn't bubbling at all but the Scoby has risen from the depths to the top of the liquid and it looks like there is a little one growing on the bottom of it. I have a friend who I promised to give some to but I can grow some more I am sure and bring it to our next workshop which probably won't be until October if you can wait that long otherwise I can meet up with you somewhere in town to give it to you. That's if it is still alive of course :-)

  9. Thanks Chel, I will have a look and see if there are any signs of life underneath and keep you posted, would love too meeet up if mine is dead.

  10. Weeeell, the saga continues....I tried to lift the edge of the scoby with a fork, to see if anything was growing underneath and it has an almost invisible "skirt" at least 3 cm all around that feels like some kind of jelly when touched with the fork, maybe it is still working ? Tea still smells the same.

  11. Margaret, to be honest I am not sure what to do next but I think it is time I did something. I will have to read the instructions again. I also have Kefir grains on the go as well and am trying to learn about them as well. I had started them up before the workshop and don't want to lose them but I think my system would cope with drinking both Kefir and Kombucha. LOL!


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