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Clarification needed:water kefir


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I make a lot of home-fermented foods: kimchi, water kefir, kombucha, and beet kvass

Beet kvass being compliant is a no-brainer, its just beets, water and salt.

Here is where i have gotten confused-

In theory, kombucha and water kefir are very similar. They both are ferments using a sweetened liquid as a medium yielding a pro-biotic beverage.

Kombucha is apparently ok. (I let mine go 3 weeks on the primary ferment)

Coconut water kefir is ok ( i could make this, but the perk of homemade is that it's dirt cheap to make, buying coconut water negates that)

I read the entire 'can i have' board. The only mention of water kefir is from a mod saying that the grains should be shelved for the 30 days, and to abstain.

I don't mind being told 'no'. I just want to understand the logic of why one is ok and not the other.

I planned on holding off for a couple of weeks anyway, my goal is to lean out and I'm not sure how a glass of kefir will affect that.

My kombucha won't be ready for another two weeks and the kvass another three. I just came off a course of antibiotics for bronchitis and I am newly pregnant so I want to get some probiotics in me soon.


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  • Moderators

I did a search and found that I was the moderator who suggested shelving the kefir grains for 30 days, but it was in the context of added sugar or measurably high sugar content. I probably would not have said no outside of the sugar discussion. See below.


I also found several comments from the Hartwigs and one from Johnny Mal. I'm including them below.




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Thanks Tom,

Re-reading those posts all together reinforced the need for a Hartwig to run interefernce.

Mod Johnny said yes, but didn't sound sure. The other posts were about coconut water kefir not regular water kefir.

FWIW here is my water kefir procedure:

Per 1/2 gallon water use 1/2 c of sucanat. I normally let this ferment aerobically for 3 days. This time I am doing it truly anaerobically with a fermentation lock for CO2 waste removal. As the lock shows that this is still fermenting, im letting it go longer for further sugar removal.

After the primary is done, i bottle the kefrir adding 1 oz of cherry juice and let that go for another two or three days.

I do have some nutritional quetsions about water kefir and kombucha though.

It is my understanding that the yeast/bacteria really only consume the glucose part of the sugar, leaving fructose behind. Is this true? If so, it sounds like it could be dangerous for anyone who is overweight. I really look forward to learning about this. Most info I could find on homemade kefir nutritional info was on dairy kefir.

As i said previously, I am newly pregnant and want to make sure I am getting in high quality probiotics, but I don't want to derail myself thinking something is good for me when its not because I am overweight. Ie: Melissa Hartwig could eat this, but I should not.

If thats the case, I'll just wait for my beet kvass to be ready, sadly.

Thanks again


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