How to make kefir water.
What is water kefir?
Kefir grains are not actually a grain. Confusing, eh? They are small complex clusters of bacteria and yeasts held in a polysaccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria Lactobacillus brevis. The microbes present in the ‘grain’ act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture.
Water kefir is first prepared by introducing a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) into sugar water where fermentation will take place. Fermentation is the conversion of sugars into lactic acid, organic acids, and carbon dioxide by the SCOBY, under anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions.
The end product is a bubbly beverage rich in probiotics.
Why should I drink water kefir?
It is a cheap form of probiotics! Some of the beneficial effects of lactic acid bacteria consumption include:
- improving intestinal tract health
- enhancing the immune system,
- synthesizing and enhancing the bioavailability of nutrients
- reducing symptoms of lactose intolerance
- decreasing the prevalence of allergy in susceptible individuals
- reducing risk of certain cancers
Culture for Health
Or check your local Kijiji or Criagslist listing. Kefir grains proliferate, so many people have extras that they are willing to give away or sell for a small fee.
Anaerobic Fermentation Vessels
Culture for Health (Vegetable Master and Harsch fermenting crock)
DIY Fermenting Crock
reCAP Mason Jars
Fermentation Cookbook from Lisa’s Counter Culture
How do I make kefir water?
Adapted from Lisa's Counter Culture
- 1 L filtered water
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (sucanat, rapadura can be used)
- 1/2 cup water kefir grains
- 1 L mason jar
- 1 reCAP Mason Jar lid
- 1 rubber bung #6
- 1 3 piece cylinder airlock
- Add maple syrup to a clean 1 L mason jar.
- Add the kefir grains.
- Fill the jar with filtered water and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Twist on the reCAP lid. Plug the reCAP hole with the #6 rubber bung. Place the airlock in the rubber bung.
- Cover your ferment in a towel and let stand at room temperature for 12-48 hours. (I have been fermenting for 48 hours.)
- Once the desired sweetness if achieved, strain kefir grains (do not rinse them), and bottle the water kefir. You can drink it at this time or start over and do a second fermentation. We prefer to drink it at this time. A second ferment will add fizz and flavour.
- Store in the fridge.
©Jayda Siggers, PhD | EatWhole BeVital Nutrition Counselling
Storing the Grains
When you are not making water kefir, store your grains in a glass jar with double the amount of liquid as grains. Add one or two tbsps of sugar to feed the grains. Store in the fridge and change the sugar water every week or two.
10 Ways to Flavour Water Kefir
Our favourite is to add vanilla extract. It tastes just like cream soda!
Have you tried water kefir? What is your favourite flavour?