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52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria – Week 26 – How to Make Water Kefir


How to Make Water Kefir - Water Kefir Grains - Probiotic fermented beverage Follow Me on Pinterest

I know, I know, another water kefir post?

Didn’t you just post about water kefir recently, Jessica?

Yes, yes I did. I know I just discussed water kefir a few weeks ago, but let me tell you. Fermenting in the anaerobic jars has changed my water kefir life! :) I seriously cannot get enough of the stuff and I am bubbling over (pun intended) with excitement about the subject!

This post has come due to quite a few questions that I have received over the last couple weeks about how to make water kefir at home. A long time ago, I wrote a post about how to make water kefir, but that was before I had learned more about fermenting, so I felt like it was time to write an updated post about the subject.

I was initially taught to brew water kefir in a mason jar with a coffee filter over the top. However, now that I have been exposed to more research on the subject, I have found that kefir (both milk and water) need to be anaerobic ferments. The only ferment that needs to be done aerobically is kombucha. So, since then, I have been using the anaerobic jars for my fermenting and I have never been happier with the switch!

Now, I know many people ferment in the Fido jars, and I did too for a long time. I feel an obligation to insert a couple notes here about the Fidos.

1. I have been told that the Fidos can (and sometimes do) explode. I know of at least one person who had a Fido jar explode in their house, sending shards of glass everywhere. So, proceed with caution if you are using a Fido jar for your water kefir. You can burp your Fido jar once or twice during the fermentation process to let off some of the gas buildup.

2. I have been told that Fido fermenting is not the best option long-term, because of the gas build-up that happens during the fermenting process. Some people say that the Fido will burp itself to let off excess pressure. Others say it won’t “self-burp” and that all the gas is building up in the ferment, can (and will) cause damage to the nutrients we work so hard to cultivate in our ferments. I wanted to share so that you can make the best decision for your family.

OK. On with the fun stuff! :)

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What The Heck is Water Kefir?

First, I’m sure some people might be wondering what water kefir is? Well, water kefir is a probiotic beverage that is full of all sorts of goodies, like beneficial bacteria, yeasts, enzymes, and vitamins. I always say that true health begins in the gut and water kefir is just one more tool in the arsenal of probiotic foods. It’s safe for everyone in the family to enjoy, even the kiddos. It’s especially good for people who are transitioning away from soda habits, because it gives you a fizzy, slightly sweet replacement for those bad-for-you sodas!

Water kefir is also called “Tibicos” and according to Wikipedia, it is a

“Culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. As with kefir grains, the microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas which carbonates the drink.”

This type of beverage is found all over the world. No two cultures are going to be exactly the same, because the bacteria and yeasts can vary depending on the environment that they are in. According to the Cultures for Health website (one of my affiliate partners), there are over 30 different varieties of bacteria that can be present, along with over 10 varieties of yeasts! This beverage is chock full of all sorts of goodies!

It is important to note that kefir grains (both water and milk) contain no actual grains. They are just clusters of bacteria and yeasts that form little clumps that sometimes look like grains (see the picture at the top of this post).

Of all the ferments, I think that water kefir is one of the simplest and most rewarding to make. If you get a good batch of grains going, you will have water kefir indefinitely! It can be flavored in a wide variety of ways, using fresh fruits, juices, herbs, and even veggies. It is a fast ferment, tastes delicious, and is especially refreshing during the hot summer months!

OK. That’s Nice. How Do I Make Water Kefir?

Like milk kefir, there really isn’t a set recipe per se. It’s more of a set of basic principles and then you can tailor the process to fit your needs and environment. Note, you can use coconut water instead of sugar water. If you use coconut water, you don’t need to add any additional sugar. I recommend adding some additional minerals, like a few drops of liquid minerals or a clean egg shell. To find a brand of coconut water, check out my coconut water comparison post.

A couple of important notes:

1. Water kefir grains LOVE minerals, so I give them a variety of mineral sources (molasses, maple syrup, sea salt, liquid minerals, egg shell, etc.). This is especially important if you use filtered water, or reverse osmosis water (like me). Depending on what type of water you use and how many minerals are in it, you can adjust the additional supplementation to see what works. If you use too much molasses, it will turn the grains brown, and your finished water kefir will be brown. This is not bad, but some people really don’t like the taste of molasses, so this might be too strong for them. I personally prefer to use maple syrup because of the milder flavor.

2. If you have just purchased dehydrated grains, you’ll need to rehydrate them first, before brewing your first batch, my affiliate partner, Cultures for Health, has great information on how to get your grains up and running.

3. If your grains are really happy, they will multiply with each batch. It could be a little, or a lot. It all depends on the water and how the grains are “feeling”. ;) These extra grains can be given away, used to start additional batches of water kefir, added to smoothies, yogurt, or cereal for a probiotic boost, or, if you’re like me, you can just eat them plain. I love them!

Have you made water kefir before? What is your favorite flavor? Do you have any questions about the subject? Leave me a comment below with your questions and I’ll add them to my water kefir FAQ page! You can also read my recent post “Water Kefir Revisited“.

For more information on water kefir, check out these posts:

How to Make Water Kefir

52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria – Week 23 – Water Kefir Revisited

Water, Water, Everywhere, and Lots of Drops to Drink!

Water Kefir Flavor Guide – Lots of Delicious Fizzy Flavors!

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food nut, coconut everything enthusiast, avid reader and researcher, blossoming yogi, and animal lover. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

Discussion

110 comments

  1. Thanks for the info, Jessica! I just received some water kefir grains from my daughter, who got me started with milk kefir a while back too. So I’m a total newbie to kefirs. Your cherry lemonade sounds luscious!!

    reply 

    Marie James
    Posted 07/16/12

    • Hi Marie – I hope this post helps! The cherry lemonade is by far my favorite flavor so far. I think mostly because the Colorado cherries have been amazing this year! It really adds a lot of flavor! Have fun and let me know if you have any questions! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

  2. Great post!

    I’d love to know how you made your Cherry Lemonade kefir. That looks so yummy! Around here, we usually just use grape juice.

