Water Kefir Grains and Kefir Water

Kefir is a drink that is extremely easy and healthy to make. It only requires 3 ingredients, takes minimal preparation time and boosts our bodies with all sorts of great bacteria for digestion.

Firstly, kefir grains are needed. There are two types of kefir grains: water and milk. Obtain water kefir grains as they feed off sugar and require water to survive. Milk kefir grains feed off fat and are used with high-fat liquids.

Once kefir grains have been obtained, the basic ratio is:

  • 1 tbsp. kefir grains
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup water
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Of course, you can adjust this recipe to fit the quantity of kefir you have. Allow the kefir to grow and consume the sugar in a glass or plastic container that is covered but not airtight. I place a stocking secured with a rubber band around a glass jar to allow the kefir to breathe and discourage bugs and dust from entering. It also makes the kefir-straining process hassle-free. After 2-3 days have passed, separate the water, now a dark golden color (depending on the type of sugar used) from the kefir grains. Refresh the kefir grains with the proper amount of water and sugar and restart the process again. When you have too many kefir grains you can eat them, incorporate them into smoothies or give them to somebody else who desires them.

You can mix the water with juice, drink it by itself, add it into smoothies and even cook with it! Carbonate the mixture (optional) by sealing the kefir water in an airtight bottle and allow it to sit at room temperature for a day before consuming or refrigerating. If you decide to not carbonate your kefir water store immediately in the fridge.

Kefir grains fermenting to create kefir water

It is very important to take care of your kefir. One way to do this is use the proper sugar. Kefir will struggle if standard white or brown sugar is used. The best sugars are minimally refined, such as unrefined cane sugar (like rapadura or muscovado) or coconut sugar, preferably organic. Other sources of acceptable sugar include but are not limited to rice malt syrup and molasses. It is recommended to use sugar that is minimally processed, isn’t processed with chemicals and doesn’t have chemicals added to it.

Keep the kefir healthy with proper water. Depending upon your country and area the tap water may be an acceptable source of water. For a person whose water is highly processed and is cleaned with many chemicals, such as chlorine, I suggest bottled water. An alternative to bottled water is allowing water to sit lightly covered (such as the stocking used for the kefir) for a few days to reduce chemicals. Experiment with different sugars and waters to see what works best for you.

As a final note, kefir does not like metal. Whenever you are caring for your kefir, do your best to not use metal spoons, jars, cups or strainers. If it’s not possible, keep exposure to a minimum.

Enjoy your kefir!

Interested in making your own water kefir?

Buy a water kefir starter kit from Carob Cherub.

  • Updated a couple of years ago
Sara Binde

Sara is a health and nutrition coach. She advocates for a whole foods plant-based lifestyle and teaches the world how to achieve weight loss.