Tibicos, or water kefir, is a traditional fermented drink made with water and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts (SCOBY) held in a polysaccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria. It is sometimes consumed as an alternative to milk based probiotic drinks or tea-cultured products such as kombucha. Water kefir is typically made as a probiotic homebrew beverage. The finished product, if bottled, will produce a carbonated beverage.
Tibicos cultures are found around the world, with no two being exactly the same; but typical tibicos have a mix of Lactobacillus , Streptococcus , Pediococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria, with yeasts from Saccharomyces , Candida , Kloeckera and possibly others. Lactobacillus brevis bacteria has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the dextran polysaccharide that forms the "grains."
As with milk kefir "grains", the microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas, which carbonates the drink.
The origin of tibicos grains is unknown.Tibicos grains form as hard granules on the pads of the Opuntia cactus found in Mexico. These granules then could be reconstituted in a sugar-water solution for propagating the tibicos grains. Another study found a similar tibicos culture made from a bacteria cultured from known stocks with similar properties.
Tibicos are also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California bees, and in older literature as bébées, African bees, Australian bees, ginger bees, vinegar bees, bees, Japanese beer seeds, beer seeds, beer plant, ale nuts, eternity grains,and Balm of Gilead. Pidoux in 1898 also identified the sugary kefir grains with the ginger beer plant. Different ingredients or hygienic conditions might also change the bacteriological composition possibly leading to the different names found in scientific literature.
Tibicos are used to brew a variety of tepache known as tepache de tibicos.The ginger beer plant is also a form of tibicos. Kebler attests that they were used in Kentucky circa 1859 to brew a "home drink" and were referred to as "Japanese beer seeds."
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The basic preparation method is for tibicos to be added to a sugary liquid and fermented 24 to 48 hours. The water is kept at a room temperature range of 68°-85°F (20°-30°C). If the temperature is closer to the 85 degree range, the fermentation period is shortened.A typical recipe might contain the tibicos culture, a citrus fruit, and water. Some ingredients will inhibit fermentation, such as chlorine in tap water or preservatives in dried fruit (sulfites). The fruits used are changed and mixed to create different flavors.
Additional precautions are taken to keep the cultures healthy. The use of reactive metals such as aluminium, copper, or zinc are minimized, since the acidity of the solution will draw these metals out, damaging the culture. Instead, plastic, lead-free ceramic, or glass containers are commonly used. It is recommended to culture grains in a glass jar and use clean plastic or wooden utensils when handling the grains.
Yogurt, also spelled yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt, is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. The bacteria used to make yogurt are known as yogurt cultures. Fermentation of sugars in the milk by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor. Cow's milk is commonly available worldwide and, as such, is the milk most commonly used to make yogurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, yaks and plant milks are also used to produce yogurt. The milk used may be homogenized or not. It may be pasteurized or raw. Each type of milk produces substantially different results.
Lactobacillus is a genus of Gram-positive, aerotolerant anaerobes or microaerophilic, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming bacteria. Until March 2020, the genus Lactobacillus comprised over 260 phylogenetically, ecologically, and metabolically diverse species; a taxonomic revision of the genus in 2020 assigned lactobacilli to 25 genera including the homofermentative genera Lactobacillus, Holzapfelia, Amylolactobacillus, Bombilactobacillus, Companilactobacillus, Lapidilactobacillus, Agrilactobacillus, Schleiferilactobacillus, Loigolactobacillus, Lacticaseibacillus, Latilactobacillus, Dellaglioa, Liquorilactobacillus, Ligilactobacillus and Lactiplantibacillus and the heterofermentative genera Furfurilactobacillus, Paucilactobacillus, Limosilactobacillus, Fructilactobacillus, Acetilactobacillus, Apilactobacillus, Levilactobacillus, Secundilactobacillus and Lentilactobacillus. Properties of the genera are indicated below; two websites inform on the assignment of species to the novel genera.
Ginger ale is a carbonated soft drink flavoured with ginger. It is consumed on its own or used as a mixer, often with spirit-based drinks. There are two main types of ginger ale. The golden style is credited to the Irish doctor Thomas Joseph Cantrell. The dry style, a paler drink with a much milder ginger flavour, was created by Canadian John McLaughlin.
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is one of over 200 published species in the Lactobacillus genome complex (LGC) and is the main bacterium used for the production of yogurt. It also plays a crucial role in the ripening of some cheeses, as well as in other processes involving naturally fermented products. It is defined as homofermentive lactic acid bacteria due to lactic acid being the single end product of its carbohydrate digestion. It is also considered a probiotic.
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly consumed for its supposed health benefits. Sometimes the beverage is called kombucha tea to distinguish it from the culture of bacteria and yeast. Juice, spices, fruit or other flavorings are often added to enhance the taste of the beverage.
Zymology, also known as zymurgy is an applied science which studies the biochemical process of fermentation and its practical uses. Common topics include the selection of fermenting yeast and bacteria species and their use in brewing, wine making, fermenting milk, and the making of other fermented foods.
Traditional ginger beer is a sweetened and carbonated, usually non-alcoholic beverage. It is produced by the natural fermentation of prepared ginger spice, yeast and sugar.
Probiotics are live microorganisms promoted with claims that they provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. Probiotics are considered generally safe to consume, but may cause bacteria-host interactions and unwanted side effects in rare cases. There is little evidence that probiotics bring the health benefits claimed for them.
