I have unfairly maligned my mother in law. She didn't throw out our kombucha at all.
I found it the day before yesterday in the darkest recesses of our fridge, looking like - well - something you would find in the darkest recesses of your fridge. (But kombucha always looks like that anyway.)
People describe kombucha colonies as 'pancakes', but I think they look more like placentas.
Ours seems to have had a baby placenta - or maybe there were already two before we lost them in our fridge. I can't quite remember. I'm not sure if either of them are still alive or not, but they're not turning black, which is apparently a good sign.
I've taken the younger one out and put it into a big jar of sugar/tea mix to see if it's still doing its thing. I should be able to tell in a few days time, I hope.