I thought you might like to see just how simple it is, so I'm going to take you through the process. Here you can see a half gallon canning jar with the water kefir grains in some sugar water. It's been sitting here for at least 24 hours. I received my grains from a friend, already hydrated. I've heard you can buy dehydrated grains via the internet. Apparently, if you go that route, it takes a time or two of going through this process to wake the little guys up. Mine was ready to go, as my friend sent them in sugar water, in 3 zip baggies, priority mail. So they weren't in there long, and nothing leaked. You can find sources for buying them online. Just do a quick search.
Water kefir grains do not like metal, so use all plastic utensils & tools for them! After some trial & error, I've found a few items that really help out. They make this simple process even quicker & easier! I had to purchase them through Amazon, as they were not available locally for me. I recently added an Amazon store to my blog, so I'll show which ones I use & link to them. At minimum, you need a plastic strainer, and something to catch the liquid & pour it into the jars. The half gallon jar and the strainer were the only things I purchased to start with, and I just used a bowl & small canning jars that I already had on hand. Then after a few weeks I got the canning jar funnel & a better bowl. The new items have helped a lot, but you can begin with just a plastic strainer & a glass jar!
canning funnel is helpful in several steps, but THIS is the step I actually bought it for! So helpful. And I should have had this handy gadget on hand anyway. You probably already do!
Now the grains are ready to eat most of the sugar from the water. Let them sit on the counter for a day or two. After a while, you'll see the grains zooming up to the top, and floating back down to the bottom. There are different schools of thought on tightening the lid. I think it depends on your grains. Experiment & see how they respond. Mine seem to like it tightened in the very beginning, but then loosened after a couple hours. A friend swears that hers only do well with the lid completely tightened throughout. Mine zing around the jar more when it's looser, so I think they like it that way! In the summer, mine are ready for the next step after 24 hours. Now that it's getting cooler, it's more like 48 hours. I haven't had my grains through a winter yet, but I expect them to slow down even more.
Pourfect bowls. I don't often spend a lot of money on kitchen items that do something simple. But since this became a daily thing for me, and my husband kept urging me to get them, I finally did. I really wish I hadn't waited so long, and he teases me daily about it, ha ha! I rarely give glowing reviews for kitchen items, or urge friends to purchase them. They're usually just not THAT big of a deal, and I like to be frugal about such things & encourage others to be as well. But these things are the bomb. They really do NOT drip, they have a non-slip ring on the bottom, and measuring marks along the inside. Since buying them, I use them several times every day! You don't hold the handle, you put your entire hand under it (see pouring pic below). Because you're using your arm, not your wrist, you have so much more control over holding the bowl and it saves your wrist from the weight & strain. Didn't sound like a big deal to me, but wow, is it ever! (Disclaimer: I signed up with Amazon as an associate, and I put this item in my store. So, yes, I suppose I could benefit from recommending it. But, I recommended it to people before signing up, and would honestly be recommending it even if I couldn't benefit).
Rinse the grains under purified cool water, and set them aside for now.
I'll be honest, I was intimidated by the whole process when I first heard about it. But trust me, it's so simple. I spent an afternoon searching Youtube & watched all the top rated videos. I suggest you do that as well, it really gave me the confidence to jump in. A few of those videos recommend adding raisins or lemon peel to the first step. It's up to you if you'd like to try that. Since I'm in a climate that stays hot & humid for about 8 months out of the year, I thought it best to avoid any issues so I decided to keep it simple.
Are you thinking of trying it? I encourage you to go for it! Have you already tried water kefir yourself? What health benefits have you noticed? Please comment & share any tips that have worked for you!
This post has been linked to The Homestead Barn Hop.