Water Kefir Recipe

Make a fermented drink full of probiotics with this water kefir recipe.

From "Fermented"
March 2016

  • You can reuse the water kefir grains a second time to make an extra batch. There is no need to rinse them; use them as they are. They can be stored in the fridge in a clean glass or plastic container.
    Photo by Tara Fisher
  • Whether you want to experience the health benefits of fermented foods or just try something more experimental in your kitchen, "Fermented" by Charlotte Pike shows you how to make everything from sourdough bread and yogurt to kefir and kombucha.
    Cover courtesy Kyle Books

Yield: 1 quart

Incorporate fermented foods into everyday eating with delicious recipes that are easily achievable at home. Fermented (Kyle Books, 2015) includes chapters covering fruit and vegetables, milk, pulses, baking, and drinks that will introduce you to unique new flavors.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Fermented.

Water kefir is a wonderfully light and refreshing fermented drink, full of natural probiotics. This is a great drink to start with if you’re not used to fermented drinks because it’s very mildly flavored.


• 1 quart filtered water

• 2 tablespoons water kefir grains

• 3 tablespoons organic granulated cane sugar

• 1-quart glass Le-Parfait-style jar with a rubber seal, sterilized


The grains feed on the sugar in the kefir and multiply as the drink ferments, so don’t be alarmed if you end up with more grains than you started with—that’s a good sign!


1. Put all of the ingredients in the jar and stir well with a wooden (not metal) spoon.

2. Set aside to ferment on your kitchen countertop for 2–3 days. You can either leave the lid on or off as the kefir ferments. If you leave the lid on, you will notice the kefir becomes slightly fizzy.

3. You don’t need to do much to the kefir as it ferments, apart from giving it the odd shake, to allow the sugar to disperse more easily.

4. Strain through a nylon sieve into a clean pitcher, reserving the kefir grains to use again. I recommend starting with a small glass of kefir at first, roughly 1/2 cup. It’s nicest served chilled.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Fermented by Charlotte Pike and published by Kyle Books, 2015.

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