A SCOBY hotel is typically a jar that houses all your extra SCOBYs in concentrated kombucha (something like kombucha vinegar!). It's called a hotel because all of your SCOBY can rest in it when they're not being used 🛏️
Once you have a SCOBY hotel, you can brew kombu infinitely - using both the SCOBY as well as the liquid as your starter tea for your next brew.
✏️ SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is a pellicle that helps to quicken the fermentation process while protecting your brew from contaminants.
✏️ starter tea is aged kombucha that contains all the living bacterias and yeasts needed to start a kombu brew.
Keeping a SCOBY hotel is recommended as it ensures that your brews will almost always be safe from issues such as mould when you use the strong starter tea from it. You can also start giving away SCOBYs and starter tea to your friends/family for them to start their own kombu project!
The best way to start a SCOBY hotel is to start it early with excess starter tea provided to you in our DIY Kombucha Starter Kit.
Top up the hotel once you are done with your first brew - by removing 400ml from the top part of your brew (where bacteria concentration is the strongest) and adding it in to the hotel. Wait for 2-3 weeks and your hotel will be ready and concentrated enough to be used as a starter tea!
It is also possible to start a SCOBY hotel from scratch. The brewing method is essentially the same as starting a regular kombucha brew, just that the kombu in the SCOBY Hotel has to ferment for 4-5 weeks before it can be concentrated enough to be used as a starter tea.
1L water + 200ml starter tea + 70g sugar + 10g tea leaves
(adjust accordingly based on the size of your jar)
To maintain your SCOBY hotel, depending on the amount of liquid removed and also accounting for evaporation, be sure to feed the Hotel once every 4-6 weeks (there should be enough liquid to cover all the SCOBYs).
To feed the SCOBY hotel, add in cool sweetened tea following the recipe above (can be done in ratios)!
Please note to never keep your SCOBY hotel in the fridge! Leave it out at room temperature in a cool, dry place. This is because if the SCOBY hotel is in the fridge, the bacterias go dormant and will be unable to fight off any external contaminants that might be in a fridge.