Here are some inspired ideas for how to flavor your kombucha
When using fresh fruit it is best to juice it, before adding. The fresher the juice is the better your results will be. Add one cup of juice to 1 gallon of kombucha. Then add in spices or natural flavorings and extracts to taste. When adding fresh herbs, be sure to strain the herbs before serving or after a couple days of soaking in the flavors.
DIY Alcohol Infusions with Mixology Cocktail Recipes
Mason jars, or large glass bottles with secure lids
Alcohol of choice (typically vodka, bourbon, brandy or rye)
Infusion ingredients (included in your kit)
Fresh fruit, herbs or additional spice
Labels or ribbons for your jars if you are making gifts
Typically you’ll want to fill a mason jar with the alcohol base and then place in spice and fruit over time based on the flavor profile you are trying to achieve. These recipes are recommendations, but you should feel free to experiment. We do not include the fruit suggested in these recipes.
Be sure to clean your mason jar and thoroughly wash your fruit before placing in infusion.
Store you infusion in a cool, dark place.
The infusion should be for 3 weeks. You can and should taste as the infusion progresses, to make any changes you desire.
When you have achieved the desired infusion, strain the alcohol, removing any of the organic ingredients.
What you should know before you start:
Typically use a standard brand alcohol at a mid-price range for creating your infusion. Don’t by the top-shelf for infusion, but also avoid the cheap stuff too. Smirnoff is perfect for vodka infusions.
Create a flavor profile which is for the intended cocktail you are envisioning it’s used in. For example Bloody Mary of Old Fashioned.
Typically you want to give your infusion 3 weeks to build the flavor profile. If you want to highlight a flavor, keep it in longer and remove something which you want to be a complement.
Start out with less and add more if and as desired. The longer your infusion sits, the stronger the flavor profile. If you over flavor, you can dilute with more of the foundation alcohol.
Vodka, brandy and bourbon are what we recommend for infusions. They tend to not have complex flavor profiles and can be more easily infused.
Generally Rum, Scotch and Tequila are not great for infusions, because they have their own character. We do include a Tequila recipe though.
When using citrus, use only the peel and make sure to scrape off the bitter white pith before use.
We don’t have any recipes which include gin, because gin is itself an infused alcohol.
Apple Rye – Combine 2 oz of your Apple Ginger Bourbon with 4 shakes of apple bitters. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar and serve over crushed ice.
Bloody Mary – Combine 2 oz of your Bloody Mary Vodka with 3 dashes worchestire, small can of tomato juice, dash hot sauce, salt and black pepper to taste, ¼ tsp horseradish. Mix well and serve with celery stick on ice.
Brandy Bean – 2 oz Fig and Cardamom Brandy, add hot coffee, 1 tsp sugar and cream. Stir well and serve on a cold day.
Ta-kill-ya – 2 oz Chipotle and Anise infused Tequila, tropical juice (passion fruit, mango, papaya), splash grenadine, serve over ice.
Making Wine FAQ – Answers to your DIY Wine Making Questions
If you’ve been thinking about making wine or purchased one of our Wine Making Kits and want to learn more about the process or have questions, this FAQ for Wine Making should be of help. There are a lot of Wine Making Do’s and Don’ts, so be sure to learn as much as possible before starting. We also encourage you to join our wine making discussion forums for sharing with the community what you’ve learned and your experience.
DIY Artisan Juice Wine Making Kit $39.95
Frequently Asked Questions about Making Wine
Q: What are the most common mistakes for the beginning wine maker?
A: Here are the tips to be successful in making your first batch. 1) Use a fruit or juice which works well with starting out with making wine (apple, pear, orange) 2) Sterilize everything and do it thoroughly. Use a complete cleanser and sanitizer like OneStep. 3) Keep things simple and keep a record of what you’ve tried to identify what works and what does not. 4) Follow the instructions and make sure you don’t accidentally expose your juice to contaminants during fermentation periods.
Q: Will it be more expensive to make my own wine than to just buy it from the store?
A: Initially yes, because there is an outlay for equipment and the process of learning and experimentation. However, over time you can produce wine and save money. The big question or concern is if you are a true connoisseur you may never be quite happy with what you can achieve at home, vs. purchasing a quality vintners product
Q: What do I need to do to ensure good results?
