So, I've been making kombucha off and on for a couple of years now with great results (originally started from a commercial bottle).
Due to various distractions, beer brewing and overall laziness I left two (2 litre) jars of kombucha in a corner of my pantry for a long time. One went obviously bad (no mold, but a noticeable musty smell like an old dish rag. yuck), but the other one is starting to organize a society and demand voting rights.
The jars were labeled at 2010-10-02 -- however, that is nearly impossible, as I know that I was making kombucha in the summer of 2011, so I'm assuming it was just a brain malfunction and I meant to write 2011-10-02. So, the kombucha has been sitting there for at least 8 months and possibly (unlikely?) for 20 months.
As you can (sortof) see from the photo, the SCOBY extends almost all the way through the jar. I've never seen anything like it.
You can see the original mother at the bottom, and the rest was floating at the top until
I took it out of the pantry about two weeks ago and had a sniff, which disturbed it a bit (so the big beast sank). Since then, it's actually started a new layer on the surface (no idea what it could be eating at this point). I tend to think this means it's still healthy?
I had a small taste the other day, and it was good -- *extremely* sour, but tasty (I am a sucker for sour)
So, aside from sharing that photo, I'd like to know if it's still safe to drink this thing, or if I should just dump it. I have a batch of raspberry wit beer that will be ready to bottle this weekend and I'd *love* to add this kombucha to the mix to sour it up (I imagine it would add quite a nice kick to a 20L batch of beer), but am a bit worried about this. I'd even be willing to pasteurize/kill the kombucha beforehand if necessary (doesn't sound like it would be). Also, my girlfriend thinks I'm crazy for even considering it.
But, I figure if I can drink 3-year-old lambic, this should be just fine.
Also, would it be wise to use a piece of this... thing .... as a starter for another batch, or should I take a mother out of my freezer? I only wonder if the balance of yeast/bacteria has skewed too far in one direction or the other to start a new batch.