Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fizzy Water Kefir – A Healthy Homemade Soda (Difficulty level: Easy!)

Water kefir is a caffeine free, probiotic and fizzy! Water kefir is made of water and sugar and additional fruit juices can be added. Water kefir is fermented only for a day or two. It is easy to make and don’t require a lot of effort or special skills.

Water kefir grains multiply quickly so you might find someone locally who is willing to share theirs. You can also order dehydrated water kefir grains online. Follow their instructions for rehydrating them – or you can also find instructions online.

How to make water kefir?

2-3 tbsps or more rehydrated water kefir grains
1 quart of water
2-4 tbsp organic sugar (do not used refined white sugar that is stripped of minerals, the grains will need the minerals for nourishment)
A pinch of baking soda – this is for pH
One inch piece of kombu sea weed (some use bone meal instead) – this is to feed the grains
You’ll also need a 1.5 quart ball jar or a jar with an airlock (I use Pickl-it) or a cheese cloth or kitchen towel and a rubber band or piece of string to cover it.

1.  Place your grains in the jar.

2. Add water, sugar, baking soda and the kombu. At this point some add dried fruit. I find that my kefir has gotten slimy if I add dried fruit now so I skip it. Leave space to your jar, don’t fill it to the rim.

3. Mix with a spoon (or don’t mix, I don’t think it is critical, I sometimes skip this step). Close the lid and attach airlock if using. If you close the lid completely and don’t have an airlock, some pressure can accumulate in the jar from the fermentation process. If you leave it out for a long time, burb the jar by opening it after a day or two to let the pressure out.

4. Let ferment in room temperature and in preferably a dark spot for 24-48 hours. When bubbles are forming it is ready. You can also taste the kefir before you start fermenting and after and it should be less sweet when it is ready as some of the sugar has been used in the process.

5. Strain the grains from the water kefir to make another batch. People say metal strainers aren't good for this purpose because they will weaken the culture. I am a rebel and I use a stainless steel strainer (never aluminum though, heard that is the worst). I don't leave them to sit in it though so they touch it just briefly. I don't like plastic so I don't want to use a plastic strainer and the bamboo strainer is hard to clean. But I put it on the photo as it should be a better option. I usually leave some of the liquid in the new batch to help it but I do not know if it is necessary.

6. Now you can either drink the kefir or bottle it for a secondary fermentation: Put the kefir in a bottle with a flip top lid or some other air tight seal top. You can add some fruit juice (or dried fruit) at this point to help make it bubblier. One of my favorite flavors is apricot-pomegranate.

TIP: Using high fructose juices like pear or
apricot make the best bubbles in my experience.

7. Leave the bottles out for another day or two and then move them to fridge. It is ready to be consumed anytime.

My favorite water kefir flavors:
- Water Kefir Lemonade: Add a juice of a lemon to the secondary fermentation to make a lemonade tasting water kefir!
- Apricot Pomegranate: Add about 5-10% apricot juice and just a splash of pomegranate juice for color to the secondary fermentation. Juice squeezed by you from fresh pomegranates is the best. I tried the store pomegranate juice but it didn’t taste as good.
- Pear Ginger: Add about 5-10% pear juice and just a hint of fresh juiced ginger (or a few pieces of fresh ginger) to the secondary fermentation.

-Lemon tangerine: For the secondary fermentation add a juice from one lemon and 1-2 tangerines to a little bit less than a liter of water kefir.

What are your favorites? Do you have any tips to share?

If you are new to fermenting and have any questions, feel free to ask them in comments or by sending me email from with the contact form in the right side panel.

No comments:

Post a Comment