Also visit its sibling Milk Kefir.
The water kefir grains are also known as tibicos.
Important Node: The water kefir grains should not come in contact with metal, which can damage them servere. Some people say stainless steel is ok, but to be safe only use plastic and glass equipment.
Ingredients per liter
- 3 table spoons of water kefir grains (some say 6 tbsp)
- 50-80g normal sugar (~4-6 tbsp)
- 1 liter of water (~4.2 cups, without chloride but no distilled water, otherwise the grains do not grow.)
- About 40-50 raisins or alternatively other dried fruits
- Some lemon: 1 slice - 1/2 lemon
I use the following with my 5l container:
- 1 cup (=16 tbsp) of water kefir grains
- 250g sugar (~1 1/4 cups)
- ~5 liter of water (until container is full)
- 1/2 of a 375g package of raisins
- 1 full lemon, sometimes 1 1/2
- Container with wide opening.
Should be made from glass or food-grade plastic, but not from metal. Usable is e.g. a 1l pickle jar. I use a 5l plastic brewing container with air-look I got from a home brew store.
- Lemon press
- Plastic shiver
- Plastic funnel for bottling
- (swing-top) Bottles
- Dissolve the sugar in some water.
This can be done by filling the container about 1/3 full, adding the sugar, closing it and shaking. Some sugar will need warm water to resolve. (Note: Never heat the grains over 40oC).
- Add the kefir grains and raisins.
- Fill the container with the rest of the water until almost full.
- Press out the lemon piece and add both the juice and the pressed out piece.
This is important to protect the liquid for mold in the early stage. The water kefir will protect itself after a while by turning more and more sour.
- Close or cover the container.
There will be a lot of CO2 gas produces, so make either sure you container can hold it without exploding or add a release. Home-brew air-looks are quite good, but a simple kitchen tissue fixed with a rubber band should also do it.
- Store in a place with warm room temperature outside of direct sunlight (will kill the kefir bacteria) for 24-72 hours.
I normally do 2 days. This depends on your taste, the temperature and the amount of grains per liter. The water kefir will get sourer over time, so don't let it stand to long.
- After you decided that the water kefir is done, remove the raisins (now floating on top) and the grains (on the bottom).
I use a plastic shiver to fish the raisins out.
- Fill the water kefir in clean bottles (swing-top bottles are recommended).
You can also add some flavorings at this stage. Some people recommend to let them stand by room temperature for another day or two for a secondary fermentation which makes it more fizzy.
- Refrigerate (stops (i.e. slows done significantly) the fermentation) and serve cold. It should be consumed within a few days.