It’s fizzy, delicious, and good for your gut… It’s Water Kefir Soda.
Shhh.. don’t tell anyone it’s a healthy soda..
I started making water kefir as part of my mission to get more probiotics in our diet, besides occasional dose of kimchi and cultured vegetables. Water kefir is not only easy to make, it is a delicious, probiotic-rich, dairy-free beverage your whole family will enjoy.
What is Water Kefir?
Kefir? What the heck is it?
Water Kefir (pronounced ki-fer) is a probiotic beverage made with water kefir grains, which is a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts). When the grains are added to sugared water or coconut water, the beneficial bacteria and yeasts present in the grains breaks down the natural sugar, turning it into an array of beneficial acids with food enzymes.
Similar in flavor to a dry, slightly fizzy soda water, water kefir is pleasant and even toddlers can enjoy it (start them with 1 teaspoon a day diluted with water or juice).
Water Kefir Benefits
Water kefir, like most fermented foods, is good for gut health. As the beneficial bacteria in the water kefir grains consume the sugar in the sugar water, they produce a variety of beneficial acids, food enzymes, B vitamins and more beneficial bacteria.
Where to get Water Kefir Culture / Grains?
I got my water kefir grains from a friend who have excess grains. When properly cared for and regularly cultured, the grains will continue to grow and reproduce indefinitely. From 1 tablespoon, my water kefir grains grew and have filled up a 500ml jar in just 4 months. If you’re in Rotterdam, you’re welcome to get some from me. Friends in Malaysia could get the grains from the generous members of Healing Cultured World group.
You can also buy the water kefir grains online from various sites like Cultures For Health.
How to make Water Kefir?
Making water kefir at home is pretty easy. In fact, it is one of the easiest culturing beverages to make if you are just getting started in culturing.
What you will need:
- Water kefir grains
- Raw sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)
- One liter glass jar (I use this carafe / screw top jars). If your jars does not have a lid, cover it with piece of cloth to avoid things from falling into it.
- One plastic or wood spoon
- A plastic strainer for removing the kefir grains from the finished kefir
- For 2nd fermentation, screw top glass bottles (like these) or flip top glass bottles (like these) for extra fizzy water kefir
As we both finds water kefir by itself a tad too fizzy, we would dilute the water kefir with water or fruit juice. I usually do a second fermentation with some lemon juice, which turns into refreshing lemonade soda.
Have you ever made water kefir? What’s your favourite flavour?
Note: As kefir grain is a type of yeast and there is sugar content in the water kefir, it is not suitable for those with candida or yeast infection.
- 2 tablespoon water kefir grains
- 4 tablespoon raw sugar (I use organic unrefined cane sugar)
- Slice of Lemon / Lime (Optional)
- 3 cups of filtered water
- *2nd fermentation
- Ready Water Kefir
- ¼ cup fruit juice or cut fruits
- Add sugar and hot water into 1 liter glass jar, stir until sugar dissolves and allow the water to cool to room temperature.
- Place the water kefir grains into jar and close the lid. Place the jar in a warm spot (20C-29C) to culture for 24-48 hours. The longer it ferments, the stronger its flavor will become.
- After the culturing is complete, strain your water kefir grains through a plastic strainer into a pitcher. Place your water kefir grains in a new sugar water mixture, to reculture immediately or can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- You can drink the water kefir right away with a squeeze of lemon juice, or you can 2nd ferment for more flavour and fizz. For 2nd fermentation, pour ¼ cup fruit juice of your choice into a tightly capped bottle (like these) and place in a warm place to ferment further 18-24 hours. This allows carbon dioxide to develop, producing a fizzy water kefir. When it is ready, open carefully over a sink, as the liquid in the bottle is under pressure, the water kefir may fizz and foam.
* You can store your water kefir in fresh sugar water in the fridge for up to 1 month until ready to use again. When ready to resume brewing, strain the old water and add new water and sugar.
This video explains this in more detail and gives step by step instructions.
Check out this site for a useful FAQ on water kefir that helps you get started.
If you enjoy simple recipes like this, you will also enjoy the recipes in my book
Asian Raw Food Kitchen.