Making my own water kefir drinks

Following my last posting on introducing the health benefits of kefir (see “Kefir – The fermenting wonder“), I wish to share my experience of making water-based kefir drinks in this post.

To start, I need to have the kefir grains. Luckily, at this age of ubiquitous online presence, it is easy to find the supply. Many health stores are selling kefir grains and specialised equipment and products for making kefir at home.

I found Nourishme Organics (https://www.nourishmeorganics.com.au/), an Australian seller shop that offers 15g of raw organic vegan water kefir grains at about $20.  A reasonably low price to start with. Although the online store also has a combo set with premix ingredients and a special kefir maker bottle, I did not opt for it. I wish to demonstrate that water kefir can be made with everyday kitchen utensils and ingredients.

The kefir grains arrived in the post with an instruction set flyer. I am all set to go.

The water kefir grains – keep growing after a few rounds of fermentation.

First fermentation

Here are what I have prepared for making my first water kefir:

  • 1 packet of water kefir grains (15g)
  • 2 teaspoons of organic brown sugar (although the instruction was 15g, I cut it to half, just not a fan of too much sugar)
  • 500ml of cold water
  • 1 pinch of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon of molasses
  • A glass drinking water bottle (600 ml)

I didn’t put a slice of lemon as instructed as I was out of lemon at home.

The first fermentation is in process! Water bubbles are visible in the bottle.

I mixed water, sugar, baking soda, and molasses into the water bottle thoroughly until all ingredients were fully dissolved before adding the water kefir grains. The water bottle cap was left loose to allow for air circulation, and I placed the water on a counter out of direct sunlight to let it ferment. The instruction set advised gentle shake the mixture regularly every time I walked past. So, that was what I did. The rest of the work was left for the kefir grains.

The instruction set stated that the first fermentation should take about 24-48 hours under the ideal temperature of 20-24C. So, I waited for a total of 48 hours before straining the fermented liquid into another resealable glass bottle.

I tasted my first kefir water. It was a bit gassy but bland, not sweet. I figured it would taste better with a bit of lemon, the ingredient that I left out. In any case, the fermentation was done, and it was an easy process. I repeated the process again to make another round.

Second fermentation

Using the kefir water from the first fermentation, I followed the instruction for a second fermentation by adding fruit juice to the kefir water. The ratio was supposed to be 1 part of fruit juice to 9 parts of fermented water kefir, but I added more juice. I placed the mixture at room temperature for 1 day before moving it to the fridge on the second day. Again, the bottle was shaken occasionally.

After 48 hours, the second fermentation was completed. The added juice really enhanced the taste of the final product. The fermented juice was really fizzy, and it tasted great. The taste was very similar to the commercially made kombucha!  I am satisfied with my first homemade kefir drink!

Second fermentation near completion. Fermented kefir water with added juice.

A worthy investment

I have been continuously making this excellent probiotic drink for more than two weeks now. I would say the investment of the 15g of kefir as a starter is worth it. Firstly, I stopped buying commercially made kombucha, so it helped to save money. Secondly, I notice my bowel movement goes really smooth. Although I do not have any problem with bowel movement, to begin with, I do notice the improvement after taking the kefir drink. Since then, I have been passing a type 4 stool on the Bristol chart (See my post on “Check your stools, know your health”). I think this is a clear indication of improved gut health! Since I was out of probiotics supplement all these while, I am sure it is the effect of the homemade water kefir drink!

The final product – best to serve chilled!

Conclusion

It is easy to make water kefir drink at home. The process is straightforward, and the cost is low, and its benefits can be experienced immediately. I will recommend it; everyone can do it at home.

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