Water Kefir
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 quart/liter
  • 1 quart/liter (32 fluid ounces) filtered water
  • 50g (4 Tbsp. or ¼ cup by vol.) water kefir grains
  • 50g (4 Tbsp. or ¼ cup or 60 ml) raw sugar
  • 2g by weight / ¼ teaspoon/2 ml by volume molasses, piloncillo, jaggery, panocha/panutsa or other dark brown solid sugar form
  • 25g (about a 1 inch/3cm sized piece) fresh ginger
  • (Optional Secondary Fermentation) 2 Tbsp. fresh fruit or ¼ cup fruit juice, or 2 teaspoons/10 ml herbs (chamomile, lavender) for secondary fermentation
Make Solution for Primary Fermentation
  1. Dissolve the sugar in water in a 1 gallon or larger glass or ceramic container. You can heat the water to hasten dissolution, but cool it back down to body temperature (100°F/37°C) or lower before adding grains.
  2. Add molasses or other solid sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  3. Slice ginger into thin slices. Or grate it and add it to a muslin tea bag. Add slices or bag to container.
  4. Add water kefir (WK) grains.
  5. Cover with a clean dish or tea towel, or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Store in a warm place for 2 to 3 days. (Taste it after 2 and if you like it, you're ready to bottle and/or secondary ferment.)
  7. If you used a bag for the ginger, remove it from container, and squeeze to get every last drop of gingery goodness. Compost the spent ginger.
  8. Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a swing top bottle (or other container that can seal). Remove the ginger pieces from the strainer and add a few slices to the bottle. Do not throw away the grains!
Transfer to Bottles for Secondary Fermentation (Optional)
  1. Add some fresh fruit slices, fruit juice, herbs, or other flavoring. Add up to ¼ cup (120ml) juice per quart/liter of WK. A little goes a long way when it comes to fermentation, as flavors are amplified.
  2. Close the container(s) and let ferment for 3-4 more days (less in warmer weather). BE CAREFUL WHEN OPENING: Contents will build up pressure. As a safety precaution, "burp" the bottles daily to relieve excess carbonation from the bottle.
  3. Move to refrigerator. Enjoy chilled within a few weeks.
Care and Feeding of WK Grains
  1. Add the grains back to your kefir korral (a jar filled with solution of sugar water). dissolving 1 Tablespoon/15 ml sugar to 1 cup/ 250ml of water. Store grains in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.
Recipe by Fermenters Club at https://fermentersclub.com/water-kefir/