Buy Water Kefir Grains in India
What is Water Kefir?
Kefir means “feel good” in Turkish. Water kefir is also known as tibicos, tibi, sugar kefir, Japanese water crystals, bebees, Australian bees, African bees, California Bees, ale nuts, balm of Gilead or beer seeds. The grains make up cultures of various strains of healthy bacteria and yeast, held together in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. It is quick and simple to prepare, and once it is brewed, absolutely delicious. Even small children can enjoy it. It has a slightly sweet through to crisp, earthy, yeasty flavour, depending on how it was prepared. The microbes feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content is usually very minimal, less than 1%. In a nutshell, it’s a large dosage of Probiotics in the natural form.
Water kefir grains are translucent white and break easily when squeezed between the fingers. They more closely resemble irregular crystals. You can eat the kefir grains, they don’t have much flavour but are a good probiotic.If you don’t want to consume dairy products then water kefir is an excellent non-dairy probiotic source.
They are a natural supplier of Probiotics to our digestive track. Probiotics refers to the healthy bacteria that usually feed on the “bad” unhealthy bacteria in our stomach and intestines. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to many illnesses some of which include fungi, yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome etc. By drinking water kefir you will bring natural balance to your internal microflora. By contrast, there is milk kefir but if drinking milk is a problem then water kefir is a very good choice.
Do NOT dismiss water kefir because it contains sugars, and may be high in sugar. It contains and promotes bacteria that eat sugars, and therefore need to live in a sugar medium. Water kefir heals candida, and is suitable for diabetics in small quantities provided they monitor their blood sugar level. The numerous benefits of water kefir are too significant to ignore.
You can brew water kefir with a variety of fruits, coconut water, and various kinds of sugars, all of which come together to produce complex and beautiful flavours. After you have brewed your water kefir / tibicos, it is easy to add other flavours too.
The best water to use is mineral-rich water or spring water.
The chlorine in tap water can kill the microorganisms in the kefir, so leave it in an open container for half a day for the chlorine to evaporate off or boil the water , cool it and let it evaporate . Tap water often contains other nasty ingredients that inhibit kefir fermentation, such as chloramine and fluorides.
Filtered water is also OK. Remember that reverse osmosis (RO) filtered water and distilled water contain no minerals, so add some mineral drops to such water, use a tiny pin-head sized pinch of Celtic sea salt, or use mineral-rich blackstrap molasses in your recipe.
Do NOT use alkaline water to make water kefir. Water kefir needs an acidic environment and alkaline water will kill it.
Rinse your utensils well – do not leave any soap or detergents on them, as they will harm the kefir.
Fresh fruit should be organic if possible. Otherwise wash it carefully to remove herbicide and pesticide residues.
Dried fruit must be preservative-free, otherwise it will inhibit or kill the bacteria. Many dried fruits use preservatives, so try to buy organic.
Kefir can react with metals such as aluminium and iron, so don’t brew it in a pot made from those metals. Ideally use a glass to brew your water kefir.
Storage of Water Kefir
After you brew is ready, you can store it in a glass bottle at room temperature. If the lid is on tightly, it will develop a fizz or sparkle after a day or two, depending on the temperature, the level of residual sugar in your brew, and the particular yeasts that are in your culture. Warning: after a couple of days, considerable pressure may build up under some circumstances, and there is a danger of the bottle exploding. With your first few brews, I suggest that you gently release the cap to see how much pressure there is. After a few different brews, you get a feel for how long you can leave it.
If you put it straight into the refrigerator after bottling, you will get a still, rather than fizzy drink. If the lid is on tight, it may build up a little pressure, but it will take much longer.
You can store water kefir for years, the same as you can store wine. Its flavour and complexity changes, and it remains a delicious drink.
The perfect temperature for water kefir is 22C / 71F. However, it will thrive in a range of 18-28C / 65-82F. At higher temperatures some of the microorganisms will still thrive, but others will die off and the symbiotic integrity of the culture may be lost. At lower temperatures your brew will be OK but will slow down. If you do not need kefir for a while you can keep it in the refrigerator as long as it is above 4C / 39F. Freezing water kefir grains will usually destroy them.
When is the kefir ready to bottle?
Your brew should take between 1 – 4 days, depending on the temperature, the amount and health of the grains you use, the ingredients, and the water quality. New starter grains will take longer, and may need a few generations to regain their full vigour.
Taste it. It is no longer flat, sweet water. It should be dry, slightly sour, with an acidic or tart bite along with just a little sweetness. It is important that it is not sweet. Leave it long enough that virtually all of the sugar is gone. There may be a few tiny bubbles effervescing when you move the jar. Depending on the ingredients you used, it may taste a little like a dry red wine, complex fruity, or have its own delicious unique flavour.
If you forget to bottle your kefir when it is ready, a few extra days will do no harm. After a long break you may still be able to continue to use the culture. Smell it, and make sure there is no mould. It may take a couple of brews to re-establish the full symbiotic balance of the bacteria and yeasts.