For the last couple Summers we’ve been offering our farm-crafted/home-brewed Kefir Sodas for sale at the Magdalena Farmer’s Market. We have managed to build up quite a store of kefir grains and are eager to share them as well as the process of making the sodas yourself at home. Of course we will still brew them for you at the farm-stand / café, so don’t worry if it seems like too much bother.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 quart jar
1/4 cup kefir grains
1/4 + 1/8th cup granulated sugar (we use unbleached organic whenever we can)
shy of 1 qt. good clean water
How to prepare it for fermenation:
dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in water (heat it if you like, but make sure it returns to room temperature before the next step)
in quart jar, combine sugar water and kefir grains
stir gently with wooden (not metal) spoon
put on lid
How to ferment it:
this is the trickiest step
leave to sit in a warm, not-bright, place
How long you leave it to sit depends on the health of your kefir grains as well as the warmth of your fermenting location. At home we use a seedling heat mat to control the temperature. Basically you want to ferment it until the sugar is mostly consumed by the kefir grains.
Then you can add approximately 1/8th cup sugar back into the solution (do not heat) and once fully dissolved, add it , with any flavorings, into the soda.
Your second ferment:
Then you need to bottle the soda in bale top bottles (you can use old beer bottles if you have one or purchase them new) for the second fermentation.
This is where you really get the fizz effect for your soda!
Pour through mesh filter to keep grains out of the bottles and funnel so it doesn’t spill everywhere
Let sit for 12 – 72 hours depending on temperature and desired flavor & fizz level (longer ferment = more fizz / less sweetness).
Experiment with sweetness and flavorings:
You can make your soda more or less sweet according to your taste. You can also experiment with adding flavorings. Add teas or syrups before (or after) bottling and see what you come up with!