I posted about this on Facebook and said I would do a post about it.
So. Here it is.
In the meanwhile though...we've had a heck of a summer. And I'm about ready to divulge on the latest happenings and come back out of seclusion, because, its ALL HAPPENING, DUDE.
ALL OF IT.
But. Not quite yet. Soon though.
For some reason I've been all about the fermenting this summer. Lacto-fermenting. Which means lots of really good probiotic goodness for your guts. And a handy preservation technique for out of control bean patches in the garden. And some yummy food/carbonated drinks.
This one is a drink though. And it requires water kefir grains. They are little gelatinous looking blobs that you can buy on various places like ebay online. I got mine from our old babysitter who was totally into the stuff.
First off, if you want to read an actual recipe and explanation of what water kefir is, click here. This is the one I followed. But it really is an anti-recipe because there are so many ways to make it, so many flavors to experiment with!
So, far, I'll confess, I only did the lemonade version. But, damn, so good.
This is how I did it.
Dump your water kefir clumps into a quart size glass jar. Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in one cup or so of warmish water. Let this cool. You cant pour warm water over the kefir grains, it will kill them! Also, a note about the grains, apparently you need to care for them. Mine had been sitting in a jar in the fridge for months. So, I rinsed them several times in water. You can also feed them for a bit in a tiny bit of quality salt, or some molasses, then rinse until the water isnt cloudy. This gives them the minerals they need to thrive...or something like this...
I rinsed mine and then went ahead with the recipe.
Okay, like I said, let the sugar water cool, add more cool water, to fill the quart size jar. Make sure its filtered water - flouride from city water will kill them!
Now, cover loosely. I used a clean washcloth, secured with a rubber band. Now wait a day. If you want less sugar in the final product, wait two days.
Now, strain out your grains, pour the liquid into another quart size jar. I stored my grains in a small glass jar in the fridge.
The fun part now. Use a little grape juice (100% fruit of course, no added anythings) and you have grape kefir soda! Use a little mango puree, Mango flavor! I did two slices of lemon (peel included) and a few unsulfured raisins for the needed sugar. (There are more ideas in the link above) This part is when the carbonation builds up. Let sit covered tightly with a lid for several days. I waited two I think. The longer it sits the more fizz.
This is important, you have to open the jar once a day to "burp" it, which lets out some carbonation SO YOUR JAR DOESNT EXPLODE. Remember to do this.
Now, filter out the puree/lemon/raisin bits and store in one of those nifty jars with the flip lids and store in the fridge. You can get them at Ikea and Walmart even. Unfortunately mine are packed in our storage unit...somewhere...so I just left it in a quart jar. Add to iced tea for probiotic lemony goodness! Drink over ice! Mix with vodka (YUM)!
My sister, bravely trying my fermented efforts.
I love this stuff.
Tell me what variations you come up with. I want to try grape next.
Next I have to tell you about the fermented ginger beer aging in the kitchen! And the dilly beans on the Hoosier cupboard. OHMYGOSH DILLY BEANS.
Soon. I'll be properly back. Soon.