3

votes

Water Kefir without fructose?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I have been researching water kefir with the intention of trying to eventually replace my probiotics with whole foods that have probiotics, to help my digestion/constipation.

From what I understand the bacteria consumes all/most of the dextrose but leaves the fructose, giving water kefir its slightly sweet taste, so if I wanted to minimize/eliminate the amount of fructose in the water kefir could I use straight up Dextrose, like this?

635a69a93b3590fde44e942d003cf392

(0)

on April 27, 2014
at 11:39 AM

Thanks!)

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 04:46 PM

1. The taste of the kefir is completely consistent, and I have never had off tastes develop using dextrose. I did have off tastes develop from time to time using sugar.

2. I can leave the kefir grains in the dextrose for 7 - 8 days without deterioration. I don't know the mechanisms behind this, it is just observations.

3. Residual sugar as measured using a hydrometer is lower with dextrose in the same amount of time in fermentation. I plan to do a side by side comparison to make sure I wasn't fooling myself with this one.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 04:45 PM

1. The taste of the kefir is completely consistent, and I have never had off tastes develop using dextrose. I did have off tastes develop from time to time using sugar.

2. I can leave the kefir grains in the dextrose for 7 - 8 days without deterioration. I don't know the mechanisms behind this, it is just observations.

3. Residual sugar as measured using a hydrometer is lower in the same amount of time in fermentation. I plan to do a side by side comparison to make sure I wasn't fooling myself with this one.

As I said, this is about the kefir, not the fructose

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 04:45 PM

1. The taste of the kefir is completely consistent, and I have never had off tastes develop using dextrose. I did have off tastes develop from time to time using sugar.

2. I can leave the kefir grains in the dextrose for 7 - 8 days without deterioration. I don't know the mechanisms behind this, it is just observations.

3. Residual sugar as measured using a hydrometer is lower in the same amount of time in fermentation. I plan to do a side by side comparison to make sure I wasn't fooling myself with this one.

As I said, this is about the kefir, not the fructose smokescreen.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 04:27 PM

So having done the experiment, what did you objectively measure on the outcome rtm? Did your weight drop measurably? Did your liver function improve? Did your % body fat drop? I had to spend a lifetime screening schemes to convince our company to buy additives. I would look for the clearest demonstration of yes/no on an economic basis. The persistence of the salesmen was astounding, because they needed to sell stuff, and upon the failure of one product they were ready with another. Defoamers, starches, catalysts, you name it. I'm familiar with smokescreens. Show me the proven benefit.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 04:07 PM

Moving back to the basic post here, the question was asked if one could use straight up dextrose to make kefir. The simple answer is yes. I have proved that myself. Have you tried it yourself? If you are a chemical engineer, I would venture to say that you know the pitfalls of weighing in on something that you have not experimented with yourself. Setting aside any smokescreens involving fructose and whether it is good or bad for the body (I agree that all the evidence is not in, and it is difficult to make a compelling argument either way), my kefir grains responded to dextrose.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 03:50 PM

Actually I never asked for a healthy fructose eater. If you love fructose, go for it! No objection from me.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 03:48 PM

It's the obsessiveness that bothers me rtm. Why tamper with the recipe to get rid of a few mg of fructose. I'm a chemical engineer by training, with several decades experience in lignocellulosic chemistry. I know that a few mg of fructose is not a catalyst which will generate kg's of fat. I leave it to you to disprove that for yourself. Quit throwing up ridiculous smokescreens.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 03:40 PM

Entirely relevant rtm. You wanted a healthy fructose eater. I'd rather be him at 95 than fat jowly Atkins at 65.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:57 PM

I'm not sure what your biochemistry background is, but you must realize that you can't get kilos of anything from milligrams of another substance. This post asked basically if kefir could be made without fructose. The answer is yes. I think the arguments for and against fructose should probably be taken to another post, rather than muddling this one with that never ending saga. If you haven't tried dextrose in fermenting kefir, I'm not sure what your objection is, unless you just generally like to object to something different.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:47 PM

Fat can be burned off by exercise. There is really no argument about that. If you have a fat burning metabolism working well in your body, and exercise in good relation to what you consume, you most likely won't have a problem. There is really not a theory about fructose, any more than there is a theory about alcohol, when it comes to how the body metabolizes it. Fructose is not the evil substance lurking in foods to kill you. You can choose what you eat or drink, and choosing not to consume fructose, or consume alcohol, are personal choices. Jack is not really relevant to this.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:35 PM

