I found a new love! The kids beg for it! Water kefir…It is so easy to make. It is a refreshing, chilled probiotic fizzy drink. It is perfect for a hot summer day. Let’s check out How to Make Water Kefir.
Learning is Easy
Learning to make water kefir is a fairly easy task. I have some great tips for you, plus a great little recipe to help you get started! First, here is a little background information on it.
Water kefir grains, also known as Japanese water crystals, tibicos, ginger bees, aqua gems and many more.
They’re made up of bacteria, and yeast and they look like small translucent jello chunks.
These grains can be found throughout the world. One place they are found is on the prickly pear cactus, in Mexico.
Water kefir recipes contain sugar. The beverage is not overly sweet because WK (water kefir) eats sugar. WK, will double in size in almost every batch if they are being well cared for.
Let’s Talk Lingo…
There is a whole lingo to learn when it comes to fermenting! Let’s go over the specifics of water kefir lingo.
Some people refer to 1f, which means 1st ferment, and 2f, which means 2nd ferment.
The first ferment is basically water kefir grains in sugar water, fermented for about 48 hours. In the 2nd ferment, the water kefir grains (WKG) are strained out and they are ready for a new batch.
The liquid can be fermented for another couple of days with the addition of some dried unsulphured fruit to add some extra flavor. This second ferment is called 2f.
- 1f – 1st ferment
- 2f – 2nd ferment
- WK – Water Kefir
- WKG – Water Kefir Grains
Tips For Working With Water Kefir:
- Use nonchlorinated water that is not void of natural minerals. Spring water is a great water to use.
- For under producing grains, add 1-2 tsp of Molasses to your ferment (1f.)
- Don’t use honey – it will kill the good bacteria found in WKG.
- You can eat WKG. I eat a couple every time I make a new batch, just a couple.
- WKG is immortal! If cared for properly they may outlive you!
- The optimal temperature range is about 68º – 78º F for fermenting.
- In the winter, some people use a heating mat. It is a good idea if you have really cold winters!
- Use glass containers for brewing water kefir. Don’t use plastic as a fermenting vessel.
- Use wooden spoons for stirring. Stainless steel can be okay, and some plastics, but wood is best.
- You can use coconut water, but alternate batches with water.
- You can also use fruit juice, but separate the WKG that you use for juice, because when you go back to water the flavor is not so good.
- Most juice contains enough sugar, so you may not have to add any extra!
- You can use a metal strainer/sieve if it is stainless steel or use a plastic one, but make sure it is a fine mesh strainer/sieve.
- If you want to take a break from water kefir or are going on vacation. Check out my tips for storing water kefir while on vacation.
- You can stop at the first ferment. You don’t have to do a second ferment. The 2f is for flavor purposes only, if you like it plain, drink it plain!
- There are some flavors such as vanilla extract that you can add in after the 1f chill and drink. No 2f needed! Talk about a great refreshing drink. Be careful giving this to children because the ferment can contain alcohol and vanilla extract also contains about 30%.
- The amount of alcohol will vary depending on temperature, time, and other environmental events.
- Most people say that WK soda is safe for children, but it is safest to measure the amount of alcohol and consult a doctor. A second ferment might result in a higher alcohol content.
What do you need to get started?
- Mason Jars
- Spring water. There are other types of water you could use but it is the best option.
- Wooden spoon for stirring.
- Stainless steel sieve or fine mesh strainer
- ¼ cup Water kefir grains
- Sugar – any sugar is good. Do not use honey!
How to Make Water Kefir
- ¼ cup Water Kefir Grains
- ¼ cup Sugar
- 4 cups Spring Water
- 1-2 dried unsulphured figs ( Look in the snack aisle at Trader Joe’s)
First Ferment (1f):
- Add water to clean a mason jar.
- Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
- Add the water kefir.
- Store in a dark area away from light, with temperatures around 68º – 78º F, with Fermentools installed, or in some other fermenting vessel.
- After 48 hours, using a bowl to catch the liquid, strain out (using a fine-mesh sieve) the water kefir grains and set them aside for the next batch.
- If you want to stop here you can. Just refrigerate the liquid in a glass jar.
For the Second Ferment (2f):
- Now add the liquid to a clean mason jar.
- Add the fig into the liquid. Place your airlock back over the jar.
- Store the jar again for about 48 hours.
- Chill liquid before serving, and keep refrigerated. You can choose to scoop out the fruit, or some people like to eat it.
There are many different ways to flavor water kefir.
If you don’t love the fig flavor try raspberries, blueberries, prunes or crystallized ginger.
You can even add vanilla or almond extract to your first ferment and then chill it without fermenting it a second time.
So glad you joined us for How to Make Water Kefir. Stay tuned in for more awesomeness!
More Fermenting Recipes
- Fermented Cherry Tomatoes
- Fermented Bell Peppers
- Fermented Carrots with Garlic
- Fermented Garlic
- Fermented Pickles
- Fermented Sauerkraut
- How to Make Water Kefir
- Water Kefir Vacation
- Water Kefir Almond Cream Soda
- Pineapple Chutney
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