9 Ingenious Ways to Use Extra SCOBYs

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With each batch of homemade kombucha, you acquire another SCOBY. Instead of putting them into storage, why not put them to good use? You can use a SCOBY as food, pet treats, bandaids, and more.

How Many Times Can You Use a SCOBY?

SCOBYs can last for many years. However, if you’re not periodically replacing your SCOBY, you’ll end up with hundreds. Most brewers use a SCOBY for about six months before discarding it.

Each time you brew kombucha, your mother SCOBY will produce a baby SCOBY. The baby forms and floats on the top of the tea, while the mother floats in the middle and works her magic. Eventually, the two will usually touch and combine. However, it’s very easy to peel them apart.

What Is The Best Way to Store a SCOBY?

You can store a SCOBY in a glass jar with sweet tea and starter tea. The SCOBY will eat all of the sugar in about six weeks, at which point you’ll need to remove some of the liquid from the jar and add more sweet tea (SCOBY food).

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SCOBY storage

After brewing for a while, you’ll have more SCOBYs than you know what to do with. If you want to hold onto them all, the best way to store them is in a SCOBY hotel. A SCOBY hotel is a large version of what I explained above. Instead of feeding it every six weeks, you’ll need to feed it every four weeks.

Store the covered container in a dark, room-temperature area, not in the refrigerator.

Creative (and Healthy) Ways to Use Extra SCOBYs

Whether you have an overly-used SCOBY or an abundance of fresh SCOBYs, there are many ways to use them. If anyone in your community is interested in brewing kombucha, you could share a SCOBY or two with them. Otherwise, enjoy these ideas.

1. Add SCOBY to Your Smoothie

Adding a dose of probiotics to your smoothie is a great way to boost your immune system and eliminate stomach issues or ailments. Kombucha has several health benefits, but if you don’t want to wait for the kombucha to ferment, adding SCOBY to your smoothie is a great way to reap the benefits.

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Add SCOBY to a smoothie

SCOBYs are an excellent source of insoluble fiber which can improve digestion and gut health. SCOBYs have also been known to normalize cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

2. Make SCOBY Jerky

This may sound a bit unconventional, but hear me out. Making SCOBY jerky is an easy and delicious way to ensure your extra SCOBYs don’t go to waste. All you have to do is cut your SCOBY into strips, top them with your favorite spices, and place your SCOBY into a dehydrator or on a parchment paper lined tray, cover with a cloth, and leave them in an oven overnight with the pilot light on.

This great on-the-go snack can add some zest to any salad or trail mix, or be eaten solo.

3. Use it on Your Skin

A SCOBY is naturally moisturizing and hydrating. I love to blend it with yogurt or oatmeal and use it as a hydrating face mask or combine it with coconut oil and as a moisturizer to help relieve itchy skin.

You can also mix a SCOBY with vitamin E and essential oils to treat scars. Liberally apply the blend directly to scars, and you’ll see great results!

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4. Make SCOBY “bandaids”

The unique cellular structure and low pH of a SCOBY make it effective in promoting healing. Place a SCOBY directly on your wound and cover it with a bandage. Leave it on for 20 minutes or until the SCOBY dries out.

The acidity of the SCOBY will cause some discomfort and burning of the wound, but it will promote faster healing. The burning will subside shortly after placement.

5. Make Kombucha Dog Treats

Following a similar process to making SCOBY jerky, you can make delicious and nutritious “SCOBY snacks” for your pets! Use a chicken bouillon cube as seasoning and then follow the same process to dehydrate the SCOBY.

SCOBYs are filled with probiotics that promote healthy skin, fur, and gut health and can boost your animal’s immune system.

*Note: Though SCOBYs can be great for your dog, we do not recommend adding kombucha to their water because flavored kombucha can harm your furry friend!

6. Use it in the Garden

SCOBYs are a great way to give your soil a nutrient boost. You can cut the culture into small pieces and add them directly to the soil you use for your plants.

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Using SCOBYs in the garden

You could also make a SCOBY puree. Dig small holes around the base of your plant, add about 1/4 cup of puree into the hole, and cover it with dirt. Make sure that it is a plant that likes acidic pH levels, such as daffodils, marigolds, roses, or rhododendrons.

7. Make SCOBY Candy

If you have a sweet tooth, this kombucha gummy candy is a great way to utilize your extra SCOBY. You can make these delicious probiotic gummies with maple syrup, honey, or sugar.

8. Store Your SCOBY

As mentioned above, storing your SCOBY in a SCOBY hotel is a great way to save those extra kombucha SCOBYs for later use rather than throwing them out.

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SCOBY hotel

SCOBYs can last very long when appropriately stored. If you have a SCOBY hotel, you’ll always have a healthy SCOBY for whatever project you are working on, whether it be kombucha or one of the many other ways to use your extra SCOBY.

9. Experiment with New Recipes

You can use your new SCOBYs to experiment with different teas and coffees or make a kombucha and milk kefir hybrid. Also, you could try making different batches of kombucha tea with different flavors. The possibilities are endless!


Margaret has been drinking kombucha for its health benefits since 2010. Not only does she love drinking it, but she also enjoys brewing her own homemade booch. Her favorite combination so far is mint-strawberry, but she is always experimenting with new recipes.

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