Many years ago I discovered a way to make kefir not only taste better, but to increase the nutrients in it. It is the only way that I make my kefir now because it is so delicious. The process is called second fermenting. I have to admit that the reason I second fermented my kefir was because it tasted so much better. There are a ton more nutrients and the vitamins sky rocket, but it is the taste that makes me do it again and again. It takes away the super sharp sourness and mellows out the flavors. Everybody I have taught to second ferment has continued to do so because it tastes so superior to regular kefir. If you second ferment with a lemon or orange peel or a million other things it will flavor the kefir and make it taste unique and delicious. Where I got this information is from the kefir guru, Dom, who resides in the beautiful land of Australia. When it comes to kefir, he is the man. Nobody knows more about kefir than him. I even bought grains from him many years ago and still use them to this day. He said that second fermenting kefir takes away some of the sourness. It also increases certain B vitamins, like folic acid, and makes the calcium and magnesium more bioavailable which means that your body can take it in and use it immediately. Basically, it is predigested and loaded with enzymes.
The directions for second fermenting are below and they are super easy.
Make your kefir using the basic technique, removing the grains afterwards. Place the kefir in a clamp down jar but if you don’t have a clamp down jar, you can use a regular canning jar. Take an organic lemon or orange and using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin of the fruit into strips. If you don’t have an organic orange or lemon, you can take off the chemicals by placing the fruit in boiling water for 30 seconds, then rinse in cold water. Place the fruit peels in the jar with your kefir and clamp the lid down. You can add a couple of orange slices, if you like. Leave the jar on your counter for 2 to 12 hours or (up to a full day), then place the kefir in refrigerator and enjoy. If the kefir separates into whey a little this is fine and you can then place it in the fridge.
This kefir, flavored with lemon or orange, is so yummy. It is lighter and creamier than kefir made with the basic recipe and has a little more carbonation. The taste is worth the extra half a day and the nutrients sky rocket.
A lot of people I know will ferment kefir for long periods, leaving their grains in the kefir for days. Although this is not a bad thing, it makes for super sour kefir. You hardly want to drink it because it is so sour. Kefir is meant to be enjoyed. The better it tastes the more you will drink it.