Summer is water kefir weather. Those hard-working, gelatinous “grains” (actually a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) turn sugar water into a sparkling probiotic beverage. While a water kefir first ferment (1F) doesn’t have much personality, the second ferment (2F) is where the fun happens!
Plum and grapefruit are two of my favorite 2F flavors. Any color of plum will work, but a deep purple one will lend its beautiful hue to the finished water kefir. For both flavors, organic fruit is preferable because the skins are used along with the flesh.
Plum: wash the outside of the fruit in cold water and remove the stone. I find the easiest way to remove the stone is to cut the fruit in half, then into quarters – the stone will remain in one of the quarters and should be reasonably easy to pull out. Chop up the fruit (the smaller, the better) or squash it well with an appropriate tool (a muddler works for soft fruit). Add to the finished water kefir 1F and let it infuse for 24 hours. After the time has elapsed, strain out the fermented fruit and bottle the water kefir 2F. Put the bottle into the fridge and eat the fermented fruit or feed it to your fowl.
Grapefruit: wash the outside of the fruit thoroughly – a vegetable scrubber works well for this task and will get into those little depressions in the skin. Cut the fruit in half and put one half away. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel all the skin – no pith – from the grapefruit half. Chop the peel up and add to the finished water kefir. Using a reamer, juice the fruit and ensure that all pulp and juice is extracted. Remove any seeds that are visible. Pour the fresh juice into the finished water kefir 1F and let it infuse for 24 hours, then strain out the peel and bottle the finished water kefir 2F. Sadly, the fowl probably won’t be interested in the fermented peel.
Water kefir is really an amazingly refreshing live beverage – quench your thirst on a hot day with a cold, fizzy glass of your favorite flavor.
You can also easily make these adult beverages with a splash of white rum or vodka. Cheers!