- Yield : 1 quart
Water Kefir Grains are a form of a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Pronounced Kuh-feer, water kefir grains make an excellent probiotic drink full of enzymes and minerals.
Always use non reactive vessels and utensils around any culture. Metals can kill your grains, and plastics may leach nasty by products into your healthy drink. (Stainless steel is okay for utensils and strainers.)
When capping fermented beverages, be aware that off gassing from fermentation can cause dangerous bottle bombs. Plastic pop bottles are designed for carbonated drinks and can withstand high amounts of pressure, which is why I recommend them. If you use glass, slowly open lid every couple of days to release pressure. Bottles can be stored in a lidded tote or box to prevent injury and mess in case of bottle bombs.
Any product made by a yeast consuming sugar produces alcohol. A typical water kefir drink may contain somewhere around 0.05% ABV (alcohol by volume), no more than a typical store bought ginger beer.
Kefir consumes the sucrose and will leave behind fructose and glucose. In other words, the sugar is for the kefir, not for you.:)
Kefir is an acidic beverage, but contrary to linear thought, that doesn’t mean it acidifies your bodys’ ph. It has an alkalising effect.
Once cultured, it can be enjoyed as is or flavored in about a zillion ways, with or without natural carbonation.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you would be amazed how much it can be made to taste like Cream Soda! Which makes it an easy substitute for an unhealthy soda habit.
For cream soda kefir: after straining grains from 1 quart of kefir water, add 1 tsp. vanilla extract to your kefir water. Bottle in a sterile plastic pop bottle, capping tightly. Leave on counter for 24 – 48 hours before refrigerating (to carbonate). Refrigerate until chilled and enjoy!
Another favorite at our house is kefir lemonade. Simply add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to water kefir (after straining out grains). Chill and drink (or let carbonate before chilling). Lime would be nice too! Ooo, with raspberries…hmm. I’ll have to try that!
Once strained, a second ferment can be done using any number of flavorings. Try ginger, fruits and berries. Or, why not try a fruit and vegetable mix? Don’t be afraid to add a little spice either! I often add peppercorns, fennel, fresh ginger, dried chilli pepper seeds, cloves or cinnamon sticks.
Let ferment on counter for 2 – 5 days (to taste). I love mango and fennel seed kefir fermented 3 days, then strained and chilled. So good!. What are some of your favorites?
Cultures are available for purchase here: Water Kefir Grains, or Milk Kefir Grains.
- 1/4 cup white sugar (can use any fermentable sugar)
- 1 quart dechlorinated water (cool or room temperature)
- 3-4 tbsps. water kefir grains
Combine all ingredients in non reactive vessel such as a glass jar. Mix briefly using non reactive utensil.
Cover with a tea towel or coffee filter held on with elastic band.
Leave on counter top for 24 - 48 hours (not longer than 72 hours or grains will run out of food!)
Strain grains and put aside for next batch.
If doing a second ferment, add your fruit/berries/etc. now and cover again. Leave to ferment up to 5 days.
If flavoring with a liquid (such as lemon juice or vanilla extract), add it now. Bottle water kefir in sterile plastic pop bottles (to avoid off gas bottle bombs!).
If carbonation is desired, leave bottles at room temperature another 24 - 48 hours, then chill. For non carbonated, place in fridge until chilled. Enjoy!
posted by lisa on March 28, 2015
That’s very interesting. I had never heard of kefir before.
posted by Yogurt Hydro on April 1, 2015
I only found out about it a few years ago myself, and when I mentioned it to a neighbor, it just so happened that he had both water & milk kefir grains to share (must be serendipity!). I love the taste of both, even if they didn’t provide so many health benefits!