Weed fermentation using SCOBY

I’m creating this topic ahead of time to talk about what I’ve been up to.

I have more details below, but Essentially based on both testers, personal experience, and what my senses can tell I’ve somehow managed a room temperature decarb in an hour.

I recently started a homebrew and instead of hops I used weed. I added it at the start before any yeast or bacteria were added.
I used white labs san Diego super yeast and started at a very high gravity and low ph for the strain. The yeast I got turns out is actually a SCOBY and not only yeast.

Within 1 hour it smelled like decarbed weed. I did not decarb first. I was intending it to be a long process and I’d document this one, but it got out of hand faster than I could keep records of once I started my new medication.

I had sampled some after smelling the decarb smell and it hit me like a freshly made edible still warm.

It finished fermentation somehow in a week to dry according to my hygrometer, so I made a tester bottle I could share within my social bubble. It didn’t just smell decarbed, but it is. The rest I put back into fermentation to keep going until I hit the abv limit. 2 weeks later it’s still making more and I’ll never know the exact abv, so I will be aging it into secondary in a week and then this topic will include a step by step of what I did after I start to repeat this chaos.

It has retained the full smell of the bud I added in through the entire fermentation and has a nice chill edible effect on top of being crazy high abv according to the specific gravity dropping like a stone within days of feeding it more sugar.


Will hang on and see what happens


How low of a pH. Citric acid will decarb hash at room temp in not time IME.


The ph had swung all over the place at first, but it was around 2-3 ph.

What has intrigued me was how no terpenes were lost and became something I could taste as well. Normally terpenes don’t have a flavor i can taste and not only smell. They’ve been extremely stable for a month now.

If the thread belongs somewhere else it would be best to move it i think.

I wanted to document the process as I started my next one with full documentation rather than “want to hear about this new thing to me i found?”

It’s possible some aspects of my fermentation are a part of the wild yeasts and bacteria I’ve been cultivating for this project on top of the one mentioned. I’d have to get a microscopic look to see what I have in my culture for certain as well.

Another interesting note is the effects kick in within 15 minutes and feel closer to smoking than and edible at first, then hit like an edible later on. Entourage effect seemingly intact.


I’ve been trying to read up on yeasts and different things they do rather than only alcohol production. From what I’ve found they convert terpenes to a bioavailable form and seem to convert to more complex terpenes with age.

I started this as a test experiment for a concept thinking it would be a lot simpler than it was and have taken a crash course in what I’m doing for safety. My next batch will be properly documented as overall the experience is pretty much straightforward as far as I can tell.

@ReikoX what supplies for documentation would you recommend for something like this? I have my triple scale hygrometer, test tube, 2 3 gallon glass carboy, 1 1 gallon carboy, star san sanitizer, a large nylon filter funnel, nylon filter bags, airlocks, bungs, siphons, and I’ll be getting the bottles next week for after it’s done aging. I’m welcome to suggested supplies I’m missing though


Thats pretty low pH, most likely the acid decarbed it.


How does acidity work as a solvent for terpenes as well?

I’m also surprised I had yeast and bacteria completely happy at that low a ph honestly.

My next test will be on what happens when I don’t mess with ph at all and let things do their thing without my meddling to see how long it takes.


making beer, mash for distilling, or kombucha lower pH’s is where the action happens for the yeast, and the acid producing bacteria in say scoby’s and as reiko said thats where the decarbing action is coming from, as for flavor and smell compounds a lot of them will stay around in final form no different than adding hops or fruits to beer or kombucha batches, or having that molasses flavor carrying over when making rum


Interesting. I’ve been meaning to post on here to wrack some brains as I’m sure others on here are well ahead of myself on what I’m learning about only just this month

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@Mr.Sparkle while I have your attention do you know about abv limits on a fermentation? Mine hasn’t stopped and gravity readings are saying it’s at 26.15% last I measured it before I added dried fruit and oak chips to give it one last amount of flavors and smells before I stopped my experiment short for now.

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the calculation is done with before and after fermentation, but added stuff like your fruit can mess with the measurements of it.

typically when using normal yeasts 12-14% is the upper range, 16-18% when using say a champagne yeast, and anything in the 20% range your typically getting into turbo yeasts which use accelerators like di-ammonium phosphate but the yeast are stressed and produce off flavors running that hard, but 26% yeah no not happening well under basic conditions.

what you will want to be measuring in specific gravity before and after and that difference will be used to calculate out your abv

… edit to note though i don’t know how say the acidifying nature of say a scoby would change that as alot of sugar in those situations get turned into acid instead of say majority alcohol ina yeast only batch


I’ve been keeping track of the amount of sugar I add and I’ve been keeping track of the gravity as the aroma reaches something like a champagne noting certain smes from the airlock at specific gravity readings.

The yeast I added into my experiment does appear to be a turbo yeast actually. White labs has been Messing around with yeast for a bit now. From what I’ve been seeing it can get to 18 tops on average. There is a high gravity ale they sell that in ideal conditions can reach 25%, but I assume that one involves very specific yeast and bacteria cultures and a regimen of nutrients like you mentioned.

I’ve added honey back in whenever it reaches 1.030 gravity. My initial gravity was at 1.25 believe it or not. I’ve fed it 5 times now adding sugars and not water in a sizeable amount in the case of honey.

When I started this I wasn’t intending it to be a homebrew and instead intended to make it a cranberry sauce. Fermentation had other plans once I got a smell of the alcohol somehow produced in sizeable amounts that smelled very similar to beer in the first week. That was before I added the san Diego super yeast from white labs to my existing culture having no clue how compatible they are first.

My initial gravity did not include the fruit sugars and had to be calculated based on how much honey, golden sugar, molasses, and corn sugar I added to 1 gallon of water. I had to increase the pot size to compensate at that point.

