Similar to milk kefir, water kefir is a probiotic drink made with fermented kefir grains, but it's entirely dairy-free. It's flavored with fruit and can even be carbonated (like kombucha) during a second fermentation. Be sure to use water kefir grains and not milk kefir grains.

Source:, June 2018


Recipe Summary test

25 mins
2 days


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 cup water in a small saucepan until hot. Pour into a glass or plastic bowl. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

  • Divide the sugar water between 2 half-gallon jars. Add 3 1/2 cups of room-temperature tap water (65-70 degrees F) to each jar. Add 1/4 cup kefir grains to each jar and stir.

  • Place 1 lemon wedge and 2 tablespoons dried fruit in each jar. Place cheesecloth over each jar and secure with a rubber band.

  • Let the water rest at room temperature out of direct sunlight (65-80 degrees F) until bubbly, 48 to 72 hours. The warmer the temperature, the quicker the water will ferment.

  • Using a nonmetal strainer, strain out the kefir grains and save for making another batch of kefir. Use the water kefir as is or continue onto a second fermentation to add carbonation.

  • To make carbonated water: Divide the water kefir among bottles that have sealable, nonmetal lids. Leave 1 inch of air space at the top of each bottle. Seal the bottles and let rest for another 12 to 24 hours, then transfer to your refrigerator for another 2 to 3 days. You may want to "burp" the water each day to release the pressure, as sometimes the pressure gets to be too great and the water may explode.

Nutrition Facts

61 calories; protein 0.2g; carbohydrates 15.9g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 14.9g; vitamin a iu 0.5IU; vitamin c 1.6mg; folate 0.4mcg; calcium 16mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 5.5mg; potassium 39mg; sodium 7.7mg; added sugar 13g.