Japanese Water Crystals have also been referred to as Sugary Fungus, Tibicos, Ginger Beer Plant, California Bees, Water Kefir Grains, Tibetan Mushroom grains, snow lotus, water crystals, tibi, Kephir, Paris, Kephir, kefir fungus, kefir d'aqua,and more. Regardless if they all are the same or are as unique and different - they all typical share a similar recipe and each are healthy and beneficial. They all are small gelatinous masses of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Which yeasts and bacteria dominate will contribute to supple as well as dramatic differences. The influence of wild bacteria and yeasts as well as personal brewing preferences play an active ongoing role. For most home brewers what is important is simply taste, pleasure and a hint of health.
Water Crystals - commonly called Water Kefir - are different than Milk Kefir, though Milk Kefir Grains may also ferment juices similar to Water Kefir, Milk Kefir grains are are known, studied and researched to be healthy.
All these are classified as LAB ferments. Lactic Acid producing Bacteria. All these fermenting bacteria we commonly referred to as Lacto-Soda's as they produce a pleasant slightly carbonated refreshing drink. Because these are bacteria as opposed to yeasts they are actually healthier in many ways (though the sugar and potential alcohol content must be considered). Lactic acid is slightly sour and generally pleasant tasting and quite healthy. As are the Lactobacillus bacteria, which populate the intestinal tract and help maintain the health of the body. These Lacto-Soda's may be flavored or fermented with many juices and spices offering additional health benefit. If you have any questions or concerns on how to make your elixir healthier for you, we are here to help. Simply call or email us at HappyHerbalist@me.com
Japanese Water Crystal Basic Recipe
2-3 tablespoons of Water-Grains (optional muslin bag for keeping the grains / spices separate)
2-3 tablespoons of sugar (or combination of barley malt syrup, honey, etc. Anything that ferments)
Handful or nutrients. A few of many choices; raisins, figs, plums, prunes, slice of lemon, ginger, fresh herbs and spices with an eye towards health issues.
In a two-quart or larger jar add one quart distilled or fresh pure water, or Sparkling mineral water. Tight fitting cap to increase alcohol content and carbonation. Loose fitting for safety and less alcohol. To safely increase the carbonation and alcohol use a bottle with an airlock (available at www.HappyHerbalist.com or your local beer and wine hobby shop) or a bottle with a large balloon fitted and secured by tape over the bottle opening. In those cases use a bottle size that will be 80% full.
Alternatively; Use Fruit Juices (non-preservative Juice) fresh organic is recommended.
Apple juice, Cranberry, Grape, Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Orange, etc. We have also suggested a few popular medicinal herbs and spices that may be added to add to your health and longevity.
Use half water and half juice, and add half of a lemon. lime or slice of orange. (critic acid)
Ferment 1– 4 days at room temperature (75F). Use your taste to judge a satisfactory ferment. With high temperatures flavors will be harsher with more fizz and more alcohol. Cool temperatures favor the bacteria where as the yeasts favor temperatures above 65F. All ferments are Time and Temperature dependent. Longer ferments will produce more alcohol and an inferior taste. see our Free Online Library and Brewing guide (free with order) for different ferment time and temperature and the differences sugars and spices can make to your brew.
Strain through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove the fruit pieces (discard) and retrieve the Water-Kefir Grains to start the next batch. Use the grains / crystals to start a new batch or place in filtered water in the fridge until ready to start another batch. Over time these water crystals (grains) will grow and multiple. The rate of growth is Time, Temperature and food source sensitive.
Pour the beverage into bottles. If the beverage is highly carbonated and the taste is just right fill the bottle to the brim and cap. If you wish the beverage slightly sweeter add just a pinch of sugar or a sliver of fruit and leave an one inch airspace and cap. At room temperature the beverage will continue to ferment. Leave out for a day or two and then refrigerate. Be cautious of Glass Bottles exploding. Additional bottling and recipes online, and in a free Brewing Guide. If you're not going to be drinking your brew right away or in a few days and storing for a extended period of time - we recommend that the bottling pH be below 4.0.
You can also test the sugar and potential alcohol levels with a Hydrometer.
