How to make bubbly, fermented water kefir which is a traditional cultured beverage loaded with probiotics and enzymes. A healthy alternative to soda.
Many people are surprised to learn that soda is actually a traditional food! Of course, ancestral cultures did not sweeten fermented beverages artificially or add unhealthy chemicals and GMO sugar like today.
Water kefir is a very popular example of a healthy traditional beverage that is tasty, fizzy, satisfying and thirst-quenching without any of these additives.
Water kefir grains look different than milk kefir grains. They also grow much faster, which is great because there is more to share with your friends!
The probiotic properties of water vs milk kefir grains vary quite a bit as well.
You should be able to procure some water kefir grains within your local community by asking your health-conscious friends or at farmers’ markets.
If you still cannot find some locally, you can order them from the vetted sources in my shopping guide.
If you wish additional flavor and fizz, be sure to bottle your homemade water kefir after it is finished culturing.
Homemade Water Kefir Recipe
Bubbly, homemade water kefir recipe that the whole family will enjoy to help kick the unhealthy soda habit once and for all!
Mix all the ingredients together in a mason jar leaving 1 inch at the top.
Screw on the lid and leave on the counter for 48 hours. Taste after 48 hours, and if it is too sweet, leave for another 24 hours. Taste again, if too sweet, leave another 24 hours. Repeat for up to 5 days until the a fermented, apple cider type flavor with minimal sweetness has been achieved.
Strain out the water kefir grains and refrigerate the liquid (no metal please), clean the mason jar, and repeat the process for a new batch of water kefir. You will have approximately double the kefir grains as they grow rapidly with each batch. You can give them away, eat them as a live probiotic, or make a larger batch of water kefir.
To add variety, you may also reduce the sugar to 1/8 cup, reduce the water to 3 cups, and add 1 cup of fresh fruit juice. Juice from the store is almost always pasteurized and as such, is not recommended as it significantly increases the risk of fermentation mold. Fresh juice has minimal mold issues when fermented and is much more nutritious, and is therefore best to use. If using fresh lemon or lime juice, keep the sugar at 1/4 cup and only use 1/2 cup fresh juice.
After fermenting, you may bottle the liquid to achieve extra fizz. This is an optional step. The picture with this step shows the types of bottles I use. Only fill the bottles to the bottom of the neck and leave on the counter for and additional 24-48 hours.
Chill well and open the bottles slowly over the sink as the level of carbonation is quite surprising!
To store your water kefir culture, place up to 1/2 cup water kefir grains in 1 quart of filtered water mixed with 1/4 cup sucanat, coconut sugar, or maple sugar and refrigerate until you are ready to use again.