Discovering the world of kombucha can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. One of the most intriguing aspects of brewing kombucha is the SCOBY, a rubbery pancake-like culture that ferments tea into a tangy, fizzy drink. But what happens when you have too many SCOBYs?

Enter the SCOBY hotel, a storage solution for your extra SCOBYs that allows them to rest and multiply until you’re ready to use them again. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of SCOBY hotels and how to maintain them.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A SCOBY hotel is a container where you store extra SCOBYs in sweet tea until you’re ready to use them again. It’s like a kombucha SCOBY spa retreat for your cultures!

What is a SCOBY Hotel?

A SCOBY Hotel is a term used in the world of kombucha brewing. SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, which is the living organism responsible for fermenting sweet tea into tangy and fizzy kombucha. A SCOBY Hotel refers to a container where you can store extra SCOBYs when you don’t need them for brewing.

The Purpose of a SCOBY Hotel

A SCOBY Hotel serves two main purposes. First, it is a place where you can store extra SCOBYs. When you brew kombucha, the SCOBY will grow and create a new layer with each batch. If you don’t want to keep using these layers, you can store them in a SCOBY Hotel until you need them again. Second, a SCOBY Hotel can be used as a backup in case something goes wrong with your current batch. If your SCOBY is not healthy, you can use a SCOBY from your hotel to start a new batch.

How a SCOBY Hotel Works

A SCOBY Hotel is essentially a container with sweet tea and SCOBYs. You can use any container with a lid, such as a glass jar or a plastic container. The sweet tea should be the same recipe as the one you use for brewing kombucha. You can add a little bit of vinegar to the sweet tea to prevent mold growth. Once you have made the sweet tea, add the SCOBYs to the container and cover it with the lid. Store the container in a cool and dark place where it won’t be disturbed. You can add more SCOBYs and sweet tea to the container as needed.

What You Need to Create a SCOBY Hotel

To create a SCOBY Hotel, you will need:

  • A container with a lid
  • Sweet tea
  • SCOBYs
  • Vinegar (optional)

It is worth mentioning that you should use a separate container for your SCOBY Hotel and not the same one you use for brewing kombucha. This will prevent any contamination and ensure that your SCOBY Hotel stays healthy.

Remember that you do not need a SCOBY hotel to brew kombucha, but it can be a helpful addition to your brewing process. On the other hand, if you are new to kombucha brewing, it is recommended that you start with a basic recipe and get comfortable with the process before creating a SCOBY Hotel.

If you are looking for more information on kombucha brewing, you can check out websites like or for tips, tricks, and recipes.

Creating a SCOBY Hotel

A SCOBY hotel is a container that holds multiple SCOBYs (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) used for brewing kombucha. It’s a great way to keep your SCOBYs healthy and have a constant supply of kombucha on hand. Here are the steps to creating a SCOBY hotel:

  • Step 1: Choose a Container

When choosing a container for your SCOBY hotel, make sure it is made of glass or ceramic. Avoid plastic or metal containers, as they can react with the acidic kombucha and harm the SCOBYs. The container should also have a wide opening to make it easy to add and remove SCOBYs.

  • Step 2: Prepare the Sweet Tea

To prepare the sweet tea for your SCOBY hotel, boil water and add sugar until it dissolves. Then, add tea bags and let it steep until it cools to room temperature. You can use any type of tea, but black tea works best.

  • Step 3: Add the SCOBYs

Add your SCOBYs to the container, making sure they are completely submerged in the sweet tea. You can add as many SCOBYs as you like, but make sure there is enough space between them so they don’t merge together.

  • Step 4: Cover and Store

Cover the container with a cloth or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band. This will keep out dust and fruit flies while still allowing air flow. Store your SCOBY hotel in a dark, warm place, like a pantry or cupboard. It will take a few weeks for the SCOBYs to create a new layer, so be patient!

Remember to regularly feed your SCOBYs with fresh sweet tea to keep them healthy and happy. It is worth mentioning that SCOBYs can be affected by temperature, acidity, and even the type of tea used. Keeping track of your brewing conditions can help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Maintaining a SCOBY Hotel

A SCOBY hotel is a collection of SCOBYs (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) that are used to make kombucha. Maintaining a SCOBY hotel is an important task for anyone interested in making their own kombucha. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

How Often to Feed Your SCOBYs

Feeding your SCOBYs regularly is important to keep them healthy and active. It is recommended to feed your SCOBYs every 7-10 days with a mixture of black tea and sugar. The ratio of tea to sugar should be about 1:1.5. Keep in mind that the amount of tea and sugar you use will depend on the size of your SCOBY hotel and how many SCOBYs you have.

What to Do with Unused SCOBYs

If you have more SCOBYs than you need, you can either give them away to friends or use them for other purposes. Some people use SCOBYs to make SCOBY jerky, which is a healthy snack that is high in protein. Others use SCOBYs for skincare or to fertilize plants. Keep in mind that unused SCOBYs should be stored in a separate container with some of the kombucha liquid to keep them hydrated.

How to Troubleshoot Common SCOBY Hotel Issues

Unfortunately, SCOBY hotels can run into some common issues that can affect the health of your SCOBYs and the taste of your kombucha. One common issue is mold growth, which can occur if your SCOBY hotel is not well-ventilated or if the temperature is too warm. If you notice mold growth, the affected SCOBYs should be discarded and the entire SCOBY hotel should be cleaned and sanitized. Another issue to watch out for is over-fermentation, which can result in vinegar-like kombucha. To prevent over-fermentation, it is recommended to taste your kombucha regularly and bottle it when it reaches your desired level of sweetness.


  • How Long Can SCOBYs Stay in a SCOBY Hotel? SCOBYs can stay in a SCOBY hotel for an indefinite amount of time as long as they are well-fed and the hotel is well-maintained. However, it is worth mentioning that the health and quality of the SCOBYs may deteriorate over time, so it’s recommended to refresh the hotel every few months.
  • Can You Store Other Ferments in a SCOBY Hotel? Yes, you can store other ferments in a SCOBY hotel as long as they are not harmful to the SCOBY. It’s important to keep in mind that different ferments may have different pH levels, so it’s best to separate them in their own jars or containers.
  • Can You Store SCOBYs in the Fridge? Unfortunately, storing SCOBYs in the fridge is not recommended as it can cause the SCOBY to go into dormancy and slow down the fermentation process. However, if you need to put them on hold for a short period of time, it’s okay to store them in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Can You Share SCOBYs from Your SCOBY Hotel? Yes, you can share SCOBYs from your SCOBY hotel with others. In fact, sharing SCOBYs is a great way to spread the love of brewing and help others get started. Just make sure to give clear instructions on how to care for the SCOBY and the hotel.
  • What to Do If Your SCOBY Hotel Develops Mold? If your SCOBY hotel develops mold, unfortunately, the SCOBYs and the hotel must be discarded. Mold can be harmful and toxic to humans, and it’s not safe to consume or reuse any of the contaminated materials. Make sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize the area before starting again.


A SCOBY hotel is a simple and efficient way to store your extra SCOBYs while keeping them healthy and active. With just a few basic supplies and a little bit of care, you can create a thriving SCOBY hotel that will provide you with a steady supply of kombucha cultures for years to come.

We hope this beginner’s guide has been helpful in demystifying the world of SCOBY hotels. Happy brewing!

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