A: 1)Make sure that you understand the science and not just the art, 2) Start with good quality fruit or juice, 3) Try to understand and do research on the potential of the fruit or juice you are using, 4) Make sure you are measuring properly (pH, acid, etc.) to ensure a great outcome. 5) Make sure you store your wine for fermentation in a cool and dark location.
Q: What is the difference between sanitized and sterilized?
A: Sanitizing means a certain amount of microorganisms remain, and sterilization is eliminated all microorganisms. In wine making, sometimes you’ll need to sterilize and sometimes you’ll need to sanitize.
Q: How much and what kind of yeast should I use?
A: Different yeasts are used for different kinds of wine. There are yeasts which are particular to dry, sparking and sweet wines. The amount to use will be described on the packaging for the particular yeast and the manufacturer can give you the best instructions for your desired result.
Q: Can I use a bread yeast for making wine?
A: While it is possible, it won’t achieve your desired result. Wine yeasts are specifically intended to provide efficient wine making fermentation outcomes.
Q: Should I try to make a sulfate free wine (wine without sulfites or sulfar dioxide)?
A: While, it’s impossible to make a completely sulfite free wine, you can minimize the amount of sulfites, but it might compromise your outcome. If you don’t use a sulfite additive (Campden tablets) you won’t have a noticeable amount of sulfite in your wine, but your results may not be desirable.
Q: Do I need to add sulfites to my wine?
A: A sulfite can help make a better result and quality of wine. It is both a stabilizer and anti-oxidant. You can add sulfites with a Campden tablet, which should have instructions on usage amounts. While you will have trace amounts of naturally occurring sulfites from your fruit, it will not be enough to influence the outcome of your wine.
Q:If my pH is off, how can I adjust or correct it?
A: The right pH is critical to good results with wine making. Adding acid will lower the pH, but increase the TA (total acidity). If your acid level is too high, you can reduce it by adding calcium or potassium carbonate. Attempting to lower your acid is not recommended and you should try to ensure that ensure that your wine making process minimizes the risk of having too high a level of acidity. Some fruits are high in acid and release it during the fermentation process.
Q:What does the terms ‘surely’ mean in reference to wine making?
A: This is derived from the French term ‘sur lie’. It refers to the sludge that exists at the bottom of the container used for fermentation. It is removed in the final stage of wine making.
Q: Do I need to sterilize my corks?
A: Your corks, which are intended for home made wines should be coated with a protective coating, which will be removed if you sterilize them. You should minimize their exposure to any contaminant before corking your bottles.
Q: Do I need a wine press to make wine?
A: No, that’s only for volume production or if you have a lot of fruit to work with.
Q: Why are oak barrels so popular in making wine?
A: It’s a combination of tradition, from historical necessity and the fact that oak lends itself to providing a neutral flavor. However, most large wine making companies are using stainless steel tanks for making wine. A wine aged in a French oak barrel will have a distinctive character, unlike those aged in a stainless steel vat. The best wines in the world are typically aged in oak barrels, but this is changing.
Q: Should I consider a juice with skins?
A: Fermenting wine with skins from the fruit will provide greater tannins and color, but it is not required.
Q: What is the ideal storage temperature and lighting for my wine to be stored in?
A: Typically you want your wine store to be around 5 C or 40 F, for long term storage. You also want your wine stored in a location without light, because UV will oxidize your wine and change the color.
Q: What is racking and how often should I perform a racking before bottling?
A: Racking is the process of removing the sediment through filtering. You’ll want to perform racking to achieve your desire level of clarity. To do this you want to let the sediment settle and then siphon off, leaving the sediment.
DIY Artisan Juice Wine Making Kit $39.95
Q: Is there a way I can sweeten my wine during the process?
A: Yes, you can add sweetener, but need to make sure it is intended for wine making and not a table sugar.
Q: Can I use a juice concentrate to make my home made wine?
A: Yes, for a cost savings or convenience your can use concentrate. The best results will typically be derived from fresh fruit, but there are quality concentrates intended for wine making.
Q: How long should I wait to start racking?
A: Typically 7-10 days or when the S.G. (specific gravity determined with hydrometer) is between 992 and 995. However, you will need to age the wine for a few months before it is drinkable.
