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Monday, January 8, 2018

The Newbie Project: Getting Started

Part 2 of our new series
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Cultures for Health
15% off DIY Kits with code: DIY
Water Kefir Starter Kit
Let's get started.
To kick off 2018, our awesome team members are trying new cultures they've never made before. JR is making water kefir for the first time with our Water Kefir Starter Kit.

Today, JR is activating his water kefir grains to get them ready to make kefir. Here's how he did it:
Activating Water Kefir Grains
1. Make Sugar Water
First, JR made sugar water, which is what the kefir grains will feed on while culturing. He measured half a cup of hot water and a quarter cup of organic cane sugar from our starter kit, then added 2.5 cups of cool water. (We recommend dissolving the sugar in the hot water before adding the cool water, but stirring like JR did will get you the same results.)
Activating Water Kefir Grains
2. Check the Temperature
Next, JR stuck the stick-on thermometer from the kit onto his jar and checked the temperature of the sugar water to see if it was between 68 and 85 degrees. It was too high for the grains at 87. No problem- since JR started with just 2.5 cups of cool water and our directions give a range of 2.5-3.5 cups, JR just added another cup of water. Another check of the thermometer, and the water was down to 70 - perfect.
Activating Water Kefir Grains
3. Add the Grains
Now the best part: JR added the water kefir grains. These guys will re-hydrate, or activate, over the next few days. Some of JR's grains floated, and some sank - it's all normal.
Activating Water Kefir Grains
JR used the butter muslin included in the kit to cover the jar. Butter muslin makes a great breathable jar cover that keeps fruit flies and other pests out while letting any gases created by fermentation escape. (Plus, you can use it to make homemade cheese!)
Activating Water Kefir Grains
4. Wait
JR found a warm place to keep his jar for the next few days, and that was it - he was done. He'll check back in after 3-4 days to make his first batch of kefir!
Activating Water Kefir Grains
How did it go? Did you have everything you needed?
Everything I needed was already in the kit, besides the measuring cups, mason jar, and spoon to help dissolve the sugar. It wasn't complicated at all and rather simple. Makes me think "why haven't I already tried to make this?"

What was confusing or difficult? What was easy?
I was surprised with how easy it was. For some reason I thought the process would be difficult or have too many steps, causing it to maybe not come out right. Surprisingly, the confusing part for me was using the thermometer strip attached to the mason jar and learning how to read it for the first time. 


What are you looking for when you check your culture?
I'm not sure what to expect. I'm looking forward to checking on the culture throughout the process to see if I observe any changes. I believe the water color may change a bit and bubbles might start to form. I'm looking forward to adding flavors and trying different ones in the future.

Up next: JR makes his first batch of water kefir.
Water Kefir Starter Kit
Activating Water Kefir Grains
Culture with JR
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15% off DIY Kits with code: DIY
 
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