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I am very excited to tell you about a beverage that I have been making for our family for a couple of months now. It’s called water kefir. The best way to describe it is flavored soda minus all the processed sugar, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Water kefir is nature’s way of making soda and by far, one of the healthiest and easiest to make at home. And because I love it so much, I spent the time to write a detailed manual, as well as record two instructional videos, on how you can make your own water kefir at home.
What is Water Kefir?
Water kefir is made from kefir grains, also known as sugar grains, tibicos, tibi, or Japanese water crystals. The grains make up a cultures of various strains of healthy bacteria and yeast, held together in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. The symbiotic relationship of the microbes produces a stable growing culture. The microbes feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content is usually very minimal, less than 1 %.
Water Kefir vs. Milk Kefir
There are two types of kefir grains – milk and water kefir grains. Prior to making water kefir, I was making milk kefir using raw cow’s milk. Though similar in function, milk grains are quite different than water grains. They are white, cottage cheese-looking with slimy feel to them. Water grains, however, are translucent, cauliflower-like and easily break apart under pressure. Also, milk grains feed on the lactose in milk whereas water grains feed on sugar.
Health Benefits of Water Kefir
The health benefits of consuming water kefir are endless. They are a natural supplier of probiotics to our digestive tract. Probiotics refers to the healthy bacteria that usually feeds on the “bad” unhealthy bacteria in our stomach and intestines. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to many illnesses some of which include fungi, yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, skin disorders, etc. By drinking water kefir you will bring balance to your internal microflora. Many people take a probiotic supplement daily for this particular reason but I prefer to drink the water kefir. It’s much tastier and more affordable in the long run.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a leading expert in the raw food community, writes in his book “Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine“:
“Kefir grains produce right-rotating L(+) lactic acid, which is an important constituent of the human body. It is particularly important in the prevention of cancer and has been used experimentally with success in the treatment of cancer. In addition, right-rotating lactic acid may help maintaining healthy functioning of the heart. According to some researchers, the cells of the heart muscle obtain their energy primarily from right-rotating lactic acid.”
Another health advantage of water kefir is that people who do not wish to consume dairy or have a vegan type diet may find that water kefir provides the living probiotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, like kombucha.Vegans also may like to know that through the fermentation process kefir becomes an excellent source of vitamin B12, and is high in vitamins B1 and B6.
Diabetics, in particular, could greatly benefit from drinking kefir. Since the finished product, if bottled, will produce a carbonated beverage, it provides an alternative to sweet soda drinks. In that sense, anyone from children to adults can enjoy water kefir guilt-free.
How to Make Water Kefir
Making water kefir is super easy and fun. To help illustrate the process I have created two video tutorials – one on how to make the basic water kefir recipe, and the other on how to make flavored water kefir. You can watch them below.
- Plastic strainer
- Plastic measuring spoons
- Plastic spoon
- Measuring cup
- 8-cup (1/2 gallon) Ball Mason jar
- 2-3 Glass pitchers or Ball Mason jars
- Filtered or spring water
- Water kefir grains
- Organic cane sugar
- Sucanat, raw sugar or coconut palm sugar
- Unsweetened, unsulfured dried fruit (apricots, figs or raisins)
- Organic lemon (optional)
Notes 1: it’s very important that you NEVER use any metal utensils or tools when handling living cultures such as kefir grains. They don’t like metal and may be adversely affected if exposed to it.
Notes 2: never use tap water because it contains chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. They will kill the grains. Make sure the dried fruit doesn’t have any sulfur dioxide added to it. Many conventional brands add this chemical to keep the dried fruit looking bright and fresh.
Basic water kefir formula:
- 1 Cup of water
- 1 Tbsp. of sugar
- 1 Tbsp. of kefir grains
- Few pieces of dried fruit
Notes: The ratio of 1-1-1 is what you need to follow.
My video tutorial recipe:
- 6 Cups of water
- 6 Tbsp. kefir grains
- 4 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar
- 4 pieces of dried apricots and figs
- 2 lemon wedges
Notes: When dividing the sugar always add more organic cane sugar and less sucanat, raw or coconut palm sugar. Kefir grains thrive primarily on the organic cane sugar. The other sugar and dried fruit are added to give them additional nutritional support their growth.
The fermentation process
After all the ingredients are in the jar, you need to cover the top of the jar with a cloth, paper towel or parchment paper held by elastic. This is so your kefir grains can breathe and to make sure nothing can contaminate them. Putting a tight lid could cause the jar to explode due to the natural carbonation process taking place.
Place the water kefir jar on your counter away from direct sunlight. The kefir water should be ready in 24-48 hours. The kefir will be mild and sweet at 24 hours, and more zesty and acidic at 48 hours. This is really a matter of personal preference and either way is tasty and has health benefits. Temperature can speed this process up the warmer it is inside your house. If it tastes like there is too much alcohol for you try reducing the amount of sugar and fruit or reduce the amount of grains. You will soon find what you like after a couple taste tests.
How to Make Flavored Water Kefir
This is where the fun part of making water kefir comes because you can customize the flavor to your liking. Follow this steps:
- After the initial batch of plain water kefir has fermented, drain the kefir water and set the grains aside for a new batch.
- Take the fermented kefir water and pour into a large glass pitcher or a couple small pitchers, pending how many flavors you’d like to make.
- To each pitcher/jar add 1/4 cup of fruit juice or fresh fruit of your choice. If you are making Strawberry Lemonade (as I have made in my video tutorial) make sure to puree the strawberries first. It will give your kefir much richer taste.
- Let the kefir ferment for another 24 hours. This time you can put a tight lid especially if you prefer more fizz to your beverage.
- In 24 hours you will notice color change in your kefir as the flavor of the fruit/juice is metabolized by the kefir grains. Taste your kefir to see if it’s ready. If it’s not sweet enough, just add a tablespoon of sugar.
- Take your final water kefir, pour over ice and enjoy! 🙂
Flavored Water Kefir Recipes
Coconut Water Kefir
If you love coconut water, then making it into kefir is even better! Just substitute the water portion with fresh coconut water from Young Thai coconuts. Those can be found at Asian markets and cost about $1.99. You will need about 6-8 coconuts to get 6 cups of coconut water. You do not need to add sugar to the mix because coconut water is naturally sweet and it will feed the grains on its own. Also, you may skip the dried fruit and lemon.
Creamy Ginger Spice
After 24 hours of fermentation with just ginger and sugar, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ½ Tb. vanilla extract and 1 cinnamon stick per quart. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Tighten the lid for more fizz! Serve cold with whip cream on top. Or add some scoops of caramel vanilla ice cream for a delicious float!
After 24 hours of fermentation with a slice of lime (instead of lemon), strain the kefir, take the liquid and add a half cup pineapple chunks per quart, squeeze in the lime juice and discard the lime slice. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge.
After 24 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup mango (or similar tropical fruit juice) per quart. Add in ½ cup raspberries. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Tighten the lid for more fizz!
After 24 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add 1/2 cup purred strawberries and squeeze out the juice from the lemon into it. Add a couple whole strawberries if desired as well. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. If this is too tart, add in some sugar or honey at the end to taste.
After 24 hours of fermentation of just sugar and grains, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup cherry juice per quart. Add a couple whole cherries if desired as well. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Mix in sugar to taste if desired.
Storing Extra Kefir Grains
After your first few batches you will notice that your kefir grains grow rapidly (considering you take good care of them). You can do four things with the extra grains:
- Eat them! They are very nutritious, packed with many beneficial probiotic bacteria. You can add them to your smoothies if you wish.
- Short-term storage – you can store water kefir grains in sugary water in the refrigerator for up to a week. The cold temperature will slow down their growth. Just make sure to rinse and change their water on weekly basis.
- Long-term storage – you can put the extra grains in a glass jar and freeze them. They can last for about 6 months or longer. Keep in mind that it may take a few batches to revive them after they’ve been frozen. They should be fine after that.
- Share them! As you accumulate more water kefir grains, just share the joy of making water kefir with family and friends. Give them your extra grains and teach them how to make their own natural “soda” at home. 🙂
Water kefir contains very large amounts of good bacteria and yeast as well as being high acidic. For some people it can be a little bit of a shock. Everybody reacts to it differently, so we always recommend starting out slow to see how your body takes to it. The majority of people do not have any adverse reaction, but if you do, usually it’s just a matter of starting out slow and slowing increasing over time. Start with a tablespoon and go from there. Sometimes drinking in the morning is best as many people report that they do much better with kefir in the morning.
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Awesome Zoe! You must have been reading my mind! I have been wanting to do this for some time.
If I made just water kefir would dates be an appropriate dried fruit? I figure since they are so high in sugar they might be good. I wonder if you could reduce the amount of raw sugar you add.
I would love to get some kefir grains from you so let’s get in touch! I want to make coconut water kefir! 🙂
Big Hug and BRAVO!
You would think I would spell my own name right! 😉 I hit enter WAY TOO FAST!
Hey Lori. You were so excited that you misspelled your name. So cute. 🙂
Dates could be added but they are very expensive in comparison to other dried fruit. If it’s cost-effective to you, then go ahead and see how the grains react to them. I have found that dried unsulfured apricots, prunes and raisins work wonderful with my grains, and they aren’t too expensive.
I wouldn’t minimize the quantity of sugar. You see, the sugar is “food” for the grains and the less you add, the hungrier they may be. Even though it seems like you put a lot of sugar in the kefir after fermentation very little sugar is left in the kefir. Most of it is eaten by the grains. At time I add a tablespoon of coconut palm sugar because the kefir isn’t sweet enough anymore. And in case you didn’t know, coconut palm sugar is low-glycemic – 35 whereas regular sugar is 55.
I’ll send you email about the grains. They are easily shipped cross country. 🙂
I have systemic Candida and am not supposed to have any sugar at all…however Kombucha is ok…do you think this would be the same? The good (probiotic)would outweigh the bad (sugar)?
Traci, if you are allowed to have kombucha tea, then water kefir should be fine too. Fermented beverages and foods are VERY beneficial to people with Candida overgrowth. As I wrote to Lori above, the sugar you add to the water is “food” for the grains which is metabolized and the end product contains very little sugar. If I were you, I would try water kefir for a week or two and see how my body responds. Then you can decide for yourself. 🙂
Hi Zoe! You make some awesome videos! I saw you on RFR, and have been following your vids ever since. I would seriously love to try the water kefir. Please let me know how/where to get some grains. And … keep making lots of videos!! Thanks, Sandra
I would like to know the difference in nutritional value in water kefir and milk kefir. I’ve done an extensive search and cannot find where anyone states a difference. Surely kefir made from milk still has the good milk properties (vitamin D). I would think milk kefir would be more beneficial than water. I use both, but if milk has no extra benefits, I can’t really see the sense in using milk over water. I have raw milk and it is very expensive. Can you shed some light on this question or tell me where to go for the answer?