Q: Will I be able to choose to make a sweet or dry wine?
A: Yes, you will have control over this in the wine making process. A sweeter wine is achieve by less fermentation and a drier wine is derived from a complete fermentation process, where all sugar is eaten by the yeast.
Q: What is the proper pH and how do I achieve it?
A: It’s critical to get the proper pH level with your wine. You’ll need to test the pH and add acid as required to achieve successful results. A pH strip can be used to test the acidity. If too acidic you can add carbonate salts to increase the pH. Be sure to monitor the pH with each drop, until you achieve a pH of between 3.2 and 3.6. Because a while will tend to have higher acidity, these will typically have lower pH than a red wine.
Q: Should I be concerned with the quality of my water being used in my wine making?
A: Generally no. If your wine making recipe requires water (concentrated juice requires) you’ll want to make sure that it’s water that you would be comfortable drinking and is not treated. Do not use distilled water, as you will want to have the minerals.
Q: How can I achieve a wine with a little bit of fizz or bubbles or conversely, how can I minimize fizz?
A: The bubbles or fizz are a by-product of gas trapped in the wine. The degree to which you out-gas your wine will result in a more or less gaseous outcome. Agitating your wine during fermentation increases out-gassing. You can employ an agitation process by vigorously stirring your wine, which should result in a foaming, which is releasing gas. By not agitating you can maximize the gas stored. Out-gassing will increase your wine clarity.
Q: Do I need to use both Potassium Sorbate and Metabisulfite before bottling my wine?
A: It really depends. the Potassium Sorbate inhibits growth and proliferation of yeast mold. So if you want a sweeter wine you’ll want to minimalize the re-fermentation process by adding Metabisulfite, which acts as a preservative and neutralizes the re-fermentation process. Based on the dry/sweet profile of your wine, you’ll combine the two to modify the outcome with your intended desire.
Q: How will I know when my wine is fermenting?
A: Your Hydrometer reading is the best way to determine your fermentation progress and how much alcohol there is in your wine.
Q: How do I know what types of adjustments I should make to my wine?
A: Testing your pH and S.G. and making sure they are what you expect or your recipe calls for.
Q: Do I need to use a clarifying agent (fining) and which kind should I use?
A: If you don’t want cloudy wine, then a clarifying agent or a fining is recommended. The agent will bring the particulate in your wine to the bottom of the vessel and create a sediment which you can separate. There are a few different types of clarifying agents which are applied in different situations. Pectic enzyme helps reduce pectins (certain plant proteins) which can create a haze. Bentonite has a similar purpose, as it causes suspended particles to cling and settle to the bottom of the container.
Q: Is it legal to make wine at home?
A: Well, it might seem obvious, but yes. However, some states have limits and if you make a lot it could be considered a commercial enterprise. Please check with your states particular regulations.
Q: My wine has a vinegar smell? What should I do?
A: Your wine did not turn out okay and you’ll need to toss it out and start over. You probably did not properly sterilize something in the process or your yeast may have died.
Q: How much alcohol is in my wine?
A: Calculate the alcohol content using a hydrometer and measuring the gravity or using a vinometer to measure alcohol content.
People have been making wine for far longer than they have been writing recipes. Wine-making, like any art form, ranges from quite simplistic to incredibly precise methods. There are literally volumes upon volumes of books that could lead you through the knowledge about wine-making. If your desires are more specific then the basic instructions included here, we highly recommend you research books about wine-making.
To acquire a one gallon carboy for this and future wine endeavors we recommend buying a gallon of natural apple juice. Use the juice to make a batch of apple wine and keep the gallon jug as your wine store.
Experimentation is encouraged. Using fruit juice is the lowest risk source for good results.
Grow and Make takes no responsibility for outcomes related to this article. If your wine tastes good and you want to drink it, do so! Be sure to check out our DIY Wine Making FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for more information and insights.
