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How To Make Kefir: Making Water Kefir

How to make Kefir in the traditional way goes like this! You will need the following things:

  • A large glass jar that can be sealed (preferably one that can hold about eight glasses of water).

  • A wooden or plastic spoon (metal spoons may kill important bacteria in the kefir).

  • Some bottles with lids.

  • Some water. Preferably spring water or mineral water, but boiled rainwater (after it has cooled down) is fine too! It is important not to use normal tap water, as the chlorine content may kill essential bacteria in the water kefir grains.

  • Some sugar. This can be almost any kind of sugar, but not honey – since honey has anti-microbial properties that may also harm the water kefir grains! About half a cup for every eight glasses of water is about right.

And, optionally:

  • Some dried fruit.

  • Half a peeled lemon (peeled to remove any pesticides, if the lemon is not organic. If the lemon is organic, the skin can be left on!).

  • A little sliced ginger.

The method itself is incredibly simple. It is mostly a case of allowing the mixture to ferment in a warm, safe place.

The sugar needs to be dissolved in the water. In order to do this, the water can be heated – so long as it is allowed to cool before any kefir grains are added! Add the water to the jar, but ensure that the jar is no more than three quarters full.

This will allow for the fact that fermenting kefir will produce carbon dioxide. Although this will gently carbonate the drink and make it pleasantly fizzy, it will also increase the pressure within the jar! The extra space should accommodate the pressure, so that the jar will not explode!

The other ingredients can then all be added to the water in the jar and the jar can be sealed. The mixture must then be allowed to ferment for between 24 and 72 hours. The exact amount of time will determine how strong and how carbonated the mixture is (as more carbon dioxide and kefir will be produced as time goes on).

The kefir will brew faster if it is brewed in a warm environment, so try brewing it for various times to find out how to make kefir that is right for you.

After it has finished fermenting in the jar, the liquid should be strained of all other ingredients (including the grains – but keep these as they can be used an unlimited number of times!) and transferred into smaller containers. Fill the bottles three quarters full and put the lids on, and allow them to sit while the liquid ferments for another 24 hours.

The lightly carbonated, slightly alcoholic drink can then be served over ice or used as a mixer to make other drinks! There are lots more recipes for water kefir grains on this site, and the recipe above can be varied so that the sugary water is replaced with similar liquids.

A great version of kefir can be made with coconut water! Check our other “How to Make Kefir” articles for making coconut kefir.

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