Tammy, that’s a very good question. Before I became vegan in January I used to make milk kefir with milk kefir grains. While they are different in molecular structure and appearance, the health benefits are identical. Milk kefir grains feed on the lactose (sugar) in milk whereas water kefir grains feed directly on the added sugar in water. In return, both produce carbon dioxide which causes carbonation and release millions of probiotics in the finished product.
Dom’s kefir web site states this: “Water kefir is a vegan version of kefir, so vegans and true vegetarians too can enjoy making and drinking kefir as part of their lifestyle and diet.”
The downside of milk kefir is that raw milk is very costly and I found myself spending a lot more to make it at home. Water kefir, on the other hand, is cheap! All you need is access to clean, filtered water, some cane sugar, unsulfered fruit and there you go! Plus, I like making flavored water kefir that tastes just like flavored soda. You can’t make that with milk kefir.
I got an answer!!!!
The only thing milk really loses during the culturing process is some of the lactose which is consumed by the culture. The vitamins remain in tact. Milk kefir is more nutritionally dense given that it has more calories, fat and vitamins (or at least different vitamins if you happen to be using juice to make water kefir) but the general probiotic profile is the same—water kefir is just a bit less concentrated so some people find they need to drink a larger quantity of it to get the same benefits.
Think of it this way: by kefiring your raw milk you’re just making your raw milk better. If you like drinking kefir, using it in cooking, etc., then kefiring your raw milk just adds benefits to a beverage you would be consuming anyway. If you aren’t a huge fan of milk kefir but want the probiotics of kefir, then use water kefir for the beneficial yeast and bacteria and use straight raw milk for other things.
Hopefully that makes sense, but let me know—we’re always happy to help!
Julie at http://www.culturesforhealth.com gave me this info. Thank you Julie!
Tammy, my answer pretty much stated the same – milk kefir grains feed on the lactose (sugar) in the milk and in return release beneficial probiotics in the final milk kefir. Raw milk is always better to use than pasteurized but keep in mind, any dairy in general isn’t healthy or safe to consume by humans. Cow’s milk has a molecule called casein which cannot be broken down by the human body because we don’t have the enzyme for it. Milk is highly mycotoxic and causes many health issues. Did you know approximately 60% of the population is lactose-intolerant? Yet we are told milk is essential. It’s not! Good book for you to read on this and all animal-based foods is The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. It will explain how milk and meat lead to illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. This is why my family choose to stop consuming ALL animal-based products and go vegan. My recommendation is to go with water kefir for your probiotics so you can avoid the unwanted dangers of milk.
all nutrition seems to be very controversial. i think each person needs to do what they feel is right for them. i stayed on a pretty much vegetarian diet for 3 years. then i stayed away from dairy and bread and most meat for about that long too. now i have almost everything in moderation. that excludes refined sugars and processed foods. i also exercise regularly. i give people an idea of what i do if they ask.. but i always tell them to take baby steps and do what makes sense to them. my eating lifestyle is constantly evolving. we eat out very very very little… and i make bread from grains i sprout. we only drink raw dairy and eat mostly organic. i have now maintained a weight loss of 90 pounds for over 3 years now. My husband has maintained a 60 pound weight loss for that long too.
That’s the problem, Tammy, there is too much ‘opinionated’ nutrition advice out there without merit. This is why I double-check new information and base my advice on scientific research. The China Study is my nutrition Bible, followed by The Live Food Factor. So what I recommended here isn’t just my opinion…it’s the facts!
You seem to be doing great on your vegetarian diet. I command you on making those changes especially removing processed sugar from your diet. Raw milk is better than pasteurized and if you choose to drink it, try going for goat’s over cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is much easier to digest for humans. Wishing you all the best. 🙂
i’m no longer on a vegetarian diet. i base my nutrition on facts too. it’s just what “facts” you choose to believe. i guess we just have to agree to disagree on the milk. i have raw cows milk readily available. the goats milk i would have to travel quit a ways to get to.
I have read the China Study also and it is a very good read. There is a lot of debate about it too. On another note, thank you for posting this site. I just found out about water kefir today and am stoked about trying it out. I cant do milk kefir that you find in stores (too sour for me) but I have been drinking coconut milk kefir which I love. Just wanted to say hi and thanks!
@Billy, you are very welcome! I’m glad you are excited to try water kefir. To me, it’s a blessing because I loved milk kefir before going vegan and thought I’ll never find a vegan replacement. Alas, water kefir is IT! 🙂
P.S. Let me know if you need starter grains. 🙂
Hi again Zoe (My daughters name too! Great name!lol),
I would love to get some starter grains from you if possible. Im ready to try this!
Im excited to have my 24 yr old son try it. He’s been a terrible sugar addict all his life and though he rarely drinks soda or sweet drinks he really misses them. He hates milk kefir though. He also has some digestive troubles so Im looking forward to seeing if he likes water kefir.
Thank you so much for this information! My kids are both severely allergic to dairy, and I have been trying to find a good way of giving them the probiotics they need for a healthier diet. So excited to try your technique out . . . it is uncomplicated and easy to follow.
I have a question about water, though. We use a multi-pure filter system, which is carbon based. Will this water work for making water kefir? If not, is there any type of water I should purchase instead?
Thank you again for sharing your information and spreading good health to others :o)
This sounds very interesting to me and im ready to try it you stated that its a substitute for soda and milk right? If so then would love to try it out I dont remember if I read it but how long is the drink good for? Thanks for your research look forward to hearing from you.
Good tutorial Zoe..
I live in Indonesia which is hot and humid.. Is it possible to make water kefir in room temperature or should I keep it on refrigerator? I’m afraid that crystal kefir will be die because room temperature it’s not cool enough. What is the best temperature for crystal kefir to make water kefir? So far I kept water kefir in refrigerator during the fermentation (24 hours). I’m not satisfied with the result because it tastes too sweet and just a little bit fizzier. Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the tutorial! It was very informative. I am in love with those glass pitchers you used for the flavord kefir. Where did you get those????
Hi, Zoe, I was wondering where you might have happened to purchase your glass pitchers with the plastic sealing lids? The ones you use here to do the second fermentation of the water kefir? They look pretty nice!
Great vids!!! I just made my first batch of water kefir using your recipe. The first batch I let ferment 48 hours (I forgot about them) and its ok but a bit to strong for me but on my second batch (24 hours) it was perfect!!! and already my grains have DOUBLED (I have about a cup of them!!)I think of them as one more pet (we have 5 dogs and 3 cats lol)and now kefir grains !!! I have a question though – I was wondering can the kefir be stored in a plastic container?? After the first fermentation that is???I am running out of Mason jars to make and store it in lol. I also find I like the taste without even doing the flavoring 2nd fermentation…(although I am trying that too)..AND like Julian I LOVE your lil storage pitchers too – where did ya find them???
I LOVE kefir and since going vegan I have been seriously missing out! I am sooo looking forward to making this and getting other fermented raw foods into my diet! Thanks for these AMAZING videos and instructions!!!
This is the first time I have heard of kefir, but I am willing to try anything to replace the diet soda that I drink so much of. I really have to watch my sugars. I really want to try to make this, it sounds rather good and my mouth was watering as you were adding the fruit. I dont have any glass pitchers but I do have alot of glass pickle jars just laying around . Could you store the kefir in plastic bottles? I drink a water called Kangen water, it takes the clorine out of the tap water. It is an alkiline water, would that make any differance when making this kefir. I look forward to your answers on these questions.
Thank you I look forward also to trying this new water.
can i just rinse my milk kefir grains well and use them as a way to make water kefir?
You rock! My first batch was deeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious! I am completely obsessed now- Can’t make it fast enough LOL~ Thanks so much for the info!:D
i’d love to get some starter grains – please let me know how… thank you!
Thanks so much for this great information! I wasn’t sure how to make kefir with just water & sugar. I LOVE raw goat’s milk kefir, and still make it occasionally. A while ago I took some of those grains and started using them to make coconut water kefir; I wasn’t sure if they would work but they did! (Margo, there’s your answer, at least for coconut water kefir.) After several batches they worked even better. I would love to get some of your grains and see if they are any different than my ‘converted’ milk kefir grains.
Sorry Margot, I spelled your name wrong just now.
@Monique – your initial fermentation needs to be done at room temperature. If you keep the kefir at the fridge, it would take much longer to ferment as cold slows down the growth of the grains. This is why your kefir was sweet and less fizzy.
@Heather, Julieanne & Lyn – you can get those pitchers though me. Just click on the Buy Water Kefir Grains tab on top to see prices.
@Lyn & Andrea – you can store in plastic though my preferred method is the swing-top bottles from IKEA. They give my kefir really nice fizz. Andrea – the Kangen water won’t be recommended as it has too high pH. Stick to filtered or spring water as they have needed trace minerals for the grains to thrive.
@Margot & Kat – converting milk into water kefir grains is not recommended. Milk kefir grains thrive on the lactose (sugar) in milk and water kefir grains on sugar cane. They have different appearance and structure. I discussed them in my blog. Some people have tried to convert milk into water but I never heard anyone who has succeeded.
@Maggie & Kat- please send me message at email@example.com. Right now I’m out of grains due to high demand. But I can put you on my waiting list if you’d like.
how does water kefir compare to kombucha and how do the benefits differ? thank you for all you do and all you share.
Thanks Zoe for pitcher info!!! will get some of those and not use plastic storage pitchers!!
HI ZOE!! I’M FASCINATED BY ALL YOUR VIDEOS, THANK YOU!! MY MOTHER HAS BEEN MAKING MILK KEFIR FOR MY SISTER AND HER FAMILY AND FOR MY FAMILY AND ME FOR ABOUT 2 YRS NOW. I NEVER KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT WATER KEFIR UNTIL NOW. THE MILK MOM USES IS THE 1% COW’S MILK FREE OF HORMONES. WE ALL ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MILK KEFIR WHICH WE ALWAYS PUT IN THE BLENDER WITH DIFFERENT FRUIT AND HONEY TO MAKE SMOOTHIES. HOWEVER, I WANT TO ALSO LEARN ALL ABOUT MAKING WATER KEFIR JUST FOR A VARIATION FOR MY FAMILY. SO, I HAVE SEVERAL QUESTIONS. 1ST, CAN I USE SOME OF MOM’S MILK KEFIR GRAINS AND START MAKING WATER KEFIR? IF SO, EXACTLY HOW DO I DO THEM? IF NOT, CAN WE PLEASE HAVE SOME OF YOUR WATER KEFIR GRAINS, PLEASE? I KNOW RIGHT NOW YOU DONT HAVE ANY EXTRAS, BUT WILL YOU PLEASE PUT ME ON YOUR WAITING LIST?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR WONDERFUL INFORMATIVE VIDEOS!
i am traveling for two weeks and was afraid to leave my kefir grains home alone… now i know to freeze them and am greatly relieved.
blessings and thank you once again for a fabulous website,
Hi Zoe: I’ve been making water kefir with kangen water, and it works great, it’s fizzy and tasty, so I’m wondering, am I doing harm to the grains? You said a high ph (9.5)wouldn’t be good,so I’m wondering if you meant it wouldn’t work well, or it would harm the grains?
