My water kefir isn't fizzy... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...and it's still pretty sweet too I've just been dumping it out because it is undrinkable.

Maybe someone can tell me if I'm doing something wrong.
I've been doing it by the quart - mixing up my sugar water, letting it cool, then adding my grains. Then I cover the jar with a coffee filter and stick the whole thing in the oven with the light on. I know it is warm in there because the jar is warm to the touch when I pull it out. I did try the first few batches on my counter but was getting no action at all that way.

It does get cloudy, and I think the grains are reproducing because when I stir it I see lots of little tiny specks floating around. But like I said, it's flat and tastes basically like slightly funky sugar water.

Is it possible to get "dud" grains, or do dehydrated grains take a really long time to perform well? I've been doing this for a couple weeks and am getting tired of wasting all this sugar, plus I just really want to drink the stuff!

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#2 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 10:54 AM
 
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I didn't have much luck with water grains, but perhaps I was just used to the hardiness of my milk grains & didn't take enough precautions.

I've found that ripening with a second fermentation with my milk grains adds more fizz (& more B vitamins.) Could you try that? Again, I'm no pro with water grains, this has just been my experience with milk grains.

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#3 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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I never got a lot of fizz with water recipes. But when I used apple juice, they went wild, and the brew got as carbonated as soda! If you think your grains might be in a coma , give them a round of apple juice - you'll know within hours if they are active or not - you'll see grains floating up and dropping down, lots of action in the jar.
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#4 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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It's taken me a long time to finally get the hang of water kefir, but I'm really close. Here's what I do:

1. 2 qts of water + 1/2c. sugar + grains+ occasionally 1/2tsp. molasses

2. Brew for 48 hours

3. Strain, pour into several individual bottles with fruit juice and a splash of lemon juice. (I currently love pomegranate-blueberry juce. the lemon adds a little tartness, which i like) I can drink it at this point and it tastes OK.

4. Leave bottled on the counter or in the oven with the oven light on for another 12-24 hours, and that's when I start getting more fizz. It still tends to vary a bit from batch to batch, but it's usually at least a little tingly at this stage.

But seriously, like the pp said, putting those babies into some straight juice will make them HAPPY, just be careful about the fermentation, because last time I tried it I would up with a really alcoholic brew, haha. Also, dogmom is the ultimate kefir genius here and has helped me a ton. Good luck.

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#5 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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I'm subbing because I'm having similar issues. The first two batches did nothing, I think because my house is too cold. Third batch was put in a rigged up incubator at between 70 and 80 degrees and bubbled some, smells yeasty, but is not bubbly or tasting much like milk kefir. Anyone up for describing what "finished" water kefir tastes and looks like?
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#6 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
I never got a lot of fizz with water recipes. But when I used apple juice, they went wild, and the brew got as carbonated as soda! If you think your grains might be in a coma , give them a round of apple juice - you'll know within hours if they are active or not - you'll see grains floating up and dropping down, lots of action in the jar.
We have organic grape juice I was going to use but I realized it's concentrated juice plus water, which I realized I wasn't supposed to be using (from the larger kefir thread). Do you think it might be worth a try anyway? And can I do a small batch or does it matter? I've been doing up huge batches then pouring them out.
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#7 of 21 Old 02-10-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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they could also be pickled, so that the fizzy part of the scoby is dead. I did that to mine, and not even apple juice helped.
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#8 of 21 Old 02-15-2009, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post
I never got a lot of fizz with water recipes. But when I used apple juice, they went wild, and the brew got as carbonated as soda! If you think your grains might be in a coma , give them a round of apple juice - you'll know within hours if they are active or not - you'll see grains floating up and dropping down, lots of action in the jar.
I tried the apple juice and they went crazy! I guess there must be a lot of sugar in there!

I also added a spalsh of juice to some strained sugar water kefir and left that in the oven overnight for a second ferment and that worked really well. Also, I realized not to put it in the fridge at all. I've just been leaving the finished jars on the counter, and when I want it cold adding it to a glass with some ice. I'm going through it fast enough that that they don't sit for very long so I'm pretty sure they can't get on the bad side of funky.

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#9 of 21 Old 02-16-2009, 08:26 AM
 
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I use straight sucanant and it starts to fizz in less than 24 hours.
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#10 of 21 Old 02-19-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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when doing the second ferment do you seal the jars tightly? Loosely? Not at all?

