The small soft, crystal-like “grains” are symbiotic colonies of bacteria that have different microbes than milk kefir grains. I am working on including more lacto-fermented foods in our daily regime, eventually to every meal. Water kefir is one of the many products I can serve to meet that goal. With everything being so processes, pasteurized and ulta dead, our gut flora is suffering. I believe this to be the root of many reoccurring illnesses and is what is keeping us from healing completely.
This probiotic beverage is an extremely simple way to increase beneficial bacteria, helpful enzymes and improve digestion. You can flavor it to your liking, I have found a good place to start is with grape juice, a widely preferred flavoring. A quart bottle of grape juice lasts us through 2 gallons of water kefir. The sugar that is used in both the recipe and in the juice is eaten by the bacteria in the kefir grains, the byproduct is lactic acid, a natural preservative.
I have not drunk pop in years and have never been a fan of other carbonated beverages. Even though water kefir is only slightly carbonated, it took a little while for me to acquire a taste for it. If you don’t like it at first, do some experimenting with flavors, fermentation time, increase the amount of sugar to water/ grain ratio. Also, keep in mind, a serving is only 2 – 4 ounces and like anything else, your taste buds can acclimate over time.
If you are into more carbonation, purchasing some flip top bottles can make a big difference in your water kefir experience. I don’t even know if that is what they are technically called, one is pictured above. I got mine at IKEA for about $3-4. These are strong and durable, as well as attractive, easy to use and air tight.
The directions are simple once you have seen the process. It takes very little hands on time to create, it does all the hard work it’s self. The healthier your grains are, the better the end product will be. The grains love minerals and sugar and hate chemicals and metal. Well water is the best, I use reverse osmosis and add a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt, which is full of minerals. An eggshell also adds minerals. The less refined your sugar, the more minerals it has, but if you are not used to the flavor of unrefined sugar, you may not like the end result as well and what good is a healthy beverage if nobody drinks it?
¼ cup grains
½ cup sugar
7 cups water
1 pinch Celtic Sea Salt
½ clean egg shell (optional)
2 cups grape juice
more sugar to taste
Heat 1 cup of water and ½ cup sugar on stove, stir to dissolve. Place in half gallon jar and fill to with in 3 inches of the top with room temperature to cool water. Add a pinch of sea salt and water kefir grains. Stir gently with wooden spoon. Dunk egg shell in the sweetened water. Cover lightly with towel and let chill on your counter for 1-4 days. The warmer your house is, the less time you will leave it for. You may want to date it so that you don’t loose track of the days.
If you are ever unsure if your grains are working properly taste it before you add the grains and again a couple days later, it should be noticeably less sweet after fermenting for two days. When you have super healthy grains, they will multiply like gang busters. So you will know that too. Remember to improve their health they need minerals, sugar and no chemicals or metal.
You can taste for the sweetness of your liking or just guess and adjust the sweetness later. I tend to guess and give it attention between 1 and 2 days. At this point, remove the egg shell and funnel the water kefir equally into 2 flip top bottles, eyeballing it. Hold a small strainer or just a silicone spatula to prevent the grains from flowing into the bottles. You don’t have to be tedious here, just get most of the liquid out while keeping most of the grains in. Store your grains in the fridge or start another batch of water kefir
Top the bottles off with grape juice to the shoulder of each bottle and ferment for another day. It is really ready to drink any time in this process, but I prefer to refrigerate it over night before popping it open. The beverage still has microscopic bits of water kefir grains in it that will continue fermenting slowly in the fridge. Be careful when opening after a couple days. The pressure can build and it will fizz out like a bottle of pop that has been dropped when you open it.
Because it continues to ferment after removing the visible grains, you can also top your bottle off with more juice after it is partly drunk or you can add more sugar if too much sugar has been consumed by the friendly bacteria.
Hope that gives you enough to get started. Feel free to ask questions in the comments. In the future, I will turn it into a question and answer page that will be a good resource for others. I will continue to mail water kefir grains by request ;$12 for 2 teaspoons, which will rehydrate to ¼ cup. Free shipping. Cash, check or paypal. Email me at TasteisTrump@gmail.com.
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