Water kefir is a sweet probiotic drink that is very versatile. During the secondary ferment you can add things like a splash of vanilla extract to make a vanilla cream soda flavored drink. Toss in a quartered orange (the whole thing) with the vanilla and you’ve got something that tastes like an orange creamsicle. The preferred flavor in our house is lemon. You can do this in a number of ways, but hubby’s favorite is when I add the lemon juice after the second ferment.
I can tell you that water kefir helps me keep my mood stable. I drink a glass every day. Not only because it’s beneficial, but because it’s delicious! As an added bonus, it’s even easier than kombucha to make.
- Glass jars
- Canning lids or other airtight lids
- 1/2 cup sugar per 64 oz.
- Trace minerals (if using white sugar)
- Filtered water
- 1/2 cup water kefir grains/crystals per 64 oz.
- Mesh colander
- Large bowl (a pour spout on the bowl makes things easier)
- Extra jar, water, sugar for storing the crystals when not in use
- Pour the sugar into the jars.
- Warm up a little water and cover the sugar enough for it to dissolve.
- Fill the jar with the rest of the water after the sugar has dissolved, leaving 2 inches at the top.
- Add in the kefir crystals and top off the jar with water if there’s more than an inch left after adding them.
- Put the lids on the jars and let them sit for 24-48 hours. The longer they ferment, the higher the probiotic content.
- Strain the crystals out and set them aside, returning the liquid to the original jars.
- Put the lids back on the jars and let this ferment for another 12-24 hours. The longer it sits, the more bubbles in the finished product. This is the time to add flavorings like juice, fruit, extracts, herbs. Whatever you fancy, really.
- Place the crystals into the extra jar, cover them with water and a spoon or two of sugar, stick a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator.
I use sucanat for my water kefir as well as my kombucha. The sucanat seems to have a good balance of minerals to keep the grains healthy. I’ve tried using coconut sugar and my results were rather dismal. My grains got slimy and gross (which is an indication of a mineral content that is too high) and the end result wasn’t very pleasant tasting. White sugar works well too, you’ll just need to add in trace minerals or a drop or two of solé every once in a while to keep the kefir grains happy. You need to add minerals if your kefir grains get very small.