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How To Rehydrate Water Kefir Grains

Whether you’ve just purchased our dehydrated water kefir grains or you’re rehydrating from your own dehydrated batch, let us walk you through this quick and simple process.

Rehydrate Water Kefir

If you’ve ever tasted water kefir, you’ve most likely fallen in love with the tart, sweet, and effervescent drink that is growing in popularity each day. Commonly referred to as the “original soda,” water kefir is fermented sugar water known for its characteristic “grains,” also referred to as bulgaros de agua or tibicos. These grains are a cellulose byproduct of the water kefir fermentation process and contain the SCOBY or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The growth in popularity is not only due to the taste of the final beverage, but also its health benefits for better gut health due to the live microbes that thrive in fermented foods, as noted by Harvard. And more and more people are learning every day one exciting fact – water kefir is actually very easy to make. In this post, we’ll walk you through making water kefir using your Dehydrated Water Kefir Grains.

Dehydrated water kefir grains are fresh water kefir grains that have gone through a dehydration process, most effectively done using a dehydrator. The dehydration process we use ensures microbial preservation as the grains dehydrate, so rehydrating, sometimes referred to as activating, your grains and water kefir culture is a simple and seamless process. After rehydrating your grains, you’ll be able to make delicious batches of water kefir and flavor them with all your favorite fruits, herbs, and spices. Before we rehydrate our grains, let’s review what these processes entail.

Rehydrating water kefir

MAKING WATER KEFIR: PRIMARY FERMENTATION VS SECONDARY FERMENTATION

It’s important to note that once you have rehydrated your water kefir grains, brewing homemade water kefir is almost always a two-step fermentation process. Brewing water kefir is only a one-step process for those who prefer unflavored and mostly flat water kefir. Otherwise, the steps consist of primary fermentation and secondary fermentation.

  1. Primary Fermentation: Primary fermentation is the first step of the water kefir brewing process. This is where your water kefir grains transform regular sugar water into the tart and slightly sweet water kefir we love. At the end of this stage, you will have finished water kefir, but it will be flat and, depending on the source of sugar used, unflavored.
  2. Secondary Fermentation: Secondary fermentation is the step where you bottle, carbonate, and flavor your water kefir by the addition of sugar and flavors. This step is essentially adding a bit of sugar/flavor to each airtight bottle and letting it ferment a little longer, allowing the yeast to carbonate the beverage in an airtight environment naturally.
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INGREDIENTS

  • Dehydrated Water Kefir Starter Grains | SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast): The SCOBY is the group of living microbes responsible for transforming sugar water into water kefir.
  • Organic Sugar: Without sugar, there wouldn’t be any activation taking place. The yeast eats sugar, breaking it down into carbon dioxide and alcohol, which then gets broken down by the bacteria into healthy organic acids, enzymes, and vitamins. Since you’re saving so much money making your water kefir, we recommend purchasing organic ingredients.
  • Filtered WaterAs the most abundant ingredient in water kefir, you want to make sure that the water you use is high quality. Tap water contains chlorine and chloramines that inhibit microbe growth (not good for activation and fermentation). Most cheap, carbon water filters will remove chlorine and chloramines so those will suffice. But as a fallback, spring water is always a favorite of your water kefir grains.

 

Rehydrating Water Kefir Grains Recipe

5 from 1 vote

Recipe by Fermentaholics Course: Dehydrated Water Kefir Grains, Rehydrating Water Kefir GrainsCuisine: Water KefirDifficulty: Easy

32 Oz Brewing Container

1

Prep time

5

minutes

Activation Time

1-3 Days

This recipe is for rehydrating one 10-gram batch of dehydrated water kefir grains. Upon completion of this rehydration brew, discard the liquid and begin your primary fermentation.

Ingredients

Directions

  • In a clean, quart-sized jar, add 1/4 cup of organic cane sugar.
  • Add the three cups of filtered water to the jar and mix ingredients until sugar is almost completely dissolved in the water.
  • Add your dehydrated kefir grains into the quart sized jar with water and sugar.
  • Place a breathable cover over the opening of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm location (Ideally 76-78° F) out of direct sunlight and let it ferment.
  • After 24 hours, check your kefir grains. They should have rehydrated to their normal state and increased by about 7 times in size, from 10 grams to around 70 grams. If they still look smaller and dehydrated, let them rehydrate for another 24 hours or until they resemble fresh water kefir grains.
  • Once your grains and water kefir culture have been rehydrated, you can strain the grains, discarding the liquid, and begin your primary fermentation.

Notes

  • Filtered water is important. Chlorine is typically added to city water to inhibit microbe growth. We are trying to encourage microbe growth during fermentation so it’s best to remove the chlorine. Any sort of carbon filtration system will work. This includes Brita Filters and refrigerator filters, given you have been on top of changing the filter. If not, a gallon jug of spring water from the store will work as well.

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