I'm looking into making kefir. What's the big difference btwn the two? I've only had the normal dairy kind from the store. Water kefir sounds a lot like kombucha, which I already brew.
Is one easier or more nutritious? I was going to do water kefir since I don't have access to good/raw milk, but if it's so similar to bucha maybe not.
I'm also looking for a good supplier for the grains since they're all $20 online (ridiculous IMO).
The difference I have notices with milk kefir you get proteins and then water and milk kefir have different bacterial strains
This might be helpful: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/expert-advice/compare-milk-kefir-versus-water-kefir.html
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
I bought some water kefir grains on ebay a couple months ago and could not be happier with the result.
The package got stuck in customs so it took 10 days for it to arrive. I thought for sure they would be dead but they have done nothing but produce delicious water kefir and propagate. The kefir tastes like a bubbly lemonade/ginger ale and I find myself craving it now. My friends and husband who don't really like kombucha do like the water kefir. Most recipes suggest using raisins, but I couldn't find any unsulfured so I have been using prunes or dried apricots. Tasty, seriously!
I also bought some milk kefir grains and I am not as thrilled with them . . . maybe I'm just not used to the taste/texture or how long to culture the milk kefir. I have been putting it in smoothies and using as a base to make salad dressing. My husband has been drinking it plain a little, but not me! The grains themselves are growing plump and seem very healthy - they were also in the 10-day delayed package and survived.
I think that while $20 sounds steep, it's probably worth it since it's practically free to make kefir and you want to get a strong, healthy strain. Mine were about $30 for a group of one kombucha mother, about 2 tbs water kefir grains, about 2 tbs ginger beer plant (very similar to water kefir) and about 1 tbs of milk kefir grains.
I've been making kefir water for a couple of months. I find it super easy. I think its worth the $20, but you may be able to find someone to give you them for free - since they multiply as you use them. (I've heard there are some sharing websites where people give them away.)