Water Kefir (Tibicos) | Chocolate & Zucchini | Fitness, Health, Running and Weight loss | Scoop.it

Water Kefir

- 5 tablespoons kefir grains (a.k.a. Japanese water crystals)
- 3 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
- 1 organic lemon, cut into quarters (or half of an orange; either way, you can also use just the peel after squeezing the fruit for another purpose)
- 1 organic dried fig (or a prune, or a dried date)
- 1 slice organic dried apple (or a strip of dried mango, banana, pineapple, or other dried fruit, unsulfured and with no preservatives)
- a couple of pods cardamom or a slice of fresh ginger or a stick of cinnamon (optional)

Makes a little under 1 liter (1 quart) kefir.

- a 1-liter (1-quart) glass jar with a wide mouth
- cheesecloth or thin cloth
- a rubber band
- a fine-mesh sieve (in a non-reactive material such as plastic or stainless steel)
- a 1-liter (1-quart) bowl with a pouring spout
- a 1-liter (1-quart) glass bottle with an airtight cap

In the glass jar, place the kefir grains, the sugar, the lemon quarters, the fig, the dried apple slice and the spices. Pour filtered water* to fill the jar, leaving a 1-cm (1/2") margin at the top. Cover the mouth of the jar with a four-layer piece of cheesecloth or, failing that, a piece of very thin cloth. (The idea is to let the air in but keep the bugs out.)

Place the glass jar somewhere cool (but not in the fridge) and leave to ferment for 24 to 48 hours, until the water takes on the color of lemonade. To check whether it is ready, taste a little of it: if you can still taste the sugar, it is not done fermenting.

Pour the entire contents of the jar through the sieve into the bowl.

Rinse the jar and return the solids to the jar. Add a fresh 3 tablespoons sugar and top up with filtered water to start a new batch if desired**. Every 2 or 3 batches, discard the lemon, fig and apple***, and rinse the kefir grains in fresh water before starting again with new fruit.

Pour the filtered kefir into the glass bottle (use a funnel if you're worried about spilling), close, and place in the fridge. The bottle should not be filled all the way to the top, as carbon dioxide will build up inside, and needs room to expand. Give it an overnight rest; it will be nice and fizzy in the morning. Drink within the next two or three days, and don't forget to "burp" the bottle once or twice a day to release the pressure.

* Chlorinated water may kill the kefir grains, so don't use straight-up tap water. If you don't have a water filtering jug, you can use water that you've boiled and cooled.

** If you won't be making kefir again for a little while, place the kefir grains in a small jar with two teaspoons sugar, top up with water, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I have read that kefir grains can also be dehydrated or frozen for longer storage, but I haven't tested either method myself.

*** You are welcome to eat the fig and the apple, though they won't taste particularly good, as all their flavor and sugar will have been "eaten" in the fermentation. But it's still fiber, I guess.

Via Sigalon