    As for the theory that CO2 can harm the nutrients in the Fido, have you found any documentation about that? I am interested. I’ve heard that floating around, but I haven’t found anything concrete. I would like to know if it is true since I use Fido’s a lot. Thanks!

    reply 
    • Hi Lea – For the cherry lemonade, I just use a couple of fresh red cherries (I’ve tried the Rainier cherries and they’re not as good). I cut them in sections and remove the pit. Then, I add those to the second ferment with about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Super simple and amazingly delicious! :) I am still looking into the CO2 claims, so I can’t give a definitive answer on that at this time.

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

      • Great! What size jar are you using for the 2 red cherries and 1 TBSP lemon juice? Thanks!

        Did you ask the person who talked about CO2 toxicity to give you their sources? That should be easier than trying to find it on your own. I’ve tried, and can’t find any mention of it anywhere.

        reply 
        • Those are the small flip-top jars. I think they’re 12oz? I have some 20oz and 1L bottles and for those, I double and triple it. As you know, it’s all rough measurements anyways! :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 07/16/12

  3. Can you share your second ferment recipes? They sound great!

    reply 

    Crystal
    Posted 07/16/12

    • Hi Crystal – I’m working on a post about that as we speak! :) If you look at Lea’s comment below, I mention the recipe for the cherry lemonade.

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

  4. Oops! I’ve been doing a 48-hour initial ferment. It has a pleasant yeasty aroma, and it is still slightly sweet, even after a short second ferment in a bottle. But I haven’t added any of the mineral ingredients, so maybe my ferments are slower (my grains have already doubled or tripled in the past couple of weeks, so I’m pretty sure they’re “happy”).

    I’m using a 1.5 liter fido for the initial ferment (using one quart of water) and there is some fizz when I open it (at ~48 hours), but then after the short second ferment (12-18 hours) in half-liter grolsch-style bottles I don’t have any fizz. I’ve been leaving 2+ inches of space when I bottle; should I decrease the air space and/or increase the duration of the second ferment to get more fizz?

    Also, is it possible that those who are new to drinking water kefir may get adverse gut reactions right at first? My husband and I have drunk commercial kombucha and kefir before without noticing anything, but this home brew water kefir seems to be…noticeable ;)

    reply 

    Dana
    Posted 07/16/12

    • Hi Dana – Thanks for stopping by! The duration of the ferment is going to depend on your house and your taste preference. I have found that after 24 hours in my house, almost all of the sugar is used up, but my house stays really warm. There’s nothing wrong with letting it go longer, if you prefer the taste. Definitely try adding some minerals and see if that helps. They really do love minerals and I like to give them a couple different sources.

      In regards to the fizz, that just takes some experimenting. Some of my batches are much fizzier than others, but they almost always are fizzy nonetheless. Maybe decrease the head space to 1 inch and see if that improves your results. It could also be that after you start giving the grains some minerals, they will start producing fizzier water kefir.

      Water kefir can be strange … it really varies from environment to environment! Let me know if you have any other questions. Oh, in regards to side effects. It is always best to start off slow if you’re new to it. I personally never experienced any side effects when I started drinking kombucha and kefir, but I have heard people say that they have experienced die off symptoms. So, start with a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup and see how you tolerate it. Most people have told me that they don’t seem to have any problems.

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

    • Dana,

      I leave mine 2-3 days, it depends on your house temp. I usually leave it until the brown (from the sucanat) turns a golden yellow. For me, this is 2-3 days.

      reply 
  5. Hi,
    I would like to print this b/c I don’t have access to a computer by my kitchen but I don’t see a print option. Is there one?

    Thanks for posting. Can’t wait to try this!

    reply 

    Susan
    Posted 07/16/12

    • Hi Susan – It wasn’t on there when it published for some reason, but I went in and added it again. Let me know if you have any problems! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

  6. I have never tasted water kefir but want to try making it. Does it taste at all vinegary like kombucha? Also, can you use capped mason jars for the ferments or will they explode? What special items besides the grains would a newbie need to round up before starting?

    reply 

    Lisa
    Posted 07/16/12

    • Hi Lisa – Nope! It tastes nothing like kombucha. It is very mild. Your finished water kefir will taste slightly sweet and a tiny yeasty and overall very plain. I highly recommend doing a second ferment with fresh fruit or fruit juice. It is such a plain ferment that you can tailor it to fit your tastes!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

  7. Jessica -

    I was graciously given some live water kefir grains by a friend. I have had them in my fridge for about 6 weeks (I’m awful for having neglected them). Is it worth trying to make water kefir or will it be pointless since they have been inactive?

    reply 

    Amy
    Posted 07/16/12

    • Hi Amy – They might be fine. I have neglected my grains before and they’ve come back to life. Try making a batch of the sugar/mineral water and let them ferment for a day or two. You might have to run them through a few batches to get them back up and running, but I would not be surprised if they are still alive. :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/16/12

  8. Thanks a lot for this. I’ve been wanting to get into keffir (my Mom raves about it) but don’t have access to raw milk and the commercial stuff never agreed with me. Water keffir sounds like a good alternative. I’ll share this on my facebook page. Doubt that many people have heard of it.

    reply 

    Jim
    Posted 07/18/12

    • Hi Jim – Thanks for stopping by! You can also use pasteurized milk to make milk kefir. I don’t have access to raw milk, so that is what I do. There is a brand called Kolona Organics that has VAT-pasteurized milk, which is the closest thing to raw that I can get. It’s a gentle, low-temp pasteurization. Maybe they sell it near you too. Thank you for sharing! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/18/12

  9. Hi Jessica!

    I’ve been spending some time googling how to make water kefir with coconut water, and thank you for posting the simplest how to approach – much appreciated!

    Are you able to use mason jars to ferment the initial water kefir?

