Update: 7/21/16: After a few months of growing skepticism, I’ve pretty much stopped consuming any fermented products that are high in yeast (like water kifir and kombucha), unless I cook them… like sourdough.
Unfortunately, I can’t say I have hard evidence to back my distrust in these products. Basically, I still believe that the living lactic acid bacteria in fermented foods is beneficial, but I’m skeptical about the high amounts of yeast and some of the potential issues that can come from certain varieties (like candida).
At this point… I’m happily feasting on yogurt and pickled veggies, and am waiting for science to catch up with the more yeasty home ferments.
However… if you do understand the pros/cons and are interested, below is my original post explaining the simple process…
Water kifir is a beautifully simple fermented beverage that can be made at home with just sugar, water, and a starter culture. The final product ends up being a carbonated, slightly sweet beverage that can be flavored with any combination of things.
Essentially it is a pro-biotic healthy alternative to soda pop that you can make at home for dirt cheap.
The kifir starter is referred to as a SCOBY –Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast- and looks like a clump of translucent gel globs. Once the water kifir is left to ferment for a day or two, you end up with a fizzy sweet beverage that can then be flavored with fresh fruit or spices. Similar to kombucha, water kifir is teaming with beneficial living bacteria and all the other good stuff associated with live cultured food and drink…plus it’s delicious.
What You Need
Preferably purified spring water- but I’ve had success with all types
Not artificial sweeteners (stevia)
- Water Kifir grains
Easy and cheap to buy online, see here
If you have dehydrated grains, follow included instructions on how to re-hydrate first
1. Mix 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup sugar
Stir until sugar is dissolved
3. Add 3 cups of room temp water to mix
Ensure mixture is room temperature before moving to next step
4. Add kifir grains and cover with breathable material
Let it breath, but keep bugs out, I use a coffee filter
7. Strain out water kifir grains and start from step 1 for a new batch
8. Bottle and flavor
Transfer the finished water kifir into air tight bottles or jars and mix in juices, fruit, or spices to flavor
9. At this point you got some options:
-Drink your water kifir!
-Transfer it to the fridge where it will keep for weeks
-Let the jars sit at room temperature for a few additional days to continue to ferment and build up carbonation
Be careful, if left to long the bottles could explode!
Since water kifir is essentially just a fermented sugar water, it is very open to creative flavoring options. Some ideas are:
- Cranberry juice
- Lime juice
- Vanilla extract
- Ground ginger
- Fresh berries
But you really can’t go wrong, so get creative!
Water kifir grains are a bit fragile and do prefer to be fed fresh water and sugar at least every 48 hours, if you do want to take a break from making water kifir, simply store the grains in a sugar/water solution in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a couple weeks.