How to Make Water Kefir
Love water kefir? This fermented, vegan probiotic drink is easy to make at home, and is a delicious, light, and flavorful alternative to milk kefir or kombucha.
Servings: 3 people
Basic Water Kefir:
- 8 cups water (dechlorinated water or previously boiled water)
- ½ cup sugar (white, turbinado, or brown)
- ¼ cup water kefir grains (amount approximate)
- 1 lemon, juiced
Optional Flavoring Add-Ins:
Equipment Needed While Fermenting:
- half gallon glass jar (or multiple smaller jars)
- paper towels or napkins (avoid using cheesecloth if you have a problem with fruit-flies)
- rubber band
Equipment Needed While Carbonating / Storing:
- mesh sieve or strainer
- 1 2-liter soda bottles OR 3 16-oz bottles, PLASTIC or PRESSURE-RESISTANT swing top glass bottles
Making Flavored Water Kefir: (Optional, but Recommended)
Technique 1 (2nd Fermentation):Add fruit, spices, and / or herbs to the jar of fermented water kefir. Cover with a paper towel and rubber band, and ferment another 1-2 days.Tip: Never add the fruit (or other flavorings) to the water kefir while the kefir grains are still in the jar-- it could harm the grains.Strain out any added flavorings, and proceed to the bottling step. Technique 2 (Flavor Added to Final Bottling):Add desired amount of juice or lemonade to the kefir.
Makes ½ gallon, or 3 20oz bottles.
Troubleshooting-- My water kefir didn't carbonate:
Nutrition information changes as this drink ferments, especially the sugar content. The nutrition estimates for this recipe are based on a nutritionix estimate of general water kefir, and do not include the additional flavoring.
- Ferment longer: It likely wasn't fully fermented. Try fermenting your next batch for one day longer. This is especially likely to happen on your first batch of kefir with grains that have been in storage. You can still drink the kefir, just ferment the next batch for a longer time period.
- Go organic: Try using organic sugar.
- Soak the Grains in Minerals: Add ⅛ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp molasses to the sugar water. Soak grains for at least a week, or up to a month. Don't drink this batch-- drain the liquid away and add the kefir grains to a new batch.
Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.8g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 0.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 1.7g | Vitamin C: 2.1mg