I am anxious to try and make some Kefir. How can I get some starter grains for water kefir to get started?
I have a question i am starting to make waterkefir and im reading on alot of websites that you or i need water with minerals in it or spring water, and well that will cost alot especially as much as i plan on makeing kefir, well my question is i have a filter that we use and it filters the water with clay cilinders will that kill my kefirs? it has no carbons in it its the same one the missionarys use in Africa to clean their waters Pleaseee Pleasee qive me an answear soon before i kill the ones i just purchase 5 days ago
@Margot – Kombucha is made with fungus mushroom called SCOBY and takes a week or more to ferment. Also, it uses tea as the base whereas water kefir uses sugary water and takes only 24 hours to ferment.
@Claudia – someone else asked that same question and I answered it above. It’s not advisable to try to convert milk kefir grains into water. It won’t be successful in the long term. You may get some of my grains but you’ll need to email me directly to put you on my waiting list.
@Julie – I am not sure about using pH water with water grains. Because I’ve never done it and never heard of anyone else, I cannot comment if it will affect your grains. You will find out if you are doing something wrong by observing your grains. Pay close attention to them.
@Jimmy – please email me your information at firstname.lastname@example.org to add you to may waiting list.
@Ann – again, I don’t have experience using water other than filtered or spring water. Generally, you want your water to be as pure as possible. If the one you have is free of chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine, you might be okay using it. Pay close attention to your grains and they will tell you if they are not “liking” the water.
If the reply to Ann was for me thanks, I did some research and the Agua Rain filter does leave the good minerals and other good stuff! so today I did them in my H2O, I pray that it does well, I have a nother question and that is this has been my second batch and I do the second fermentation and I still have not gotten the fizzy’s?? I have a tight lid on them what am I doing wrong?? It does taste great! It was really bubbly before I strained them to remove the kefir but when I bottled it into a 1\2g canning ball jar and I put a plastic lid that screws on tight? What am I doing wrong?? I need bubbly’s like my home made Kambucha I make and the Ginger beer I also make. Bye the way my name Is Any it’s Spanish. I can’t wait to receive you’re Email, I know you are very bussssssyyyyy. Happy 4th of July by the way!! Shalom
I am having an issue with my kefir grains. They seem to be breaking apart into little pieces..is this normal? If not what should I do?
Hello there green Ma Zoe!
It is very nice to meet you.
I really appreciate your web sites. You really provided with much class!
I can tell you are finding that health can be a fun business.
My husband and I are also involved in sharing some wonderful findings on natural health (http://aloevnwell.com/)and also perfecthealthnaturally.com)
The reason I am writing you is I have a question. Do you have experience sending the fermented kefir grains through the mail? If so could you please share with me (us) the best least expensive ways. Thank you and keep up the good work – it helps many and you deserve the wonderful feedback!
Always love, Ann Chenoweth:)
Ann Chenoweth Says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
July 22, 2010 at 11:59 am
Hello there Green Ma Zoe!
It is very nice to meet you.
I really appreciate your web sites. You really provided them with much class!
I can tell you are finding that health can be a fun business.
My husband and I are also involved in sharing some wonderful findings in the world of natural health (http://aloevnwell.com/ and also perfecthealthnaturally.com).
The reason I am writing you is I have this question;
Do you have experience sending the fermented kefir grains through the mail? If so, could you please share with me (us) the best least expensive ways. Thank you and keep up the good work – it helps many and you deserve the wonderful feedback!
Always love, Ann Chenoweth:)
I am just learning this blogging thing. Please forgive my mistakes:)
I have sucanat and whole cane sugar. Is that good enough for the water kefir or do I need orrganic refined sugar as well?
Thank you for a great video. I really want to try making coconut water kefir. I have been making Kombucha tea for a short time and really like it, but the water kefir looks really good AND fast. I am looking for some dependable kefir grains. I plan to e-mail you to see if you have any available. I have read quit a bit about this on line and there are so many people offering kefir grains with lots of differing advice regarding water and milk kefir grains. I was unsure about whom to obtain the grains. I hope you have some extras. mary beth
Thank you for your information. I am very interested in trying the water kefir. We have brewed kombucha before, however the shorter fermentation for the kefir is appealing. I have two boys who I believe would benefit from the probiotics. If you still have kefir grains to share I would be grateful to receive some. Please let me know.
Very nice site you have made, Zoe. I found you while searching for kefir grains. I hadn’t known about water kefir but have been looking into all sorts of fermented foods. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d very much appreciate you saving my email (I can’t find how to email you directly) and letting me know when you have some grains to share. Best wishes to you and to yours, Kathy
Thanks for sharing your wisdom!I made my water Kefir its almost ready. I know its going to be great.
Love Light and Laughter,
Wow! I want to do this. Can you tell me where to get the grains from and how much? Thanks!
I am a raw foodist and love your generous offering on letting me know how I can get started enjoying this wonderful elixir of the gods!
Thank you very much for your information. I currently live in Vietnam. How can I get the kefir grains?
@Alice – unfortunately, I live and ship only within the USA. Living grains won’t be able to make it successfully to Vietnam. Either order dehydrated grains (need to be revived) or look for local people who may have some to spare.
My husband and I really love your videos. We have been looking into ways to improve our diet and feel that the water kefir would fit into this. We are interested in getting some water kefir grains, could we get some from you or can you give us some guidance as to where we can obtain them.
I would like to get water kefir grains to start making water kefir. Please let me know where to get them. I live in Ohio
I am very interested in making water kefir. I made the milk kefir last year but my kids would not drink it. It was frustrating.
We are on the autism biomedical protocol so I am looking at the need for probiotics. I think I could be more successful with this than the milk.
Also, I want to share this with my TACA group here in Madison, WI. I think many would be interested!
Please email me about getting some kefir grains. Excellent videos and website! Someone in your family is a professional!
Where can you buy water kefir?
I am interested in making water kefir. you seem to know what you are talking about with great videos and healthy water kefir. Can you please tell me how to order from you and your prices.
Zoe, I just received a jar from a friend with milk and water kefir grains in it. I haven’t read anyone using both but it seems to be working just fine. Any thoughts? I’m using one cup of unrefined unbleached sugar and harvesting every 3-5 days. My water kefir have doubled in a couple of weeks but the milk kefir seems to be same quantity.
Also, I read people use nut milks. How does that work as they don’t have the sugar in them like cows milk right?
Why add the figs?
Can I use anything but sugar as I am strict about not consuming any sugar even the in refined kind?
I just received my first supply of water kefir grains in the mail last week and just realized I used a metal spoon to scope them into a mason jason and then also stirred the contents of the jar with this metal spoon. Have I ruined my grains??
@Zorion – I have not experimented making nut milk kefir yet so I don’t know much about ti at this point. You need to add dried fruit (figs, apricots) to boost the mineral content of the kefir. It helps the grains thrive too. The sugar is needed for the grains and not you. That’s their “food” and if you eliminate it, they will starve and eventually die. Some people use molasses but that’s the same sugar content so you are not really making much of a difference. If you want less sugar, just ferment the kefir longer than 24 hours.
@Lacey – I suggest you stop using any metal immediately. If you have not affected them already, soon you will. They may not die from a couple of uses but over long time, they most definitely will.
Great information, we have tried the powdered kefir starter from body ecology in milk but our kids don’t like it and don’t drink their smoothies well with it in their. I think the water kefir might be the way to get the good stuff down them. Do you still have any kefir grains available?
I am so very interested in making water kefir for me and my fiance. I currently eat a vegan lifestyle, but my sweetie is struggling. One of the issues he deals with is his love for soda, and I was hoping that I could make this to help him get healthy and lose that addiction all in one go. 🙂
I would love to get on your list to get some of the grains in the mail, it would be such a treat considering we are having some financial issues. Please let me know how long of a wait it might be and how to give you my information.
Thank you so much for the video!
I would love some water kefir grains. Watched your tutorials. I’ve made milk culture or milk kefir over the years, never the water kefir. I am eager to try it as I currently have an imbalance in my gut from antibiotics.
i’d love to get some starter grains – please let me know how… thank you!
How do you know if the grains are no longer any good?
Can you tell me if it is o.k. to use honey instead of sugar? My daughter is on a diet for ulcerative colitis (the Specific Carbohydrate Diet) that only allows honey as a sweetener. Thank you!
I just wanted to thank you for writing this incredible helpful post on water kefir. I’m a fellow vegan and just got my first batch of kombucha started, which I’m very excited about. But I also stumbled upon water kefir during my research and your post provided me with excellent information on the topic. It got me really excited about water kefir and I can’t wait to give it a try, once I get comfortable with making kombucha. Thanks for being awesome!
I was concern if we could use “Organic Blue Agave” in place of sugar. It suppose to be a Low glycemic organic sweetener. I am concern about having too much sugar because of diabetics
i would like to buy some water kerfir
can i send you the money by mail and how much should i send if this way is possible
i live in canada toronto and i’m having hard time getting it
I am interested in getting some water kefir grains. Thank you!
I believe I already emailed you the details. 🙂
Please email me at email@example.com so I can send you the package options. Yes, I ship to Canada. Many Canadians have bought grains from me before.
You want the sugar because it’s “food” for the grains and not you. Most of it gets metabolized so the final product has very little sugar left. Agave nectar wouldn’t be a sufficient supply for the grains.
Julia, I would advice to reconsider making Kombucha. Dr. Brian Clement from the Hippocrates Institute stated at his lecture that Kombucha is made up of a fungus that may be causing more problems than helping, especially for people suffering from Candida or other fungus-related diseases. Water kefir is your safest bet because it’s more cost-effective, faster to ferment and healthier for you. The Lactic Acid in water kefir has shown dramatic improvements in cancer patients according to Dr. Gabriel Cousens research. Let me know if you want to purchase grains. I have amazing ones! 🙂
Please don’t use honey because it has anti-bacterial properties and it will kill the kefir grains. They are bacteria after all. I would allow the fermentation up to 48 hours if you don’t want it to be too sweet. But remember that the sugar is “food” for the grains and not you. Very little is left in the final product.
Using organic cane sugar to cultivate water kefir for 96 hours. Noticed bubbles and kefir grains floated up. However, noted kefir grains did not multiply as before & tasted sweet. May I ask, can I still add in lemon juice after having stored the juice in the fridge for a day? Are my grains healthy? By the way, I am using 3 bowls of grains, 16 oz of sugar & l.5L of water. Pls advice please. Thank you.
