What is a Pellicle?
A pellicle refers to a membrane or skin. During kombucha fermentation, the bacteria create a cellulose membrane on the air-liquid barrier, which grows thicker with time. This little (or sometimes very big if left alone) pellicle has become the face of kombucha, sometimes referred to as the mother, mushroom, baby, or simply SCOBY. As you can see, referring to the cellulose membrane as the SCOBY, is not exactly a correct definition. While the pellicle is saturated with microbes by being immersed in the brew, it is not actually alive, and thus cannot be the SCOBY. The pellicles, despite their un-relation to the SCOBY, have given us somewhat of a way to communicate with that which we cannot see. We know you’re in there!
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get to what to do with all those pellicles. There are a few options to choose from, varying in range from how attached you get to your pellicles as you spend time with your brews.
Want to keep them all? Create a SCOBY hotel! Not attached at all? Toss ’em!