Have questions about making water kefir? Feel free to post here for assistance.

Water Kefir
Ingredients / Utensils
8-cup glass jar. I use a Mason jar.
Plastic sieve or colander.

¼ cup+ water kefir grains
2-3 unsulphured dates (or other dried fruit: prunes, apricots, raisins)
1/2 organic lemon (or peeled if not organic)
1/3-1/2 cup sugar- brown, raw, white or Rapadura etc.
1 tsp of unsulfured black strap molasses (for minerals).
fill jar 2/3 with fresh water, preferably spring water or well water. ***MUST be non-chlorinated water!! No tap water.

Store covered in the cupboard at room temperature for 24-72 hours.
Strain the grains from the liquid kefir, and repeat above.
Store the liquid kefir in the refrigerator until use. Use within a week or so. Start with small quantities of 1 tablespoon, gradually increasing (or decreasing) depending upon tolerance

The water kefir grains will reproduce rapidly! Share the extra with friends and neighbors for improved health.

Water Kefir photos and instructions: http://www.weim.net/homeovet/Docs/water%20kefir.pdf

Instructions: http://nourishedkitchen.com/water-kefir/

Making Water Kefir (on YouTube): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntei6_CEZNo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-t9C7PoBRc (not necessary to rinse grains)

Ordering more culture starters
: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/splash.php

The King of Kefir: http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#Kefir-d-acqua


Please share extra cultures here: http://heal-thyself.ning.com/group/sharingstartercultures



Thanks!


Pat

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I'm glad this is here! Answered all my questions before I could ask them. :D I tried just water and sugar, then added some lemon juice afterwards. My daughter and I liked that.

However I cannot find a gallon jar and I have 18 TBL of water kefir grains!! LOL! So I have 3 quart jars that I am using right now and I put 6 TBL in each with some sugar and filtered water. It makes kefir rather quickly and if I accidentally put it off until day 3 I got some potent Mooch. OOps. So I am drinking it watered down right now.

I tried some with apricot and am not a fan of that.

I will hopefully have time to re-read all those links above.
Okay, I do have one question. If you leave the kefir too long and it becomes vinegar... what uses can I use it for? Can I put it in the chicken water when making broth? Anything else?
If you use a brown ingredient (dark fruit), darker sugar, or the molasses, the product will be a bit darker color. So will the grains. The molasses is for minerals. If you use more than a tablespoon, it slows down grain reproduction, apparently. If you use no molasses, the grains will still reproduce. Probably alters the microbials -depending upon the temperature, amount of sugar, duration of brewing, etc. It is nature, not science.

The myriad of recipes are all fine.

I'm a lazy kefir maker. I leave all kefir grains in the next batch, regardless of quantity of grains and I toss in about 1/2 cup+/- (some kind of) sugar regardless of quantity of grains, or size of jar. Maybe more (or less) full of a measure, depending on the size of the jar or the pile of grains.

After 2 days (or so) in the cupboard (regardless of room temperature), I put the whole jar in the refrigerator until I get around to straining and making a new batch. That might be 24 hours; it might be most of a week.


Kefir is easy. Or it can be a huge fun science experiment.

If you want to experiment, people have done all sorts of "tests", depending upon their goal. If you want to reproduce more and faster, try different sugars, different durations of brew, different amounts of sugar/grain ratios. All is well. Some use rapadura, some succanat, brown sugar, honey, with/without molasses, with/without egg shell (boiled first), etc.

On Dom, the Kefir King's "Kefir_Making" site, someone did the following experiments to measure grain reproduction:

To each she added 10 grams of water kefir crystals. After 72 hours
fermenting at 60F/15.5C this is what the water crystals in each
container weighed:
Rapadura - 19 grams
Sucanat - 21 grams
Molasses - 20 grams
Blue Agave Nectar - 11 grams
Maple Syrup - 11 grams
Plain - 11 grams

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kefir_making/


I'd guess any syrupy-ness was the extra sugar with fewer grains. For gut issues, I'd maybe brew longer or use less sugar. If brewing for taste, whatever.

For gut issues, I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon water kefir and if the gut is really messed up, that little amount might even cause diarrhea. Then cut back to 1/8 teaspoon kefir and gradually work up. Otherwise, increase by 1 tablespoon a week, as tolerated. I'd rather folks go slowly, than drink a lot and say "I can't drink that stuff" and quit. An 1/8 teaspoon is about the equivalent as a probiotic capsule. A tablespoon about the equivalent of a whole bottle of probiotics.

For those who consume a lot of whole food probiotics, 1/4 cup will be fine. We put a couple of tablespoons of water kefir in fresh green juice each morning and occasionally drink a 1/4 cup, if we have missed making juice with kefir a few days.

If it sits in the refrigerator "too long" ( a month+), then I'd probably toss the first couple of batches; then start tasting the 3rd batch. It is safe, just might taste yeasty at first, ime. To store grains, just refreshen the sugar water monthly (or more often!), and keep in the refrigerator about indefinitely.

Share the excess!!


Have fun!

Pat
I just use the same jar, regardless of quantity of grains. :-)

I toss extra kefir into whatever I am cooking (broth, rice, pasta, baking, etc). It kills the probiotics, but still has mineral benefits.

Kefir will brew more quickly with more grains, less sugar, less water, or warmer room temperatures. We just take a bit or dilute it with juice, so the exact flavor is incidental. But, some folks make it perfectly to their taste every time. Depends upon your goals.

Pat
Can you answer this question, Pat?

Yvonne LV said:
Okay, I do have one question. If you leave the kefir too long and it becomes vinegar... what uses can I use it for? Can I put it in the chicken water when making broth? Anything else?
If it is very vinegary, you could use it as a salad dressing or in saute sauces, perhaps. But, I'd expect it to take 5-7 days to get really vinegary.

You could use it as an acid medium when soaking grains, or for the splash of vinegar in bone broth to leech the calcium from the bones.

Pat
It was in the fridge for 2 weeks, without the grains... Now I know.

Pat Robinson said:
If it is very vinegary, you could use it as a salad dressing or in saute sauces, perhaps. But, I'd expect it to take 5-7 days to get really vinegary.

You could use it as an acid medium when soaking grains, or for the splash of vinegar in bone broth to leech the calcium from the bones.

Pat
Oh yes, I just toss the liquid after it has been in the refrigerator that long. I have plenty of fresh. I figure our septic tank likes the microbials too. :-)



Pat

Yvonne LV said:
It was in the fridge for 2 weeks, without the grains... Now I know.

I put my water keifer grains in a mason jar with coconut water. I read on the body ecology site that I should have slightly heated the coco water- i did not. I put it in my cabinet for 48 hours and it now has a frothy layer at the top and seems to be carbonated. I just put it in the fridge and will try a tbs. when I am home from work.
Just wanted to check in with you, Pat and make sure this all sounds good!
Excited for this journey!
I did it just like you did. Fresh coconut water plus grains. Yummy. Just don't drink too much as coconut water might cause diarrhea in large quantities.

I would NOT heat the coconut water.

Pat
My coco water keifer has been in the fridge since tuesday, I have not strained it yet. Today it smelled a little funny, different than before. Could it be going bad? words of wisdom? TIA
Might be a bit (beneficial) yeasty smelling. But, I imagine it is fine. I've kept mine at least that long.


Pat

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