Wow! What an awesome blog on water kefir!!! I am very interested in trying to make my own. Please contactme.
Very educational blog.
Will you consider using water kefir blended into green smoothies?
Yes, you may do that for added probiotics.
Will it be possible to get some organic water kefir grains form you? I would like to start incorporating this to my diet since I am just beginning a raw food diet journey last week and I need all the help I can get.
Hello Bennett. I just sent you email. Please let me know if you have not receive it.
I have been making kefir for almost a year now and my kefir hasn’t multiplied at all. It makes great kefir so what do you think is wrong with them?
Great videos!! I can’t wait to make the strawberry lemonade, and I just tried coconut water.
I added Dates to my water kefir they are really getting bigger and more, unfortunately my face is breaking out bad with dates in it. I tried the pomegranate and it’s better for my face but not for my kefir ( they tend to stop growing ). What fruit do u think I should add, so it goes kinda in between.
I used to be able to find a wonderful blog about dairy and its effects along with a recipe for almond milk. I cant seem to find it anymore. Also I found the alkaline chart on one of your blogs and cant find that either. I was hoping you could direct me.
Making water kefir with:
1. 1 kilo of sugar
2. 3 liter of water
Add to 1 kilo of grain.
Just want to know can I reduce amount of sugar
great and helpful blog but you are spreading misinformation about raw milk. We’ve been on it for over 40 years and can’t remember the last time we saw a doctor and never get sick. When I say we’ve been on it, I mean we drink a LOT of fresh raw milk, probably more than half our diet is raw milk, raw milk kefir, quark cheese, and a little yogurt. No cancer, no intestinal problems, no stomach problems, healthy blood pressure, active energetic lives in our 60’s. Please be careful of villianizing foods. It make it seem like you’re following the gov. propaganda, which is to remove our choices of consuming these foods. Thanks.
Anne, these quantities seem awfully high. Are you sure you are using a kilo and a liter? Well, I know the ratio is 1-1-1 or 1 tablespoon of kefir grains, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 cup of water. If you have a kilo of grains, you should start sharing because it’s way too high for one person to maintain. Not to mention it’s costly.
Kary, I also grew up on raw dairy, eggs and home-grown meat. And I can see where you are going. Unless you are the one who is raising the animals and collecting the products, you really don’t know if they are 100% pure. For the majority of Americans, dairy is sourced from the mass farming companies. It’s filled with hormones, pesticides and other unnatural additives. Access to raw dairy is illegal in some states such as Jersey where I reside. Besides, we humans, really don’t need the milk of another mammal to live healthy lives.
I left my kefir grains in the fridge in some sugar water and forgot about them so they were in there a few weeks. I just took it out to make some and there are brown bugs in some very large grains. What are they and where did they come from?
Where can I purchase non metal strainers?
I love your website l wish you had some supplies for kefir making – I already have the grain but can’t find plastic strainers -Can you help?
its a wonderful thing to find your site as i was starting to make the kefir water. my fermentation process produce foaming and i see some black mold above the form, is that normal?
Brown bugs? I have no idea. I suggest you throw them out immediately!
Pam, you can purchase plastic strainers and other supplies directly through me. I will send you an email with the details.
Yes, it is.
I would like to get some kefir grains from you.
Please contact me at my email address.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you, enjoyed you videos & information. Joyce
What are the water kefir grains? I have celiac disease – can’t have wheat, gluten, barley, soy etc..
Thanks so much for your time 🙂
Lori, the kefir grains are clusters of good bacteria. Just read the beginning of the blog for more description. The kefir is 100% gluten-free.
Awesome web site! Thank you for providing all of this wonderful information!
I have had a numerous about of health problems this past year. A friend of mine shared some water kefir grains she had purchased from you and shared your web site with me. I am following your basic water kefir formula with exception of using sucanat, raw sugar or coconut palm sugar. I am only using organic cane sugar. I have watched your tutorial video several times and my kefir grains look very healthy.
The problem I am having is my water kefir is turning out very syrupy. So syrupy that I have to add spring water to pour it. Do you know what I am doing wrong? Do you have any advice to help improve my water kefir ?
Providence has it that I scored kefir grains from my girls’ dance teacher. She’s into all things healthy and raw…I had no clue what they were but she was exhuberantly offering me these grains one afternoon after dance…I heartily accepted because I’ve come to learn, if she’s doing it, it’s got to be good! She gave me a little jar of them with molasses to feed them for two days and a print out of how to take care if them…and off I went home. I’ve been drinking the ‘cultured’ water for a week now taking care every 48 hours to feed and change the water, storing it in the fridge. I have experienced an awakened sense of stamina and vitality ever since. I’ve used the water in my green drinks in the mornings and I feel like I’ve ingested magic. I feel more awake and alive than I’ve felt in years…and the candida overgrowth I’ve been battling is subsiding…yay!
thanks for your blog, I’ve learned more about the kefir babies on my counter and will take good care of them…they are taking good care of me! Then I can share it forward to help someone else!
Zoe I disolved my sugar in hot water, about a cup on the stove. Then I added the other 3 cups that was room temp. I felt the water and it didn’t feel very warm, maybe a little above room temp though. It was the second batch after rehydating. During that batch and now the third batch there is no activity, like bubbles. Do you think I killed them? How sensitive are they to heat? How can I test them to see if they are still alive? Thank you for your help
I am new to the vegan lifestyle and I have not completely moved over but I am making small changes as I can. I have switched to soy milk due to casien in regular milk. I have not however been able to give up my greek yogurt yet and I am still eating meat a few times a week. I have a smoothie I make in the afternoon with berries, brocoli and yogurt. The protien in the yogurt helps stabalize the sugar from fruit and this gives me 2 fruits and a veggie. I was thinking of switching from yogurt to kefir and then I noticed water kefir. If I switch out for water kefir how can I get the protien needed for the smoothie? Also if I make it in the AM and drink it in the afternoon will it fermint the fruit I add? I tried soy milk but for some reason it ferminted my berries and was nasty to drink when I was ready. Thanks!
Christy, you can get protein from just about any food source, no just animals. Hemp seeds, blue green algae and sprouts all have very high protein content. Just add some hemp seeds, green algae or sprouts to your smoothies for the additional boost.
Not sure what you are asking about the fruit fermenting. If you just watch my Flavored Kefir video, you’ll see how I prepare mine. It works every time.
Kathrine, the kefir grains are VERY SENSITIVE to temperature. If the water was hotter than 115 degrees, you’d be causing damage to them. If there has been no bubbles or the water remains sweet and flat, they are not functioning. You’ll need to get a new set. I never warm up my water. Just add it cold from the water filter faucet and it has worked for me. Let me know if you’d like to order a set from me.
Cindy, your water should not be syrupy. I’m not sure why but I would not use just organic cane sugar only. I do mostly organic cane plus some coconut palm sugar with some dried apricots. It how it seem to work best.
Terri, that’s great to hear. Thank you for sharing your success story with all of us. 🙂
I am 74 and started using Kefir about a month ago ,then decided to make Kefir water.I have noticed,I feel better each and every day.
I am excited to make my own water kefir after your most informative videos. Our water supply comes from a natural underground artesian well. It does however contain slightly higher levels of iron. Would this interfere with the fermentation process? Should I still filter the water?
Hi my kifer water is bubbling I see new little kefirs but the color is not yellow
does that mean its not ready I just made a new batch and the last batch I added sunny delight and surgar then I drank the next day the taste wasnt to sweet it actually suprised but I am concerned about the color.
Clodagh, I am not really sure. You might have to experiment and see. The grains like more minerals in the water but if it’s too much iron, I don’t know how that will impact them.
I am from the Philippines, I have been looking for sharers of water kefir grains here since 2009 but no one is willing to share their grains. Do you know any1 in asia willing to share their water kefir grains to me? please email me if any1 is generous to share:firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Question: Cam any natural raw sugar(Kefir food) be used. Such as raw honey, Stevia, Agave necture, or cane juice?
Hi. I was given some grain recently and started to making kefir drink as directed. but i didn’t know not to use metal strainer. Drink is lovely but sometimes fizzy, sometimes flat. Grains are not growing. Please advise zoe.
Hi Zoe just about to start making water kefir as I have been using milk kefir grains for a while.I am in the uk and would like to purchase some of the water pitchers you use to make water kefir.Could you give me an idea on where to purchase them from please as i have looked but cant seem to find them.Thanks for your blog and vids,much appreciated.Keep up the good work 🙂
Hi zoe i am in the uk and am having trouble getting hold of the water pitchers with lids you use in your videos.How do i go about getting hold of some.Thanks for your hard work on continued success ,Debby
i have watched your videos and they are great. i’ve had some water kefir (purchased somewhere else though) and they have doubled once and that is it in the last 4 months. do you know the problem, perhaps? do i need new ones? most of the time, i love the water, but sometimes, after i put the fruit in, for the second fermentation, it turns to a syrup. any ideas to help out? can you send me an email about your grains that you sell. thanks so much!
hey, your blog is outstanding! your right its not a diet. Its a lifestyle. Not just eating but trying to live and be healthy in every aspect of your life. I used to feel sick all the time then I Stopped drinking soda, stopped eating fast food, stopped eating dairy. It took me 10years to realize the way to be healthy is by eating natural food. I’ve been vegan for a year and a half, finally I feel good. I eat that way because I feel gross when I don’t. sorry for going off, I’m just SO Passionate about this stuff.anywayz I want to try water kefir.
I seem to be having a reaction to water kefir. I get bumps on my forearms just below the elbows. Do I have something wrong with my kefir grains, or is anyone else having this issue?
This is a great blog! I was looking for something to share with my mom for the grains I gave her without having to type everything myself, and you did such a wonderful job I had to send her a link 🙂 Thanks!
Hi Zoe, Just wanted to say THANK YOU for the best Water Kefir Grains EVER 🙂 I am so grateful I was able to order from you , in just a short week I have enjoyed SO much top notch water kefir , I am feeling better all ready . Your packaging and Video’s and instructions are THE BEST easy to follow and straight forward , none of this confusing complicated stuff, beautiful strong lovely heathly grains shipped out quickly at a great price. just wanted you to know I habe had great sucess with the Grains you sent to me. THANK YOU ~ much Love and Peace , Health and Happiness to you always XO
Some of my listeners (Radio) would like to know where to buy the water kefir grains. Can you give us some information please?
Hi, well done, you have done a very interesting and simply toturial to follow.
Tank u so much for that. I have a question; my kefir grains were given to me frozen, they are really tiny, the grains dont look like yours…is this normal?? they have been fermenting for about 24 hours and still no sign of a change in the water…no gas…for me it tastes almost the same, is this normal???
