09 September 2012

Recipes X: Water Kefir Recipe

Easy Water Kefir Recipe

Probiotics and Friendly Yeasts for Pennies

1 quart glass mason jar or old glass juice jar
2 tbsp dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, molasses, cane sugar, organic agave nectar (NEVER HONEY)
2 cups spring water or boiled and cooled water (NO TAP Water)
1 pinch baking soda
sliver of lemon or lime with skin removed, medjool date, piece of apple, or some kind of fruit
3 tbsp tibicos/kefir grains

Remember no metal contact with the kefir grains. This harms them. No honey either, as it is antibacterial and anti-fungal  (Honey makes a great sore throat relief). Honey will either significantly harm them or kill them. 
You can use white sugar, however, it doesn't feed the grains like unsulfured bootstrap molasses does. If you brew beer you'll agree that white sugar when fermented leaves a bad bitter apple taste. Undesirable. I prefer light brown sugar in winter time and large granular cane sugar in the summer. 

*Mix water, sugar and baking soda until all dissolved. 
*Pour into jar.
*Add the grains gently.
*Drop in sliver of fruit.
*Cover with cloth and rubber band on (fruit flies love love love to sneak in unless its covered)

Wait 24-36 hours for the sugar to be digested by the grains. Tiny bubbles may form on the surface. Its ok to give it an occasional shake or swishing.  The cloth allows oxygen to enter the brew. Sealing the jar shut  will create bitter kefir wine and deprive the grains of oxygen. The grains need oxygen to survive. 

Strain off the grains for the liquid. I personally enjoy making mine into fruit juice soda. I like to add 1 cup of juice (no high frutose corn syrup) to the 1 cup of water kefir. Then pour into swing top bottle. Let sit on the counter for 1-2 days in a flip top beer bottle or grolsh bottle. This allows the flavors to meld together and secondary fermentation to occur. The secondary fermentation builds the carbonation in the beverage. Then put in the fridge.Careful when opening the lid for the first time. 

You can drink it right after straining the grains but its kind of tangy and boring. I've made some water kefir juice fizzier than your average cola. The flavor possibilities are endless. Take care of your grains and they will grow. The grains are very forgiving which is good if you're like me and forget them for a week. :( If you have too many, I read you can dry them out and make them into powder. This gives you the ability to add to many dishes or pet food or drinks.

The best part about tibicos/bees/water kefir is it produces about 1 trillion probiotics and friendly yeasts within about a day. I was spending about $45/month on probiotic tablets. You can buy the grains on Amazon or look for blogs who are giving them away for free. These grains really do multiply quickly! Essentially they should never die, if you take decent care of them. This stuff really gets your digestive tract moving. I enjoy drinking about 4 oz first thing in the morning. I've even considered spiking it with rum...erg I know bad idea probably, but it tastes so good. 

For more info: http://www.yemoos.com/faqwahealth.html
Bacteria & Yeast species in Water Kefir: http://www.yemoos.com/waterkefirstrains.html