Monday, March 7, 2011

~ Water Kefir ~

* Update: I wanted to give a shout out to Kathy Atkinson's website Mind, Body, and Sole. The recipe for Ginger Ale Water Kefir that I listed was from her site and I didn't hyperlink. I have also add our recipe for Cream Soda Water Kefir*

 We have had so much fun with water kefir lately. We are currently brewing over a half gallon a day and flavoring it with frozen fruit during a second fermentation. A second fermentation causes lots of bubble to form and trapped basically creating a healthy soda pop.

The basic recipe is: Ginger Ale Water Kefir

6 c unfiltered water, the grains need minerals
1/2 c organic sugar
1/4 c kefir grains
1 tbsp organic ginger, small dice
pinch of baking soda

Dissolve the sugar in the water, then add the ginger and kefir grains. Make sure your water is room temp so that the kefir grains don't get cooked. We usually let it sit for two days. Cover your jar with some cheese cloth and a rubber band so that the bugs and dust stay out. After two days I strain out my grains and ginger and start another batch.

With the freshly strained water kefir I add frozen fruit, cap the jar and set it on a high shelf in my kitchen. So far we have added blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and lemon juice for just plain ginger ale. This is where you will want to add your pinch of baking soda, it adds a few extra bubbles.

Cream Soda Water Kefir
6 c unfiltered water
1/2 c organic sugar
1/4 c water kefir grains
2 tbsp molasses pinch of baking soda
4 tsp vanilla

Dissolve the sugar and molasses in the water and then add grains. Let sit at room temp for 24 - 48 hours. Strain and add vanilla. Let sit another 24 hours capped. We ordered the water kefir grain kits of Cultures for Health. Our grains are multiplying like rabbits which is a good thing because we basically drink it as fast as we can make it. I am pretty sure we will be up to a gallon at a time pretty soon. We have three gallon jars of kombucha going at all times too. To see what Cultures for Health has to offer, click on the Cultures for Health banner above. Happy Brewing!! This post is share at:

14 comments:

  1. Hi Megan, I wonder if you've made this without refined sugars? Say with agave or coconut sugar? Do your kids like it and do you think it helps their health? Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hi Megan, it's my understanding that the baking soda adds minerals that the kefir grains need to be healthy, you can also add a dried fig which will add minerals as well as sugar. But isn't it wonderful that the kefir grains need not only carbs, but minerals to grow and be healthy. :)

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  3. Megan ~ I wouldn't make it with agave nectar simple because it is so highly refined. You could try coconut sugar but really the grains eat the sugar so by the time it is done culturing there is very little sugar left. Right now I am using organic cane crystals and sometimes adding molasses if we want to make cream soda.
    This is the one cultured food that my oldest will actually drink. He is not a fan of sour foods but he loves strawberry water kefir and yesterday the other three were fighting over who got the rest of the blueberry.
    I can't give you a 100% yes on helping their health but I know it doesn't hurt. It provides good bacteria for their gut which provides support for their immune system.

    Kathy ~ Love it! It was actually at your site that I learned about the baking soda. We have mineral rich well water here so I know that helps too. They grow like crazy when we add a little molasses in for a few brews in a row.

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  4. I was wondering what kind of sugar you use. My family likes evaporated cane sugar better than the rapadura. However, the cane sugar seems to shrink my grains. How much fruit do you add? It looks fabulous!

    Thanks,
    Melody

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  5. We use organic evaporated cane sugar too. Grains need minerals to grow. You can try adding a tsp of organic unsulphured molasses and a pinch of baking soda will also help to encourage growth. I add about a 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit per half gallon depending on the fruit. You can fit lots of blueberries in a 1/2 cup but not many strawberries.

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  6. I tried making water kefir that my family would like last summer but it was always very weak tasting, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get it very fizzy. I tried it with a very tight lid, and even those flip style tops. Any ideas?

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  7. I've been making water kefir for about a year. For sugar I use a mixture of rapadura and sucanat which can be found at the health food store. Several months ago I ran into a problem where my grains stopped multiplying due to lack of minerals in the water. I read up on the problem and found that by adding a pinch of celtic sea salt to the water this re-mineralized the water and now my grains are multiplying like crazy. For my second ferment I find that strawberries (Frozen or fresh) make the best flavour. The second ferment is always very bubbly but after reading thru the comments I will now try adding some baking soda. Love water kefir.

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  8. How long do you let it sit on the shelf for the second fermentation before you drink it?

    I've tried making water kefir before, but the recipe was different and it did NOT turn out. My kiddos wouldn't touch the stuff because it smelled "like rotten eggs". Not sure if I did something wrong or if they just don't like kefir, so I think I might try it again using your recipe. Maybe this time it will work out better. I sure hope so. Thanks.

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  9. Amber ~ you may have been letting it sit to long and the grains were eating all of the sugar. We were letting it sit for 48 hours but them I started changing it every 24. You can add a little bit of molasses and that will help give it flavor and add minerals to your water to help your grains grow. I will add our recipe for cream soda to the post. Make sure that you are only covering it with a cloth for the first 24 hours and then for the second ferment you are capping the jar so no air can get in, we let it sit for 24 hours. We find that water kefir on its own is very bland tasting that is why we add fruit to the second fermentation.

    Lemonadesun ~ No more than 24 hours or it starts to get hoochy tasting. We made strawberry-lemonade this last time and it was awesome!

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  10. Hi Megan! I wanted to check out your recipe for strawberry kefir :) Do you think spring water would be good to use?? Our well water is very salty here, and we have to buy drinking water... Thanks!

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  11. Hi Melissa - you most likely can use spring water but the grains need some minerals to grow and stay healthy so I would add a pinch of baking soda or a touch of molasses during the first brew

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  12. HI When you say to add vanilla and cap it, do you mean cap it with the coffee filter paper that I use during the fermenting or just a regular lid where it would breathe.

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    1. Cap it with an air tight lid so the bubbles can build up.

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  13. Hi have just found this site. I use kefir with milk that i use with my smoothie. Would i use the same kefir or is the water one,different. Thankyou for your time pearlypops

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