Water Kefir Starter Kit
Product Review (submitted on March 7, 2014):
This water kefir, where has it been all my life?! It's amazing stuff that has resolved a long-term marital dispute - namely, my husband's sugar-drink habit. The compromise we've arrived at for the past half decade is V8 V-Fusion, which is based on carrot and sweet potato juice plus added fruit juice flavors. Although carrots and sweet potatoes might sound healthy, in my view once you remove the fiber it might as well be sugar soda. The resolution: throw water kefir grains directly into V8 V-Fusion and my new SCOBY friends quickly convert the too-sweet levels of sugar into tangy lactic acid, a little bit of ethanol (yay!), and charming champaigney bubbles. Not only more healthy, but skeptical husband agrees: more delicious than the starting material.
Methods: I alternate the grains between a day in sugar water (recipe in the kit) and two or three days in V8 V-Fusion. Sometimes I store the sugar water culture in the fridge for a week or two before pouring the whole culture into a jug of V-Fusion. Once a month I crush up some eggshells, boil them in a little sugar water, then cool and throw them into the culture. The SCOBYs love the eggshells so much they swirl up and down on all the CO2 like it's some kind of party.
One small suggestion: the kit would be more complete if it included a funnel that fits the strainer. I use small-mouth beer growlers and an annoying part about the transfer is that all the funnels I happened to have in my kitchen are either too large or too small for the strainer.