Alas my kombucha must be tossed.
Came home from Portland today to find small fuzzy white dots of mold growing on the top of my newly-formed scoby. It was a pretty big disappointment considering even if I restart today I have lost a week. Le sigh...
That said, I will share with you what I believe went wrong for me in hopes we can all learn from my mistakes (why else would I share this kind of thing anyhow???). Here is what I have learned about mold and kombucha.
- If the spots are black, green, grey, or white, it is mold and you should throw the batch away.
- If the spots are brown it is not mold - it is spent yeast and completely normal.
- When starting your culture you should make sure that at least 10% of the solution is kombucha.
- If you live in an area of high humidity (like Oregon...learning to adapt from life in the desert still) you are more prone to mold, and can lightly spray the scoby with vinegar while it is forming to ward off molds.
So I am off to the Co-Op to get myself a new bottle of starter. My plan is to get it rolling and instead of making a full batch, I am going to make a half this time. Perhaps that will help!