Ginger Water Crystals are water kefir grains that are grown in a special mixture containing root and powdered ginger and produce a water kefir version of Ginger Beer known as Ginger Water.
The grains themselves are technically no different to water kefir grains other than they tend to be a little smaller than regular water kefir grains and will have a strong ginger flavour when brewed.
Ginger Water Crystals are a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Although they’re called “crystals,” Ginger Water Crystals look more like gelatinous blobs thought they contain no actual grains or gluten. These bacteria feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content is usually very minimal, less than 1 %. If you don't want to consume diary products, then Ginger Water Crystals are an excellent non-dairy fermented food source you can enjoy every day. Why not visit our shop to Buy Ginger Water Crystals UK.
Ginger Water Crystals are typically composed of Lactobacillus casei/paracasei, Lactobacillus harbinensis, Lactobacillus hilgardii, Bifidobacterium psychraerophilum/crudilactis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Dekkera bruxellensis. It typically contains less active bacteria than Milk Kefir but offers a dairy-free alternative probiotic that can also be consumed daily. It's simple to make, and as long as you look after the culture, it will produce Ginger Water indefinitely.
Once you receive your Ginger Water Crystals culture from us, it's important to get it fermenting as soon as possible. If your unable to do that right away, please ensure you activate them before the use by date stated on the packaging. Your order will contain 20-40g of ginger Water Crystals culture. This is enough to make 500ml-1-litre bottle of Ginger Water. Don't worry though; the culture grows very fast so your be making much more in no time at all.
You need something to brew your Ginger Water in. We recommend using something glass. Glass is much easier to clean and keep sterile. Plastic tends to degrade over time and is prone to scratches which can harbour unwanted bacteria. Plastic also carries a risk of chemical contamination from the materials contained inside of it such as BPA. A glass Kilner style jam jar is perfect to use.
You also need a plastic strainer and a plastic stirring spoon. We do not recommend using metal, Ginger Water is quite acidic and can react to coming into contact with metal.
We also recommend you buy a water filter to remove the chlorine from your tap water. You can use bottled water, but this tends to get expensive.
You also need something to cover your jar with. We recommend paper kitchen towels as they are easy to discard and replace. You can also use a muslin cloth or similar if you wish. Rubber bands also come in handy to secure the cover to the jar.
You also need some bottles to store your Ginger Water in. Again we recommend using glass bottles. We find swing/flip lid style bottles suitable for fermentation work best with Ginger Water. If you are worried about explosions and glass, you can use plastic bottles. Plastic tends to degrade quickly. It also carries a risk breaking down into the mixture due to the acidness of Ginger Water. Make sure you use BPA free plastic.
It is important when using glass bottles to check and burp (release some of the gas build up) daily to minimise the risk of explosions.
It is useful to get a plastic funnel to help pour the liquid into the bottles.
Glass/plastic measuring Jug
It is also useful to have something to decant your strained mixture into. Glass or plastic measuring jugs are perfect.
You only need 3 ingredients to make Ginger Beer, Ginger, water and sugar. We prefer to use fresh ginger, but you can experiment with dried ginger or ginger powder if you prefer. The water used must not be chlorinated. This is very important as chlorine will damage and possibly kill your Ginger Water Crystals culture. It is best to use a mixture of both cane sugar and unrefined brown sugar. Cane sugar is easily broken down by the culture, but unrefined brown sugar contains the minerals and vitamins the Ginger Water Crystals culture thrives on. Using a mixture of sugars will greatly help the speed at which your culture grows. We only use organic cane sugar and organic brown sugar when making our Ginger Water Crystals. However you can use non organic sugar if you choose.
You need to activate your Ginger Water Crystals; this is to revive them from the shipping process. Add 250ml of non-chlorinated water per 20g of Ginger Water Crystals to your jar. Add one tablespoon of sugar (15g) per 20g of Ginger Water Crystals and stir, so the sugar begins to dissolve. Place your Ginger Water Crystals into the jar with and cover it. Leave them for 48 hours. Strain out the Ginger Water Crystals and discard the sugar water. Your Ginger Water Crystals are now activated and ready for your first brew.
