Growing Water Kefir Grains

by | Sep 10, 2022 | Gut Health

How to Take Care of Your New Water Kefir Grains

Your New Water Kefir Grains will do best by feeding and growing them right away. You can put the container of kefir grains in the fridge for several days but the earlier you get started, the better.

Water Kefir Grains and glass of Kefir with fig

8 Supplies You’ll Need:

  1. 500ml of non-chlorinated water per 25g of water kefir grains
  2. 20g of sugar per 25g of water kefir grains. You can use any kind of sugar, although I like to use Billington’s organic unrefined cane sugar.Water Kefir grains and ingredients organic sugar and fig
  3. One 1 large sterilized jar (Kilner or empty sauce jar)
  4. One rubber band
  5. A coffee filter, a clean thin cloth or a sturdy paper towel
  6. One fine mesh strainer (NOT metal). This needs to be a fine strainer, not a colander used for noodles.
  7. Wooden or plastic stirring spoon. (Not metal.)
  8. Added mineral supply: Your choice of ONE of the following options: (Only use one of these at a time. It’s best to rotate your mineral supply every few batches, for healthier grains over time.) We recommend doing this once or twice a week, not with every batch.
    • A teaspoon of molasses
    • unsulfured dried fruit, such as 1 dried date, fig, dried apricot, prune, a couple of raisins whole or cut into pieces

Fizzy Water Kefir with plastic sieve

How To Make Your Water Kefir

  1. Prepare your water. In a mug, pour in 2 teaspoons of sugar and add boiling water to half fill mug. Stir to melt and mix in the sugar completely. Add the mineral supply of choice (from list above e.g. date). Add cold water and then let the water completely cool before the next step.
  2. Empty the entire contents of the kefir starter bottle (all the grains, and any juices in the bottle) into your empty sterilized new jar. Then, fill the jar up to about the 3/4 mark with your water-sugar-mineral mixture. Stir gently with NON-METAL spoon. Use 2 if there is extra mixture.
  3. Cover the jar with your coffee filter and use the rubber band to seal it. Put the jar in a warm place that gets light but not direct sunlight. If the jar is in a cool place, the kefir will still grow, but much more slowly. You can place your kefir jar in a north-facing window, so the grains will get plenty of light and warmth, but no direct sunlight.
  4. Leave the jar there for 48 hours. You may want to gently stir your kefir after 24 hours, but this isn’t required.
  5. After 48 hours, strain your kefir grains out. Keep the strained juice in a container of your choice, preferably glass. The fruit can be eaten. It will give a colour to the finished drink.

Water Kefir with Muslin

What You Can Do with Your Water Kefir

You can drink the fresh strained water kefir right away. if you’d like, many people like to cool it in the fridge. It can be added to smoothies or served with a slice of lemon for a refreshing gut healthy drink .

But be careful if you keep it in the fridge! The water kefir will continue to ferment, even without the grains. The taste will change with time and get sharper. Use the chilled fermented drink within 5 day.

Give your new pets a name. Mines called Súilín which is the Irish word for tiny bubbles.

Next Batch or Second Ferment

Now your kefir grains are ready to repeat the process, back up to Step One above, to start your second batch.   The grains can’t live long without food so you need to repeat the process for each batch of water kefir.

Note: Water kefir will taste like plain, sweetened water after the first fermentation. To add flavour and fizz / carbonation, a second ferment is absolutely necessary. Please see the second fermentation from Nutri Brew and kefirgrains.ie for further details. https://kefirgrains.ie/water-kefir-second-fermentation/

Tip: As your grains grow & multiply you will need to remove some of the grains to keep to the correct ratio. Always use the same ratios as above: 25g live water kefir grains, 20g of sugar to 500ml water. The more grains in the jar, the faster it will ferment. Longer culture times make a more sour water kefir, shorter times make a sweeter water kefir.

After your first few batches you will notice that your kefir grains grow rapidly (considering you take good care of them). Your Family Farmer suggest that can do four things with the extra grains:

  1. Eat them! They are very nutritious, packed with many beneficial probiotic bacteria. You can add them to your smoothies if you wish.
  2. Short-term storage – you can store water kefir grains in sugary water in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cold temperature will slow down their growth. Just make sure to rinse and change their water on weekly basis.
  3. Long-term storage – you can put the extra grains in a glass jar and freeze them. They can last for about 6 months or longer. Keep in mind that it may take a few batches to revive them after they’ve been frozen. They should be fine after that.
  4. Share them! As you accumulate more water kefir grains, just share the joy of making water kefir with family and friends. Give them your extra grains and teach them how to make their own natural “soda” at home.

Nutrition Facts from Eating Well.Com

Serving Size:  1 cup

Per Serving:  61 calories; protein 0.2g; carbohydrates 15.9g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 14.9g; vitamin a iu 0.5IU; vitamin c 1.6mg; folate 0.4mcg; calcium 16mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 5.5mg; potassium 39mg; sodium 7.7mg; added sugar 13g.

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