Sunday, 24 April 2016

Water Kefir

I've been researching a lot on how to heal my gut. Many articles state that diets which are rich in natural probiotics do help the gut to heal. I decided to try water kefir.

When I first heard that water kefir needs sugar to ferment, my mind revolted. I mean, sugar gives me PAIN! Excruciating pain. After researching about it, I understood that the water kefir grains needed the sugar to thrive. It will 'consume' the sugar and turn it into beneficial bacterial and yeast. It actually has a lot of beneficial microbes!

Here is a list of the beneficial microbes that water kefir can contain:
(*different grains and conditions may produce different kinds of strains)

a. fabarum.
a. orientalis.

b. subtilis.
b. graveolus.

l. acidophilus.
l. alactosus.
l. brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.
l. bulgaricus.
l. casei. Produces lots of lactic acid; colonises well in the gastric tract; creates a favourable medium in which other beneficial bacteria can grow; inhibits putrefaction and harmful bacteria; increases immune function; helps protect against bacterial infections.
l. casei ss. (subspecies) casei.
L. casei ss. pseudoplantarum.
l. casei ss. rhamnosus.
l. casei ss. tolerans.
l. coryneformis ss. torquens.
l. fructosus.
l. hilgardii.
l. homohiochi.
l. hordei.
l. nagelii.
l. plantarum. Produces lactic acid; fights listeria monocytogenes; makes plantaricin; inhibits a large number of Gram-positive bacteria - the type of bacteria that cause spoilage.
l. plantarum.
l. pseudoplantarum.
l. reuterietc.
l. yamanashiensis.

l. mesenteroides.
l. citreum.

Pediococcus damnosus.

s. agalactiae.
s. bovis.
s. cremoris. Has similar properties to s. lactis.
s. diacetylactis. Produces carbon dioxide in the kefir; makes diacetyl, which gives kefir its characteristic odour; other properties similar to s. lactis.
s. faecalis.
s. lactis. Produces lactic acid, aids digestion, inhibits harmful microorganisms, produces bacteriolysins.
s. mutans.
s. pneumonia.
s. pyogenes.
s. salivarius.
s. sanguinis.
s. suis.
s. viridans.

c. lambica.
c. lamica.
c. gueretana.
c. valida.

Hansenula valbyensis.

Kloeckera apiculata.

Lachancea fermentati.

s. bayanus.
s. boulardii.
s. cerevisiae.
s. florentinus.
s. pretoriensis.
s. uvarum.

Torulopsis insconspicna.

Zygotorulaspora florentina.
*the above list of microbes is taken from HERE

Longer fermentation will result in lesser sugar content. 

I got my kefir grains from a very helpful friend. And she gave me a brief lesson on how to ferment the water kefir grains. 

As I got to know the water kefir grains, I discovered that the grains ferment best for 24 hours. As the temperature of each person's house varies, the fermentation period varies. Once the first round of fermentation is completed, I will strain the water into another clean jug and add some fruit (apple, pear, goji berry...etc). I will put a lid onto that jar and let it ferment for another 24 hours. I will then place it in the fridge. The result tasted like a can of Heineken beer. Joel said that it tasted like 100 plus! There isn't any sweetness left after the second fermentation. 

Here are some ground rules to fermenting water kefir:

1. DO NOT use chlorinated water. The kefir grains WILL die. No chemicals are allowed too.

2. DO NOT use metal spoons or strainers. Use plastic strainers. Apparently the metal will affect the kefir rendering them to be less effective.

3. DO NOT pour hot water as it will kill them.

4. DO NOT use honey as the antibacterial properties will kill the kefir grains.

5. DO talk to them as they thrive on sound. (I was told of this when I attended a workshop!)

6. Do use sugar which has a good amount of mineral content. 

For more information, click on LINK

You can also click HERE to read more. 

So far, I've only tested a tablespoon and I haven't really started drinking it. I'm still in the experimenting stage. By the way, the water kefir grains will ferment the sugar and produce alcohol! HIC! HIC! HIC!!! 


  1. Hi Evelyn, recently I read a book about GAPS. I quite believe in it. It can eliminate food allergies/intolerance and other ailments. Hope to try the GAPS diet one day. At least partially. Not easy as it means no grains! At least till the gut has healed. It detailed the stages of the diet and the duration of each stage depends on individual's body. Everything has to be homemade and organic. It says to start with making own vege probiotcs like sauerkraut and take 1-2 tsp of the juice a day and slowly increase it. Later stages then can eat the vege itself cos apparently a weak gut can't digest fiber well and will become worse. Alternatively can make own yoghurt with raw organic milk. And later on then try kefir as it is pretty strong and can cause a die-off reaction in the body as the pathogens get killed. Also drink lots of stock and eggs. Add some chopped garlic in the soup just before turning off the heat. Ginger tea is good too. Use animal fats, ghee, coconut and olive oil for cooking as the other vegetable oils are bad for the body. When getting better, can add fermented gluten free grains. Then finally unfermented grains. But at least for now, I am going to reduce my rice intake. Just read the news that rice is worse than sugary drinks!

    1. Yes, GAPS and FODMAP diet is good for healing the gut. Read more on it and maybe slowly experiment with it.

  2. Glad that you are experimenting with GAPS diet too, hope it can reset the body back to optimum health.