How to Prepare Water Kefir

Learn how to make Water Kefir, a dairy-free beverage that’s an outstanding method for taking in probiotics, staying hydrated, and detoxifying the body.

| April 2019


Water kefir, not to be confused with milk-based kefir, is fermented using water kefir “grains.” Just like milk kefir grains, water kefir grains are not real grains. They are colonies of yeast and bacteria that are somewhat translucent and shaped like miniature cauliflower florets. Water kefir grains require only water and sugar to ferment. While activating dehydrated kefir grains (explained in instructions below) can take two to three weeks, once the grains are active, the fermentation process goes relatively quickly. This dairy-free beverage is an outstanding method for taking in probiotics, staying hydrated, and detoxifying the body!

Similar to most beverages in this book, water kefir can undergo a secondary fermentation, which makes it fizzy. This beverage is known as kefir soda. Once the primary fermentation is complete, you are free to stop there and enjoy the water kefir, but flavoring water kefir for the secondary fermentation is fun and gives the naturally bubbly beverage a lot of spunk.

If you don’t know anyone who makes water kefir, you will need to purchase dehydrated kefir grains. There are many reliable water grain sources on the Internet. To be effective for fermentation, dehydrated water kefir grains need to be rehydrated and activated. This process can take quite a while (one to three weeks), but once the grains are active, they can be used over and over again to make probiotic sodas.

Health Benefits of Water Kefir and Kefir Soda

Aside from its probiotic density, water kefir (and kefir soda) is a very hydrating beverage and is a great replacement for electrolyte sport drinks, as it contains enzymes and minerals. Water kefir helps reduce inflammation, thus easing any digestive discomfort and also helps relieve skin irritation such as eczema and acne. Drinking water kefir is also wonderful for detoxification, as the beverage helps clean out the liver. 

Secondary Fermentation

After the water kefir is finished fermenting, you can either consume it immediately or add ingredients to allow it to go through a secondary fermentation. This process will generate kefir soda as long as there is ample added sugar (from fruit, fruit juice, or cane sugar) and/or fruit pulp, which will make the water kefir fizzy. Secondary fermentation for kefir soda takes between two and three days and results in a wonderfully effervescent beverage. 



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