DIY Artisan Fruit Juice Wine Making Kit $39.95
What you’ll need:
1 gallon glass jar
A tall narrow glass or jar to use with the hydrometer (optional)
A long narrow spoon that will fit into the carboy for stirring
Wine Yeast for 1 gallon batches of wine
Ascorbic acid for stopping fermentation and preserving the wine (enough for 4 gallon batches)
An airlock and bung
tubing (3-4 feet)
The area where you are fermenting the wine should be at a constant temperature below 65F (23C). A basement or pantry will usually suffice. If the temperature changes too much or is too high while your wine ferments, its more likely your wine will turn to vinegar.
Clean and sanitize everything your wine will touch before every use. To use the iodophor, mix 1 tsp with 1 1⁄2 gallons (24 cups) of water. To make a smaller amount, mix 1⁄2 teaspoon iodophor with 3⁄4 gallon (12 cups) water. Soak your clean equipment in the iodophor solution for 2 minutes. Shake any remaining sterilizer off of the equipment and allow to air dry.
Open your gallon of apple juice, the inside of the bottle and the juice are sterile. If this is not your first batch, fill your sterilized gallon jug with one gallon of juice. If you are using juice concentrate use filtered or distilled water to reconstitute. Take note that chlorinated water can add an unpleasant flavor to your wine and distilled water is missing important minerals. It’s best to use a good quality tap water or bottled water.
Add half of your packet of yeast and stir well to fully dissolve the yeast. Alternatively, you can pour a 1⁄4 cup of apple juice in to a sterilized cup and dissolve the yeast in the cup before pouring into the carboy.
Use the hydrometer to check your specific gravity by lowering your sterilized hydrometer right into the gallon jug. You can also use a tall narrow jar filled with your juice to test the specific gravity with the hydrometer. It should show a specific gravity of 1.010 or greater. Add sugar or sugar syrup and stir well to increase the specific gravity to the desired level.
Fill your airlock halfway with water and insert into the hole on the bung, then attach to the carboy. Cover the carboy with a dark, clean sheet if you are storing it in a well lit area. In a day or two, you should see bubbles coming out of the airlock.
In ten days, check the specific gravity. If you started at 1.010, you’ll want a specific gravity of 0.998 or lower. Check the specific gravity every day until the specific gravity reads the same on two consecutive days.
Remove the bung and airlock and add 1⁄4 teaspoon of ascorbic acid and stir for five minutes, ensuring all sediment is incorporated. The ascorbic acid will stop fermentation and help preserve the color of the wine.
Let the sediment settle completely before siphoning.
After two weeks, clean and sterilize your bottle, corks, and siphon tubing. Use the tubing to create a siphon to fill your bottle, being careful to leave sediment at the bottom. Cork it. If you do not have a corker, you can drive the cork in by placing a small board over the cork and hammering it into the bottle.
Let the bottle sit for three days upright, then turn them on the side for at least a month.
Everything you need to know about DIY Cocktail Bitters
Cocktail Bitters History
Bitters have been made by many cultures all around the world. The oldest known mention of bitters are from the Ancient Egyptians, making herbal wine infusions. The herbs included in bitters were traditionally chosen based on their pharmaceutical applications, and to aid digestion. Around the turn of the nineteenth century, cocktails came into fashion in England, with bitters making a star appearance. Angostura Bitters, the classic Old Fashioned cocktail bitters, were created by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in Venezuela in 1824 as a cure for seasickness and stomach pain, but quickly became a classic cocktail ingredients.
Making Cocktail Bitters
For the best flavor expression, you will need 100 proof liquor. We recommend using a neutral spirit with 150-proof or higher. You can also play around with other high proof alcohols, such as 151-proof rum, 101-proof bourbon, or vodkas as long as they are at least 50 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Spirits that are 75% ABV needs to be watered down to make it a more palpable 50 percent alcohol by volume. This adds another step to your process, but you end up saving money because you use less alcohol, and high ABV liquors usually extract faster and more efficiently..
