Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Water Kefir Questions and Recipes

Regular and flavored kefir brewing at different stages.

In yesterday's post I shared how to make water kefir.  There were a couple of questions that came up that I thought I'd clarify and then I'll share some of our favorite ways to drink it.

First of all, water kefir is gluten-free.  So, if you have an issue with gluten, water kefir won't be an issue for you. Secondly, there was a question about the second ferment.  After you strain out your kefir grains, you use those to start a new batch.  The second ferment takes place without the grains in the liquid.  Although there are no actual grains in the brew, there are still plenty of active organisms ready to get to work on the juice or fruit you add.  I hope this clarifies things a little.

You don't have to do a second ferment for your water kefir to be ready to drink.  I just like when it gets all fizzy. :0)  Also, there are probably a blooming gazillion ways to flavor water kefir.  I'm simply going to share a few that have become our favorites, so far.  Ready?

First Ferment:

1.  Cream Soda - Add 2 - 3 tsps. of vanilla extract per quart of kefir.  That's it!

2.  Lemonade - Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice per quart of kefir.  I tried this with bottled lemon juice.  It was good, but a little tart.  I think that the juice from a real lemon would be even better.  Makes me kind of wish for my old Meyer Lemon tree from our days living in Florida. :0)

3.  Juiced-Up Kefir - Add an equal amount of your favorite juice to the water kefir.  You can also add sparkling water to fizz it up.

Second Ferment:

This is where your options get really wide.  Note that if you go this route you'll want to seal your container (glass please) instead of covering it with cheese cloth or a coffee filter.  Sealing it off is what will cause it to become naturally carbonated or fizzy.  I have been using quart or half gallon canning jars because that's what I have.  But, these Grolsch flip-top style bottles are on my wish list because they are supposed to be superb at capturing the excreted gas that gives it all the fizzy goodness.

Method 1:  Add fresh or dried fruit to the kefir after it has been strained.  Some really great options are apple or cranberry.  Or apple and cranberry.  There is also apricot, mango, or whatever your favorite is.  This method can ferment anywhere from an additional 1 to 7 days.  Just make sure that you change out fresh fruit every day.  Dried fruit can ferment with your kefir for up to a week...if it's around that long.

Method 2:  Add 1 part 100% fruit juice to 3 parts water kefir.  Let it sit at room temperature for several days before refrigerating.  Refrigeration will cause the fermentation process to stop.  I also have successfully used equal parts juice and kefir and let it ferment all day or overnight and it gets a lovely fizz to it.  Some of our favorites have been made with grape,  cranberry, or cranberry pomegranate juice.  Isaac's favorite is made with orange juice.  When you're ready to drink it, add a dash of vanilla extract for an orange cream soda style drink.

Well, I hope that you're a little more inspired to start experimenting with the endless possibilities of water kefir!


  1. Thanks! I have been Using my keifer grains about a week now and the kids love it. I keep referring to this page for ideas.

    1. I'm so glad that you've found this helpful! You'll have to come back and share what your favorite way to drink it is sometime. :-)

  2. Hi Pam,

    I am so HaPPy I found your website! I haven't even turned on the TV ALL day, such great information.....exactly what I needed today! Thank you!!

    I'm a breast cancer survivor (2 yrs) and this weekend I have REALLY been beating myself up.....looking at my poor diet, no exercise, too much alcohol, tummy issues, staying up late and severe fatigue! I know it is the poor choices I've been making lately. I use to be so energetic......my husband & I would go on organized cycling events monthly, go kayaking, scuba diving, camping.....now we both seem to be in a rut!! I keep trying to pull us out but I guess I can only focus on ME for a while and hopefully, hubby will join me if I can stick with a plan longer then a week!! Seems like I always lose my motivation somewhere along the way! Right now, I am going to write down my goals, eating plan & take baby steps to get back to exercising daily, then pin the list on the mirrors, fridge, front door, in the car, read them every day and come visit you. How does that sound? Hope you don't mind!! LoL!! Seems like you've got it going on!! ;-)

    I am ordering the Kefir right now but I wanted to ask you if you ever tried the Milk Kefir grains? Oh Lawd, I can drink a gallon of whole milk in 2-3 days. Oh, Oh......I think that's a problem.....so I guess I only need to get the Water Kefir to start!! See there, already making progress!!

    Hope you get to spend quality time with your family next week and bring in the New Year with a Bang!! :P


    1. Hi Kellybel! I'm so happy to hear that you're a SURVIVOR! Don't beat yourself up about where you are now. We all fall off the horse at times and I don't think anyone does anything perfectly. I think your plan for making baby steps is the way to go. Feel proud of yourself about what you DO do right! Celebrate every victory - no matter how small. Just keeping at it is the way to go! I'm proud of you already. :-)

      I have never tried milk kefir simply because I can't stand milk. :-( I wish I liked it. If you love milk, I would definitely say try it because it is sooo good for you. I believe it is also beneficial in some different ways than the water kefir.

      Congratulations on being a breast cancer survivor, again! I pray this New Year brings blessings of health to you and yours!

  3. I currently make kefir, but am a little confused as to the difference in the first and second ferment. I add sliced lemons to the sugar water and grains and let it sit for 24-48 hours. I guess this would be considered the "first ferment." For the second ferment, I was wondering what happens to the grains? Are they removed or left with the water? Am I doing something wrong? HELP!

    1. You don't even have to do a second ferment if you don't want to. But, if you do - you remove the grains and add whatever fruit or juice you like to the kefir and cap it for the second ferment. This will make it fizzy. The grains that you removed are then used to start another batch. I hope that helps. :-)

    2. Yes, it does help! So, I will need a grolsch top or some sort of jar that will tightly enclose the liquid? I really want to get the fizzy effect, but have been having problems doing so.

      Thank you SO much for your help! ;)

    3. A grolsch top bottle would be awesome. I don't have one, so I just used a mason jar and never had any issues with it not fizzing up. Glad I could help a bit. :-) Have fun with your kefir!

  4. hi i'm qorya from indonesia, everyday i making water kefir from Japanese species of algae white crystals. I am happy if the benefits of water kefir greatly assist the process of healing the disease, every day I always gave away our old lady neighbors who have a particular disease can be cured by the Japanese crystal algae. and of course to our earnings back here to sell online japan crystal algae that we have

  5. Hi, Just made my first batch, v.excited! So easy too! Was just wondering how much do you suggest I give my kids? I have a 7 yo, twins of 5 and an 18 month old. I was thinking about 200-250mls for kids and a litre for adults per day???


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