Monday, October 22, 2012
How to make Kefir at Home
Water kefir is a beneficial probiotic beverage that tastes delicious! It’s a fantastic intro to cultured beverages and a great way to get kids (and adults!) off soda. Making water kefir is simple.
Once you have water kefir grains, either from a friend or some you’ve purchased (and rehydrated if necessary) it’s simple to make water kefir over and over. I make a quart or two at a time and always have a constant supply.
In a little bit of water, in a pot on the stove, dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar (I use Sucanat) per quart (32oz) of kefir you want to make. Add the sugar-water to an empty, clean glass quart jar. Fill up the jar with cool, filtered water, leaving about 2″ of headspace at the top of the jar. (Note: You will just want to use a little bit of water to dissolve the sugar, not the full amount. That way, when you add the rest of the water, the whole solution is room temp, not too hot, and won’t kill the cultures)
Stir, check the temp with a clean finger (should be room temp-ish) and then add your kefir grains. Cover with a coffee filter (and rubber band) or towel and put in a location that will be undisturbed and away from direct sunlight for 24-48 hours. (I tend towards 48 hours so that most of the sugar is used up. It’s always been plenty sweet this way.)
After that time, your kefir is ready, but you may wish to flavor it. I use a secondary fermentation method. It’s easy- don’t be intimidated by the terminology. Simply strain out the grains (saving them for another batch which you can start right away or cover your grains with fresh, clean, filtered water and a lid and refrigerate for later use) and pour your finished kefir into a flip-top/Grolsch bottle (or the mason jar if you don’t have anything else) and add some juice. Please use only 100% juice, organic if possible to eliminate pesticide residue, and you’ll add about 1/2 cup or so. We like blueberry-pomegranate or mixed berries, but feel free to experiment!
Let the kefir sit, with a tight-fitting lid, for 24 hours at room temperature. Then it’s ready! Refrigerate if you’d like it cold (we do) and enjoy!
Note: Use caution when opening the Grolsch/flip top bottles as the kefir is usually VERY carbonated and can sort of explode out, causing a mess and wasting your drink. Just open slowly (and don’t overfill to begin with) and have a towel ready in case.