What type of sugar should I use for water kefir grains??
The carbonation level and flavor of your water kefir are determined by the type of sugar and water content. While the total amount of sugar in the water kefir grains activates or deactivates the fermentation process, the type of sugar determines the taste of the finished product and also the overall health of your water kefir grains. In situations where you have water kefir that is too sweet or maybe too flat after bottling, then maybe it’s time to try out another type of sugar for your water kefir??
The type of sugar you use greatly affects the overall health of your water kefir grains. During the entire fermentation process, it’s always good to pay close attention to how your water kefir grains are doing. If they do not appear to be active, then it is an indication that your water kefir needs some mineral supplementation or a different sugar and water combination.
Choosing the best sugar for your water kefir grains can be very tricky so we have outlined some steps to take in choosing the best sugar possible.
How To Choose The Best Sugar For Your Water Kefir
Read the label:
Some sugars contain anti-caking additives and other ingredients which may combine together to affect the health of your kefir water grains. To select the best sugar check the labels carefully and only select those without any form of additives or ingredients.
Experiment with different types of sugar
Whenever you encounter an issue with your fermentation, then it’s time to try out another sugar. Although this may be an added cost, it is money well spent. Most often than not, the water kefir grains will refuse to ferment because they lack a certain mineral or vitamin which can be provided by another sugar.
Some suggestions of the best sugar types for your kefir…
Here are some of the best types of sugar for your water kefir.
Of all the sugars, Rapadura is the least refined. It contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients and the final result is a water kefir with a stronger molasses-like flavor.
Plain White sugar is the most processed sugar. Chemicals are used during the refining process so no nutrients remain in the final product. White sugar is almost flavorless.
Brown sugar is simply refined white sugar but with molasses added.
After much experimentation where we used various types of sugars for our water kefir grains, most sugars produced good quality water kefir for a while but over time the grains began to decline with every sugar we tried but the rapadura and also the white sugar. The water kefir grains just seemed to lose their purity and brightness. Overall we think the rapadura performed best for the health of the grains with white sugar coming in a close second.
We decided some time ago to only use rapadura for our water kefir grain production as it contains vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the kefir grains just seem to love. Just remember when using rapadura it produces a stronger flavored water kefir that some may not like.
Our advice when it comes to making water kefir for yourself or family and friends would be to use plain white sugar even though it’s not as desirable from a nutrition standpoint, the softness of the white sugar allows the final product to be flavored more easily and is simply more appealing to most people.
If you decide to use white sugar, just remember to place the grains into rapadura every few weeks to give it a boost. You could also try mixing the white sugar with rapadurs, almost like a nutritional supplement.
Just be sure whatever you decide upon, take good care of those little grains and they will take care of you!