Water kefir has become a staple in our house. Full of beneficial bacteria and yeasts, it’s a probiotic powerhouse!
I am thrilled that my children drink it and love it.
To be honest, I began by giving them 1/2 kefir 1/2 juice, but now they are just drinking the kefir straight. Hooray!
My husband, although diabetic, drinks this all the time without a spike in blood sugar. The beneficial bacteria and yeasts in the kefir grains consume the sugar, making lactic acid bacteria and causing the glucose and pH to drop. I have tested my kefir with these glucose strips and have shown zero glucose by the end of 3-4 days, and a very very small amount by day 2.
There are other ways to make water kefir, but this is how I do mine. I am told my kefir grains are awesome (thank you, Fido!), so you might want to take notes
In the photos below, you will see I am making this for a 5L Fido. However, I will note other measurements for you so you can figure it out for other jars.
Just a note before we get started: some of you may ask: are you sure it’s okay to make water kefir in a Fido? Won’t the jar explode? And to answer that question, I would direct you to the YouTube videos we did so you can see for yourself: Do Fido jars explode? Let’s find out…
Making Water Kefir – the First Ferment
I have heated about 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. The amount of water doesn’t matter so much, as long as it’s enough for the sugar to dissolve in. Here I am dumping in 1 cup sucanat (I buy this sucanat from amazon).
Remember, this is for a 5L Fido. If you have a 2L Fido (or 1/2 gallon mason jar), use 1/2 cup sucanat; for 1L (or 1 quart) quart, use 1/4 cup.
I use my mini spiral whisk to stir the sucanat until dissolved.
Here you can see the richness of the sucanat – rich with minerals that kefir grains love
While the sugar water cools slightly, I cover the bottom of my jar with ice to lessen the risk of shocking the jar with the hot water.
After pouring the hot sucanat water over the ice, I fill my Fido to the shoulder with my mineral-rich well water.
If you have city water, I suggest purchasing bottled water, or using a filter on your water. Chlorine and other chemicals added to city water could kill the grains.
After filling you add the grains – 6 TBSP for the 5L (3 TBSP for 2L or 1/2 gallon; 1-2 TBSP for 1L or 1 quart).
Let sit for 2 days, longer (3-4) if diabetic or otherwise don’t want any sugar left.
In order to get my grains for the final first ferment step I just mentioned, I first have to drain my previous first ferment that I have already let sit a few days – my grains are on the bottom of that jar. So we will jump into…
Making Water Kefir – the Second Ferment
Below you can see my 3L Fido that I am about to fill with “first ferment” kefir water. I also have a 2L beside it. I will pour the 5L first ferment into these two jars and top them off with two different juices for the second ferment.
Here is the set-up I used at the time I took these photos: a strainer balanced on a wide-mouth mason jar funnel. I have now upgraded to this wide-mouth funnel with silicone insert. It catches the grains wonderfully without fear of spilling the grains.
Note: it’s been said you can’t use metal with kefir – more specifically, you should not use a reactive metal. Stainless steel is perfectly acceptable (my grains are flourishing), but you can alternately use this mesh strainer.
Here are all the grains I got after pouring the kefir into the two jars I had prepared. Looks like they doubled nicely (about 1 cup).
Here you can see I have filled both jars almost to the shoulder with the first ferment kefir water.
Below you can see I have added juice (we like grape, pomegranate, and cherry – not together ), beginning the “second ferment.” This second ferment not only adds a pleasant flavor, but boosts probiotic activity. I add about 1 or 1-1/2 cups juice per jar (roughly 1/2 cup per liter or quart). These jars are ready to cap and put on the shelf for another 2-4 days.
Note: you can also use fresh or frozen fruit instead of juice. I haven’t tried this yet, but I have heard it should be swapped out after 24 hours. Just a FYI
Next you will see the jar we started with, after I added the kefir grains. You can see some ice is still floating on the top, and the grains have settled on the bottom. I leave it here like this 2-4 days before straining the grains and starting a second ferment.
Here they are in my fermenting corner cab
L-R: 2L then 3L Fido’s on their second ferment, then a 5L in the back beginning its first ferment.
Tip: Here is a photo of the first ferment after it has been sitting 2-4 days. It turns from a dark brown to a golden honey and is a nice visual cue that it is ready. The “W” indicates I started the batch on Wednesday (it’s easy to loose track of how many days it’s been there!).
Finally, after using 6 TBSP kefir grains for the new ferment, I still have about that much left. What do I do with the extra kefir grains? Toss them in a snack baggy and freeze them. I keep them for backup or to share with friends. I have about a gallon now so I really need to just….feed them to my animals!
Where can I find kefir grains?
Although you can purchase water kefir grains on amazon, or from Culture’s for Health, there is a lovely group on Facebook where you can request kefir grains from others willing to ship them to you free or just for the cost of shipping. Here is the link: Share or find kefir grains, kombucha, sourdough, etc…
Another Facebook group I like is: I Love Water Kefir!
And of course you are free to join my Fido Fermentation group
Where can I find Fido jars?
The best prices are if you can find them locally: Christmas Tree Shoppe, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Ross, and The Container Store.
You can also get them online. Best prices online are from Sur la Table and Crate and Barrel. You can also find Fido jars on amazon.
The big question is: does it taste better when made in a Fido with a cobalt blue lid?
I haven’t been able to prove it scientifically, but I am positive they do
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|Lea Harris founded Nourishing Treasures in 2006. A mom passionate about her family's health and well-being, Lea believes education is power. Encouraging others to take baby steps in the right direction of health for their families, Lea's goal is to raise awareness of what goes into our mouths and on our bodies, providing natural alternative information that promotes health and prevents disease by using traditional foods and nature's medicine.|
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