Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Ready to try brewing at home? In just 3 days you can have your own fizzy water kefir featuring your favorite flavors!
Brewing Aqua Kefir at home is super easy---so if you've never fermented or brewed anything before, fear not---it's really simple. Especially with the current wave of Water Kefir Kits on the market. They come with everything you need to get started, which is a packet of kefir grains, a strainer, a jar for fermenting, dried fruit, and sugar. You just provide the water!
Unlike kombucha, which takes about 3 weeks to make at home, Water Kefir only takes about 3 days to ferment, and offers similar probiotic benefits. And, since the grains multiply, you'll have an endless supply (and can share them with your friends!)
First Stage Fermentation:
Great water kefir starts with a great base. Once you’ve perfected the first stage ferment, you can add unlimited flavors to enhance your pop in the second ferment.
What is the single most important ingredient in any kefir soda? Sugar? Nope.
Dried fruit? No. WATER...Yes! If at all possible get good spring water for your water kefir. Not distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water with minerals added, and certainly not chlorinated, fluoridated, municipal tap water. Spring water is best and worth the extra effort to get it. (You and your kefir grains will thank me for it!)
Well water is good too, as long as it’s been tested. You can make kefir in a pinch with filtered tap water (which is to say it will work), but it just might not be as good.
So, let’s get started!
1/4 cup of water kefir grains
1 quart mason jar
5 tablespoons of organic sugar (organic cane works well)
1 or 2 pieces of dried fruit (figs, dates, apricots)1 dice-sized piece of ginger
Swingtop bottles and whatever juice you like to the second ferment
Water Kefir Basic Brew:
Add non-chlorinated water to your mason jar and fill it up 3/4 of the way full.
Add your sugar and stir until mostly dissolved. (For stirring, don't use a spoon, kefir grains hate metal. I use a chopstick).
Add grains to your jar and cover with a cloth. Grains won’t ferment properly if they are airtight, so they need to breath a bit.
Add your dried fruit and ginger.
Put your water kefir in a quiet closet or spot in your kitchen, out of direct light.
Wait a day, then check on it. Your kefir should taste tart, not sweet, and have some bubbles/carbonation at the top. Give it another day or two if it's too sweet.
Strain and rinse your grains in a plastic strainer, compost the fruit, and repeat steps 1 through 6 for your next batch.
Once you have the water kefir where you want it, you can either strain it and drink it as is, or do a second fermentation to make it all bubbly. This isn’t complicated, and makes it taste so much better. Plus, you can flavor it up with whatever you want. Go for it!
Next Level: Add Your Own Flavors
Put your basic water kefir in a swing top-bottle, or some kind of glass bottle with a tight lid. (Swing tops work best.)
Add your flavoring. This can be as simple as adding another piece of ginger, some raspberry jam, or even herbs (I’ve even heard of a tarragon water kefir!) Have fun with experimenting.
Put your lid on and let it sit out at room temp for a full day.
The next day, check the bottle. It should have a lot of tiny bubbles floating near the top. If so, it’s probably ready.
Crack it open and give it a try, or save it for later by putting it in the fridge.