No signs of mold. Stop by if you have any questions! It has a vinegary taste. I’d be willing to bet a fair bit that those black balls were yeast bits (Black spots / Orange spots / discolorations are likely yeasty areas). I made a huge jug of combucha it looks ready but my scoby had some black on it and tossed it in the trash and now im not sure if im okay to bottle my kombucha because it was fermented in a galvanized steel container I bought at Wal-Mart. Note that if you store the kombucha outside of the refrigerator, the fermentation will continue to make the kombucha more acidic, to the point where it becomes vinegar. You can submit an image on the contact page. I don’t know why my scoby can not floating in the kombucha? Basically, my questions is what is the probiotics content in scoby vs. kombucha. I wan’t to add my story based on actual blunderous mistakes I made. This is just MY recommendation — any strainer you have will likely work. You can use a lid – Kombucha will still brew. It’s normal for some SCOBYs to be submerged. I used a baby scoby that formed in my first batch that I had saved and I had tossed my original scoby that was getting fatter when I started this. I am doing continuous brewing but noticed that I am getting babies that are very thin and cover the area of my pot. If it goes too long like this, the pressure will become too much and the glass can break or explode. It sucks, but this may be required. But it’s NOT mold on top of your brew — it’s simply the formation of miniature SCOBYs on the top surface that will eventually link together forming a single SCOBY. However, it’s relatively rare. Due to the acidity and presence of good bacteria and yeast, there should be no “bad bacteria” or mold in the kombucha. And babies of babies. So why do store bought brands of kombucha have a “Best By” or “Sell By” date on the bottle? The ‘dry’ scoby can come back to life just fine by putting it into fresh tea, though it may take a few brews before the kombucha starts tasting proper. Is there any point in time you should disregard the mother altogether, does it become too old?. I’ve seen lots of scoby’s, but never something like this. If so, should I throw the whole batch out? 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I’ve been doing a few batches and my third batch I just opened to check and saw some fuzzy gray spots that trouble me. No signs of mold.other than the bottom portion being quite dark it looks healthy. Would you know? That means if your Kombucha SCOBY looks strange and funky, there’s probably a 95 percent chance that’s the way it’s SUPPOSE TO LOOK. HI there ! When you have enough new SCOBYs, you can toss away an old mother. I can’t tell if mine is moldy. There are some other thing you can do to reduce even further (search the site for an article on how to reduce caffeine). Don’t try and salvage the scoby either — toss it all. The baby will usually always be a bit whiter and fresher looking. I assume the bottom mother is dead and all the progressive layers are multiple babies. The darker color the tea, the darker your SCOBY will be when you take it out, especially if you leave it in for more than a couple weeks. Because SCOBYs are disgusting look, strange looking, and funky looking anyways. I don’t have any really old kombucha since I just started brewing, so I think maybe there wasn’t enough vinegar when I made the second batch, which is why I added a 1/4 cup to this third batch. It’s sort of like taking a human and depriving them of some essential vitamins for a period of time. Should I try to make a batch with it and see what happens? In some places it looks like the dark spots join the under surface of the SCOBY bump and extend to the surface of the liquid. 2) Another problem could be your kombucha brew is close to mold spores — i.e. When I made the next batch the scoby listed halfway floating in the batch and a new scoby just formed over the top. My second batch of Kombucha had numerous floating black balls in it. My final tip is smell your brew. Mold or no mold? Let me know what happens! You can use plastic spoons (food grade) just fine. That’s mold for sure. You might get a good batch or two before you have problems.