Thursday, November 6, 2014
I have water kefirs! These are big and healthy and reproduce well in captivity! I got them from a friend, not a box. Now the reason I am so excited about this is two-fold: 1. my husband will drink finished water kefir and he likes it 2. I had bad experience with last batch couple years ago and didn't want to start again. But, these guys look like they will be fun to work with and any fermented drink I can get my husband to drink will be a winner for me. In a couple weeks I should have enough to start selling them if anyone is interested.
I make water kefir in a 2 quart jar with 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 tsp. dark molasses added to 2 quarts of filtered or chlorine-free water. When the kefirs are added to this mixture with a lid on top, it sits in the fridge for a week then the kefir grains are strained out and put in a smaller jar with more sugar and water and kept in the fridge to await another big batch. The large container of kefir water is then consumed. It can be flavored with added fruit or juice but I wouldn't try essential oils. The lemon essential oil I used on a batch tasted great but it killed off the pro-biotic mirobes that are one of the benefits of drinking a fermented product.
Some fermentors keep the kefir grains going full time from batch to batch and they bottle the kefir water with different flavors and seal tightly so the carbon dioxide gas builds up and causes the opened bottle to fizz, like a soda pop. In fact, many people start fermenting with water kefirs to take the place of soda pop.
I found that my microbes like a chlorine-free water that is slightly more alkaline than neutral ph of 7. I get this by using "Precious Prills" (magnesium crystals) with city tap water. After sitting a few hours in a glass container with these "Prills" the chlorine has escaped and the ph has been raised to a nice 8.5 which my microbes like. ( I sell Precious Prills too or you can look them up online)
I also found out that the microbes, the friendly ones, need minerals, like we do, that is why I add some molasses to the sugar water mixture. It is amazing what the friendly microbes do with just sugar, molasses and water. They turn that bare minimum food into a healthy, pro-biotic liquid that tastes good and is very "gut friendly".