The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Your Gifted Kombucha

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Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to [Blank], our recurring series where our experts provide everything you need to know about your new endeavor, regardless of what it is. Life is full of exciting opportunities, and while it’s fine to tackle a new adventure on your own, we here at Bunny Ears know that it’s better to have an experienced guide to help on your journey.

This week we’ll be taking you through:

The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Your Gifted Kombucha

It’s two weeks in and there’s no denying it; your young kombucha is just different from other kombuchas. Its scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) is off the charts; it’s fermenting faster and passing those oxidation milestones at a rate that leaves the other kombuchas in the dust.

A fresh scoby. This little fella may look gross, but it’s what gives your darling kombucha fizz, flavor, and a mind as sharp as a tack.

You told yourself you were jumping to conclusions when your kombucha demonstrated superior reasoning power for its age or when it seemed to get bored more easily than other kombuchas, but the test scores have come back and they are irrefutable. Your kombucha is gifted.

Most kombucha brewers are overwhelmed by conflicting emotions when they discover their kombucha is gifted. You may feel pride and enthusiasm, but you may also struggle with fears and concerns. You may feel isolated, like other kombucha brewers don’t understand what you are going through. This guide will help you realize that you are not alone and that there are simple steps you can take to care for your precious fermented angel.

The Signs

Strong vocabulary

As a brewer, you were prepared for your young kombucha to start developing an attitude. What you weren’t prepared for was how that attitude was expressed with a large vocabulary and complex sentence structures. Your delight was mingled with your guilt—frantically, you wondered if you’d ever discussed inappropriate subjects in front of your kombucha, foolishly assuming that it wouldn’t understand you. How much had it heard? How much did it know?

Early development of motor skills

People were skeptical when you told them your kombucha was sloshing around of its own volition. People were downright disbelieving when you told them your kombucha was using its scoby to stack Lego towers six blocks high instead of just three blocks high. “Cellulose-based biofilms don’t have fine motor control,” they scoffed. And yet there your kombucha was, finger-painting to its heart’s content while Jackie from work tried to keep her kombucha from eating the paints.


Raising a gifted kombucha isn’t all rainbows and butterflies and straight A’s on the culture report card. When your kombucha first asked you where it came from, you were taken aback. You didn’t have a lie prepared and you weren’t ready to get into the nitty-gritty of how you mixed hot tea and sugar and dropped in a piece of mother scoby.

You were highly unprepared to discuss the miracle of fermentation with your young kombucha.

You certainly weren’t prepared for your little kombucha to then ask what its purpose is, or why it lives in a drinking vessel. Most non-gifted kombuchas never reach sufficient self-awareness to ask that question. If this was the point at which you broke down a little, that’s understandable. Gifted kombuchas are difficult; they challenge us as brewers, with hard questions and hard situations that most people never need to worry about facing.

What now?

The important thing is that you realized you need some help, and your search for answers led you to this guide. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind for raising a healthy, happy, gifted kombucha.

Provide intellectual stimulation

All kombuchas are a little on the effervescent side (all that fermentation has to go somewhere). This goes double for gifted kombuchas; your little beverage will quickly become bored without sufficient intellectual challenges to occupy its attention. It may start acting out in public or sloshing right up to the rim of its mason jar, threatening to break its scoby’s air-tight seal. Don’t be afraid to challenge your kombucha a little! Maybe it’s ready to move on to chapter books or two-digit subtraction. Most importantly, always praise your kombucha for trying its best.

Your gifted kombucha may have difficulty interacting with its peers, especially if they aren’t similarly advanced. However, you should still encourage social interaction from an early age. Even gifted kombuchas want to feel normal sometimes.

Resist the urge to flaunt your kombucha’s talents

There’s a fine line between praising your kombucha and bragging about it. Try to encourage your kombucha in private, rather than when other brewers are over. You don’t want to stir up resentment or envy, and you don’t want your kombucha to become a show-off at an early age. Gifted kombuchas commonly have difficulty fitting in with their peers, and teaching your kombucha to act superior to its friends (even if it is superior) will make social interaction even harder.

Remember that your kombucha is still young

Sometimes your gifted kombucha might seem so mature for its age that you forget it’s not a grown-up. It’s important to keep in mind that no matter how advanced your kombucha’s vocabulary is, it’s still very young. It doesn’t have the experience or social grace of an adult. Don’t overtax your kombucha or punish it for making mistakes. It still needs nurture and support, just like an ordinary kombucha would.

Find a support group

Most other kombucha brewers simply won’t understand what you’re going through. If you try sharing exciting milestones with Julia from down the street, it’s just going to be awkward for both of you. Her kombucha can’t even read yet.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online. You can connect to other kombucha brewers who are dealing with many of the same things you’re doing. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself! Remember, being a good parent to your gifted kombucha means taking care of your needs as well.

Images: pixabay, PxHere

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  1. Thank you for your article. It was a quick, easy read.
    I do have to tell you, I didn’t glean much useful information from it. For a while now I have been having problems with my scoby, it is refreshing to hear I am not alone.
    My problem is a little harder, since my scoby is superior to the rest. Don’t get me wrong, other scoby’s are smart and energetic, but my issues are light years ahead of “the others”. Already, just several weeks old, Scoby-One-Konobi, or “S-1-K” for short, has postulated, theorized, and actually put into use a systematic way to produce carbonation in my tea! Yes, bubbles in my tea! I call it “bubblize”, still working on trademarking that term. Once I saw the bubbles, I ran right upstairs to tell my Mom. After a long drag from her Kool Mild 100’s cigarette, she was out of breath! It could be from the news of S-1-K, or the cigarette, I believe the later.
    That’s not all! In addition to bubblizing my tea, it has also duplicated the sweet, sweet smell of vinegar. That’s right vinegar! What am I to do? Not a problem you say? Well let me ask you what else smells like vinegar….mind out of the gutter, heroin! Now my house smells like heroin and I have tweakers, and dealers knocking on my door trying to score a quick fix. I have tried politely asking “S-1-K” to stop the production, but it simply ignores my requests. S-1-K wont stop producing bubbles or vinegar smells. Do I flush it, or donate it to Popular Science magazine?
    Please if you have suggestions, I would appreciate them.
    ~James in Phoenix

  2. As soon as you flush it, it will infect all of the water and no one will be safe. It may be too late, already…

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