How to brew water kefir
I started brewing water kefir about eight months ago. I was searching for a natural remedy to treat my eczema, which, I figured, was brought on by stress and less-than-diverse gut flora. While these live cultures aren't a solution to the former, I'm happy to report my eczema has reduced significantly, and it's likely due to the introduction of probiotics (produced by water kefir) into my system.
I was gifted these live cultures (there is a strong, generous community in Singapore; not to mention the sale of live cultures is prohibited), and through my own brewing, my kefir grains have been multiplying faster than a litter of rabbits. Because of this, I have been able to give them away to anyone who might be remotely interested.
One of the first questions I always get is, "Is it really difficult to brew?" It isn't. "Does it take commitment?" A little is needed, of course. The good news is, once you've begun, the steps to brewing will function like clockwork for you.
With my (so far) foolproof instructions, my friends' litter of cultures have been growing, too. So I'm sharing them here, for curious minds and like-minded cultivators.
How to brew water kefir:
Follow the magic ratio:
1 tablespoon WKG : 1 tablespoon sugar : 1 cup boiled water
(1 tablespoon/tbsp = 1.2 normal spoons)
Tools you'll need:
1 open-mouthed glass bottle
1 glass bottle with stopper (with thick walls)
1st Fermentation (1F) - 48 hours
- Strain the water kefir grains (WKG) from the package given to you. Use a plastic strainer
- Separately, dissolve sugar in water (1 tbsp sugar : 1 cup boiled water). Plain white (refined) sugar works. All the sugar granules should be dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature
- Add 1 tbsp WKG to every 1 cup of cooled sugared boiled water (which contains 1 dissolved tbsp sugar) into your open-mouthed glass bottle
- Let this solution sit for up to 48 hours at room temperature
- Occasionally move the bottle a little (do not shake vigorously)
2nd Fermentation (2F) - 24 hours
- Strain the WKG from the 1F into your second bottle (the one that has a lid/stopper)
- Set the WKG aside -- you'll repeat the steps for 1F for them later
- Into your strained solution, add 30 raisins or 3 substantial pieces of dried mango (dried fruit should have no sulphur, as that encourages yeast to grow). You can also add fresh fruit or tea leaves, but the tea will not help the fermentation. It'll only give it flavour
- Let this sit for up to 24 hours, burping (releasing the gas) occasionally
- Drink. Add sugared water if it's too sour. If you don't wish to drink it now, keep it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process (it will continue to ferment because of the small living cultures present in the brew)