Are you looking for a healthy alternative to soft drinks? Water kefir is a fizzy, effervescent drink that is full of beneficial bacteria and enzymes.
It is made by fermenting kefir grains with juice, water or coconut water. You can flavour it with your choice of fruit, herbs and spices - everything from elderflower, hibiscus, raspberries, juniper berries, lemon or ginger.
In this article, you'll learn how to make this drink using dried grains. To get started, you'll need a packet of water kefir grains and water, juice or coconut water.
What is the difference between dried and fresh grains?
Dried and fresh grains both contain beneficial, gut-friendly bacteria.The difference between these grains, is that dried grains are dehydrated and designed to have a longer shelf life. This is ideal if you can't use your grains immediately.
Both types of grains are dairy free, vegan and kid friendly. With a little bit of loving attention, the cultures in your grains will continue to grow and thrive.
HOW TO REHYDRATE DRIED GRAINS
- Put one packet of dried grains in a glass jar with one litre of water.
- Add 4 tablespoons of raw sugar.
- Cover your jar with a piece of breathable fabric.
- Leave your brew to ferment for 24-48 hours. Keep out of direct sunlight.
- Once the grains are round and translucent, they are ready for you to start your brew.
- Drained kefir grains (from rehydration).
- One date or 50 grams of sulphur free dried fruit.
- 1/2 cup of raw cane sugar.
- 2 slices of lemon.
- 1.5 litres of water, coconut water or juice.
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda.
- Thin slice of fresh ginger (optional)
- Dissolve sugar in water and add the rehydrated kefir grains, dried fruit, bicarbonate of soda, slice of ginger and lemon.
- Cover your glass jar with a breathable piece of fabric.
- Brew at room temperature for 24-48 hours. Keep out of direct sunlight.
- Taste test your brew every 6-8 hours. In warmer weather, your brew will ferment quicker.
- Once your drink has a slightly tangy taste, and it no longer tastes like plain sugar and water, you can strain the grains. Bottle the liquid into glass bottles for drinking or for second fermentation.
- Wash your grains and brew again.
Click here to find out how to second ferment your kefir. Second fermentation is when you add 'fizzy' carbonation and exciting flavours to your brew.