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How to make Water Kefir

Water kefir is extremely easy to make, and one of the faster fermenting food you can make at home (ready in about 24 hours).

Water Kefir - also known as Tibicos - is a delicious sparkling drink, rich in probiotics, that is made using Water Kefir Grains.

Water Kefir grains must be combined with a sweet liquid to ferment. Water Kefir is generally prepared using sweetened water, diluted honey, or coconut water. Fruit, juices, herbs or other aromatic substances can be added during the second fermentation (in bottles). However, you might want to make kefir regularly to preserve the strength of your grains.

Water Kefir in bottles with grains herbs and lemon

Water Kefir Recipe

For 3 liters

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of Water Kefir Grains
  • 1/2 cup of sugar cane
  • 3 liters of water
  • 2 dried figs
  • 2 lemon slices

Basic recipe:

  1. Add Ingredients to your jar
  2. Cover the jar with fabric and let it ferment at room temperature
  3. Taste water kefir every day, until you like it. Water kefir fermentation is generally 1 to 3 days long
  4. Filter using a sieve. Then separate the kefir grains from the fruits
  5. Flavour. Your Water Kefir is ready to be tasted as is or can be flavoured using fruits, juice, herbal teas... Add up to 15% of flavouring based on the volume of water kefir
  6. Bottle and store for 24 hours at room temperature before refrigerating (watch for pressure, it's alive)

Water Kefir Grains Preservation

Your kefir grains need regular feeding. It's best if you have some fermenting at any given time.

Water Kefir grains can also be kept longer when chilled in a hermetically sealed jar that contains mildly sweetened water. They can be kept refrigerated for up to three weeks, but you can make them last longer by adding a little sugar after three weeks.

To retain for a longer period, rinse the grains, allowing them to drain into a sieve for a few minutes, then freeze them in a hermetically-sealed plastic bag.

Keeping your kefir grains strong

Water Kefir Grains are sensitive to other ingredients. Here is some advice.

Water

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

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 full of molasses.

Fruit

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.

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