Water kefir, a fermented beverage containing probiotic microorganisms.
Water kefir is loaded with valuable enzymes, easily digestible sugars, beneficial acids, vitamins, and minerals.
TIBICOS (Tibi / Water Kefir)
water kefir grains (also known as Sugar Kefir Grains – SKG).
It is also called Tangawizi, which is the Swahili word for ‘ginger’. The fermented, filtered and grain-free beverage is known as “water kefir”, “sugary kefir” or “acquakefir” (among other regional names), and is the product which is consumed. The word kefir is derived from the Turkish word ‘keif’, describing a state of feeling good!
Water kefir is an artisanal and ancient fermented beverage, fruity, acidic, sour, and slightly carbonated, with high lactic acid content (up to 2%) and low alcohol content (usually less than 1%), which is obtained after the fermentation of sugary water with water kefir grains (starters), to which dried fruits can be added (Pidoux, 1989; Fiorda et al., 2017).
Grains are called “water kefir grains” (to differentiate them from “milk kefir grains”).
Besides, “Tibics” or “Tibetan mushrooms” are other frequent names used (Lynch et al., 2021), despite being equivocal, since such names are also used for milk kefir grains (Chen et al., 2015; Dong et al., 2018).
Here is a starting point: (a simple guide to making the most delicious Water Kefir)
Pour new grains into strainer / sieve.
Grains may require to be gently washed with best-quality water (due to sitting in heat, travel and change of a new home).
8 teaspoons Tibicos grain
1 1/2 cups of best quality water
6 teaspoons organic raw sugar
1/20 teaspoon (tiny pinch organic Bi Carb) optional
1/5 teaspoon organic molasses (optional)
Piece of organic ginger root
1/10 lemon slice (optional)
For larger quantity increase amount – ¼ cup Water Kefir Grains + ¼ cup sugar + 3 cups of water.
1. Dissolve sugar in small amount of warm water and add molasses in bowl or add water, sugar to a glass jar, and mix thoroughly until ALL sugar has dissolved.
Add optional Bi Carb helping increase the PH. Also helps with grain survival and growth.
Our kitchen prefers to use a little boiling perpetual ginger and lemon grass tea, to help dissolve the sugar and molasses, top up with cold water.
Can use grains, water, and sugar + optional organic dried fruit – a couple of oil-free sultanas or a 1/2 date / 1/2 fig.
If using coconut water (in place of water) … Do not use any sugar – just add organic dried fruit (sliced date etc).
NOTE: Molasses adds minerals / vitamins and helps grains survive and grow. Each batch normally grains double in qty.
2. Once cool add grains.
3. Add a slice of ginger and optional lemon (quarter)
4. Put lid loosely / cover with muslin and rubber band / string. The mix requires to breathe (do not seal as pressure may explode the jar).
5. Leave out of direct sunlight for 48 hours. Remove ginger and lemon and drain liquid from grains.
6. Squeeze lemon juice into liquid. This can be stored in the fridge. This is the liquid containing the pro-biotics, vitamins, and minerals
Begin drinking up to 1/4 cup per day.
Dilute / straight up / add to smoothie.
Use to soak dried fruit overnight and a starter for flour.
Soak grains, nuts etc.
7. Repeat the process again with new ingredients. Lightly rinse grains only when required. We never do!!
8. Adjust the amount of ingredients according to how many grains you decide to use. The grains will multiply each time you do a batch.
Some peeps eat the left-over grains … colour with beetroot etc and dehydrate for a topping for dessert.
* This recipe is one possibility of many. Experiment and enjoy!
If you have sugar residues, ferment more.
Primary fermentation in sugar solution: 24 hours.
Then strain and discard surplus grains – usually, if they are in good sugar and mineral solution, they will double.
Intermediary fermentation in a large bowl either with surplus grains (so that this stage does not put too much of a strain on your grains and wear them out over time) or without grains for another 24-48 hours.
During this stage you can ferment “any “thing in the liquid you like – both to give taste to the kefir liquid and to break down sugars in for example fruit.
The fruit floating in the second fermentation for about 24 hours can be added to smoothies / baking / ginger to perpetual tea.
It is completed when taste buds are satisfied with the sugar content – once it tastes more like vinegar than fizzy soft drink.
Finally, a secondary fermentation in a good quality pressure bottle with a swing top will give a carbonated drink with whatever taste added during intermediary fermentation.
Another option: When satisfied add approx. 1 tablespoon of raw honey per litre of liquid, stir well, pour into bottles and close.
Now the fermentation will continue, and the honey added will be converted into the good stuff you want and produce a fizzy drink in 24-48 hours.
These lasts for weeks refrigerated.
During the second fermentation add blended, fresh turmeric and ginger (for soft ginger beer) or whole fruits and herbs.
Some peeps add herb brews or green tea, foraged food or cacao nibs and rosewater – experiment!
One of our fave’s is cacao nibs, rose water and a few rose geranium leaves – like Turkish Delight!
Water kefir is suitable for plant-based / vegan / lactose-free diets
Dairy-free easy –peasy baking
1 litre jar with equal quantities of liquid water kefir and flour of choice… keep topping up as required.
Leave on countertop and use for baking, pancakes etc.
Ready for Spring cleaning
Pour well-brewed (past the tongue tasty stage) Tibicos (water kefir) in a jar to cover orange peels, add cloves to orange peel if desired.
Cover and store at room temperature for a few weeks. Strain and bottle.
Glass & mirror – 1/2 cup orange vinegar + 1/2 cup water / herb brew in spray bottle.
1/4 cup orange vinegar + 1/2 cup herb brew / water + 1/2 cup liquid castile / soap nut liquid.
Mix orange vinegar with olive oil for a wood polish + a fine salad dressing.
Makes the home smell divine!
Happy Spring bacterial cleaning!
Coconut Water Kefir Recipe
Replace sugar water with fresh green coconut water, add a few organic raisins and ferment for 24 – 48 hours. Strain grains and add back to sugar water.
The simplest ways to consume coconut tibi / water kefir is through a shot or added to your smoothie. You can also add to other beverages, like unsweetened cranberry juice, and add a touch of raw honey to sweeten if desired.
You can use prepared liquid or water kefir grains to make coconut milk kefir (dairy free).
Water Kefir Date Syrup
Pit and soak soft dates in water kefir for at least an hour. Can use the soak water alone for light syrup or blend soaked dates together with soak water in blender for heavier syrup. Adjust water kefir to adjust heaviness of syrup. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
Very sour /past the tongue -tasty liquid makes the best base for body and home cleaning products and a super first aid kit.
Store old liquid in a wide mouth jar with a plastic lid (the longer stored the build-up of bacteria and yeast will grow a pellicle).Use the pellicle (looks like a kombucha mama/ scoby for a cleaning pad or cut for band aids or a face mask).
Eczema / Psoriasis / Skin Rashes
– Blitz 1 tablespoon of spare grains with 1/4 cup of water until smooth.
Apply topically to effected area at night and rinse in the morning.
For nervous tension add eggshell in first fermentation
Water Kefir Fruit Cake Recipe
Soak organic dried fruit, ginger, quinoa overnight … covered in water kefir liquid. The liquid will be absorbed by morning… add flour to cake consistency (we use green banana flour), eggs or chia gel if desired. Bake and enjoy.
Water kefir liquid is the star in our fermenting lair … planning day … probiotic jelly, soak dried fruit for baking and raw treats, soak flour, chia gel, jam and yum pots, rollups, beverages and more.
So, go ahead and craft your water kefir and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.
Love & bacteria, Xo,
Is Water Kefir good for Autoimmune Problems like IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, known as IBS, is a condition that affects the digestive system, and can cause symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
Water Kefir studies have shown to alter intestinal bacterial flora to help support relief from bloating or digestive discomfort.
However, symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) vary from one person to another so it is always best to speak to your health professional first: what helps alleviate symptoms for one person may be a trigger for someone else, which is especially true of fermented food and drinks.
However if you Master Your Gut…heal and seal the damaged gut lining
YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE IF…
YOU ARE A NOVICE FERMENTER + THOSE NEEDING MOTIVATION TO BE A MASTER FERMENTER & TO MASTER YOUR GUT
The skills you need to start living like it matters.