Kombucha scobys can be very strange looking but that doesn’t mean something is wrong. Check for the answers below before you throw it out. We’ve been doing this a long time and we have answers for most of your questions.
1. It may not be finished forming. As always, taste test your brew to know when it is ready. This is much more important than the SCOBY. But most often if you allow the brew to ferment a few more days it will get thicker and the brew will get less sweet.
2. If the brew has been fermenting for a while and the SCOBY is still very thin, it could be that your house is very cool. In the winter, or in houses below 70, the SCOBY will not thicken up like it will in warmer temps or in different seasons. Your brew can also take up to 3-4 weeks to finish. If your house is very cool, or if you are fermenting in winter, you can do a couple of things to help. Try adding double or triple the starter tea. The more starter tea you add, the faster your brew will ferment. You can also get a heating strip to speed things along.
3. Now if you have established that the above reasons are NOT why your SCOBY is very thin, then something may be off. Make sure you are not cutting the brew time on your tea or using fewer tea bags than recommended. If there aren’t enough tannins in your water from the tea, this can make the brew taste weak Not using enough starter tea, or using the wrong ingredients or measurements, can also make your brew off. So in the beginning especially, follow our instructions to the tea (pun intended). 🙂 Once you have a good base going you can do more experiments with extra SCOBYs.