Just like the milk kefir, the water kefir is a natural probiotic, composed of
The water kefir grains are translucent and angular, and are formed as a result
of the binding of polysaccharides by glucose.
It is about a symbiosis between lactobacilli and yeasts that are present in
the mother culture.
If the conditions are optimal, the water kefir grains are constantly
For its development, this type of kefir needs a base composed of: kefir fruit
Grains, still water, sugar, dried fruits (usually figs) and acid fresh fruit (lemon).
The result of the fermentation is a sparkling and refreshing drink, whose
texture is similar to those of a soda; its taste is neutral and highly appreciated.What we obtain is a high quality probiotic, a real concentration of bacteria and yeast beneficial for our health.
The drink is slightly alcoholic and contains carbon dioxide, which is actually
what makes it fizzy. The alcohol degree is directly dependent on the fermentation time and also on the ingredients that are added into the water.
Number of kilocalories per 100 grams of water kefir: about 20 kcal.
Source: "The probiotic miracle", Claire Pinson, IDEO editions 2012, p.54
History of Water Kefir
The name kefir would be derived from the Turkish word
keif and would mean well-being sensation.
No one knows exactly where the kefir appeared for the first time, but it is
generally accepted that it would be a secular tradition whose origins are in the North Caucasus.
It is assumed that the appearance of the kefir dates back to the days when the
nomads were transporting milk in skin bags; it is in these same bags that had held the grains fermentation, a process that turned the milk into a thick drink and gave it at the same time a
For the fruit kefir, also known as water kefir, it also could
be a way to keep a fruity drink for a few days, avoiding it to turn into something toxic.
Benefits of Water Kefir
Before consuming beverages obtained from water kefir grains and especially in
case of health problems, we strongly recommend our users to see a doctor, as only a doctor is certified to prescribe a treatment. The consumption of beverages obtained from water kefir
grains can in no way replace the treatment, or if so, the user does this at his own risk and peril.
The water kefir shouldn’t be considered as being
a miracle product, but it could have its role to play in the internal body rebalancing.
Many modern diseases are the result of an unbalanced diet, intestinal disorders, vitamin deficiency, etc. This gives quite often nutritional deficiencies, stress, tension, etc. Most of these
inconveniences are solved once the body balance is restored, and this is where the water kefir could successfully act.
Being a natural probiotic, the
water kefir would be part of so-called functional foods; these are foods that, in addition to their nutritional function, provide
physiological benefits, while helping to reduce the risk of diseases and take care of health.
Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle causes often imbalances of any kind. We
eat too much, sometimes with a few variety of food and at irregular intervals, we lead a hectic life, have sometimes a stressful job... This is where water kefir could act: consumed on a
regular basis, the water kefir beverage helps to restore order in the body.
Water kefir beverage acts in a soothing, revitalizing and stimulating way. It
gives a well-being sensation. Moreover, the word kefir literally means wellness sensation.
The balanced composition of the water kefir would strengthen the immune system
(thus for the seniors, it would also be a great way to revitalize). On a regular basis consumption, it would have positives effects on the intestinal disorders and would help to restore the
intestinal flora. The water kefir beverage is also easily digestible and while transiting the body, it would clean and purify the intestines.
Equipment needed to prepare Water Kefir
Nothing is easier to prepare in a trice, at home, the water kefir beverage!
Here are the ingredients that you will need:
water kefir grains (you will need about 50 grams of water kefir grains per 1
liter of water);
bottled still water (with filtered tap water it works too);
lemon, preferably not treated; if the lemon is treated, the skin has to be
dried figs without preservatives.
Regarding the equipment, you will need the followings:
a non-metallic container: any glass will do (a canning jar for e.g.);
a muslin in order to cover the jar, using an elastic;
a fine mesh plastic strainer and
a small plastic spoon.
Together with your order you will receive the basic recipe for the water
kefir. You can also find the basic water kefir recipe in our dedicated recipes section.
Hygiene compliance Water Kefir
Hygiene compliance is essential while preparing kefir (water kefir, milk
kefir) and kombucha beverages; therefore, it is very important to always pay attention to hygiene when it comes to kefir.
If you notice any unusual odors and/or colors, or if mold appears on your
kefir grains, you must not drink the beverage that you obtained. The water kefirthat gives off astrange smellis usuallygrayorbrown.
Healthy kefir grains have naturally a slightly acidic smell, no
Always use cooking tools easy to maintain (glass jar, fine mesh plastic
strainer, small plastic spoon).
In order to wash the cooking tools, there is no need to sterilize them; by
cons, always use hot water and dish detergent preferably made of natural products, and take care not to burn yourself when doing this.
For the jar, you can use glass jars for vegetables for e.g., that you can
easily find on the market. You must carefully clean the jar before use, as described here.
