Fermented Water Kefir Recipe

Prepare this easy fermented water kefir for a refreshing beverage full of probiotics and with a lower sugar content than your average juice.

From "Fermentation Revolution"
April 2018

  • fermented water kefir
    This fermented water kefir is a fizzy drink that makes a perfect substitute for sugary soda.
    Photo by Mathieu Dupuis
  • fermentation revolution cover
    "Fermentation Revolution" by Sébastien Bureau & David Côté is an inexpensive guide for readers interested in home fermentation. Readers will soothe their digestive system and revive their immune system with 70 recipes provided in this book.
    Cover courtesy Robert Rose Inc.
  • fermented water kefir
  • fermentation revolution cover

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 gallon

Fermentation Revolution: 70 Easy Recipes for Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kimchi and More (Robert Rose Inc., 2017), by Sébastien Bureau & David Côté is the ultimate guide to fermentation. The book teaches readers a variety of inexpensive ways to practice home fermentation by providing 70 easy recipes, the science behind fermentation, and different types of fermentation processes. The following excerpt is from Chapter 5, "Fruit, Sugar, and Honey."

Water kefir costs next to nothing to make, requires almost no equipment, can be prepared in a few minutes, ferments in 24 hours, is chock-full of millions of probiotics and has a lower sugar content than any juice on the market. On top of that, it's fizzy. Who could ask for anything more?


For 16 Cups (4 L):

  • 14 cups (3.5 L) water, at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 1-1/2 tbsp (180 g) cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup (44 g) or more (as much as you have) water kefir grains or a packet of kefir powder
  • 1 citrus fruit of your choice, peeled and sliced
  • 1 handful of raisins (or dried figs, to be more sophisticated)

To Preserve Water Kefir Grains:

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated, brown or cane sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water, at room temperature


  • 1-gallon (4 L) glass jar, cheesecloth (optional), breathable fabric, elastic band or string, fine-mesh sieve, airtight bottles, airtight glass container


  1. Pour water into the jar, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add kefir grains, citrus slices and dried fruit. If desired, wrap grains (or fruit) in a piece of cheesecloth to prevent a dilemma later when sorting (is that a raisin or a kefir grain?).
  2. Cover mouth of jar with fabric that allows air (but not insects) to pass through and attach with an elastic band or string.
  3. Let ferment out of direct light at room temperature. Taste mixture at set intervals. Kefir is best between 36 and 72 hours of fermentation. At this time, the dried fruit will rise to the surface, propelled by carbon dioxide bubbles.
  4. Filter water kefir through a fine-mesh sieve, straining out kefir grains and fruit. Separate grains from fruit; discard fruit. Preserve grains for future use (see below).
  5. Drink water kefir immediately or bottle and refrigerate to prevent explosions.

To Preserve Water Kefir Grains

  1. Prepare sweetened water by stirring sugar into water until dissolved.
  2. Transfer kefir grains to a glass container and cover with sweetened water. Seal airtight and refrigerate until you are ready to use the grains again (they will stay alive for up to 3 weeks). Strain off liquid before using grains.

More from Fermentation Revolution:

Courtesy of Fermentation Revolution: 70 Easy Recipes for Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Kimchi and Moreby Sébastien Bureau & David Côté © 2017 www.robertrose.ca. Available where books are sold.

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