Water kefir is a light-tasting nutritious fermented beverage. My kids love it! They drink this instead of juice or soda, both of which are loaded with sugar. (As I am sure you know.) It is very simple to brew. You can make it into either a juice as in my Lemonade Water Kefir recipe or a soda like my Orangeade Water Kefir Soda recipe.
Nutrients in Water Kefir:
- Probiotics (beneficial bacteria)
- Beneficial acids
- B vitamins
- Vitamin K
Some of Our Favorite Water Kefir Flavors:
How to get water kefir grains:
I bought my live grains from Poseymom. You can also buy them dehydrated from Cultures for Health. I prefer live, but dehydrated works as well. It will take a bit longer before you actually have usable water kefir ready though. If you’re really lucky, you can just get some from a friend. You need about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup).
How to brew Water Kefir:
To brew water kefir, you need just filtered water, sugar, and water kefir grains. These grains are a “scoby” (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Just as with milk kefir and kombucha, the scoby eats the sugar thereby fermenting the water. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a printable version.
- Dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar into one quart of filtered water.I generally add a little hot water to my jar to dissolve the sugar and fill the rest of the way with cool water so that I can add my grains right away. Don’t add the grains until your water has cooled down to about room temperature. You can add minerals to your water kefir if needed. Since you
- Cover your jar with fabric and a rubber band. Don’t use cheesecloth. I use cut up receiving blankets that I up-cycled. Set it on your counter away from the stove or sink so that it doesn’t get accidentally splashed. It will need to ferment anywhere from 24-48 hours. The variables that effect the rate of fermentation are: strength and quantity of your grains, the temperature in the room, the type of sugar that you used, how tart/sweet you like your water kefir.
- While you are getting the hang of it, you can keep tasting it to see when to pull the grains. Do this by sticking a clean straw into your brew and then putting your finger over the top of the straw. Do not put the straw back in after you have tasted from it, or you will introduce undesirable bacteria and endanger your grains.
- Once you kefir has fermented to your liking, strain the water kefir into a new bottle, reserving the grains. Use a plastic strainer. You are now ready to “feed” your grains again just as you did at the start.
- The end product is a light, refreshing beverage. You can enjoy it plain, but we usually do a second fermentation.
Doing a second Fermentation of water kefir
To do a second fermentation of water kefir, you just add either juice or fruit and sugar to your finished kefir. If you want just a juice (not carbonated), just put it into a recycled juice bottle or jar. Allow it to sit on your counter for 2 days to a week. Taste it from time to time to see how it is. Once it reaches the point you like, move it to the fridge. This slows down fermentation. Go here for my Water Kefir Lemonade recipe.
To make a soda:
Add juice or fruit, sugar, and water kefir to a flip top bottle. Let sit on your counter for at least 2 days and up to a week. Be sure to let gas escape from time to time or you may have a mess on your hands (or ceiling in my case). Once your kefir has fermented to your liking, move to the refrigerator to slow fermentation down. Go here for my Orangeade Water Kefir Soda recipe.
How to Brew Water Kefir
- Water Kefir grains 1/4 cup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- One quart of water
- Dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar into one quart of filtered water.I generally add a little hot water to my jar to dissolve the sugar and fill the rest of the way with cool water so that I can add my grains right away. Don't add the grains until your water has cooled down to about room temperature.
- Cover your jar with fabric and a rubber band. Don't use cheesecloth. I use cut up receiving blankets that I up-cycled. Set it on your counter away from the stove or sink so that it doesn't get accidentally splashed. It will need to ferment anywhere from 24-48 hours. The variables that effect the rate of fermentation are: strength and quantity of your grains, the temperature in the room, the type of sugar that you used, how tart/sweet you like your water kefir.
- Once you kefir has fermented to your liking, strain the water kefir into a new bottle, reserving the grains. Use a plastic strainer. You are now ready to "feed" your grains again just as you did at the start. (One quart of water, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of grains.)
A couple of notes on water kefir:
- During the warmer months, your grains will begin to multiply. Either save these to do two brews at once if your family is going through a lot of water kefir, or give them away and share the health wealth. You can also eat them and feed them to your pets!
- If need, you can add minerals to your water kefir. You must use filtered water when dealing with scobys and sometimes too many minerals are filtered out. I add Concentrace liquid minerals to mine. You can also add this to your drinking water.
- Too much water kefir? Add it to bake goods in place of other liquids to give a little “lift”.
How about you? Have you tried water kefir? Do you like it? Are you going to try to make it?
What age can I start offering this to our little one?
Thanks for your question. Water kefir, milk kefir, and cultured vegetables are all safe for infants of four months and older.
We are dedicated milk kefir disciples, but I’ve never tried water kefir! Since we have our own milk goats, we usually have a surplus of healthy raw milk to use for kefir, but when our girls are dried up or nursing their kids, we get very little milk so I think this would be a great option for those times! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to get some water kefir grains and try it out! 😀
We are dedicated milk kefir disciples too! I have to admit that I am a bit jealous of your goats. 🙂 Happy kefir-ing (milk or water) 😉
Thank you for the very clear instructions – I’m going to share this in a health group I belong to. I enjoy water kefir even more than milk kefir, though I know the two are similar. There’s something about how water kefir cultures that’s more pleasing to me.
I’ve heard of water kefir but have never tried any. I like milk kefir but have gone dairy free so I’m going to try this. Seems easy enough, the instructions are crystal clear so maybe I won’t mess it up 🙂
I have never tried but I would definitely like to try it. We love kefir, it has so many health benefits and uses. Never enough of kefir!
I’m surprised at how the process is essentially exactly like kombucha which I make!!! This is next on my list thanks for sharing!
I’ve heard about water kefir many times, but to be honest, it didn’t sound good to me… but this post changed that! Now I want to make some! Thanks for sharing! I’ll be making some water kefir soon 🙂