Water Kefir Grains are a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Although they’re called “grains,” Water Kefir grains look more like gelatinous blobs thought they contain no actual grains or gluten. These probiotic bacteria feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content is usually very minimal, less than 1 %. If you don't want to consume dairy products, then water kefir is an excellent non-dairy probiotic source you can enjoy every day. Why not visit our shop to Buy Water Kefir Grains.
Water Kefir is typically composed of Lactobacillus casei/paracasei, Lactobacillus harbinensis, Lactobacillus hilgardii, Bifidobacterium psychraerophilum/crudilactis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Dekkera bruxellensis. It typically contains less beneficial probiotic bacteria than Milk Kefir but offers a dairy-free alternative probiotic that can also be consumed daily. It's simple to make, and as long as you look at the culture, it will produce Water Kefir indefinitely.
Water Kefir is easily digested and provides beneficial bacteria and yeasts. It's easy and safe to make at home on a daily basis, and the culture grows fast. A single purchase of Water Kefir Grains from us here at Buy Probiotics can provide you with an indefinite supply of Water Kefir.
You find many health claims online about drinking Water Kefir. Some with, and many without scientific backing. We don't want to make any health claims for drinking Water Kefir here at Buy Probiotics. If you have found our shop, then you have probably already done some research and decided to try drinking Water Kefir yourself. All we can tell you is that everyone here has been drinking Water Kefir daily for some time now, and we all feel much better for it!
What to do once your Water Kefir Grains arrive
Once you receive your Water Kefir Grains from us, it's important to get them fermenting as soon as possible. If your unable to do that right away, you can place the culture in the fridge for a further 24 hours. Your order will contain 20g of Water Kefir Grains. This is enough to make a 500ml bottle of Water Kefir. Don't worry though; the culture grows pretty fast so your be making much more in no time at all.
What equipment do I need
You need something to brew your Water Kefir in. We recommend using something glass. Glass is much easier to clean and keep sterile. Plastic tends to degrade over time and is prone to scratches which can harbour unwanted bacteria. Plastic also carries a risk of chemical contamination from the materials contained inside of it such as BPA. A glass Kilner style jam jar is perfect to use.
You also need a plastic strainer and a plastic stirring spoon. We do not recommend using metal, Water Kefir is quite acidic and can react to coming into contact with metal.
We also recommend you buy a water filter to remove the chlorine from your tap water. You can use bottled water, but this tends to get expensive. You can also use coconut water in place of standard water.
You also need something to cover your jar with. We recommend paper kitchen towels as they are easy to discard and replace. You can also use a muslin cloth or similar if you wish. Rubber bands also come in handy to secure the cover to the jar.
You also need some bottles to store your Water Kefir in. Again we recommend using glass bottles only. We find swing/flip lid style bottles work best with Water Kefir.
It is useful to get a plastic funnel to help pour the liquid into the bottles.
Glass/plastic measuring Jug
It is also useful to have something to decant your strained mixture into. Glass or plastic measuring jugs are perfect.
What ingredients do I need?
You only need 2 ingredients to make Water Kefir, Water / Coconut Water and sugar. However, to improve the flavour, you also want to experiment with adding fresh fruits to your Water Kefir after the initial fermentation. If you use coconut water to make Water Kefir, it comes with its flavours and sweetness already an usually does not require any additional fermentation.
When using water, it must not be chlorinated. This is very important as chlorine will damage and possibly kill your Water Kefir culture. It is best to use a mixture of both white cane sugar and unrefined sugar. White cane sugar is easy broken down by the culture, but unrefined sugar contains the minerals and vitamins the Water Kefir Grains thrive on. Using a mixture of sugars will greatly help the speed at which your culture grows.
Even though coconut water contains naturally occurring sugars, you will still need to additional sugars.
You need to activate your Water Kefir Grains; this is to revive them from the shipping process. Add 250ml of non-chlorinated water/coconut water to your jar. Add one tablespoon of sugar (15g) and stir, so the sugar begins to dissolve. Place your grains in a jar with and cover it. Leave them for 48 hours at room temperature. Strain out the Water Kefir Grains and discard the sugar water. Your grains are now activated.
The First Fermentation
Pour 500ml of non-chlorinated water/coconut water into your jar. Add one tablespoon of sugar (15g) and stir, so the sugar begins to dissolve. You can use warm water/coconut water if you wish, however, we have never found any real need for this. Never use boiling/hot water. This will harm the Water Kefir Grains. Always allow any water to cool back down to room temperature (21 Celsius) if needed before continuing.
Add your Water Kefir Grains (20g) to the mixture. Cover the jar and leave it at room temperature (21 Celsius) out of direct sunlight for 72 hours.
Never leave any fermenting product in direct sunlight. This can lead to unwanted bacteria and pathogens forming.
Strain the Water Kefir Grains out of the mixture using your plastic strainer, decanting the liquid into your measuring jug. Place the Water Kefir Grains back into your fermentation jar and repeat this process to make another batch of Water Kefir.
You grains will grow quite quickly. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 tablespoon of sugar per tablespoon of Water Kefir. With a maximum of 4 tablespoons of Water Kefir per litre. To much sugar or too many Water Kefir grains can lead to over fermentation and more alcohol content. Please be aware that if you are using coconut water, this will contain its natural sugars. This means coconut water kefir will always be sweeter than standard water kefir.
This ratio is a guideline, not an exact science. Trial and error can be a big part of the fermentation process.
People ask how often they need to clean their fermentation jar. We tend to use a clean jar each time ourselves here at Buy Probiotics to keep our kefir making process as hygienic as we can. However, many of our customers tend to clean their fermentation jars on a weekly basis.
The second fermentation
It is now time to flavour your strained Water Kefir. People using coconut water usually find that a second fermentation is not needed, it usually tastes great after the first fermentation.
Pour the liquid into another fermentation jar that you can seal. It is important to be able to seal the jar to stop the risk of contamination and to allow for carbonation to take place.
Add a handful of chopped fruit to your strained Water Kefir mixture. We find things like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries work very well with Water Kefir but experiment with different fruits to find what you like best. Once the fruit has been added, seal the jar and leave it to ferment for another 24-48 hours.
Strain the fruit from the flavoured Water Kefir mixture, and then using your plastic funnel, pour the liquid into your glass bottles and then seal them by closing the swing top caps.
For fizzy Water Kefir, it is important to use something fully airtight in the second fermentation process. If you are not getting much fizz, this usually means air is escaping from your container. It could also mean that the bacteria have already used all the sugar in your mixture. A small amount of sugar needs to be present to allow gases to be produced by the fermentation process. Usually, if you're adding fruit, this will contain the additional sugar required anyway.
The Water Kefir is now ready to drink. Place your bottles in the fridge to cool. Be very careful when opening the bottles. Water Kefir produces a fairly fizzy beverage.
My grains look small and not like those in the pictures!
In order to be cost-effective, we break down and compress our Water Kefir Grains for the shipping process. It will take several weeks of fermenting for your grains to grow larger like those seen in our pictures. Do not worry though, this in no way affects the Water Kefir fermentation process.
I've followed these steps, and nothing is happening.
Water Kefir Grains are very hardy. It's unlikely they would have died during the shipping process. If you are experiencing problems, please do get in touch with us. Don't worry, were always more than happy to resend more Water Kefir Grains if required.
Going on holiday?
If you’re planning on going on holiday, you’re probably concerned about leaving your Water Kefir Grains unattended. Don’t worry though. Place them in a fresh batch of water and sugar and pop the jar into the fridge. They will keep like this for 2-3 weeks.