Your kombucha mother, that is!
I have been soooo excited by my growing Kombucha mother all week. DH has even been interested in all the action.
The mother is looking excellent. You may think being IF I wouldn't use the term 'mother', I would prefer 'SCOBY' or 'mushroom' - but hey, someone/thing should get to be a mother around here! ;) I used most of a jar (so I probably used ~800mL) of store-bought Kombucha (Tonica - cost $10/jar!), I added about half of the pitcher below of sweet tea.
I did help to speed 'er up a little by adding in my special autowarminator to the cupboard as well. To make an autowarminator, simply add boiling water to a hot (from running it under hot water tap, so it doesn't crack with the boiling water) jar and putting the lid on. Presto! Cupboard stays warm for a long time - it takes a jar of hot water with a lad AGES to cool down, since glass is such a bad conductor. I kept it underneath the towel next to my kombucha pitcher, so it was a bit warmer in there (our daytime house temp can get down to like 63'F because I like to be frugal with such things). Every morning/night I would refresh my autowarminator.
I covered it in a tea towel with an elastic on top (not that there are flies this time of year, but still), and put it in the cupboard. I'm not sure if it needs dark or not, but again, since this is the first mother, I thought I ought not to fool around. We tried not to disturb it, and held back from looking at it ALL the time. ;)
I did find a website that said you weren't supposed to start a mother from a commercially obtained Kombucha beverage - but I think that is bunk (*cough* selling mothers online *cough*). Clearly it works fine. They also said it has to be unflavoured - but they don't sell the big jars in unflavoured at my store, so I used blueberry - seems to be fine. It has only been a week and I have a decent mother going. The youtube vid I mostly took the idea from took 5 weeks to get going - he needed an autowarminator, man!
I think I want it to be a little thicker, so we'll let it go a little while longer. Then I can make another batch and start giving mothers away (hello JB!).
I tried it this morning - well, yeah, it tastes like apple cider vinegar. My plan is to bottle ferment a little to make it fizzy. I think I will add some grape juice or apple juice (since I have both lying around) to the bottling jars and then add the kombucha, hopefully they will turn out a little sweeter and fizzy! The commercial one certainly tastes sweet and not like vinegar - I suspect they don't ferment too much so it still tastes nice. For bottling I am planning to use those beer bottles you get that are re-cap-able.
Hahah - in my head I am planning to bring my tasty Kombucha to work and drink it at lunch - will they think I'm drinking beer?!