Water Kefir - Ginger Beer
Kefir grains come in two kinds - milk and water (also called tibicos). Water kefir provides probiotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, such as kombucha. It can be made with many different flavors - please experiment. This basic ginger beer recipe is designed to give you a foundation.
10 Servings, 4 cups
- 4 cups non-chlorinated or mineral water
- 1 Tablespoon of water kefir grains. These are available from others making water kefir, or various other suppliers.
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- Thumb of ginger, sliced (optional)
- Sterilize a quart-sized glass jar and its lid. Wash you hands, utensils and work space well.
- Rinse the kefir grains in non-chlorinated water and add them to the jar. Cover with the water. Add the sugar and ginger.
- Set on the counter, in a dark place, with the lid loose. Leave for twelve hours.
- Check for fermentation. It should taste yogurty, not sweet and have a slight fizziness. If it is still sweet, leave it out for another 12 hours, then test it again.
- Once it is fermented to your liking, strain out the grains. Be careful to keep them clean and not touch them. They like to be handled with wood, plastic, ceramics or glass - not metal.
- The kefir is now ready to drink. If you want to store it, add some fruit to the kefir, then tighten the lid of your bottle or jar and refrigerate. The kefir will ferment more slowly in the refrigerator and get more fizzy. The fruit will supply it with some sugar to eat while it is fermenting.
- Store the grains in water and sugar in a jar in the fridge, rinsing and changing them every week. Or use them to ferment another batch of kefir, starting at step 1.
- Other delicious combinations are fennel seed/lemon/raisin, apple/vanilla, pomegranate juice. If adding fruits directly to the kefir grain solution, put them in a cotton muslin bag to stop them becoming mixed in with the kefir grains. The kefir will grow, doubling in size quite quickly. These can be given away, eaten or composted. The grains grow well with some minerals in the water or sugar used. If the mineral content of these is low, try adding a pinch of Himalayan Crystal Salt, or Celtic Sea Salt every few weeks to keep the grains healthy.