Discover the truth about drinking from a SCOBY hotel

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: No

In this article, we will explore what a SCOBY hotel is, its purpose, and why it is not suitable for drinking.

What is a SCOBY Hotel?

A SCOBY hotel is a term used in the world of kombucha brewing to describe a container or vessel where additional SCOBYs (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) are stored and cultured. It is a safe haven for the SCOBYs to thrive and multiply, creating a surplus of SCOBYs that can be used for various purposes.

Definition and Purpose

A SCOBY, often referred to as the “mother” or “mushroom,” is the living culture responsible for fermenting sweet tea into tangy and fizzy kombucha. It is a gelatinous, pancake-like structure that consists of beneficial bacteria and yeast. As the kombucha ferments, the SCOBY consumes the sugar and produces beneficial acids, enzymes, and probiotics, which give kombucha its unique taste and potential health benefits.

The purpose of a SCOBY hotel is to have a dedicated space to store extra SCOBYs. As kombucha is brewed, a new SCOBY forms on the surface of the liquid. Instead of discarding these extra SCOBYs, they can be transferred to the SCOBY hotel for safekeeping. This allows the brewer to have a backup supply of SCOBYs for future brews or to share with other kombucha enthusiasts.

How to Create and Maintain a SCOBY Hotel

Creating a SCOBY hotel is relatively simple. Start by finding a suitable container, such as a glass jar or a large glass vessel, that can accommodate multiple SCOBYs. Make sure the container is clean and sterilized to prevent any contamination.

Next, prepare a batch of sweet tea, similar to the one used for regular kombucha brewing. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature and then add it to the container. Gently place the extra SCOBYs on top of the liquid, ensuring they are fully submerged. Cover the container with a breathable cloth or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band to keep out insects and dust.

It is important to periodically maintain the SCOBY hotel to ensure the health of the SCOBYs. Every few weeks, remove the top layer of SCOBYs and discard any that appear unhealthy or discolored. This helps to prevent overcrowding and maintain the vitality of the SCOBYs.

Remember to feed the SCOBYs in the hotel by adding fresh sweet tea every few weeks. This will provide them with the necessary nutrients to thrive and multiply. If the SCOBY hotel is not being used for an extended period, it is recommended to change the tea every few months to prevent the SCOBYs from becoming dormant or losing their vitality.

By maintaining a SCOBY hotel, kombucha brewers can ensure a constant supply of healthy SCOBYs, experiment with different flavor combinations, or share their surplus SCOBYs with others who are interested in brewing their own kombucha.

Why is a SCOBY Hotel Not Suitable for Drinking?

If you are familiar with the world of kombucha, you may have come across the term “SCOBY hotel.” A SCOBY hotel is a container where you store extra SCOBYs (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) when you have too many for your brewing needs. While a SCOBY hotel is a convenient way to store your SCOBYs, it is not suitable for drinking. Here’s why:

Presence of Multiple SCOBYs

A SCOBY hotel typically contains multiple layers of SCOBYs floating in the liquid. Each layer represents a separate fermentation cycle, which means that the SCOBYs in the hotel are at different stages of the brewing process. This can lead to inconsistencies in the flavor, acidity, and overall quality of the kombucha produced by these SCOBYs. It’s best to use a single, healthy SCOBY for brewing to ensure consistent results.

Risk of Contamination

When you store multiple SCOBYs together in a SCOBY hotel, there is an increased risk of contamination. The more SCOBYs you have, the higher the chances of unwanted microorganisms, such as mold or harmful bacteria, finding their way into the container. These contaminants can negatively affect the brewing process and potentially make the kombucha unsafe to consume. It’s important to maintain a clean and controlled environment when brewing kombucha.

Flavor and Texture Differences

SCOBYs in a hotel may have different flavors and textures compared to a freshly brewed batch of kombucha. This is because the SCOBYs in the hotel have been storing in a liquid for an extended period, which can alter their characteristics. The longer the SCOBYs sit in the hotel, the more pronounced these flavor and texture differences may become. If you are looking for a consistent and enjoyable drinking experience, it’s recommended to use a freshly brewed batch of kombucha.

What Can You Do with a SCOBY Hotel?

