I’ve been a little obsessed with water kefir lately. It’s really tasty and full of good for you probiotics! Here are somethings I have discovered over the past few weeks.
Care and Feeding of your Water Kefir
It will probably take about 3 feedings for your water kefir grains to become active in your environment.
Place ¼ cup organic cane sugar into a clean glass, quart sized jar. Add 1 cup of boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Once your grains begin to grow, keep the sugar to grains ratio at 1:1, and 4 cups of water to 1/4-1/2 cup of grains.
Add 3 cups of cold water to your jar.
Add the water kefir grains.
Cover tightly and allow to ferment for 24-48 hrs, or until the water kefir grains have digested the sugar. You can tell this has occurred because the color of the water will change from a yellowish hue to almost clear.
After your first ferment, have a fresh jar ready to go following steps 1-4.
Strain your water kefir through a sieve (to catch the grains) and into a 4 cup measuring cup.
You can drink at this point, but I don’t think it tastes very good.
To flavor your water kefir, add 4 tablespoons of pureed fruit or fruit juice to a 32 ounce bottle with a swing cap and rubber ring.
Add your strained water kefir to the bottle and seal tightly.
Allow to ferment for an additional 24-48 hrs, depending on how sweet you’d like your WK to be.
Conventional wisdom advises to not use honey as a sweetener. However, You can use other sweeteners. Every so often or if you want to really wake up your grains and have them grow like crazy, add a teaspoon or 2 of organic molasses. The grains thrive on minerals and molasses has a very high mineral content.
Some people put a clean egg shell into the first ferment. I haven’t tried this
My favorite flavor combos so far have been the vanilla bean and orange zest; pureed organic strawberries, and this power 7 organic juice I bought at Trader Joe’s. Some things I’ve read advise against using citrus fruit as a flavoring agent because it can make the kefir slimy. I’ve also read about people using hops and beer flavorings to make their water kefir.
I always do a 48 hour ferment for both stages as I prefer a less sweet beverage.
Burp your bottles frequently during the second ferment. Otherwise, they may explode. ***UPDATE! I had my first explosion over the weekend and what a mess! Thankfully, I have the best husband in the universe and he got up at 5 am and cleaned up the glass. I have read to store your fermenting bottle in a box in case there is an explosion. I have learned my lesson and will do this from now on!
Use caution when opening the bottles during second ferment. You might get a fizzy volcano of WK. What I do– I place the palm of my hand over the top of the bottle and slowly unlatch it. You will hear it hiss and see bubbles start churning in the bottle. Wait until the hissing slows down and release a tiny bit more of air. You’ll need to do this several times and can take a few minutes, but it beats having to clean up the kitchen!! I also do this in the kitchen sink, just in case.
Refrigerate after opening.