How To Make Water Kefir At Home: A Step-By-Step Guide
Do you want to make your own delicious and healthy water kefir home? If so, then you have come to the right place. This step-by-step guide will show how easy it is to make this refreshing drink. Kefir is a probiotic beverage that is full of beneficial bacteria and yeast. It has been shown to improve gut health, boost the immune system, and fight harmful bacteria. Plus, it tastes great. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these simple instructions and start brewing your water kefir today.
What is water kefir?
Kefirs are fermented beverages made from water, kefir grains, and sugar. They are made from bacteria and yeast colonies that look like jellyfish or cauliflowers. SCOBYs convert sugar into lactic acid, ethanol, and carbon dioxide gas, giving water kefir its slightly effervescent taste. The “Champagne ecosystem in a bottle” Water Kefir has been consumed in Eastern Europe and Russia for centuries.
Although water kefir contains a small amount of alcohol – around 0.5-1% – it is considered non-alcoholic because the fermentation process is stopped once the grains are removed. Therefore, water kefir has all probiotic benefits without any alcohol-related risks.
Due to the presence of yeast, water kefir also has a small percentage of alcohol though typical under .08% but up to as much as 3% depending on fermentation time and technique used.
The benefits of water kefir
There are many benefits of water kefir, a fermented beverage made with water, kefir grains, and sugar. Water kefir is a probiotic drink rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It is known to boost the immune system, aid in digestion, and help detoxify the body. Many people also find that drinking water kefir helps improve their energy levels and overall sense of well-being.
Kefir water is relatively easy to prepare at home and requires just a few basic ingredients. In addition, fermentation creates beneficial byproducts, such as lactic acid, which can preserve drinks longer. Water kefir is a great option if you are looking for a healthy probiotic beverage that is easy to make.
What you will need:
- ½ cup water kefir grains
- ¼ cup sugar
- A quart-sized jar with a lid
- A strainer or cheesecloth
- A funnel (optional)
Adding the water kefir grains
Start by adding the water kefir grains to the jar. You can use any type of glass jar, but we recommend using a quart-sized jar so that you will have enough room to add the other ingredients.
Adding sugar and water
Next, add ¼ cup of sugar to the jar. You can use any type of sugar, but we prefer organic cane sugar or turbinado sugar. Next, pour ¼ cup of filtered water into the glass container and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Fermenting the water kefir
Now it’s time to let the fermentation process begin. Tightly screw on the lid and place the jar in a cool, dark place for 24-48 hours. During this time, the water kefir grains will consume the sugar and transform it into probiotic-rich water kefir.
Straining the water kefir
After 24-48 hours, the water kefir is ready to be strained. Place a strainer or cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the water kefir through it. This will remove the water kefir grains from the drink.
Enjoying your water kefir
Now you can enjoy your delicious and healthy water kefir. You can drink it plain or flavor it with fruit, herbs, or spices. Water kefir can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Water kefir troubleshooting tips
If you’re having trouble making water kefir, here are a few troubleshooting tips:
- Use filtered or dechlorinated water. This will ensure that your water kefir grains have the best chance of surviving and proliferating.
- Use unrefined cane sugar like jaggery, panela, or rapadura. These sugars have more nutrients than white sugar, which will help your water kefir grains thrive.
- Use a caloric sweetener like white sugar, molasses, honey, and coconut sugar. This will provide the yeast with the food they need to grow and produce carbon dioxide.
- Add dried fruit like figs or raisins to your brew. This will provide extra nutrients for the yeast and add flavor to your water kefir.
- Stir thoroughly before bottling it to distribute the yeast evenly. This will ensure that your water kefir is properly fermented.
Is water kefir better than kombucha?
Kombucha is made with black tea, sugar, and a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), while water kefir is made with water, sugar, and grains. Kombucha has more caffeine than water kefir and contains organic acids that give it a sour taste. Kombucha contains caffeine, but water kefir contains probiotics- beneficial bacteria that improve gut health.
So, in general, kombucha is a little bit better for you than water kefir because of the higher levels of probiotics it contains. However, if you’re looking for something low in caffeine and high in probiotics, water kefir is a great choice.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
1. How long does homemade water kefir last?
Water kefir will last for about 3 weeks in the fridge. It can be stored for a longer period if you freeze it, but the flavor and probiotics will diminish over time. To make sure you’re getting the most probiotics from your water kefir, drink it within 3 days of making it.
2. How many calories are in the water kefir?
There are approximately 61 calories in one cup of water kefir. This number will vary depending on the type of sugar you use and how long you ferment your water kefir. If you’re looking for a low-calorie drink, we recommend using a sugar substitute like stevia or monk fruit extract. These sugar substitutes won’t add any calories to your water kefir.
3. Water Kefir vs. Milk Kefir: Which is better for you?
Old regular and milk kefir contain probiotic cultures, but milk kefir contains fewer types. Unfortunately, milk kefirs are also higher in calorie content and lactose, so they’re not ideal choices if you want something low in fat and sugar. But milk kefir comes out the top if you compare Water and milk.
4. How much water kefir should I drink a day?
You should ideally drink one to three cups (237 to 710 ml) of water kefir in a day. This will help keep your digestive system working well and strengthen your immune system.
5. Is coconut sugar good for water kefir?
No, coconut sugar is not good for water kefir. This is because coconut sugar contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. This can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria, which can cause digestive issues like bloating and gas.
6. Do kefir grains need molasses?
Adding molasses to your water kefir grains is unnecessary, but doing so can be beneficial. Molasses contains various minerals that water kefir grains need to stay healthy and increase. Adding a bit of molasses to your water kefir will help ensure that your grains have access to the nutrients they need.
7. What does kefir water taste like?
Kefir water has a slightly sour, effervescent taste. The flavor is similar to dilute cordial or squash, but it’s not as strong. Kefir water is refreshing and can be enjoyed on its own or used in place of sparkling water in cocktails and mocktails.
8. Can you make water kefir without grains?
There is a myth floating around the internet that you can make water kefir without grains. This is not true. Water kefir grains are needed to ferment the sugar and water mixture into kefir. If you do not have water kefir grains, you can purchase them online or from a health food store.
9. How do you remove alcohol from kefir?
To remove alcohol from kefir, simply place your kefir in the fridge. However, the fermentation process will slow down significantly, and the alcohol content will decrease. If you want to remove all traces of alcohol from your kefir, you can pasteurize it by heating it to 180°F (82°C).
10. Can water kefir be made with tap water?
Yes, water kefir can be made with tap water. However, we recommend using filtered or distilled water to avoid potential contaminants in your tap water.
So, now that you know how to make water kefir at home, are you excited to try it? Well, if so, just add the ingredients and follow the instructions. It’ll only take about an hour for your batch to be ready. Then, once it’s done fermenting in your jar fastened with a lid or filter for 24 hours, you can enjoy its delicious taste.