Yes rtm google Jack Lalanne. If fructose theory had any vestige of truth he wouldn't have lived a healthy 95 years gorging on it daily. Show me the fat on him.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:34 PM

Dextrose doesn't cause the kefir to make slime or kombucha mother. I take a reading with a hydrometer before, during, and after my kefir is ready, and can confirm that using dextrose will result in a lower residual sugar content, ie fermented to complete dryness, without any off tastes forming. I don't add any sugar for the secondary fermentation, and get a great drink, full of bubbles and probiotics. When used with my ginger kefir grains, the resulting kefir drink is amazing, better than anything I have made yet. My regular kefir grains, when used with dextrose, is consistently good.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:32 PM

I know that. It's in some obnoxiously stupid book by Taubes. Tell what Taubes didn't: how many kilos of fat are a few milligrams of fructose in water kefir going to generate?

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:27 PM

Fructose is not used directly by the body for energy, but instead is turned into adipose fat by the liver. I don't think I really had a problem with this when I was younger, but as I got older, I definitely started responding to fructose intake differently. Consumption of fructose is not a lot different from consumption of alcohol, when it comes to the work the liver has to do to process it. Unless you have tried making kefir with dextrose, I'm not certain what objection someone would have to using it. Maybe there is a group of fructose lovers out there?

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:19 PM

I use 1/3 cup dextrose in 1 liter of water, and about 5:1 water to grains ratio.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 23, 2014
at 02:13 PM

Some people object to the fat that is added to the body by the metabolism of fructose by the liver.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 12:18 PM

Terminal stupidity.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 12:17 PM

Why on earth would you do this? This is obnoxiously stupid.

635a69a93b3590fde44e942d003cf392

(0)

on April 23, 2014
at 11:49 AM

I'm curious about the jug you're using. Is it a fruit-infusion style pitcher? I've started using a gallon jug with a spigot to do a continuous ferment, but I like the idea of the pitcher, too. I have a ton of extra grains to experiment with, so I'd like to hear more about using glucose. How long did the off tastes last? What temp. are you culturing at? Thanks!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:11 PM

The horror !

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 03, 2012
at 09:48 PM

Fructose is scary!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:46 PM

Yet another option is to strain out the grains and put them in new solution, then just let the strained kefir keep brewing at room temp--more and more fructose will be consumed and you can decide when the taste is "right" without risking the health of your grains.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Haha, Nance! I like your update on your answer. :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:44 PM

Hi, Dragonfly! My concern is that water kefir grains may/may not be able to read. Healthy growing grains = healthy, probiotic kefir.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:30 PM

I do know the longer you let your water kefir brew, while trying to avoid killing your grains, the less fructose you'll have. The grains eat the glucose first, then the fructose. Here's the thing--while I think my water kefir tastes "sweet" my friends say it tastes like vinegar. So our off-sugar tongues have changed.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:17 PM

I can't help with the 2-3 day question. I live in a warm climate and I change the solution every 24 hours. However, I add 1/4-1/3 c juice to a cup of fresh water kefir and re-brew at room temp for 24 hours. The second "brew" tastes less sweet to me and if sealed is highly carbonated which I enjoy. I sometimes chill the second brew but other times I drink it at room temp and like it either way. For me, btw, the first-brew tastes a lot like cider.

130e03323ec1beda6494050a9c018d3c

on April 03, 2012
at 07:08 PM

what about the total amount of sugar if I let it ferment for 2 to 3 days?

130e03323ec1beda6494050a9c018d3c

on April 03, 2012
at 07:01 PM

I went to eliminate as much of the sugar (dextrose or fructose) as possible, so I'll be left with a drink that's mostly probiotics. I know that probably involves finding the perfect amount of time of fermentation to let the bacteria consume all of the sugar, but not to too far, so the bacteria doesn't die off in the absence of sugar.

130e03323ec1beda6494050a9c018d3c

on April 03, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I went to eliminate as much of the sugar (dextrose or fructose) as possible, so I'll be left with a drink that's mostly probiotics. I know that probably involves finding the perfect amount of time of fermentation to let the bacteria consume all of the sugar but not to go too far so the bacteria doesn't die off is the absence of sugar.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on April 03, 2012
at 06:57 PM

for someone with digestive issues, fructose can be very problematic. too much gives me bad bloat.

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9 Answers

best answer

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Since water kefir grains multiply when healthy, wait until you have spare grains and feed your main grains as usual but feed the expendable grains dextrose. To be sure, you'd need to brew with both sets of grains/fuel for at least 2 weeks.

