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My Kombucha has Mold – What to do?

Mold? Eeewww!!!!! Whenever I see mold, you can expect me to utter eeewwww with such disgust; followed by a sneeze. Yep, I’m one of those people who are sensitive to mold. But even if you are not sensitive or allergic to mold, you should still steer clear of it. Long exposure to mold can cause some health-related issues. Also, mold is the worst thing that could happen to your kombucha brews!!! I’m not even exaggerating.

I have mold in my kombucha, what should I do?

Before doing anything, let me ask you this question first: Are you sure IT IS mold? SCOBYs are not always pretty and new SCOBYs are often get confused for mold. If you are not sure, look at the pictures below.

Pictures of mold in Kombucha SCOBY

kombucha mold what to do
Yep, definitely mold 🙁
mould in kombucha
Sad to say this is also mold in kombucha. Photo from Kombucha Kamp.
Lots of mold in this brew. Photo from Kombucha Kamp

Does the suspected mold in your Kombucha look like any of the pictures? If yes, it is really mold and as much as I hate to break it to you, you have to throw it away. Do not save it by taking it off and rinsing the SCOBY with any kind of liquid. Mold have spores that can spread through the air. Throw it out, far from your house and clean your surrounding including the jars, the spoons, cups and other equipment you used for brewing. It would also help if you rinse your utensils with a strong vinegar. If the suspected mold in your Kombucha tea doesn’t look like any of the pictures above, answer the following questions:

  • Is the suspected mold dry? Is it growing on top of the SCOBY?
  • Does it have spores?
  • Is it greenish in color?
new scoby
Not mold, just new SCOBY. Photo from Kombucha Kamp
yeast strings from kombucha scoby
yeast strings from kombucha scoby. Photo from Kombucha Kamp
yeast strings from kombucha scoby
also yeast strings. Photo from Kombucha Kamp
new scoby
new SCOBY about to grow. Photo from Kombucha Kamp
new scoby
Not mold. just new SCOBY forming. Photo from Kombucha Kamp

If you answered yes to all these questions, it is mold! If not and you are not sure, take a clear picture of the suspect and email it to me at [email protected]

How to Prevent Mold

If you had mold the last time you brewed Kombucha tea and decide to continue your Kombucha brewing journey (which is what you must do. Kombucha is good for you, so don’t let mold stop you from making it again), here are some pointers to keep in mind to prevent mold from growing.

Tips to avoid mold in Kombucha

  1. Make sure everything is sterile: The first time I got mold in my SCOBY (yes, happened to me too!), the only thing that changed in my brewing routine was the use of gloves that I didn’t clean. I was trimming my SCOBY and used gloves. The next day, my kombucha grew mold. This is why I don’t use gloves anymore. I touch my SCOBY with my clean, bare hands.
  2. Use a strong starter tea: Make sure the starter tea you use is strong. That means it’s super sour and has been fermenting for a long time. If you got your kombucha starter kit or kombucha starter kit plus from me, it’s guaranteed the starter liquid is strong.
  3. Use more starter tea: If you are not sure if the starter liquid you got is enough, use more. Instead of one cup per gallon, increase it to two cups.
  4. Change location: Place your brews in a location that is dry. Mold loves moist areas. Also, make sure there are no plants or fruits close to your brews.


Are you still not sure if it’s mold or not? Take a picture of your kombucha and send it to jannah at