Updated: Dec 4, 2020
You're still not regularly eating fermented things? Pathetic.
We've already made a post about milk Kefir here, but today I wanted to promote and share my stupid easy favorite lifestyle additives all should participate in.
It's just as healthy as milk kefir but uses water, which is allegedly more palatable by children or folks who don't have as much change sitting around for constant milk dedication. A shame, I know.
The grains for water kefir are known as tibicos, California bees, Japanese water crystals and other names. Water kefir is thought to have originated in the late 1800s. Original grains are found in Mexico, Tibet, the Caucasus Mountains, and the southern peninsula of the Ukraine.
If done correctly, you should have powerful immune and gut boosting liquids within 24-48 hours. We wait 48 and allow our drained kefir liquid to sit with fruit or juice to carbonate it and further ferment.
Why water kefir?
Water kefir has regularly shown to contain 56 different bacterial and yeast strains. This means it's better for your gut than yogurt.
In animal studies, kefir has also been shown to help suppress inflammatory responses triggered by issues like asthma.
Water kefir is highly rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.
Good bacteria = no candida over growth. Proper food digestion. Better blood circulation.
Healthy gut flora promotes muscle development.
This might make you poop yourself the first couple of times, that's normal. This happens because all the bad yeast and bacteria are being flushed out of you.
There's a million benefits to it, but mainly just being healthy. Obviously you're not going to become healthy just by drinking kefir, but it's a huge start.
Where to get starter grains?
I always source fermentation starters on etsy or somewhere I can get a live (not dried) starter. This current batch came from a live starter from Ireland.
You can buy dried ones but I personally never have. You only need a few tablespoons to get going.
If you keep them healthy, you will never have to buy grains again.
How To Make It:
1.) Combine 1/2 cup (118 ml) of hot non-chlorinated water with 1/4 cup (50 grams) of whatever sugar you like (we use cane) in a jar and swirl the mixture together to dissolve.
We add 6 raisins and a lemon slice for nutrients, you don't have to though.
2.) Next, add about 3 cups (710 ml) of non-chlorinated water to the jar, along with your water kefir grains.
3.) Cover and place the jar in a warm area with a temperature around 68–85°F (20–30°C) and let it ferment for 24–48 hours.
You can stop here. Or you can add your fruit & juice. Really whatever flavoring.
We take just the liquid out of the jar, leaving the grains, and add it to fresh fruit/juices. We then let it sit for another 24-48 hours with the lid on, with daily burping so it wont explode, allowing it to carbonate.
The longer you let it sit, the more fizz it will have.
How does it taste?
If you like beer or mead you'll love it. A little zing, a little sweet, a little tart. Very palatable. The bacteria and yeast eat almost all the sugar so it shouldn't be overwhelmingly sweet, depending on what you use.
You can easily trick kids or picky eaters into enjoying this. It is not like milk kefir.
"I don't have time for this":
Our ancestors managed to ferment all kinds of shit while doing much more than we do.
It really is worth the time and it's so very easy. It takes less than 10 minutes and feels easier than making a pot of coffee.
Every morning after I feed the chickens/rabbits I fill our old ferment jar with well water, and make a new batch with the grains.
It's not even a thought in my mind anymore. You seldom have to clean the original jar and when you take a vacation you just pop it into the fridge.
Decide to make a simple effort for your health today and you won't regret it tomorrow.