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Is Water Kefir as Good as Soda Pop?

Huh?

What’s kefir?

And how do you pronounce it?

If that’s you, I was right there with you a few months ago. I thought it was “keh-fur”, but you actually pronounce it “kuh-FEAR”, with the accent on the “fear”. No really – go back and say that in your head, don’t just skip the pronunciation part. It’ll come into play later in my story. 🙂

My kefir grains, perking along in their little bag, culturing my water.
My kefir grains, perking along in their little bag, culturing my water.

What Is Kefir?

Kefir, as I understand it, is a cultured beverage. When you think cultured, think yogurt, sour cream, “probiotics” and such. I don’t really understand much more though. Kefir (remember:  “kuh-FEAR”) starts as little “grains” that look like cloudy, white, jellied fish bowl pebbles. You put them in some water with some sugar, and the grains eat the sugar and culture the water. That’s almost too much for my poor little brain to handle. All I know is that all the “real food” bloggers do kefir, and the Cultures for Health website said it’s a good sub for soda pop, so I thought I’d try it. My husband can’t quite talk himself into breaking his soda habit, and I’m looking to help him out. (See how he broke it with SodaStream here!)

I was a little disappointed that I had to add white sugar to my water, and I find myself wondering how much the kefir grains eat and how much is still left when I drink the finished product. UPDATE:  see the reader comments – looks like only 20% of the sugar is left, which is not bad.

[Need to learn more about fermenting? Try GNOWFGLINS Fundamentals, a multimedia course with videos, text files, and teacher interaction to help you through the new frontier of traditional foods.]
Our family’s reactions to the taste are mixed. Plain water kefir is…okay in my book. It must be on ice, and it’s not something I’d crave, but I’d drink it in place of water. My husband would not. At all. So score zero for kefir helping to break the soda habit, unfortunately!

Lovey Girl, who never drinks anything but water and breastmilk, thinks kefir is the best thing she’s ever been given. She will suck a sippy cup of it down like nobody’s business! And Mommy is wondering how much sugar is left….!

At age four, Buddy Boy is a lover of all things new and novel, as I’ve mentioned before. Just saying, “Would you like milk, water or kefir with dinner?” got him all excited. “Kefir!” he chooses. He thinks the fizz is pretty cool, and he likes some of the add-ins that make it taste better.

Fizz?

Oh, yeah…kefir is naturally carbonated.

THAT is the coolest part!

I love that I can take plain old water, add a little sugar and some kefir grains and ferment for two days, and then leave the bottle closed up for another two days, and when I open the cap I hear “Pssssst!”  So gratifying!

I have made carbonation! Ha ha ha! (Image in head:  Tom Hanks in Castaway saying “Look what I have created! I have made fire!”)

Pros and Cons of Water Kefir

What I LIKE about Water Kefir

  • Probiotic beverage
  • Simple to make
  • Daughter, son and I appreciate the taste
  • Lots of flavor variations available…I just need to experiment more with them

What I DON’T like about Water Kefir

  • Sugar?
  • Adding juice makes it taste best…but we don’t usually drink juice
  • Cost of added juice or lemons ($)
  • Husband doesn’t like it
  • Friend says:  smells like sour milk
  • After four days on the counter, it tasted extra zingy, like alcohol. Whoa. ???

What Died?

After hubby turned down the plain water kefir, the dried strawberry enhanced kefir, the raisin/lemon juice flavored kefir, and the vanilla (supposed to taste like cream soda) kefir, I decided to try an experiment. What more do you expect from me?  I kefired his Gatorade. Powerade, actually. We dubbed it “Power-fir”. How cool does THAT sound? (See, I told you that you’d need to know the pronunciation. Go ahead, go back to the top of the screen and check. Cool, eh?)

