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How to make authentic water kefir ?

How to make Water Kefir

Although water kefir is not as popular as milk kefir, it basically follows the same concept. Instead of milk, a sugary liquid is used in water kefir. Symbiotic grains of yeast and bacteria ferments this liquid. Here are the steps that you need to follow to make authentic water kefir:
  1. Get the supplies ready: You would need a couple of measuring cups, plastic spoons, a strainer made of stainless steel or plastic, a bowl, a jar, a breathable lid, tea bag or muslin bag and finally water. For 1 tablespoon of kefir grains, you would ideally need 1 cup of water.
  2. Choose dried fruit: Apart from adding flavor to the kefir, dried fruits also add nutrients and minerals to the water kefir. You should choose dried unsulphured fruit instead of sulphured fruit. For 4 cups of water kefir, a handful of dried fruits is sufficient.
  3. Prepare the kefir grains: Strain off the liquid in which the kefir grains are dispersed. After straining off the liquid, rinse the grains with spring water by placing them in a clean bowl. Strain and rinse till you are satisfied.After preparing the kefir grains, place them in your fermenting jar. You must ensure that the fermenting jar is large enough to hold the water. There must also be adequate space between the lid and the water level.
  4. Feed the grains: Now, you should add sugar into the jar. The ratio that you need to follow is 1 tablespoon of sugar for every 1 tablespoon of kefir grains. Alternatively, you can also use honey, although it is not preferred due to its antibacterial properties which may result in the weakening of grains. You should add the dried fruits after stirring the sugar. Finally, add the water and stir the mixture with a plastic spoon. After stirring, add the lemon wedge if you desire.
  5. Cover and ferment: Finally, the jar should be covered with a breathable lid. Place the jar in a cool place away from sunlight. It should be allowed to ferment for about 24-48 hours.
  6. Strain: After 48 hours, place the strainer over a plastic bowl. Pour the entire contents of the jar in the strainer and let the kefir strain, leaving the grains in the jar.
  7. Add flavor and repeat: After straining the water kefir, pour it into a storage bottle or eat it right away. Alternatively, you can also add certain fruit flavors to enhance its taste. Finally store the grains so that you can feed it later and repeat the process. If you follow these 7 simple steps, then you would be easily able to make authentic water kefir.

Video - how to make waterkefir

Video - instructable - how make waterkefir

If you follow these 7 simple steps, then you would be easily able to make authentic water kefir.

Growth of water kefir grains in different seasons

Water Kefir brewing in different seasons

The growth of water kefir grains depends largely on seasonal variations. As we know, all living organisms get affected by seasonal, climatic and environmental conditions. Kefir grains are no exception. The subtle seasonal variations affect the growth of kefir grains largely. Let us consider the example of a tree. With the changing of seasons, we find the tree to grow, bear fruits and flowers, change colors and then finally discard the old leaves. Similarly, we find kefir to undergo several climatic and seasonal changes.

During the summer season, kefir ferments rapidly. The warm temperature facilitates the rapid growth of kefir. In a striking contrast, during the fall and spring, the growth of kefir grains is very inconsistent. The inconsistency in growth of water kefir grains is also noticed in extremes of temperature, such as a sweltering hot afternoon or a cold night. Although the growth of kefir grains slows down in winter, they are still able to ferment at very cold temperatures.

water kefir grains

Water kefir grains

It is noticed that during the summer season, kefir is sour and zesty. On the other hand, during the winter season, kefir is mild. Due to the various strains of probiotic microorganisms present in water kefir, it can be fermented at different temperatures. The various strains perform differently at different temperatures. This is the reason why kefir has a different taste in different seasons.

Water kefir grains keep changing their shape and taste. Therefore, it is a little difficult to work with water kefir grains. You have to patiently wait for the water kefir to show normal growth. Sometimes, the growth of water kefir grains lag for a few weeks, then the growth becomes normal and after that it suddenly shows 100-400 % growth.

During the winter season, water kefir grains grow better when mixed with easier sugars such as white sugar with molasses. During the summer season, water kefir grains prefer slower digesting sugars for proper growth. You may find some difficulty in handling water kefir grains during the winter season. If you are able to find a warm spot in winter, then keep the kefir grains there. However, you should not expose the kefir grains to sunlight as the UV rays can kill the bacteria.

seasonal-kefir-growth

Under proper and suitable conditions, kefir grains can grow from 5% to 400% within 24 to 48 hours. In the winter, the growth is around 5%, whereas during summer, the growth is around 400%. During moderate temperature, growth is between 5% to 400%. It is also observed that the smaller kefir grains reproduce faster than the large kefir grains.

How to make Water Kefir ?

How to make Water kefir ?

Water kefir (generally pronounced as keh-FEER) isn’t as popular as is milk kefir. But it’s basically the same concept. Moreover, it’s easy and also relatively quicker to make, additionally providing an abundance of probiotic for improving digestive health.

Water kefir is basically a fermented beverage that is teeming with probiotic bacteria which is highly beneficial to us. It is simple and at the same time quick to prepare. Once brewed, it tastes absolutely delicious. Small children enjoy it too. It possesses a slight sweetness to crisp, yeasty, earthy flavor, depending on how it has been prepared. Sometimes if the yeasts are more in the brew then it contains a small amount of alcohol. It is a bit fizzy when bottled.

Water kefir is not only a wonderful source of the beneficial bacteria; but also consists of a variety of organic acids, enzymes and a wide range of vitamins like vitamin K, B vitamins as well as folic acid (2). It is something your family and you can use for your skin daily or drink daily.

Here’s a step by step guide of how to make water kefir

 

  • Dissolve one third cup of sugar in a cup of water in a pot on the stove. Allow it to cool slightly, then add three cups of water to it. Pour over this mixture in a half gallon jar (mason) and add one and half cups of water again (so that this jar is filled up to the 6 cup mark).
  • If the water is at room temperature, pour one third cup of kefir grains (water).
  • Add about some drops of lemon juice. Cover using a coffee filter or a tea towel and secure using any rubber band.
  • Leave this in a warm place for about 24 up to about 48 hours. The longer it is left, the less sweet it is going to be.
  • Taste your water kefir daily to check if it has reached the desired sweetness. If it does, strain the grains on placing the plastic strainer on some other mason jar and pour this kefir through it.
  • Use plastic strainers as some metals can be reactive, thus not recommended for using with the kefir grains.
  • Store grains in sugar water blend in the fridge or use to begin another batch of homemade water kefir.
  • As the kefirgrains are removed, a second fermentation would make it perfect.
  • During the second fermentation add fruit (dried or fresh) or you can also add fruit juice for that making it flavorsome.
  • Rather than using a coffee filter or towel to cover its top, place a plastic wrap on the mouth and on the lid. It will keep the air out and permit to form bubbles.
  • Leave this water kefir totally covered for 24 to about 48 hours. Strain out fruit pieces. Then pour into a clean bottle or container.
  • Store inside a fridge.

Water kefir ingredients