Kefir is a bacterial yeast culture that converts sugar into fructose and imparts incredible probiotic goodness into the water you keep it in. It is loaded with valuable enzymes, easily digestible sugars, beneficial acids, vitamins and minerals. It is a nice option if you are trying to avoid the caffeine present in kombucha, but still seeking a probiotic drink.
- 100ml jar of water kefir grains
- 3 tablespoons organic raw sugar
- 1 tablespoons organic dried sultanas or apricots
- Pinch of bicarb & Himalayan salt
- 1L filtered water
- Jar with clip lock lid with rubber seal
- Honey & fresh grated ginger
- Grated beetroot and apple
- Spirulina powder and pear
- Passionfruit, peach, apple, berries, or mango (any fresh fruit really!)
- Use coconut water instead of water
- Experiment with different sugars such as molasses, coconut sugar and honey
Mix the kefir grains, sugar, dried fruit, bicarb, and salt with the water in a 1L click-lock jar. Leave to ferment for 12-48 hours. The higher the temperature where you leave the jar, the faster it will ferment.
By now it should be slightly fizzy and a bit sour and the sultanas should be dancing. Strain the water and keep the kefir grains aside for the next batch. Eat sultanas or apricots, or use in cooking. They are a great snack for kids. You can drink and enjoy your kefir as is or you can ferment again.
When I first started fermenting, I always did this second ferment but now tend to enjoy it as is after the first ferment alone. Fermenting the kefir for a second time gives you the opportunity to add different flavours. It also gives a fizzier ferment. Simply add your choice of fresh fruit to the water in the same jar (after straining) and set aside for another 24 hours. Strain again, discard fruit. Bottle, storing it in the fridge.
It is best to drink kefir within a week or two. It can be stored for quite a long time, since the bacteria and yeast actively and continuously preserve it. However, the alcohol content will increase and it will get increasingly sour and fizzy over time.
If you chose to continue to ferment straight away keep in mind that your kefir grains will have doubled. This means you will need to double the above recipe. This will happen with each ferment and your batch of grain will grow over time. You can eat them, add to smoothies, pop into salads or give to friends.
If you want a break from fermenting or are going away you will need to store your kefir grains. These little guys are like pets, you need to feed them. After straining the grains from your last ferment, pop them into a click lock jar with a rubber seal, the same as if you were fermenting again. In a separate bowl add enough filtered water to cover the grains and some sugar. Generally, you want 1 teaspoon to each 100ml of water. This will feed your grains whilst they are hibernating and keep them healthy. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and pour into the jar, over the kefir grains. Ensure there is plenty of coverage of the grains. Any that are left out of the water will die. Store in the fridge for 10-15 days before refeeding, or starting new ferments.