I had been anxious to get hold of some water kefir grains since dicovering that milk kefir wasn't going to work for my daughter who has a milk protein allergy, or for me.....dairy doesn't agree with me and my skin was breaking out. It was quite hard to get hold of some water kefir grains to begin with. Finally, some weeks after I posted on Fermentation Nation, an international facebook fermenting group, one of the members directed me to a group based in Ireland, https://www.facebook.com/groups/irishkefirgrainssharing/ and from there I found a lady working very close to where I work in Galway who kindly suplied me with some. This is the good side of social media you don't always hear about......sometimes something you need is just within reach but not so easy to find.
Anyhow, the process of fermenting water kefir grains has a fast turnaround, just 24 hours. For precise instructions on how to ferment it see here. After 24 hours the water kefir drink is quite sweet. Once bottled, it can be femented a second time by adding fruit or fruit juice. After another day it will taste less sweet, and more fizzy. Depending on how long you allow the second ferment to continue, you can have a drink which is comparable in taste to pink lemonade, fruit flavoured mineral water or, at the opposite end of the scale, beer! Some of the different things I've tried adding are as follows:
- Lemon juice and root ginger
- Blueberries, blackberries raspberries and strawberries- any combination of these is really good.
- Slices of orange
This is a very palatable drink, and it's openess to variety means it can be tailored to individual tastes. Using fruit in the second ferment to make a lemonade-like drink goes down well with children.
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