In the next two minutes you’re going to learn how to make water kefir. It’s an astonishingly simple, uniquely delicious drink for building Superhero health. The ingredients need to be organic, and yet the total cost is still pennies per day. How’s that for some magic math? πŸ™‚

Lauren Lionheart’s Tried & True
Guaranteed Awesome
Water Kefir Recipe

  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup water kefir crystals
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 8 organic raisins
  • slice of lemon or lime, with some pith
  • pinch baking soda
  • purified water, warmed to body temperature (distilled & tap water WON’T work)

You can start with 1/2 cup and it will quickly double to 1 cup of crystals. You can share them, eat them, or make a new jar and experiment with recipes. There are TONS of kefir varieties to be created.

Have some first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for maximum results. (It has a better chance of quickly gettin’ where it needs to go. Ya know?) There is no recommended dosage, just follow what your body is asking for. Just want one glass today? Great! Three glasses tomorrow? Fantastic! Let that beautiful body of yours be your guide.

Tools You Need

  • wooden spoon – Metal tools are a no-no due to acidic reactivity. Wood can be sterilized by boiling and doesn’t introduce plastic into the delicate mix.
  • 1 quart (32 oz.) glass jar like Ball or Mason. No lid required.
  • paper towels
  • rubber band

Water Kefir Tips

  • Water Kefir Crystals: Buy water kefir crystals – also called tibiscos or Japanese water crystals – from a good healthy batch. People frequently give away their extra crystals, so connect with someone locally if you can. Etsy is another great option.
  • Water: Distilled water & tap water WON’T work. Other purified types should be fine. I have found 7pH purified from my water ionizer is ideal.
  • Fermentation Time: For your first few batches, taste the water kefir after 24 hours, then every 12 hours after that. If it’s too sweet, let it ferment longer and the remaining sugar will be converted to beneficial acids. If it’s too tart, just dilute with water.
  • Organic Sugar: Turbinado, Rapidura, sucanat, muscovado, or evaporated cane juice/white sugar are good. (Turbinado is easiest to measure!) The darker the sugar, the more complex the taste of the kefir. If you use white sugar, add a drizzle of unsulphured molasses to give your kefir the nutrients it needs to thrive. Artificial sweeteners and honey DON’T work.
  • Organic Dried Fruit: Raisins work really well, are crazy cheap, and available everywhere. Any organic, unsulphured, no sugar added dried fruit – like figs or dates – should be fine. I’ve used fresh fruit with pretty good results, too.
  • Organic Lemon/Lime: This acts as a pH regulator so your water kefir doesn’t get wildly acidic. How big a slice should you use? You have lots of wiggle room so have fun experimenting with amounts πŸ™‚
  • Calcium Supplement: Baking soda gives kefir the calcium it loves. Note: If you live in a hard water area and are using purified tap water, your kefir is probably getting enough calcium. Hard water contains higher than usual concentrations of calcium and other alkaline minerals.

Did you find our Water Kefir Tips helpful? Do you have water kefir questions? Leave a comment now, because I want to hear from you!

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16 comments


  1. 05/28/11 by Cindy

    Hi, I have water kefir grains that i have kept in the fridge for approx. 5 or more months and was wondering if they would still be ok to use again? It was kept in fermented water that i made and didn’t use. I appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

  2. 08/08/11 by Amanda Rose

    I don't know what it is about the raisins and figs, but the grains do love them. πŸ™‚
    My recent post Water Kefir Grains

  3. 08/12/11 by Judith

    Can you eat the actual Kefir grains if you wanted to?

    • 08/15/11 by Lauren Lionheart

      Absolutely, Judith. That’s what I did with my extra grains during the first few months of my food-based healing protocol. They seemed to speed the healing process along and really strengthen my digestive system. As my body healed, it didn’t want/need them anymore so sharing the extra grains was the next step.
      I’m curious what experiences others have with eating water kefir grains. Anyone want to comment about that?

  4. 01/01/12 by Sheila

    I’ve been making water kefir for about 9 month now and have about 1 cup of grains. As I look at the video’s I realize something is wrong with my grains.

    The kefir is fine but the grains are tiny and don’t reproduce.

    I used raw honey for awhile, bur have now started using turbanado sugar hoping to inspire growth.

    I use a fine cloth to strain the grains, well water, never any metal. I don’t rinse the grains, I flip them directly into the next batch. I make a gallon at a time waiting 3 to 5 days.

