How to Make Water Kefir
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easily make healthy water kefir at home with just a few simple ingredients! The process is straightforward and only takes a couple of days. Feel free to flavor your water kefir with whatever fruits, herbs, and spices you like!
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 32 ounces
for the water kefir mixture:
  • 4½ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or sub with more cane sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons water kefir grains
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 prune
for bottling:
  1. In a large, covered pot over high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the water to come to room temperature. (It’s important that the water has cooled or you’ll kill all that good bacteria in the kefir grains.)
  2. Add the sugar to an empty 32 ounce glass jar, then pour in the cooled water until it reaches an inch below the top of the jar. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the kefir grains to the jar, followed by the lemon wedge and prune. Screw the plastic lid on the jar and place it in a warm, dark spot (a kitchen cabinet or pantry works well). Allow it to to sit for 1-3 days, then taste the water kefir. You'll know it's ready to bottle when it has a mild, sweet flavor and it's slightly bubbly like soda.
  3. Add about ½ cup of fresh or frozen fruit to the empty bottle with the stopper and place a funnel on top. Remove the lemon wedge and prune from the jar of water kefir, then pour the kefir into the bottle, straining out the kefir grains with a small sieve. Set the grains aside for the next batch.
  4. Secure the rubber stopper on the bottle and allow the water kefir to ferment for 1 more day in a warm, dark spot.
  5. After 1 day, carefully open the stopper and "burp" the bottle to release any pressure, then move it to the fridge to prevent further fermentation. Repeat this process for your next batch.
Water kefir grains thrive when they have access to minerals. That's the reason for including the coconut sugar, lemon wedge, and prune. I notice my kefir grains grow more quickly this way.

If your grains grow to exceed two tablespoons, start a second jar or gift the extras to a friend.

Using coconut sugar and prunes will cause your kefir grains to turn a pink-ish color. This is totally fine.

I've had extra fizzy results flavoring with strawberries, watermelon, and pineapple (more sugar = more fizz). The key to really bubbly water kefir is using a bottle with a tight-fitting stopper.

The flavor of water kefir should be much more mild and less vinegar-y than kombucha. The fermentation process is also a lot faster. In warmer environments, it will complete the first fermentation in about a day.
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