6

votes

Hack my water kefir

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 19, 2012 at 7:49 PM

I have embarked upon a water kefir experiment in 2012. So far, I've been following the instructions that came with my live grains from eBay- hard water, 1/3 c sugar, a bit of molasses. The grains are reproducing quite well, doubling every four days or so, enough that I'm already freezing extras in week two. I'd like advice on two aspects:

Carbonation There are bubbles in the fermenting pitcher, but after being in the fridge pitcher, it comes out like flat club soda- a bit of bubble, but nothing to write home about. What's the trick to soda-like bubbles?

Flavors The molasses brew gives a gluten-free beer taste that's not all that bad, really (particularly if I could get some bubbles going...) However, I'd like some tried and true flavor combos that you enjoy. Is it better to use dried fruit? Juice? And when do you add the flavors? If it helps, I like it almost vinegary sour so the sugar content is minimal.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:21 AM

BTW, I drink a little of the "fresh" first-brew kefir every morning and then drink the fizzy stuff in the afternoon. They say different bugs are dominant at different fermentation points so I figure I'm getting the most variety by drinking it both ways.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:20 AM

BTW, drink a little of the "fresh" first-brew kefir every morning and then drink the fizzy stuff in the afternoon. They say different bugs are dominant at different fermentation points so I figure I'm getting the most variety by drinking it both ways.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:18 AM

I haven't reduced my fruit intake since I started making the kefir and I've continued to lose weight so I haven't worried about it. If you are currently drinking fresh kefir it probably has about the same fructose content as my twice-brewed since mine sits on the counter again and then spends 2 days in the fridge. The juice is for the kefir bugs not me but the flavor of the juice definitely carries forward. People on SHAD tell me the kefir tastes awful so I don't think there's that much fructose in it. Only people who are off sugar find it tasty.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:02 AM

I have a couple of the swing away stopper bottles, but I've been using them for kombucha. The joys of having too many ferments. :) I'll dedicate one to my water kefir and add that second ferment and see if I can't get some oomph. Thanks!

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:01 AM

No second brew here at all- this should radically up the fizz quotient. So your final mix is half juice? How much residual fructose do you think is left...I'm pretty sensitive to that. I'll be careful with my bottles ince they get nice and fizzy. Thanks for the advice!

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Do you refrigerate after the second ferment? If not, how long does it last?

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Ginger was definitely on my list! I'll try a second ferment with some sweetness and flavor for bubbles. Thanks-

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:16 AM

@Bill, LOL! My friends insist on smelling my breath every day and keep asking when the stand will open. Yesterday they sniffed my glass did exaggerated double-takes at the "boozy" smell--which it doesn't have according to my nose. :-))

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Where is your kefir brew stand again???

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:45 PM

@JCB, I'm old so I forgot after a while and had to wash the walls twice! LOL. Not fizzy enough is definitely not my problem.

  • D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

    asked by

    (2486)
  • Views
    5.2K
  • Last Activity
    1281D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

5 Answers

7
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 09:27 PM

In my "fresh" brew, in addition to 1 tbsp rapadura sugar per cup of water (non-chlorinated) I add a wedge of lemon, some raisins and a fig--everything but the lemon is organic and the lemon is thoroughly scrubbed. I also add small pinches of baking soda and bone meal and a few grains of Real Salt.

In the second brewing I mix about 50% fresh water kefir with 50% fruit juice. The fizziest I've made comes from pineapple juice--again organic. When I pour, I have an entire glass of foam that settles to 1/4 beverage and 3/4 foam. I've been known to use a spoon with that. :-))

Most of my other flavors, such as black cherry/blueberry, have about a 25% head of foam and 75% beverage profile. For the second brew, I use airtight-seal bottles. They stay on the counter for 24 hours and then spend 2 days in the fridge. Because of the fizziness, I "burp" the bottles before placing them in the fridge and I'm very careful to push down when opening the cold ones--you have to let the extra pressure out very carefully before removing the stopper.

