The goal was to see if the quality of SCOBY differed when using different kombuchas. I’m judging “quality” here by the rate the SCOBY grows, its thickness and solidity and, later, its ability to make a tasty new brew in a reasonable period of time.
My main intent was to compare home-brew to store-bought in order to help people who want to grow their own SCOBYs at home make the best choice when obtaining starter kombucha.
So, I started by growing SCOBYs from kombucha, with no actual SCOBY bits in the mix (I had to strain my home-brew to ensure this, but the store-bought kombucha was not strained.
Going into this, my hypothesis was that my home-brew would surpass the others by a lot, and that the unflavored option would be the next best of the store-bought booch. I was right on one count and wrong on the other.
My home-brew kicked ass. Like not even close. No competition. With the naked eye, it was pretty clear by Day 2 that there was a superior brew on the table and it was mine. the take-away here is that if you have access to kombucha brewed by a friend who somehow doesn’t have a spare SCOBY, use that over store-bought.
My second supposition, that the unflavored option (Ciara’s) would take the silver medal proved quite false.