I only used half my kefir grains in case something disastrous happened to them. They totally liked the Powerade, and after a day it definitely tasted less sugary, and then after another day it had even less sweetness. I thought it was really good – much better than the original, in fact! My husband said he doesn’t like to taste yogurt with his Powerade. 🙁  What’s a girl to do? Of course, Buddy Boy loved it to death, so he finished it off.

Poor fluorescent yellow kefir grains! I had to take them out of the muslin bag, and I realized how much I LIKE using that bag, especially since my colander has such big holes. I didn't want to lose any down the drain, so I used a coffee filter, but it was a bit tricky to drain.
Poor fluorescent yellow kefir grains! I had to take them out of the muslin bag, and I realized how much I LIKE using that bag, especially since my colander has such big holes. I didn’t want to lose any down the drain, so I used a coffee filter, but it was a bit tricky to drain.

Unfortunately, I think I killed my kefir grains. They made the next batch of sugar water taste like…sugar water. Bummer. Good thing the other half of my grains will make a quart at a time, which is plenty for the three of us who drink it.

If you’d like to learn more about water kefir, visit Cultures for Health.

Here are the instructions for HOW to make water kefir and some tips I’ve learned in the process.

What about you? Would you try water kefir? Would you Power-fir it?

Recipes that actually work:

I am a guest lecturer and partner with GNOWFGLINS eCourses, so I will earn commission from any sales made starting here. Of course, the courses are also an awesome way to learn to cook real food, so I’d gab about them anyway.

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

73 thoughts on “Is Water Kefir as Good as Soda Pop?”

  1. This is a really old blog, and I’m pretty sure that by now you’ve learned that Kefir breaks down the complex sugar (“sugar” is a complex or double sugar whether it’s white or some organic alternative) to simple sugars – fructose and glucose – that are much easier for the body to digest and does not spike the blood sugar levels like regular sugar. It’s also much healthier for digestion.

  2. Bobbey via Facebook

    Yikes. I’ll have to remember to take care of it later. If I rinse the grains and restart it – lid off this time – how do I know the grains are still good?

    1. Bobbey,
      If there are little bubbles after 24-48 hours of fermenting, that’s a good sign, and if you can tell the sweetness of the water has diminished or you can smell the fermented smell, also good signs.

      If you get this reply, can you let me know by replying? I just installed a feature that pulls Facebook comments into the blog, and I’m replying on KS and wondering if it goes back to Facebook (and notifies you) as well. Thanks!
      🙂 Katie

  3. Paul via Facebook

    Kombucha is a fermented tea & sugar beverage, whose symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) has sort of a mushroom appearance. Water kefir is a simpler beverage fermented from sugared water, whose SCOBYs resemble gummy bears (sort of).

  4. Lois via Facebook

    Yeah, what is the difference between water kefir and kombucha? I do milk kefir and kombucha, my boys LOVE kombucha!! From the comments it sounds similar to kombucha, including the double ferment, which is what I do.

  5. Marlee via Facebook

    can you explain the difference bt kefir and kombucha? I haven’t tried either yet.

  6. Wanda via Facebook

    I left my fermenting too long a week ago, and now they smell like baby vomit, yuck! I’ve tried rinsing them and fermenting them 3 more times with lemon to get the smell/taste out, but no luck. Do you think I’ve ruined them?!

  7. Sarah via Facebook

    I culture the grains 2 days in sugar water, strain kefir grains and add chopped prunes. I let them ferment 1 day on the counter (with the lid this time) and 1 day in the fridge, then I strain out the prunes. My kids absolutely LOVE it. They also like orange juice in there. I think it makes it taste like a dreamsicle and it’s a bit too sweet for me, but they really like it. Btw, I have 3 boys.

  8. Sarah Dean – you just throw prunes in? I totally haven’t experimented with many flavors, but now I want to. Vanilla might be good, but we definitely don’t like lemon in there. Thanks!

  9. Sheri, I let my kids drink it without a second thought (unless you have a religious restriction on alcohol and wouldn’t even use vanilla with alcohol, for example). If you don’t let it ferment very long, there won’t be much alcohol from what I understand.

