Every morning when I wake up I excitedly run to the other room to see how my little pet is doing. His name is Gus and Gus is my yeasty bacteria (also called water kefir).
Now, don’t click away if you 1: don’t know what water kefir is (duuh, we didn’t hear about it until a few weeks ago either) 2: you are thinking: “why would you get excited about yeasty bacteria?!” (I am gonna tell you that soon), 3: you don’t have any water kefir (you could come by our kefir water farm for some grains).
So, let me tell you something about water kefir.
Basically, water kefir is a fermented drink full of a probiotic culture (live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health - like the bacteria in yoghurt). The culture in water kefir (that look like jelly pearls <3) feeds on sugar, turning it into probiotics and enzymes. While that is happening, the culture sends gas into the water and carbonates it. The end result: a lightly carbonated, sweet and healthy drink!
Probiotic products like kefir are especially good for your digestive system, which might seem kind of weird, why would consuming bacteria be good for us? Well, probiotics are often called “good” bacteria and can help move food through your gut. Also, they can help to protect from “bad” bacteria in your body and keep you body working like it should.
The kefir culture or kefir grains are like pets: if you care for them and feed them regularly, they will produce a delicious drink and also grow and reproduce indefinitely! This means that you can start your own kefir farm (this is totally what we are doing) or give your grains away to friends and family when it starts reproducing like crazy.
A few notes before you start your kefir farm:
* You can use any sugar you like but I like to use organic cane sugar. Do not use honey, honey is antibacterial and will kill your kefir pet :( it will be hard to start a farm without your pet.
* It is best not to use tap water (it contains chlorine and that is not kefir’s favorite food). What I normally do is boil my tap water and leave it on the counter for a while so the chlorine can disappear. You can of course also buy still water from the supermarket.
* Never use metal with your kefir because the grains corrode metal and it might kill them. Try to use wooden, plastic or glass tools
when working with your kefir.
* You can ferment anywhere between 24 and 48 hours, depending on what you like best. 24 hours gives a more sweet taste and the longer you ferment, the more sour it will taste.
* You can flavour your kefir water during and after fermentation. We are still experimenting with finding the best flavours (at the moment we like fresh raspberries + lime juice and dried prunes), but we will write about more flavours after experimenting a bit more.
Basic kefir water
makes 1 batch
60 gr sugar
3 tbs water kefir grains*
water (see notes above for more information)
also needed: glass pot or jar, coffee filter or tea towel and rubber band
Pour the sugar in a clean jar. Cover the sugar with hot water and stir it around until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the rest of the jar with cool water so all of the water is room temperature before you put the kefir grains in the jar. Place a coffee filter or tea towel over the top of the jar and attach it with a rubber band. Let your kefir pet sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours. When you are done fermenting, strain the kefir grains from the kefir water and make sure to feed the kefir grains in new sugar water so they will stay happy! Happy farming!
* People in Copenhagen: keep an eye out on our Instagram/Facebook page, there is a give-away coming from our kefir farm and some of you will be able to start your own farm very soon! (in other words: we are giving away some of our grains soon to some lucky readers!).
For readers that do not live near us but still want to start farming, try to see if your family of friends have some grains, if not, you can always buy them online (for example at Amazon).