I think the little beasties are making magic now.
I added some sustenance last night, which left the liquid a bit dark and murky. Today, however, the color is back to a lighter amber, and the small globules seem to have all joined forces, so there’s a larger blob floating around, with some random tendrils here and there. I moved it out of the furnace room, because with the weather as it is, I don’t think it’s any warmer there than on the pantry. Also, I like having it nearby so I can check it 5 times a day.