Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Homemade Kefir Water

Greg the goat-herder at the farmers market gave my a cup of water kefir grains, so I had to give water-kefir-making a try. Why? Because water kefir is easy to make and supposedly good for you. The probiotics in the kefir benefit your gut. Also, I wanted to drink a tasty, fizzy beverage that did not come in a can.

My first batch of kefir water turned out surprisingly well, although it did not look like much in my water bottle containers and mason jar. I experimented with adding flavors to the second fermentation: fresh ginger, wild frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple.

How did it taste? The pleasant taste reminded me of a mild apple cider with a slight effervescence. I only let the first batch ferment for 2 days, so it still had some residual sugar that added a bit of sweetness.

My second batch of kefir water turned out fantastically delicious! I let the first ferment go a day longer, for 3 days, which allowed the magical grains to consume mostly all the sugar.

Here's what the process entailed:

 Day one looked like a vat of diarrhea:

But then, the kefir grains propagated and began to fill up the bottom of the container. As the grains "ate" the sugar, made kefir babies and produced carbon dioxide, the water turned a golden apple cider color.

I strained the grains and bottled the water kefir, added fresh ginger chunks to all the bottles and berries and pineapple to separate bottles. I let the bottles ferment for one day and then refrigerated.


Day One
In a large plastic container pour 1 gallon spring water (chlorinated water will kill the grains, so do not use tap water.)
Stir in 1 cup raw brown sugar. I used Sucanat. White sugar works too, but honey, because of its antimicrobial properties, may very well kill off the grains, or at least inhibit their growth.
Drop in a cleaned, organic egg shell and a pinch of sea salt (kefir grains love a mineral environment.)
Add about 1 cup kefir grains.
Cover container with lid and let sit out on counter-top for 24 hours.

Day Two
Visit the container and look for activity.
I noticed more grains than day one--a good sign that the little buggers were having fun.

Day Three
Either ferment for another day (four days total,) or bottle the brew, depending upon how sweet you want the water.
Discard the egg shell, strain out the grains and store them in a container with a little sugar water in the fridge until you need them for another batch.

I used a funnel to pour the brew into plastic water bottles (and one mason.) I added the flavorings and let sit on the counter top for 27 hours and then refrigerated my newly fermented kefir water.  Burp the containers every 8 to 12 hours or so to let the carbon dioxide escape or the bottles may explode.