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Second fermentation of water kefir: add some zing to your drink!

Second fermentation of water kefir is a process that adds more flavour and carbonation to the water kefir.

This is when you add new sugar or fruits/spices to a brew that has already been fermented and leave it to ferment for a second time in a sealed container.

During the second fermentation, water kefir becomes more flavourful, rich in carbon dioxide and some of the undesirable bacteria and yeast are eliminated.

second fermentation
During the second fermentation, water kefir becomes more flavourful, rich in carbon dioxide and some of the undesirable bacteria and yeast are eliminated.

How to second ferment water kefir?

  1. First, strain the fermented water kefir from your grains.
  2. Then pour 1 l of kefir liquid into a sealable jar or bottle and add your desired combination of flavours including fruit juice or fruit, berries, spices and botanical extracts. Leave a few cm space at the top. For my second fermentation I use Kefirko jars.
  3. Seal the lid and turn the jar a few times to mix. Leave to ferment at room temperature for another day. The second ferment enhances the fizziness and adds extra flavour to the brew.

There are many ways to flavour water kefir and you can get creative with what you use. Some ideas for flavour combinations: hibiscus, elderberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, grapes, pomegranates, coconut water, ginger, cinnamon, rosemary, mint, lavender, turmeric to name a few. You can use almost any fruit or fruit juice to flavour water kefir.

You can highly customise this step as it depends on your own taste preferences. Don’t worry about getting it wrong, as you learn by experimenting. Think of this as small batch brewing and honing one’s craft as a brewer.

second ferment with veggies
Second fermentation means fermenting without the cultures. Second fermentation gives your ferment a full spectre of live microorganisms. Many claim that only with second fermentation you can really benefit from fermented beverage.

Recipes for the second fermentation

There are many different flavours that you can use for the second fermentation. Double fermented kefir water is then kept in the fridge and used within a few days.

Grapefruit flavour

Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to 1 l of fermented water kefir and mix completely to ensure that the sugar dissolves. Then add 150 ml grapefruit juice and keep in airtight bottles leaving it to ferment for about 24 hours at room temperature.

Berry flavour

Add 75 ml of blended or crushed berries and a tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 l of water kefir. Then leave to ferment for 24 hours.

Ginger lemon

Squeeze 100 ml of lemon juice into 1 l of kefir water then add a tablespoon of grated ginger and 50 g of sugar. Leave to ferment for 24 hours.

Ginger supports vitality, gives your body more energy and helps reducing inflammation.

Apple juice

Take the fermented water kefir and add apple juice then leave to ferment for about 24 hours.

Mango

Mango is also a flavour that you can use during second fermentation. Add 100 ml of mango juice to 900 ml of water kefir that has undergone a first fermentation and leave to ferment for about 24 hours.

Kiwi

Add 100 ml of kiwi juice to 900 ml of water kefir, then leave to ferment for 24 hours.

second ferment with kefirko
Adding sourness to the kefir with this delicious exotic fruit, perfect source of Vitamin C, A, E and K. It contains also antioxidants and fiber.

Mint

Blend a handful of mint leaves, add them to 1 l of water kefir with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Also blend this mixture and leave to ferment for 24 hours.

 

The second fermentation creates some amazing alterations to the taste and adds beneficial nutritional value. Experiment with your favourite seasonal fruits.

Do be careful when opening the bottle after the second fermentation. It may be super fizzy and could overflow so leave more space at the top of the bottles and also open the lid every so often to release the pressure.

 

This blog was created by our partner Vedrana from Kefirolicious.

Get tools for second fermentation of your kefir:

second fermentation jars

Sources:
Water kefir second fermentation
Water kefir second fermentation – step by step
How To Second Ferment Your Water Kefir
Water Kefir Second Fermentation: Learn Why You Should Flavor Your Water Kefir

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Urška Benčina
Articles: 202

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