Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring! Wait, Summer? Whatever, it is time for refreshments!

Tibicos, this is my blog. My blog, this is Tibicos. Courtesy of a friend, via Clotilde, I was informed of the existence of a new ferment. I have been a big fan of kombucha since GTs started showing up in Whole Foods years ago, and started brewing it my self. Unfortunately a life of transience and a kombucha distillery are not particularly compatible, but I didn't loose my taste for the sharp, dry, fizzy beverage. The only loss suffered were the bills in my wallet for every 4 dollar bottle that point forth.

Enter Tibicos: also known as Tibi, or Water Kefir. According to some, the name Tibi is one given by Mother Therese of Calcutta, who once traveled to Tibet and met the monks and masters of that region who gave her this beverage, hence the name is Tibicos. I didn't have to taste it, I mean who hesitates to try a new fermented beverage? I did have to try it, though, and the only way to do that was to make it my self: I went onto Craigslist and was lucky to find a local fellow giving away extra water kefir crystals (also called Japanese water crystals), and tried my hand...

The end product is one I have quickly become quite fond if, bottling it in those old GTs bottles, letting it do a secondary ferment over night before refrigerating, and starting my day with one. It is dry, with hints of citrus and the lightest of light bubbles that tickle your tongue. I could imagine it going quite well with gin, or sake.

It is rather easy to make, hard to fuck up (at least I haven't managed yet), and oh so very rewarding. You also get the cool bonus of having a jar that looks like the vegan counterpart to those side-show attractions of two headed fetuses in jars.

Anyway... onto the recipe....!

Water Kefir!

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Japanese Water Crystals*
  • 1 dried fig, halved
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 1 litre (4 cups) of purified water
  • 2 litre jar with lid
  • *optiona items*
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Cardamom pods
  • Unsulphured dried fruit slice such as mango, pineapple, apple, etc.
Note: You want to use organic as much as possible. The tibi crystals are fungal/bacterial in nature and can be damaged by pesticides and other materials.

The recipe is pretty straightforward from here. Place ingredients in jar, cover with cheesecloth, let sit for 24-48 hours.

Strain and filter liquid into drinking jar.

Let drinking jar sit overnight, then refrigerate.

Place ingredients back in jar, and add another 3-4 tablespoons of sugar, cover with cheesecloth and let sit for 24-48 hours, to repeat above process 1 to 2 more times.

After 3rd bottling, separate crystals from other materials, clean jar, and start again or store crystals in a clean container with enough water or tibi to cover and a tablespoon of sugar in the fridge to let hibernate for a couple of weeks.

Tada! I quickly started doing this in a 4 or 5 liter bottle, so I could keep up with my 16 oz a day habit. I will possibly have more pics later, but go easy on me... I'm just starting this blog, again!


Sara (The Veggie Eco-Life) said...

If I can find the tibi crystals, I would def make it, looks good and refreshing!

Mary said...

Oof, you aren't stateside, right? I'd offer to send you some, otherwise...