  10. Bobbey, I agree with Sally, better to just open it. Are your grains in there too? For more fizz, I’d recommend getting the grains out and then just leaving the kefir with some juice or whatever on the counter for the second ferment. Then if you forget about it, at least the grains are safe in the fridge. 🙂

  11. Huh…I didn’t even know you cd freeze them! Mine hang out in the fridge waiting for me for at least a week sometimes.

  12. Emma via Facebook

    You’re doing better than me. I just put mine in the freezer the other day because I wasn’t make it enough. I still use my milk kefir grains all the time though.

  13. Sarah via Facebook

    My boys’ favorite is prune. They say it tastes like Dr. Pepper. They also like vanilla, though. My personal fav is lemonade. We’ve only been doing water kefir for a couple of months now, but we love it!

  14. Sherri via Facebook

    I was thinking about trying water kefir to help me break my soda habit but I didn’t realize it has alcohol in it. 🙁

  15. Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares

    Now I’m laughing because I innocently came across this thread, and see Pam has been writing about me. I’m the one she offered the kefir to, and the one who puts serviceberries in the berry crisp. I feed “poison” berries to my Bible study group. Brookside Coffee Break, purple group, 9:30 on Wednesday mornings, Grand Rapids, MI. It’s definitely the place to be!

  16. Angela via Facebook

    I have to try this, but I’m still tackling yogurt right now…it’s all about baby steps right ; )

  17. Sally Jo via Facebook

    Bobbey Martinez – be more afraid not to open it…we had an explosion of two bottles – the flying shards of glass missed us by inches!

  18. Dede via Facebook

    Ugh… I was just reminded of my dairy kefir grains that I’ve neglected for the last week. Nice.

  19. Bobbey via Facebook

    I think I killed my water kefir grains by forgetting about them for more than a week the first time. The second batch they wanted more bubbly so I put the lid on the mason jar. That was at least a week ago – I’m scared to open it.

  20. What is really funny is that we don’t pronounce kefir here the way you do. 🙂 I’m from Southwest Virginia and we say KEY-FUR. I’ve looked it up and there are 3 different ways to pronounce it. On the Cultures for Health website they also pronounce it KEY-FUR and so does Tammy. With my country slang it sounds pretty funny. lol
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcRaSCYQxKE

  21. From what I understand, you can use any sugar (I use my rapdura and they multiply and carbonate like crazy!!) I also was under the impression the there is alcohol in it, to a certain extent. I can always taste it in mine (which is a downfall for me since I don’t like the taste of any alcohol). I just added some blueberries to my batch tonight though and it is pretty good. My 8-month-old loves the stuff and it has eliminated the need for reflux medication for him.

    1. Gina, Yes, there is some alcohol. Kelly the Kitchen Kop did some science experiments to figure out how much that were pretty cool! What a great testimony to the power of real food/cultured foods. Great to hear! 🙂 Katie

  22. Katie, thanks again for your blog, and thanks to everyone who comments. I just might give this a try; your experiences sound fun and interesting. Thanks for making these new things accessible. 🙂

  23. I feel fortunate not to be the only odd ball in the room. One of the gals puts service berries (which I thought were poisonous) in her apple crisp.
    Hey, Katie. thanks for the resource link on your site. We now get our milk from the Graveldingers and have enjoyed meats from Van Ball’s.
    Pam

  24. Yah, I’m getting that “weird gal” vibe already. You’ll like this story. I have a friend whose husband makes his own wine and beer, so I figured I’d pass off my apple water kefir to him since it was too strong for me. I met her at Bible study to pass off my “brew” and the curious around asked questions, of course. Eyebrows were raised including my Bible study leader who asked that it not be included on the snack table. My friend refused the kefir since it was in a plastic jug resembling juice which her austic son would get into, so another gal sampled it, proclaimed it FANTASTIC. By the end if Bible study she said she felt pleasantly relaxed and affirmed that their was indeed a small alcohol content. I’ll have to look up Kelly the Kitchen Kop on this. It’s rather fascinating. Kefir now has a controversial reputation amongst my friends at church:) It really only affirmed what they thought of me before: unique. I’m using lower sugar from now on.

