Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Introduction to Water Kefir, Milk Kefir, and How to Make Them

Fermenting water kefir grains

I have heard about water kefir for the longest time but I've always been intimidated to make it. Little did I know that it is so easy to make and requires very minimal maintenance. My family has been enjoying this natural probiotic drink for about a month now and I love knowing that we get our daily probiotic dose to improve our digestion and gut health. Even my two year old loves it and asks me for her portion daily. I think she is hooked!

What is Water Kefir?

Water kefir is a natural probiotic drink made with water kefir grains (good bacteria), sugar, and water. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are important for our digestion and gut health. It is rich in vitamins such as vitamins A, B2, B12, D, and K, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, enzymes and amino acids such tryptophan - all that are important for a healthy nervous system and calming the nerves.

Water kefir

How does Water Kefir Taste Like?

Water kefir is a fermented drink that is slightly carbonated. It is fermented for 24 - 48 hours, producing lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide. The alcohol content is very low, about 1-2%. As the grains feed on sugar, the longer you ferment it, the less sweet it (and more carbonated) becomes. I ferment mine for 36 hours because I don't want it too sweet or overly carbonated. For those who like sodas, water kefir is a natural fizzy drink alternative without the added sugars and preservatives. And those who are lactose intolerant can have this beverage and get the living probiotics in their diet. 

There are ways to flavor water kefir and to increase its mineral content but for this introduction purposes, I will keep it simple. You can read more about water kefir here and here.

How to Make Water Kefir?

Making water kefir is very easy. It is also very cheap to make compared to buying ready-made probiotic drinks or probiotic supplements. Let's get started!


Water kefir grains

1. Get your water kefir grains. There are many places online where you can buy water kefir grains, but the easiest is to find someone in your area who makes water kefir. The grains multiply as it is fermented so overtime they will be extras. If you are in Singapore, contact me for the grains. I can share my extras when they are available. They are free, of course! First come first serve. 

2. Prepare the following tools: 

- Big glass jar (I get my 1.5 liter glass jar from iSetan for $4.50)
- Plastic spoon
- Plastic bowl
- Plastic strainer/colander
- Long non-metal spoon
- Dried apricots

3. Recipe (to fit a 1.5 liter glass jar):

- 1.2 liter distilled or mineral water
- 2 pieces of organic dried apricot (available in organic stores)
- 5 tbsp of sucanat (available on iHerb and organic stores)
- 8 tbsp of water kefir grains

Directions:

Put everything together in the glass jar and stir with a long non-metal spoon. There will be 1-2 inches of space left in the jar. Don't fill to the max. The grains grow and it will overflow if it is too full. Cover the glass with a breathable cloth or tissue and tie it with a rubber band. Place the bottle on the table counter, away from direct sunlight. Let it ferment for 24-48 hours. Once it's done, strain out the grains by placing a plastic strainer over a bowl and pour the water kefir through it. Throw away the apricots. Refrigerate water kefir and enjoy the drink cold. Repeat the process to a make a new batch.


Fermenting milk kefir and water kefir

Straining water kefir grains

A note on:

Water - Only use distilled or mineral water. Do not use tap or boiled water as it can still contain chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine which can damage the grains.

Sugar - I use sucanat because it is less processed and contains more minerals than refined sugar. More nutrients also become available in the resulting beverage when you use natural, unrefined sugar.

Tools - Never use metal utensils or bowls. Metals are reactive and the grains do not like it.

StorageExtra grains can be stored in sugar water in the fridge. Replace the sugar water once a week. For long term storage, you can freeze the grains. You can also eat the grains! It sounds disgusting but they don't really taste like anything.

Damaged grains - If your grains don't multiply or shrink, this is a good site to learn on how to repair damaged grains.



How to Make Milk Kefir?