Pour 500ml of non-chlorinated water per 20g Ginger Water Crystals into your jar. Add one tablespoon of sugar (15g) per 20g of Ginger Water Crystals and stir, so the sugar begins to dissolve. . You can use warm water if you wish, however, we have never found any real need for this. Never use boiling/hot water. This will harm the Ginger Water Crystals culture. Always allow any water to cool back down to room temperature (21 Celsius) if needed before continuing.
Now add two tablespoons of chopped ginger (25g) per 500ml of water to the sugar/water mixture. Do not chop the ginger to finely. This will make it difficult to remove from the brew later on. We recommend chunks around 1-2cm wide. Add your Ginger Water Crystals (20g) to the mixture. You can also use powdered ginger, add around 1 tablespoon per 500ml of water. Cover the jar and leave it at room temperature (21 Celsius) out of direct sunlight for 72 hours.
You grains will grow quite quickly. A good rule of thumb is to use 1 tablespoon of sugar per 20g of Ginger Water Crystals. With a maximum of 40g of Ginger Water Crystals per litre. Adding more sugar will lead to more alcohol content if you want to increase the alcohol in your Ginger Water. We recommend no more than 2 tablespoon of sugar per 20g of Ginger Water Crystals at any one time however, otherwise the Ginger Water can turn to vinegar quite fast.
Never leave any fermenting product in direct sunlight. This can lead to unwanted bacteria and pathogens forming.
Strain the mixture into a measuring jug. Remove the old chunks of ginger. Now repeat the process from the start, making another batch of Ginger Water from scratch.
People ask how often they need to clean their fermentation jar. We tend to use a clean jar each time ourselves here at Freshly Fermented to keep our kefir making process as hygienic as we can. However, many of our customers tend to clean their fermentation jars on a weekly basis.
It is now time to bottle your brew. At this point, you can either choose to add more ginger back to the strained mixture or leave it as it is. This is a taste preference. Adding more ginger will make a much fierier tasting Ginger Water. Experiment to find your preference.
Using your plastic funnel, pour the mixture into your glass bottles, and seal them by closing the swing top caps. If you are adding more ginger, it's usually easier to place these directly into the bottles beforehand. Place the bottle at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
You should start to see the mixture is now carbonating.
The Ginger Water is now ready to drink. Place your bottles in the fridge to cool. Be very careful when opening the bottles. Ginger Water Crystals produce an extremely fizzy beverage that is prone to exploding out the bottle. Strain out any pieces of ginger if needed, and you can now enjoy your Ginger Water.
Ginger Water Crystals are very hardy. It's unlikely they would have died during the shipping process. If you are experiencing problems, please do get in touch with us. Don't worry, were always more than happy to resend more Ginger Water Crystals if required.
Ginger Water Crystals need a low pH to make a 'clean' brew. It does lower the pH itself, but sometimes it needs a helping hand especially at the start of the brew when 'bad' bacteria have it easy. If you only add white sugar, the Ginger Water Crystals can get taken over by bad bacteria if you have a well established, very active brew you might be able to get away without acidifying it, but in the main, you will need to lower the pH. The brew can get smelly or go very slimy if you don't get the pH low quickly enough in the brew.
Lemon Juice works well to lower the pH. Add 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice per litre of water. Adding lemon juice also adds flavour and additional nutrients to the brew.
If you're planning on going on holiday, you're probably concerned about leaving your Ginger Water Crystals unattended. Don’t worry though. Place them in a fresh batch of water and sugar and pop the jar into the fridge. It will keep like this for 2-3 weeks.
We offer free shipping on all UK orders. We also offer international postage options.
All our cultures contain active bacteria ready for fermentation
We guarantee all our products to work, or we will replace them free of charge.
Where stated, many of our products are vegan friendly.