Hope that gives you points for comparison. Based on what you described, I'm thinking you either aren't allowing enough counter time for the second brew or aren't adding new fuel (sugar or juice) or aren't using airtight bottles.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:21 AM

BTW, I drink a little of the "fresh" first-brew kefir every morning and then drink the fizzy stuff in the afternoon. They say different bugs are dominant at different fermentation points so I figure I'm getting the most variety by drinking it both ways.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:01 AM

No second brew here at all- this should radically up the fizz quotient. So your final mix is half juice? How much residual fructose do you think is left...I'm pretty sensitive to that. I'll be careful with my bottles ince they get nice and fizzy. Thanks for the advice!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:16 AM

@Bill, LOL! My friends insist on smelling my breath every day and keep asking when the stand will open. Yesterday they sniffed my glass did exaggerated double-takes at the "boozy" smell--which it doesn't have according to my nose. :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:18 AM

I haven't reduced my fruit intake since I started making the kefir and I've continued to lose weight so I haven't worried about it. If you are currently drinking fresh kefir it probably has about the same fructose content as my twice-brewed since mine sits on the counter again and then spends 2 days in the fridge. The juice is for the kefir bugs not me but the flavor of the juice definitely carries forward. People on SHAD tell me the kefir tastes awful so I don't think there's that much fructose in it. Only people who are off sugar find it tasty.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:10 AM

Where is your kefir brew stand again???

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:20 AM

BTW, drink a little of the "fresh" first-brew kefir every morning and then drink the fizzy stuff in the afternoon. They say different bugs are dominant at different fermentation points so I figure I'm getting the most variety by drinking it both ways.

5
0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

on January 19, 2012
at 08:09 PM

For flavor, I do a second ferment for both my water kefir and my kombucha in separate bottles, i.e. away from the mother culture, once it's as sour as I like. Usually I'll just add a slice of fresh ginger root, sometimes a fig, but honestly, I don't like them heavily flavored.

Mine do come out bubbly, but it's nothing like what you'll see in actual sodas. I don't keep mine in the fridge, just in pretty sealed bottles on the counter. I tend to lose the carbonation effect when I refridgerate.

Nance and a few other fermenters here may have some more tips.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Ginger was definitely on my list! I'll try a second ferment with some sweetness and flavor for bubbles. Thanks-

3
E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:36 PM

I second the air-tight bottles - that's the key to keeping your carbonation. You can generally find used Grolsch beer bottles around pretty cheaply because a lot of the home brewers prefer them. Those are the old-fashioned kind with an attached cap held on by wire (sorry, can't do the linky thing because I'm at work).

And pay attention to what Nance said about opening v-e-r-r-r-r-y carefully and "burping" them - best over the sink actually. You'll only do it carelessly once ...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 19, 2012
at 10:45 PM

@JCB, I'm old so I forgot after a while and had to wash the walls twice! LOL. Not fizzy enough is definitely not my problem.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:02 AM

I have a couple of the swing away stopper bottles, but I've been using them for kombucha. The joys of having too many ferments. :) I'll dedicate one to my water kefir and add that second ferment and see if I can't get some oomph. Thanks!

3
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 19, 2012
at 08:18 PM

You definitely need to do a second fermentation in a sealed container if you want carbonation. A small amount of sugar (for no added flavor) or fruit juice would do the trick.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 20, 2012
at 01:58 AM

Do you refrigerate after the second ferment? If not, how long does it last?

0
97a572467d0d32ad4d8aa8c69af4f13e

on February 17, 2012
at 01:11 PM

This is really interesting info, I don't seem to get anything but fizzy kefir water!

My recipe is for each tablespoon of grains, I add a tablespoon of sugar (I use raw organic and some raw cane sugar) and a cup of spring water. Then the additives, slice of organic lemon or lime, half a dozen organic sultanas, splash of bicarb, half a teaspoon of unsulphured blackstrap molasses and some organic eggshell. I usually make up 10 cups worth of water at a time. Stir wall, pop the lid on and I like to throw a teatowel over it, to keep excessive light out.

I leave this for 3 days. I strain my brew, always have at least double the amount of kefir grains (they obviously like this mix), then bottle my water and add a couple of tablespoons of organic pure juice.

I tried those bottles with the clip down lids. I'd release the pressure a few times a day, but it didn't prevent one of them exploding in my kitchen, spraying glass and kefir everywhere!

So I went to a home brew shop and bought plastic bottles with screw caps. If the pressure gets too much, all they will do is split and drip, not explode, too dangerous.

After 2 days of sitting on my bench, the bottles are ready for the fridge, where the fermentation process stops.

I can tell you, as soon as I unscrew the cap and pour it into my glass, its just as fizzy and refreshing as any soft drink!!

Cass

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!