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#11 of 21 Old 02-19-2009, 10:55 PM
 
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when doing the second ferment do you seal the jars tightly? Loosely? Not at all?
Tightly but when you're ready to drink be sure to remove the lid carefully as it can pop off under the pressure.

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#12 of 21 Old 02-21-2009, 03:44 AM
 
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Subbing

Worried about my grains. I just bought them and rehydrated them and I have no discernable bubbles.

My house is 70 degrees. Should I be putting it in the oven with the light on? Or is the counter the best spot?

Somehow I thought it was bad for the grains to go straight into juice. I guess I was wrong . . .
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#13 of 21 Old 02-21-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Peek-a-boo View Post
Subbing

Worried about my grains. I just bought them and rehydrated them and I have no discernable bubbles.

My house is 70 degrees. Should I be putting it in the oven with the light on? Or is the counter the best spot?

Somehow I thought it was bad for the grains to go straight into juice. I guess I was wrong . . .
Have you been doing a second ferment in smaller, tightly covered bottles after you strain? My water kefir often doesn't have much fizz before the second ferment.

Those little grains definitely love juice!

Erin, Catholic mama to three sweet boys: Ambrose (11/06),  Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10) and a sweet girl, Charlotte (7/12/12).

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#14 of 21 Old 02-21-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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I tried a second ferment with fruit juice. Not very much fizz at all. Some I'm thinking my grains are weak. I'll probably have to get new ones.

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#15 of 21 Old 02-21-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
I tried a second ferment with fruit juice. Not very much fizz at all. Some I'm thinking my grains are weak. I'll probably have to get new ones.
Fizz really does vary by batch. Some days I'll make a batch and it will be fairly flat and the next batch (same grains) will be really fizzy. You could try throwing them in juice and see what they do.

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#16 of 21 Old 02-21-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peek-a-boo View Post
Subbing

Worried about my grains. I just bought them and rehydrated them and I have no discernible bubbles.

My house is 70 degrees. Should I be putting it in the oven with the light on? Or is the counter the best spot?

Somehow I thought it was bad for the grains to go straight into juice. I guess I was wrong . . .
Don't worry if you don't see bubbles at this stage in the game. They are usually very tiny and very infrequent so you'd have to sit and watch the brew for quite a long time. Just transfer the hydrated grains to new sugar water. The real test is if after two days of fermenting, the brew tastes less sugary than when you started. Note, this test doesn't apply to the rehydrating solution since the grains spent their time rehydrating rather than eating the sugar.

I would keep them out of juice until you've established a routine with them. Juice can be a bit risky since although the grains love it, it can be a bit hard on them.

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#17 of 21 Old 02-22-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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So this is weird. One of the "2nd ferments" I'm doing has something floating in it. Looks sort of like a Kombucha Scobie baby. That isn't supposed to happen, is it? Should I chuuck this batch? I did taste it and it tastes ok, although not that fizzy.

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#18 of 21 Old 02-22-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chlobo View Post
So this is weird. One of the "2nd ferments" I'm doing has something floating in it. Looks sort of like a Kombucha Scobie baby. That isn't supposed to happen, is it? Should I chuuck this batch? I did taste it and it tastes ok, although not that fizzy.
Hmmm...sounds like it's been contaminated with something. I'd toss the batch. Thankfully since the grains weren't in there, they won't be contaminated.

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#19 of 21 Old 02-22-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Oh sadness. When I just took the lid off to throw it away it was fizzy.

Oh well. The other jar seems fine and tastes ok too.

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#20 of 21 Old 02-23-2009, 01:40 AM
 
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Hmm . . . so just finished my first batch water kefir. I do think it was less sweet--although it still tasted sweet--than when I started and it had a slightly fermented sort of odor. I mixed it with lemon juice as suggested on the instruction sheet and that tasted quite yummy. Not noticeably fizzy.

So am I understanding right that it may take the grains a bit to get really into the swing of things? But in the meantime, it won't hurt to drink what's being made, right? It just might have a higher sugar content?
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#21 of 21 Old 02-23-2009, 02:02 AM
 
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It can take a couple of batches for the grains to be operating at 100% but the what you brew in the meantime is perfectly fine to drink (as long as it looks and smells okay of course). I find that the amount of carbonation really varies with each batch and depends on temperature, type of sugar used, etc.

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