    Thank you!

    reply 

    Carla
    Posted 07/20/12

    • Hi Carla – Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad this post helped you! I started out using Mason jars to brew my water kefir, but I have since moved to using the Fido style jars and am very pleased with the results. The taste is much better in the anaerobic environment than it was in the Mason jars. I love it!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/20/12

  10. I was just wondering, once you move the water kefir to the refrigerator, how long does it stay good for? I have not attempted making it yet but want to soon. Also, what would be the best way to store the grains in between batches? Thanks for sharing the recipe and all this great info!! :)

    reply 

    kelly
    Posted 10/10/12

    • Hi Kelly – It will stay good indefinitely in the fridge, but it will continue to ferment, so the alcohol level could get higher and higher. I have never actually tested my alcohol levels in my water kefir, but I did have some that I let go for a looooooong time and it tasted just like wine. Fine for me, but not for kids or those who are totally avoiding alcohol. As long as you keep the batches smaller and use up in a timely fashion (a week or two), there should be negligible amounts of alcohol. If you need to store your grains, I always put them in an extra Fido jar with a double (or sometimes triple) sugar water solution (so, 2-3 times as much sugar as a normal batch), and some additional minerals. That gives them plenty to eat and they will also go a little dormant in the fridge. If I am storing long term, I switch out the liquid every few weeks. Let me know if that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 10/10/12

  11. i have been making water kefir for about 1 month- with very happy grains that double with every batch! :) my absolute favorite flavor is made in a 16oz bottle- with just a bit of pure blueberry juice (maybe a tablespoon- i don’t measure), 2 dried figs cut into small pieces, and a pinch of drief lavendar petals. it’s delicious!

    reply 

    Jill
    Posted 01/06/13

  12. My grains are multiplying very quickly,but they look like cream of wheat. I am using well water with the exception of coconut water for two batches. It apeares that the coconut water encouraged the growth and the texture but it doesn’t make sense from what I have researched. Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

    reply 

    Dina
    Posted 01/12/13

    • Hi Dina – Thanks for stopping by! My grains will sometimes do that when I let my batches ferment too long. I’ve also noticed that the old grains tend to go mushy and get that cream of wheat texture, while the newer grains hold their shape. They still seem to work just fine though! Remember that the grains LOVE minerals, but if you’re using well water, that should provide good minerals for them. Does that help at all?

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/12/13

  13. I have been making water kefir for a little over a year. I make it like you do in a mason jar covered with a coffee filter, then I pour it into an air tight bottle and leave it on the counter for a day to build up carbonation (which I love). I once left 2 of the Grolsch-style bottles on the counter over night and woke up to find that one had exploded sending large and small chards of glass everywhere in my kitchen, not to mention sticky kefir juice. I would find glass pieces in odd places for months afterward. Fortunately nobody was in the kichen when it happened.

    reply 

    Suzy
    Posted 02/13/13

    • Hi Suzy – Sorry to hear about that! I have personally never had that happen (yet), but I have heard of it happening. I don’t know if you’re still brewing or not, but if you are, always leave a lot of head room in the bottle. I typically leave at least an inch, but feel safer with 2-3 inches of headroom. I am glad no one was hurt! That was scary, I’m sure! Thanks for stopping by!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/13/13

  14. I have a question about putting fruit in for the second ferment. I have been adding sliced ginger, sometimes lemon, and sometimes orange to my second ferments, but was wondering if I need to remove that fruit after any specific amount of time. Will it make me sick? I would think that the bacteria in the water kefir would keep the bad things at bay, but I’d like to hear it from you..

    reply 

    Ann
    Posted 02/13/13

    • Hi Ann – I use fresh fruit, ginger, and lemon of some combination in almost all of my second ferments. I’ve never removed it and never have had any problems. Technically, you could eat the fruit too, though it tends to get pretty mushy, so the texture is not that great. I typically just pour my water kefir through a strainer to keep the fruit chunks from going in my glass. If you want even less waste, you can puree your fruit and add it that way. Then all of it gets consumed and you don’t throw any away! Does that help? :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/13/13

      • Yes ma’am, that answers the fruit question – I’ll just drink around it, as I usually make mine in mason jars, or the leftover bottles of the store-bought “Kevita” brand that I used to buy before I was making it.

        Here’s another odd thing that happened tonight – I bottle my kefir every couple of days, and two days ago I put a batch into bottles and added orange slices which I had peeled and taken most of the pith off of. I added about a teaspoon of organic sugar also. I screwed the lids on tight and left it on the counter for a day. Last night I put it in the fridge, and tonight, when I opened a bottle to drink, it was thick like syrup! What the…??? It tasted great, but I was a little afraid to drink it. It was about the same consistency as the syrup we used to pour off of canned peaches!

        It seems like this stuff turns out differently every time I make it, and I don’t have enough experience making it to know what’s okay and what’s not.

        With Kombucha, I just know that if I’ve made it properly, it might have a few variables, but they’re all okay, and nothing’s ever wrong with it. With this water kefir, I’m never so sure…

        reply 

        Ann
        Posted 02/13/13

        • That is strange! I’ve never had that happen before! Fermenting is always an adventure! :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 02/15/13

  15. If the only Grolsch-style bottles I have are 25oz. can i use them & only partially fill them up or does the contents of the 2nd fermentation need to come near to the top? Thanks

    reply 

    Rita
    Posted 02/13/13

    • Hi Rita – The closer to the top, the more carbonation will build. I personally leave at least an inch, but usually 2-3 inches in my bottles. During the winter, I find that I can fill them fuller, because they don’t get nearly as fizzy in the cooler weather. But, during the summer, be careful! Don’t fill them too full, or you’ll end up with a geyser of water kefir when you open it. I have never had a bottle break on me, but I have lost many a batch of water kefir by it spraying all over my kitchen when I flip that lid off. So, long story short? Leave a couple inches between to kefir and the lid! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/13/13

  16. What would you say is going on if my grains are growing rapidly but getting smaller and smaller util almost just a mushy mess?

    reply 

    Brooke
    Posted 02/13/13

    • Hi Brooke – You know, that happens to me too from time to time. I have never figured out what it is that makes them do that. What’s interesting is that they will turn into mush for awhile, but then they start turning back into the bigger grains. I don’t know if it’s just a natural cycle for them. I need to do more research on that — I’ll add the answer to my Water Kefir FAQ post. :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/13/13

  17. Thank you for the flavor suggestions. I am new to water and milk kefir and welcome any ideas.

    Also, are you saying you can 1st ferment milk kefir with the top on??

    reply 

    Cindy
    Posted 02/13/13

  18. I love in Denver too and am very excited to get started making my own water and coconut kefir. Do you know a local place to but the grains and flip top bottles?

    reply 

    rebecca
    Posted 02/15/13

    • Hi Rebecca – Nice to “meet” you! I love meeting new Deverites! You know, I am unsure who has any grains locally, but if you check with the local WAPF group, someone might have some. I have some extras, but they are spoken for at the moment. If you want to shoot me an email, I can save some for you next time I have extras (deliciousobsessions at gmail dot com). In the mean time, Cultures for Health carries them and they have a coupon right now for 20% off I believe. Here is their link: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/WaterKefirGrains and the coupon code is KEFIR.

