The #1 reason water kefir ferments are not successful is because they are not kept consistently warm enough.
The optimal brew temperature is between 20 – 25 C (70 – 75 F). With temperatures fluctuating from day to night in our homes, it makes it difficult for the water kefir grains to flourish. When the temperatures outside get cooler, it is best to do your first ferment for 48 hours (instead of 24 hrs) to give more time for the sugars to be eaten up. The way to tell if your first ferment is ready is by doing the second ferment with pineapple juice. Once you are getting good fizz, you can change over to any juice or herbs you like.
Here are 10 warming tips to use:
1. Place the ferments right up against your salt lamp. It warms with good heat and energy.
2. Keep the brewing jar on top of your fridge.
3. Put the brewing jar near your wood stove, where it’s comfortably warm and not too hot.
4. Wrap mini Christmas lights around the jar – ones that give off warmth.
5. Put them in your furnace room and set a reminder on your phone.
6. Place them on a seed growing mat during the night only
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. Wrap the brewing jar in a towel and keep away from drafts.
If water kefir drops below 18 degrees at any point of the ferment, you run the risk of your grains going out of balance and the brew going slimy.