2 tbsp active water kefir grains
1⁄8 cup unrefined cane sugar
1⁄8 cup cane sugar
1 quart of water
Dissolve both sugars in a small amount of hot water in a glass quart jar. Fill the rest of the jar with cold water to temper your brew (water temperatures above 100°F will destroy the cultures). Add the water kefir grains. Cover with a loose lid or muslin cloth (a finely woven cheese cloth) and secure with a rubber band. Let ferment in a warm spot (out of direct sunlight) for 2 days. Place a small strainer over another clean jar. Strain the kefir water into the jar, catching the grains in the strainer. Then, repeat the brewing process by transferring the grains to a new batch of tempered sugar-water at the same ratio of 1/4 cup total sugar to 1 quart of water.
Notes: Use plastic, nylon, bamboo, or a 100% stainless steel strainer. Other metals are reactive and will negatively affect the grains over time.
Unrefined cane sugar (like demerara, rapadura, turbinado or sucanat) means the molasses is still intact. Molasses has important trace minerals that help sustain & proliferate the kefir cultures.
If using tap water, it should be filtered or dechlorinated. (To dechlorinate, bring tap water to a boil for 20 minutes, then cool.) Water sources with higher mineral content like spring or well water are favorable and do not require filtering.
To take a break from making water kefir, transfer the grains into a fresh batch of sugar-water, cover loosely and refrigerate for 3-4 weeks.