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I have had a ginger beer plant going for some time now and got some good batches out of it. Lately the plant has been getting a jelly like substance at the very top between the air and liquid, it is quite firm, slightly brown and transparent and forms a disc at the top of the jar completely covering the surface. I have been throwing the jelly thing out and continuing to feed the plant.
Does anyone have any ideas as to what this is? Is it good or bad??
In short, yes it is good.
In long, Ginger beer plant (GBP) is a fungus (typically occurring in the presence of bacterial symbionts), which must contain the yeast Saccharomyces florentinus (formerly Saccharomyces pyriformis) and the bacterium Lactobacillus hilgardii (formerly Brevibacterium vermiforme). It forms a gelatinous substance that allows it to be easily transferred from one fermenting substrate to the next, much like kefir grains and tibicos.