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Water kefir grains.


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Has anyone else got kefir on the go? I sent for the grains after reading that it might help with long term joint pain/weight gain and insomnia.

There's loads on the net about it's properties (curing all ills from warts to bad boyfriends!) You 'grow' it like the old Palestine yeast ginger beer plant and the water one is not as temperamental to ferment as it's milk version.


Anyway, from a nursing background I was as usual of the 'this won't work' school of thought. However, after paying 15 quid I gave it my best shot. NOTHING. - Then it went mad. It's proving quite easy, just needing bottled water/sugar/unpreserved lemon slice/unpreserved 2 sultanas and a plastic pop bottle.


It did take me a week to screw up enough courage to drink this mess and it tasted a bit like watered down bitter - yuk I thought!. However, second brew I only put in 2 sultanas rather than a dozen and the resulting stuff is clear and palatable. Very nice with a dash of ribena.


Then I drank it one night.


- And didn't surface until 10am the next morning. Yippee! real sleep. Plus a lessening in the urge to combat pain and tiredness by eating, with a lifting of consequent low mood.


Now I really didn't expect this to do anything at all, so I left some days between and gave it another shot (1 glass in early evening) and it worked again. (The lemon in it makes it too acid to have at bedtime).


Another bonus is that the darned stuff multiplies and you can share the grains. Obviously not every remedy works for all people but I have had to eat my words of doubt on this one.


Keep well,

- Helena.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Vardy, I've also tried water kefir in the past and found it very pleasant, although, as it is 'fed' with sugar water I always tested each batch with glucose dip strips to prove that the sugar has been eaten. Also I enjoyed water kefir, I have been brewing milk kefir for the past year and start each day with a smoothie. My tum feels a lot less tender than it usually does and, of course, it has far more probiotic strains that water kefir. 30-50 different strains as opposed to the 10 or so in the water kefir. Keep up the good work!

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Hi - Thank you for the tip about the testing strips, I'm going to try it.


Though I'm not sure about comparison to other preparations as I have only just started with this stuff.


Which leads me to the present slight problem - has anyone seen Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice? Far from being difficult to grow more grains, it's creeping up the pop bottle like a martian invader.


Not so the ginger beer plant though (proper one) - that's proving to be a very much slower grower. Anyone know if this is normal?

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Vardy, I imagine you are referring to the increase in water kefir grains. Yes, they do multiply at an amazing rate. If you are getting overwhelmed with them, just throw some of them away, unless you have friends who would like to try them. I used to put mine in a large kilner jar with the sugar water and an unsulfured dried apricot (the dark brown ones rather than the bright orange ones). During summer, it would be ready in 24-48 hours. I then bottled it in a kilner bottle incase it got too fizzy, otherwise the bottle can break.

With regard to your ginger plant, I remember my mother doing these when I was a youngster and I seem to recall that it had to be fed with powdered ginger and sugar every day (or every other day). It usually took about 7-10 days before mum used to make up the ginger beer. It was so much nicer than any commercial product available today. Keep with it, you just need a bit more patience.


Phanerothyme - I had a look at the link and it is kefir. I think we are the only country that doesn't sell it commercially yet.


---------- Post added 22-05-2015 at 20:10 ----------


Just been looking on the internet. There's a UK company: nourishkefir.co.uk who sell kefir in various forms which are made daily from live grains. It sounds OK but it's quite expensive. A 500ml bottle is £2.99. I drink 500ml per day and, as I've been doing this for about a year, it works out a lot cheaper as I buy a 4pt bottle of milk which lasts roughly 4 brews. I use skimmed which causes the live grains to grow enormous. Don't know why. Obviously, when you first buy the grains, they are very expensive which, basically, is a total rip off. I have supplied my Aunt's neighbour with grains, which she then gave some to my Aunt.

The neighbour was lactose intolerant but found that she could drink kefir without problems. My Aunt has it on her cereal every morning and her dog goes crazy for it and he seems to have had a new lease on life for an old dog.

If anyone is thinking of trying to brew kefir, don't buy the dried cultures. You need a new one each time you brew. Ridiculously expensive!

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Wow! - That's loads more than I knew about it.


At the moment I'm experimenting mixing both brews together (taking care not to contaminate one with the other) and then flavouring with sieved fresh ginger. I will have a go at the non preserved apricot though, as I don't like the flavour using a sultana or two and lemon slice, it's too sharp.


Also will add powdered ginger to last bottling to try, as fresh ginger even when peeled is a bit 'earthy'.


Thanks again and have a nice weekend.

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  • 9 months later...

I don't do water kefir any more. My kefir grains are for milk. I've also started making kombucha now although I'm still learning how to do this. You can buy water kefir grains from http://happykombucha.co.uk/collections/water-kefir but they are quite expensive. Will be much better if you can find someone who can give you some of their surplus water grains.

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