A SCOBY hotel is a collection of SCOBYs (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) that are used to ferment kombucha. It is called a “hotel” because it serves as a storage place for extra SCOBYs when you have more than you need for brewing. But what can you actually do with a SCOBY hotel? Let’s explore some interesting possibilities.

SCOBY Hotel as Backup

One of the main purposes of a SCOBY hotel is to have a backup in case something goes wrong with your current kombucha brew. Kombucha fermentation can be a delicate process, and sometimes, batches can fail due to contamination or other factors. Having a SCOBY hotel ensures that you always have a spare SCOBY ready to start a new batch of kombucha without having to wait for a new one to form.

It’s like having a safety net for your kombucha brewing adventures! 😊

Sharing SCOBYs with Others

Another great thing you can do with a SCOBY hotel is to share SCOBYs with friends, family, or fellow kombucha enthusiasts. SCOBYs have the ability to reproduce and multiply, so when your SCOBY hotel becomes overcrowded, you can gift some of the extra SCOBYs to others who are interested in brewing their own kombucha.

This not only helps spread the joy of homebrewed kombucha but also fosters a sense of community among kombucha lovers. You can even exchange brewing tips and flavor ideas with your SCOBY buddies! 🍹👍

Creating New Kombucha Brews

With a SCOBY hotel, you can experiment with creating new kombucha brews by using different teas, sugars, and flavorings. By having multiple SCOBYs in your hotel, you can simultaneously brew multiple batches with various ingredients. This allows you to expand your kombucha repertoire and discover exciting flavor combinations.

Imagine having a refreshing hibiscus-infused kombucha, a tangy ginger and lemon concoction, and a soothing lavender and chamomile blend all brewing in your kitchen at the same time! The possibilities are endless, and your taste buds will thank you for the flavor adventure. 😍🌈

Proper Handling and Storage of a SCOBY Hotel

SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) hotels are a great way to store extra SCOBYs and maintain a continuous supply of kombucha. However, it is important to handle and store your SCOBY hotel properly to ensure the health and quality of your SCOBYs. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Maintaining Hygiene

When dealing with SCOBYs, cleanliness is of utmost importance. Before transferring a SCOBY to your hotel, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Use non-metal utensils, such as wooden spoons or silicone spatulas, to avoid any reactions with the acidic kombucha. Additionally, sanitize the container and lid of your SCOBY hotel before adding your SCOBYs.

It is also crucial to maintain a clean environment around your SCOBY hotel. Keep it away from any contaminants, such as mold, strong odors, or cleaning products. Make sure to clean the area where you handle your SCOBYs regularly to prevent any potential contamination.

Storing in a Cool and Dark Place

A SCOBY hotel should be stored in a cool and dark place to maintain its health and vitality. Keep it away from direct sunlight, as exposure to light can affect the growth and quality of the SCOBYs. Optimal storage temperature is between 68-75°F (20-24°C), so avoid placing it in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.

An ideal storage spot could be a pantry or a cupboard away from heat sources such as ovens or radiators. Remember, a stable temperature is key to keeping your SCOBY hotel thriving.

Regular SCOBY Maintenance

To ensure the health of your SCOBYs, regular maintenance is necessary. Check on your SCOBY hotel every two weeks and remove any excess liquid or “starter tea” that has accumulated. This will prevent the SCOBYs from becoming too acidic or suffocating due to lack of oxygen.

It is also recommended to rotate the SCOBYs in your hotel every few months. This helps to distribute any potential imbalances and ensures that all SCOBYs receive equal nourishment. If any SCOBYs show signs of mold or other abnormalities, it is best to discard them to prevent contamination.

Remember, the health and quality of your SCOBYs directly impact the taste and effectiveness of your kombucha. By following these guidelines for proper handling and storage of your SCOBY hotel, you can enjoy a continuous supply of delicious and healthy kombucha for months to come!


In conclusion, while a SCOBY hotel is a useful tool for kombucha enthusiasts, it is not meant for drinking.

With its multiple SCOBYs, risk of contamination, and flavor differences, consuming liquid from a SCOBY hotel is not recommended.

Instead, utilize your SCOBY hotel for backup, sharing with others, or experimenting with new kombucha brews.

Remember to handle and store your SCOBY hotel properly to maintain its health and efficacy.

By understanding the purpose and limitations of a SCOBY hotel, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of brewing your own kombucha at home.

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