How to Make Water Kefir

17 Jan 2010

We have been on quite the water kefir kick lately---and, it’s definitely made us feel pretty great. Although water kefir is not so widely known now, it's starting to show up in bottles at health food stores, similar to the recent kombucha craze. There's even a water kefir keg on tap at a few Whole Foods in California!

But, unlike kombucha, which takes about 3 weeks to make at home, water kefir only takes about 3 days, and it offers similar probiotic benefits. Since you can use the grains over and over, it's also so much cheaper to make at home than buying little bottles for $4 a pop. 

Why do People Drink Water Kefir?

Water kefir is filled with B-vitamins and works by balancing the microflora in your body. It's also been known to help people with yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, skin disorders---the list it goes on and on.

Oh, and the best part? It turns out fizzy like soda pop. Yes, you can make your own sodas, and they are actually good for you!

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup of water kefir grains (you can pick some up in the Grow Indie Etsy shop)
  • 1 quart mason jar
  • 5 tablespoons of organic sugar (organic cane works well)
  • 1 or 2 pieces of dried fruit (figs, dates, apricots)
  • 1 dice-sized piece of ginger

Water Kefir Basic Brew:

  1. Add non-chlorinated water to your mason jar and fill it up 3/4 of the way full.
  2. Add your sugar and stir until mostly dissolved. (For stirring, don't use a spoon, kefir grains hate metal. I use a chopstick)
  3. Add grains to your jar and cover with a cloth. Grains won’t ferment properly if they are airtight, so they need to breath a bit.
  4. Add your dried fruit and ginger
  5. Put your water kefir in a quiet closet or spot in your kitchen, out of direct light.
  6. Wait a day, then check on it. Your kefir should taste tart, not sweet, and have some bubbles/carbonation at the top. Give it another day or two if it's too sweet.
  7. Strain and rinse your grains in a plastic strainer, compost the fruit, and repeat steps 1 through 6 for your next batch. 

Once you have the water kefir where you want it, you can either strain it and drink it as is, or do a second fermentation to make it all bubbly. This isn’t complicated, and makes it taste so much better. Plus, you can flavor it up with whatever you want. Go for it! 

How to Make Your Water Kefir Like Soda Pop

  1. Put your basic water kefir in a swing top-bottle, or some kind of glass bottle with a tight lid. (Swing tops work best.)
  2. Add your flavoring. This can be as simple as adding another piece of ginger, some raspberry jam, or even herbs (I’ve even heard of a tarragon water kefir!) Have fun with experimenting.
  3. Put your lid on and let it sit out at room temp for a full day.
  4. The next day, check the bottle. It should have a lot of tiny bubbles floating near the top. If so, it’s probably ready.
  5. Crack it open and give it a try, or save it for later by putting it in the fridge. Once the kefir goes in the fridge, fermentation stops, so it won’t overdo it.

                                                           Water Kefir Brewing

Have fun trying it out, and let us know what crazy flavors you come up with.