So, when I woke up, here's what my set-up looked like:
Basically, the left gallon glass jar just contained my tea (4 green tea bags and the orange teaboy containing nettles). It isn't quite full, as I left room to add the mixture on the right.
The smaller jar on the right is the starter that a friend gave me - some of her home brewed kombucha with two scobies in it (the mushroom starters).
Here's a glamour shot of the starter I was lucky enough to receive:
So after the large batch of tea had cooled, I added the starter. Here are some exciting shots of me doing that:
By the way, see the white disc-like things coming out of the starter jar? Those are the mushroom scobies!! Pretty crazy, pretty fabulous.
Pretty incredible that something so odd-looking contains such a vital life-force, no? That slimy white-ish object contains such power to rejuvenate and restore the body! One of the women who was showing me how to make kombucha last night was waxing philosophical on the subject...she said "This might sound a little cosmic, but I look at kombucha like an affirmation of the abundance and goodness of life. It just keeps making more and more health-restoring scobies - it is so abundant and plentiful, and you can just keep giving, sharing with your friends, and enjoying."
So, back to kombucha-making...after pouring the starter into the gallon jar that contained my tea, all I did was put a paper towel over the top and rubber band it to keep it secure. You could also use a doubled-up cheesecloth or some fabric for this purpose, but I used some unbleached "Seventh Generation" paper towels. From there, I stuck it on a shelf out of sunlight. And I'll check on it every day from here to see how it's doing! From what I hear, there's a fine line between too sweet and too sour, so it's important to "catch it" right at the best spot. The shorter it brews, the sweeter it is. If you brew it too long, you'll have kombucha vinegar, and then at some point (from what I hear), a giant scoby mushroom that has sucked up all the liquids.
So, we plan to avoid all that! We're going for the perfect tangy-light sweetness that is sooooo refreshing, and that makes your body say "THANK YOU!!" as soon as you drink its life-giving elixir.