Thursday, July 14, 2011
I have a new "pet". I consider all my microbe colonies "pets"...you have to feed them and nurture them to keep them alive and well and growing. In return they produce the amazing enzymes and vitamins so beneficial for health.
My new "pet" are water kefir pearls. They are so easy to feed and keep happy. Their water product is kinda like a natural soda pop. I tried to get photo big enough to see them at the bottom. They are crystal colored and the size of beans and stained brown due to the brown sugar.
You add these microbe colonies to pure water and some natural sugar. By pure water I mean,filtered water and chlorine-free and higher ph than neutral. I take city tap water a gallon at a time and fill my large glass container that has a bag of "prills" in the bottom, and cover with a clean cloth and let sit a few hours. While sitting, the chlorine is pushed out and evaporates and the "prills" raise the ph of the water to about 8.5. I pour off 3 quarts of water at a time into another container on my counter with a spigot and that is the water I use for all drinking, cooking and fermenting. "Prills" are magnesium crystals that do not dissolve. I've had my bag for about 2 years now and they are still working. I have a link to the website where you can order the "prills". It really is a great deal for about $20.
Water kefir pearls eat/consume sugar. You can use the plain, no nutrition white sugar, or more natural, dark sugars with organic compounds sill intact. I use succanant and agave.
To one quart pure water add
4 ounces of sugar, any combination you want
Stir to dissolve, add the kefir grains, cover and date and set on counter at room temperature for 1-2 days. How long it ferments depends on how sweet you want the taste. The longer fermentation the less sweet it becomes. When it has fermented to your taste, strain the pearls and start another quart or put them into cold storage in some pure water with just a little sugar. They should keep about a week but then take them out warm them up and prepare more sugar for them. I've noticed something fun about these kefir grains....they bounce up and down in the liquid as they consume the sugar. Maybe the milk kefir grains do that too but milk is opaque and I haven't seen them. These grains look like they are happy and dancing!
Well fermented water should be a little bubbly and slightly sweet.