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.
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.