Water Kefir, Milk Kefir and Kombucha

Water Kefir, Milk Kefir and Kombucha

Water kefir

Water Kefir is a versatile delicious probiotic drink created by brewing water kefir granules in a light sugar water solution. It is an excellent way of delivering probiotics to the gut. (made with tea instead of water) is another.

The website Green Med Info has assembled an amazing list of more than 200 studieskefir3, which together explore more than 170 diseases which can be helped or treated with probiotics.
The conditions include:

  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • And even the common cold!

You may have noticed that probiotics are now featuring in articles relating to all sorts of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, depression and heart disease.

How about a recipe:
No problem, we will send you full instructions on how to make the Kefir, and here are some of our favorite flavoring ideas. Just be aware that your babies may have been hibernating for a while in the fridge, so they will need a couple of extra days to get active again the first time out.

To make water kefir you will need:

1 ltr of filtered water (or Boiled and left overnight on the counter to remove chlorine)
1/4 cup of Sugar of any kind (not honey)
2 Tbs Kefir grains
Simply add the grains to the water and leave on a counter, lightly covered with a cloth or lid to brew for 24 to 48 hours. You will notice the flavour start to change as the Kefir brews, and you can choose to allow the brew to develop more ferment and less sweetness to your taste. When is tastes ready, pour off the water to flavour and consume, and retain the grains, for a repeat brew.

My Favorite Water Kefir flavoring ideas:

Start with a normal first ferment: 1/4 cup sugar per liter of filtered or non chlorinated water, and 2 tbs water Kefir grains. Leave covered with a cloth to ferment for 24 to 48 hours depending on the weather. It should have a lightly sweet, slightly fermented flavour when it is ready.

Remove the grains and start a new brew. Now you can use this fermented water to add wonderful flavours.

Simply delicious single ferments:

Granadilla:
Granadilla1Oohh passion fruit are in season, this is one of my absolute favorites, not the least because it is so quick and easy.
2 ltr Kefir water – drain off the grains, and add 4 ripe, juicy, delicious granadillas. Leave for an hour or 2 for the flavour to come through. This one is good for a good 3 or 4 days after making, so go wild.

Lemonade: 

Peel of one lemon (not the zest) and the juice of that lemon into 2 ltrs kefir water (grains drained off) and leave for a few hours for the flavour to come through – also good for a couple of days.
You could take this to a second ferment if you want it carbonated – simply pour the resulting liquid into bottles with a lock sealing lid once the flavour has developed a bit, (leaving the peal behind,) and allow to ferment a second day on the counter.
For a little extra Pzazz, add a sprig of rosemary or lavender 

Orange / Orange and cinnamon:
Peel of one orange (peel don’t zest) and the juice of that orange into 2 ltrs kefir water (grains drained off) and leave for a few hours for the flavour to come through – also good for a couple of days.
You could take this to a second ferment if you want it carbonated – simply pour the resulting liquid into bottles with a lock sealing lid once the flavour has developed a bit, (leaving the peal behind,) and allow to ferment a second day on the counter.
For a little extra Pzazz, add a sprig of cinnamon, or chai spices or lavender 

Ruby Grapefruit:Ginger 1
Loving this one – I like less sweet, more tart flavours, so if you do too, this one is for you.

Peel of one beautiful fat ruby grapefruit (Peel don’t zest) and the juice of that grapefruit into 2 ltrs kefir water (grains drained off) and leave for a few hours for the flavour to come through – also good for a couple of days.You could
take this to a second ferment if you want it carbonated – simply pour the resulting liquid into bottles with a lock sealing lid once the flavour has developed a bit, (leaving the peal behind,) and allow to ferment a second day on the counter.

Kefir Cocktails for out and out and about
My current 2 favorites (no doubt I will invent a few more soon)

Mojito:
Peel of one sexy lime (or 2 or lemon if you fancy) (Peel don’t zest) and the juice of that lime into 2 ltrs kefir water (grains drained off), big handful of mint (slightly bruised to release the flavour) and leave for a few hours for the flavour to come through – If you intend to keep this one past your few hours, remove the mint leaves completely once the flavour has developed. I like to add a small chilli, sliced down the middle and floating beautiful, seductively red in the jug. Last time I made this, all my friends were begging me for the recipe.

 Pimms baby:
Peel of  lemon or lime (peel don’t zest) and the juice of thatLemon into 2 ltrs kefir water (grains drained off), big handful of mint (slightly bruised to release the flavour), and 5 to 8 slices of crisp English cucumber – you will be suprised at how much flavour cucumber gives. Leave for a few hours for the flavour to come through – Don’t keep this one – drink it up over long lazy summer lunchs! I like to add a small chilli, sliced down the middle and floating beautiful, seductively red in the jug. What can I say – I like the zing.

Second ferments:
Add a little more effort and another days brewing, and you get yourself a carbonated soda style drink – delish

Granny’s ginger beer:
Ginger 3This one I always do as a second ferment – takes longer, but it is a firm favorite in my household, so definitely worth it.

 

 

Juice 3 apples and about 1.5″ of fresh root ginger. Let it settle and skim off  the fluff that rises to the surface. Add this ginger and apple juice to your 2 ltrs Kefir water (grains drained off) and bottle in individual bottles with a lock down sealing lid. I put a couple of raisins in each bottle. Leave to brew for an additional 24 hours, or more depending on the weather, opening the lid to release the gas each day. Drink or Refrigerate when it is gassy enough, and remember to burp each day, even when refrigerated. The longer you leave this, the more of the sugars will get eaten up, until  you are left with a very dry flavour, so taste as you go to find your perfect timing.

