Water Kefir - Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 03-21-2011, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been brewing WK for a couple of months now and it's been a rollercoaster!  ;)  My grains were growing slowly so I tried adding molasses to them.  They really liked that for a little while and started producing more grains but we were getting tired of the same flavor.  I tried raisins, dried unsulphered mangoes, etc. and they were so so.  I decided to try distilled bottled water to see if it was my H20 and they totally took off!  I used that water twice and then they started dying off again.  I tried a different brand of distilled water and nothing.  Still nothing now even though I added molasses again. 


The only other major thing I did recently was start adding fresh ginger.  My boys like ginger a lot so I added a couple of chunks and instead of putting it in my reusuable tea bags like I had been, I just put it right in w/ the water/grains.  Now it's not fermenting the water much at all, it's turned almost to silt and there are only a few viable floaters moving.  Arg!  Could I have killed them off w/ the ginger??  I can't believe it's been such a delicate balance for me with getting these guys to grow!  I finally felt like I was making progress and now they seem like they are toast. 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. 

Homeschooling mama to ds1 (2003) and ds2 (2006) and jewelry metal smith in my "down time."
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#2 of 3 Old 03-22-2011, 05:06 PM
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I haven't made water kefir yet (my grains are en route right now)but I was just reading about putting eggshell in the first ferment to add minerals to the water.  Apparently some water doesn't have a high enough mineral content to keep the grains healthy.  Maybe leave the ginger out until you feel like your grains are healthy again and do a second ferment with ginger.

Here is the post I was reading:http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/06/05/how-to-make-homemade-soda-pop-with-kefir-grains/

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
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#3 of 3 Old 03-23-2011, 08:23 AM
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Sometimes when my grains aren't growing as well, I also give them a break, so to speak, by just putting them in some sugar water, refrigerate it for a few days, then bring them back to room temperature and start the brewing process again.  What I also do is I always do a two-step brewing process, partly because I like to experiment with different flavors all the time so I don't want to contaminate my crystals.  I brew the water kefir grains in sugar water only (sometimes using sucanat, organic cane sugar, combo of both, occasionally with a piece of eggshell, sometimes with a pinch of baking soda). Then after a couple of days when the water has been fermented, I strain it into a bottle with an air tight lid, add whatever fruit juice (my ratio of water kefir to juice is about 3:1 or 4:1) I want to experiment with and drink it when it's all nice and bubbly.


hope this helps!

Crunchy city momma to DS Adler (7/4/07) and VBAC success with DD Darby (10/31/09)
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