Water kefir is extremely easy to make, and one of the fastest fermentation you can make at home.
Water kefir - also known as tibicos - is a delicious probiotic-rich, fermented fizzy beverage that is made using water kefir grains.
These grains have to be combined with a sweet liquid to ferment. Water kefir is usually made using sweetened water, diluted honey, or coconut water.
Fruit, juices, herbs or other aromatic substances can be added during the second fermentation (directly in the bottles).
It is preferable to make kefir regularly to keep your water kefir grains strong and healthy.
Water Kefir Recipe
Yields 3 litres of water kefir (tibicos).
Or try this useful kefir making kit!
- 1/4 cup of water kefir grains
- 1/2 cup of sugar cane
- 3L of water
- 2 dried figs
- 2 lemon slices
Making Your Water Kefir
- Add the ingredients to the jar.
- Cover the opening of the jar with the cloth cover and let ferment at room temperature.
- Taste every day until you like the taste of the water kefir. Fermentation should take 1 to 3 days.
- Filter using a sieve. Separate the kefir grains from the fruits (keep them for your next batch!)
- Your water kefir can be consumed as is, or can be flavoured using fruits, juice, herbal teas, etc. Add up to 15% of flavouring based on the volume of your kefir.
- Bottle in pressure-resistant bottles and store for 24 hours at room temperature before refrigerating (watch out for the pressure, it's alive!)
Preserving Your Water Kefir Grains
Your water kefir grains need regular feeding. It's best if you let them continually ferment fresh kefir.
But, if you need to preserve them for later, you can store your water kefir grains in the fridge in a sealed jar with slightly sweetened water for up to three weeks. You can make them last longer in the fridge by adding a little sugar after these three weeks.
To keep them in dormancy for a longer period, rinse the grains, drain into a sieve for a few minutes, then freeze in a hermetically-sealed plastic bag.
Keeping Your Kefir Grains Strong
Water kefir grains are sensitive to other ingredients. Here is our advice for keeping them strong.
If your water is chlorinated, allow chlorine to evaporate in the jar for an hour or two. Water kefir grains like mineral-rich water, whereas distilled or filtered water can slow their growth.
Sugar is essential for feeding the bacteria and yeast that are present in the grains. Use sugar that is only lightly refined, in order to provide the necessary minerals. If you only have white sugar, add a tablespoon of molasses.
Choose organic fruit wherever possible. Don't add too much fruit or ginger when fermenting. This can harm the growth of the grains and make the process of separating them more complex during filtration. Figs seem to help the water kefir grow well, but they can also be replaced with other dried fruit.