Cream soda:
Your kids are going to love this,it is ridiculous how completely cream soda flavored this is. Personally, not a favorite, but of course my husband loves cream soda – go figure!
Put 1 -2 tsp of vanilla essence or extract, or a vanilla pod into 2 ltrs kefir water (grains drained off), and pour into bottles with a lock down lid. Leave on the counter for 24 hours or longer depending on the weather, and burp your bottle. Once it is fizzy, deliver to your ecstatic children (or husband) or refrigerate, remembering to burp each day, even when refrigerated.

Chai:
Add chai spices – I use whole spices like cinnamon, start anise, cardamon. Allow the flavours to develop over a few hours, and If the urge takes you, second ferment as with the cream soda above.

Milk Kefir

Milk Kefir is a different grain from water kefir, and they cannot be use with water, as water Kefir grains cannot be used with milk.

Milk Kefir is actually even better for you than water Kefir, as it contains more kinds of probiotics than the water, but the taste is quite different. Cultured, it tastes like a slightly sharp yogurt like sourish milk. It can be drunk as is, but my favorite way to consume it it is mixed into smoothies, with a banana and some cinnamon, maybe some oats and lindseed for a more bulky option. Or try it with some mixed berries or chai spices.

Milk Kefir is made with cow milk, goat milk, or coconut milk. It may also be made with other non-dairy milks, though results may be inconsistent.

To make:

Simply place the grains into 1 ltr of milk and cover. Leave on the counter for 24 to 48 hours, then pour through a plastic sieve with fine plastic sieve (don’t use steel, though stainless is acceptable).
Retain and reuse the grains for the next brew, and make use of the milk as desired.

You can check out this video of how to make Milk Kefir from “www.culturesforhealth.com”

Storage:

Milk Kefir grains can be stored in milk, in the fridge for 3 weeks, and frozen for a couple of months, defrosted and re-used.

Kombucha

Kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir?” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases. (Of course western science has no research on the health benefits of Kombucha or Kefir, since it is so easy and cheep to make at home, there is not money in it to justify funding.)

Even so, there are very real reasons to brew your own Kombucha and drink it every day according to DR AXE who lists 7

  • Cleansing and Detoxification (contains gluconic acid and probitoics)
  • Immune Support (contains anti-oxidants)
  • Reduced Joint Pain (helps prevent arthritis with glucosamines)
  • Cancer Prevention (with glucaric acid)
  • Weight Loss (with acetic acid and polyphenols)
  • Improved Digestion (with a cocktail of probiotics)
  • Increased Energy (with emzymes and B vitamins)

In research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food 2014, researchers from the University of Latvia say the following about the health benefits of kombucha:

It is shown that [kombucha] can efficiently act in health preservation and recovery due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of boosting immunity.

Kombucha is as easy to make  as Kefir, but it takes longer to brew, and tastes quite different, and makes use of a black tea and sugar mixture along with a Kombucha Scoby as a starter.

You can check out this video on from www.culturesforhealth.com

Kombucha scobi

Brewing Kombucha

Below is a list of ingredients needed for making a kombucha, most of which can be found.

  • Unfluoridated, Unchlorinated Water (filetered or boild and left overhight)
  • White Sugar
  • Tea Bags or Loose Tea
  • Starter Tea or Distilled White Vinegar
  • Active Kombucha SCOBY

KOMBUCHA INGREDIENTS

 

KOMBUCHA INGREDIENT RATIOS

1 Ltr batch

  • 1½ teaspoon loose tea OR 2 tea bags
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2-3 cups water
  • ½ cup starter tea or vinegar

2 ltr batch

  • 1 tablespoon loose tea OR 4 tea bags
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6-7 cups water
  • 1 cup starter tea or vinegar

To make Kombucha

Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.   

  • Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep. NOTE: Using a metal tea ball to contain loose tea for making kombucha is acceptable. The tea ball should be removed before adding the SCOBY and starter tea, so the tea ball will not come into contact with the SCOBY.
  •  Cool the mixture to 20-30 degrees C. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be. 
  • Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
  • Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted.
  • Add an active kombucha SCOBY.
  • Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  • Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 20-30 degrees C out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
  • Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the SCOBY and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.

The finished Kombucha can be flavored and bottled with fruit, juices, spices and herbs, if desired, or simply enjoyed plain.

 

Where to buy:

You can buy your Kefir grains for water and Milk and Kombucha SCOBYs Cloud 9 at the Cloud 9 at 32 Richmond Rd in Craighall Park JHB (by appointment only) or you can simply connect us via email, do an EFT,  and have them couriered to your door.

Cost:

Water Kefir:
2 Tbs Water Kefir grains (sufficient for a 1 ltr ferment) R 160
4 Tbs Water Kefir grains (Sufficient for a 2 ltr Ferment) R 300

Milk Kefir:
2 Tbs grains (Sufficient for a 1 ltr ferment) R 200

Kombucha SCOBY:
Small SCOBY (5 x 5 cm) R 190
Medium SCOBY (8 x 8cm) R 220

Courier:
Between R 60 and R 200 depending on where you live. Please inquire, and I will look it up for you.

How do you get them:
If you would like them couriered, contact us and let us know where you live, we will consult the courier on the costs, or send your own courier if that suites you better.
Or contact me (ideally by the email address below) and we can make a time that suites you to pick them up.
Payment can be made to:
Cloud 9
ABSA Rosebank
Savings account
9100798338

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