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

Water Kefir

Ingredients / Utensils

  • 6 to 8 cup glass jar. I use a Mason jar.
  • Plastic sieve or colander.

  • few tablespoons or more water kefir grains
  • 2-3 unsulphured dates (or other dried fruit: prunes, apricots, raisins) (optional)
  • 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) (optional)
  • fill jar 2/3 with fresh water, preferably spring water or well water. ***MUST be non-chlorinated water!! No tap water.

  1. Store covered in the cupboard at room temperature for 24-72 hours.
  2. Strain the grains from the liquid kefir, and repeat above.
  3. Store the liquid kefir in the refrigerator until use. Use within a week or so.
  4. Start consuming only small quantities of 1 tablespoon of kefir, 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 (video):

 



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

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Replies to This Discussion

Oh my gosh, there is so much you can use.  I can tell you our favorites.  Dried mango also dried cherries.  YUMMMM  Just make sure that your dried fruit doesn't have preservatives in it.  I get mine at whole foods and get just organic dried fruit, nothing added. 
Pam

Jessica Hudson said:

I think we have a citrus intolerance. Can I use something other than the lemon?

No, whey is different. But, maybe for an acid medium in soaking flour. I make a kefir kraut with water kefir grains though.

 

Pat

There are several options when the grains get to be too many.  I give them away to everyone who comes to my house. :-)  Or you could post in the Sharing Cultures forum and share them on!

As long as you have about 3/4 of the jar as liquid and add enough sugar, I don't worry about the water to grain ratio. (I dump more sugar in when there are more grains, not scientific or measured, but probably closer to a 1/2 cup of sugar).


Another option is to remove some of the grains and just keep them stored in the refrigerator in sugar water (without a countertop ferment).  They'll keep about 3-12 months, if you keep giving them fresh sugar water from time to time (monthly or so).  And then just use the few grains you need to make kefir in a smaller quantity of water.  I use the excess water kefir as cooking liquid.  Heat kills the microbials, but there are still vitamin benefits.


Another option, is to just store the whole jar with grains and liquid in the refrigerator for a week between batches, instead of straining and making a fresh batch immediately. This is what I do. Then I just spoon off the tablespoon of kefir I need each day; and make a new batch about once a week.

 

Oh, I release the CO2 on the refrigerator jar every few days.  I do know of a jar exploding (after driving in the car 6 hours with the lid tight.)

 

HTH,

 

Pat


Thanks Pat!  That was very helpful!  Can I make sure I understand correctly?

You mentioned leaving the jar in the fridge and spooning out a TB. each day.  Do I need to first do a counter top culture for 2 days, then put it in the fridge?  If so, will it last a whole week before going bad?  How long will cultured kefir water stay good in the fridge?

 

What about once you put fruit/juice in it?  How long does that stay good for?  After less than a week I had some weird "floaties" in mine that looked scummy...not sure about that.

 

Or do you mean just stick the grains (in their sugar water jar), in the fridge at the get go, and then take spoonfuls of that water?  How long does it take to culture if in the fridge?

 

And I can put my grains in sugar water "on hold" for a whole month and only change the sugar water 1x a month?! really?!  I thought I had to do it like at least once a week.  So glad to hear that!


To make kefir, must ferment on the counter.  To slow the fermentation, place in the refrigerator.  To 'hold' the fermentation, do not ferment, just store grains in sugar water in refrigerator. (they still ferment - but VERY slowly).

 

To get microbial benefits, use the counter fermented kefir.  I keep fermented kefir a good week (more or less), in the refrigerator.  I think juice kefir will turn much faster to alcohol due to the extra sugar.  It will pickle your grains, so be sure to KEEP A BACK UP BATCH of grains!

 

Foam and floaters are fine.  (Just about) nothing bad can grow in kefir. :-)

 

Pat


What I do is add sugar water to my grains with some dried fruit, let it ferment on top of my refrigerator for a couple of days, then strain off the liquid and put that in jars in the refrigerator to drink.  I take my grains and make another batch, with sugar water, grains and dried fruit, and let that sit on top of my refrigerator. 

 

So unless I am going on vacation I never put my grains in the refrigerator, just the fermented liquid.  And I always have kefir in the fridge to drink, and always have a batch fermenting on top of my fridge. 

Amy Durham said:

Thanks Pat!  That was very helpful!  Can I make sure I understand correctly?

You mentioned leaving the jar in the fridge and spooning out a TB. each day.  Do I need to first do a counter top culture for 2 days, then put it in the fridge?  If so, will it last a whole week before going bad?  How long will cultured kefir water stay good in the fridge?

 

What about once you put fruit/juice in it?  How long does that stay good for?  After less than a week I had some weird "floaties" in mine that looked scummy...not sure about that.

