Water Kefir FAQ’s
Have questions about Water Kefir Grains? Find answers to some of the most asked questions about this culture product:
Making water kefir is not difficult and in simple terms – Add the water kefir grains to a glass jar along with sugar water, let it sit, take the grains out and you are done! Then repeat the process..
Click here for more info on making milk kefir…
Water kefir grains are grown in filtered water and organic sugar. It’s best to avoid water that does’t have minerals, such as distilled water or water from RO filters etc.. Water kefir grains require minerals in order to grow and ferment. Both the water and sugar used can affect the flavour and the amount of carbonation in your finished water kefir.
Yes, a single purchase of our kefir grains can provide you with a lifetimes supply of water kefir.
We use and recommend organic cane sugar but you could also you granulated sugar as it works quite well. Look for plain sugar with no added ingredients. For best results, you should look for sugar labeled “organic” and “raw” or “natural.
To put it simply, the first fermentation is done when your water kefir grains are added to sugar water and cultured for approx 24 hours. Now, once you strain your kefir grains with a plastic strainer and pour the drained kefir into a jar the water kefir is then ready to consume OR…
You can store the water kefir (with the grains removed) in your fridge in a sealed jar, and it will continue to ferment. This is what is known as the second fermentation.
All live kefir grains require settling as they adjust to their new environment (they are very temperature sensitive). Water kefir grains may also struggle to settle as they get used to the minerals in your local water. This usually takes between 3-5 days but can take 1-2 weeks. It is important to continue with the daily fermentation process. Once settled your grains will produce great tasting kefir.
First of all, let the water kefir ferment for longer. We find allowing the initial fermentation to go for at least 48 hours will increase all of the activity.
Water kefir grains need time to settle and acclimatise to their new environment and they also need time to get used to the minerals in your specific water. This can take 1-2 weeks and it’s really important to continue with the daily fermentation process during this time. Don’t give up or think the grains are not working. We can assure you, this is 100% normal. It is perfectly fine to drink the water kefir even if it is flat after the first ferment. You will still get the health benefits. A great way to test if your fermentation is working is to simply taste the mixture when you make it and then taste the mixture again after 24 hours. If it tastes less sweet, then it is working. We get numerous emails from people who think their grains have gone bad or are dead. Grains don’t go bad or die if looked after properly. If the grains are growing and multiplying it is an indicator that they are being fed by the sugar and fermenting. Water kefir grains require some patience to begin with so please stick with it until they have fully settled into their new environment.
If you prefer to only allow the first fermentation 24 hours but you still want a good level of carbonation, then bottling the water kefir after the first ferment and moving on for a second fermentation is a must. Bottling the water kefir in airtight bottles will help to increase the carbonation.
Between 20° – 25°C is good. 22°C is optimal. A warm spot is advisable if room temperature falls below say 18°C.
The easiest way to check whether or not you have successfully made water kefir is by tasting it. The finished water kefir tastes less sweet than the sugar water you started with. Most people expect water kefir to taste really sour and very bubbly – this is simply not true. Water kefir is mildly sour tasting with only a tiny amount of bubbles when strained after the first fermentation. If you then bottle it for an additional 24hrs or more (second fermentation ), it will greatly increase the amount of carbonation and reduce the sugar content.
If you are making kefir every day, your grains should be growing and multiplying. If they aren’t it is because the temperature in your house is cooler than usual, slowing down the grains. If your sugar water is turning into kefir your grains are still working, just at a slower rate.
The first few batches may be off-balance as the live grains are are very temperature sensitive but once settled they will make top quality water kefir daily. This can usually take 3-5 days but it does depend if the grains are stressed or not.
Once the first few batches of water kefir are complete you can always move up to a bigger jar for larger amounts as our water kefir cultures grow and multiply very quickly.
As your kefir grains grow & multiply you will need to remove some of the grains to keep to the correct ratio: 40g of water kefir grains will culture 1litre of sugar water. The goal is to keep the ratio of grains to sugar water the same as you started with.
Room Temperature: 1-2 days.
Refrigerator: We recommend no longer than 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you need to take a break for a few weeks for an upcoming holiday etc.. and you’re worried about what to do with your kefir grains, then follow the steps below:
Simply go ahead and place the grains in a fresh jar of sugar water. Now cover the jar with a tight lid and place them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Cold temperatures greatly slow the culturing process, so the refrigerator is a good place to store your grains when a break is necessary.
If you plan on storing the water kefir grains long-term, make sure to change the sugar water at least once every few weeks!
Making Water Kefir Again
Once removed from the refrigerator the grains will need to be activated again. See here for the activation method.
There you go!
Remember, like most live cultures, water kefir grains can be temperamental and will take a while to master. These instructions should only serve as a guide and are a reflection of what works for us. After a while you are likely to find your own way and methods which is the beauty (and fun!) of working with water kefir.
Our products are living cultures and for best results they should ideally be used within 48hrs of receiving them. The faster the cultures are used the higher the success rate. All live cultures require settling after being shipped. It is normal for cultures to take 3-5 brews to fully settle into their new environment. Please see instructions for more details.