If the grains in dextrose stop multiplying or the flavor of the water kefir from the dextrose changes in a way that doesn't feel "right" I'd discard the grains and kefir.

I can't remember where but I think I read on one of the fermentation forums that using dextrose can result in slime or a "white thing that looks like a kombucha mother" growing.

From my reading, the amount of fructose in a glass of water kefir is really pretty small.

UPDATE: The following is on a kombucha-related site but seems relevant:

"Glucose / Dextrose (corn syrup). All Glucose will produce almost all gluconic acids with very little acetic acid. Reduces the activity of the yeasts (Crabtree affect/ yeasts over-eat) and helps balance a kombucha ferment from an over yeasty or foul taste. Also takes longer to brew, usually 8-14 instead of 6-8) and does not produce as thick creamy smooth mushroom. Use 25-40% more Dextrose than you would use white sugar to produces a much sweeter (less bitter taste) brew with reduced overall sugar. A combination of sugars seems to work best. Use 2 oz (60 cc) dextrose with 6 oz (180 cc) of organic sugar. Total of one cup of sugar per 3 quarts (3 liters) of water. Leaves little if any taste behind and is more completely fermented."

130e03323ec1beda6494050a9c018d3c

on April 03, 2012
at 07:08 PM

what about the total amount of sugar if I let it ferment for 2 to 3 days?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:30 PM

I do know the longer you let your water kefir brew, while trying to avoid killing your grains, the less fructose you'll have. The grains eat the glucose first, then the fructose. Here's the thing--while I think my water kefir tastes "sweet" my friends say it tastes like vinegar. So our off-sugar tongues have changed.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:17 PM

I can't help with the 2-3 day question. I live in a warm climate and I change the solution every 24 hours. However, I add 1/4-1/3 c juice to a cup of fresh water kefir and re-brew at room temp for 24 hours. The second "brew" tastes less sweet to me and if sealed is highly carbonated which I enjoy. I sometimes chill the second brew but other times I drink it at room temp and like it either way. For me, btw, the first-brew tastes a lot like cider.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:46 PM

Yet another option is to strain out the grains and put them in new solution, then just let the strained kefir keep brewing at room temp--more and more fructose will be consumed and you can decide when the taste is "right" without risking the health of your grains.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:34 PM

Dextrose doesn't cause the kefir to make slime or kombucha mother. I take a reading with a hydrometer before, during, and after my kefir is ready, and can confirm that using dextrose will result in a lower residual sugar content, ie fermented to complete dryness, without any off tastes forming. I don't add any sugar for the secondary fermentation, and get a great drink, full of bubbles and probiotics. When used with my ginger kefir grains, the resulting kefir drink is amazing, better than anything I have made yet. My regular kefir grains, when used with dextrose, is consistently good.

0
2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:18 PM

Elliefrance

Minimizing the fructose is relevant only if you want to restrict fructose intake. The kefir made from dextrose in my experience and opinion is easier to ferment and give a consistent tasting kefir water. Unless you have tried this yourself, I'm not sure why you would comment on the use of dextrose when making kefir.

0
7a777966a2b7f30251c358b6fe35936f

on April 25, 2014
at 02:10 PM

Kefir grains are fermented to give Kefir water. These grains are strained out and the liquid that remains is Kefir water. I have heard the procedure for reducing the effects of alcohol in the Kefir Water. For this process simply keep the lid open wile fermenting. But the process for minimizing the fructose does not make-up a relevant solution.

0
635a69a93b3590fde44e942d003cf392

on April 24, 2014
at 12:03 AM

One last question - what is your dextrose/grains/water ratio, please?

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:19 PM

I use 1/3 cup dextrose in 1 liter of water, and about 5:1 water to grains ratio.

635a69a93b3590fde44e942d003cf392

(0)

on April 27, 2014
at 11:39 AM

Thanks!)

0
635a69a93b3590fde44e942d003cf392

on April 24, 2014
at 12:02 AM

Thanks, @rtm! I've started culturing in a cooler with a mini terrarium heater mat. It keeps everything at a balmy 66* in my 58* house. Do you still get nice fizz in the second ferment?

It's never occurred to me to just let the grains go for a week and see what happens at a lower temperature. More experimentation!

I finished my first Whole 30 yesterday, and today, when I had wine at dinner, it was just too sweet - even though it was a dry white. I gave it to my husband and poured a nice glass of truly dry kefir instead.

0
2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 23, 2014
at 01:55 PM

The jug I use is used for fruit infusion. The off tastes faded away after one cycle of making kefir. I am culturing at room temperature, the kefir develops more slowly when it is colder, when it warms up too much the kefir develops faster. It has not been warm enough yet for me to see if off tastes develop when it is hot weather.