Edit 1:
As far as volume increases its been sugar. Nothing but sugars of various kinds with only 946ml tart cherry juice(1.040 gravity), 946ml pomegranate juice(1.040 gravity), and 30ml rose water(gravity not measured) being added for liquid volume, sugars, and flavors.

To inoculate the fermentation i used my sourdough starter I had dried out for safe keeping awhile back. I didn’t want a salmonella or ecoli risk


Edit 2: @Mr.Sparkle the off flavors in question oddly haven’t been made apparent to my nose honestly and I’m a bit of a snob about off smells in anything. I’m the designated smell tester in my house.

Would you say that lactic acid would produce a drunk like effect from a small amount(16oz) when normally it takes tbh way too much to get that drunk for me(946ml 40% abv)? I’ve been using myself as a tester for the small batch I separated a bit ago to feed it more sugar after it went dry and it’s about as strong as tests appear to claim. My fiance and family have agreed actually and it’s why I came here as I wanted info and not ego fluffing.


Ah yes for an easier note:

Initial starting gravity was 1.057, then fed incrementally by the pound(lol) until gravity was at 1.103. After 2 days I increased gravity to 1.258.
The starting gravity was 1.25 3 days before I pitched the yeast I bought.
It fermented down to 1.080 then adding spring water to bring the gravity down to 1.040 in the 3 gallon carboy and then pitched the yeast at 70f per instructions.
I let the yeast do their thing for 24h before I added more honey and golden sugar until gravity was back up to 1.080.

3 days later I added coconut palm syrup, honey, golden sugar, and pomegranate juice(1.040) until gravity read 1.25 again.

I had expected the yeast to stop long before 1.030. Now adding sugar by the pound doesn’t change the gravity by any more than from 1.030 to 1.040, so I’m letting it run dry completely now. I had removed 1500ml and replaced it with dried cherries, 946ml tart cherry juice, 30ml rose water, and heavy toasted French oak chips until the volume was at the neck.
I made a 1 gallon batch with the remaining amount removed as well.

3 gallons is my limit to safely shake up. This is a heavy bottle, but getting significantly lighter by the day. Any larger an amount and I’ll need a expensive setup that’s cumbersome and dangerous for step feeding.

For any confused about volumes I don’t add the amount I test back in the carboy and I consolidated them into another bottle for testing that I won’t mess with and has been at 1.000 for over a week still bubbling up the airlock fierce. The remainder of the volume is what I drink now as I’m not that worried about auto brewery syndrome :sweat_smile: though I should be. I had to test the flavor somehow and the 1 gallon is capped out now. Also honey will not mix in anymore and creates distinctive coils of honey that swirl around and even break up, but stubbornly won’t dissolve easily. That’s why I’m calling this experiment as when honey won’t mix without aggressive agitation the mix is very low water for my current supplies.

Edit: my brew has been at 67-68f for the last 2 weeks now. The mash had taken up 2 quarts of volume after straining dry. It was made up of a gallon of fruit, plus maybe a few quarts. Significantly large amounts of cranberries and pineapple

I’m aware I lucked out this time and next time I’ll be taking proper measurements to help clear up any possible confusion to a robotic level.

This whole process is amazing to me and as much as the wild yeast in my apartment confuse me they also amaze me as well.

It’s why next time I’ll be taking gravity readings with my hygrometer and start over with notes at every stage I do anything at all as I have a nice new notebook just for this only. I didn’t have the supplies when this all started as I didn’t intend to do this at first and spontaneously decided that I wanted to make it a beer and not a cranberry sauce. Then plans changed when sugars were added too heavily before I know what little info I now have crammed in my head.

The speed that sugars are consumed though is ridiculous even before I pitched the yeast I’m not 100% certain even survived the brew when pitched. I’ll have to find a way to test my culture to know what I have

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Well, this is interesting! :sunglasses: :+1:

If you want to cross-check your hygrometer readings something like this might help

The terpenes you noted might be explained by your room temperature decarb. Normally you lose the more volatile components in the decarb process.


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I’ll be trying an ethanol extraction, but with citric acid. Haven’t decided how many to test- starting at 94% and add distilled water to reduce it down to 90% if the citric acid doesn’t dissolve. Then I’ll soak some ground flower, and again not sure how many samples I’ll do, but I’ll let it sit for 2-7 days. This will effectively test the acidic element at play. I can not drink the ethanol tincture myself- but I’ll find testers. For myself I’ll have to cook with it. This will obscure the cold decarb but we’ll see. I don’t know what I’m doing but I am getting the ingredients next week or have them already, been meaning to get rid of this flower (gave up the smoke) so win win.


I love it when a hitch in plans happens lol
My Carboy for secondary arrived flawed and unsafe for pressure of likely heavy gravity water without carbonation. I need it to finish aging without the lees restarting again with how much has settled. Just makes my current plan litfa.

They’ll finish up eventually letting me start the project the right way next time.

honestly buckets are the best carboys for under 7gal, cheap, easy to clean just drill a hole in the lid and jam an airlock in don’t even need a grommet, only time i used glass was for holding higher alcohol stuff as in 45-95%.

Also not gonna even attempt to figure out your abv due to the additions and removals.


Yeah I assumed that tbh and I’ll just use how much it takes as my metric for its strength vs abv for this batch.

Next batch will be tracked from the start with no estimated gravity.

On the note of additions though the dried cherries are looking pale after 3 days in the brew. Once I get a replacement carboy I’ll siphon the brew into it and let it age for a bit.

Gravity is at 1.000 and still bubbling pretty fast. Waiting to either get multiple 1 gallon carboy replacements for the 3 gallon or a 3 gallon that’s not defective next week :sweat_smile:

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