      As fat as the bottles go, we have gobs of home brew stores in this fine city. This one should show the ones that would be closest to you: http://www.fermentedlychallenged.com/2008/05/colorado-homebrew-supply-stores.html. I’ve only shopped at Stomp Them Grapes! LLC before, but I do want to go check out some other stores. Also, sometimes TJ Maxx and Ross carry the flip-top bottles, but if you find them there, make sure you look at the bottom to see if they are Italian or French glass. I’ve noticed that they have been getting in cheap Chinese bottles that look similar to the Italian brand, Bormioli Rocco. I would not trust the Chinese ones. Always buy Italian. They will be the highest quality. Or French. The French brand is Le Parfait French Glass. These are the only two I would trust, because they are made with tempered glass and are designed for canning and things under high pressure. Just a word of warning. Also, Sur la Table carries both brands, so you could find bottles there if you’d like. The other option is to just buy the Grolsch beer and use those bottles — either drink the beer, get your friends to drink it, use it on your hair, make beer bread, beer cheese, soup, or, dump it out :) The Grolsch bottles are awesome! Hope that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/15/13

      • I got a clear Bormioli Rocco Moresca swing top bottle at TJ Maxx for $2. Then yesterday I went to Christmas Tree Shops to look for some Bormioli Rocco Fido jars and saw Chinese made bottles that looked like the Moresca bottle (imitations?) for $3! TJ Maxx had the Bormioli swing top bottles, but not Fidos (they did have some Le Parfait), and it was the other way around at Christmas Tree Shops. At Christmas Tree Shops they also had Kilner brand jars similar to the Fidos that looked nice — until I noticed the price tags said made in China. And I think they were more expensive than the Fidos!

        reply 

        Jesse
        Posted 07/11/14

        • Jesse – Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share. I have been noticing this trend as well, and like you, I do not trust the made in China ones. I wish they would continue to sell the BR bottles and jars. I got some great deals around here and stocked up before they started moving in the Chinese ones. Now I can’t find the BR or the LP jars anyplace!

          reply 

          Jessica Espinoza
          Posted 07/13/14

  19. I’m getting some WK grains soon…I’m curious why you aren’t worried about the 2nd ferment glass jars exploding. Seems like there is more fizz going on then

    reply 

    starre
    Posted 02/19/13

    • Hi Starre – I personally don’t worry about the jars exploding during the second ferment. The jars I use are tempered glass that are designed to withstand a lot of pressure. Grolsch beer bottles are the best for second ferments. I also leave quite a bit of head room, usually 1-3 inches during the winter and sometimes more during the summer. I have heard of bottles breaking before, so it can definitely happen, but I am not super concerned about it. I am always very careful when filling the bottles to leave enough head room and also very careful when handling them after they have been fermenting. Happy brewing! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/19/13

  20. I’ve gone through three sets of grains. Two were purchased from Cultures for Health and I used the open mason jar method. They rehydrated well and then slowly died over the course of about a month. I mainly brewed with molasses and occasionally tried sucanat or added an eggshell, or mineral drops. Nothing seemed to keep them alive better than the next thing, or even slow down their demise. At least, I assume they were trying to die because it seemed to take longer for each batch to brew, and when I would strain them, they would have normal, but small gelatinous grains, then on top would be a bunch of yellow/tan “sand”. (dead grains?)

    So, recently I got some grains from a friend who was brewing hers in a Pickl-It. I started them in a Pickl-it I have since gotten and they were doubling or tripling every time. The grains were HUGE too. After a couple of batches they slowed down, and though they do seem to be doubling, the grains are very small now. I began to follow your recipe today. I have a couple of questions:
    1) Does your WK get clear/white? The pictures you have on your flavoring post show very light kefir, and if I use molasses, the lightest it gets is yellow/tan.
    2) My kefir has NO carbonation. Even after I do a second ferment in flip-top bottles. The Cultures for Health grains I had did produce moderate carbonation. I have read that the yeast cultures provide the carbonation? Do you know if that is correct? I desperately want a carbonated drink. It makes it more fun for the littles and enhances the flavor.
    3) I went to the Cultures for Health website to find the strains of bacteria/yeast in their grains. All except for one or two species were facultatively anaerobic or obligatory anaerobes. The 2-3 aerobes would therefore die in a pickl-it…this seems like an unwanted result, but I am guessing that my previous grains were protesting against the aerobic environment, and therefore slowly dyeing?
    4) This WK from my friend tastes different (original source was not CFH) and I’m not sure if it is the pickl-it thing, or a difference in the bacteria/yeast varieties from the original cultures or what. When I wrote CFH about using an anaerobic environment to see what they thought, all they came back with was that they recommend an open jar. Since most of the species should be able to work in an aerobic environment too, why is this an unacceptable means (to many) to brew WK? Why do so many people have success with it?

    I am willing to buy more grains if it will improve flavor/carbonation, but it seems ridiculous because I feel something is off. I want to fix that before I spend even more money. I use water from the Berkey, unsulfured molasses, washed and oven heated eggshells, mineral drops, celtic sea salt….

    Any ideas?

    reply 

    Jennifer Brown
    Posted 02/21/13

    • Hi Jennifer – Thanks for stopping by! Let me see if I can answer your questions:

      1. My water kefir is not quite clear, more of a really pale yellow color. I only use a tsp. or so of molasses per 3 liter batch. If you’re using a lot of molasses, the color will stay darker. We don’t really like the taste of too much molasses, which is why I only use a tad. I also add sea salt and liquid minerals into each batch too.

      2. Carbonation seems to vary from batch to batch with mine. It also varies with the season. During the summer, most of the batches are fizzy, but come fall and winter, they slow down and get less fizzy. That said, I recently had a batch that was almost flat — just a couple bubbles. This was probably about a month ago. I was bummed too, b/c I love the fizz. Then, the very next batch I made, about two weeks later was SO fizzy that when I popped the bottle open, it immediately sprayed my entire kitchen and ceiling! Major bummer, b/c I lost almost the whole bottle! :( Same grains, same sugar/mineral water mixture, same fruit flavoring, but one was flat and one was insanely fizzy. I have yet to figure out why this happens. Looks like I need to do some more research!

