Water kefir grains are like children (hence the name babies).
You can guide them along but they are still going to do things their own way.
My full time job as a Master Water Kefir Brewer is to mass produce water kefir grains in my grow op.
I have tried every method that I could possibly find to try double my grain growth and I am so excited to share my findings with you because it is one of the most common questions that I get asked.
Water kefir grains can reproduce rapidly under the right conditions and with some luck. They will grow anywhere from 5%-400% within 48 hours.
Happy Gut is located in Canada where we see major temperature fluctuations. I am extra fortunate to have mineral rich spring water as my water source but with that said, I still only see 5% growth in the winter and 400% growth in the summer, with other %’s everywhere in between.
Ultimately, there is no silver bullet method to double your water kefir grain growth. 🙁
My mission in life is to get them to grow by 400% daily but they completely have minds of their own.
In the winter they diminish growth because of the season. They are like little weather vanes and their reproduction often depends on the temperature outside. It is also interesting that smaller grains will reproduce much more rapidly than larger grains (this is because there is a greater surface area that can grab nutrients from the water).
After numerous experiments, money spent on trying old wives tales, I personally found that the best thing you can do for water kefir grains is to let them do their own thing. They genuinely have minds of their own.
If you are just starting on the water kefir adventure, then it is of utmost importance to get them acclimatized to your specific water first and foremost before you start adding anything to the water.
They need at least 3-4 rounds of consistent brewing, consistent warm temps and 48 hours in the first ferment to get used to your specific water, sugar and environment.
Don’t give up after the first round.
1/4 cup grains
1/4 cup sugar (1 tbsp coconut with remainder cane)
4 cups water
I strongly suggest that you use the sterile Happy Gut kit to make sure that you have guaranteed success. I designed the kit through numerous trials and errors. People who use the Happy Gut DIY kit rarely contact me for support because it works!
It’s very difficult to trouble shoot with clients when I don’t know what their variables are.
After you are getting good fizz and you got your groove, then take a look at your grains. If they are plumping up and making amazing soda, then leave well enough alone and let them be.
As I mentioned before, large grains are not necessarily the best. Smaller grains eat up the sugar quicker.
If you feel like they could use a boost, start by adding a couple of shakes of Himalayan pink salt to your first ferment. See if they plump up a bit more between brews. Do that for a few rounds and if you feel they need something more, skip the salt and try adding a 1/4 tsp of black strap molasses to your first ferment.
Never rinse the grains after they come out of the first ferment. You end up washing all of the new babies that you just grew down the drain. Gently strain the grains and put them back into your fermenting jar.
Keep it simple! You can easily confuse them.
People try too hard. They add so many things to the water and the grains get confused and out of balance. The water becomes slimy and then you have MUCH bigger problems.
Making water kefir is meant to be easy!
Check out these links for more brewing information.
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This Blog is written in Canada with Love and good intentions,
Leeza Zurwick is the Founder of Happy Gut and has a deep passion for living off the earth and using fermented food as medicine. After being gifted some water kefir grains, she found it difficult to find consistent information on how to brew water kefir and she found it challenging to source the right brewing supplies. Through extensive research, trial and error, Leeza developed simple recipes and systems to ensure success and delicious results. After drinking water kefir daily, she noticed a significant reduction in bloating, clearer skin and her immune system was strengthened enough to not get sick, despite working in classrooms full of germy kids! Leeza launched Happy Gut in 2017 and made it her mission to share the age old wisdom, simplicity and incredible health benefits of live, probiotic rich, fermented Water Kefir.