My water kefir project
Its been a while since i have been active in these forums, been busy lately however i wanted to share with you guys my new project ive been doing for about 3 weeks now. I have brewed dairy kefir in the past but found it too tangy. Plus i didnt want to consume that much dairy. I had heard of water kefir but for some reason didnt look into it until about 4-5 months ago. Water kefir grains can be used to ferment a sugar solution (water and sugar) or coconut water (to make coconut water kefir). THe initial fermentation takes 2-3 days (depending on how you like it). The solution can then be fermented a 2nd time for 24 hours to add flavour and carbonation. The flavour combinations are really lovely. So far ive had success with: pure mango juice, pure grape juice, lemon and ginger, orange and vanilla soda (pure vanilla extract with slices of organic orange with rind).
I started with organic white sugar but now have switched to demerara sugar as i heard it has better carbonation properties.. I have avoided tap water, and used fluoride free spring water to avoid contamination with chlorine and such. I really liked the taste of the white sugar kefir , today is my first time to try the demerara batch we shall see how it goes!
The grains grow very very fast, and you will soon have so many you wont know what to do with them. Im personally going to dry some and keep some in a sugar solution in the fridge (backup live grains). Also you can eat the grains for a SUPER dose of probiotics!
This is an incredibly fun project as im basically making home made probiotics that cant be matched by anything on the market.. IMO also the flavour of the kefir water after 2nd carbonation (depending on how you flavaour it) is SO good and addictive, its hard to control myself almost... below is a youtube link i paused at the exact time to give you an idea how carbonated this can get, like a soda with a head of a beer !
Take note of the fizz and head.. This is something anyone can easily get into especially kids.. I truly think if more people knew about this, how easy it is to make and how delicious and good for you it is, it would be alot more popular.. Way tastier and better for you than the High fructose corn syrup junk poisoning us and our children.
One thing to take note of, is that you should use no metal utensils to handle the grains as they are sensitive to it. So basically use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir solutions and a nylon mesh strainer to strain the kefir between batches.
I hope to make some coconut water kefir sometime but its too expensive i find..
The best guide i found (also the source of my grains ) is here
Kefir recipes can be found here
The benefits of consuming dairy kefir (same health benefits from water kefir):
"Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.
Kefirís active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, the elderly and people experiencing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders."
Ill be updating this thread every now and then with my progress, and such. Ill let you guys know how the demerara batch tastes , and ill get some more shots uploaded later of the product in a glass :)
My latest batch, 2 bottles of mango kefir, and 1 of concord grape. First time trying demerara. Loooks alot fizzer already, im excited :) I stopped drinking colas and sodas over 7 years ago so it was great to feel the fizz again!
the juices used in this current batch
the kefir food :)
latest batch fermenting, take note of the happy grains at the bottom!!
aerial shot of it, as you can see its "alive" and bubbling .
A friends batch, Ginger lemon kefir, so fizzy!
More updates to come soon..
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions im happy to help.
I've never had kefir, but it reminds me of kombucha.
Looks good, might have to try this. Thanks for posting, might have some questions for ya soon. :)
That's interesting. I might have to give that a try sometime
so a new update:
tried the demerara sugar batch yesterday in mango and grape and it was a succcess.. the grape was amazing my wife says it tastes like the best grape soda ever...
nice fizz on it but could use more! ill try 2nd fermenting longer
i highly recommend you try this!
Man, now I really want to try this. I just tasted some sauerkraut I'd been fermenting and it tastes great, so I'm sold on the home-fermenting.
Fermenting is so much fun. my family has always done alot of preserving and some fermenting, but this past year we started to explore more. Its amazing the amount of new textures, flavors that result. Just simple ferments have given both extended length and variety to what i eat and grow myself.
If you dont have it, The art of fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz is an awesome awesome book. Not just for the how to but also the surrounding information as well.
what is the process to make this, i would be interested in trying it.
thanks for the recommendation it looks really nice, definitely will add it to my collection.
Originally Posted by convis
there is a link to the guide i used in my initial post :)
Originally Posted by jgraeff
Sounds like a fun project.
When we make kombucha at work, the concern is getting enough acidity to keep everything safe. So any 2ndary juice fermentation needs to be short with a high acid and then refrigerated.
I'm sure I can read a little more to find this, but what are the grains? In Kombucha the scoby (symbiotic culture of yeast and Acetobacter) is yeast producing alcohol and bacteria consuming it to produce the acid. Do the yeast and bacteria in kefer work together the same way? Do you have an ideal ph to keep the bacteria happy? Maybe if your not reusing the culture its not important?
I do know that having a few wedges of lemon in the initial fermentation is advised to keep enough acidity as you mentioned. and yes refrigeration immediately after the 2nd ferm is done.
Originally Posted by eshua
The grains are a "culture of bacteria and yeasts in a polysaccharide film matrix created by the bacteria ". I think its a similar function but dont quote me..
PH should be 3 .0-5.0 ideally.. again the lemon or using a bit of the old brew is the trick to keeping them happy :)