I referred to Mommypotomus’ post How To Make Water Kefir to get me started. She suggests just 2 tablespoons of hydrated grains per quart, so I already knew that I could split my 1/4 cup of grains into two new batches. Yay!
When I obtained my grains, the woman said that she had been changing them every 48 hours and had done so the day before. So the following day, I was good to go.
That means, she changed them on Thursday, I picked them up on Friday and my first time at attempting the process would be Saturday.
In the meantime, I gathered my supplies:
- 2 quart jars
- 1 glass pitcher (or mixing bowl with a pour spout)
- 1 plastic or stainless steel fine mesh strainer
- 2 quarts water without chlorine or fluoride (adequately filtered, well, or spring)
- 2 breathable jar covers (fabric scraps, coffee filters, etc)
- 2 rubber bands
- 1 wooden spoon
- 2/3 cup sugar (not honey)
- flip top bottles (it’s important to have good air tight containers in order to achieve carbonation)
- 100% fruit juice of choice (to flavor)
It is important to note that the grains do not like metal (stainless steel is acceptable), therefore all utensils should be glass, wood or plastic.
Since we have unfiltered city water, I suspected that it had both chlorine and fluoride. Chlorine can be removed by boiling for 20 minutes. However, boiling will actually concentrate fluoride in the remaining water. Therefore, I needed to purchase spring water for my kefir. If you are unsure about the presence of fluoride in your water, you can find out here.
Saturday morning, I was excited to begin the process.
First I heated about 2-3 cups of the spring water to just under boiling.
Meanwhile I measured 1/3 cup sugar into each of my two quart size mason jars. I used organic cane sugar. It is important not to use honey since it has antibacterial qualities.
Once the water was heated, I divided it between the two jars and stirred with a wooden spoon until all the sugar was dissolved.
I then topped off both jars with additional spring water and allowed them to sit until they reached room temperature.
After they were completely drained, I used a funnel to pour the finished kefir into a 1 liter swing top bottle and topped it off with about 1.5 cups of juice for flavor. I used pomegranate juice for this first batch, since it what I had on hand. The kefir will continue to feed off the sugar of the juice and create carbonation when allowed to sit on the counter for another 24 hours.
Once the sugar-water reached room temperature, I divided my grains and added them to the jars. (2 tablespoons into each jar). I covered with fabric scraps and secured with a rubber band. This cover is simply to keep dust and critters out of the kefir as it sits. You can also use a paper coffee filter, but I wanted something a little cuter since these will be sitting out on my counter.
So, now my counter looks like this:
I could stop here with my finished kefir and enjoy it, but I choose to proceed with the optional second fermentation in order to achieve carbonation. That means that I will allow it to set at room temperature for an additional 24-48 hours, then chill and enjoy.
Stay tuned to meet the finished product and the beginnings of round 2.