      3. Wow. That is a little over my head — I didn’t know that, so I’m not quite sure how to answer. I will have to look into this. :)

      4. No set of WK grains will taste the same, b/c they do take on some of the yeasts and bacteria that are in their environments. Since those will vary from house to house, there will always be some difference. I would say this happens less with the PI fermentation than open vessel. I am going to look into this, as I have not done a lot of research on individual strains. All I know is that when I switched from open vessel to PI, my water kefir did a lot better and tasted worlds better!

      Let me email a a friend and ask about your questions, b/c I think you bring up some really good points! I’ll report back! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/21/13

      • I’m so new to WK my grains haven’t arrived yet but I’ve been immersing myself in google till my brain is scrambled. So just a thought for the woman who has had multiple batches from varied sources die on her. Does she use antiseptic soap wipes or lotions especially in the kitchen area? Do any housemates use antiseptic wipes? Is she using honey?

        A.

        reply 

        Andrea
        Posted 04/25/14

  21. I’m new to water kefir. Can you use the grains fron the kefir I use with my goats milk? Or is it a differnt kind of grain. Thx

    reply 

    Naomi
    Posted 02/24/13

    • Hi Naomi – Thanks for stopping by! They are actually two different types of grains. Each one specific to either milk or water. Since they contain different strains of bacteria and yeasts, I have been told that they are not interchangeable. Hope that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/24/13

      • Hi Jessica! This is also for Naomi to whom you were replying… uh… over a year ago ;-}.

        Water kefir grains can only work in water-based ferments. Milk kefir grains however can be used in water ferments. They don’t keep growing necessarily, but after an adjustment period they will ferment (like mad) in typical water kefir feeder solutions. In fact, they can produce a more alcoholic fermentation.

        Check out the ‘grandfather’ of online Kefir knowledge: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html Dom put together a mind-boggling website on these topics!

        Love your site, and best wishes to you!

        reply 

        Heidi
        Posted 05/11/14

  22. Hi Jessica,
    I’m excited to learn about kefir. I have celiac disease and hope kefir water helps with digestion and overall good health. Just got my kefir grains-they arrived in water in a plastic bag which was then wrapped in foil. They had a bit of a sour/almost vomit like smell. Is this smell typical? I rinsed them and made your recipe tonight. Looking forward to second brewing with fruit. Thanks for all the great information! Dorothy

    reply 

    Dorothy
    Posted 03/02/13

    • Hi Dorothy — I can’t say that I’ve had my grains have a smell like you described. They should smell slightly sour and yeasty. But the smell should not be offputting or overwhelmingly powerful. You’ll know whether they are good or not by how your water kefir turns out. It may take them a few batches to get up and running, so give them a few tries. You may need to toss the first couple of batches if they don’t taste that great. The last grains I received from a friend took about 4 batches to really get up and running. Hope that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/04/13

  23. Hello,

    My wife and I recently started making water kefir. I’ve made about 5 batches so far. I’ve followed recipes online. I usually do 3 or 4 cups of spring water, 3 tbs of water kefir, a quarter cup of organic cane sugar, and some sea salt. I’ve been using a mason jar and covering it with a paper towel. I let it sit in a cupboard for 2 days, and then I strain out the grains and put some organic mango orange juice in there and put it in a half gallon mason jar. I’ll do the secondary fermentation for a day and then throw it in the fridge.

    My two questions are:

    I haven’t really seen my batch multiply. Why is this? I’m using spring water and I haven’t let my grains come in contact with metal. Am I not letting it ferment long enough? I let the first fermentation go about 2 days before straining the kefir and making a new batch. Because it’s the winter and cold up here in Rhode Island (our house is about 66-68 degrees, should I let the initial fermentation go even longer?

    Second, I haven’t gotten much carbonation. I’m attributing this to the large mason jars being filled only half way for the second fermentation. I think I’ll have to get some quart size mason jars so I can fill them closer to the top. Is there anything wrong with using mason jars? I would like to get some Grolsch swing top bottles, but I haven’t found any. Also, the Pickl-It jars seem pretty expensive.

    Thank you

    reply 

    Kyle
    Posted 03/05/13

    • Hi Kyle – Thanks for stopping by! First, in regards to the multiplying, I would say that it is b/c of the temperature, or the grains may not be fully functioning yet. If they are new grains, they can sometimes take several batches to really get up and running. Also, regarding the temp, you could probably let it go longer. My house stays around the same temp during the winter and I do a week ferment minimum. I am going for as much sugar to be eaten up as possible, as I really watch my sugar intake. Sometimes I forget and let it go 10 days, but it can turn a tad alcoholic at that point. My grains have really slowed down with multiplying in the fall and winter. During the spring and summer when temps start rising, they get really happy again. I personally don’t use Mason jars anymore, because I prefer a true anaerobic fermentation process (read more: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/05/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-18-fermenting-methods-weve-had-it-all-wrong). Once I switched to the Pickl-It jars, my water kefir tasted the best it ever had. Yes, they are expensive, but I look at it as an investment in kitchen equipment. Some people buy Vitamix Blenders, I bought some PI jars! :) I learned to ferment in Mason jars (via Nourishing Traditions), but once I started using the PI jars, the flavor and quality of my ferments were amazing, so I stopped using the Mason jars. That said, we must all do the best we can with the resources we have. I wish that there were other options on the market for jars like the PI. Maybe someday, but for now, that is what I prefer. I ended up buying Grolsch beer at the liquor store and then just pouring it out. It was a waste, I know, but that was actually cheaper than buying them at a homebrew store, and I really like the quality of the Grolsch ones. Hope that helps!! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/06/13

  24. I’m so glad I found your site! I got some grains from a friend last week and I’m going to make my 3rd batch tonight. I have a question about the “clean” eggshell. What is the best way to clean it?

