Category Archives: Fermenting

Fermentation adventures: Water Kefir grains – look how they’ve grown

Unlike the first grains, I took before and after pictures of my water kefir grains rapid growth.

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Rehomed water kefir grains – one quart Mason jar

The above picture, is a recycled photo… I’ve shown it before but this is how my water kefir grains appeared when I first received them; one cup of healthy water kefir grains, just waiting to do their thing. I kept them in a one quart mason jar.

 

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They started growing and I placed them in a one gallon glass jar. The above picture was taken two days ago…

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Multiplying water kefir grains in one gallon jar

 

The above picture was taken yesterday, just one day later. One days growth! Amazing, right? I was so excited with these rapidly multiplying water kefir grains that I swapped out my advanced post and I decided to publish this post instead.

Fermentation adventure: Water kefir; Rapidly multiplying water kefir grains

Last week, I received another order of water kefir grains. One cup if you want to be specific…

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Water Kefir Grains in one gallon jar

They are multiplying much faster than the initial ones that I received. These grains were purchased from another supplier, naturally I’m pleased.

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Water Kefir Soda

 

As you can see, I now have a nice supply of natural soda. The above picture is water kefir apple soda and the darker bottles are Hibiscus natural soda. I can’t wait to sample the soda. We already like the Hibiscus water kefir soda, but the apple soda will be a new blend.

Fermenting Adventures: Kombucha 101 (Video)

Not too long ago I stumbled upon this Kombucha video. If you’ve read this site recently, you already know that I’m on a natural soda kick and you already know that I’ve shared a few Kombucha videos.

But I haven’t shared one quite like this…

This video is the longest kombucha videofeatured on this site, clocking in at 38:18 minutes. Don’t let the time frame scare you, it’s full of interesting tidbits about the entire kombucha making process. So… if you are curious about kombucha, get comfortable and listen to this video on the kombucha making process. Enjoy!

 

 

Video: Fermented Carrot juice

Earlier today, I stumbled upon this video. I must say it came at the right time since I’ve been thinking about fermenting carrot juice.

I believe I’ll start fermenting some today.

 

Also, I stumbled on Dom’s informative site about making kefir.

Fermenting Adventures: Water kefir grains are multiplying!

Earlier this week, my daughter and I consumed a bottle of kefir. That was an apple kefir and my daughter loved that a lot. It’s “lighter” than the kombucha. It looks like she’ll stick to the water kefir while I happily swap between the two.

Initially, I wasn’t seeing any growth with my water kefir grains, but four days after receiving the grains, I’m thrilled to say that they are multiplying! I’m thinking that changing the location of my water kefir grains made all the difference! Of course… I can’t show you how the grains originally looked since I did not think to take a before picture of my water kefir grains. However, moving forward, I promise I’ll start documenting the progress.

Water kefir grains are growing!

Water kefir grains are growing!

 

Initially, this sieve wasn’t overflowing with water kefir grains, but look at it now! It’s so nice that this healthy bacteria is very active. Because of how healthy my water kefir is doing, I was able to make three bottles from one quart of water kefir grains. This is an advanced post. It was written yesterday, 10/27/14. 

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Flavored water kefir

 

What you’re looking at above is the second ferment. These bottles will be ready to consume in about 14 hours. I still have them setting out in a warm spot, but after 12 hours, I’ll move them to the refrigerator. They will still ferment in the refrigerator, but at a much slower rate. Curious as to what flavors that are featured in the above picture? Starting from left to right, the first is a combination of the kefir water, apple juice and a tiny amount of hibiscus tea. The middle bottle is plain kefir water… which I find to be quite yumalicious and the last bottle is kefir water, hibiscus tea and a small amount of organic apple juice.

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Fresh batch of water kefir

 

Of course, I went through the simple process of making my water kefir again, which simply meant adding water (just shy of one quart) to my mason jar. I also added 1/4 cup of organic sugar. This is much simpler than the other water kefir bases I’ve made. I figured since my Big Berkey leaves the minerals in the water there was really no need to add more to the water and so I left out the egg shells, pinch of Himalayan sea salt and Blackstrap molasses.

