Water kefir when plain is sweet, light and effervescent. But when you add flavor to it, it becomes way better and could help you in kicking your soda drinking habit. If you want to bring your water kefir to another level, you need to learn how to flavor it.
Flavoring water kefir can be done in two ways. One, by adding the flavor during the first fermentation. Second, by adding the flavor in the second fermentation, just like how you flavor Kombucha. Whichever way you choose doesn’t matter. That’s how easy it is!
Flavoring during First Fermentation
Unlike Kombucha, you can flavor water kefir during the first fermentation. To do this, you just need to add whatever flavor you’d like to the brew. You’ll know it’s ready when the concoction becomes fizzy, or after 24 – 48 hours. Once it’s ready, all you have to do is to strain it and separate the grains from the fruits/herbs/veggies you added as flavoring and the brewed water kefir.
Flavoring after first fermentation
If you choose to flavor after first fermentation, just pour the brewed water kefir to your jars or bottles and add in the flavors you like and wait for a few hours or until the flavor has incorporated well to the water kefir.
What flavors can I use?
Anything under the sun! Of course, as long as it’s edible. Like Kombucha, you can add any fruit, herb, spice, even veggies you like to flavor your water kefir. My personal favorite flavors are mango and lemon.
To make the Mango water kefir, all I do is just slice some ripe mangoes and add them to the freshly harvested water kefir (meaning, after first fermentation) then let it sit for 4 hours or more and serve it ice cold.
Do you have other ideas on how to flavor water kefir? Please share them with me.
What is Water Kefir?
Water Kefir, kephir, or keefir (/kəˈfir/ kə-feer), is a type of fermented beverage that contains different kinds of bacteria and strains of yeast that are considered as probiotics. It is quick and easy to prepare and delicious and beneficial to the gut. It could be slightly alcoholic, depending on how it was prepared. But many people and even children can enjoy drinking it.
Water kefir is a good source of beneficial bacteria, enzymes, organic acids, folic acid, some B Vitamins and Vitamin K. It is also known as tibicos, tibi, bebees, sugar kefir, Australian bees, beer seeds, California bees, balm of Gilead and ale nuts.
Trivia: Kefir was derived from the Turkish word “keyif” meaning feeling good.
What are kefir grains?
Kefir grains are like the SCOBY of Kombucha tea. But it is completely different from Kombucha because of the different bacteria and yeasts that it contain. Kefir grains grow when the bacteria and yeast come together and morph into one or two species because of environmental conditions. These grains are then used in fermenting sugared-water to make a fizzy and healthy drink. Kefir grains are called grains because of its size. They are tiny bits. They are translucent and look like gelatin.
What are kefir grains composed of?
There are a lot of strains of bacteria and yeast that are present in kefir grains. This happens because of the nature of bacteria – they morph into other species to survive.
Here are the list of Bacteria and Yeasts found in water kefir:
l.casei ss. pseudoplantarum
l. casei ss. rhamnosus
l. casei ss. tolerans
l. coryneformis ss. torquens
Is Water Kefir the same as Kombucha?
Definitely no. Kombucha has different strains of yeast and bacteria. Therefore, the nutrients that you will get from water kefir is not the same as what you can get from Kombucha. The ingredients used are also different.
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Water kefir is another type of fermented beverage. It is made by fermenting water with water kefir grains. Like kombucha, water kefir is also beneficial to our gut because of the probiotics that it contains. Water kefir is effervescent like Kombucha, but it is lighter. If you don’t like Kombucha’s tangy flavor but you want the same benefits that it offers, kefir is a great alternative. So, how do you make water kefir?
Basic Water Kefir Recipe
There are many recipes when it comes to making water kefir. Unlike Kombucha, you can flavor water kefir during the first fermentation. It is also up to you if you want to add minerals to water kefir. Many recommend adding minerals though, as it makes water kefir healthier. But if you can get muscovado sugar or black strap molasses, you may not need to add more minerals; since these types of sugar are high in minerals. So, here’s the basic recipe to making water kefir.
- 4 cups water (tap, mineral, spring)
- 4 tablespoons sugar (white, brown, muscovado, black strap molasses. I personally use muscovado)
- 4 tablespoons water kefir grains
Please note: 1 tablespoon of kefir grains is good for 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 cup of water.
What You Need
- 1 liter glass jar
- Tablespoon to use for measurements
- 1 rubber band
- Clean piece of cloth/coffee filter/cheesecloth
- Boil four cups of water.
- While you wait for your water to boil, strain your water kefir grains. Place it in your jar and set aside.
- Once the water has completely boiled, turn off the heat and add four tablespoons of sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the sugared water cool down.
- Once the water has cooled down, pour it over to your jar and cover with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Optional: add some fresh fruits like lemon, pineapples, fig, etc. for flavoring.
- Store the jar in a warm and dry place, away from the sunlight.
- Wait for 1-3 days.
- After a day, do a taste test. If the water kefir is water slightly sour, like a lemonade, it is ready.
- Enjoy your homemade water kefir and be proud of yourself.
Have questions? Leave a comment below.
If you know Kombucha, chances are, you also know it’s cousin – the Kefirs. I’m saying Kefirs because there are different types of Kefir. Th water kefir, milk kefir and coconut water kefir. In this article, we’ll talk about water kefir first. Because it’s my new favorite fermented drink, next to booch.
Water kefir is another type of fermented beverage. It uses water kefir grains to ferment water? Wait, what? Fermented water? Yes, it’s fermented water. Now before you call me crazy for fermenting water, let me tell you that it’s the bomb. It gives water that extra oomph, which is a gift from heaven for people like me who don’t like drinking water.
Water kefir is called as tibi, tibicos or sugar water. My mom calls it tibicos. The grains that ferment water kefir are not really grains. They are called grains, because they are small crystals, unlike kombucha SCOBY that is a lump of bacteria and yeast. But, these grains contain different strains of bacteria and yeasts.
So what’s in Water kefir?
What does water kefir taste like?
Plain water kefir tastes like water with sugar. The longer it ferments, the tangier it gets. It tastes lighter than Kombucha and doesn’t have that vinegary smell. If you can’t stomach kombucha and you want the good bacteria from it, drink water kefir.
Have you tasted water kefir before? If so, please tell me what you like about it in the comments below!