 

Or do you mean just stick the grains (in their sugar water jar), in the fridge at the get go, and then take spoonfuls of that water?  How long does it take to culture if in the fridge?

 

And I can put my grains in sugar water "on hold" for a whole month and only change the sugar water 1x a month?! really?!  I thought I had to do it like at least once a week.  So glad to hear that!

Has anyone had problems with their water kefir grains dissolving?  I have been using the same grains for about 3 months, and have had good success with keeping them healthy.  Today I noticed that the grains were breaking up, and dissolving on the bottom of my jar.  Help!

Have your grains been growing during all this time?  I've never noticed mine dissolving, although there is some nondescript residue at the bottom of the bottle that I store the strained kefir in.   Mine have actually started getting bigger (bigger clumps and multiplying) in the past months, whereas they started out pretty small when I first got them.

 

What's your recipe/routine?

I started with 2 T of grains.  They slowly grew to 4 T of grains until Pat sent me 1 T.  Now they don't seem to be growing at all.  :(  I'm using an extra T of sugar just to be sure that they are fed enough, add fruit (or one of the following: 1/3 of a ripe banana, 1/4 C of raisins, 2-3 dried mangos, or 1 T. of blackstrap molasses) and then  leave the grains in a jar to ferment for 48 hrs.  I'm also using our filtered water to avoid the chlorine.  Like I said, they grow SO slowly and they aren't very clumpy but are a little more like heavy sand w/ a few clumpy grains.  I have the jars in my laundry room as it's the warmest room in our house.  I don't know what's wrong or what I should do.  Any thoughts?  TIA!

Sorry Peggy, I just saw your post but posted below.  Mine aren't clumpy either and are more like heavy sand.  Please see my reply at the end of the discussion.  I'd love to know what your routine is to see if we can match up what might be going on w/ each of our grains.

 

Thanks!

Brandy


Peggy said:

Has anyone had problems with their water kefir grains dissolving?  I have been using the same grains for about 3 months, and have had good success with keeping them healthy.  Today I noticed that the grains were breaking up, and dissolving on the bottom of my jar.  Help!

There is a mystery to the water kefir grains.  I have friends locally who have all shared my grains and everyone has different experiences with the same source grains.  One friend consistently has them 'shrink' to small couscous sized grains. Another friend has them grow to HUGE grape-sized grains! Same grains.  Another friend carried hers on vacation to Florida and her grains GREW big in Florida.

 

I wonder if it is the mineral content of the water? We've all used the same sugars even with different results. Some people add a pinch of salt or a pinch of baking soda to their water kefir. Some add fruit, or not. Some add boiled egg shells for the calcium. Some never/always use molasses. I've heard that Rapadura sugar makes them reproduce the most quickly.

 

But, to "dissolve" would make me think there is some chlorine or heat involved. I've heard of people accidently killing their grains when they leave it above an oven, for instance.

 

I think they reproduce most happily when brewed continuously, rather than storing them in the refrigerator. But, I always store mine in the refrigerator and they reproduce quickly.

 

Brandy, could the mangos have sulfur on them as a preservative?  We use unsulfured molasses.

 

But, if they look like sand, it sounds like they are not doing well! What type of water filter do you use? And how much sugar?

 

Pat

Well, as for me, I originally got my grains from Pat, and they were small (pea sized or smaller).  And now after many months (I can't remember how many, probably about 8), they have started growing in big clumps, like almost grape sized.  (FWIW, We both live in CLT)   The growth in grains is noticible to me after 2-4 batches, which is when I will take the excess out (maybe 1-2 TBS at a time) and store them in the fridge.

 

My routine is very simple:  I use decholorinated water which is just tap water that I let sit out on the counter so the chlorine evaporates. 

3 C decholorinated tap water,

 1/4 C white sugar (i like the taste of kefir better with white sugar than sucanat),

 half an organic lemon

2 pieces of dried unsulfured apricot

some hard boiled egg shell - maybe a quarter to 50 cent piece size (or equivalent thereof). 

I ferment on my counter for usually 2 days, sometimes less (but at least 24 hrs), then I put it in the fridge until I am ready to strain and bottle it.  I do this once or twice a week depending on how long it takes us to go through the 3 C of kefir.

 

Occassionally I will change up the dried fruit depending on what i have on hand or add a couple nickle sized slices of ginger if I have it.


I do not keep them in a particularly warm spot, just on my kitchen counter, so through the winter it has not been more than 64 degrees inside and we'll see how things go now that the weather is warming.

 

What sort of water filter you are using might be telling.  I don't think charcoal filters like for brita or your typical fridge filter get rid of cholorine, only the smell/taste of it. 

 

HTH, Sarah W.

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