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blackbirdmama*3 01-27-2013 11:32 AM

water kefir??
This is my first time making water kefir and started with dehydrated kefir grains on Tuesday of last week. My kefir grains seem to be super active. We are already on our third batch and went from about 1/3 of rehydrated to over a cup this morning when I checked. I set 2 jars to do a second ferment with grape juice, 1 in the fridge and 1 out. The one we left out had an enormous amount of carbonation even though I set it out last night around 10 and opened it about 12.5 hours later. We have never tasted water kefir before but what we made tastes similar to kombucha just not as strong. How do I know if I am doing it right and what should I do with the extra grains? I scooped them out and put them in sugar water in the fridge only keeping out what I needed for the next batch that is brewing now.

slimy72 01-27-2013 12:51 PM

Re: water kefir??
I have a lot of the same questions! I'm on about my third batch but have no clue if it's right. Unfortunately if I am I don't care for the taste. But I'm going to try putting it in smoothies instead of just drinking it for now until I do acquire the taste.

blackbirdmama*3 01-27-2013 01:16 PM

Re: water kefir??

Originally Posted by slimy72 (Post 16212708)
I have a lot of the same questions! I'm on about my third batch but have no clue if it's right. Unfortunately if I am I don't care for the taste. But I'm going to try putting it in smoothies instead of just drinking it for now until I do acquire the taste.

I know that everything I have read says that the end result will still be somewhat sweet but mine is definitely not sweet at all. It tastes like I mixed grape juice with a mild vinegar. My dh likes it but he also loves kombucha :yuck: I can't get used to the kombucha taste so I was hoping that the kefir would be better.

ecocentric 01-28-2013 02:02 AM

Re: water kefir??
I started tending water kefir a few months ago. It does taste similar to kombucha, though to my palate, milder. In my experience you can vary the flavor quite a bit by the types of sugar you use, the fruit you add, and the length of time you leave it to ferment (bearing in mind that temperature will affect speed of fermentation.) I did read that grape juice may not taste the best. I mix it up but my favorite is to add a tablespoon or so of maple syrup to a cup of cane crystals (I brew a gallon), and add fresh oranges and dried mango to the secondary. I do also sometimes use sucanat and/or coconut sugar. I add a lot of fruit to the secondary, the oranges and mangoes, and also sometimes fresh lemons and or apples, dried pear, prunes, goji berries. Also I often toss in a few raisins in with the grains. Dh likes to add molasses with the sugar and use dried pineapple in the secondary- but that combo does not suit my palate. I'd say experiment to find what you like.

Oh and- adding a dash of vanilla to the cup you're about to drink can be delightful, almost like an orange cream soda.

catilina 01-28-2013 05:38 PM

Re: water kefir??
My favorite way is to add a tart juice to it after it ferments. I never do a second ferment, however, as I'm wary of the alcohol content. It is quite sweet after the first ferment and not usually very fizzy. I like to add 100% cherry juice, 100% cranberry juice, or 100% pomegranate juice. Also use it to make smoothies, pancakes, etc.

debcita429 01-28-2013 05:43 PM

Re: water kefir??
It's been about 1 1/2 years since I did water kefir. My stomach could never adjust to it all that well, but perhaps I should give it a go again.

Anyhow, if I recall correctly, since I was only drinking small quantities, I think I just let it ferment very slowly in the fridge--or else I left the majority of it in there and just added fresh sugar water now and then. Also I would put some lime juice and stevia in a cup and add it in. The flavor was not very distinct when added to something like that.

Really it will only be sweet if you do not let it ferment very much. If it has fermented a lot, it will be vinegary b/c it will have eaten all the sugar up. I always let mine ferment a lot before drinking b/c I usually avoid sugars in my diet.

debcita429 01-28-2013 05:46 PM

Re: water kefir??
Oh, and some people eat the extra grains. I usually threw mine out. I didn't have any friends to give them too or anything and could only handle so much kefir in my system. I kind of wish I had kept it going in the back of my fridge now just b/c I don't want to buy it anew.

Brooke789 01-28-2013 06:14 PM

Re: water kefir??
My DH would eat our grains. He said they tasted like gummy bears. I believed him and tried it. Nope, didn't taste like gummy bears at all.

As far as the 'juice' I really liked it. We did it for a year or so, but decided to stop making it after we got way backed up on it and it was really just taking too much time!

My favorite was always with grape juice and when we sweetened with black strap molasses it was the best. (We didn't care for it nor did it kefir as much on succulent.)

blackbirdmama*3 01-28-2013 09:00 PM

Re: water kefir??
Thanks everyone! Dh loves the grape juice one and I made some lemon last night and it is tasty. I am going to try pomegranate tomorrow. I literally have 4 quart jars full and dh and I are the only ones drinking it. No one else around here is even remotely interested in me sharing grains with them. :/ There is a ton in the quart jar I have fermenting now. I think when I strain those out I will rest them in the fridge for a few days until we get what is already made drank up.

How long is it good in the fridge?

debcita429 01-28-2013 10:03 PM

Re: water kefir??
I think it is good indefinitely so long as you keep adding sugar and change the water now and then. (I used water kefir for about a full year.)

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