Water kefir grains, or we call them kefir crystals, are unlike milk kefir grains as they thrive on sugars and not lactose. They are dairy free and gluten free despite being called “grains.” They look slightly different from milk kefir grains and are translucent while milk kefir grains are white.
Different websites and books will tell you to use different methods to make water kefir. This is my personal favorite method. I believe it has a lower alcohol content than other methods and tastes just as great! Water kefir is different from the Kefir Soda recipes on my site. Kefir soda is made with a powdered packet of a kefir starter or kefir whey which is from milk kefir and is not dairy free.
Water kefir does not have much flavor on its own. With this method, I recommend doing a second ferment with juices and flavorings to give your water kefir extra flavor. It will give you a fizzier and more consistent brew each time. We have lots of recipes to second ferment your water kefir.
I recommend water kefir be consumed within a week. It will ferment rapidly even in the fridge – much faster than kombucha – and can end up with too much pressure and not as pleasant of a taste. Water kefir may also become more alcoholic if fruit juices are used and fermented for longer periods of times. This is another reason to drink it more quickly.
Some recommend not using filtered water as water kefir grains thrive on minerals (as do most cultures), although I do not recommend using distilled or reverse osmosis or alkaline waters that remove ALL minerals from the water. Regular filtered water or spring water is fine, and I’ve never had any problems with it. I hope you enjoy this probiotic drink as an add-on to your already happy diet!
Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle