Water Kefir Two Questions

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Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby mvd on Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:15 pm

Hi folks,

I have just started brewing water kefir and am struggling in two ways. Here are my issues, that I hope someone can help me with.

1. Not a strong enough secondary flavor. Eg, how can I get a stronger orange, or grape, or ginger flavor?
2. Not enough carbonation despite having to take 20 minutes to open the bottle to avoid a geyser-- in other words, why does it taste flat even when it almost geysered? Seems contradictory.

My steps:

4 cups water
1/4 cup organic cane sugar

36 hr 1st ferment with lots of happy bubbles. Tastes slightly sweet with a bit of tang and light fizz.

24 hours in a bottle for 2nd ferment with 12 pieces candied ginger in and 1/4 cup pinpple juice. Refridgerated 12 hours.

House temp about 25c or 77f

Tasted too weak in both ginger and pinapple, and too flat despite having to repeatedly release and reseal the fliptop over 20 minutes to prevent a geyser.

Any idea for better carbonation and stronger ginger flavor?

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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby mvd on Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:29 pm

Ok, I think I got the carbonation nailed down with a "no burping" full 24hr 2F followed by a full 24 hr chill in the fridge. Excellent.

Taste was still poor, though. An odd skunky flavour that is familiar but not sure what it is. Will dump it. This batch was 1.5" of chopped matchsticks of ginger with the juice of one lime. Odd taste. Maybe too boozy due to a 1F that was too long, too much molasses taste from the unrefined cane sugar, poor choice to add lime, or...? No idea. Anyhow, almost no ginger flavour. Next time, I will try minced ginger, ginger syrup, or ginger water pressed from grated ginger.

For now, I am at least pleased by the carbonation. Todays 2F is 1/2 cup orange juice plus 1 tsp artificial vanilla extract. I also reduced 1F time. I am hopeful for wednesday night.

Any tips on flavour would be appreciated.
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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby curtijam on Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:01 am

Hi MVD, no expert but I think if you leave the 2nd ferment for longer it will have more time to absorb the flavour.

I typically leave my 2nd ferment for 3-5 days with daily burping before refrigerating (interested to hear what others do, as perhaps this is too long!) and have had success with root ginger, both taste and carbonation.

You've already considered surface area (by finely slicing / match-sticking the ginger) which would have been my other recommendation.

With regards carbonation, I've found that the size and shape of the bottle has an impact. If you can leave a large-ish air pocket at the top, this allows for a lot of compression and hence larger pressure/carbonation build up without risk of the bottle exploding. Have a look at a similar sized carbonated beverage bottle in a supermarket etc to see how much of a gap they leave. Refrigerating seems to reduce the geyser-ing effect that we know so well!

Let us know how you get on, I'm very keen for tips myself!

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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby mvd on Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:32 pm

On carbonation.

Still going well with a 24hr 2F, no burping, followed by 24hr in the fridge. Cooler last week so one batch took 36 hrs. I am using a plastic bottle every other batch to get a feel for how long it needs.

On the flavour front, I made my first drinkable batch! It was the 1/2 cup orange juice and 1tsp vanilla. The orange needed strenght, and the vanilla could be cut in half, but I enjoyed the bottle. Success!

Today, I decided to split the 2F in half and am letting kefir sit on 1/2 a sliced orange for 24 hours (without the grains, not sealed), then I will strain it into a bottle with the orange juice and vanilla for 24 hrs to carbonate for a nice orange-vanilla taste...i hope.

Now that i am getting the hang of this, i want to work on getting the grains to multiply. They are great at fermenting, but so far no multiplying over about 7 batches.
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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby cerbu on Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:44 am

add raisins with the grains , also you may want to read this https://wellness-drinks.de/en/water-kef ... ewing.html
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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby Athelstan on Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:50 pm

I use a cordial drink - about 1cm at the bottom of a 0.5 litre bottle. I pair that with a fresh batch of 1st ferment - they both go in the bottom of the airing cupboard for 36 hours. I've had fizzy kefir consistently.

BTW my 1st ferment is 650 ml of water mixed with 75g of granulated sugar with 1/2 a lemon, an inch of ginger and a date. Plus of course the grains (60g) and some left-over 1st ferment from the last batch.

It's a fairly steady process: every 36 hours I decant the 1st ferment into my bottle (with the cordial - I use elderflower, love the taste - refresh the 1st ferment, refrigerate the completed 2nd ferment. Repeat ad infinitum.

My only negative is that my grains are remaining at the 60g mark. No sign of increase.
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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby kutululu on Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:25 pm

I've just started experimenting with water kefir and have a question. I did the first fermentation with sugared water (8%) and after draining the grains put about 1-2 tbsp of blackberries (were frozen, but I left them for a while at the room temp) in for the second fermentation. After 24 hours some small cloud-like things started to appear in the bottle. The smell and taste seemed to be fine. I strained the liquid into another bottle to pressurize, so those "jellyfishes" stayed out, but the next day they they were back. Is this normal or has something gone wrong? Thanks.
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Re: Water Kefir Two Questions

Postby kutululu on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:56 am

OK, I answer myself. Obviously something to do with the blackberries as it did not happen with ginger and lemon infusion. I'll probably try again and next time rinse the berries properly in hot water or even boil them shortly.
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