No, this is not normal. The finished kefir should be slightly sour with bubbly taste. It looks like your grains may be dead if they are not fermenting the water. Let me know if you’d like to order a new set. You can view the prices and packages on the top tab.
You and your listeners are welcome to purchase water kefir grains directly through me. On the top tab of my blog I have listed the various packages and prices. All you or they need to do is email me at email@example.com with their order.
Kathy, I am so happy to hear about your wonderful result with the kefir grains. The pleasure is all mine. Enjoy! 🙂
I can leave the water kefir for 5 day and the same jar
I was really excited to try it, which I did and although the taste was fine and I was looking forward to its health benefits, I quickly got acid reflux from which I had dealt with previously and not had problems with in quite a while. So I guess it is too acidic for me…I was disapointed about that. I really thought it would help some of the issues that I deal with.
Hi! love your blog. I have a question how do I know if my grains are alive. they look diferent from the ones you have in the photos, my are clear. and some of them are brown. some of them float, but the water got some kind of viscosity is this normal? thanks for your help.
The best way to tell is if they ferment the water. If the water is still quite sweet after 48 hours, then you know they are dead.
It really depends on how long you let it ferment. The longer it ferments, the sourer and more acidic it becomes. You can simply do 24 hours and taste the kefir if you like it at that point. It should not give you gas or other bloating problems.
I’m afraid not. You’d end up killing the grains if you don’t change them at least every 48 hours.
I’ve been trying to wade through all these blog entries to find the answer, but finally gave up about #60.
My question: Is it possible to “over-ferment” the kefir water?
Thank you for your answer.
Yes, of course! If you let your grains fermenting for longer for more than 48 hours, you will get very sour kefir. Also, if you leave the fermented water in the fridge for longer than 4 days, it will get too sour and acidic. Over-fermented kefir isn’t good for you and your grains.
Thank you! This was helpful, 🙂
My latest batch of water kefir is very cloudy. Is that noirmal?
Yes, that is what it should look like.
I may have missed this – but I am trying to find out how long the kefir drink will last bottled and refrigerated. I was accumulating much and grains growing crazy – giving them away! I love this stuff:) It seems better the longer it has been refrigerated!
Great to know your grains are doing so well, Linda. I recommend to drink the finished kefir within 4-5 days. It becomes too sour and acidic after then.
Recently diagnosed with 10cm tumor in my abdomen, started a raw food diet several weeks ago, but recently went to just liquids. Do you know of any side effects from drinking kefir?
Arianna, that is a great idea to switch to a healthier plant-based diet. Water kefir can certainly be helpful to you. Dr. Cousens has praised water kefir for cancer patients. Side effects are very individual, meaning some people have experienced reaction but it cannot be concluded why. Not a negative reaction but just felt differently. For the majority including our family, water kefir is a fantastic way to get probiotics in your body. Try it and see how you feel.
Wishing you a speedy and full recovery!
Hi Zoe! Wondering how to store Kefir water grains in the fridge, and how long they will last until in the fridge before you must dispose of them.
I have to go out of town this week, and not sure what to do with my grains in the meantime?
i would like to know if water kefir is acidic or alkaline forming becoz i tested it with litmus paper and it’s at PH3.0 which is very acidic….is it like apple cider vinegar?
Hi – Thanks so much for your videos. You are so clear and easy to understand. Where can I get water kefir grains?
Hi Zoe ~ i have a question about the taste of the grains. It tastes kind of gross to me. I have never had any type of alcohol before so i’m not sure if that is what it is supposed to taste like? I added grape juice to my 1st batch because i saw recommendations that children like that kind and neither of my kids or my hubby liked it either. It seems to taste like sour milk or maybe the smell of beer? If you could give me some tips on how to make it taste better that would be great. We really want the probiotics from this and to have a soda type drink so i can offer something different and healthy to my 1 and 2 year olds. Thanks so much! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and my grains don’t seem to be multiplying very much, enough to notice anyway, and i just made my third batch of kefir. Thanks your help would be very much appreciated!!!
Hi Zoe! Brilliant explanation of how to make the water kefir. Thank you! I’m just about to start making mine, but I have two questions; firstly, you did recommend starting by drinking one tablespoon a day and build up gradually. But once you’ve become used to the drink, how much on average a day would somebody normally drink and how much is too much? My second question is about storage. I’ve read that the kefir drink will last 4-5 days. And am I correct in thinking that meanwhile I can store the grains in a small jar of sugary water in the fridge and change the sugarwater once a week? (how sugary should the water be and can the jar be sealed tight, like a jam jar? Please help! I’ve read through the posts and I cannot find answers to these questions! Love Emma from sunny Cornwall xxx
Emma, I don’t believe I recommended starting with 1 tablespoon a day. The dose should be 1 cup a day. You can drink up to 4 cups of water kefir a day.
The ready kefir should be consumed within 5-7 days in the fridge. You don’t want to store your grains too long int he fridge. You should try fermenting and changing the water every 24-48 hours. Reserve teh long storage periods in the fridge for when you are away. Otherwise you grains may weaken and stop working over time.
Lyndsy, the kefir is supposed to have sour almost vinegary smell to it. That’s what the fermentation process creates. But when you add some fruit or juice to the second fermentation, it become really nice and tasty. I guess it as acquired taste. I know some people who do not like the kefir and I know many more who absolutely love it.
Don’t worry if your grains don’t multiply. It’s more important that they ferment the water. That’s how you know if they work or not.
I make kefir water for the first time the other day. I wasn’t sure how long to let it ferment for and I think I let it go too long. I let it go for 6 days and the water was really alcoholly and bitter. i’m going to try a few batches with my kefir just to see if I actually killed them. If I did, I would love to order some from you and a plastic strainer. I have looked everywhere and just can’t find anything with small enough holes.
I looked into water kefir because I used to drink dairy kefir, but needed to lose some weight. I went on Weight Watchers and have lost 32 pounds. I have really changed how I eat in general…a lot more raw foods, less meat, less dairy, and a ton of greens. Anyway, I have looked everywhere for overall nutritional stats for water kefir so I can calulate WW points for it. Obviously there are a lot of varibales with water kefir depending on how long it’s fermented for etc, butI would love some general stats so I have some idea of how many calories, carbs, etc I am consuming. I realize a lot of sugar is consumed by the bacteria, but that doesn’t mean the calories or carbs disappear. Do you have any info for this?
Wow I am completely blown away at how easy this process is. My new doctor introduced me to the idea of making my own kefir and then I found this wonderful website to assit me in making it. I am ready to begin but first I need to know if I forget my grains for an extra day what will happen? Thanks for all your hard work with getting your business up and running. I will be ordering to support you in the near future. Tracy
How do I tell if grains are working? My grains were big and now they are falling apart. Can you use to much sugar? I have been using 2 tlbs. of organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 4 tlbs. of raw cane sugar and 6 cups of spring water and 1/2 organic lemon wedge. I let sit for 24 hours and sometimes 48 hours. The water does taster a little different like it is doing something but grains are not growing and it is very very sweet. I even do second fermentation (removing grains and the lemon wedge) with raspberries and another 1/2 lemon wedge and ferment for 24 hrs. It is still very sweet.
Thank you so much for the instructional video on making water kefir. My daughter is always teaching me new things and she suggested your blog to learn how to make water kefir.
Three days ago a friend gave me some of her grains ! Never heard of it but immediately loved it ! Now I have to fly across country to winter home. Please tell me how to safely take my grains with me. I leave in 5 days so ASAP !! thank you for all the great info. Nancy
Hi Zoe, I am new to water kefir and would like to know if there are any effects on Magnesium levels in persons that drink water kefir regularly. I know that there are no blood tests for this, but if any of your readers or sources have any information, I would be interested to know. Thank you
I am no longer positive the place you’re getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend a while studying much more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.
Great site, I would have never known about the coconut nectar for the MC if I did not stumble upon your blog researching water kefir
I had a question on the kefir, I don’t reuse the grains from my batches right? I ordered 4 tablespoons from someone else and they are saying if I take care of them I won’t have to buy them again as I can just keep growing them, but its not something I can reuse after I make some and consume it right? meaning I don’t scoop it out of the jar after consuming? when you say “After your first few batches you will notice that your kefir grains grow rapidly” you are talking about the orginal kefir I bought right, not the same kefir that went into batches (sorry if I am being confusing)
Thanks again your site has a wealth of information
Hi I was looking for ways to find out if I can rejuvenate my water crystals. I think I left them in the fridge too long. And I live overseas so getting more right now is not likely. You said if you freeze them then you can use them but it might take a while for them to come back, how long? Do you just keep re-fermenting the grains you used? For example, I have a batch started in the cupboard but when I just checked it, after around 36 hours, it was still just sugar water, and there are not many bubbles in the water, but it is started to get a vinegary smell. So can I just rinse those and try again? Do you think they will rejuvenate or do I just give up on them? I guess if I try and they don’t work, I have only lost some water and sugar right? Thanks in advance!
I flew internationally, with kefir grains and they were fine when I arrived. I put them in a plastic container (…I know, plastic ugh, but I didn’t want to fly with the glass because I wasn’t sure how well I would be able to insulate the container). But I would think you could use a clean baby food jar, canning jar or other small glass container. Put in some grains and fill it with some of the prepared kefir water. Seal the jar and put it in a few plastic bags and put that in something hard that can insulate it from being broken…plastic shoe boxes from Walmart work well. Once you arrive at your winter home, start a new batch as soon as possible. Someone correct me if I am wrong but this is what worked for me.
Hope that helps!
Love the information you share here I come to find out of water kefir from a news group I belong to.I belong to news group because my son has autism as on his way to recovery but we have a lot of belly/stool issues and doc recommend probiotics but he wont take pills or powder so thought about giving this a try.He loves juice so hopefully this will be a win win situation.One question can he drink an unlimited amount of this during the day ?Also would love information on getting some of these grains.
you didn’t have any problem going through customs with the kefir grains and liquid? That is something i always wonder about.
Wondering if and how to take my water kefir on the road with me? Do I just put it into a glass bottle and in a cooler or is it ok out of the fridge for a length of time? Very new at this (: Just got my 1st batch of grains tonight & watched your videos on how to make. I am so excited to try it! I am also wondering what kind of adverse effects you can have if it’s too much for your body? And can the yeast in it cause an overgrowth and cause you to get a candida infection?? So many questions!!! Thanks so much (: Enjoyed your blog!
No, I didn’t have any problems in customs, I thought I might but I didn’t. They did ask me if I had food and I had lots but they didn’t ask me anything else neither in the states nor where I landed. Hope you don’t have any problems either if you try it. 🙂
I have been experimenting with making both water and milk kefir. The milk kefir has been fairly easy to culture. However, the water kefir seems harder to learn to make, altho my grains(water) seem to be multiplying. I’m confused on whether to turn the lid tight or not on the first ferment, and wether i can ferment it in the fridge(first batch). That would be my choice, as it attracts so many fruit flies. I’m beginning to understand that the kefir grains live on the sugar, and some minerals, and in the process, make a great probiotic for us to consume!
