What is Kombucha? Kombucha is a fermented tea that is easy to make using a kombucha culture (tea fungus, SCOBY [...]
What is water kefir?
The kefir crystals (also called Japanese crystals, Japanese seaweed, tibicos or Himalayan crystal algae) are small, white-transparent lumps of various shapes. The microorganisms found in water kefir use water, sugar and dried fruit to produce a carbonated, sweet and sour refreshing drink that tastes similar to bitter lemon.
You will need the following utensils for the production:
- 30 g water kefir crystals (can be ordered on the internet or bought in a well-stocked health food shop).
- 3 tbsp sugar (preferably cane sugar or whole cane sugar)
- 2-3 lemon/lime slices or a few squirts of lemon/lime juice (organic quality)
- 30 g dried fruit (figs, sultanas, plums, apricots, dates or goji berries; unsulphurised -no sulphur or sulphur dioxide- and organic quality)
- Fermentation vessel
- Tea towel to cover and a rubber band to hold it in place
- Optional ice cubes 😉
Make the water kefir:
- Fill the fermentation vessel with cold water and dissolve the sugar while stirring, then add the dried fruit and the citrus slices or citrus juice. The dried fruit provides nitrogen, which the kefir crystals need for their metabolism.
- Next, add your water kefir crystals and cover the fermentation vessel with a tea towel so that any excess carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation process can escape.
- Place your fermentation vessel in a place protected from light for 1-3 days. The warmer it is, the faster your tuber will convert the liquid into a fermented soft drink. The optimum temperature is above 20°C. The longer your kefir ferments, the less sugar and the more carbon dioxide and alcohol it contains. On average, the alcohol content is 0.5 %, but the drink can also contain up to 2 % alcohol.
- Pour the finished drink through a sieve into a storage container and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to consume it. Rinse the water kefir crystals with cold water and use them for a new water kefir mixture. Before you start a new batch, rinse your fermentation vessel with hot water.
Enjoy your water kefir drink.
By the way:
Since the water kefir crystals multiply from time to time, you can give a few of these grains to others and give them away.
Components of the water kefir
Water kefir is a community of various bacteria and yeast cells. The microorganisms Lactobacillus brevis, Streptococcus lactis, Saccharomyces cerevisae, Acetobacter fabarum and Henseniaospora vabyensis are mainly found in the culture. In addition, various vitamins (B complex, C and D) and folic acid are transferred from the microbes into the drink.
What can water kefir be used for?
You can enjoy your water kefir pure, add herbs, juices/tea/coffee, add it to dressings as a sweet and sour ingredient, prepare it as a cocktail or make ice cream with it…so there are no limits to your imagination. Have fun with it!