Monday, November 15, 2010

Cherry Kefir Water

I've been struggling to make decent kefir water for about a month now. Kefir water crystals are different than the milk crystals, though they are just as finicky. My first five or six batches tasted like sweat. I saved the crystals, but dumped their product. I had followed directions, but that didn't seem to help.

I finally had success with the following recipe, which I created.

1 quart spring water (bottled - my filtered LA tap water didn't seem to work)
1/3 cup demerrara sugar
1 T. unsulphured molasses (I used blackstrap)
2 T. dried unsulphured cherries
all the water kefir crystals that you have - about 1/2 cup in my case

I combined the above in a jar, covered with cheesecloth, fastened with a rubber band. After a day I taste tested it. It still had a slightly sweet flavor. At this point I strained the mixture and poured the kefir water into old plastic water bottles and put them in the fridge.

A day or two later I opened a bottle - over the sink - and a healthy head spilled out. It poured like beer with an inch of foam. It was delicious. It tasted a little beery and I need to check it with a hydrometer for alcohol content. I don't want the kids drinking it if it has alcohol in it, but mostly it tasted great.

Two days later I went to pour another glass (and take this picture). I slowly removed the plastic cap and it shot from my hand like a champagne cork. Damn! It's still decicious.

It reminds me of a floris, though not as sweet. It has a clean flavor with rich, fresh cherry tones. This may be a probiotic health food, but it was as good or better than many of the dry fruit ciders we've been buying lately. I see a steep learning curve in front of me, but one that promises to be rewarding.

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