What makes water kefir special?
I've already taught you how to make it and flavor it!
But why should you be excited about this fizzy and yummy natural soda?
Why Water Kefir?
For those who cannot tolerate dairy, water kefir is dairy-free! It's also rich in probiotics to aid a healthy digestive system, and quicker to brew than other beverages (such as kombucha).
It also has a variety of flavor options — your creativity's the limit! — which makes it a fun and nutritious soda alternative.
Dairy Kefir Vs. Water Kefir
Let's get 1 thing straight — water kefir isn't the same thing as dairy kefir (you can read about dairy kefir here).
They do both have a mother culture called “grains”, which are colonies of bacteria and yeast living together symbiotically. However, because the microbes vary in each culture, they look different.
Water kefir grains resemble somewhat translucent crystals, and remain separate from each other. Dairy kefir grains are rubbery, whitish, and look like a clump of cauliflower.
In both types of kefir, the grains feed on sugar, leaving behind an acidic, fermented, slightly alcoholic (less than 1%), probiotic-rich beverage. Water kefir grains feed on whatever sugar is used in the sugar-water base, while dairy kefir grains feed on the milk sugar lactose.
And guess what? You can actually use dairy kefir grains to make water kefir through a conversion process. The same grains won't work indefinitely, but since dairy kefir grains grow like gangbusters in milk, if you keep them going in milk on the side, you'll have an endless supply — without investing in water kefir grains!
Water & Mineral Needs
Since water kefir grains love minerals, the best water to use is clean, pure spring or well water. If using filtered water, add 1/2 a rinsed pastured egg shell to each fermentation.
If you have only chlorinated water, boil it to allow chlorine to vaporize. Then let the water cool to room temperature before making water kefir. You can also blend the water in a blender, since the aeration will encourage chlorine to vaporize. Always add 1/2 a rinsed pastured egg shell.
In addition to this, less refined sweeteners have more minerals. Water kefir grains love rapadura (unrefined sugar cane)!
For more detailed instructions on making water kefir, see our recipe.
Where To Buy
Do you love water kefir? What does it do for you?
For more information about water kefir, see our Lacto-Fermentation eCourse or eBook, both of which contain updated info, second fermentation instructions, bottling instructions, and other fermented beverage recipes.
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