    I also saw a very detailed DIY hack using Fido jars and making them into Pickl-It jars. I found a few Fido brand jars at TJ Maxx today too. Anyway, I appreciate your blog and sharing of knowledge.

    reply 

    Amber
    Posted 03/19/13

    • Hi Amber – For the egg shell, only use a shell from an egg you trust. For mine, I only use the shells that I get from my parent’s chickens, because I know how they are raised and what they are fed. To clean them, I just rinse them off really good and let them air dry. I’ve never had a problem doing this, though I do know that some people will stick them in the oven for a little while to sanitize them. I haven’t tried that yet, but I am going to next time I have eggs on hand. Happy fermenting!!! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/21/13

      • Hi Jessica, what liquid minerals do you recommend?

        reply 

        Mary Bergey
        Posted 04/05/13

        • Hi Mary – I have heard good things about ConcenTrace, though I have never personally used that brand. Egg shells, sea salt, and molasses are all good ways to get more minerals into the kefir. The liquid minerals aren’t required if you have another source or two of minerals in the brew. Does that help?

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 04/06/13

  25. Hi Jessica, can I use a harsch sauerkraut crock to make kefir?

    reply 

    Mary Bergey
    Posted 04/05/13

  26. You say that water kefir is good for all ages…do you know – is just the plain water kefir (with no fruit juices added) alcoholic at all? I’m a little paranoid about it I guess…should I be serving this to my kids, or drinking beverages that are even slightly alcoholic when I am breastfeeding/pregnant?

    Or is it just an ‘unwarranted’ fear? :)

    I’d LOVE to add water kefir into our diet as another fermented drink…but don’t want to risk getting any alcoholic drinks into our bodies either….what are your thoughts on this?

    reply 

    Andrea
    Posted 04/28/13

    • Hi Andrea – Yes all fermented foods will contain a trace of alcohol (as does fruit). However the amount would be so low that it would be legal to sell to minors in most cases. If it is more alcoholic you would be able to taste it. The longer it ferments and the more sugar it starts out with the greater the risk of alcohol. I asked some of my friends who have kids and they all say they don’t worry at all about serving water kefir to their kids. The key is to make sure the ferment doesn’t go too long, so you may end up with a sweeter water kefir than others. Hope that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 04/29/13

  27. Thanks!! So…what would you say a good time would be…48 hours? Or less? I know it depends somewhat on the temp. of your house…but on a “normal” day where it’s not sweltering hot or freezing cold…how long do you ferment the water kefir then?

    Thanks for your help!

    reply 

    Andrea
    Posted 04/29/13

    • Hi Andrea – You will need to play with it, as it will vary. Try tasting it after 24 and 48 hours and see what it tastes like and which you prefer. It will be happiest at temps between 67 and 80 degrees. I do a longer ferment on mine, b/c I want as much of the sugar used up as possible, but there is definitely more chance of alcohol when I do that. Also, keep in mind that if you do a second ferment, that is when alcohol can build up, so you want your first ferment still be on the sweet side and maybe do a shorter second ferment. I’d say 24-48 hours for the first ferment and then 24-48 for the second ferment. During the summer, that might be even faster, due to the warmer temperatures. Does that help?

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 04/30/13

  28. Hi! I have some Candida issues, is the yeast in water kefir ok?

    reply 

    Lori
    Posted 05/12/13

    • Hi Lori – I was not completely sure about this, so I did a little research on Google and found the following two forum discussions, which might be of help. Keep in mind, the yeast in water kefir is beneficial yeast, so it’s not really the yeast you need to be concerned with, it would be the sugar in the water kefir. From what some people are saying on these forums, WK has been quite helpful for them in their fight against candida, though it will probably vary from person to person. Hope this helps:

      http://www.thecandidadiet.com/forum/yaf_postst3716_Sugar-in-Water-Kefir.aspx

      http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1805797

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 05/12/13

  29. Hi. I’ve been making water kefir for years, but a few months ago, they all went bad so I ordered new ones. I’ve been working with the grains I received for 2 months now, and they’re still not really making kefir. They smell fine, but the problem is that they’re not eating all the sugar properly, and then also not getting fizzy at all. I’m trying all different scenarios: 1st ferment in mason jar with coffee filter, 1st ferment in jar with air lock, 2nd ferment in an ez-cap bottle. They should be getting fizzy, and they shouldn’t still be so sugary.

    I’m using organic evaporated cane juice, and spring water, and different forms of minerals — sometimes sea salt and baking soda, sometimes a mineral supplement, sometimes molasses, sometimes nothing added. My proportions are approximately 1/4 cup grains, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 quart mason jar with spring water. I also have a 1/2 gallon jar going with 1/2 cup grains and 1/2 cup sugar.

    Have you heard of this happening? Is there any way I can get the grains to eat the sugar properly and also for the kefir to get fizzy again? I’m not sure what happened. It used to be so easy!

    thanks so much,
    Cregan

    reply 

    Cregan
    Posted 08/06/13

    • Hi Cregan – It’s funny that you bring this up, because I have recently experienced the same thing. I accidentally killed my super healthy grains that I had been using for years. I was so sad. I did order more and they were perfectly healthy, but never really got up and going. I then got busy with work and life and those grains also died, so I am grainless right now. I tried everything too — just like you. The one suggestion that I received from a fermenting expert friend was that when her grains started acting like that, she puts them in some sugar/mineral water, add a few strips of fresh ginger, and just let them sit in the fridge for a few weeks. She said this always brought hers back to life. I have not yet tried it, so I can’t attest to you that it works, but that might be worth a try. She said that kefir grains love something in the ginger. Hope that helps!! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 08/06/13

      • This truly makes sense to me, as there is ‘word’ going around since the 1950s that water kefir is actually the original “ginger plant” or starter culture for real ginger ale. They do absolutely thrive with the addition of a few slices of fresh ginger root.

        reply 

        Heidi
        Posted 05/11/14

        • Yes! They love that ginger! I have yet to actually make a ginger bug for true ginger ale, but I am going to try that soon!

          reply 

          Jessica Espinoza
          Posted 05/11/14

  30. I’m a little confused because Culture for Health said to use a mason jar with coffee filter cover. It’s interesting that your blog says kefir do better in anaerobic environment by using a pickle-it jar. I guess I’ll have to give it a try to see the result. My grain seem to multiply. However it’s so tiny… like creme of wheat. I do add molasses to cane sugar water. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you!

    reply 

    Pei
    Posted 09/30/13

    • Hi Pei – For years I brewed my kefir (both milk and water) in mason jars like CFH says. About 2 years ago, I started experimenting with the anaerobic vessels and I never went back. The quality of my kefir is SOOOOOOOOOOO much better than in mason jars. Better flavor, better quality. I am also working diligently to heal leaky gut issues that I have, so it is critical that my ferments are done properly. Mason jars run too high of a risk of mold and inadequate fermentation, both of which can harm leaky gut even further. That said, even if I didn’t have any gut issues, I would still use the anaerobic jars for fermenting, just because the quality is so much better.

