Kitchen Microbio


I’ve been messing with water kefir (or “hassenpfeffer” as the husband likes to call it… A completely made up name that sounds equally healthy and exotic, and unappetizing). Also know as tibicos or sugar-kefir it’s kind of like kombucha, but in my opinion way less gross. I haven’t sold hubby on it… Yet. His attitude is something like meh, it’s ok, but why?

I’m not even going to get into a how to here since I’m barely successful myself. I’ve yet to decide if it’s worth the effort. Though I do think we as Americans generally live a little to “clean” and antiseptically I also don’t quite buy into the probiotics cure what ails you tag either.

Regardless, in an effort to rediscover some olde timey skills I’ve begun my exploration into cultured beverages with water kefir. It had a relatively cheap upfront buy in of about $15 and didn’t require any other equipment I didn’t already have. Probably a bad choice to start my experiment in winter as most edible cultures like a warmer temperature than my house in winter. Opps.

I’ve read plenty of other blogs and websites, but was hoping I might get some feedback from others;

I think I’ve got the first ferment down. Seems to work “fine” because my second ferments with juice get nice and fizzy. I just use cane sugar. Throw in an eggshell now and then and made one batch with molasses (didn’t like the taste of that.. It got tossed). I usually leave it more like 4 days? Before changing the water since it’s so cool. I’ll experiment with more often once it warms up.

Regarding the second ferment, I like it fizzy. Fully carbonated. The only thing I’ve had any luck with is half first ferment, half fruit juice. Nothing else gets a good fizz. I’ve tried just adding more sugar and then vanilla extract at the end for a “vanilla soda” but it’s too flat. I’ve tried varied dried fruit. Also flat. Just finished with some candied ginger. Also flat.

Given that my fruit juice works so well, anyone have ideas on what might be going wrong? Any favorite brews you’d care to share?

I particularly like Concord grape juice. Reminds me of a wine spritzer! Reminds hubby too much of a wine spritzer as well and he says if I ever get pulled over a trooper will NOT believe that I haven’t been drinking.

Happy fermenting!

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