We recommend using a Tea Ball to capture the water grains. These small grains often slip though or get forgotten. Using a tea ball makes retrieval easy and rinsing simple.
Alcohol (ethonal) content of Kefir Water[Article in German PMID: 8204224 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]Rabl W, Liniger B, Sutter K, Sigrist T.Institut fur Rechtsmedizin des Kantonsspitals St. Gallen.
The question of the influence of kefir on blood-alcohol-level has been asked in a legal proceeding. The questioned recipe consisted of 21 water, 6 soup-spoons of kefir granules (about 120 g), 150 g sugar, 2 figs and one lemon. The consumption took place after two days of fermentation. Experimentally we found, that one liter of this kefir product may contain up to 38 g/l ethanol after 7 to 10 days. On the second day we measured up to 16 g/l ethanol. (Alcohol)
The longer you ferment the greater the alcohol percentage. Many folks cap and bottle their ferment. This will create higher levels of alcohol faster. To avoid increasing the alcohol but having lots of carbonation consider our uKeg64.
Note: the amount of alcohol kefir may produce is limited first by the bacteria. There are 2 classes of Lactobacillus. One produces only beneficial lactic acid (homeofermentative) and the other lactic acid, alcohol and carbonation. (Heterofermentative) These bacteria do not produce large amounts of alcohol. The yeasts generally do not dominate and have to compete with the bacteria for food and nutrients. With oxygen being available the yeast are more in Respiration and giving off more carbonation (CO2) than when no or little oxygen is available. With little oxygen available (anaerobic) the yeast go into Fermentation. They produce more alcohol than carbonation. The Heterofermentative bacteria will also produce higher percentage of alcohol in a anaerobic environment. If alcohol is a concern for you or your family, do not use an Airlock, or cap. Use a cloth or paper towel secured with a rubber band. You may also want to consider Kombucha Tea. Kombucha is similar to all these Lacto-Soda's and the differences in taste and health may not be noticeable at all. Kombucha typically takes abit longer to ferment (8-14 days) but kombucha has far lower alcohol and sugar content and enjoys a noted health reputation with now a days well respected research. Kombucha is another bacteria ferment but employs a different species. Typically one of 4 subspecies of the Acetobacter, or acetic acid producing bacteria. Acetic acid is another proven beneficial acid. Vinegar is acetic acid. These bacteria convert alcohol into acetic acid in the presence of oxygen. Kombucha Tea is slightly sweet, slightly sour, slightly carbonated like the Lacto-Sodas but with typically less than 1/2 of 1% of alcohol, and more beneficial acids (gluconic acid, acetic acid and often lactic acid). These acids are "weak" and easily combine with the more alkaline chemicals in your body (calcium, potassium, magnesium). the combinations make these more absorbable and as a result make one's body more alkaline. DR. Robert Barefoot wrote a popular book on this affect. Called the Calcium Factor.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, food should be your medicine. And a cup of warm tea is a nice way to take your medicine.
Optional herbal tea or Spices adds specific medicinal benefit. each package is 4 ounces. Using just a tablespoon per quart, equals roughly 8-12 quarts of brew. We have found each of selected herbs and spices add medical value to the art of brewing. You can substitute any of these herbs and spices in place of the Ginger, but we recommend to continue to use a percentage of Ginger (either fresh or dried) in each batch . These options are offered at a 20% reduced price of our regular price. see our full selection of medicinal herbs and spices.
Dried Ginger regular price $6.95 4 ounces
Use a spoonful to a handful per quart. May combine with Fresh Ginger or other medicinal herbs and spices.
Dried Ginger is Hotter than Fresh Ginger. Fresh or Raw Ginger (Sheng Jiang) promotes sweating and dispersing exterior cold. While Dried Ginger (Gan Jiang) is more effective in warming the Spleen and Stomach and expelling interior cold, and more chronic conditions.
Ginger, Green Onion and Honey is great for colds, flu's, and a daily tonic.
Cayenne regular price $9.95. 4 ounces
Cayenne ferments very well and may be used in the primary or Secondary Ferment. If you use it in your primary ferment be aware that the oil (capsicum, used in the pepper spray) will remain impregnated into your brew and if you use an Oak Cask will still be tasty long after. Not only is Cayenne flavorful and energetic in many ways its an incredible healing herb.
