water kefir

 

I have enjoyed making water kefir so much since I discovered it a few years ago that I wanted to share with you the benefits and how to produce your own water kefir.  

 

It is a probiotic drink providing billions of healthy bacteria and yeast strains as well as –

 

  • enzymes

  • beneficial acids

  • vitamins

  • minerals

 

long recognised to promote and aid digestion and general health.

 

 

 

Basic formula:

  • 1 litre of spring water or other good quality water (the grains do not like tap water)

  • ½ cup water kefir grains (see bottom of page where to buy)

  • ¼ cup sugar (I use half rapadura* and half white sugar which works well)

  • Dried fruit (I use figs and/or unsulphered apricots – about 2 -3)

  • Some slices of lemon/ginger (optional)

 

*Rapadura – evaporated sugar cane juice still containing most of its vitamins and minerals.

 

Equipment:

  • 2 kilner type jars.  One to make the kefir in and one to store the resultant kefir in.

  • Wooden or plastic spoon (kefir grains do not like metal!)

  • Plastic sieve

 

Method:

Sterilize your jars.  Wash with hot soapy water and then put in the oven on 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1 until dry.  Boil rubber seals separately as the oven heat damages them.

Once dry, place the sugar in the jar.

Add enough warm water to dissolve the sugar.

Top up with room temperature spring water leaving room for your grains, dried fruit, lemon & ginger (if using) which you then add. 

 

how to make water kefir

Leave covered but not sealed on countertop for 3 days.  

After the 3 days, strain contents into bowl using plastic sieve.  Place the strained liquid into another sterilized kilner jar, seal lid and leave on countertop for another 3 days after which it is ready to drink and can be stored in the fridge. 

You can now repeat the process with the same kefir grains having separated them from the dried fruit, lemon and ginger etc. so you are just left with the grains.

NOTES:

 

  • Important – Kefir grains do not like metal so use only plastic utensils, sieves etc.

  • If you want a break from the kefir making you can put them in a sugar solution as above and place them in the fridge.  I have found they can happily stay there for two weeks before I need change the sugar solution.  However, kefir grains respond to their environment differently so keep an eye on them, at least until you get to know them!  If you are going on holiday perhaps leave them with a friend.

  • You have to use sugar as sugar is the grains food which it will completely consume if left the right amount of time.  Honey as an alternative to sugar will not work neither with stevia etc.  Experiment with different sugars – palm (coconut), rapadura, muscavado, demarara, jaggery, molasses or a combination of say 2 of them.  Avoid using ‘all’ white sugar as it’s been stripped of all its nutrients which may eventually kill your grains.

  • If you have never made water kefir before it may all seem a bit strange but you will gradually feel your way into making great kefir.  When you get the kefir right it should be a little sweet and a little sour and a little fizzy.  Healthy kefir grains bubble and move around the jar and if you are lucky - they sing as well!

  • Remember to ‘love’ your kefir grains, talk to them – they are alive!

  • Like me, you will be overrun with grains as they multiply.  They make a nice gift if going to owners who really want them so give them away/encourage your friends and family to get kefir making.

  • Experiment with different flavours! The other week I made fresh grapefruit flavoured.  Truly delicious.  Just add the grapefruit, strawberries, oranges, cherries, mint leaves or whatever you are using to the strained liquid, wait the 3 days and its ready to drink. Last week I experimented with apple juice kefir with a few of my kefir grains.  I put the grains into organic unfiltered apple juice (you could also juice your own) and wow, how amazing.  It made a fizzy, appley, deliciously sour & sweet drink.  Beats anything you could buy in the supermarket!

  • I bet you still have loads of questions, if not now then when you start making it!  I found http://www.yemoos.com/faqwaintro.html to be really helpful plus there are lots of other kefir making recipes on line.

  • Another fantastic source of information is via www.happykombucha.co.uk which is where I purchased my grains.  They also sell lots of useful fermenting equipment.  Take a look.

 

Happy kefir making!

 JackieX