How to Make Water Kefir (a quick tutorial)

Kefir (pronounced KEH-feer) conjures the image of a creamy drink, known for its probiotics powers. Water kefir is milk kefir’s less popular cousin.

Water kefir is a fermented beverage made form water, sugar, and kefir grains. Although these are not actually grains, but are called grains due to their gran-like appearance. Kefir grains are a colony of beneficial yeast and bacteria, supported by the process of turning sugar into lactic acid during the fermentation process.

Water kefir grains have the appearance of small crystals but are soft and gelatinous in texture. When properly cared for they can be reused indefinitely, and they can also reproduce allowing you to make a larger amount of water kefir if desired, or to give away to friends and family (which is what I do).

Supplies needed to make water kefir
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar  (find it here) as unprocessed as possible, such as cane sugar, rapadura, or sucanat work best due to they high mineral content. Do not use honey as it has antibacterial properties and it will damage the grains.
  •  3 Cups water preferably, no-chlorinated and non-flourinated. If you have a faucet or pitcher type of filter it doesn’t remove the fluoride, you can boil your filtered water for about 20-30 minutes. Or a preferred way of many water kefir brewers is to use reverse osmosis water and adding mineral drops (find them here) to the water.
  • Mesh strainer (find it here) don’t use a metal strainer. Since I haven’t gotten around to buying one I use a coffee filter over the metal strainer.

How to make water kefir  

  1. In a 1 Qt mason jar dissolve the sugar in a a small amount of hot water and let it cool off (along with the rest of the water if boiling it) to room temperature.
  2.  Add kefir grains and fill with the rest of the water leaving about an inch from the rim if using the metal lids (or you can use a plastic lid with a silicone seal like this one)
  3. Cover with an air tight lid.
  4. Allow 24 to 48 hours for fermentation. 24 hours if the temperature in the room is very warm, 48 hours if the temperature is around or less than 72 degrees (but do not exceed 72 hours).
  5. Let the jar “burp” a couple times throughout the day, by gently unscrewing the lid to let the gas forming escape, then tightening it again.
  6. After desired fermentation time, set up a strainer and a separate container to catch the liquid. 
  7. Set up a second mason jar as in step number 1.
  8. Strain grains from and add grains to the second mason jar.
  9. Repeat steps 2, 3, 4, and 5.

A second fermentation can be done to flavor and allow for the natural carbonation typical of water kefir.

Stay tune for next post, I will show you how to make an apple-pomegranate water kefir. (Jump to post now)


This post was shared at: Holistic Home.

About Stephanie

Stephanie is a stay-at-home mom to her curly-haired two year old son, a nursing student, dog lover, and yoga enthusiast. She loves to share her tips on making green and healthy living attainable to families getting
started in the wonderful world of eco-consciousness. She believes in
real food and living as natural as possible…and why not, leaving behind a
better planet for our children.


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