Is it supposed to taste like beer?
Why is lemon added? Just for taste or is there a reason? Haven’t been able to find outl
I’ve been doing some research on these and I read they are not to be sold, but given for free. This is how they are to be shared.
No, more like wine cooler.
Michelle, with all due respect, there is absolutely no way I can spend all my money, time and effort on growing the grains, and simply give them away for free. It’s not a crime or illegal to charge when it’s part of my business RAWbundant. I’m sure most people would not mind paying as I have paid when I received mine.
Hi Connie, Thank you for this forum! My water kefir grains have gotten a pink color after I added a pinch of baking soda to the brew once (I thought that this was a good idea to try after reading several on line posts. Now I am not so sure.) Is this algae? I hope not! The grains are still fermenting, but they are not growing.
As a home brewer, not a business, I would be glad to share my surplus grains locally if they were to be picked up rather than to throw them in the trash, but no one is entitled to the grains for the asking without making an offer of barter or some form of compensation. Most people do not want to be bothered with ungrateful attitudes or childish expectations of those getting something for nothing….just my thoughts. You have every right to charge for the hassle and stress of just dealing with people; in which case the grains are “free”. 🙂
Sorry, I meant Zoe, not Connie!
Greg, I also have heard some people adding baking soda to “strengthen” grains. Since I have not tried it, I cannot tell you if it works. The grains shouldn’t be pink in color and whatever it is, it’s definitely not algae. Algae is a sea weed that grows in salty water.
Thanks for understanding about the sale of water kefir grains. 🙂
Is it possible to replace the lemon by an orange?
I guess you can but you can skip it altogether too. Recently I have not been adding any lemon at all.
Is it okay for someone that has a problem with alcohol to drink water kefir? I’m curious because of the fermentation. I tried some coconut water kefir the other day and it kind of reminded me of champagne. Thanks.
There is a very small percentage of alcohol in the water kefir and it may or may not be felt. It’s hard for me to tell you a definite answer. Maybe try and see how you react.
What do you know about kefir water and prenancy? My natropath said it was ok but I’m still a little concerned. I have not asked my OB yet but I think she might say no just to be on the safe side. What are your thoughts?
Love your videos and great info.
I’m trying to avoid as much sugar as possible and was wondering if you could tell me, how much sugar is left in water kefir?
I do a 3 day ferment with sugar, molasses, dried fruit, lemon, etc, then strain the grains and bottle the water, adding fruit juice and leave to ferment for another 2 days.
I know the grains eat alot of the sugar (I use the same ratio of water/sugar/grains as you do). My end product is very fizzy (I bottle on the second ferment with a screw top lid) and then I pop them in the fridge, ready to drink.
But I’m just concerned about the sugar content. The sugar/cancer connection is my concern, as I had surgery for cancer several months ago and don’t want it back!!
Zoe, I enjoyed your videos very much, they’re so informative, thanks a lot! I haven’t made water kefir yet but plan to do so. I do make fruit smoothies all the time, using the VitaMix, so that all the fruit pulp is included. Is there any reason why I couldn’t use the first fermented water kefir in the smoothies instead of plain water? Thanks for your info!
Water kefir is very safe even for pregnant women. All it does is add healthy probiotics to your diet and anyone can benefit from that.
Cass, I don’t have exact numbers on the left out sugar but it’s certainly a lot less than when you first start. Water kefir is highly recommended by Dr. Cousens who has tested it on his cancer patients and found it to be beneficial int eh recovery process.
Three days is a long time for fermentation. The optimal is 24 – 48 hours.
Jean, you can use the fermented kefir water for smoothies. Just remember that they may taste more sour than with other liquids.
Zoe, I hope I haven’t missed an answer you already gave on this, but do you think maple syrup might be a good sugar to add on the initial fermentation? It’s known to be rich in minerals, but I don’t want to try it if you think it might harm the kefir grains.
This is great, thanks! Can you tell me why you add certain ingredients before the first fermentation (with the grains), and others you add only after removing the grains? I’ve seen things like lemon or ginger added before or after, depending on the recipe, but I don’t know the logic behind it. Also with fruit juice. Why is this usually added later? Thanks!
Thank you for posting all of this information. I was just reading about water kefir on another blog and found this blog post. I recently went on a grain free diet and I’m wondering if the term kefir grain means that they are actually derived from grain or if that is just the term used to describe them? I know they are bacteria and living organisms, so I assume they are not really a “grain.”
Zoe, how do the grains react to pineapple?
I want to thank you for providing so much beautiful information. You are helping me regain my health. I hope that you have many blessings in return.
Hi! I’m wondering how do you store the flavoured kefir? In Mason jars? Refrigerated or not? Is there a danger of it bursting?
LOVED your videos. This is so easy to do. Thank you for all your information. I’m waiting for my grains to multiply so I can experiment. Can’t wait!
Have a lovely day.
Hi.. I fermented my water Keifer for 48 hours and it looks and tastes like no changes..
I put 1/4c o water Keifer, white sugar and water… I brew kombucha and milk Keifer at home and new to water Keifer
Are my water keifers inactive?? They are no fizz, bubble nothing.. The grains look like its soft and mushy.. Thank You
I am so excited to order these. I have emailed you with my request. How often do you ship them out? Please let me know.
hi zoe, great info. is it normal for the grains to grow in size and multiply and than breakdown to smaller grains of sand size. the water is very cloudy too not clear when i first started making the kefir water and it’s only been about 2 weeks. any info would be wonderful. thanks!
oh no! I accidentally poured tap water on my grains 😦 will they die or might some survive? and how can I tell if they’re dead? I’m so sad!!!!
Hi Zoe. I’ve started making my own water kefir after viewing your youtube videos. When you store extra water kefir grains in the fridge, is there a ratio one should follow of grains/water/sugar?
I’m also interested in trying it with maple syrup. Would that be recommended? Could you swap out the 1Tbsp coconut sugar for 1Tbsp maple syrup?
I had a lot left over after two months and left about a quart of the the grains in sugar water for a few weeks and when I looked at them the top had a white groth that looked like what you get when you grow Kombucha have you ever noticed that and what do you do with it?
Hi Zoe, Thank you for all of the wonderful information. I just received a small batch of water kefir grains and was told to put them in sugar water. However, I wasn’t warned about using regular tap water (I should have thought about that, but was so excited to get them started that I didn’t think about using filtered water until it was too late!). I used tap water that is treated and has flouride in it. Do you think my kefir grains will survive?
Hi. just read your blog. Wonder how to get hold of some water kefir grains as i stay in Malaysia
So far as I know, stainless steel can be used quite safely. It’s reactive metals such as aluminum that will hurt the grains.
hay zoe, a friend of mine put me onto your blog. I make kefir with honey it works amazingly well because i cant eat any raw ,rapa sugars .
Sorry zoe you have already anwered this questions about honey .I have just read all your blogs.i have notice that the grain arn’t growing have gone back to rap sugar.thanks
Zoe, Just wondering if you know how many calories are in a cup of Water Kefir? Any carbs? how many grams of sugar?
Hi Zoe, My husband has been making your water Kiefer. I love taking it but I do have a few questions. I am over 50 and take several medications so I need extra probiotics. I suffer with constipation and I have been studding probiotics and now more excited about drinking extra of the water Kiefer. What would be your recommendation?
My next question is helping me understand this paragraph you wrote.
Water kefir contains very large amounts of good bacteria and yeast as well as being high acidic.
I thought our bodies are suppose to be alkaline. I am also fighting yeast and possible parasites. Could you explain the paragraph or me.
Thank you, Ann
I am trying to make Kefir now, and my instructions weren’t as clear as yours 😦 So…..I have the metal lid on and not paper. So how do I know if they are no longer inactive? When does the Kefir get fizzy? THanks for your help 🙂
Hi Zoe! LOVE LOVE LOVE your sight!! The only question I have that I don’t think has been covered in this thread is about straining the grains. Is this necessary and if so, why? I don’t rinse my grains and thought the sludge at the bottom of the end product was like a “mother” and would add nutritional benefit instead of washing it away. I look forward to your reply! Namaste ❤
Hello Zoe, I’m alittle confused. I have a friend who is giving me Kefir(milk) can I convert to water kefir? If so how would I go about doing that. Also do they have the same benifit (water viris milk)?
Hi Zoe, since you like research, if you are open minded to finding out the truth, you should also do research by Weston A Price and Nourishing Traditions, which is highly in favour of animal fats and raw dairy products. Most of my friends would say those are the facts. He was a dentist who did extensive studies of many different untouched cultures to see why they were so healthy and based all of his research and diet advice on them.
I don’t think that anyone can say what the actual facts are because studies are so biased and can be skewed to their own perspectives. Although we believe our ways are “fact” and not opinion, if others believe different and they call their beliefs “fact”, then someone must be right and others wrong right? ;oD There is only one truth in every situation though. Truth is not relative. Maybe only God knows the actual truth on what He designed us to eat!
Zoe- I just started taking water kefir for about a week and I am having the worst heartburn. I’ve done nothing different in my diet but adding kefir. Is this unusual or something that might go away? Help!!!!
Do you get the same benefits from milk and water kefir? Is it ok to take both in one day?
I would be interested in starter grains. I have never made it before and am very excited to try it. My son is autistic and we give him probiotics for his leaky gut. So I think this drink would benefit him. Do you have an email address? I would pay for shipping. Or could you tell me where to find the grains? Thanks so much!!!
Hello Sarah. I have just emailed you an invoice.Let me know if you did not receive it.
I am not Sarah……
But I do make water Kefir and am loving it. I am just trying to dry some out because I will be away from home for a month and wasn’t able to leave them dormant in the fridge for that long. I have been drying these little guys since yesterday morning and hope they are dry by tomorrow morning.
Or, would I be able to just freeze them?
Thanks Zoe! Debb
Sent from my iPad
First I would like to congratulate you on a great, informative blog.
However, I have a few things that I would like to point out to you.
Stainless steel is perfectly safe with water and milk kefir. I have never used anything else as here in New Zealand we can not buy plastic sieves. My grains are healthy, big and they multiply greatly.
Also, you don’t HAVE TO change the sugar water weekly for the surplus water grains. I have left mine for 3 weeks while I was on holiday and when I came back they produced just like before.
Also, many of my friends feed their water grains with normal, refined sugar an their grains produce like mine do (I do use coconut sugar and cane sugar). Often I wondered if I should leave the coconut sugar which is horrendously expensive.
