One of our latest hand sourced water kefirs brought back from South America. Most speculate it originated in Mexico where it thrived in the sugary water of the Ountia (prickly pear) cactus. It has been popular for many years in Mexico to use Tibi (water kefir) to make Tepache (pronounced tuh-PAH-chay) which is a pineapple-brown sugar-cinnamon beverage fermented by the grains.
Tibicos is easy to make…just add Piloncillo raw sugar and fruits to non-chlorinated water. Allow the Tibicos kefir grains to set at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours. Piloncillo sugar can be found in any Mexican food store. Tibicos has a rich molasses taste and the grains will be brown in color over traditional
water kefir grains.
If you wish for the kefir grains, water type, to grow and multiply, you’ll need to feed them some extra nutrients. This step is not needed if the kefir is producing enough water kefir for you to consume. We recommend a Cal-Mag supplement and molasses to assist in producing more grains. You can also use some natural coral or wash and steam eggs shells, too.
If bottling, keep your bottled brew in a cardboard box during secondary fermentation (f2) in case of an exploding bottle.
- Glass jar with tight fitting lid
- Fresh Piloncillo sugar. See Tips & Tricks for more info
- Fruits and flavors of your choice. Traditional recipes call for pineapple and cinnamon, however
feel free to use any fresh or dried fruits of your choice.
- Organic lemon or other acidic fruit (optional). Do not
use liquid lemon or bottled lemon juice, this will
kill the active cultures in the water kefir starter.
- Filtered water or good quality well water
- Real water kefir grain starter
- Cal-Mag supplement if needed
1. To start melt 2 to 3 small cones or 1/3 of a large cone by slowly boiling the sugar in enough water to cover. Since a lot of Piloncillo comes in bulk form, sterilizing the sugar will help to avoid contamination. Melting the sugar also assist in the grains having more access to the sugar source, this in turn produces
a faster brewing/culturing time!
2. Add the sugar solution to fresh, high quality water enough to make a half-gallon batch. After 10 to 24 hours and at a temperature of 70 to 80 F degrees, carbonation should appear on the top of the solution and when the jar is lifted or disturbed. Pull a sample, for taste and to see if the culturing process is complete. If it is too sweet then allow a bit more culturing time. If the brew is to strong reduce the time. Also, remember that spring/summer seasons will have a shorter culturing time over the winter months.
3. Once the cultured tea/sugar solution is to one’s liking, the drinkable, cultured kefir sugar water may be poured off and bottled or placed in a clean container in the refrigerator. NOTE: Remember to leave enough liquid to cover the grains.
4. Start a new batch ASAP so that the kefir water grains have a consent supply of food and nutrients.
Piloncillo is a raw form of pure cane sugar that has not been processed. Because it has not been processed, it has a golden brown color and a delicious rich flavor similar to molasses, although it does not have any molasses in it. Unlike brown sugar which sometimes is made by coating refined white sugar with molasses, Piloncillo is pure sugar with no additives.
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