Yes, it has begun... the long birth process of my very own kombucha scoby mother. For someone whose pretty lax about sanitation in the kitchen when cooking for myself (double-dipping, re-using mixing bowls, etc.), it's interesting to see how OCD I get about cleanliness the minute anything fermented is involved. Because I assume that things can easily go wrong with the fermentation process (mould, too much oxygen, unclean utensils, etc.) I read the instructions to my starter culture about 10 times and checked out all sorts of kombucha making websites before even touching anything. I was also extra careful to follow the instructions word for word and was probably more sanitary than I have been my entire life. (This coming from someone who has to be tied down to just follow a recipe.) Given the care I've put into this, I'm sure it's going to work awesome though!
Starting your own kombucha culture is pretty easy actually. All I had to do was boil water in a steel pot, add in some organic cane sugar (which my scoby mother will feed upon), tea bags (I opted for green tea), and let it steep over high heat. Then I let it cool down to room temperature, transfered it to its new home (a big glass jar) and put my scoby mother and the tea she was steeping in into it. Now, I've placed the jar in a shaded warm place and will wait for about 5-10 days for the scoby to form a baby. At that point, the tea in the bottle will have fermented into a home-made kombucha drink. Plus, with two scobys, I'll be able to double my kitchen kombucha farm capacity! It's like Amish Friendship Bread, but a healthy version...
I find it particularly appropriate that right as I'm starting kombucha births in our home, we'll be off to a camping festival in a little bit that always has a theme. This year's is "the Quickening," a term from Celtic lore meaning the first stirrings of a baby in the womb, the power a seed has to begin sprouting, or an idea when it first crosses your mind and leads you to take actions to change your life. Coincidence? I think not.
But strange is the attachment that is growing between this mother scoby and I, it's like a new pet.