For kefir beginners this is great blog. I think though that people should be made aware that they should experiment with their surplus grains that they keep in the fridge to get their own experience. I have 2 batches of milk kefir in the fridge that only come out when I need to strain them. It takes them about one week to make the most delicious, mild and creamy kefir. Both jars contain different amounts of grains. Then I have one jar of surplus water kefir in the fridge that get a little more than a coverage of water and one tbsp of coconut sugar. Within one week those grains need to be strained as they bubble like a bottle of pop. This goes to show, what works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for EVERYBODY.
Christel, you must have a different breed of water kefir grains. I have been growing kefir grains for over four years now and have seen a lot of things. There were times I have left out my grains unchanged for no more than a week and I have to tell you, they reduce in size and strength IMMENSELY! The water becomes super acidic like vinegar. Logically, there is no way water kefir likes so much acidity to thrive. The grains need to be fed constantly is you’d like them to thrive.
Also, in regards to using processed white sugar, in the US there are chances it’s GMO and therefore, it can pass onto your kefir grains. The last thing you want is to have GMO-contaminated grains. Plus, white table sugar is so refined that there are not enough minerals to contribute to healthy growth. That’ is why I recommend using ONLY organic cane sugar with a 1/4 substitution of highly nutritious sweetener such as coconut sugar, molasses or turbonado sugar. I found the grains to do best that way.
Metal is an enemy to kefir cultures. They react with it and over time would begin to die off. Customers who used metal on their grains have confirmed that theory. Eventually, they came back to order a new set of grains.
Like I said, you must have a different breed of water kefir cultures if they are able to thrive in the conditions you provide. However, I DO NOT advice anyone to try those methods unless they have plenty of grains and don’t care of they lose a few.
Anyway, thank you for your feedback. 🙂
Thanks for all the great info!! I cannot wait to try this! I’m kind of nervous about giving it to my kids, though, if it tastes somewhat like alcohol. I feel like they are not going to like it. Additionally, the fizz will prob. Be enough for them NOT to drink it. They don’t like carbonated drinks. I think the water kefir would be GREAT for them so I’m going to try it anyway! I’d def. live to order some starter grains if you still have some!!
Hi Melissa. I just sent you an invoice. Let me know if you have a problem getting it.
The fizz can be controlled. If you don’t want any, keep a loose lid on the finished kefir. Bubbles are only created when the carbon dioxide is trapped.
Is stevia okay to use instead of raw or cane sugar?
Annette, NO, stevia is not a substitute for cane sugar. Your grains may be severely damaged. Remember, most of the sugar you add is digested by the grains and you end up consuming much less.
SAM – the benefits may be similar as both are rich in probiotics. However, some people are allergic or lactose-intolerant so water kefir is a much better option for them.
Linda, heartburn is usually a symptom of indigestion or poor food combining. You may want to watch the foods you eat more carefully. Kefir is acidic but not typically something that leads to heartburn unless you drink gallon of it in a day, which I am sure you are not.
Kristen, I am familiar with Weston Price’s teachings and findings on raw dairy. You don’t know but I grew up in Bulgaria and often consumed raw dairy from my grandparents farm. There is a HUGE difference in taste, flavor and composition between something you raise ad grow and something that is mass produced. Perhaps that has a lot to do with the negative impact of dairy on our health. Also, 98% of Asians and a great number of African Americans are lactose-intolerant. That should tell you something about what foods God intended us to eat too.
The truth is indeed relative.
Stacy, people have tried to convert water kefir grains into milk but the attempts have been unsuccessful. It may work for a while but eventually they will die. The issue is they are two different species and cannot be changed anatomically.
Debb, yes, it is necessary. Water kefir grains have to be separated from the kefir water somehow. And don’t worry about “sludge” because they are not Kombucha which is where you may be getting the idea of a “Mother”.
Kristin, you must allow for air to freely move so the grains can produce carbon dioxide. When you put a metal lid there are not able to complete the fermentation as it’s intended. Only add lid on the second fermentation when you strained and separate the grains and want to create more fizz in the kefir water.
Sarah, unfortunately, that information needs to be analyzed by laboratory testing which I do not have.
Laurie, tap water is not even safe for human consumption let alone for the grains. There are too many chemical residues and if the grains are not already dead, they will eventually die.
The film that forms on top is a natural part of the fermentation. Just discard when you are straining the grains. It is not meant for consumption.
The film on top is a natural part of the fermentation process. Simply discard when you are straining your grains.
When you are storing the grains in the fridge just do the same thing that you do when changing them. Make sure to change them once a week with fresh water and sugar.
I was finally able to find a plastic strainer to purchase as every kitchen store only sold metal ones. So I have been straining instead of draining but I don’t rinse the grains. I don’t rinse the grains as I don’t want to waste any of the nutrition from the grains. There is still sediment at the bottom of the first grain stage jar and the second fermentation stage jar. Is this ok and would my grains benefit from rinsing? If so, what does the action of rinsing do?
I had to be away for 4 weeks this fall so I dried out the grains and then froze them during my time away. They activated beautifully and was very impressed with my little pearls!
Abundance to you Zoe! Debb
Sent from my iPad
Char, cloudy water is normal part of fermentation. Nothing to be concerned there. As for grain size, that all depends on how you take care of the grains.
It appears you may have gotten a bad batch of grains. Discard and get new active grains.
Add fresh fruit only in the second fermentation as seen in my second video tutorial.
The sediment is natural part of fermentation. You don’t need to worry about it. Still, make sure to drain and rinse your grains each time.
Wow I recently bought some water Kefir, and used some from the first batch in my morning breakfast smoothie! It added great zip! Thanks for all the instructions and ideas!
I got some water kefir grains from a friend last week. I’ve made a few batches and each time my grains have more than doubled. However, I do not get any fizz on the second fermentation. They are in a tight bottle, but not fizzy at all. Thanks!
Amy – be sure to add sugar to the second fermentation bottle as well, if you have not. That should create some fizz.
It’s not eh sugar that creates the fizz. It’s capturing the carbon dioxide inside the bottle. You need to have a tight lid during the second fermentation if you want fizz. Also, store the ready kefr in swing-top bottles which retains the fizz.
Actually, the secondary fermentation *does* require fuel. Thus, the sugar. Yes, you won’t get fizz if the lid isn’t tight, but since you stated it was, then it appears your batch needed a bit more fuel. It is at least worth a shot. If you add fruit juice in the second stage, that should provide fuel as well.
Hello please can u tell me how many calories are in water kefir and also will all the sugar in it cause sugar cravings ?
Thanks alot Lorie
Lorie, I cannot tell you that as I don’t have any scientific data to refer to. But I can assure you, the sugar content is MUCH lower than traditional soda. The fermentation takes care of much of the sugar. I doubt it will cause sugar cravings.
I would really like to have some water kefir grains, how much do you charge?
I really like the way you explain how to make kefir. thanks Ida
Ida, I have emailed you an invoice for the Basic Kefir Set. Price is in it. Thank you, Zoe
Hi there, my husband and me are new to keifer water we have followed everything correctly but our grains are growing and the water is not getting fizzy…it is producing keifer water. I don’t know what we are doing wrong
Hi Zoe, I’m about to start making water kefir & would like to know what dried unsulfured fruit can be used. (I see you said no to dates). I have apples, pears etc that I dehydrate & could use if they’re OK. I’d welcome your comments on which types of dried fruit are best for feeding water kefir grains, also which if any dried fruits should be avoided. Thanks.
Hi Zoe. I would love to have some of you kefir grains. Please email me pricing and what I need to do to get them from you. Thank you so much for all of this wonderful information. I have struggled all my life with stomach issues and I’m not any better than when I was a child. Medicine makes me worse. I am now organic only and it has helped but I would love to see if the water kefir will help even more. Thank you again.
I just started drinking this kefer water, now my question is after it’s been 24 hrs can I put the water in a plastic container for storage ? My aunt passes me the kefer she lets it sit like 48 hrs or more at times but that time the water is super strong, is that bad good better just confused other question how much should I drink I glass 2 glasses a liter ???? What works better?? He so many questions thank you!!
i have been making kefir water now with a recipe my girlfriend gave me,
i am not sure whether using the inorganic sugar killed the babys or not can you comment????i am new to this, and i don’t see that they are growing, i have still been bottling the water after curing time and drinking the water.. i seem to tolerate the water fine. Howe ver the babies should be growing ? and they are not whats happened?
Help! I have a question,, We just started our journey with water Kefir. We made a batch using 5Tbs of water kefir grains, 5 cups of spring water, 5 Tbs of assorted organic sugar, unsulfered raisens, apricot, and papaya. The grains rose and sank and multiplied. But, when we strained them out, they didnt really look like grains. They looked more like mashed banana? Are they ok??? They didnt smell bad!
Hi Zoe, thanks for all the great information. A word of warning. On my second batch of flavoured kefir, I left the solution too long in a sealed bottle. It exploded, fortunately when we were out, glass and liquid everywhere. The square bottle may have been damaged when I scalded it with boiling water, I think square are not as strong as round bottles anyway.
Enjoying this whole new experience (aside from explosions), thanks again. John
Is using un-sulfured Black Strap Molasses okay in making water Kefir? If so, what amount is recommended?
the diet proposed in the china study may have merit and can surely benefit many ppl, but you need to look at all the people who’ve dissected the enormous, blatant flaws of the book. Ppl like chris masterjohn, denise minger, anthony colpo.
best of luck to your health!
Thank you for all your great information on water kefir! I had been using demara, turbinado and coconut palm sugar and sometimes getting sulfur smelling kefir. I am now trying just regular organic sugar from Earth Fare and have gotten several people at work interested and started on making water kefir. One such young woman asked me if you could use Stevia to make it. I told her I doubted it would react the same way with the grains but I’m not sure. Do you know if Stevia can be used in place of sugar? Thank you again for all your help! God bless! Sincerely, Cyndi
You are welcome!
Definitely no Stevia! That’s an herb and not sugar. Grains need sugar to thrive.
I know you say to use less sugar to lessen the alcohol content but I am extremely sensitive to it and I wonder if I go to less if the kefir is less alcohol AND less nutritional. Nancy
Here is how it works.
To lessen the sugar in the final kefir, either lessen the amount you add initially or extend the time of fermentation. Keep in mind, the longer you ferment the more sour the kefir will get. Also, it will have more alcohol content. Find the right balance that works for you.
I just received some live grains. I’m looking at all the different websites and recipes and have not seen anyone add vanilla to their kefir. Just think … Kefir Cream Soda! That’s the way I’m going
I’m definitely intrigued by water kefir; however, I’d like to know if using organic, raw honey instead of sugar is acceptable? In June, I made the choice to eliminate wheat and sugar from my diet, and I’m already experiencing the benefits of that choice.
So…back to my question: Can I substitute honey for sugar to feed the water kefir crystals?
How can I share my water kefir grains with a friend that lives in California? can they be shipped in a bottle?
