Water Kefir: 1st Ferment

Water kefir is another amazing probiotic drink. It has some of the most incredible health benefits; most notably, it is the strongest natural antibiotic and it is the strongest natural remedy for any type of allergy. Only a few of the many other benefits of water kefir include: treats eczema and psoriasis, treats liver disease, normalizes metabolism, treats arthritis, reduces the size of tumors, and detoxes the body from alcohol and heavy metals.

You have the option of making water kefir quite fizzy and the flavor possibilities are endless. This makes it a good drink for those who are trying to quit soda. Additionally, water kefir is easy and cheap to make, all you need are water kefir grains. I recommend Cultures for Health for grains; they are affordable and with proper care can be used forever.

These are water kefir grains. They are gelatinous in texture. Unlike milk kefir grains, they do not clump. They often multiply very quickly, sometimes doubling with each batch of kefir, but don't dispair if yours don't often or at all.


Ingredients:
½ c. water kefir grains
½ c. sugar
filtered water to fill half-gallon jar
 
The sugar you choose matters. It's best to use a mineral-rich sugar such as coconut sugar or sucanat. The grains need those minerals to survive. You can use regular white sugar, but you need to add an eggshell or mineral drops to feed the grains or else they will die. You cannot use honey because it will kill the grains.
 
Bring a couple of cups of water to a boil and stir in the sugar. Let it boil for a few more minutes until the sugar dissolves. Then, let the water cool. I pour it in a cup and stick it in the refrigerator to speed things up.
 
 
Put the water kefir grains in a half-gallon jar (I've taken to Fido jars recently for fermenting, but mason jars are fine, too). Pour the sugar water in, then add more filtered water to fill. Leave a couple of inches or so of space so it can ferment properly. Put the lid on and let it ferment for 2 to 4 days at room temperature. Most recipes you will see say 2 days; at this point the kefir will still be slightly sweet. I like to ferment mine for 3 days so it just starts to turn tart but not too much.
 
 
Here is mine at 3 days; if you look closely you can see bubbles at the top. Don't worry if yours doesn't bubble. They usually bubble more during the second ferment.
 
You may also notice that the kefir is lighter at this time because the grains have eaten most of the sugar.
 

When the water kefir has fermented for the time you desire, strain out the grains. The grains can be used immediately for your next batch. The water kefir is ready to drink as is, or you can add flavor during a second ferment, which I will talk about next week.

Printable: Water Kefir, 1st Ferment

15 comments:

  1. Interesting, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to part two.

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  2. I've never heard of this, but it sure sounds interesting. Looking forward to the flavor directions!

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  3. Can you use brown sugar?

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    1. Yes, I believe brown sugar would be a good choice. The natural molasses should provide enough minerals to keep the grains happy.

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  4. Do you have to use filtered water?

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    1. Filtered water is best, especially over the long term or it could kill your grains.

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    2. More specifically, chlorine and fluoride will kill your grains.

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  5. Would you recommend water kefir to someone tying to lose weight? I have been doing well on the milk kefir but I put my water grains in the fridge a while ago because I wasn't sure. and do you think homemade berry jam would work to flavor it when I do go back to drinking it.

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    1. I recommend real, whole foods for weight loss/management. Water kefir is a real, whole food. I wouldn't recommend jam to flavor it though; the consistency would come out very strange, and I think very unpleasant.

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  6. This is the first time I have heard of Kefir and thank you for the information and directions for this. A few questions about it. Is this something you drink daily or when sick and how much? Any negitive side effects if you drink a lot? Do you strain out the sediment or is it part of the benifts of kefir? You mention that they can multiply, how would you store the extra to keep them alive and to be used at a later time? Thank you for you time in responding, I appreciate it.

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  7. I made water kefir for the first time and used a coffee filter to cover the top of the jar with a rubber band to keep it tight. Will this work? I just read that you said to put a lid on it. Is my kefir still going to be ok? or must I start over and if so, can I still use the grains?

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    1. I know some people do this, but generally it is better to keep a lid on it. I would just make sure to put a lid on when you start your next batch, but your current batch and your grains will be fine. No harm done.

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    2. In case you want an explanation for why a lid is required:
      The fermentation process requires a certain amount of pressure to build up in the liquid, as well as for the air in the container to not be recycled with air from the atmosphere. Optimally, a small amount of air should be able to escape from the container as the pressure builds, but no air should be able to enter the container. For this reason, the glass jars with the flip top rubber stoppers work best for the second stage of fermentation, where ideally pressure will build in the container resulting in the formation of "fizz". The first stage requires only a mason jar and lid.

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  8. Hello,
    I'm new to water kefir.
    1) Do you have to refeed the grains every few days???
    2) We have reverse osmosis water at home-- is that ok to be used???
    Thank you

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    1. Whatever filtration process you use, it should remove the fluoride and chlorine from your water. I have read that people use RO water, but I have not confirmed myself that it works.

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