Has a lost love of soda pop been nagging at you too long? We’ve developed a love of water kefir or tibicos in our home. A fermented beverage teeming with beneficial bacteria, it’s easily flavored, remarkably simple to prepare and more palatable than kombucha, offering a pleasant alternative to commercial sodas. Similar in flavor to a dry, mildly alcoholic and slightly fizzy lemonade, water kefir is pleasant and even small children can enjoy it. As with many probiotic foods and beverages, that faintly fermented flavor is an acquired taste – especially if you’re accustomed to overly sweet, sugary beverages. Impressively rich in micronutrients, enzymes and beneficial bacteria, water kefir numbers among the top ten dairy-free probiotics.
Water kefir, like kombucha, is first cultured by introducing a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) into sugar water. The beneficial bacteria and yeasts present in the grains metabolize the sugar and turn it into actic acid. Grains are small, translucent, gelatinous structures and are comprised of assorted bacteria including lactobacillus hilgardii which gives them their characteristic crystal-like appearance. When properly cared for and regularly cultured, they produce a wonderful probiotic-rich beverage and will continue to grow and reproduce indefinitely.
water kefir: the basics
By August 11, 2009Published:
Has a lost love of soda pop been nagging at you too long? We've developed a love of water kefir or tibicos in our home. A …
- 1/3 Cup Water Kefir Grains
- 3 Tbsp Organic Raisins or Other Unsulphured Dried Fruit
- 1/2 Cup Organic Sugar (Yes, sugar.)
- 1/2 Organic Lemon
- 1 Thin Slice Fresh Ginger (Peeled)
- 1 to 1 1/2 Quarts Filtered, Chlorine-free Water
- Disolve sugar into water. Do not use honey in place of sugar. Honey has antimicrobial properties and will damage your water kefir grains or delay their proliferation.
- Add water kefir grains, raisins, half a lemon and slice of ginger to the mixture of sugar water in a 1/2 gallon mason jar.
- Allow your water kefir to brew in a lidded mason jar at room temperature for 24 – 72 hours depending on the strength you prefer and the temperature of your home. The warmer your home is, the faster water kefir will brew.
- Strain the water kefir grains, raisins, lemon and ginger from the water kefir and bottle the liquid into smaller containers.
- Allow the smaller bottles to sit out for another 24 – 48 hours to continue fermentation and produce natural carbonation.
- Serve cold over ice and enjoy!