Dr. Christopher and later Richard Schultz report that the cayenne pepper benefit both the heart and the health of the entire circulatory system. Dr. Christopher, after extensive experience, believed that cayenne pepper delivers vital nutrients directly to the heart within seconds of proper use. He utilized the stimulating effects of cayenne to restore proper function to the heart in heart attack cases.
Clinical and anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that cayenne pepper can be utilized to carry other substances, such as herbs and other nutrients, into the bloodstream - and sometimes within seconds. Extensive clinical studies conducted with cayenne pepper and Ginkgo Biloba demonstrate that Ginkgo is 75% more effective when used with cayenne.
In TCM cayenne is excellent for DEFICIENCY conditions. Cayenne focuses on the Spleen's energy and to break through stagnations arising from a deficiency. Symptoms include: Deficiency of energy and lowered body resistance. Emaciation, listlessness, lassitude, shortness of breath, pallor, insomnia, poor memory, spontaneous and night sweating, nocturnal enuresis, alleviated by pressure, feel better after a bowel movement.
160,000 HU pure cayenne. Really Hot ! By comparison Tabasco Sauce (good stuff) is about 40,000 HU. Use as much or as little as you need. antidote: Milk or yogurt will quickly cool the burn, Use lots of water and air circulation if the eyes are affected.
Elderberries regular price $14.95. 4 ounces
the "medicine chest of the common people"
Elderberries may have gotten its name from the medicine the Elders would make for those that were sick. Produces elderberry wine, jelly, bread and great Kombucha Tea. Promotes urination and is an effective detoxifier. A traditional remedy for fever, colds, flu. respiratory infections. High in antioxidants. Helps chronic rheumatism, neuralgia, and sciatica. Can be used topically to clear infections such as acne, boils, and skin rashes. An astringent, immune-stimulant, emetic, expectorant, diaphoretic, laxative, diuretic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory - and it taste great !!
Elder is an excellent blood cleanser (it helps eliminate waste in the fluid surrounding the blood cells). Elder flowers contain 3 rich sources of potassium plus viburnic acid (helpful for asthma an bronchitis), volatile oils, vitamin A, vitamin C. and bioflavonoids. Elderberry jam/jelly contains many vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B17. In fact, elderberries contain more vitamin C than any other herb except for black currants and rose hips!
Research indicates that elderberries stimulate and build up the resistance of the immune system, and it also directly inhibits the influenza virus.
GoJi regular price $6.95 4 ounces
Gou Qi Zi (Fructus Lycii Chinensis/ Lycium or Chinese Wolf-berry), Popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine Three to four ounces of this juice is being touted as a benefit to the immune and hormonal systems. For hypoglycemic and blood lipid lowering effect and the treatment of Diabetes Mellitus. The famed Li Qing Yuen, who lived to the age of 252 years (1678-1930), consumed Goji berries daily. The life of Li Qing Yuen is the most well-documented case of extreme longevity known Li was a herbalist, and skilled in Chi Kung and spent much of his life in the mountain ranges. It is said that he changed his diet to consume little meat or root vegetables and limited his consumption of grain. Instead, he lived mainly on steamed above-ground vegetables and herbs, consuming both goji berries and panax ginseng on a daily basis. Goji berries have been traditionally regarded as a longevity, strength-building, and sexual potency food of the highest order. In several study groups with elderly people the berry was given once a day for 3 weeks and the results showed that appetite improved in 95% of the patients, 95% of the patients slept better, and 35% of the patients partially recovered their sexual function. All of the patients spirit and optimism increased significantly. A good daily intake of Goji berries is 10-30 grams (1/3 - 1 ounce a small handful). Goji berries may be used as snacks or mixed with recipes or smoothies like other dried fruits. Fantastic Herb
GINSENG: In Traditional Chinese Medicine American Ginseng promotes YIN energy, cleans excess yang and calms the body. American ginseng promotes yin (shadow, cold, negative, female) while Asian Ginseng (notable Korean) promotes YANG (sunshine, hot, positive, male) is that, according to TCM, things living in cold places or northern side of mountains or southern side of rivers are strong in yang and the converse, so the two are balanced. Panax Ginseng (not steamed) is milder than American. Which is best for you really depends on what you need. Panax Ginseng is good for a tonic to build the body. - Korean Red Ginseng is like burning straight nitro. American Ginseng is prized because it drives like nitro (close but still second) without the worry of blowing your engine plus still strengthening your body for endurance. Like Panax Ginseng but much stronger.
