Originally Posted by cobluegirl
i wonder if they don't need a little bit of minerals that are in the water? and not in the distilled? I dunno.. mine are still acting wonky..grrr
VERY interesting observation about Linda's predicament (and very interesting predicament, too). I never thought about the water. Since we have well water and it's not chlorinated, I figured we were good. But I use water that has been filtered with reverse osmosis. That doesn't remove as many minerals as distillation, but it removes the bulk of them.
Here's my brewing experience (with these new grains, that have never seen honey). They were taking a very long time, like a week, to taste like anything other than sugar water. At first I figured that was because of the shipping, and it would take them awhile. But then it was getting longer, instead of shorter, and I was starting to think that maybe I just couldn't do kefir, for some strange reason. I was using organic refined sugar (Florida Crystals type from the bulk bins). It seemed like when I had some sugar that was a bit coarser and darker, the grains preferred that to the lighter, less coarse sugar. Now I'm wondering if it isn't due to the mineral content.
Then I saw tamagotchi's post about using agave nectar (thank you!). I tried her ratio (only I only made 1 quart water, so I used 3 Tbs. agave nectar), and it's brewing more quickly now. It takes about 48 hrs., sometimes a little longer, but not much. Then I strain it and I just do 24 hrs. with dried fruit, and we have a yummy, tart and sweet, slightly fizzy drink. It's fabulous! I wonder if agave nectar has minerals in it, or if the grains just prefer fructose (the brew always improved greatly when I added the dried fruit, and still does).
I have a feeling there's more to these kefir grains than meets the eye.