How to share/transport a SCOBY
It’s pretty easy to share a SCOBY with a friend or transport
a SCOBY if you’re moving or traveling with one.
Just make sure the kombucha has enough starter tea to
keep it moist. My recommendations with glass vs. plastic
vary a bit, though, so you can read on below for more
Option 1: Put it in a Ziploc bag.
You can double bag it for extra leak protection. A lot of
people warn against letting your SCOBY come into contact
with plastic for extended periods of time, but a day or so in
a clean baggie won’t hurt your SCOBY. But as soon as you
can, transfer it to a clean glass container (even a bowl or a large glass will do!). Then cover with a clean, breathable cloth and secure it tight with a rubber band.
Option 2: Use a glass jar with a lid.
Mason jars work well or you can even use your brew vessels themselves if they have a screw-on lid. Your SCOBY won’t “suffocate” if you leave it in a sealed container, even upwards of a few weeks. But whenever you can, go ahead and replace the lid with a clean, breathable cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
Make sure that regardless of which method you go for, keep it at a moderate temperature. Don’t leave your SCOBY in your car on a hot summer day. (Temperatures in the 100s can kill your SCOBY.) And super low temperatures (below 60s) could make your SCOBY go dormant. That might put you at risk for mold later down the line.
If you’re sharing with a friend, make sure they have at least 2 cups of starter tea to get them started on their first batch of kombucha. Give them good information and share your best practices.
Don’t forget to link them to youbrewkombucha.com or The You Brew Kombucha Youtube channel to make sure they’re set for success right from the start!
What if a SCOBY has been shared with me?
If a SCOBY has been shared with you, you don’t need to use it immediately. As long as it’s in a clean, glass container, it’ll do just fine and will be waiting until you’re ready to use it. If it's sealed with an airtight lid, you can swap it out with a breathable cotton lid (secured with a rubber band) if you like.
Just make sure the liquid doesn’t dry out completely. If it does, just “feed” it with about a cup of room temperature black tea (all leaves strained out!) and a tbsp. of cane sugar.
The longer you leave it in the jar (whether lid on or off), the more sour it’ll get, but that’s totally OK (that's great actually!) That’ll just be supercharged starter tea for whenever you do decide to brew your next batch.
If you want the lowdown on how to use that SCOBY to brew kombucha, check out our Quick Start Guide: How to Make Homemade Kombucha.