A simply delicious probiotic drink that you can easily whip up in any kitchen. Learn how to make water kefir and why its good for you!
Let me tell you about my best friend! Well, ok, not my best friend but definitely my current fermentation obsession to make in the kitchen. It’s refreshingly sweet, gut healthy and very customizable.
What is water kefir?
- Water kefir is a tasty fermented probiotic rich drink made with sugar, water and these awesome little colonies of helpful bacteria and yeast.
- The bacteria feed on the sugar in the water and in turn, create a probiotic rich drink just for you!
- You can choose to ferment one time and drink or go into a second ferment and achieve a carbonated soda-like beverage.
These little helpful bacteria colonies are called kefir grains but they aren’t actually grains at all! Just take a look…
They’re kinda cute, in a jello crumb kind of way haha! They actually end up multiplying each batch of water kefir that you make so you can share with friends too!
Why drink water kefir?
Not only is water kefir rich in gut healthy probiotics, but it is vegan as well! Its a great choice for people who want something like regular milk kefir but can not drink dairy.
Ingesting probiotics is a great way to boost your immune system and balance your gut flora. And having balanced gut flora can influence many things like: food digestion, mood stability, keeping bad bacteria from sticking to the intestinal wall, heart health and really just your overall health!
Wait…what about the sugar in water kefir?
Well, the sugar content of water kefir is going to depend on how long you let it ferment.
As the water kefir cultures, those little cute kefir grains metabolize the sugar and in turn convert them to carbon dioxide, acids, bacteria and yeasts.
So the final result is very, very low in sugar.
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So how do you make water kefir?
Some quick do’s and don’t before we get started:
- Don’t sub out sugar for honey, the beneficial bacteria in the honey will compete with the water kefir grains.
- Do try your best to use organic sugar sources like- organic cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup or coconut sugar. I have only consistently used organic cane sugar with great results!
- Don’t use water with chemicals like chlorine in it.
- Do add some trace minerals from a source like concentrace minerals (5-10 drops) if you are using reverse osmosis water.
Materials you’ll need:
- 1/4 cup Water kefir grains (linked the small business where I ordered mine from)
- 1/4 cup Organic cane sugar
- 3 1/2 cups clean filtered water
- 5 drops of Concentrace Minerals
- Small holed strainer
- Small pot to heat water
- Quart sized mason jar
Let’s get started!
First, take half a cup of water and heat it until it is warm in a small pot on the stove.
While the water is heating up, add 1/4 cup of sugar to your mason jar.
Once the water is warmed up, add it to the mason jar and swirl the water/sugar mix until the sugar is dissolved.
Next, add three cups of cool water to the mason jar and check that once mixed, the water is no warmer than room temperature. Heat could hurt the water kefir grains.
Finally, add your water kefir grains. No need to mix or shake the jar.
Add in 5-10 trace mineral drops.
Add a muslin/cheese cloth or cotton square of fabric and then screw on a metal lid bracket so that air will still seep in and out.
Let ferment at room temperature 1-3 days. If this is your first time trying water kefir, I recommend trying it at both time intervals. You can totally taste the difference. My favorite amount of time is 2 days.
You should notice an almost tangy flavor or sort of yeasty smell to the water kefir.
After that first ferment, strain the grains out and keep the water from the jar. You can drink the water as is, refrigerate or ferment for a second time at room temperature for another 24 hours in a sealed bottle.
My favorite way to enjoy the first ferment is with a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice! Or do half orange juice and half water kefir for a delicious breakfast drink full of probiotics and vitamin c!
For a second ferment…
- Just add fermented water kefir to a jar with a swing top lid if you want it carbonated. I have read words of caution when using a regular mason jar and metal lid with the pressure from the gases in the water kefir.
- If you only have a regular mason jar you can still do the second ferment, just burp the jar occasionally, about every 6-12 hours.
- Add 1/4 cup of organic juice to the second ferment to infuse flavor. Or even pieces of fruit!
- 1/4 cup water kefir grains
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 4 cups filtered water
- 5 drop concentrace mineral drops (optional unless your water is reverse osmosis like mine)
- Heat half cup of water in small pot until almost boiling
- Add your sugar to the empty quart mason jar
- Once warm, add water to the same jar and swirl until the sugar has dissolved
- Add the rest of the water to the jar and lightly mix
- Add water kefir grains to jar
- Cover with tea towel, muslin cloth or cotton square and secure with metal lid bracket
- Let sit 24-72 hours
- Strain out water kefir grains and enjoy your fermented water kefir as is or refrigerate. Feel free to add lemon juice or anything else your heart desires once the ferement has finished.
- (OPTIONAL) For a second ferment, put finished water kefir into a bottle with a swing top lid or anything that can handle lots of pressure.
- Let ferement at room temperature for an additional 24 hours.