How to make authentic water kefir?
How to make Water Kefir?
People have been looking for the next cool thing in beverages to exploit since kombucha broke onto store shelves as the trendiest drink in the Beneficial Beverages category (according to industry professionals, this means that they have a genuine health benefit as their major appeal). Some companies have already solved the riddle, but water kefir is not a novel concept. It fits nicely into home-brewed or micro-brewed batches, so I believe it will take some time for them to get it properly. Meanwhile, I urge you look for some kefir grains and try it!
Water kefir, also known as sugar kefir, fruit kefir, tibicos, and ginger beer plant, is a probiotic, effervescent drink that can be sweet or quite lemony. Water kefir comes in a variety of flavors and is used to ferment beverages in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, and Central America. It has regional names and a slightly different appearance in terms of opacity and physical grain strength. Native traditions have adapted to local fruit sugars, each harbors a unique complex of bacteria and yeasts.
Some prefer it to kombucha because it has a cleaner, less yeasty flavor. The flavor has been compared to bubbling lemonade or champagne. Because no tea or herbs are required, it lacks the slightly bitter taste that kombucha can have.
Kefir grains are the name given to the water kefir culture. Unlike the kombucha SCOBY pellicule and unrelated to dairy kefir (which resembles gelatinous cauliflower), the transparent, gelatinous ‘kefir grains‘ range in size from tiny gravel-like fragments to marble-sized pieces; they are brittle and easily break apart when stirred or handled. Water kefir grains, a matrix of living bacterial cultures, proteins, and yeasts, are another type of SCOBY, different from kombucha or jun, but still a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.
Where can I buy water kefir grains?
As with kombucha SCOBIES, if you can find a community of individuals who ferment various foods and drinks, you’ll undoubtedly mention water kefir and be on the trail of someone who produces it and will share the grains with you. They are more challenging to get because they require more care than kombucha. Cultures for Health and Kefirshop.eu, for example, will ship dried, live water kefir cultures that you may rehydrate using their instructions. They should revive and begin brewing again shortly, even multiplying so you can share them with your friends.
Water Kefir Recipe
- 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, a tea bag or muslin bag, and finally, water. You would ideally need 1 cup of water for one tablespoon of kefir grains.
- 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 sulfured fruit. For 4 cups of water kefir, a handful of dried fruits is sufficient.
- 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, please place them in your fermenting jar. You must ensure that the fermenting pot is large enough to hold the water. There must also be adequate space between the lid and the water level.
- Feed the grains: Now, you should add sugar to the jar. The ratio you need to follow is one tablespoon of sugar for every one tablespoon of kefir grains. Alternatively, you can also use honey, although it is not preferred due to its antibacterial properties, resulting 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 mixing, add the lemon wedge if you desire.
- Cover and ferment: The jar should be covered with a breathable lid. Place the pot in a cool place away from sunlight. It should be allowed to ferment for about 24-48 hours.
- Strain: After 48 hours, place the strainer over a plastic bowl. Pour the entire contents of the jar into the strainer and let the kefir strain, leaving the grains in the pot.
- Add flavor and repeat: After straining the water kefir, pour it into a storage bottle or eat it immediately. Alternatively, you can also add certain fruit flavors to enhance its taste. Finally, store the grains so you can feed them later and repeat the process. If you follow these seven simple steps, you would easily make authentic water kefir.
If you follow these simple steps, you will easily make authentic water kefir.