1.Make a fermenting container. Really important if you plan on making WKS! check this out
2.Play with the types of natural sugars out there:
a) Sucanat- It was our sugar of choice because of the being rich in minerals. We found that it has to pungent of a flavor for making WKS. It actually ends up tasting more like a beer. We even tried adding more fruit syrup but it became over carbonated and we would ended up with exploded bottles! ** We do use it whenever we think our kefir needs a little extra feeding.**
b) Sucanat with Honey- Much lighter flavor but it does have honey in it which can kill your Kefir and it's price is well to pricey now.
c) Turbinado or Raw Sugar- This seems to have just the right amount for daily use. We tend to taste more of the flavor of the fruit syrup and less molasses. WKS taste like a sparkling fruit cider with this sugar.
3. Leave a good 3 inch head space when making your WKS. Trust me!
4. Use a fruit puree or concentrate. We make our own plum sryup and really like the flavor.
Maraschino cherries and vanilla made it smell like rotten cheese and I couldn't stand to be near my husband when he drank it. But don't fret. I love him so much I got him hooked on plum syrup. All is well again!
5. Use heavy duty glass bottles with canning style caps.
6. Again. Have a fermenting bucket. You'll be so happy you did. You'll be thinking how smart you are after your first extra bubbly batch of WKS!
Case in point, since our 1st explosion we always bucket ferment. Last week when Superman and I went to get a 2 day ferment of WKS out we found a hissing mess in one of our light weight bottles. Thankfully it had not shattered, but did pop it's little lid and was seeping out all over the bucket. All we had to do was rinse it out. No scrubbing down of the whole kitchen or pulling shrapnel out of the walls.
Now lets talk about carbonation. I only have theories here because I really haven't tried to figure the science of it. Please remember this. I'm just a mom doing crazy stuff in my kitchen, no expert!
Carbonation, the good burping kind. You know what I'm talking about. Not that I want to burp, but I could if I felt I needed to prove myself to Superman. Who am I kidding, I like the occasional burp. But I digress... We've found that the more pureed and sweetened your fruit is, the better the bubbles. Check daily for the right amount of carbonation. You'll see little bubbles bubbling up to the top of your bottle. Always open slowly in sink. Click here for a quick video on carbonation.
I have chunkier batches of syrup that is also used for pancakes and such. This syrup tends to need more fermenting time. Up to 3 days in fact. When I use a more pureed, sweetened fruit it can take as little as one day. Every batch is different so again check daily and use a fermenting bucket!
This is really a simple process, but you have to get in the habit of making your water, then soda daily. It takes about 10 minutes.
Let me know if you give it a whirl and what works for you!