Korean Red Ginseng regular price $15.95. 4 ounces
The most Yang of all the Ginsengs. Although American Ginseng is more highly prized for its value to longevity, Red Ginseng's high octane, "I need it now!" attitude, manifests a high testerone level or energy level immediately. Because of its hormone attraction Red ginseng seems to slow down the growth of breast cancer. Women should take Korean Red for only 3 months at a time and then rest because Red Ginseng is high in testosterone and will act like testosterone. Ginseng is rich in vitamins and minerals, amino acids, essential oils and enzymes. Restore vitality, alleviates stress and tiredness, increase blood circulation, concentration and enhances brain function. It helps boosts the immune system, detoxifies the body's organs, protects the liver and can detoxifies the effects of alcohol. It helps combat aging due to its antioxidants. Although it can be beneficial for those recovering from illness, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and those suffering from diabetes, American Ginseng is far superior and safer. Ginseng is the number one Chinese herb of Immortality.
Panax Ginseng regular price $12.95.
Panax ginseng is often referred to as a general well-being medication, because it affects many different systems of the body. Recent studies have found that 3 grams a day (spoonful) will reduce blood sugar levels in non-insulin using Type 2 diabetics by 50%. There's also some evidence it improves movement in sluggish sperm ( for those infertile couples with this problem)
(U.S. National Library of Medicine) Possibly effective for...
* Alzheimer’s disease. Evidence shows that taking Panax ginseng root daily for 12 weeks can improve mental performance in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
* Lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Taking Panax ginseng by mouth seems to improve lung function and some symptoms of COPD.
* Mental function. Taking Panax ginseng by mouth might improve abstract thinking, mental arithmetic skills, and reaction times in healthy, middle-aged people but not in young adults. Panax ginseng alone does not seem to improve memory, but there is some evidence that a combination of Panax ginseng and ginkgo leaf extract can improve memory in otherwise healthy people between the ages of 38 and 66.
* Erectile dysfunction (ED). Taking Panax ginseng by mouth seems to improve sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction.
* High blood pressure. Early evidence shows that taking Panax ginseng might slightly decrease blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
* Premature ejaculation. Applying a cream containing Panax ginseng, angelica root, Cistanches deserticola, Zanthoxyl species, torlidis seed, clover flower, asiasari root, cinnamon bark, and toad venom (SS Cream) to the penis one hour before intercourse and washing off immediately before intercourse seems to help prevent premature ejaculation
* Sexual arousal. Taking powdered Korean red ginseng, a specific form of Panax ginseng, seems to improve sexual arousal and satisfaction in postmenopausal women. Also, using a specific product containing Korean red ginseng and other ingredients (ArginMax) seems to improve sexual desire in women.
Green Super Food. regular price $6.95.
USDA Certified Organic. Kosher Certification. Super Fuel. Great Taste.
Ingredients:Totally Organic; Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Dulse Leaf, Orange Peel, Beet Root, Dandelion Leaf, Lemon Peel, Ginkgo Leaf.
Our organic GreenPower blend is a synergistic blend of potent certified organic green plant foods. It is a complete green supplement and alkalizing superfood packaged with all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that our bodies need to encourage optimum health and well being. Each ingredient is grown, harvested, and packaged to meet highest quality standards.
Mix with water, goes great with sparkling mineral water. Use with Kombucha, Kefir, and Japanese Water Crystals, to create a zesty tasteful nutritional rich natural energy elixir.
With Fresh Kombucha: use 1-2 level spoonfuls along with your regular amount of tea when making a new batch. Super Green Food Fuels the body and the kombucha. Mix with water, Kombucha, Kefir, Japanese Water Crystals, to create a zesty tasteful nutritional rich natural energy elixir.
