So what happens if you end up with of over-fermented tea or extra scoby mats? There are actually more uses for these byproducts than kombucha itself, which is primarily just a living drink. From medicine to dog treats, Kombucha has all the bases covered.
Many brewers are known for keeping a special jar just for the purpose of having around vinegar for whatever uses. Done correctly, you get an endless yield of a vinegar that is virtually just as useful as apple cider vinegar. All it takes is letting a brew go too long. Like months even, only adding a small amount of sweet tea to top it off every month and a half to two months.
So what can you do with the vinegar?
Salad Dressings: Substitute kombucha vinegar in place of vinegar in dressing for a probiotic twist.
Cleaning/Disinfecting: Keep a jar around for cleaning and disinfecting wounds, surfaces, ect.
Hair Rinse: Full of acetic and lactic acids, kombucha vinegar is a great option for a hair rinse. It’s much gentler than conventional vinegar making it much nicer on hair.
Facial Toner: Applied directly to the face.
Ferment Veggies/Food: You can use kombucha vinegar as a sourdough kickstarter and a means to ferment veggies like saurkraut and pickles.
Marinade Meat: The acid content makes this great for a marinade for meats.
Start a new batch: You don’t need a pellicle to get started, if you’ve got some strong kombucha vinegar, using a few cups to a gallon of sweet tea should yield kombucha in a month or so.
Now let’s say you started that hotel and you’ve got a lot of extra scoby’s around. Or you’re just doing a continuous brew and you notice that you’ve got more than a few inches of scoby pellicle alone. Don’t just throw it out, use it!
1) Scoby snacks for dogs: Either raw or dehydrated, dogs seem to like a good scoby. At this point all four dogs here, including the puppies have gone NUTS over a raw fresh scoby, which is great for me in terms of waste disposal.
2)Fruit Leather: Pureed scoby and fruit dehydrated yields a pretty chewy fruit leather that’s really healthy too.
3)”vegan” leather: Many dehydrate the disks and sew them together as an animal free leather.
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4)granola bars and energy bites: There are many recipes for pureed scoby in granola bars and energy bite recipes that sound pretty appealing
5)Smoothies: The scoby mat is proved to help insulin function in the body, so blending a bit of scoby into a smoothie is a good choice for diabetics.
6)Dried Candy Bites: Dehydrate the scoby in a sugar solution for candied scoby, which I’ve heard is surprisingly good.
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7)Compost Activator: Full of priobiotics and yeast, these are a great addition to the compost pile. That’s what I did with the first scoby piece I got rid of.
8)Hotel: Start a hotel and save your scoby line just in case! Keep your hotel away from your active brews for best results of no contamination!
9)Chickens: This is something I intend to do once I’ve got chickens, but apparently they love a scoby fresh. I’m all for giving my chickens good stuff that’ll end up in me.
So there’s actually a lot that can be done with these by products and accidents. So if you let your brew go too long, don’t despair! Rinse your hair!
I’m actually going to get a jar going for vinegar purposes, partially to use to rinse my dreads. I’ve always used vinegar on my hair but I’m excited to try a homemade version eventually. I eventually intend to try the candied scoby, but that’s one that’s gonna be a bit hard for me to get the guts to attempt, as is the fruit leather. For now, to the dogs they go who could use the good gut probiotics.
So there we are, finally at the end of this adventure for now anyway. Thanks for following and supporting me on my journey. I hope you’re inspired to start your own brew if you aren’t already!
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