The seventh or so time I checked the alcohol content of my water kefir, I was shocked.
“Six percent? How is it still six percent?!”
I’d been working on getting the right ratio of juice to water kefir so I wouldn’t cause any accidental brewing-related injuries. Despite my best efforts, my second ferment still yielded something stronger than the average American beer. (That’s not saying much, but follow me here.) My partner didn’t complain. On the contrary — he thought that having a virtually endless supply of mild booze was a neat concept.
And you know what? I’m coming around to agreeing.
I make two batches, one for me and one for him. His gets the high-sugar juices added for the second ferment, like cherry, apple, and pineapple, so the kefir microorganisms can turn that sugar into more CO2 and ethanol. I don’t add extra sources of sugar to mine, but pile on spices like ginger and cinnamon. We’ve got a ton of extremely good brews that are both probiotic, and also a) safish for me to drink despite my medication, yet b) able to cause a nice buzz if you have way too much. The strongest and sweetest don’t taste like alcohol, but are still a hair more intoxicating than a regular beer. Plus they make your intestines and immune system do all good, or so I have read.
It’s a lot of work to have to strain the kefir, bottle it, mix up more sugar water, and set up new cultures every 36-48 hours, but so far? Worth it.