Mesh plastic strainers and plastic little spoons being affordable, the best is
to buy them new and used them only for your probiotic cultures.
Once kitchen tools cleaned as described, you have to let them cool completely,
as kefir grains can’t withstand high temperatures. Only after that you can start a new culture.
Water Kefir Tips and Tricks
In order to successfully make water kefir beverages, here are some helpful
avoid the use of metal when handling water kefir grains; in fact, metal ions distort the bacilli contained in the kefir;
water kefir grains are not to be eaten: they serve only to seed your drink;
always respect the recommended dosage: about 50 grams of water kefir grains per 1 liter of water. If the grains grow too much, simply divide
them to always keep this proportion. Otherwise, the beverage could be very acid, undrinkable too;
bottled still water or filteredtap waterusingBrita-type pitchers or devices;
hygiene compliance is essential: the container must be thoroughly washed after each culture. Water kefir grains must be
rinsed aftereach culturein
coldwater,and immediately put backin water;
if waste appears duringthe
preparation(figs, fresh fruit, etc.),while rinsing the
water kefir grains it accumulates inthe hollow ofthe strainer: all you
have to do isgentlyrecover the water kefir grains and throwall that you will find inthe hollow of thestrainer,even if it
meanssacrificingsomekefir «crystals »;
if you keep the beveragein the refrigerator,
please pay attention to the gas excessthat can cause the explosion of the container,
especiallyif it is aboutsealed, glass bottles; you must leave the gas excess occasionallyescape;
storing the beveragein the
refrigeratorslows down the fermentation;
some mixtures (fruits,etc.)may eventuallydamage the water kefir grains and also slow
downtheir development:in this case,it’s always betterto
keepaside a portionof the grains (for that, please go
toHow to store the grainschapter) and devoteonly a
part of the grains to the exotic mixtures;
dry fruits with preservatives should be avoided;
in order to enjoy all its benefits,the beverage should
be preparedas and whenyou need itandconsumed
Young water kefir (fermented for 24 h) is slightly
laxative and mature kefir (fermented for 48 h) slightly
How to store water kefir grains?
If you take good care of them, the water kefir grains
will grow indefinitely.
What to do when we want to keep the grains when we have too
much of them, or just during our holidays?
The water kefir grains can be put “on a hold” in
the refrigerator crisper compartment, in a non-metallic container, into some sugared water in the same proportion as for the basic recipe: about 50
grams of water kefir grains per 1 liter of water. The water should be in a sufficient amount, in order to cover all the grains. In the meantime, make sure to
leave them some space so they can have enough air.
You can also dry the grains on a clean linen in the open air, simply
by covering them with a muslin so that dust doesn’t penetrate. This way, you can store them in your kitchen cabinet, in a jar covered with a muslin retained by an elastic. In order to later
reactivate the dried water kefir grains, you will have to gradually soak them for 3-4 days in sugared lukewarm water (do not use hot water).The water must be changed gradually,
as and when the reactivated grains increase in volume.
It is also possible
to freeze the water kefir grains and then let them thaw in the open air.
Please notice that the dried milk kefir grains and the thawed ones usually
take longer to reactivate, so you have to be patient.
Frequently Asked Questions about Water Kefir
How to prepare water kefir beverage?
The basic recipe for preparing the water kefir drink is available in the Recipes section of the site or simply by clicking here.
A detailed user guide will be attached to your order.
Sugar or honey for water kefir?
It is rather the use of sugar that is recommended for the preparation of water kefir
beverages (white crystal sugar, cane sugar, rapadura sugar, etc.).
Regarding the use of the honey, as it is a bactericide, it could introduce compositional changes in the beverage that you obtain, so it should be avoid while preparing water
My water kefir grains seem weakened
If water kefir grains appear to be weakened and no longer reproduce, do not hesitate to use
another type of still water (for example, use bottled water instead of filtered tap water) or another type of sugar (use organic sugar instead of crystal sugar, chemically
Another solution is possible: put in the water kefir preparation an egg shell (preferably organic) previously boiled and cooled.The grains will find this
way the calcium they sometimes need.
You can also put the grains in the refrigerator, in some sweet water.
How to store water kefir grains?
If you want to take a break in the preparation of water kefir drinks, the grains can be kept
in a non-metallic container in the crisper of the fridge, in some sweet water, and in a sufficient amount in order for the grains to be covered.
As the grains needs to be fed, do not forget to rinse them from time to time and put them back in sweet water.
You can also freeze the grains or dry them.
For more details please feel free to take a look on our dedicated section, Grains conservation.
Can water kefir grains be eaten?
Water kefir grains are in not to be eaten: they must only be used in order to sow your
Bacteriological analysis for the water kefir
Please notice that the bacteriological analysis results are only available in French. Thank
you for your understanding.