Water kefir! I have been fermenting a lot of drinks lately (I’m sure you noticed) and thought I’d try my hand at water kefir as well. It is a naturally carbonated drink made with a culture similar to kombucha and the ginger bug, but as it ferments it retains its sweet flavour rather than turning tart or vinegary. So far I like it and it’s a lot easier and less messy than kombucha, and requires less feeding than a ginger bug. All you need is sugar and water. Note: Water kefir is the vegan version of milk kefir which obviously contains milk. It’s more of a natural soda than a milky drink though, which I like better but may not be the case for everyone. Milk kefir is probably just as easy to do but I won’t be trying it as I want to stick to the vegan things 🙂 (I’m such a snoot)
Start by grabbing some water kefir grains from a friend or online at Cultures for Health. Then follow these steps:
Water kefir grains
4 cups filtered water
¼ cup sugar
1. Boil ½ cup water and dissolve sugar in a clean jar.
2. Add 3 to 3-1/2 cups cold water to bring liquid to room temp.
3. Add water kefir grains and cover with a breathable material.
4. After 24-48 hours strain out water kefir grains and add flavour to sugar water (1/2 cup fruit juice, coconut water, etc)
5. Seal the jar and let sit on counter for a few days to ferment and carbonate.
6. Once carbonated move to fridge, keeps there indefinitely.
7. Repeat steps 1-3 for new batch of sugar water and add water kefir grains.
8. Repeat every 24-48 hours.
As for flavouring, I’m still experimenting with that. The pic above shows fresh juice on the left, the kefir water with 1/2 cup juice in the centre, and the fresh batch of kefir with grains in on the right. These mason jars are the perfect size, I’ve been buying tons of them (about $17 for a dozen). After straining out the grains the sugar water you are left with will carbonate, and that’s the stuff you drink. I’ve been adding 1/2 cup of fresh juice (apple or other fruits) and sealing the jar lid on. After sitting for a few days the top won’t depress anymore as the bubbles build. After about 3 days I transfer to the fridge and drink it. I really like the taste!
Do you have any good water kefir recipes?