How to make water kefir


Water kefir is slightly bubbly probiotic drink, a great intro into the world of fermented foods as it’s sweeter than it’s cousin kombucha. I learned how to make water kefir about ten years ago and haven’t looked back! Over the years we’ve tested out different variations for flavoring it with fruit and sometimes it was put into “hibernation” during busy seasons, yet the same kefir grains are going strong.

It’s much like milk kefir except it’s accustomed to culturing in sugar-water instead of milk. They look a bit different too. Instead if looking like little cauliflowers, they look more like clear, little, smooshy crystals. But the nutritional value is much the same. Not only is it a probiotic (yup – just like yogurt!), it’s full of some great vitamins and nutrients.

how to make water kefir

Starting from dehydrated kefir grains

Here’s what my grains looked like when I opened the package from Cultures for Health. You can find other companies that sell dehydrated versions as well. These do take a little bit longer to “take off” so to speak, so if you know of someone locally that brews it, they may share some with you.
kefir grains
After I rehydrated them for a few days they grew quite a bit! I then made my first batch.
(see the grains at the bottom?)water kefir
A few batches later I decided to try flavoring it. One w/ blueberries and one with strawberries.

fruit kefir

I’m now hooked on this stuff! Seriously. It makes a slightly carbonated, slightly sweet beverage and I think it tastes sooo good! My husband thinks it tastes too ferment-y, but honestly, I don’t notice it that much. My son even loves our new ‘soda’ and asks for it all the time. And this is one type of soda I’ll let him have.

I’ve tried flavoring it multiple ways now and my favorites are blueberry (makes such a pretty color) and lemon (tastes like lemonade). The grains have also been producing like crazy and I now have enough to make almost a gallon a day if I wish.

It’s super easy to make and takes almost no time at all. Plus, it’s really refreshing on a nice hot day to have a fizzy drink. And if you’re stuck on real soda and need a substitute to break your habit, this is the stuff to try. Because soda is so very, very bad for you. Like really bad. Think high fructose corn syrup and fake sugars. Kefir soda is a nice healthy alternative!

Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Water Kefir

A slightly bubbly probiotic drink. 
Prep Time2 mins
Resting time1 d
Total Time2 mins
Course: Fermented Foods
Cuisine: Traditional Food Preparation
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Donielle


  • 1/4 c. sugar organic
  • 2 cups water hot
  • 1 1/2 c. water cold
  • 3 Tbsp kefir grains


  • Dissolve 1/4 cup whole cane sugar (use organic as the chemicals in conventional can hurt the grains) in half a quart of hot water.
  • Once dissolved add 1 1/2 cups cold water. make sure to leave an inch of space at the top of the container.
  • Take about 3 Tbsp of kefir grains and place them in a quart of the sugar water solution.
  • Place it out on the counter or in a cupboard covered with a cloth tied on with a rubberband.
  • Let culture, or sit out on the counter, for 24-48 hours.
  • Strain kefir grains out and place them in a new sugar water solution and pour the kefir water into a clean jar.
  • Now you can either flavor the kefir water by putting some fresh fruit in it and letting it culture for another 24 hours, or you can drink as is. (some folks even add in a washed egg shell for added calcium but I have yet to try that)


Please note that sugar content will be greatly reduced after fermentation!


Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Sodium: 10mg | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 0.6%

*For more amazing drink recipes, follow our whole foods board on Pinterest!

Donielle Baker

Donielle Baker

owner and editor of Natural Fertility and Wellness at Natural Fertility and Wellness
I believe women can learn how to heal their bodies & balance their hormones through natural methods. An advocate for natural health, I have a passion for nourishing/real food nutrition and natural living. My personal background includes both infertility and miscarriage and I started Natural Fertility and Wellness in 2008 in order to share all of the information I found helpful in my journey to heal from PCOS and overcome infertility.
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Donielle Baker
Many of the links on this site are affiliate links, which mean that the owner of the site may earn a small commission from your purchase through the company. We will not recommend a company that we do not purchase from ourselves and we thank you for your support. No contributor or author on this site is a medical doctor and the statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Read our privacy policy and full disclosure here.


  1. Joanna

    I'm an RSS subscriber!

  2. Catherine

    I subscribe via Google Reader, and I would love to try kefir water as an alternative to soda!

  3. Amy

    I subscribe with Bloglines.

  4. Brittany

    I subscribe with Google Reader. 🙂

  5. Amy @ Finer Things

    I have never heard of such a thing. Would love to try it. Signed up at the site.

  6. Amy @ Finer Things

    You're in my google reader.

  7. Emily

    I subscribe via Google Reader. This sounds awesome.

  8. Virginia

    I subscribe!! 🙂

  9. Michele

    I subscribe with google reader!