    1. Yep, that story cracked me up. Your Bible study leader is going to kick you out, girl! 😉 Katie

  25. My lastest experiment with kefir was to use the water left over from boiling apples for apple sauce. It was already naturally sweet. I strained and let it cool before adding my grains. The grains did quick work on the apple water and now I have a sweet and zesty beverage. My family and friends comment that they notice an alcohol taste with my kefir waters. Do you guys have the same? I’m wondering if I use too much sugar.
    Pam

    1. Pam,
      I know there is a slight alcohol content in kefir; Kelly the Kitchen Kop did a cool experiment to find out how much. I never share with friends – they think I’m too weird! 😉 Katie

  26. I’ve killed 2 batches of water kefir grains! I’m afraid to buy more until I know I can feed them if I’m not making fizzy water with it. I even put the 2nd batch in freezer when I knew I’d be gone, but it never worked again after that.

    I’m totally addicted to soda-but have tried hard to at least not get run of the mill kind with HFCS. The bubbles are what I crave, so we try getting flavored seltzer, or just get the plain and add it to juice. I was taking an inventory of my kitchen today and realized that a month or so ago Canada Dry seltzer was on sale and I stocked up. There are 2 unopened bottles in the fridge and another 2 on top, so maybe my desire is waning.

    I do want to keep trying the water kefir for the probiotic benefits though. When I feel like I can keep it alive I’ll be trying again. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Oh, the one success I had was flavoring with vanilla-we loved the taste, but it hadn’t fermented into fizzy yet, and once it did, I didn’t like it. Bummer!

    1. Kelly,
      I’ve left my grains in the fridge, either in finished kefir or new sugar water, for over a week before. ??? I also don’t always get a good fizz, but I can tell by the smell and lack of sweetness that they’ve done the job. The fizz usually comes with a tight cap and one more day fermenting without the grains. I skip that part! Good luck! 😉 Katie

      1. I left mine a tad bit longer than a week…not sure how long before I stuck them in the freezer, then once I took them out I didn’t get to them as fast as I thought. I did add sugar a few times to feed them, but when I started a batch with them the water just grew “stalagtites” and the sweetness never diminished.

  27. Rebecca in Michigan

    How do you know if you killed the kefir? I think I might have killed mine. Not sure how though.

    1. Rebecca,

      I tried making another batch, and tasted and smelled it to see if anything happened! If it was still sugar water after 48 hours, I was sad. I did recombine my grains and possibly revived the killed ones…?

      1. Rebecca in Michigan

        Today, I decided to use the organic whole cane sugar because you mentioned the less processed our sugar the better the carbonation. This is what it looks like and what my kids said…. “I am not drinking that ! It looks like mud!”

        I had a batch sitting on my counter for 36 hours and I tasted it. It tastes like a yogurt flavor, so it must be working. I just don’t have the fizz. So, I am trying what you said. Will let you know in about 12 to 48 hours.

  28. Just found your site from one of the other Traditional Food blogs and LOVE it. We’ve been on the Nourishing Traditions diet for about 5 years now. And I also love Jesus, so can we be best friends? =)

    Just wanted to throw in some kefir love. I’ve been successfully making water kefir (the kiddos call it “fizzy juice” over here) and I rotate between two old liter bottles from my hubby’s soda water. (I’d like to eventually ferment in glass containers but I haven’t gotten there yet.) So I use milk kefir grains (the cauliflowery-looking ones) and put in 1/4 sucanat/rapadura and 1/4 lemon juice and then fill up the rest with water. It sits out on the counter for a couple/few days and I burp it once or twice, and then put it in the frig when I’m happy with the taste. I start the second one when we’re about halfway through with the first and we always have it around. The hubby is the only one who is not impressed. But the rest of us drink it everyday and it is the most thirst quenching stuff ever. I’m with you that I can’t believe I created carbonation! I tried water kefir grains a while back and just did not have much success. I also used to make my own kombucha but found this to be much easier.

