- Color: The liquid will change color over the 48-hour culturing process. For example, if using white sugar, the plain sugar water will be yellow but finished water kefir will be a more opal color and less translucent. If using a whole sugar containing molasses (e.g., rapadura, Sucanat, etc.), the liquid will change to a different shade of brown (typically a lighter shade of brown).
- Taste: After the 48-hour culturing process, the finished kefir should be less sweet than the sugar water you started with. Please note: finished kefir will still be fairly sweet as it does still contain fructose which is naturally very sweet. But it should be at least a bit less sweet than the original sugar water.
- Smell: The finnished kefir may have a vinegar like smell to it, possibly with a little yeast.
It may take a couple of batches before kefir grains function reliably. It is also common for the taste of the kefir and the activity level of the kefir grains to change over the first 6 to 8 weeks after the kefir grains are recieved. This is a normal part of the process of working with a live culture.