Milk kefir grains

Making milk kefir is even easier than making water kefir. All you need is milk kefir grains and fresh whole (mammal) milk. It doesn't work well with UHT milk because it is so devoid of the naturally-occurring bacteria and yeasts as they are destroyed through the heating process. Notice the layer of fat forming on top of the milk kefir in the picture below. I used grass fed, non-homogenized cow's milk for this. Grass-fed full fat milk kefir for maximal nutrition! Soy or nut milk is also not suitable. Milk kefir is similar to yogurt and is rich is probiotics and other health benefits. I love that I can make my own "yogurt" at home anytime!


Bubbles forming in milk kefir means it's ready.

Directions: Add two tablespoons of milk kefir grains to a cup of fresh milk and let it ferment at room temperature for about a day. It will be ready when you see bubbles forming in the jar, has a consistency like sour cream, and smells sour like buttermilk. The longer you ferment it, the more sour it becomes. Run it through a plastic strainer and refrigerate. Add honey or fruits to taste.


Milk kefir and berries smoothie

What do I do with milk kefir other than consuming it internally? I use it as a face and hair mask! This cooling mask rejuvenates our skin, reduces skin inflammation, and helps to balance our skin's pH level, making our skin healthier and youthful. It nourishes our skin naturally without all the chemicals and preservatives that come with store-bought masks.

My milk kefir grains don't multiply nearly as much as my water kefir grains, but if you are interested, let me know, and I'll reach out to you when I have extras.

Have you tried making water kefir and milk kefir? Would you like to try making some?

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.


105 comments:

  1. Hi can I please get some grains? Both water and kefir. Happy to pay for them thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, I don't have extra grains at the moment. Can you give me your email please, I will sync you up with those who have.

      Delete
    2. Hi Victoria, please do include me on your list. I would love to have those water kefir grains a.k.a. healthy grains to share it with my family and friends too. Please please please. I am just around the corner of singapore... Hope to hear from you soon.... Thanks and God bless!

      Spread the love for everyone.

      Delete
    3. Hi Victoria, finally found your blog after looking Hugh and low about kefir in Singapore. For some reason kefir is very hard to find. Your page shows a detailed description of how to brew kefir drinks. I am still suffering from chronic eczema and am feeding myself on a little fermented food but it doesn't seem to eradicate the eczema. Hence I would like to try kefir. Would you have any spare grains to share or to sell? Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    4. Hey there, try facebook.com/kefirsingapore
      Excellent quality and incredibly knowledgeable guy.

      Delete
  2. Hi there, I am interested in the milk and water kefir grains. Please let me know if you have extras to share. Please email me at etinsg@gmail.com Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, I am interested in both the milk and water kefir grains. Please email me at jekmei7@gmail.com if you have extras to share. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, I am interested in both the milk and water kefir grains. Please email me at jekmei7@gmail.com if you have extras to share. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, I am interested in water kefir grains. Pls email me at huihoongs@gmail.com if you have extra to share.
    By the way may I know which online shop to buy the kefir grain? Thanks a lot :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, may I know where to buy the water kefir gains?
    Thks :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi! I am interested in the water and milk kefir grains. Sabpeng@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, sorry I don't have any at the moment. I will let you know when I have more. Thank you for understanding!

      Delete
  8. Hi All, I don't have extra kefir grains at the moment, but if you don't mind buying them, please see this link: https://www.facebook.com/kefirsingapore

    Thank you all!
    Vicky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I just noticed this. Thank you Victoria! By spreading the news you're helping out a local business dedicated to raising awareness of healthier lifestyles in Singapore. Thank you for helping out!

      Please get in touch for some special treats ... find my phone number for whatsapp on my site!

      -Daniel

      Delete
  9. Those in need of kefir grains, both milk and water, feel free to contact me through my facebook page. I have a large suppy :-)

    http://www.facebook.com/kefirsingapore

    Happy hunting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dan, I can't seem to find your FB page. Can you please email me at majoecheung@gmail.com? I'm looking for waterkefir grains thank you.

