Thursday, May 9, 2013

Water Kefir and Kefir Lemonade

A few weeks ago I purchase something that I have been meaning to buy for a long time - water kefir grains.  And now that I have designated a place in the kitchen to grow them (far enough away from my brewing kumbucha and my brewing milk kefir so as not to get cross contamination) I decided to rehydrate the grains per the instructions set from Cultures for Health and get going on adding this healthful drink to our daily menu.

Here is what the rehydrated grains look like:


The instructions for making the water kefir are so much more simple than the kumbucha that I have been making for some time now.  Here is what needs to be done to prepare the solution for the kefir grains to ferment a half a gallon of water.

First put 1/2 cup cane juice crystals in the bottom of the jar.



Then add enough boiling water to the jar to dissolve the sugar and either stir or swirl around the  water until you can no longer see the sugar in the water.


Fill the rest of the jar, minus a couple of inches, with water (unchlorinated water is a must, and unfiltered well/ground water with lots of minerals is the best option for optimal growth).


Let the water cool to room temperature.  (I stuck mine in the refrigerator while I quick took a shower and by the time I was out the temperature was just right.)  Add in the grains and then cover the jar with a cloth that is secured with a rubber band.

  Now here is the ever better part - you only need to wait for 36 hours until it is done brewing, not the 7 to 10 days wait that kumbucha requires.

The first batch didn't have a lot of fizz, but I added 1/4 cup of real lemon juice to each quart I refrigerated and it made a great tasting lemonade.  Even my middle son who will not touch the kumbucha loved it!

  I ended up mixing my kefir lemonade with some strawberry kumbucha to make it a little less sweet - it seemed to be preferred by my older son too who tends to like sour over sweet.  Either way the new addition of water kefir was highly welcomed to the family today.

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