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Making Water Kefir – Part 1

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How to make water kefir - Living Homegrown

New to fermentation? First check out my post: The Truth About Fermented Foods

How to make water kefir - Living Homegrown

Plump water kefir grains & dehydrated grains

What is Water Kefir?

Water kefir is a probiotic, fermented beverage that can be flavored with a variety of juices. Some people drink it as a healthy alternative to soda.

Making water kefir has a definite cool factor to it.

  • It is not as well known as milk kefir. So, most people say, “Whoa – what’s that?” – Thus giving you a chance to spread the word.
  • Others have heard of it, but not tried it themselves so you become the expert to tell them how fabulously easy it is. (And it is very easy!)
  • When you mention it to people “in the know”, you are seen as a true fermenter who is taking control of your health in a fun, creative way. They get where you are coming from.

So Here’s Some Basic Info:

  • Kefir is made with kefir “grains”, but they are not in any way related to grains like wheat. They are really a combination of yeast and bacteria in a symbiotic relationship. (Translation: They rely on each other to live and multiply.) They are called “grains” due to their shape.
  • The grains turn sugar into lactic acid, carbon dioxide and sometimes a tiny bit of alcohol (less than 1%) and the good bacteria multiply like crazy creating a very nutritious, probiotic beverage. In fact, it has a much higher concentration of probiotics than yogurt and store-bought milk kefir.
  • Although kefir is very different from Kombucha (a fermented tea that is also made from a combination of yeast and bacteria) there are similar chemical processes going on.
  • Yes it is made with sugar water, but because the grains consume much of the sugar, the resulting beverage is actually fairly low in sugar. The longer you ferment, the less sugar you have left.
  • Once fermented, water kefir can be consumed straight or flavored with any combination of juices.
  • You can also give it a second ferment and create carbonation, which essentially makes it taste like custom soda.
  • Kefir grains are living things. They are fed by the sugar water and give back the probiotic benefits.
  • It is easily made at room temperature on your kitchen counter.
  • The grains are reusable – meaning that you can reuse them from batch to batch without ever having to buy more.

So let’s get started…

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