      Delete
  10. Hi , I'm interested with water kefir . I don't mind to wait if u have extra to bless. Email : serenetlw@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi I'm interested in your milk kefir grains. Let me know if you have some to spare. My email address is sandswee@singnet.com.sg

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm interested in your milk kefir grains. Let me know if you have some to spare. My email address is lilangelcakes@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can request for milk kefir grains here: http://cultureallexchange.weebly.com/

      Delete
  13. Hi I am interested in water kefir and would love to share it to my family and those who's in need. Please if you have some more grains please send me some. Thanks! My email is unikbygama.enterprise@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi All, I don't have extra kefir grains at the moment, but if you don't mind buying them, please see this link: https://www.facebook.com/kefirsingapore

      Thank you all!
      Vicky

      Delete
    2. Willing to wait here Victoria. Please.
      Thank you!

      Delete
  14. Hi, I need moment kefir grains for the benefits of probiotics for eczema. please let me know when you have some extras.

    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can request for milk kefir grains here: http://cultureallexchange.weebly.com/

      Delete
  15. Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for your interest. I'm really happy that you want to add kefir into your diet. I'm currently pregnant and have stopped making water kefir because it contains alcohol, which I can't consume, thus I don't have any spare grains to share until I make them again in the future. As for milk kefir grains, interestingly mine hasn't multiplied at all since the beginning (compared to my water kefir grains which could multiply almost double with each batch I make). So sorry that I don't have that to share either.

    You can purchase kefir grains through this link for now: https://www.facebook.com/kefirsingapore

    Thanks for understanding!
    Vicky

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi,

    I just want to share that I brought my grains at http://www.benefitsofkefir.com/buy-kefir-grains/

    @Victoria - Love your post, it's very helpful! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  17. Just came across this...i am interested to make kefir got my austistic child.
    The healing usually start from the gut and i want to see if you got any grains to sell?
    I am not seeking for a cure in austism but trying my best to feed him as much wholesome homemade goodies as much as possible.
    Please contact me cfoo2u@gmail

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can request for milk kefir grains here: http://cultureallexchange.weebly.com/

      Delete
  18. Hi Victoria, is this kefir drink safe for diabetics?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Victoria,
    I am interest to culture water kefir and milk kefir. Hope you can share some with me when you have excess. Please contact me at leejayne22@yahoo.com.sg.
    Thank you.

    Warmest regards,
    Jayne Lee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can request for milk kefir grains here: http://cultureallexchange.weebly.com/

      Delete
  20. Hi Victoria,
    I am interest to culture water kefir and milk kefir. Hope you can share some with me when you have excess. Please contact me at leejayne22@yahoo.com.sg.
    Thank you.

    Warmest regards,
    Jayne Lee

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi, where do you buy grass fed non homogenised cow's milk in Singapore? And what's the brand?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paris Creek brand. You can get it from Nature's Glory or Four Seasons Organic Stores: http://www.natures-glory.com/sub_freshorganics_details.asp?ProductSID=2008&CatSID=110

      Delete
  22. Hi Victoria,
    I am interested to culture water kefir and milk kefir. Hope you can share some with me when you have excess. Please contact me at karenzovi@gmail.com

    Appreciate uour generosity to share. Thank you!

    God Bless

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi, i would like to have some water kefir from you.. if you happen still have them.. my email add is louies0t0ng@hotmail.com Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you! going get some to get started! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Just found this Kefir sharing site, have a look http://www.torontoadvisors.com/kefir/suppliers?keywords=&order=kefir.userCountry&page=25

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi, I sm looking for water kefir, can someone please share dome for me. Please contact, hntoh@singnet.com.sg. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Victoria,
    I would like some water kefir grains if you have any to spare. I have been trying for a month with some grains I bought from a website but nothing happened and I've thrown them away (they were really tiny and a very very small amount, about a teaspoon and they look nothing like your picture). My email is clara1812@live.com.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Victoria,

    I would like to have some water and milk kefirs if you have spare. Thanks
    My email is verayeow@gmail.com.

