Tag Archives: water kefir grains

What is the ideal sugar to water ratio for making water kefir ?

What is the optimal water to sugar ratio ?

It is important to know the ideal sugar to water ratio when you are preparing  water kefir. Without knowing the ratio, you wouldn’t be able to make water kefir. The optimum ratio is 3 parts sugar and 20 parts water. It means 3-10 % solution of sugar and water. So, if you take one cup of water, then you will need one tablespoon of sugar. During the summer season, you can use a little more sugar. Unless and until you get this ratio correct, you won’t be able to make water kefir.

After getting the perfect sugar-water solution, you have to think about the kefir to solution ratio. The dried kefir grains can ferment generally between 1:16 to 1:18. It implies that for 1 cup of sugar-water, 1 tablespoon of kefir grains is perfect. With the passage of time, you would notice that 1 tablespoon of water kefir grains can ferment 1 and a half cup of sugar-water. During the summer season, it is observed that 1 tablespoon of kefir grains is perfect for 2 cups of sugar-water. This is because the growth of kefir grains is faster in the summer season.
If you are a beginner, then start with the ratio of 1:16 to 1:18 which means 1 part kefir grains and 16 parts sugar-water or 1 part kefir grains and 18 parts sugar-water. This ratio can never go wrong and it doesn’t require any adjustments. All kefir grains are not same. Therefore, you may find some grains to ferment quickly, whereas some other grains consume a lot of time to ferment. Especially during the winter season, a huge delay in fermentation is noticed. For 1 and half cup water, sometimes 4 tablespoons of kefir grains are needed.

Both types of kefir grains have their own set of advantages. The kefir grains that ferment fast are called fast grains. They are needed in fewer amounts and here lies their advantage. The kefir grains that ferment slowly are called slow grains. They are needed in larger amounts and so you can have kefir frequently. You can use the finished kefir as a starter along with the kefir grains and here lies their advantage.

If you find that the kefir is too sour in taste, then adjust it by using less grains or using more sugar-water. On the other hand, if you use too much sugar-water and very little kefir grains, then there would be no fermentation. Therefore, it is very important to keep the ratio in your mind. When you are preparing kefir, do not forget to keep the ratios in your mind to prevent disappointment.

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.