We recommend crushing all the spices that are easy to do, such as cloves, cardamom, caraway seeds, black peppercorns, coriander and juniper berries. This helps release the oils to bring out the flavors. You can crush them with a mortar and pestle or the bottom of a heavy glass on a cutting board. Put the dry ingredients in a jar with the spirits and let sit for at least a week, usually 7-10 days. If you are experimenting with dried fruit, this could be more like 2-3 weeks. If you are using nuts, remove the shells because they contain a lot of tannins which can over-power your flavors. Fresh ingredients such as fruit or herbs usually reach maximum potency within 3 or 4 days. Shake the jar once a day. It’s recommended to check your bitters every couple days– it’s ready whenever you decide the flavors are strong enough. The flavor will get increasingly bitter, so be wary of letting it sit too long. Some people prefer to infuse all of the spices separately, but we found that steeping them all together allows the flavors to blend. It is not recommended to use ground spices instead of whole. We use gentian root as our primary bittering agent, however many other traditional bittering agents can be used such as black walnut leaf, cinchona or quassia bark, calamus or dandelion root, catechu, wormwood, and angelica root. Also, many other better known bitter ingredients can be substituted including coffee, cocoa nibs, hops, black or green tea. Some people like adding sugar to their bitters, but we found it wasn’t necessary. Try experimenting with adding sweet flavors if you are interested.
Strain the botanical additions out of the liquid, if the cheesecloth isn’t fine enough, try using a coffee filter. All of recipes are made to fit in the provided 5 oz bottles, and since they last so long, we figured you don’t need much more than that. If stored in a cool, dark place, bitters can last for years, but we recommend using them within a year.
Makes One 5 oz bottle
1 teaspoon gentian root
2 pieces dried orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, crushed
4 cloves, crushed
You will need:
A mason jar with a tight fitting lid (at least 8 oz)
4 oz (about 1/2 cup) of high ABV spirits or 6 oz (about ¾ cup) vodka or other spirits with 50% alcohol per volume
Clean a mason jar well.
Crush the cardamom and the cloves in a mortar and pestle or with a heavy glass. The cinnamon sticks are very hard and do not need to be cut. If there are some flavors you would like to highlight or downplay, feel free to improvise. It is recommended to take notes so you can tailor the recipe specifically to your tastes in future batches.
Place the spices in the bottom of jar and pour the alcohol over it. Close the jar and give your bitters a good shake.
Place your bitters in a cool dark place. Shake your bitters every day, or whenever you remember.
Sample the bitters every couple days. When the flavor is to your liking, strain the botanicals out of the alcohol using the cheesecloth. We let ours sit for about 10 days.
If using High ABV spirits:
Do not throw the spices away. Place the spices in 1 cup of water and bring to a boil for half an hour, or until the water changes color and becomes fragrant. Boil with the lid on, so the water won’t evaporate. Let the mixture cool. Strain the solids out of your water.
Mix the strained spirits with the strained water in a 1:1 ratio. The bottle provided is 5 oz, so this will be about ⅓ of a cup of each to fill the bottle. This helps dilute the spirit to about 40-50% alcohol by volume, so you can focus on the flavors of the spices, not the alcohol.
If using Vodka, or other spirits with a lower alcohol content:
You do not have to add water. Move on to the next step.
With the help of the funnel, put your bitters in the provided bottles, label and enjoy! If you are not happy with the clarity of your bitters, you can strain it through the cheesecloth or a coffee filter a final time.
Store your bitters in a cool, dark place.
Cocktail Bitters Recipes
Classic Orange Bitters
1 1/2 tablespoons dried orange peel, about 5 pieces
½ teaspoon gentian root
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1 anise star
4 cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons dried lavender
½ teaspoon gentian root
4 juniper berries, crushed
½ teaspoon coriander, crushed
2 teaspoons dried ginger root
½ teaspoon gentian root
2 dried orange peels
½ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1 ½ teaspoons cardamom pods, about 7-8, crushed
½ teaspoon gentian root
1 stick cinnamon
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
Smoky Chipotle Bitters
2 Chipotle Peppers, chopped
½ teaspoon gentian root
¼ teaspoon peppercorns, crushed
¼ teaspoon coriander, crushed
When chopping the chipotle peppers, you may choose to leave out the seeds if you would like your bitters less spicy.
2 oz rye whiskey or bourbon
1 oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Traditional Bitters
1 Maraschino cherry
In a short glass, combine bourbon, vermouth and Traditional Bitters over ice. Add the maraschino cherry and crush against side of the glass with a spoon.