Have I noticed any positive effects from drinking the natural water kefir soda? I think so… it has been touted to be great for gut health and I can tell you that first thing this morning I did have to have a bowel movement.  No need to be grossed out by that, it’s a natural bodily function. Perhaps if people talked more about colon health, we would not see the many diseases/deaths related to digestive issues. Just something to think about… 😉

 

 

Fermenting adventures: Water kefir – location is everything

water kefir grainsWell… as I mentioned in an earlier post, my water kefir grains arrived a few days ago.

I must say that even with my packaged water kefir grains the process to get a batch of natural soda up and running was much quicker than my kombucha! To be fair, I had to grow a SCOBY, but if I ignore that part, it still was much quicker to get a natural soda with water kefir grains than with a Kombucha SCOBY ferment.

Once my water kefir grains arrived I rinsed them off thoroughly with some of water from my Big Berkey. I then added the grains to a one quart mason jar. In that mason jar I added  raw organic sugar, blackstrap molasses and about one quart of water. I skimmed a bit of water off the top so it would the mason jar would not be filled to the brim.

Location for Water Kefir

I placed my newly housed water kefir grains in the cabinet over my refrigerator. I saw a few bubbles. When I checked on them the next day, I saw some fizz. I poured out the kefir water into a jar and poured it down the sink. It was still too sweet for me.

Purchased  Water Kefir: Setting up a routine

From my readings, when you acquire water kefir grains from someone else it’s a great idea to rinse them daily until they become active. After rinsing, I repeated the above process but this time I added part of a boiled eggshell. From my research water kefir grains love this, because of the minerals found in eggshells. I also added a few raisins… perhaps five? Again for the added minerals. The next day, I saw that the water kefir water was very fizzy. Still a bit too sweet for my taste, but it was starting to get a bit of tang that I loved.

New location – Magic Happens

I repeated the process with my new grains and decided to place them in a new location. Right near the woodstove. Water kefir grains seems to do well around the 70F range. Later that day, I took a peek and Whoa!!!! There was an explosion of bubbles and fizz inside the jar. The above video isn’t mine, but it gives you an idea about all the bubbling I was seeing. Tiny water kefir grains had risen to the top of the jar and if you listened closely you could actually here the fizzing. I can’t wait to put this water kefir in a second ferment, let it sit for 24 hours, and try my first home made water kefir soda. 😉

Fermentation adventures: Finally making my sourdough starter…

One of the challenges a person can face for wanting to prepare everything themselves, is finding the time to do just that.

Take myself for example, I love that I’m so self-sufficient. When it comes to meal preparation, clothing and skin care products. I really don’t have to rely on someone or a company to make the things for me. I’m perfectly capable of doing them myself. However, I don’t always get things done when I want. After all, there’s only so much time in a day.

Sourdough was one of the projects that fell through the cracks.

Initially, I’d written about making my own sourdough starter on September 1, and while I’d had every intention to start my own sourdough starter, that never happened.

If you remember, I mentioned that I’d heard about sourdough from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, By the Shores of Silver Lake….

“But how do you make the sour dough?” Mrs. Boast asked. “You start it,” said Ma, “by putting some flour and warm water in a jar and letting it stand till it sours.” “Then when you use it, always leave a little,” said Laura. “And put in the scraps of biscuit dough, like this, and more warm water.” Laura put in the warm water, “and cover it,” she put a clean cloth and the plate on the jar, “and just set it in a warm place,” she set it in its place on the shelf by the stove. “And it’s always ready to use whenever you want it.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder: By the Shores of Silver Lake

It hasn’t been laziness that has kept me from making sourdough, instead I’ve been having numerous other fermenting adventures with the most recent being Kombucha! Not only did I create my own SCOBY at home, I’ve successfully made kombucha. I just haven’t gotten around to drinking it yet.