What is it and how to make it
What is Water Kefir
Water kefir is a traditional fermented drink which has been consumed for thousands of years all over the world. It is a delicate and refreshing drink containing live and active cultures that are known to support gut health and overall vitality.
Sometimes known as Tibicos, water kefir is made by fermenting water, sugar and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The culture is known as 'grains' as the bacteria and yeast are held in a polysaccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria.
It is a nice dairy-free alternative to the more commonly known milk kefir and is more similar in taste to its tea-cultured cousin kombucha.
How to Make Water Kefir
Using 20g water kefir grains, makes 500ml water kefir
Ingredients and Equipment:
- 20g water kefir grains
- 1 tbsp organic light brown granulated sugar
- 500ml filtered water
- Plastic sieve
- Wooden or plastic spoon
- Kilner jar or other sealable jar for fermenting (500ml or more)
- Bottles for storage
Before starting to make your first proper batch of water kefir you may need to 'wake the grains up'. You do this by doing the first stage fermentation - steps 1-4 below, then discard the liquid and start again. You might need to repeat for a second time.
- Strain the grains away from the liquid (using a plastic sieve, avoid using metal)
- Place the grains in a clean kilner jar and top with about 500ml filtered water
- Add 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Seal and leave to ferment for 2 days at room temperature. This is first stage fermentation.
- After 2 days strain the grains out. Store Grains in fridge or put another kefir on (see below for storing the grains).
- Now you can flavour the kefir - second stage fermentation. You can add a flavour of your choice, see recipes online for suggestions or experiment yourself! We suggest fresh fruit, tea bags, spices or herbs and quantities to suit your taste.
- Leave for another 2 days. After the two days, strain any fruit or teabags away and refrigerate. Once chilled it is ready to drink... enjoy :-)
If you want a more carbonated water kefir, leave for another few days either in a kilner jar or bottle. You can also add more sugar for more fizz.
Once you've used the grains and you want to store them, leave them covered with filtered water, add a tsp of sugar and put them in the fridge. Feed with some more sugar roughly every 3 weeks.
The grains grow with every ferment, so you will have a life-time supply!