Hippie Homebrew

My friend Ida has been brewing kefir at home. She offered some starter grains and I took her up on it.

Monday night: Go to Ida’s house for pickup and find that she’s not there. Play with her adorable kids. Go to Ida’s work. Receive a little lump of milk kefir and a small amount of water kefir in two Ziploc bags. Catch up with Ida over dinner. Yay!

Tuesday night: Put each kefir into a 16 ounce glass jar. Add milk to the milk kefir, water to the water kefir until both are approximately 12 ounces full. Feed the water kefir frozen orange juice concentrate instead of sugar against everyone’s advice. Leave them on the counter like I’m supposed to even though I really want to put the milk in the fridge.

Wednesday morning: Smells fermentey!

Wednesday night: Milk kefir starting to thicken.

Thursday morning: Thin bubbly film on top of the water kefir. Carbonation!

Thursday night: Strain milk kefir into 8 ounce mason jar and refrigerate. Dump grains into clean 16 ounce glass jar and add more milk. Strain water kefir into 12 ounce beer bottle and cap it. Dump grains into clean 16 ounce glass jar and add more water plus frozen orange juice concentrate.

Friday afternoon: Make a smoothie out of milk kefir with frozen mangos and local honey. Super tasty! Notice the next batch of milk kefir is already starting to thicken. Taste water kefir in progress, add some sugar, watch it fizz like crazy when the sugar hits.

Friday night: Open bottled water kefir. Fizzy like soda! Realize it’s slightly alcoholic. Rebottle unfinished 2nd half. Feel head thump. Watch face turn red. Document everything in this blog post.

The milk kefir is a success. I plan to keep doing it. Not sure about the water kefir, though. Like kombucha, it’s tasty and fizzy, which I like, but also slightly alcoholic, which I can’t handle. Supposedly water kefir is beneficial if you consume even a tablespoon a day, so in theory I wouldn’t need to drink much of it. But then production would greatly outpace consumption. I’m thrilled I can make my own all natural low sugar fizzy drink, though. Need to see what I can do to lower alcohol content.

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