Water Kefir, The Healthy Probiotic Drink

Water Kefir is a great way to get your daily probiotics. It’s a fizzy drink just like soda that you can make yourself, easily, with flavours you want. If you have a bad habit by drinking unhealthy soft drinks, this is an amazing way to get over it and be satisfied! Kefir grains are very cheap, you can find some on eBay or Amazon easily for less than five dollars. The magical thing about Kefir grains is that they multiply themselves overtime and after few months, you may have twice the quantity you had in the beginning. You buy the grains once, and you have a lifetime of grains if you do it right and maintain their life! After a while you will even have too much grains. At this point, you may give them or use them as fertilizer. I’ve been doing water Kefir for a year now and did a lot of experiments. In this article, I will share how to do it right and different ways of doing it so that you will be successful.

Kefir likes two main things: Sugar and minerals. I Tried with different kind of Sugar and the best results in my experiences is brown sugar, or cane sugar. For the minerals it’s pink himalayan salt and Blackstrap molasses.

When you buy the grains they might be dehydrated at first. You need a few batches (2 to 3) so that they fully activate and “wake up”.

kefir-grains.jpg

If you receive the grains in a dormant state (dehydrated) you need to put them in a glass Jar with 4 cups of room temperate water and 4 tbsp of sugar. Put a cloth on your jar and put the jar in a dark place for 72 hours. Strain in cool water and do a working recipe, check if the grains are working properly and the grains have converted most of the sugar. You should perceive the colour of the water changing, being more lighter the more it ferments as the Kefir consume the sugar. If they aren’t balanced yet, strain the grains and repeat.

Putting your grains to sleep:

You are travelling or want to hold your production of water Kefir? No problem, you can put them to sleep. Put your grains in a mason jar with about 4 Tbsp of sugar and a pinch of himalayan salt. Put the jar in the fridge. it can rest for more than 3 months this way. It’s also good to put them to sleep once in a while if you feel that they are becoming less effective.

kefir-f1.jpg

*F1 = First Fermentation

(1Tbsp Kefir = 1 Cup of Water + 1 Tbsp of Sugar)
The ratio is pretty much the same and F1 will barely change. I like to add a date or fig and do a pocket with a cheesecloth so no pulp residue is getting in my grains.

*F2 = Second Fermentation

Usually it’s the step were you add your flavours and bottle hermetically at room temperature

*F3 = Third Fermentation

Optional in the case you want to add ole fruits

Working recipe:

Basic formula:

  • F1: 1 Tbsp of Kefir grains per cup of water + 1Tbsp of Sugar. Add A pinch of himalayan salt (around 1g or less) and about 1g to 2g of Blackstrap Molasses to your final mixture, Mix until dissolved. (I like to add 1 Medjool Date or 1 Fig in the Jar, you can also add two halves of organic lemon or lime. It gives extra fizziness.)
  • F2: Put the liquid separated from the grains in a hermetic glass bottle with a (ideally plastic) strainer. Let at least 2 inches of air in the bottle. Close the bottle and let it sit at room temperature for 24 to 48h. At this point carbonization is being produced.
  • Put in the fridge and drink when it’s cold. Be careful and ready when opening for your first experience. If your grains are really active it might be very carbonized.
  • If it’s too carbonized, next time, let it sit at room temperature for less time. If not enough, for longer.
  • Put back the grains in the glass jar from F1 and start a new batch. Do not rinse your grains, it might disturb them, just put them back. After two to three batches I suggest you clean the Jar with soap or put in boiling water.

* The ideal is 1Tbsp of grains for 1cup of water, although, you can do larger batches with less grains, just ferment for longer in F1.

Ginger Pineapple:

kefir.jpg

  • F1: 8Tbs of Kefir grains, 8 cups of water, 70g of brown sugar, 1 Date. Fermented for 72 hours
  • F2: 2 Cups of fresh Pineapple juice from a juicer, 30g of ginger juiced. Bottled for 48h at room temperature.

Lime Ginger Ale:

  • F1: 8Tbs of Kefir grains, 8 cups of water, 70g of brown sugar, 1 Date. Fermented for 72 hours
  • F2: 60g of ginger juiced with 1 dehydrated apricot and the juice of 2 limes. Bottled for 48h at room temperature.

Medicinal Aloe Vera Pineapple:

  • F1: 8Tbs of Kefir grains, 8 cups of water, 70g of brown sugar, 1 Date. Fermented for 72 hours
  • F2: 2 cups of Pineapple juice, the juice of 1 apple, 20g of juiced ginger, 60g of Aloe vera Pulp. You can also juice the leaves to add extra nutritions. Bottled for 24h (Aloe makes it super fizzy for some reason)

Orange Crush:

  • F1: 8Tbs of Kefir grains, 8 cups of water, 70g of brown sugar, 1 Date. Fermented for 72 hours
  • F2: 1 1/2 cups of Freshly juiced oranges, the juice of 1 lime. Bottled for 48h.

Coffee Cola:

  • F1: 8Tbs of Kefir grains, 6 cups of water, 70g of brown sugar, 1 Date. Fermented for 72 hours
  • F2: 4 cups of coffee, 2 Tbsp of brown sugar. Bottled for 48h at room temperature.

If you don’t have a juicer or want to keep it simple, you can put the fruits directly in the bottle in F2 or use the third fermentation. I do this formula if I want to put ole fruits and don’t want them in my bottles. I prefer not putting them in F1 because there will be some residue of pulp with the grains and might lead to contamination overtime. Here is an example:

Ginger Pineapple:

  • F1: 8Tbs of Kefir grains, 8 cups of water, 70g of brown sugar, 1 Date. Fermented for 48 to 72 hours
  • F2: A quarter of a pineapple cut in pieces and 30g of grated ginger put in a different Jar, without the grains, covered with a cloth for 48h
  • F3: Put the liquid with or without the fruits in closed hermetic glass bottles and let sit for 24h at room temperature.

There is infinite possibilities of recipes. Try your own, do some experiments and share them in the comments if you find some great ones!

Make coconut yogurt fermented with your water Kefir!

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3 Comments on “Water Kefir, The Healthy Probiotic Drink

  1. Pingback: Nut Cheeses! Secret Recipe – Green Alternative

  2. Pingback: RAW Food – Why & How? – Green Alternative

  3. Pingback: Coconut Yogurt – Cultured – Recipe – Green Alternative

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