    And speaking of easier, I haven’t read anything about you trying to make milk kefir. As a former yogurt-maker, I will definitely testify that kefir is TONS simpler to make than yogurt and even better for you. (http://www.kefir.net/kefiryogurt.htm)

    I throw a tablespoon or two of kefir grains (that I bought from my raw dairy farmer for a couple bucks) into a quart-sized mason jar and fill it with raw milk. It sits on the counter for a couple/few days (right next to its friend “fizzy juice”) till it turns into a mess of chunky cream and whey. Then I drain it through my fine colander, reserve the kefir grains for the next batch, and put it back in the jar. The texture is better than my yogurt experiments ever were and after slowly reducing the stevia that I initially added to it, I have actually acquired the “satisfyingly sour” taste that Sally Fallon described (and I scoffed at.)

    All said, it takes longer to type up the directions than it does to make it. So give it a try!

    Nice to “meet” you and keep up the good work!

    Blessings,
    melanie

    PS I’m actually writing a book on Home Stewardship and agree with many of your sentiments. I’m sure I’ll be in touch if I actually complete it…

    1. Melanie,
      Best friends? You betcha! 😉

      I have not done milk kefir yet, partly b/c milk is more expensive than water, and partly b/c I can’t get one more thing I have to feed right now or I’ll kill something! 😉 Maybe someday…we LOVE our yogurt though.

      nice to meet you, too – just don’t write the book before me, okay? 😉 Katie

  29. We gave up soda a few years back and gave up juice a few months ago so we just drink milk and water (oh, and a cup of decaf coffee in the morning. I’m still working on that one!). I’ve tried raw milk kefir (tangy!), but I’ve never had water kefir. I’ve been hearing a lot about it lately but it always seemed like it was a healthy substitute for soda so I didn’t look into it that much. If we don’t drink soda is water kefir still something we should consider? Or would milk kefir be better?

    1. Michelle,
      They both have probiotics, and although I think milk kefir may have more strains (not positive, though!) really I’d go with whichever you prefer drinking. Water kefir really doesn’t taste like soda at all, in my opinion! It’s an interesting thing to try!
      🙂 Katie

  30. I tried out the water kefir from CFH. It was pretty interesting and my two year old loved it. I accidentally spilled some in the fridge and my hubby complained of the smell for weeks. It is strong smelling stuff. I have dried my grains back out for a little while until I am ready to get going again. One time, I used coconut sugar instead of evaporated cane sugar and boy howdy! Those little grains fermented like crazy. That was one puckery batch, VERY quickly. I didn’t like the batch I tried with molasses though. I think I like the lemonade flavor best. Nix on the vanilla cream soda version. I’ll definitely have to try some of the fruits next time because I never could get it to fizz much. Maybe because I put it straight into the fridge after flavoring…
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..The lone banana… =-.

  31. Have you ever ventured into making/learning about kombucha? I’d love to hear your take on it! Thanks 🙂

    1. Theresa,
      I actually have a SCOBY for kombucha, but I haven’t made it yet (3 mos. later). I know it’s not even that hard, but it’s just not high on my priority list. Sounds like it’s about equal to water kefir as far as health benefits. I’m not much help – but someday!
      🙂 Katie

  32. Oops…I meant to explain that I leave the grains behind when I pour it off.
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..I was supposed to be writing a novel this month… =-.