    Mant thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Victoria
    Hope u can share with me some water kefir.
    thankssss

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Victoria,
    Do spare me some milk kefir if you have extra.
    My email: hntoh@singnet.com.sg

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Victoria,
    I would like some water kefir grains if you have any to spare.
    My email is casebook@gmail.com or you can text me @ 98309663, I can come to you place to collect.
    Thank you - Casey Koo

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Victoria,

    I would like to have some water and milk kefirs if you have extra. My email is gohblai@gmail.com.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi, I would like to have the milk kefir grains, my email is babybreath002@yahoo.com.sg or u can watsapp me at 98755539, i am able to go over to your hse to collect.
    Tks!
    Xinying

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi, i have water kefir grains to share. they are fed with mineral water and sucanat.
    Email me at joanna.chew.tan@gmail.com if you are keen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joanna , i am looking for water kefir grains. Where and when can i collect it from you ? thank you

      Delete
  35. Hi Victoria,
    Could you please put me on the waiting list for some milk kefir grains?
    My email adress is: nori.perera@gmail.com
    Thank you very much in advance
    Kind regards
    Nori

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Victoria,
    Could you please put me on the waiting list for some milk kefir grains?
    My email adress is: nori.perera@gmail.com
    Thank you very much in advance
    Kind regards
    Nori

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi, I would like to buy if not for free kefir grains for milk. Pls email me at franceleen@gmail.com. thanks

    ReplyDelete
  38. is there any shop that sells kefir grains in singapore ? so that we do not disturb each other asking for spare grains :) i am interested to make it home. merihakca@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi, my son has eczema and several food allergies. I read that probiotics help. Would really really appreciate it if you could spare me some water kefir grains so that I could start growing them? If not, could u advise where can I get the water kefir grains in Singapore? My email address is ong_tan_shirley@hotmail.com.
    Many thanks in advance! May God bless you and your family! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dear Victoria,

    I would like to learn from you and also obtain some kefir grains. Please could you include me on your list?

    I can be reached at tangcheryl@hotmail.com

    Thank you very much in advance for your generosity!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hallo Victoria,
    Would you like to share some Milk Kefir grains? my email is drsunetrapatil@gmail.com

    thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi, I would like to have both the water and milk kefir grains if any is available. Please reply to pvt558@gmail.com. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. can you let me know where to buy kefir grains

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Victoria,

    Would be very grateful if you could share some kefir grains to make kefir water to heal my gut. My email address is tangcheryl@hotmail.com

    Best regards,
    Cher

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi,
    I would like to have some milk kefir grains.
    Please email me at newgensg@singnet.com.sg or text me at 96414054.
    i am able to collect from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Vic, I would like to get some milk kefir grains soon so that I could heal my beloved pet. Kindly let me know at pathmahbk@yahoo.com. Thanks a million.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Victoria, can you reach out to me at mlau_1965@yahoo.com.sg when you have extra milk kefir available? Thanks so much.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi Victoria, are you still giving out milk kefir? Please reach out to me at mlau_1965@yahoo.com.sg if you have any extra. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi, may I know where u get grass-fed milk? Which brand as I didn't come across any.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find Paris Creek brand in four seasons organic stores, bud of joy bakery, online organic stores. Little Farms store at valley point mall carry Barambah brand.

      Delete
  50. hi, are you selling water kefir grains?

    ReplyDelete
  51. can i buy water kefir grains from you ?

