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.