  33. Whenever I try an experiment, or want to flavor my kefir, I always do it under secondary fermentation. I make the water, then pour it off into a second jar (old Grolsch bottles are perfect for making soda or mason jars will do). Then I add my extras (apple juice concentrate, etc.) You actually increase the B vitamins and a few other extras when you do secondary fermentation AND you won’t kill your little guys if your expermiment goes wrong. 🙂 I let the bottles/jars sit out for another day or too (until they really fizz when I open the jar), then I move them to the fridge. Yummy!

  34. Thanks for the tips, I can’t wait to try this. As soon as we have a little extra in the budget I’m going to get some stuff from CFH, kefir is on the list- DH loves soda.
    .-= Shelley´s last blog ..Soaked Pie Crust recipe =-.

  35. I read a few foodie blogs and looking up what kefir is has been on my list for a while. Thanks for the info and stories. I’m interested in how my husband will react. He usually tries my recipes out of pity because I spend a lot of time researching/making them. I’m curious though because he likes homemade lemonade but not homemade rootbeer.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..From Milk to Greek Yogurt to Frozen Yogurt =-.

    1. Kristin,
      Glad I could help check an item off your list! 🙂 Just and FYI: kefir is usually for dairy, a fermented beverage that starts with milk. This “water kefir” is wholly different in flavor, only the same in the process. Regular kefir, if I understand it, will taste a bit like drinkable yogurt. I checked out your blog – very cool stuff!
      Katie

  36. Andrea,

    You are too cute! I live right across that state from you and have family in Troy, so you never know – I might come and snatch some mint someday! I have already decided I’m growing herbs next year, and now I know what to do with mint, so I’m adding it to the list. I am loving that I can freeze ginger, too. Totally trying it. May I print this recipe next week when I post on “how to make kefir”?
    Thanks!!!! Katie

    1. Yes, you may definitely use the recipe. And I’m serious about the plants – they do grow like crazy, so I have plenty! Troy isn’t too far from me. The Whole Foods I got to is in Troy, so I’m over there about once a month or so.

      This is off topic, but I have a funny story about the frozen ginger. My son wanted to make smoothies one day, and I always keep bananas in the freezer for that purpose. Well, it was his first time and I was giving him directions, but I wasn’t in the room with him. Instead of using the bananas, he used my frozen ginger! Nobody knew it until they went to drink the smoothies – it was pretty hilarious!

      ~Andrea
      .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Cultures for Health Kitchen Stewardship Giveaway =-.

  37. Alison,

    I’m a newbie too, but I can sure try to help you troubleshoot.

    First, do you have city water? The water has to be non-chlorinated, so you need to set it out overnight to let the chlorine evaporate.

    Was your sugar dissolved completely?

    Beyond that, I can’t fathom what could have gone wrong. I use 1/4 cup sugar, but I wouldn’t think that would make a difference. I think there were some special “first time” instructions with mine, maybe allowing them to culture longer – but I don’t have them with me right now to doublecheck for you. If you got them from Cultures for Health, Julie is fantastic at answering questions.

    I hope you can figure it out!
    Best, Katie

  38. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    Allison, you have to follow the directions for rehydrating the grains before you make the kefir soda.

    I’m sure they’re still fine, though.

    Kelly
    .-= Kelly the Kitchen Kop´s last blog ..Julia Child – Cute Clips & Quotes =-.

  39. Kelly the Kitchen Kop

    In my post about kefir soda pop last Friday I share my super simple recipe that has 1 part juice to 2 parts kefir water. This I feel really good about. Many kids get full strength juice *daily*, mine get a 1/3 strength juice with much more of this probiotic beverage a couple times a *week*.

    Jo-Lynne, if you love coke but aren’t drinking it since you know how rotten it is for you, give it time. Soon you’ll try kefir soda and think, “Wow, that’s really good.” You just have to give your palette time to recover, and then anything a little sweet, along with that fizz, tastes good!

    Kelly
    .-= Kelly the Kitchen Kop´s last blog ..Julia Child – Cute Clips & Quotes =-.

