The #1 reason water kefir ferments fail is because the temperature in the room isn’t consistently warm enough.
The optimal brew temperature is between 20 – 30°C (70 – 80°F) but with temperatures fluctuating from day to night in our homes, it makes it difficult for the water kefir grains to flourish.
With cooler temperatures, it’s best to do your first ferment for 48 hours (instead of 24 hr) to give more time for the sugars to be used up. The way to tell if your first ferment is ready is if it smells fermented and the water kefir tastes mildly sweet-sour with just a tiny bit of bubbles when first strained.
Here are 10 warming tips to use during the winter months:
1. Wrap the brewing jar in a towel and keep away from drafts.
2. Wrap mini Christmas lights around the jar – ones that give off warmth.
3. Put the brewing jar near your wood stove, where it’s comfortably warm and not too hot.
4. Keep the brewing jar on top of your fridge.
5. Put them in your furnace room and set a reminder on your phone.
6. Place them on a seed growing mat
7. Put them in the cupboard above the fridge—typically quite warm
8. Place the jar into your yogurt maker
9. Place them on a cookie sheet into the oven with the light on. Leave a sticky note on the oven so you don’t turn it on with the brew inside.
10. Place the ferments right up against your salt lamp. It warms with good heat and energy.