I love the taste and health benefits of milk kefir, and was instantly intrigued when I learned about water kefir and how easy it is to make. Can’t wait to experiment with other flavors, such as ginger, vanilla, and apricot.
Kefir grains can be purchased online such as through Cultures for Health, or obtained from a trusted source as the grains multiply over time. The initial investment should provide batches of kefir indefinitely if the grains are properly cared for!
4 tablespoons kefir grains
3-4 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
1 lemon, cut into quarters
1 dried fig
stick of cinnamon (optional)
filtered or spring water (non-chlorinated)
glass jar with a wide mouth (I use a 2 L mason jar, filling it halfway)
plastic colander or sieve
bottles with airtight caps (I use a few recycled glass iced tea bottles)
Place the kefir grains, sugar, lemon quarters, fig, and cinnamon stick in the wide mouth glass jar, then pour filtered water to the 1 L mark. Cover the mouth of the jar with a four-layer piece of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Place the glass jar somewhere cool and leave to ferment for about 48 hours.
Pour the entire contents of the jar through the sieve into the bowl pitcher. Discard lemon, and fig (the cinnamon stick can be used for several batches of kefir). Rinse the jar and kefir grains with filtered water and return to the jar. Add the cinnamon stick, a fresh lemon, fig, 3-4 tablespoons sugar, and filtered water to start a new batch if desired*.
Pour the filtered kefir into glass bottles, close, and place in the refrigerator. Do not fill bottles all the way to the top as CO2 will build up inside. Let kefir sit in the fridge another 12-24 hours, then consume within several days. The beverage will develop a natural fizz.
* To take a break from making kefir without sacrificing the grains, place the grains in a small jar with two teaspoons sugar, top with water, and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.