      In regards to the grains, mine seem to go through cycles. Sometimes they are small and mushy, like what you describe (cream of wheat), and other times, they are large and plump grains. I don’t know why they cycle like that. They’ll be nice and plump for a period of time and they they start turning mushy, even though I don’t change anything in my ingredients. The molasses is perfect. Water kefir grains LOVE minerals, so I always add a little molasses and a good dash of sea salt to make sure they have lots of food. Hope that helps! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 09/30/13

      • A wonderful local woman here in NYC gifted me with 1/4 cup of kefir grains in late March 2014. They multiplied so astonishingly that right now, I’m just happy they still let us live in this apartment! ;-)

        One of the puzzling things is that when they reproduce, they do so as tiny grains (that cream of wheat thing) and also when they shrink and expire they do so as tiny grains. Usually though, the dying members float on top almost as a coating, then fall to the bottom and sort of disappear. They have moods, they are born, they give birth to others and they fall into the substrate as time passes.

        Fascinating guys, truly! :-)

        reply 

        Heidi
        Posted 05/11/14

        • Thanks for sharing Heidi! I experience similar things with my grains as well. It is truly fascinating!!! :)

          reply 

          Jessica Espinoza
          Posted 05/11/14

  31. Hadn’t read much about water kefir before but I know how important good intestinal bacteria is.

    Thank you for the detailed instructions.

    reply 

    James
    Posted 10/11/13

    • Hi James! I hope you enjoy if you give it a try! We could also use more good bacteria in our lives! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 10/11/13

  32. So, which anaerobic vessels/setup do you feel comfortable using? Thanks, Linda

    reply 

    Linda
    Posted 10/29/13

    • Hi Linda – I am currently using the Pickl-It jars, but I just found out about The Probiotic Jar, which I hope to try soon. :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 10/31/13

  33. Hi Jessica,

    I make milk kefir all the time. I just got some water kefir grains today.

    How far apart do I need to keep the raw milk kefir from the coconut water kefir while fermenting?

    Once in the fridge with the grains removed is it ok to have milk kefir sitting next to water kefir?

    I am just using the paper towel over a mason jar method at this stage. That is what cultures for health says to do. I hope that still gives all the good bacteria.

    I actually ferment my milk kefir ontop of the fridge as its a warm environment. Ive never put it in a dark place. So I might have to try that tip.

    reply 

    Teniel
    Posted 11/13/13

    • Hi Teniel – I have not had any issues keeping my water kefir and milk kefir close to one another. I only use anaerobic vessels, which reduces cross-contamination, but with the two kefirs, it’s not as big of an issues. You do want to keep your kefir and your kombucha apart though. In the fridge, it is completely fine. The Mason jar method is how I started, but I am finding my ferments are so much better quality after switching over to the anaerobic method. Enjoy!! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 11/14/13

  34. Hello! I am just wondering what flip-top 1 liter bottles you recommend? The affiliate links seem to be broken. I would really appreciate your suggestion! Thank you!

    reply 

    Cassidy
    Posted 01/06/14

  35. Does this type of beverage have any bad effects on teeth (such as carbonated water or other drinks with citric acid)?

    reply 

    Annette
    Posted 01/07/14

    • Hi Annette – No, not that I have found in my research. You should not really be drinking tons of it all the time. One glass a day (8-10oz) is sufficient — too much all at once could create die off reactions, especially if your body is not used to probiotic-rich foods.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/07/14

  36. How long after the second fermenting do they have to be consumed? Is there an “expiration date” ?

    reply 

    Crystal
    Posted 01/07/14

    • Hi Crystal – No expiration date, per se, but keep in mind that the longer it ferments (and it will continue to ferment some in the fridge), the more alcohol will develop. This might not be a concern, as long as you’re not giving it to kids. I’d say a week or so in the fridge would be fine, but once you go 2-4 weeks, you may end up with a stronger brew. I had some that I forgot about in my fridge one time for over a month and it was like drinking a very fine wine. So, in short, it won’t go bad, it will just turn alcoholic. :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/09/14

  37. Do you have an opinion on kraut caps? Would those work the same in place of the pickle it system? I’m just getting started and don’t have a full system set up yet. I am also using mason jars, but would like to upgrade for full benefits. Thank you for all of the great information!

    reply 

    Kristin
    Posted 01/18/14

    • Hi Kristin – I am not familiar with kraut caps, so I couldn’t tell you about those. I have recently switched to the Probiotic Jar (which is almost identical to the Pickl-It jars) and like them a lot better. They seem to have a much better seal than the PI jars do. But, all that said, the improvement in quality, taste, and texture of my ferments when I switched to the PI jar was outstanding. I say start with what you have and then as you are able, upgrade your tools! :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/21/14

  38. There is a typo in #6 of your kefir directions in the first sentence. I am confused about using bottles. You say kefir needs to be “anerobic” – so you’re using the Grolsch bottles in BOTH the first and second ferments? If you are, how in the world are you getting extras (like an egg shell) in the bottle for the first ferment? I have always used a mason jar with a regular screw type cap for the first ferment and then transferred to the bottle for the second ferment. However, my grains do not seem to grow much – could this be the reason? Can you please explain the differences between Grolsch, PicklIt and Fido jars and which ones are best for what stages of the ferments? Thank you.

    reply 

    Elaine
    Posted 02/09/14

    • Hi Elaine – You use the anaerobic fermenting jars (I use the brand called Probiotic Jars) for the first ferment. For the second ferment, you use the Grolsch-style bottles. The Grolsch-style bottles will allow the ferment to get really fizzy. Water kefir is typically not very fizzy after the first ferment.