2 oz White Rum
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of one lime (2 oz)
4 mint leaves, plus extra sprig for garnish
2 dashes Traditional Bitters
2 oz Club Soda
Place the mint leaves in a tall glass (such as Collins or Highball) and squeeze lime over. Add sugar and muddle. Do not strain the mixture out. Add crushed ice, rum, bitters and stir. Top off with Club Soda and garnish with mint sprig.
Lavender Champagne Cocktail
5 oz Champagne or Sparkling White Wine
1 Sugar Cube
3-4 dashes Lavender Bitters
Lemon Peel for Garnish
In a champagne flute, soak sugar cube with Lavender Bitters. Slowly fill glass with champagne. Gently crush the lemon peel over the glass to release oils and drop in for garnish. Enjoy!
Lavender Lemonade (Hard or Non-Alcoholic)
Makes 8-10 Servings
6 lemons, juiced with peel saved for garnish
1 cup sugar
2 cups vodka (or substitute with water for Non-Alcoholic version)
2-3 tablespoons Lavender Bitters (Around 24-36 Dashes), plus more to taste
⅓ cup water, plus 8 cups
Mix sugar and ⅓ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is completely mixed in. Take off heat and let cool. Combine sugar syrup and remaining ingredients in a pitcher with ice. Try the lemonade and add more ingredients to taste. Garnish each glass with lemon peel.
Dark and Stormy with Ginger Bitters
2 oz Dark Rum
5 oz Ginger Beer (Not Ginger Ale)
3 dashes Ginger Bitters, plus more to taste
Lime Wedge for Garnish
Fill a highball with ice and the ginger beer. Gently pour the rum to fill the glass, the rum will remain in a separate layer until mixed, thus giving the name “Dark and Stormy”. Finish with bitters and lime wedge garnish.
Cardamom Old Fashioned
2 oz whiskey (rye or bourbon)
1 teaspoon simple syrup
2 dashes Cardamom Bitters
Fresh orange peel for garnish
Maraschino Cherry for garnish
In an old-fashioned glass, mix simple syrup and Cardamom Bitters. Gently roll the orange peel over the glass to release oils. Add a whiskey and a large ice cube. Drop in the orange peel and cherry.
Orange Bitters Martini
2 oz gin
½ oz dry vermouth
2 dashes Classic Orange Bitters
olive for garnish
Combine gin, vermouth and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, strain into chilled martini glass, and garnish with olive.
Chipotle Bloody Mary
1½ oz vodka
¾ cup tomato vegetable juice (V-8)
2 dashes Smoky Chipotle Bitters
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
pepper to taste
1 stalk celery
2 stuffed olives
Salt the rim of a highball or other tall glass by wetting with a damp cloth and pressing into a plate of sea salt. Fill glass with ice. In cocktail mixer, combine ice, vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, bitters, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Shake and strain into glass. Garnish with the stalk of celery and olives stuck on a toothpick.
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 dashes bitters (about ½ tablespoon, Traditional or Orange suggested)
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Stir sugar into lemon juice. Whisk in mustard, bitters, salt and pepper and olive oil.
Bitters Marinade -for use with about 1 ½ pounds of meat or vegetables
2 tablespoons vinegar (red or white wine, apple cider or balsamic)
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-2 crushed garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
6 dashes bitters (about ½ tablespoon, Traditional, Orange or Chipotle suggested)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add ingredients in a ziploc bag, and shake to combine. Add your choice of meat or vegetables. Reseal and let sit for 2-3 hours, shaking occasionally, or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
No, it’s not okay to have mold on your scoby or on the top of your kombucha liquid. You’ll nee to discard it and start again. Make sure that everything is sterile when you start your kombucha. It is possible to restore the scoby by removing any mold and placing distilled vinegar in place of kombucha liquid when you restart a batch. Often times mold is the result of either not enough sugar, your kombucha not being kept in a warm room or including extras in your kombucha which encourage mold growth. Also, don’t let your scoby dry out, it should be kept in a moist environment of liquid. It’s important that your kombucha is sealed with the cover cloth, which will allow breathing but should prevent mold spores from entering.
Also, it’s a good idea to separate a part of your culture at the beginning and refrigerate it, so you have a backup in case something happens to the master batch.
If your scoby is dead (it’s an organism) it will mold. If you scoby is too cold (below 32f) or freezes it will mold.