0
2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 15, 2014
at 03:37 PM

I've been using 100% glucose with my water kefir for a couple of months now, and have found that I don't get off tastes any longer. I've dropped sucrose or any form of sugar containing fructose from my diet completely. In doing this, I have noticed that I am much more sensitive to sweet tastes. When I make ice cream, using 100% heavy raw cream, I add 1/4 cup of glucose for a quart of cream, and it is still a bit sweet sometimes for me. Other people say they need to add some honey to it. My water kefir tastes incredibly sweet, but when I measure it using a brix float, there is zero sugar. I let my kefir go for a total of at least 10 days with the primary fermentation on the grains for a week, and the secondary fermentation in a capped bottle for anywhere from three days to a week, with no added sugar for the secondary. Also, I use a jug with a column running vertically in the center with holes in it, containing the kefir grains. This allows the kefir grains to digest the sugar that is distributed through the height of the jug.

635a69a93b3590fde44e942d003cf392

(0)

on April 23, 2014
at 11:49 AM

I'm curious about the jug you're using. Is it a fruit-infusion style pitcher? I've started using a gallon jug with a spigot to do a continuous ferment, but I like the idea of the pitcher, too. I have a ton of extra grains to experiment with, so I'd like to hear more about using glucose. How long did the off tastes last? What temp. are you culturing at? Thanks!

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Should work just fine:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermentation_%28biochemistry%29

The process of lactic acid fermentation using glucose is summarized below.[7] In homolactic fermentation, one molecule of glucose is converted to two molecules of lactic acid:

    C6H12O6 → 2 CH3CHOHCOOH.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 07:44 PM

Hi, Dragonfly! My concern is that water kefir grains may/may not be able to read. Healthy growing grains = healthy, probiotic kefir.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:16 PM

Haha, Nance! I like your update on your answer. :)

0
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 03, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Is there a specific reason you would want to eliminate the fructose?

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on April 03, 2012
at 06:57 PM

for someone with digestive issues, fructose can be very problematic. too much gives me bad bloat.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:11 PM

The horror !

130e03323ec1beda6494050a9c018d3c

on April 03, 2012
at 07:01 PM

I went to eliminate as much of the sugar (dextrose or fructose) as possible, so I'll be left with a drink that's mostly probiotics. I know that probably involves finding the perfect amount of time of fermentation to let the bacteria consume all of the sugar, but not to too far, so the bacteria doesn't die off in the absence of sugar.

130e03323ec1beda6494050a9c018d3c

on April 03, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I went to eliminate as much of the sugar (dextrose or fructose) as possible, so I'll be left with a drink that's mostly probiotics. I know that probably involves finding the perfect amount of time of fermentation to let the bacteria consume all of the sugar but not to go too far so the bacteria doesn't die off is the absence of sugar.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 03, 2012
at 09:48 PM

Fructose is scary!

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 03:50 PM

Actually I never asked for a healthy fructose eater. If you love fructose, go for it! No objection from me.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:35 PM

Yes rtm google Jack Lalanne. If fructose theory had any vestige of truth he wouldn't have lived a healthy 95 years gorging on it daily. Show me the fat on him.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 23, 2014
at 12:18 PM

Terminal stupidity.

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:27 PM

Fructose is not used directly by the body for energy, but instead is turned into adipose fat by the liver. I don't think I really had a problem with this when I was younger, but as I got older, I definitely started responding to fructose intake differently. Consumption of fructose is not a lot different from consumption of alcohol, when it comes to the work the liver has to do to process it. Unless you have tried making kefir with dextrose, I'm not certain what objection someone would have to using it. Maybe there is a group of fructose lovers out there?

2007965042e1c2507f93c81e5ea0e93b

(0)

on April 25, 2014
at 02:47 PM

Fat can be burned off by exercise. There is really no argument about that. If you have a fat burning metabolism working well in your body, and exercise in good relation to what you consume, you most likely won't have a problem. There is really not a theory about fructose, any more than there is a theory about alcohol, when it comes to how the body metabolizes it. Fructose is not the evil substance lurking in foods to kill you. You can choose what you eat or drink, and choosing not to consume fructose, or consume alcohol, are personal choices. Jack is not really relevant to this.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 25, 2014
at 03:40 PM

Entirely relevant rtm. You wanted a healthy fructose eater. I'd rather be him at 95 than fat jowly Atkins at 65.

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