How to Make Water Kefir Soda (Recipe)

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How to make healthy probiotic water kefir natural soda
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » How to Make Water Kefir Soda (Recipe)

It’s a probiotic… it’s a carbonated drink… it’s water kefir!

I started making this as part of my mission to get more probiotics in our diet and it has worked like a charm! The kids love it and ask for it each morning.

Water Kefir Culture

You will need one unusual ingredient for this recipe: water kefir cultures (also called water kefir grains). They aren’t really grains, but are a symbiotic colony of beneficial bacteria that create probiotics and enzymes during the process of breaking down natural sugar.

I got my water kefir grains from this family-owned company. You’ll also need…

Equipment Needed

  • Glass jar (1 quart or half gallon)
  • Wooden spoon for stirring (avoid metal)
  • Towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter to cover jar
  • Rubber band
How to make healthy probiotic water kefir natural soda

How to Make Water Kefir Soda (Recipe)

A healthy probiotic-rich drink that you can make quickly and easily at home for pennies.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Katie Wells


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  • In a half gallon size glass jar, dissolve the sugar in a 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 the 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 a towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter and rubber band to keep out insects and 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 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 n additional 1-3 days before drinking or refrigerating.
  • Repeat the process!


The longer you let your kefir ferment, the more sugar ferments out. So if you’re limiting carbs, I recommend fermenting for the full 48 hours. Don’t leave it longer than that though or it can starve the grains, which need sugar to live!

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

My Favorite Kefir Variations

  • After the first fermentation, cap the water kefir without adding any juice and leave on the counter. After two days, put in refrigerator and add vanilla extract before drinking — tastes like cream soda!
  • Add lemon juice and drink right after the first fermentation — tastes like lemonade!
  • Do the second fermentation with grape, apple, cherry, or pomegranate for a fizzy fruit flavored soda.
  • Add raisins or prune juice for the second fermentation — tastes like Dr. Pepper.
  • Make a grape or berry flavored second fermentation and mix with iced herbal tea for a carbonated fruity iced tea drink.
  • Add pineapple juice after the first fermentation, but drink right away — don’t allow to ferment or it gets slimy!

Water Kefir Recipe Video Tutorial

This video that explains this in more detail and gives step by step instructions. You can also check out Cultures for Health to find the supplies to make water kefir soda and other great fermented probiotic-rich foods and drinks!

Have you ever made water kefir? What’s your favorite flavor?

Water Kefir is a naturally fizzy fermented drink that is full of probiotics and enzymes for a delicious and healthy drink!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


337 responses to “How to Make Water Kefir Soda (Recipe)”

  1. Randall Paul Allen Avatar
    Randall Paul Allen

    Here’s my water kefir story. I just started with it a few months ago.

    Let me start by saying I live in Brazil, in the tropics (about 16º south of the equator), so temperature for fermenting isn’t a problem.

    I bought some kefir grains online. I think they were dehydrated. What I received was a VERY small quantity. They would barely cover the bottom of a thimble. My “recipe” includes rapadura. This is basically pure sugar – sugar cane juice with most of the water evaporated out. I buy it in blocks and it is about the only sugar I ever use. Once in a while I might use powdered sugar to make icing, but that’s pretty rare.

    My recipe:
    Cut out a block of rapadura 1-1.25 inches on each side.
    Place in a pan, and cover with bottled water. I buy bottled water by the 20 liter (about 5 gallons) bottle.
    Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. This step is only to dissolve the rapadura.
    Place in a glass jar, about 1.25 liters in size, and cover with a paper towel held in place by a rubber band.
    Let sit for a day or two then pour through a strainer into a jar to collect the grains.
    Pour from the pitcher into a 1-liter bottle and the rest into a 500-ml bottle and refrigerate.
    Repeat the above process WITHOUt washing the grains.

    I’ve read about second fermentation, but I haven’t tried it yet. I really like the kefir I make just with the steps above. It is a delicious, fairly well carbonated drink. I don’t use any special bottles. They’re just plain glass that I stopper with plain old cork stoppers. Still, they develop suuficient carbonation. The process I use produces some sediment. One day I decided to shake the bottle with my thumb on the cork to mix the sediment in the drink. Big mistake. When I removed the cork, it sprayed all over the kitchen. Now when I wan to mix in the sediment, I take out the cork first and vigorously swirl the bottle.

    My water kefir made from just rapadura and water (and grains, of course) is quite wonderful. No extra flavors needed.

  2. Melissa Avatar

    Can I use tap water? I heard bottled water does not have enough minerals, but I have no idea if my tap water is too chlorinated. Thanks!

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