  40. My husband just tried the water kefir that I made 2 days ago, and he said he really likes it! Yay! I only had white sugar when I made this, but I usually use sucanat. Here is what I used:

    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tsp blackstrap molasses
    2 TB raisins
    2 TB ginger, chopped into chunks
    1/2 lemon, cut into chunks (I took the rind off because it wasn’t organic)
    4 apple mint leaves

    My dad used to buy Canada Dry ginger ale when I was a kid, and he used to let me have sips sometimes. That is what this reminded me of, but less sweet. It was actually the best yet.

    If you ever get a really good deal on lemons, you could freeze the lemon chunks. I will be reusing my lemon chunks in my water today. I’m sure there is some nutritional value left, plus their contact with the water kefir probably adds a bit of nutrition.

    If you ever find fresh ginger, it freezes well too. I get it at a fruit & vegetable market near us.

    I think the ginger and the mint leaves make a huge difference in the water kefir. I made it without both the first few times, and it was so-so. My husband doesn’t really like ginger, but he really likes the water kefir with ginger.

    Mint is really, really easy to grow if you garden and have space for it (it’s actually kind of invasive, but I love it). You should be able to grow it indoors too. If you’re ever in the Detroit area, let me know and I’ll give you some plants. I have peppermint, apple mint, and chocolate mint. It grows like crazy! I used to have orange mint, but I think that got booted out by the others.

    ~Andrea
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Cultures for Health Kitchen Stewardship Giveaway =-.

  41. Perfect timing! I just got some Kefir grains in the mail thinking I could get my dad to stop drinking soda, but they aren’t working for me. I took them straight out of the little baggie(they looked like they had been dried) put them in a quart jar with 1/3 cup of sugar, covered loosely with a towel, and left it in the pantry for a couple of days. Nothing. Just sugar water. Tried it again. Nothing. Rinsed them off, tried it again, but covered tightly with a lid and still nothing!

    What could I be doing wrong!

    1. Hello! You just need to add some sort of dried fruit to what your doing. (dried apricots are wonderful) The little buggers need the fruit sugar as well. Is your water filtered at all? Because they LOVE the minerals in water. If it is you can add minerals through a (boiled) egg shell and some kind of sea vegetable. ( I prefer Kombu) I usually add a little ginger root for zing. I don’t add the lemon generally. And my sugar of choice is sucanat.
      LMK if I can help you further.

  42. I have started to experiment with Kefir. I agree with you on the sugar. I would like to know how much is left; because that is one ingredient I try hard to leave out. The first batch I used sugar after fermenting 2 days I removed the grains and transferred it into several mason jars and added different fruits. I used frozen fruit. (I like strawberry/raspberry the best and then blackberry second.) It set out on the counter to ferment one more day. It still tasted sugary but after a few days in the frig it was really good! I just made a batch with rapadura. I read somewhere that rapadura makes more carbonation. That is the truth. It has a different taste too. It is much less sweet. I think for myself I feel more comfortable drinking it knowing that I am not drinking refined sugar, but if I plan on serving it to anyone else the first version would be more accepted. It is more like a combination of soda and kool-aid.

    1. Megan,
      Thanks for the fruit tips; I haven’t tried real fruit yet. Another commenter has the scoop on how much sugar is left – only 20%! I feel better about that.
      Katie

  43. Musings of a Housewife

    Wow. Interesting. And um. I’ll stick with water, thankyouverymuch. 🙂 As much as I love Coke, I love COKE. Not any sort of substitute (I have sympathy for your hubby. 🙂 ) So I opt to go without.

    I do buy the Ke-FEAR from the grocery store that is similar to yogurt. We make smoothies with it. YUM.
    .-= Musings of a Housewife´s last blog ..I know, I know, it’s not TECHNICALLY fall yet. =-.