Pediococcus is a genus of gram-positive lactic acid bacteria, placed within the family of Lactobacillaceae. They usually occur in pairs or tetrads, and divide along two planes of symmetry, as do the other lactic acid cocci genera Aerococcus and Tetragenococcus. They are purely homofermentative. Pediococcus dextrinicus has recently been reassigned to the genus Lactobacillus.
Leuconostoc is a genus of gram-positive bacteria, placed within the family of Leuconostocaceae. They are generally ovoid cocci often forming chains. Leuconostoc spp. are intrinsically resistant to vancomycin and are catalase-negative. All species within this genus are heterofermentative and are able to produce dextran from sucrose. They are generally slime-forming.
Lactobacillales are an order of gram-positive, low-GC, acid-tolerant, generally nonsporulating, nonrespiring, either rod-shaped (bacilli) or spherical (cocci) bacteria that share common metabolic and physiological characteristics. These bacteria, usually found in decomposing plants and milk products, produce lactic acid as the major metabolic end product of carbohydrate fermentation, giving them the common name lactic acid bacteria (LAB).
Tepache is a fermented beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples, and is sweetened either with piloncillo or brown sugar, seasoned with powdered cinnamon, and served cold. Though tepache is fermented for several days, the resulting drink does not contain much alcohol. In Mexican culinary practice, the alcoholic content of tepache may be increased with a small amount of beer.
Fermentation in food processing is the process of converting carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids using microorganisms—yeasts or bacteria—under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation usually implies that the action of microorganisms is desired. The science of fermentation is known as zymology or zymurgy.
Dadiah (Minangkabau) or dadih (Indonesian) a traditional fermented milk popular among people of West Sumatra, Indonesia, and Malaysia is made by pouring fresh, raw, unheated, buffalo milk into a bamboo tube capped with a banana leaf and allowing it to ferment spontaneously at room temperature for two days.
Levilactobacillus brevis(previously Lactobacillus brevis) is a gram-positive, rod shaped species of lactic acid bacteria which is heterofermentative, creating CO2, lactic acid and acetic acid or ethanol during fermentation. L. brevis is the type species of the genus Levilactobacillus (previously L. brevis group), which comprises 24 species (http://www.lactobacillus.ualberta.ca/, http://www.lactobacillus.uantwerpen.be/). It can be found in many different environments, such as fermented foods, and as normal microbiota. L.brevis is found in food such as sauerkraut and pickles. It is also one of the most common causes of beer spoilage. Ingestion has been shown to improve human immune function, and it has been patented several times. Normal gut microbiotaL.brevis is found in human intestines, vagina and feces.
SCOBY is the commonly used acronym for "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast", and is formed after the completion of a unique fermentation process of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), acetic acid bacteria (AAB), and yeast to form several sour foods and beverages such as kombucha and kimchi. Beer and wine also undergo fermentation with yeast, but the lactic acid bacteria and acetic acid bacteria components unique to SCOBY are usually viewed as a source of spoilage rather than a desired addition. Both LAB and AAB enter on the surface of barley and malt in beer fermentation and grapes in wine fermentation; LAB lower the pH of the beer while AAB take the ethanol produced from the yeast and oxidize it further into vinegar, resulting in a sour taste and smell. AAB are also responsible for the formation of the cellulose SCOBY.
Kefir or kephir, is a fermented milk drink similar to a thin yogurt or ayran that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. The drink originated in the North Caucasus, in particular the Elbrus environs along the upper Kuban river region of Karachay and Balkaria from where it came to Russia, and from there it spread to Europe and the United States, where it is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains.
Lactobacillus pontis is a rod-shaped, Gram-positive facultatively anaerobic bacterium. Along with other Lactobacillus species, it is capable of converting sugars, such as lactose, into lactic acid. Lactobacillus pontis is classified under the phylum Firmicutes, class Bacilli, and is a member of the family Lactobacillaceae and is found to be responsible for the fermentation of sourdough, along with many other Lactobacillus species. This microorganism produces lactic acid during the process of fermentation, which gives sourdough bread its characteristic sour taste.
Symbiotic fermentation is a form of fermentation in which multiple organisms interact in order to produce the desired product. For example, a yeast may produce ethanol, which is then consumed by an acetic acid bacterium. Described early on as the fermentation of sugars following saccharification in a mixed fermentation process.
Jun, or Xun, is a fermented drink similar to kombucha, differing only in that its base ingredients are green tea and honey instead of black tea and cane sugar. Jun's origins have not been conclusively proven, but it is thought to have roots in Tibet and northern China. Jun is brewed by fermenting green tea with a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria (SCOBY). Fruits, sweeteners, spices, and other flavor enhancers are also commonly added to make the taste of the beverage more appealing. Jun is not as popular as kombucha or other similar fermented drinks, so the commercial market for it is much smaller. Because there are not many companies selling it, and the brewing process is rather simple, many consumers of Jun choose to make it themselves. Many health benefits have been credited to Jun and fermented drinks in general, but these are unproven. Any health effects stemming directly from Jun as a whole have not been researched or conclusively substantiated, but some of Jun's main ingredients have been shown to individually have positive effects on the human body. Though Jun bears similarities to other fermented drinks like kombucha, water kefir, and kvass, it has enough differences to be considered a distinct drink.