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I’ve written before about water kefir, and it is definitely my husband’s favorite way to get probiotics naturally. It doesn’t have the strong taste of kombucha and is faster to make.
Where to Get Water Kefir Grains?
If you’ve never made water kefir, it is really simple to make. I get live water kefir culture (called grains) from here and use them to make endless batches of water kefir. One small batch of water kefir grains can make hundreds of batches of water kefir and multiply itself if properly cared for.
From a previous post, here are the instructions:
Water Kefir Recipe
- water kefir grains
- ¼ cup sugar (per quart of water, do not use honey)
- flltered water (make sure it's non-chlorinated)
- In a half gallon size glass jar, dissolve the sugar in small amount of hot water. If you plan on making the full half gallon you will need ½ cup of sugar. If you are only filling the jar halfway then you only need ¼ cup of sugar.
- When sugar is dissolved, fill the rest of the jar with cool filtered water and make sure the water is not warm. It must be at room temperature!
- Add the hydrated water kefir grains.
- Cover with towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter and rubber band to keep out insects or small children.
- Leave on the counter (preferably at 70-75°F) for 24-48 hours.
- After 48 hours, strain the water kefir grains through a bamboo or non-metal mesh strainer pouring the liquid into another container. I use a half gallon jar for the first process then strain into two quart size jars.
- Restart the process by dissolving more sugar in water, adding cool water, and adding the same water kefir grains.
- To make the water kefir carbonated, pour a couple ounces of fruit juice such as grape, pomegranate, apple, or cherry into the water kefir you just strained. I don't recommend citrus for this part, as it makes stringy yeast-like things that are not tasty!
- Once you've added the juice, cover the jars tightly with an airtight lid and leave on the counter an additional 1-3 days before drinking or refrigerating.
- Repeat the process!
My Favorite Water Kefir Variations
For flavors, I recommend using a secondary ferment. After making the water kefir with the instructions above through step 6, I remove the kefir grains and use them to create a new batch as described above. I then transfer the newly made water kefir to a quart size jar and add in any of the ingredients below. Then, I cap the new jar tightly and leave to ferment for 2-3 days on the counter. This allows it to develop a natural carbonation.
Here are our favorites:
- ½ cup grape or apple juice
- ¼ cup raisins or a few prunes (makes a Dr. Pepper-like taste)
- ½ cup fresh fruit such as mango, berries, etc. (just not citrus or pineapple)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract and 3-4 prunes or dates (makes a cream soda flavor)
- a small piece of fresh ginger and ¼ cup apple juice
- strawberries and then a splash of lime juice right before serving
Do you make water kefir? What is your favorite variation?
Discussion (97 Comments)
I used to make water kefir but something went wrong with the grain and I lost them. So would love to start up again.
I already do milk kefir, but I love the notion of an alternative to soda! I miss my Pepsi!
Thanks for the information and resources. I love your site.
I forgot to mention in my other comment that I love making kombucha, but I have not yet tried water kefir. It sounds great, though!
Love the recipes and other info on the site.
Have you added any flavors to your kefir? I fell in love with a citrus kombucha but its too expensive and I’ve only bought it for 2 special occasions. I found in Nourishing Traditions a recipe on Kombucha, but it looked laborious….. so I signed up for the Cultures for Life newsletter and hope to learn more!
I’ve added grape, blueberry, pomegranate, and others. Citrus is good
too, though it gets stringy if you let it ferment for too long. I’d
definitely encourage trying to make it… so much cheaper… and
better in my opinion!
I’ve been experimenting with my veggie ferments and we’re trying to eat them twice a day. A probiotic drink would be a great addition! (My kids miss juice and lemonade!)
My brother has a really problematic probiotic deficiency, so i’m hoping to introduce him to water kefir as a more natural option.
We’re interested in water kefirs so that we can start making our own soda and wean ourselves off the bad stuff.
If its not 70-75 degrees in my house all the time does it take longer for the water not to taste sweet or can I put the jar on a heat pad?
I have been slowly integrating more fermented foods and kefirs into my diet. I love young coconut water kefir. The Water Kefir Grains fascinate me! I’m also in love with real homemade sauerkraut and fermented veg. Delish!