All About Water Kefir

Water Kefir Sections

Water Kefir Introduction

The water kefir grains are translucent and angular. If the conditions are optimal, they are constantly renewed.

Water Kefir Grains
Water Kefir Grains

For its development, it needs a base composed of : kefir fruit grains, still water, sugar, dried fruits (usually figs) and acid fresh fruit (lemon).

The result of the fermentation is a sparkling and refreshing drink, whose texture is similar to those of a soda; its taste is neutral and highly appreciated.

The drink is slightly alcoholic and contains carbon dioxide, which is actually what makes it fizzy. The alcohol degree is directly dependent on the fermentation time and also on the ingredients that are added into the water.

History of Water Kefir

Water Kefir Grains
Water Kefir Grains

The name kefir would be derived from the Turkish word keif and would mean well-being sensation.

No one knows exactly where the kefir appeared for the first time, but it is generally accepted that it would be a secular tradition whose origins are in the North Caucasus.

Equipment needed

Nothing is easier to prepare in a trice, at home, the water kefir beverage! Here are the ingredients that you will need:

  • water kefir grains (you will need about 50 grams of grains per 1 liter of water);
  • bottled still water (with filtered tap water it works too);
  • sugar;
  • lemon preferably not treated; if the lemon is treated, the skin has to be removed;
  • dried figs without preservatives.

Regarding the equipment, you will need the followings:

  • a non-metallic container: any glass will do (a canning jar for e.g.);
  • a muslin in order to cover the jar, using an elastic;
  • a fine mesh plastic strainer and
  • a small plastic spoon

Together with your order you will receive the basic recipe for the water kefir. You can also find it in our dedicated recipes section.

Hygiene compliance Water Kefir

Hygiene compliance is essential while preparing kefir (water kefir, milk kefir) and kombucha beverages; therefore, it is very important to always pay attention to hygiene when it comes to kefir.

If you notice any unusual odors and/or colors, or if mold appears on your kefir grains, you must not drink the beverage that you obtained. The water kefir that gives off a strange smell is usually gray or brown.

Healthy kefir grains have naturally a slightly acidic smell, no aftertaste.

Always use cooking tools easy to maintain (glass jar, fine mesh plastic strainer, small plastic spoon).

In order to wash the cooking tools, there is no need to sterilize them; by cons, always use hot water and dish detergent preferably made of natural products, and take care not to burn yourself when doing this.

For the jar, you can use glass jars for vegetables for e.g., that you can easily find on the market. You must carefully clean the jar before use, as described here.

Mesh plastic strainers and plastic little spoons being affordable, the best is to buy them new and used them only for your probiotic cultures.

Once kitchen tools cleaned as described, you have to let them cool completely, as kefir grains can’t withstand high temperatures. Only after that you can start a new culture.

Tips and Tricks

In order to successfully make water kefir beverages at home, here are some helpful tips :

  • avoid the use of metal when handling the grains; in fact, metal ions distort the bacilli contained in the kefir;
  • the grains are not to be eaten: they serve only to seed your drink;
  • always respect the recommended dosage: about 50 grams of grains per 1 liter of water. If the grains grow too much, simply divide them to always keep this proportion. Otherwise, the beverage could be very acid, undrinkable too;
  • bottled still water  or filtered tap water using Brita-type pitchers or devices;
  • hygiene compliance is essential: the container must be thoroughly washed after each culture. The grains must be rinsed after each culture in cold water, and immediately put back in water;
  • if waste appears during the preparation (figs, fresh fruit, etc.), while rinsing the grains it accumulates in the hollow of the strainer: all you have to do is gently recover the grains and throw all that you will find in the hollow of the strainer, even if it means sacrificing some kefir « crystals »;
  • if you keep the beverage in the refrigerator, please pay attention to the gas excess that can cause the explosion of the container, especially if it is about sealed, glass bottles; you must leave the gas excess occasionally escape;
  • storing the beverage in the refrigerator slows down the fermentation;
  • some mixtures (fruits, etc.) may eventually damage the water kefir grains and also slow down their development: in this case, it’s always better to keep aside a portion of the grains (for that, please go to How to store the grains chapter) and devote only a part of the grains to the exotic  mixtures;
  • dry fruits with preservatives should be avoided;
  • in order to enjoy all its benefits, the beverage should be prepared as and when you need it and consumed quickly:

Young water kefir (fermented for 24 h) is slightly laxative and mature kefir (fermented for 48 h) slightly constipates.

How to store water kefir grains?

If you take good care of them, the grains will grow indefinitely.

What to do when we want to keep the grains when we have too much of them, or just during our holidays?

The grains can be put “on a hold” in the refrigerator crisper compartment, in a non-metallic container, into some sugared water in the same proportion as for the basic recipe: about 50 grams of water kefir grains per 1 liter of water. The water should be in a sufficient amount, in order to cover all the grains. In the meantime, make sure to leave them some space so they can have enough air.

You can also dry the grains on a clean linen in the open air, simply by covering them with a muslin so that dust doesn’t penetrate. This way, you can store them in your kitchen cabinet, in a jar covered with a muslin retained by an elastic. In order to later reactivate the dried grains, you will have to gradually soak them for 3-4 days in sugared lukewarm water (do not use hot water).The water must be changed gradually, as and when the reactivated grains increase in volume.

It is also possible to freeze the grains and then let them thaw in the open air.

Please notice that the dried milk kefir grains and the thawed ones usually take longer to reactivate, so you have to be patient.

Where you can buy Water Kefir?

You can buy water kefir right here below or you can buy it on our online shop with other kefir or kombucha products in combinations at promotion.

We have hundreds of satisfied customers all over the world. You can find all their reviews on our main website in France here.

Thank you for visiting water kefir page and we hope you found everything you were looking for.