mold on kombucha culture
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Mold Indentification on Kombucha Mushroom Cultures

Mold on the kombucha mushroom culture is a common question we are asked here.  What does mold look like compared with the dying
yeast cultures that are common during the brewing cycle?  A simple answer is that most mold or foreign growth will look like mold that
occurs on other type of food such as bread or cheese.  Most will be fuzzy and brown or green in colour.  Any type of mold or fungus
growing on top of the kombucha mushroom is cause to discard the whole mushroom culture due to contamination.
photo of mold formation mushroom culture
photo of mold
Kombucha Regulations and Hazards From the FDA -
This subject must be addressed to insure that the consumer is informed about the potential hazards from improper brewing and handling of the cultures.
Because folk medicines and herbal remedies, including Kombucha tea, are considered neither a food nor a drug, they are not routinely evaluated by FDA or the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.  
The FDA does have kombucha regulations, warnings, and information posted in a report on the FDA
web site.  This report contains information about the
hazards of brewing the tea in non-glass containers mostly and a few reported cases where people have been hospitalized from not following this important
step!  FDA studies have found no evidence of
contamination or hazards in Kombucha products fermented under sterile conditions.  At this time there are no
regulations for producing kombucha products.  Please note: is not liable or in control of the consumers home brewing process.  



Antimicrobial Activity of Kombucha and It's Effects Against Pathogenic Microorganisms
The start of mold on the surface can be seen in the first photo.  With the mold well developed within the second picture.  These
photos are from an Ebay sources of kombucha and it was a very weak strain.  During our testing, both these cultures, were very
susceptible to mold growth, while organic-kombucha test cultures(not shown) did not pick up the growth of mold.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If mold does grow on top of the kombucha culture discard the whole contents and
culture due to contamination.  Do not try and attempt the 'salvage' or 'rescue' the mushroom culture.  
There is danger, as the mold is just not growing on the top of the yeast culture but possibly throughout the
whole culture and even the liquid tea, even though it appears to be only on the top.
penicillin mold on kombucha
bacteria contamination kombucha
The culture on the above has started to develop Penicillin mold on
the upper left-hand corner, also note that culture is not thick and
cream in colour.  Notice the deformations on top of kombucha
culture or S.C.O.B.Y.
Mold is easy to spot once you know what to look for!
The culture on the right may be contaminated, too, but not by mold.  This
could be cause by foreign bacteria or wild yeast.  It could also be contributed to
a weak or failed culture.  Notice the incomplete formation over the top of the tea
solution.  This type of contamination is harder to catch and may be prevented
by switching out the old cultures with fresh new cultures and maintaining pH
levels by using proper amount of starter tea.
What is Not Mold:
Sometimes the culture will produce brownish streamers or what is described as a string or web-like in appearance or growth, which
hang down into the tea.  This is not mold or contamination and are simply old, dead yeast cells that have completed their life cycle.  
These are fine to consume, however, many people like to strain these out before bottling the finished beverage.  Sometimes the
mushroom itself will form a brown area by the edge of the glass, which may look like mold.  This must be examined closely as this,
too, may simple be dead kombucha yeast cells.

At other times, the mushroom culture will develop whitish coloured bumps on the surface of the liquid.  These are sometimes
mistaken for mold, however, they are simply small bubbles of carbonic acid just under the newly developing skin.  The new culture
will continue to fill out and cover these within a few days.

But most important, if you are unsure of anything or suspect something is wrong!  Do NOT Drink the Tea!
Questions about mold on the kombucha culture is easy to identify once you know what to look for.  As a general rule, anything that
looks out of the ordinary should be considered contamination and removed from any other kombucha growing and discarded.  Again
the mold or bacteria can not simply be washed off.
pH test strips for kombucha
healthy kombu mushroom culture

Knowing what to look for will help keep your kombucha culture healthy and fresh providing you with a lifetime of pro-biotic cultures and good health.

pH Test Strips?
Order Here
Examples of a
freshly grown
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creamy in
Kombucha tea and cultures bought through website is guaranteed to be from organic sources, free from harmful pathogens,
and is bottled and/or packaged fresh, after you place your order, for purity and quality control.  Our tea is brewed and processed at a state licensed
facility through the Michigan State Agriculture and Food department to insure that the kombucha tea products or kombucha culture starter kit you
receive is in compliance with health regulations and made under sanitary conditions.
Benefits of Kombucha  : | :  Kombucha Use : | :  Warnings  : | :  Kombucha & pH  : | :  Mushrooms  : | :  Kombucha FAQ  : | :  Brewing & Care  : | :  Organic Starter Kits  : | :  Kombucha Extract
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Kombucha mold, mold on kombucha, warnings, hazards, and safety and what the FDA says. How to obtain a healthy culture that is pure and uncontaminated is important when considering starting your own culturing of kombucha or any culture.