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How to Make Water Kefir: In 4 easy steps!

Sweet, fizzy and probiotic-rich, this refreshing and energizing beverage is the perfect way to kick start your day.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Fermenting time 3 d
Total Time 3 d 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • a mason jar or wide mouth container to hold your kefir grains
  • Strainer
  • Wooden spoon
  • Kitchen towel
  • Glass bottles


  • 4 cups chlorine-free water
  • 1/4 cup plain white sugar
  • 2 tbsp water kefir grains
  • a few raisins, a date, or a dash of sea salt (optional). If your grains fail to reproduce, they may need additional nutrition. Try adding a few of these optional ingredients.


  • Order water kefir grains
    Find a source of water kefir grains. I bought mine online from Happy Gut.
  • Feed Your Grains
    Mix 4 cups of chlorine-free, warm water with ¼ cup of sugar. Stir to ensure the sugar dissolves. Then add 2 tbsp of water kefir grains. Cover with a kitchen cloth (so the grains can still breathe) and let sit for a day or two.
    Water kefir prefers temperatures of 68-78°F (20-26°C). I place my kefir in the oven with the light on during the winter to keep it at optimal temperature. 
  • Spice it up!
    Your water kefir should have fermented by now. Taste it and if it is overly sweet, it may not be ready. Leave it for another day and taste it again. It should still be sweet but with a slight tang. However, the longer you leave it sit, the tangier it will become as the kefir consumes more of the sugar.
    Once you are satisfied with the taste, filter your water kefir grains and add 1/4 cup of your favourite flavourings to the liquid. Our hands-down favourite is 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with a teaspoon of fresh ginger.
    Bottle and let sit for another day or two. You'll notice that your kefir will start bubbling. The bacteria and yeast are converting some of the sugar into carbon dioxide and as it continues to ferment, more and more gas and pressure are created. Note: The tighter you place the lid, the more carbonation. But you do not want your kefir to explode. It is recommended to burp (opening the bottle to release pressure) once a day unless the temperatures are over 75°F/24°C. Then you may have to burp your bottles more frequently. Once refrigerated, you only have to burp your kefir weekly.
  • Repeat
    You will need to keep feeding your water kefir grains every day. If left longer than 72 hours, your grains can starve and may disappear. If you want to take a break from feeding them, store them in the fridge in sugar water and change it out every 7 days to keep them fresh.


  • You will need 2 tablespoons of water kefir grains to ferment 4 cups of water kefir. You may scale the ratio depending on what size batch of water kefir you want to make. 
  • It is not recommended to use chlorinated, filtered, or bottled water. Without enough minerals, your kefir grains could die. Instead, use mineral-rich tap or well water, which is nourishing to the water kefir grains. If your water isn't rich in minerals, try adding a couple of raisins, molasses, or a dash of sea salt to your kefir. 
  • I use plain, white sugar. However, you can also try sugars with higher mineral content such as rapadura, piloncillo or turbinado, which will help the grains reproduce. You can also use molasses but avoid raw honey. Raw honey has its own bacteria that can compete with water kefir grains. For more information on kefir and sugar, check out this post from Cultures for Health.
Keyword fermented, water kefir