I continuously find that cultures are like so many things: what you get out of them is dependent upon what you put into them. I also find that there are often very different circumstances under which we culture. Where we live, our current temperature, the water we use, and the ingredients we choose all play a huge part in how well a culture will perform.
Which is why I’m forever experimenting and tweaking. Sometimes these experiments fall flat on their face – like the time I tried to make a water kefir eggnog. But sometimes I find that changing up the routine just a little results in a big improvement in the product my culture is giving me.
Over the years I’ve wrapped kombucha vessels in blankets, buried jars of sauerkraut, and meticulously divided my milk kefir grains all in order to adapt to my current culturing situation. Recently I found that a small amount of a single ingredient seemed to really improve my water kefir’s activity.