      1. The Pickl It (PI) and Probiotic Jars (PJ) are essentially the same type of jar. They are a glass jar with a glass wire-bail lid. The lid has a hole in it for an airlock, which allows the jar to off-gas without allowing oxygen in. The off-gassing prevents the ferment from building up too much pressure and exploding the jar. See The Probiotic Jars here: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/Probiotic-Jar

      2. The Fido jars are the same as the PI and PJ, EXCEPT, the lid is solid and does not allow you to use an airlock. This can be dangerous because ferments need to off-gas. I do not recommend the Fidos for fermenting and I discuss this in the article above.

      3. The Grolsch-style bottles are for the second ferment only.

      I don’t recommend Mason jars any more and this article discusses why: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/05/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-18-fermenting-methods-weve-had-it-all-wrong/

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 02/09/14

  39. Sorry for the second email so quickly but after reading more posts, I will have to add into my list of jars that I asked you about: Probiotic jars? Those are not the same as PI jars you’re talking about. Can you please explain the differences between all these jars. I have read the confusion about the apparent site saying we “may be doing more harm than good” if we don’t ferment anaerobically and apparently they are ONLY recommending the PicklIt jars? I also read about “your” confusion but don’t know where you stand today? Can you update all of this for me and others?

    reply 

    Elaine
    Posted 02/09/14

    • Hi Elaine – I answered your questions above already. The article regarding the Mason jar ferments that I linked to has a recent update on where I stand at the very top. Hope that helps!

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 02/09/14

  40. Hi Jessica! Your post got me started on the water kefir journey! :) I’m still at the very beginning (brewing my 5th batch maybe…). I have a question about the anaerobic environment: I thought kefir contains a lot of beneficial yeasts. Aren’t those getting starved together with the bad guys in the Probiotic Jar?

    reply 

    Berit
    Posted 03/20/14

    • Hi Berit – Thanks for stopping by! So happy to meet another kefir lover! No, the beneficial bacteria and yeasts are no starved in the anaerobic jars — as a matter of fact, these jars actually improve the quality of the ferment. Thanks for stopping by and happy brewing! :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 03/20/14

  41. Hi, for the second ferment do I add the liquid and the grains to the second bottle with the flavouring? Or just the liquid? Thanks

    reply 

    Stephanie
    Posted 04/11/14

    • Hi Stephanie – Just the liquid. The grains are only used for the first ferment. Happy brewing! :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 04/11/14

  42. I have had my water Kefir in a 1/2 gallon glass container covered for about 10 days. I gave it molasses and a sugar. Is it still okay or should I through them away.

    reply 

    Erik
    Posted 05/09/14

    • Hi Erik – 10 days is a long time for water kefir to go. It is a really fast ferment. How does it smell? If your grains are still alive, then the mixture will probably smell really sour and yeasty. If the grains have died, you will probably have more of a rotten smell. WK that has fermented that long won’t taste good, so I would recommend straining off your grains and starting a new batch (as long as there is no rotten smell) and see if the grains can be saved. I would not let the ferment go more than 4-5 days max. Typically 24-48 hours is ideal. Cheers!

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 05/09/14

  43. Hey Jessica! Following your link, I’ve been looking through the Pickl-It site, and it’s sort of difficult to determine how to proceed. For example, I began the process of ordering several 2-liter jars since I work with four 1/2 gallon jars of water kefir on a rotating basis.

    So, glad I checked the Technical Specifications tab: “Volume: 2 Liter (17.5 oz)…” With one liter being 33.8 oz, I expected the 2 liter to be around 67.6 oz. The listed measurements seem about right, though: 5″ x 5″ x 8″. Should I stop bugging you and simply ask over at Pickl-It for clarification? :-)

    reply 

    Heidi
    Posted 05/11/14

    • Hi Heidi – Thanks for stopping by! I like the 2 liter and 3 liter jars the best. I do have one 5 liter that I use for things like pickles, but for water kefir, the 2 and 3L work best. I think that there is an error in the info on their site regarding the specs. 2 liters = 67.628 ounces, so that is definitely a misprint. I will email them about that, but you are also welcome to email them too. :)

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 05/11/14

      • Yes, they got right back to me and we’re set to go! Thanks again SO much Jessica, and very best wishes to you!

        reply 

        Heidi
        Posted 05/12/14

    • … correction to above: PROBIOTIC jars, that’s the site to which I referred – not the pickl-it site. sigh! :-)

      reply 

      Heidi
      Posted 05/11/14

  44. A friend gave me a Baggie with water kefir in it and told me to add water and sugar. Help…I feel lost! I am not sure what exactly to do…I strain it and just use the grains and discard the liquid? Then what? Do I just let it sit out with the new water I am suppose to add? Help :) thank you so much!!!

    reply 

    Melissa
    Posted 05/24/14

    • Hi Melissa – Yes, I would strain out the grains and discard the water they are currently in. Then add them to a new batch of sugar water (make sure the sugar water is at room temp). You then let it ferment at room temperature for 12-48 hours, depending on the temperature of your house. The warmer your home is, the faster it ferments. You can then drink as-is or do a second ferment. I recommend the second ferment, as you can flavor it with juice, fruit, or herbs and it tastes better in my opinion. Just follow my instructions in the post above and you’ll be good to go!

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 05/25/14

  45. “I have been told that…” isn’t a really great reference. If you don’t cite your sources, it’s little different than a bald assertion of fact on your part. What you’re passing along may be correct, or it may be someone’s biases opinion based on limited experience, but who knows?

    reply 

    Jeanmarie
    Posted 08/06/14

    • Hi Jeanmarie — Are you referring to my comments about the Fidos? If so, I was referencing discussions in fermenting groups that I was a part of where people shared their own personal experiences with fermenting in Fido jars. It’s not like that is highly scientific information and really doesn’t call for citing any sort of source, since it’s simply the sharing of personal experiences within those groups. I’m not making any specific scientific statements, which you can clearly see by the way I wrote it. I’ve personally never had a Fido jar explode, but do have a friend who has, so it can happen. Does it happen often? I don’t think so, but it’s worth throwing out there so that it may help people in their own fermenting journey. Not sure why you are so upset that I didn’t “cite my sources”.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 08/07/14

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