I am so thrilled! I am a certified raw teacher by Elissa Cohen. I am 79 years old without illnesses or medications. I have helped many people be healthy and happy. I am now making pizza with sprouted flours and tons of raw vegetables on top with fresh garlic, sea salt, cold press olive oil and oregano. Now, I am graduating to making my own fresh fruit soda with water kefir and making non animal yogurt with same. Thank you ever so much. To our health! Mary
how long can the water hold/last in the fridge? I am looking to make a lot.
Hi Zoe, what consistency should the finished product be? Is it slightly syrupy because of the sugar… It tastes good but one broke on the floor and my husband was saying it was like mucous to clean up…I am not sure if it should have the feel of water….now I am to scared to drink it…Look foward to your reply… Also what ratio of sugar to water to rest them in the fridge…Many thanks,
Hello Zoe! I want to try water kefir and I am wondering how long does the flavored finished product last? My wife and I are over the road truck drivers and wondering if we could make a lot at home and take it on the road with us. We have fridge freezer, igloo ice chest, crock pot, skillet, microwave, and convection/toaster oven in our truck. We rarely eat out and cook our meals at home and in the truck.
Thank you and have a great day!
The consistency should be like soda. Anything “syrupy” or “mucus-like” spells trouble. Do not consume and discard if that happens.
Water kefir has short shelf life – 3-4 days in fridge. Do not make A LOT of you don’t think you can consume it within that time frame.
You can ship but don’t use bottle. Simple plastic bag would do just fine.
DO NOT USE HONEY to ferment water kefir. Honey is anti-bacteria and water kefir is – well, bacteria! That will surely kill them.
Hi Zoe, thank you for such a great video, I just got my kefir grains today so this is perfect! I noticed you mention that kefir is acidic, isn’t this a bad thing should we not be more alkaline? Also was wondering where can I purchase the glass jars with plastic lids you used to make the flavoured Kefir. I’m so excited to start!!!
Hi Zoe, thank you for your video. When you say “it may take a few batches to revive them after they’ve been frozen”, what does that mean? Would I make one batch, 24 hours later notice no fermentation, discard the water, rinse and repeat for a second batch? Would simply waiting longer not work?
Steven, while freezing grains is one way to store water kefir grains, it’s not the best way. In my experience it takes long to revive them and sometimes, they just don’t come back as viable as they used to be. How long, that is hard to say depending on the state of the grains. If you don’t see much progress after a week, discard and obtain a fresh supply.
Hi Zoe; I have a question about my water kefir grains. How long are they viable and how do I know that they are still working? I’ve been making water kefir regularly for a couple months now from some of your grains and they multiplied in the beginning, but not recently. Is this normal or is it a sign that they are losing their potency? Thanks! Nancy.
The best way to tell if they are not working is decrease in size and low fermentation. You would “know” if they are no longer viable.
my name bernard live in melbourne , where can i find water kefir grains here ?
Bernard, try Dom’s Water Kefir Grains. I think he is located in Australia.
I have been struggling with my water kefir for a few months. First I was unable to get bubbles at all and it never fizzed even in the second fermentation. I tried giving it a boost with apple juice and now I have lots of wonderful bubbles but when I go to start the second fermentation I see that the grains, while still solid and intact, are covered in a sludge like stuff and it is very tough to wash it off. What is going wrong here? Help! I am using tap water but am on a well so no chlorine or fluoride…any thoughts?
Water kefir grains can ‘get tired’ of what they are being fed and need a change of sugars and dried fruit from time to time. Probably because no one food contains all of the vitamins and minerals, and the grains simply need a variety to stay optimally healthy. Fruit I have been successful with are dried and unsulphured dates, Turkish apricots, raisins and figs. I also prefer organic cane sugar, to which I add a small amount of blackstrap molasses, Rapadura, or jaggery in winter.
Sam, it appears the culture was dead in the first place. Rather than wasting more money to revive it, just get a brand new batch and start again.
My water kefir was great, then awful. The only thing I changed was adding golden raisins to the 2nd ferment. Lo and behold, golden raisins have sulfur added, and no other site addresses that issue. Smelled like rancid sulfur water…. ew. Thanks for the info. Back to just water kefir in my 2nd ferment, and everything is awesome again! No other site explained how important unsulphured fruit is!
My son just starting making kefir water with coconut water. I want to try it but I am confused.It was mentioned that kefir water is good for people with cancer but it is highly acidic. I am a two time cancer survivor and I need to stay away from acidic foods. Is this ok for me to drink?
Some further questions to the ones below you sent me back in Dec.:
1. My grains seem healthy, as they reproduce, I keep some, toss some, use in smoothies. I am keeping them in the fridge in a glass jar with a little water to cover them, good? . They are a little bit yellowish, I rinse them occasionally. I put some in the freezer. I do use succanat sugar as I had a bag of it, never went to buy white sugar yet…so maybe that is why the grains are yellowish? You say to use white sugar. So I know I am not doing it totally correct.
2. I have pics, but cannot upload I guess…there is a White film on top forming in last batches- is it tainted? what causes that?
So I added the 2T kefir grains, 2T sugar and the coconut water (plus I add a bit of water to fill the quart jar) and wait a few days at room temp for the kefir to ferment. Lately with all my last batches there has been a white film forming across the top that looks like mold, and I am worried. I drank it last time after scooping the scum off the top, but did have a bit of intestinal disturbance that lasted a week, I am sure it was connected to that, but am worried it is bad bacteria or???? Does it mean my batch is tainted and I have to start over?
Kim – please see the answers:
1. My grains seem healthy, as they reproduce, I keep some, toss some, use in smoothies. I am keeping them in the fridge in a glass jar with a little water to cover them, good? That’s fine as long as you change the water and sugar once a week. Don’t just keep them in the same water in fridge indefinitely.
They are a little bit yellowish, I rinse them occasionally. I put some in the freezer. I do use succanat sugar as I had a bag of it, never went to buy white sugar yet…so maybe that is why the grains are yellowish? You say to use white sugar. So I know I am not doing it totally correct.
The color depends on the type of sugar you use. They get tainted by whatever sugar you use. I suggest that you use white cane sugar to succanat 3:1 ratio for optimal results.
2. I have pics, but cannot upload I guess…there is a White film on top forming in last batches- is it tainted? what causes that?
The white film on top is perfectly natural. It’s a result of fermentation. Nothing wrong, just discard and strain the grains as you normally do.
So I added the 2T kefir grains, 2T sugar and the coconut water (plus I add a bit of water to fill the quart jar) and wait a few days at room temp for the kefir to ferment. Lately with all my last batches there has been a white film forming across the top that looks like mold, and I am worried. I drank it last time after scooping the scum off the top, but did have a bit of intestinal disturbance that lasted a week, I am sure it was connected to that, but am worried it is bad bacteria or???? Does it mean my batch is tainted and I have to start over?
The film on top is answered above. As for leaving the grains to ferment for longer than 24 hours, I’d be careful with that. They need to be changed 24-48 hours. If you do it longer, the kefir water becomes very acidic which could be the reason why you have digestive disturbance. Lessen the fermentation time.
Thanks, that took a while to search for my post again! I was worried about the white film…I ordered new grains, as I did not rinse them weekly!!! So I tossed them all out. I will try again! And use your suggestions…I’ll post here…with results! 🙂 Kim
I’d love to start making this for my family. I am a soda addict, but realize it’s not healthy, I had a bottle of this and it’s AMAZING. Please get in touch. Your video rocks!!
I was wondering if you had any ideas on the problem I have encountered: Kefir SYRUP!
I can’t seem to find any answers anywhere, other than the obvious.
I have been making Kefir water for 1.5 years now and my initial batch lasted me a year. Since this summer I have had to buy 2 new starter batches, because I am running into a problem I don’t seem to be able to fix:
I have not changed anything, use filtered water from my fridge filter, (we also have a house filter, our ph is 6.4 with 0 alkalinity when it comes out of the fridge double filtered), I have not changed the sugar, but after the syrup thickness started, I went from organic brown to white–thinking it may have too high of a mineral concentration) and I always use 1/2 organic lemon in my first brew.
I have rested my grains for 2 weeks twice already, cleaned them thoroughly and when I restart a brew, the first one is “ok”… but the next ones get to be thicker and thicker…
The Kefir grains themselves look great, some nice thick clusters, the color has changed from brown to white now, due to the white sugar and I think the lemon “cleans” them.
My guess is that my water is too alkaline, has too many minerals, though we filter it and always have. (maybe the water company changed suppliers since we are in a drought?) I am willing to change to buying water at the store, if that will solve my problem, but don’t really know which kind to buy. When I just tested the Arrowhead spring water I just bought, it showed it has the highest alkalinity and pH, so I doubt that is a good alternative!
just came across your site as I’m learning on how to make Kiefer.. Question…….. i saw on a different site a video showing 1 cup of watermelon…… Some coconut water and then he adds a couple of capsules of probiotics.. Instead of the probiotics can I use the water kefir grains??? Cause I don’t want to add any cane sugar to the drink.
oh and how much and how often should I drink this???
I have a question Zoe,
I have been making natural keifer soda for about 4 months and everything has been GREAT BUT it seems like me starter batch is getting almost vinegar like. Im not sure what I did but I figured you’d have some wisdom.
My grains are not looking too great. They are brown, small and lifeless; not doubling at all. I use raw sugar, a banana, sometimes molasses and water from my tap with a filter. Could it be my filter needs to be changed? Or do I have bigger problems? They are not happy. Help! Should I ditch them or can I make them live again? Thx!!
I would love to try this for my son and for myself. We are both allergic to dairy, so this would be great! We also have problems with lots of other foods (including fruit) due to leaky gut. Lemons are not a problem for us. Can this be made with only lemons as opposed to apricots, raisins etc?
Kefir is a fermented milk product that originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains, and is now enjoyed by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia. It can be made from the milk of any ruminant animal, such as a cow, goat, or sheep. It is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that make up the “grains” used to culture the milk (not actual grains, but a grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars that feed the microbes.with my best wishes,melissa from http://www.cavediet.net
Hello, i would like to buy some water kefir grain. Are you in the madison, wi.area ? If so can i pick them up ? Thax ~~m
Mary, I am located in New Jersey. If you wish to order, please email me directly at email@example.com. I ship anywhere in the US. Thank you.
Hi! I was wondering if I could get some Kefir grains. Do you sell them or give them to people? I would really like to start making it.
Are you still selling WK Grains? I make milk kefir but very interested in starting water kefir. Thanks Dixie
This is such an interesting drink. Details were spoon feed that you just have to try it and start your journey to a healthy you. Really great post! Can’t resist not to praise this masterpiece.
Why isn’t my Kefir Pearls multiplying?
Are you still selling your water kefir grains?