Kefir is a probiotic beverage made with either kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter culture. Most likely originated from the Caucasus Mountains, "kefir" is said to stem from the Turkish word "keif" or "good feeling".
There are two types of grains, milk kefir grains and water kefir grains. They both contain beneficial bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. Kefir grains are not actual "grains" like wheat and rye, they are a gelatinous mass and are called grains because they are small and numerous, like grains of sand.
I was given a bunch of water kefir grains by my fermentation teacher Cheryl a couple of weeks ago. I left them in the fridge and sort of got busy and had totally forgotten about their existence, and the fact that they are actually living organisms and need food to survive. I was so sure that I killed them all until Cheryl reassured me that all I needed to do was to feed them lots of sugar. So I put the grains in a covered jar of water with 3-4 tsp of melted sugar and let the them feast in it for two days.
At the end of the two days, I rinsed them out and strained them. They came back alive and looked pretty healthy to me again!
Time to crack open a young coconut!
I put the juice from two young Thai coconuts in a quart-sized mason jar, added in the kefir grains, covered the jar with a cloth and let it sit for two days.
Once the culturing process was complete, I removed the kefir grains and fed them back in a jar of sugar water so they could replenish in between batches. (And I promised not to starve them again!)
I pour myself a glass of my experimental ferment - honestly I still don't quite know what it is supposed to taste like - mine is a little sour like yogurt, slightly thick but it's good enough for now!
To learn how to make coconut water kefir the proper way, visit Cultures for Health website.