Tibicos… what a strange word, what might it be anyway? Well, it is fizzy fermented sugar water. Sounds strange right? It is actually quite delicious as well as a healthy alternative to soda. It is also known as water kefir. I first heard about it a few years ago when someone at the Farmer’s Market mentioned it, then a friend of mine started making it. It caught my interest but I didn’t start making any until last fall when my midwife offered me some grains as well as a kombucha scoby(which I also started making and will be another post.) Making water kefir is a very simple process. After looking it up online to figure out the basics here is the method I use. I make mine in a half gallon jar. For ½ gallon of water kefir or tibicos you will need: 10 Tablespoons of water kefir grains 6 Tablespoons of sugar(I use organic cane sugar) 1 small lemon or lime 1 small piece of fresh ginger Helpful equipment to have: Half gallon glass canning jar Cheesecloth Rubberband Funnel Strainer Jars or bottles that seal tightly To make your water kefir measure your kefir grains and sugar into your jar. Fill with water. Cut the lemon or lime into quarter and slice the ginger add to jar. Cover with cheesecloth holding in place with a rubberband. Let sit on counter at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. It should be tangy, with just a little bit of sweetness. Experiment to find how long you like to leave it, the longer it sits the more sour it becomes. I find the time it takes to ferment varies a little depending on the temperature in the house. Next strain out the liquid and pour into airtight jars or bottles. Let sit on the counter another 12- 24 hours. Refrigerate to chill then enjoy! Another variation that I like is adding about 1/3 fruit juice when bottling. It adds extra fizz and flavor! It is also good mixed half and half with lemonade when you serve it. I also want to try making ginger ale syrup to add to it one of these days. To make the next batch simply add 6 more Tablespoons of sugar to the jar and fill with water. After three batches I use fresh lemon and ginger and re-measure my grains, they will keep growing. I keep the extra grains in sugar water in the refrigerator, give them away, or throw them in the compost if there are too many.
|My water kefir in my pretty bottles|
|Ready to sit on the counter|
|The grains- aren’t they pretty?|
|The finished drink- so refreshing|