  10. Michele

    Tweeted! MrsVaelek

  11. Audra

    (Google Reader Subscriber) I have a friend who does kiefer's in milk but I've never heard of doing it with water- What a great store I am off to spend some time checking it out- Thanks for the extra entry

  12. Mom of many...

    Hi, was wondering….do the keifer grains eat the sugar so there isn't any left in the finished product?? I know it works that way with Kombucha tea so was just curious.:-) Thanks a bunch!

  13. Donielle

    Yup – after 48 hours only 20% of the sugar should be left.

  14. Christie

    subscribed 🙂 I've heard SO much good stuff about Kefir water…. I'd love to try this!

  15. Amanda

    I signed up for the Cultures for Health contest.

  16. Amanda

    I am a subscriber through Google.

  17. Brian & Rachel Davis

    Hi! I wanted to share how to make kefir soda with my family and put a link on my blog… let me know if that's not ok!


  18. Caroline

    stumbled it

  19. stampmonkey

    I’ve never even had kefir before, but this sounds really interesting. Can you tell me what you do with all the grains that are ‘multiplying’? Do they go bad if you don’t use them ASAP? Have you discovered more flavors that you enjoy? Many thanks!

    • donielle

      @stampmonkey, The grains are actually living colonies of natural bacteria, so they don’t really go bad. If you stop feeding them sugar, they’ll die though. If you don’t want to use them for a bit or have to many for one jar, just pop them in the fridge with some sugar water and feed them a bit of extra sugar once a week or so.

      And right now I’m enjoying mixing it 3:1 with our homemade grape juice. It makes a nice sparkly drink!

  20. Kim

    I am dairy intolerant (even the raw stuff, bummer) and always looking for non-dairy sources of probiotics – thankfully, there are lots of them! But I am particularly interested in water kefir – thanks for the easy how to. Cultures for Health is so cool, I must order. Thanks, look forward to following your blog in the future! Kim –

  21. Sarah

    I can’t have diary and am looking for new probiotic sources. I am going to try it as soon as I can get my hands on some water kefir grains!

  22. Hélène

    Ya know, I have heard all the raves about kombucha and finally tried it. It was like drinking sweetened PURE VINEGAR. Now, I loooooove vinegar, but I have no desire to drink it :p.
    Is the kefir water this kind of “ferment-y” taste? Maybe ask ur husband that question for me?
    I eat alot of “weird” foods so its not the health food thing at work here…
    I also do not like stevia. At ALL. Which so sucks. The powdered green herb itself, makes me nauseous to smell it, without ingesting it. (yeah, of course I had bought an entire pound of it…) I can stomach the refined white powder or drops, but it just is blechy to me. SIGH. I even bought Truvia at WalMart, which is cane sugar with stevia, and the stevia taste came shining through…BLECH.
    Anyway, I’m wondering about making kefir but kinda scared LOL……

    • donielle

      @Hélène, ha! My husband said the same of kombucha. It is an acquired taste for sure!

      As for the water kefir, it’s definitely not as ‘ferment-y”, though it may smell like it at first. You can also add fruit juice to the kefir (and kombucha too) to get a sweeter and more palatable taste or not ferment it as long until you get used to it.

      As for the stevia – don’t worry if you don’t like it. The white stuff and the drops are super processed and no longer a ‘whole’ food. The ground herb was never really used as a sweetener like how we want to be able to use it. Some cultures mention that it used to be used medicinally (meaning in large amounts) as contraception as well. Stick to maple syrup, honey, sucanat, and rapadura.

  23. Hélène

    So once you’ve made the kefir, you then just put it in a cup 3:1 with juice then? Like making a fruit sparkler? I make those with club soda and juice, 1:1 ratio. This would be healthy then, and use alot less juice, which is better for moí.
    Or do you use juice concentrate? I thot you said concentrate in another blog post.

    • donielle

      @Hélène, Yes, you can mix it with juice any way you’d like. I also like to ferment it with actual fruit for another 24 hours for just a touch of flavor but not all the natural sugars.

      For soda – Once I make the kefir I put it in a quart size mason jar 3:1 and let sit out for another 24 hours with the 2 pc canning lid on. This way it gets fizzy.

  24. Piper Post

    Kombucha question! I bought some komubucha at Whole Foods and pulled it out of the fridge two days later. It has a distinct ferment-y taste and I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to taste that way or if it just went bad.
    Also, what is kombucha verses water kefir?

    • donielle

      @Piper Post, Yes, kombucha (and kefir) will have a ferment-y taste to them. It’s not bad. 🙂

      Kombucha and water kefir are different because they use different colonies of bacteria to ferment, and kombucha ferments sweet tea, kefir ferments just sugar water. Kefir also has a ‘lighter’ taste.

  25. Loretta

    I like to use tumeric and ginger to flavor my water kefir.

    • Donielle Baker

      Both herbs would be great in water kefir – thanks for sharing!

Fix your fertility naturally

Fix Your Fertility ebook
empowered charting ebook