  44. I just discovered your blog last week and am so enjoying reading through your posts! I do a lot of the same things you do, or I at least try to. 🙂

    I converted milk kefir grains for my water kefir without problems. They don’t grow, though, so I keep them in the fridge in a little water kefir when I’m not making it.

    We’re mixed over here as far as taste. After some experimentation, I made a batch that my husband liked, but he still has a hard time giving up soda (diet, no less). My oldest son would drink the entire thing, but he’ll eat or drink anything. I like it and my other three children will tolerate it.

    I’m no expert, but we’ve had a similar experience. I think the taste grows on you, though.

    Thanks for all of your research and tips – I love your blog!

    ~Andrea
    .-= Andrea´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday – September 14 =-.

    1. Andrea,
      Welcome to KS! I’m pleased to have you visit…but you can’t leave me hanging like that! 😉 You must share how you flavored the water kefir that your husband liked/tolerated. I just left my most recent batch plain and put a splash of blueberry pomegranate juice in it. I never would have gotten it, but it was on clearance. I need to find another option that I can buy/make regularly, though.
      Blessings,
      Katie

      1. I was afraid you would ask me that! 🙂 I started to type out my “recipe” yesterday and realized that I don’t remember exactly what I put in it. I usually take notes of my “experiments,” but I can’t find my water kefir notes and I haven’t made it in a while.

        I was actually going to get back to making it this week, so I’ll let you know for sure after I make a batch. This is what I think I put in it though:

        * 1/3 cup sugar
        * 1/2 lemon (peeled if not organic, cut into chunks)
        * 2 TB raisins (that was the only dried fruit I had)
        * about 2-4 TB chopped fresh ginger (not exactly sure of amount)
        * about 4 fresh apple mint leaves (from my garden)

        I know you’re supposed to use 1/2 cup sugar, but I use converted milk kefir grains and they make more alcohol than the water kefir grains already. It seems to turn out fine with 1/3 cup. Like I said, I’m no expert though. I just like to experiment!

        About the sugar, according to Cultures for Health (and other sources I have seen), about 80% of the sugar is consumed by the kefir grains, and the remaining 20% is in the form of fructose, which is a single-sugar (supposedly digests better).

        If you use 1/2 cup sugar, you would end up with about 4.8 tsp of fructose in the entire batch, or about 20.16 grams. I’ll let you do the math to figure out how much that is per serving since I don’t know the size of your servings.

        I tried to go to the USDA Nutrient Database to compare that amount of sugar to fruits, but the page isn’t loading right now.

        I didn’t mean to hijack your comment section! I’m starting a batch of water kefir using the above recipe today, so I’ll let you know how it comes out.

        1. Andrea,
          Thank you! The “hijacking” is much appreciated. Your recipe is similar to one I wanted to try, but mint leaves and fresh ginger aren’t staples around here, and I didn’t want to waste a whole lemon. I just tried a few Tbs of lemon juice and some raisins. I should have looked up the sugar question myself at CFH, I guess! I updated my post with your info; thank you very much!!
          Katie

    2. Hi there, just thought I’d pass along a couple of recipes that my hubby & kids have liked….
      To 1 quart kefired water….. Add:
      1. Dried/fresh cherries (5??). & 1tsp. Vanilla
      This flavour has been described to be like Dr.Pepper
      2. Dried or fresh pineapple (about a 1/4c)… This gets really fizzy… Tastes like a light beer to me.
      3. We found a bottle of Torani, Rootbeer syrup @ Home Sense here in BC. Add about a 1/8c.
      4. Any fresh of frozen berries…good, but then adding a tsp. of vanilla gives it a little kick.
      We’ve been doing water kefir now for about 6months, and been loving it.
      Thanks for your blog, I love seeing what other people out there have going on!

  45. I can’t wait to try this. I have cut soda out of my diet a few months back but do drink regular carbonated water. Making my own sounds good!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Tempt My Tummy – No Cook Peach Ice Cream =-.

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