Okay guys… I have to tell you about something truly amazing. WATER KEFIR!
Water Kefir just might be my newest addiction. It’s easy to brew, cheap to make, it’s vegan, it’s gluten-free, and it’s FILLED with probiotics. If you don’t have someone local who is willing to share some water kefir grains with you, you can purchase a starter kit from Cultures For Health. I highly recommend this kit. The grains (they’re not actually a grain, this is just what the culture is called) I ordered from them are excellent, and are not only producing amazing water kefir, but they DOUBLED in size in less than a week! I am making half a gallon every few days now! The starter kit includes the “grains,” an awesome mesh strainer used for separating the grains from the finished liquid, and a fantastic little recipe book to get you going.
Water Kefir is essentially a vegan probiotic drink that is made of organic sugar and water. The culture, known as water kefir grains, “eats” the sugar in the water over the course of 24-72 hours (depending on many factors including the temperature of your house: warmer temperature causes faster ferment). Once this first initial fermentation process is complete, you can drain the water kefir into a 1 liter flip top bottle with a half to a full cup (depending on taste) of organic juice, fresh berries, sugar water and herbs, etc. for the second fermentation process which will also be the carbonation process. Seal up the flip top on your bottle and leave on the counter for an additional 1-3 days. It is a VERY good idea to “burp” your bottles to help avoid the gas building up to the point of explosion (this CAN happen!). After a day or two, test a sample of your water kefir. Is it nice and fizzy? If not, it may need some additional time. If it is, put it in your refrigerator. Chill it well and enjoy!
What about those water kefir grains that you separated after the first ferment? Well, this is the great part!! You start the entire process over with them right away! As long as you follow the instructions that come with your water kefir grains and take care of them, they should produce water kefir indefinitely! Another fun fact is that kefir grains are also known to grow and multiply. You may end up with so many that you can have much more than a quart or half-gallon brewing at a time. You may also choose to give your extras away to your friends!
It might take your new grains a few brews to get adjusted. The first 3 batches or so might have a harder time getting the fizz in during the second fermentation period, but this is okay. Once they’re adjusted to their new home in your kitchen, they’ll produce an amazing, delicious, and healthy drink!
What’s your favorite water kefir flavor? Tell us!