Water Kefir FAQ’s
Have questions about Water Kefir Grains? Find answers to some of the most asked questions about this culture product:
Making water kefir is not difficult and in simple terms – Add the water kefir grains to a glass jar along with sugar water, let it sit, take the grains out and you are done! Then repeat the process..
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Pour 500ml of non-chlorinated water per 20g of water kefir grains into a jar. Add 20g of sugar per 20g of water kefir grains. Stir the mixture until completely dissolved before adding the water kefir grains.
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Water kefir grains are grown in filtered water and organic sugar. It’s best to avoid water that does’t have minerals, such as distilled water or water from RO filters etc.. Water kefir grains require minerals in order to grow and ferment. Both the water and sugar used can affect the flavour and the amount of carbonation in your finished water kefir.
Yes, a single purchase of our kefir grains can provide you with a lifetimes supply of water kefir.
We use and recommend organic cane sugar but you could also you granulated sugar as it works quite well. Look for plain sugar with no added ingredients. For best results, you should look for sugar labeled “organic” and “raw” or “natural.
To put it simply, the first fermentation is done when your water kefir grains are added to sugar water and cultured for approx 24 hours. Now, once you strain your kefir grains with a plastic strainer and pour the drained kefir into a jar the water kefir is then ready to consume OR…
You can store the water kefir (with the grains removed) in your fridge in a sealed jar, and it will continue to ferment. This is what is known as the second fermentation.
Cultured water kefir should taste just like flat, slightly sweetened water with little to no fizz, in order to add fizz / carbonation, a second ferment is absolutely necessary.
So here’s what to do.
Pour the now cultured water kefir into a bottle and add a ¼ cup of raisins, be sure to leave 1″ – 2″ of headspace at the top of your bottle as pressure will build, now close the bottle with a tight lid and allow to ferment for an additional 24-48 hrs, check after 24 hrs to see if some fizz has built up inside the bottle, if not allow to ferment for an additional 24 hrs.
Raisins are one of our personal favourites as they produce a slight Dr. Pepper taste but you could add any type of fruit really, whatever you enjoy most.
Fresh fruit purees or juices also work well.
Between 20° – 25°C is good. 22°C is optimal. A warm spot is advisable if room temperature falls below say 18°C.
The easiest way to check whether or not you have successfully made water kefir is by tasting it. The finished water kefir tastes less sweet than the sugar water you started with. Most people expect water kefir to taste really sour and very bubbly – this is simply not true. Water kefir is mildly sour tasting with only a tiny amount of bubbles when strained after the first fermentation. If you then bottle it for an additional 24hrs or more (second fermentation ), it will greatly increase the amount of carbonation and reduce the sugar content.
If you are making kefir every day, your grains should be growing and multiplying. If they aren’t it is because the temperature in your house is cooler than usual, slowing down the grains. If your sugar water is turning into kefir your grains are still working, just at a slower rate.
The first few batches may be off-balance as the live grains are are very temperature sensitive but once settled they will make top quality water kefir daily. This can usually take 3-5 days but it does depend if the grains are stressed or not.
Once the first few batches of water kefir are complete you can always move up to a bigger jar for larger amounts as our water kefir cultures grow and multiply very quickly.
As your kefir grains grow & multiply you will need to remove some of the grains to keep to the correct ratio: 40g of water kefir grains will culture 1litre of sugar water. The goal is to keep the ratio of grains to sugar water the same as you started with.
Room Temperature: 1-2 days.
Refrigerator: We recommend no longer than 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you need to take a break for a few weeks for an upcoming holiday etc.. and you’re worried about what to do with your kefir grains, then follow the steps below:
Simply go ahead and place the grains in a fresh jar of sugar water. Now cover the jar with a tight lid and place them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Cold temperatures greatly slow the culturing process, so the refrigerator is a good place to store your grains when a break is necessary.
If you plan on storing the water kefir grains long-term, make sure to change the sugar water at least once every few weeks!
Making Water Kefir Again
Once removed from the refrigerator the grains may take some time to ferment the water again. It usually takes anywhere from 2-5 batches before they are fully active again.
The correct ratio of grains to sugar / water is extremely important.
- 500ml of non-chlorinated water per 20g of water kefir grains .
- 20g of sugar per 20g of water kefir grains.
When your grains exceed this ratio / amount it is best to split them to make additional batches of water kefir. Alternatively you can eat the kefir grains or add them to smoothies.
When your ratios are out of balance your water kefir will ferment too quickly and this can lead to funkier flavors along with a deterioration of the grains. However the solution is simply adjust to less grains, or more water which will resolve these problems.
There you go!
Remember, like most live cultures, water kefir grains can be temperamental and will take a while to master. These instructions should only serve as a guide and are a reflection of what works for us. After a while you are likely to find your own way and methods which is the beauty (and fun!) of working with water kefir.
When fermenting more than one live culture at home, we suggest a distance of at least 4 feet between the cultures at all times. This is to help stop cross contamination of the different cultures and is of particular importance when culturing dairy products. The only exception to this is when cultures are being stored in the refrigerator with tight-fitting lids.