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello do u have extras?:) thanks in advance! Please do email me at jesswhz@gmail.com. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi,

    May i know where can i buy the milk/Water kefir grins? I am searching but not much of information available.
    my ID: anumadhug@gmail.com

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi, I'm currently looking for water kefir grains. I have been taking milk kefir for the past 1 year and wish to move on to water kefir to make sparkly fruit juice. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. majoecheung@gmail.com - water kefir please

      Delete
  55. Would like to try out water kefir too. Anybody with water kefir grains to spare?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hello! I am interested in the water kefir grains. Please let me know if you have extra to share. Please email me at tylermichelle@hotmail.com Thank you very much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi, would you have any water kefir grains to spare? Been searching the internet for shops in Singapore. My email is tay.lynda@gmail.com

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi, do you have any water kefir grains and milk grains to spare? My email address is irenesamuel1@gmail.com Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi, would you have some water kefir and milk kefir to spare? My email address is irenesamuel1@gmail.com Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  60. HI Vicky,

    May I have the pleasure to get some milk kefir grains from you for my two children?

    Thank you very much and hope to hear from you at
    cyndee52@hotmail.com
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Victoria, I would like to get milk kefir for my family? Could you please let me know if you have extras to share? Thank you very much. Here is my email address: amudhamani@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi. I'm interested in milk kefir. Anybody has any milk kefir grains to spare? If yes, can email me at teng.genfoowong@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi, could someone spare me some water and milk kefir. Kindly contact me at choymeiwan@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi there Vicky I have made my first batch of probiotic soda with ginger bug and read about the kefir. If you are able to hope you can spare some water Kefir. Not in particular hurry. My email is ngeeping@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hi Victoria. Do you still have milk kefir to spare? Thanks for being a blessing. My email is elizabeth@mindscape.com.sg.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi Victoria. Do you still have Milk Kefir to spare? Thanks for being a blessing. My email is lizcho_psalm23@yahoo.com.sg.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hi Vicky,

    Thank you for this informative post on both milk and water kefir, it is very interesting and I enjoyed reading it.:)

    May I please have some water kefir grains when you have some spares to share? Kindly contact me at: gemini_greenfish@hotmail.com

    Many thanks and keep up the good work!


    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for this interesting post on milk and water kefir, I really enjoyed reading it :)

    May I please have some water kefir grains should you have some spares to share? Please kindly contact me at: gemini_greenfish@hotmail.com

    Many thanks and keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Hi Victoria, can you please pass me some kefir grains.

    Thanks Much
    Priyanka

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi, I can pay for kefir grains would like to buy for my son(4 yrs) please reach me at priyankam9@gmail.com or 91904886. Thanks much

    ReplyDelete
  71. H Victoria,

    I would like to buy milk kefir. I have been finding it for months. Hope you can reach out to me.. you can reach me at leticiaching@gmail.com or 98899134.. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Vicky, Thank you for your article about kefir. Would you have some spare you can share with me please? My email is sophia.salem@gmail.com. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hi Victoria could you please share your milk kefir grains with me? My email is Kang.jh145@gmail.com. Thank you very much for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi Victoria. Do you have supplies of either the milk kefir grains or the water grains that you could share with me ? I am familiar with milk kefir having been on it for about a year more than ten years ago but discontinued when my grains died. I would like to try the water kefir, too. I appreciate hearing from you. Thanks much and warmest regards. Sharon Choo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon, please give me your email. Thanks.

      Delete
  75. Do u have extra water kefir grains to give away?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jaz, please give me your email. Thanks.

      Delete
  76. Hi ! I'm living in Singapore and have been searching everywhere to purchase these water kefir grains.. Do you have any idea on where I could buy them from?? :) I don't mind the price but would prefer Gd quality ones.. My email add : 14013318@myrp.edu.sg

    Looking forward for your reply! God bless

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi victoria, I am looking for kefir grains as came to know that it can help for my son's eczema. He is suffering from past 6 years and nothing helped him. Want to try this. Water or milk grains, anything is ok for me. Do you any to give? My email is sony177@gmailcom

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hi Victoria...do you still giving away milk and water kefir grains? My email : ellelyan26@gmail.com. thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete