If you are beginning with dehydrated water kefir grains, start here:
Dissolve 1/4 cup of organic sugar in 1 quart of water in a 1 Quart Jar
Cool to 68°-85° F
Empty entire packet of dehydrated water kefir grains into your cooled sugar water
Cover a muslin jar cover, tea towel or cheesecloth. Secure with a rubber band or tie
Place in a warm spot and let sit at 68°-85°F for 3-5 days
After 5 days the grains should be fat and translucent
Your grains are now ready to make your first batch of water kefir!
Strain the grains from the sugar water solution using a plastic strainer or cheesecloth.
Discard the sugar water solution.
Instructions for making 2 quarts
Brew water kefir in smaller batches, as it ferments much faster than Kombucha.
Use water that has no chlorine or fluoride, as these damage the kefir grains. Conversely, distilled water does not have the minerals that tap water does, which feed the grains as well. Boil tap water to remove chlorine, or use a water filter.
Well, now you’ve done it. You’ve brewed up a batch of probiotic goodness and you’re ready to bottle it!
Use a narrow mouthed funnel to pour the finished liquid into airtight, clamp-top bottles. How, and if you flavor them, is up to you. A good general rule is 10-30% juice or other flavoring; make sure to leave enough room to add flavoring juice.
Sharp, citrus flavors tend to work well with kefir’s inherent mellow sweetness; think grapefruit, tangerine, etc.
Ginger is another flavor that works well with water kefir; simply grate it finely with a Microplane and squeeeeeeze the pure juice out, or brew it into a strong tea to add to the finished liquid.
Fill the bottles up to within a 1/2 inch of the top and clamp them shut. Let them sit on the counter at room temperature for another 1-3 days. The liquid is still microbially active at this point, so it is still creating C02 as it continues to digest the sugars in your brew. However, since the clamp top is closed, the C02 is trapped inside the liquid. When the bottles are opened, C02 comes out of solution-viola, bubbles!
Test the bottles periodically to determine when they have reached the level of carbonation you desire. Remember that fruit juice contains sugar, natural or no, so fermented beverages that have been flavored with a higher percentage of juice will likely ferment faster than those with less.
When the secondary fermentation is complete, just put the bottles in the fridge. The cold inhibits further fermentation.
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