Consider T-Bags. keeps herbs, spices and pieces of fruit free from having to filter later. Your choice $7.95
1) Cloth T-Bag (Muslin, measure 5 in x 6 in) 3 per set.
2) Paper T-Bags, (draw string closure, measure 4 in x 6 in) 50 t-bags
OPTIONAL HEATING PAD .
Our heating panels help keep things constant and more reliable. Cooler temperatures take longer to ferment and due to the slower build-up of acids the cooler temperatures are more prone to contamination by mold and pathogens. Regardless if one prefers cool brewing or a faster warmer ferment, or the Continuous Brewing Method, the pH should be 4.0 or lower for safety.
Multiple Uses; Ginger Beer,kombucha, Kefir and yogurt fermenting, drying herbs or fruits, or germinating seeds. Sprouting seeds, wheat grass, also a neat and clean foot warmer, and a neat lizard playground. Bury the mat under 1-2 inches of sand and place the temperature probe under the sand. Fermenting beer, wine, vinegars, especially great for Kombucha Tea but other fermented probiotics as well, or at the same time.
OPTIONS Brewing Essentials for best brews. $54.90 for all three tools. Buy now and save $10 if bought separately.
pH Meter: reg price $34.95
pH Testing. Applications: In home fermenting - Kombucha, Ginger Beer, Jun, Kefir, Vinegar, Beer, Wine and pickled foods, especially garlic. The State of Minnesota, Department of Agriculture, wrote the Pickle Bill, in an effort to help folks at home and those selling at farmers market process safe foods. To be on the safe side, home ferments should have a pH under 4.0 at time of bottling. This is especially important where one is planning on storing their product for a longer period of time. The Pickle Bill recommends the pH be determined by a meter and not to use pH paper. Our meter has a large digital display and reads from 1-14 (pH scale) to the tenths. Optimum starting ferments for highest and faster growth is typically 5.4. At that level it is also easy for mold and pathogens to invade. To lower the pH we recommend using some of your prior ferment or distilled vinegar. To raise the pH use baking soda or baking powder, or calcium carbonate. For more information on our pH meter click here.
Hydrometer. reg. price $9.95
Test Sugar and Alcohol levels of your Kombucha Tea, Ginger Beer & other Ferments.Can be used for Diabetic testing and other health concerns like water metabolism. Hydrometer shows Specific Gravity from .990 to 1.170, Balling or Brix from 0 to +38% sugar by weight and Potential Alcohol by Volume from 0 to +22%. Comes with instructions and is easy to use. The Hydrometer and the pH meter are two of the most important tools for judging and determine fermentation of our bacterial / yeasts ferments. These also allow us to correct mistakes and make course corrections and to talk to other brewers who may be experiencing similar brewing problems. For more information on our Hydrometer click here.
IR Temperature Gauge reg. price $9.95
The third, and maybe the most important variable to one's ferment is the temperature. Temperature is also directly related to Time. We have posted lots or articles on these variable and how one can adjust these variables to suit your own specific needs. For more information visit our free Online Library. click here.
Flip-Top Bottles. reg. price $26.95 per case
Ideal Single Serving Grolsch Style, EZCAP, swing top, Lightning-type toggle closures, Clear glass. 12 1/2 oz Glass Bottle. Sold by the Case only.
12 bottles per case. $26.95 ($2.25 each)
Air Lock. reg price $7.95
This is a devise used by brewers primarily as a safety device against glass containers exploding. All ferments produce gas and the gas produces pressure. Often enough pressure to break glass with a violent explosion. The Air lock allows the gas to escape safely and slowly. It also prevents contamination from the outside to enter and spoil the ferment. By keeping out oxygen this forces the ferment to become anaerobic (without oxygen). In this state yeast go from Respiration - a state whereby yeast are reproducing and giving off primarily CO2 (carbonation) into Fermentation where yeast produce more alcohol. Since beer and wine brewers want more alcohol (without the danger) hence the use of an airlock. Lacto-Soda brewers, on the other hand want the carbonation. But if you leave the ferment open to the air (cloth cover only) then a lot of that great carbonation escapes. So don't leave it on as long, stir and shake to have a good supply of dissolved oxygen, and since you're using bacteria instead of yeast as the primary, you will have lower alcohol and still decent carbonation.