    What can I do to fix this? I want to share with others.

    • 01/01/12 by Lauren Lionheart

      Since honey is antibacterial and water kefir grains are a combination of yeast + bacteria, honey will weaken and eventually kill the grains. That’s probably your culprit! After 9 months of that you’re probably going to have to toss that batch and start with fresh grains. (Wow, today is the New Year. Out with the old, right?) Keep the new grains on sugar and dried fruit and you will soon have flourishing grains with plenty to share. Good luck and high five for sharing, Sheila! πŸ™‚

  5. 01/06/12 by Damon

    Hi, that was a short and sweet video on how to make kefir. A little too sweet! The resulting water kefir is not to may taste. Should the resulting water kefir be sweet tasting? Am I doing something wrong? Is there a way to make a non-sweet – ie – tart/sour only – water kefir? Thanks for any tips…

    • 01/10/12 by Lauren Lionheart

      Hey Damon, if the kefir is too sweet for your tastes, let it ferment longer and the remaining sugar will be converted to beneficial acids. If it ferments too long and gets too tart, just dilute with water. It’s a very flexible recipe πŸ™‚

  6. 01/17/12 by Carlos

    Quick question.. once ready.. can I add water kefir to say Orange or Grape Juice to make my own probiotic “drink”? If so, how long would it last in the fridge? I am thinking pouring out 1 cup of juice and replacing it with 1 cup of kefir. Thanks!

    • 01/19/12 by Lauren Lionheart

      Yes you can, Carlos! There’s enough probiotic goodness in the first fermentation of water kefir to feed on the sugars in fruit juices that you add to the second fermentation. Try the 1:1 ratio you’re thinking about and then play around with the ratio to make your taste buds happy. Enjoy!

  7. 05/22/12 by Jennifer

    I’m new to this and was wondering can I make water kefir from grains formerly used in raw milk or other base? My son is lactose intolerant and although I’ve heard he could drink raw milk kefir I worry I might really upset his system and would rather start with water.

    • 05/29/12 by Lauren Lionheart

      Hi Jennifer. Water kefir and milk kefir are two different bacteria + yeast cultures so you can’t convert one type to the other. You’ll have to get some separate water kefir grains toο»Ώ brew both. I hope you and your son enjoy your drinks, and thanks for watching πŸ™‚

  8. 06/19/12 by Gina

    I made some water kefir and I noticed that a fly got in it and it was dead floating in it. It may have been in there overnight but not longer than that. I washed the kefir crystals immediately and soaked them in baking soda for 2 hours. Are they ruined? Thank you so much. I really look forward to hearing from you soon as the kefir is ready today to be strained and brewed again! I appreciate it!

    • 06/19/12 by Lauren Lionheart

      Hi Gina, I’ve got my thoughts on the status of your kefir crystals, but this will still be an experiment. I’ve heard stories of water kefir crystals that get all sorts of non-sterile stuff mixed in, and yet a lot of times they bounce right back. I think your kefir will do the same.

      When you think of the powerful healing properties of this drink – like it’s ability to transform a toxic digestive system – it makes sense that kefir has the ability to be “contaminated” with other bacteria and yet bring everything back into balance and then keep flourishing. That seems to be its main function!

      If it were my kefir, I would keep brewing and watch for any changes. After a week, if things are seriously different, toss it. Otherwise, enjoy πŸ™‚

  9. 08/28/12 by Snowgirl

    Lauren,

    I am new to water kefir and was told the ratio should be 1:1. In other words, one tablespoon kefir to one tablespoon sugar. That seems like so much sugar to me. You seem to use more kefir grains and less suger…which I like. Does it really have to be a 1:1 ratio ? Also, in trying to keep our bodies more alkaline, is kefir too acidic to be drinking alot of? Thanks so much for your help!

    • 08/28/12 by Lauren Lionheart

      Hey Snowgirl, I’ve never come across the 1:1 ratio recipe for water kefir, but I know from experience that feeding the kefir grains much more sugar than the recipe above will make them grow FAST and PROLIFICALLY! So if your goal is to get the kefir grains reproducing quickly – or perhaps to get a batch of water kefir brewed in under 24 hours – then 1:1 would probably be a great recipe to try. If you do experiment with it, I’d love to hear about your results!

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