Step 7: Bottle Your Kefir, Flavor and Repeat!
A. Measure out the amount of grains you want to use in your next recipe and place them back in your jar or a clean one. If your grains grew and you want to make more water kefir, you can add more sugar and water this time (and maybe a bigger jar) in the same ratios as used before!
B. Pour your strained water kefir into your storage bottle(s) or drink right away! Chilling it promotes the flavor to 'mellow' and blend a bit (in the fridge), which also allows it time to increase in B vitamins, folic acid (as well as carbonation) and to be flavored if doing so.
*Store your kefir in tempered glass jars or bottles if you can (designated canning or beer/wine bottles - which are less likely to explode) with atleast 1/2 inch of space between it and the lid. The carbonation build-up over time can lead to the jar exploding. To prevent explosions, you can store it with the cap on loosely, or simply 'burp' it once a day to allow any built-up air to escape (open the lid and close it again - this will not hinder the carbonation - it will still get carbonated).
C. To avoid harming the grains, a majority of flavoring is done in a ’secondary
ferment’. This is after the grains have been taken out and you are bottling. You can now mix in some fresh fruit, dried fruit, honey, fruit juice, veggie juice, maple syrup, or extract (about 1 tsp per 1-2 cups) to flavor! You can also experiment with your favorite bags of tea, herbs, candied ginger, vanilla beans, cinammon sticks, etc! There are truly endless ways to flavor your kefir. Allow the kefir to sit another day or two and ferment the newly added flavors. You can do this on the counter, or in the fridge, just make sure to 'burp' (open the lid) once a day, to prevent explosions (believe us, these do happen - carbonation needs a way to escape!). Burping will not hinder carbonation build-up either, you'll still get a nice fizzy drink. If you don't want it fizzy, put in your flavors and leave the lid on loose or put on a towel with a band for a lid. Grape juice is an excellent flavor to try out - just add 1/4 cup or more grape juice to your water kefir!
D. Now simply feed your grains again and repeat!
If you have more questions you can check out Yemoos Nourishing Cultures to see photos, FAQ's, health benefits and other information on milk kefir.