Kefir grains come in two varieties: the white creamy cauliflower-like type that makes milk kefir and the yellowish crystal type that makes water kefir. Both types can do a lot for your health, body and life as a whole. You don’t need to be sick first to try it out since kefir drinks are both preventive and curative. Here are some of the benefits you get from either milk kefir or water kefir.
It can treat skin rashes, eczema, acne, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, migraine headache, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, diarrhea, colitis, leaky gut syndrome, candidiasis, urinary tract infection, ulcer, depression, anxiety, cancer, and potentially HIV/AIDS. The Russians first made kefir famous as a cure for tuberculosis.
When taken regularly, kefir can lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure, treat diabetes, regulate metabolism, help produce bile, improve digestion, cleanse the digestive tract, flush out pathogens, slow the aging process, discourage unnecessary cravings for food, increase one’s energy, and offer an over-all feeling of good health and wellbeing.
Below are some tips on how to make milk kefir and water kefir in your own kitchen, and then see if we can make dairy out of water kefir grains and water kefir from milk kefir grains.
First, let’s make milk kefir by getting 2 tablespoons of milk kefir grains, 2 cups of milk (raw milk if possible), a clean glass jar with lid for fermenting, bottles to catch the liquid kefir after fermenting, and non-metallic strainer and spoon.
Second, put your grains and milk in the jar. It shouldn’t fill up more than 3/4 of the jar. Stir gently with wooden or plastic spoon and then place the lid to cover. Allow little air to escape. Place at room temperature and let it stand for about 24 hours. Do not place under the sun. Fermenting longer than 24 hours will make your kefir sourer and with more curds and whey.
Third, separate the liquid kefir from the grains by using a non-metallic strainer. It has been observed that metal substances can damage the grains, so make sure to use plastic or nylon when straining.
Fourth, wash your fermenting jar since you will perform this process a second time. Reuse the kefir grains for your next batch of drink.
Fifth, your bottles of milk kefir are ready for drinking, but you can also store them in your fridge for some time to serve chilled later on. You can also let sit at room temperature to “ripen” the drink a bit. For those who love to experiment, milk kefir may be turned into a smoothie or ice cream.
Now it’s time to make water kefir. While milk kefir grains feed on lactose (milk sugar), water kefir grains eat sugar, and so the first step to making the drink is to sweeten your water base with sugar
First, make sugar water by dissolving sugar; any type of sugar is fine. Put 1/3 cup of sugar in a cup of water in a pot. Heat but not to boil. Add 3 more cups of water after cooling, place in a bigger jar, and add 1 1/2 more cups of water.
Some use 1/4 cup sugar in one quart of water. Make sure to let the sugar completely dissolve first.
Second, put your water kefir into the jar of sugar water. Use about 1/3 cup of water kefir grains or a couple of teaspoons. Some put a half of egg shell in the water. Apparently the grains love it.
Third, cover with a coffee filter or tea towel. Just as you did with your milk kefir, allow to sit for 24 hours in room temperature. Many water kefir users, however, allow a much longer fermentation time of up to 72 hours. Since the grains eat the sugar, the more you allow them to ferment in the liquid, the less sugary your drink becomes.
Fourth, strain out the grains to make another batch while enjoying your first drink of fizzy, bubbly water kefir.
Fifth, some allow the drink to sit for a few more days, while others use lemon, ginger, fruits, raisins or vanilla to add flavor and drink right there and then. Water kefir grains are clear and translucent. Like water, they take on the color of the sugar (if brown sugar was used) or fruit flavor.
Both milk kefir and water kefir drinks are easy to prepare especially after you have gotten used to making them for some time. The question most kefir users ask, however, is whether milk kefir may be used in sugar water to make water kefir and whether water kefir could thrive in milk to produce dairy kefir.
Milk kefir grains could grow in sugar water and create water kefir following the usual procedure. The lactose-hungry grains can feed on the sugar for some time since lactose is basically sugar. They won’t grow as healthy, though, and so it is wise to put them back in milk. On the other hand, water kefir might find it difficult to survive in milk. They work better in coconut water and fruit juices if you wish to experiment on your liquid base.
For a fact, milk kefir and water kefir grains are two different substances, although they promise the same benefits and produce the same kefiran sugar byproduct. If you wish to experiment switching their places, make sure to save and store a few kefir grains just in case something bad happens with your experiment.