Fermentation with

As I mentioned earlier in the article fermentation with SCOBY, you can produce different sour/tangy drinks. For example, Kombucha, Milk Kefir, and Tibicos (water kefir).

In this case, we will talk about how to make a milk Kefir and Tibicos.

Milk Kefir

Kefir is a drink rich in milk enzymes obtained from the fermentation of milk. Originally from the Caucasus, it contains about 0.8% of lactic acid, can have a small content of CO2 and alcohol due to the fermentation processes of yeasts, and has a fresh taste. Traditional kefir is prepared using fresh milk (sheep, goat, or cow’s milk) and the ferments or granules of kefir, formed by a polysaccharide called kefiran, which hosts colonies of mainly mesophilic bacteria and yeasts in symbiotic association.

Milk kefir ferments are not suitable for fermenting sugars contained in other liquid suspensions, such as soy and rice drinks or water and sugar solutions, while Tibicos (water kefirs) are suitable for fermenting these types of solutions.

You can not start fermentation without the kefir grains. Below you will find some links where you can buy the grains:

Italian link here

Italian link here

Italian link here

How to make it?

First, pour the milk (possibly fresh and pasteurized) into a jar and add the kefir grains in a ratio of 1:10 in weight. The temperature and proportion affect speed. If it is hot, decrease the grains, if it is cold, increase the grains. Then close the jar in a non-airtight manner. Let it ferment for 12-48 hours (depending on the factors) and mix well every 6-8 hours. When it is ready strain properly the kefir from the grains. Put the kefir in the fridge if you do not want to consume it immediately.

You can also try making cream kefir out of sour cream. Once the kefir cream is ready you can make kefir butter out of it, otherwise, you can separate the serum and make a spreadable cheese.

Tibicos

Tibicos, or water kefir, is a traditional fermented drink made with water and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY) held in a polysaccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria. As with milk kefir “grains”, the microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas, which carbonates the drink if bottled.   

Below you will find some links where you can buy the water kefir grains:

Italian link here

Italian link here

Italian link here

How to make it?

Star to pour water into a jar. Remember, do not use tap water because it may contain chlorine. Add 5-10% sucrose (recommended sugar) and mix well until the sugar has dissolved completely. Then, add half lemon juice to lower the PH. This operation will protect the water kefir from external contaminants. Depending on the taste you want to give add some fresh or dry fruit pieces. Now is the time to add the grains in a ratio of 1:20 in weight. Close the jar in a non-airtight manner. Let it ferment for about 48 hours and mix well every 6-8 hours. When it is ready strain properly the kefir from the grains. Put the tibicos in the fridge if you do not want to consume it immediately or transfer the fermented water into the bottle for gassing.

If you want to give a more intense taste to your tibicos you can add 20-30% of fruit juice to the jar that contains the grains.

You can use your fermented water to ferment (carbonate) almost any sweet drink.

written by Diego Guazzarotti