Making delicious water kefir at home is easy and a great way to boost your immune system. If you’re new to water kefir check out our earlier blog post for an introduction into this magical world. But for now, all you need to know is that kefir is a raw, fermented probiotic-rich beverage that’s been around for hundreds of years. This fizzy goodness is sometimes called “champagne for the gut” and is a perfect dairy-free alternative for those wanting to look after their gut health.
The basic recipe requires only three ingredients: kefir grains, water and sugar.
Note: kefir grains are not actual grains but a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), similar to a kombucha SCOBY but resembling crystals or “grains” - hence their name “kefir grains.”
Dried fruit such as figs and apricots are sometimes added to provide additional nutrients to the SCOBY.
Kefir grains consume the sugars and convert them to lactic acid and carbon dioxide, creating a delicious lightly sparkling beverage while simultaneously lowering kefir’s pH, which prevents harmful bacteria from forming.How to make water kefir by PiQi
Basic water kefir recipe:
- ¼ cup kefir grains
- 4 cups non-chlorinated water (more on this later)
- 40g sugar
- 20g dried figs (optional)
Step 1: Mix sugar with water in a clean glass jar
Step 2: Add kefir grains and dried fruit, cover with a cloth or paper towel and seal with a rubber band
Step 3: Let the mixture ferment at room temperature for 24-48 hours
Step 4: Strain the liquid into a bottle
Step 5: Chill and enjoy
At this stage, water kefir is ready to drink: it should be a little bubbly, tart and lightly sweet. The finished beverage should be stored in the fridge, otherwise it will continue to ferment and you will end up with a vinegar-like, acidic liquid.
Many fermentation enthusiasts flavour their kefirs during the second stage of fermentation with fresh fruit, herbs or various juices. Check out our blog for delicious recipes
Tips for making the best water kefir
Because water kefir is a raw, living beverage, it is important to keep a few things in mind.
Kefir grains are sensitive to chlorine and metal, so it is recommended that only non-chlorinated water and non-metal utensils are used during preparation.
The type of sugar that is used for fermentation will impact flavour and fermentation activity. Kefir grains require nutrients to survive, so the sugar should not be overly processed. Equally, dark sugars are very high in nutrients and should be used sparingly. Our recommendation is to use organic cane sugar for best results.
Temperature can also affect the rate of fermentation; you might find that in the summer months your kefir is finished after 24 hours while in winter time it can take longer - sometimes up to 3 or 4 days.
Kefir grains multiply very quickly and can sometimes double within a week
Kefir grains are sensitive to metal and should not be handled with metal utensils
Water kefir is rich in live probiotic cultures