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Water Kefir

A little while back I started making my own dairy kefir.  I’m doing whatever I can to get my gut healthy and repopulated with good bacteria.  Kefir is a great way to do that.  A wonderful probiotic.  I eat dairy kefir every day.  Then my SIL tried water kefir.  I had heard of that, but hadn’t thought about trying it.  Last weekend my SIL and I swapped grains 🙂  I gave her some dairy to try, she gave me some water to try.  I made my first batch yesterday.  I haven’t tried it yet.  But will today.  I’m very excited.  I love having something to drink that is actually good for you that isn’t just plain water.  That’s pretty much all I drink.  But it’s nice to have something else sometimes.  And I’m hoping this will be a great alternative for Justin.  He stopped drinking pop (most of the time) a little while ago in order to get healthier (in general and for our IVF cycle).  But sometimes he likes it with things like pizza or when he wants a treat.  It’ll be nice to have something to offer.  For my first attempt I used the method my SIL posted.  I can tell it’s working…lots of bubbles/foaming 🙂  I can’t wait to try adding new flavors to it.  I want to try blueberries while they are in season.  It’ll be great to be able to have dairy kefir and water kefir every day.  So good for your gut.

Water Kefir

Equipment:
*1 large broad opening glass container with lid – exact size depending on the amount of liquid per batch you want to make. If you make the basic recipe exactly as listed below, probably a 1.5 liter capacity container will suffice. If your glass container does not have a lid, you can simply cover it by placing a plate on top or with some plastic wrap or cloth tied with a rubber band around the opening. (I used a quart mason jar… just make sure whatever kind of container you are using, you only fill it 3/4 of the way full!)

*1 strainer and/or pouch – depending on method used (I used a strainer this time, but will be making a pouch eventually)

*1 spoon, non-metallic

*1 glass jar

There are 2 known methods of dealing with the grains: the “loose grains” method and the pouch method. In the first one, you just toss the grains in the glass container along with all the other ingredients, so you will need to use a strainer for pouring each batch and washing the grains afterwards. The pouch method seems easier and better to keep your grains separate from other stuff you may want to add to the recipes and to manage the grains for washing purposes. You can easily make your own pouch with some porous cloth, like gauze or cheesecloth, folding and sewing the sides together, and using a string to tie up the top. Just make sure there’s more than enough room in it for the new grains to grow in there, as they multiply.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. water kefir grains
1/4 cup brown sugar or 3 Tbsp. honey (I used honey this time)
1 or 2 dried figs – or any other dried fruit you prefer like dried prunes, apricots, dates, raisins, etc. (I used 2 prunes)
1/2 lemon
1 quart filtered water – only water without any chlorine should be used (it will kill your grains), so tap water is not suitable unless it’s filtered

Mix in the glass container and stir.

There are 3 different brews you can make: 24, 48, and 72 hour fermentations. 72 hours is the maximum a batch should be let to ferment. The longer it is allowed to ferment, the stronger it becomes. Note that the carbonic acid increases each day, so if your container is air-tight sealed, it could explode. (I only filled my jar up 3/4 of the way and did not tighten the lid all the way.) Covering prevent flies or bugs from getting into it. Keep out of direct sunlight and at room temperature.

It is said that 24-hour kefir acts as a laxative…and that 48-hour kefir regulates and re-establishes intestinal function.  Once the fermenting time has passed, strain the liquid, squeeze the juice of the half lemon used in it, and it’s ready to drink(you can chill it first).

Wash the grains under running water. You can store them in a small jar of water in the fridge for about a week (add a small amount of sugar to feed them), or else you should dehydrate them. Or if you use them regularly you don’t have to worry about storing them 🙂
 
We’ll see if I can keep up with both kinds of kefir 😛  I’ll update later when I’ve tried this/tried some flavors.

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5 comments

  1. Sara says:

    Glad you got to make it! I hope you guys like it! I was just thinking yesterday I should try a batch with blueberries. 🙂 I haven’t read specifically about blueberries, but with other dark colored fruits (grapes and strawberries specifically that I’ve read about), they recommend you set aside some extra grains to use for those recipes since the grains end up purple or red. I’m assuming the blueberries may dye them blue. Just in the kefir I’ve made this week, I have grown an extra 3 Tablespoons so I can set those aside to use for the darker colored fruits. I’m excited to do some more experimenting!

  2. Sara says:

    But if you do the first ferment with the grains, then remove them and then add the blueberries for a second ferment, it’d save the grains from turning colors or deactivating. I haven’t tried the second ferment yet… maybe I’ll give it a try this weekend.

  3. Joanne Hughes says:

    I would like to try the eater kefir where does a person get the grains? I used to have milk grains but lost them. appreciate any suggestions you have. by the way I live in eastern Mont, thank you Joanne

    • Mary says:

      I believe you can buy the grains online, Joanne. Just do a search. The easiest way to get them is to find a friend that has them and ask for some!

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