I’ve been making fizzy water kefir for about three years now. My kids love having a “soda” drink and my husband replaces his love of soda for the healthy kind. He likes a bit more juice added into his for a natural sweetness. While both are essentially straight sugar carbs, sodas have high fructose corn syrup added. His consumption level of the carb sugars is also much lower, with 1-2 Tablespoons of fruit juice as opposed to 12 ounces of soda.
From a gallon glass jar with about 1.5 inches thick of kefir grains, I can bottle about 4-5 Grolsch resealable bottles. These specific bottles work really well for fermented drinks because of the tight sealing ring and clamp, which traps the second fermenting process from the added fruit juice sugars and turns it fizzy. If you don’t like fizz, then just keep it in any jar (screw lids still leak air so it won’t build up carbonated pressure) and move it to the fridge. We don’t drink that beer, so we went to a local liquor store and the nice man let us pay the refund amount :)
Drinking water kefir will change your gut slowly, over time. My hubby has not given up his (bad) eating habits just yet, but has switched from store bought soda to fruit juice water kefir soda. He drinks at least one kefir soda a day and has been for over a month. Then, it happened…
“I think all the probiotics in the kefir have taken over my gut. Whenever I eat something sugary, it revolts.” Yup. He is not alone; my stomach “went” before, responding the same way to the influx of good cultures. I’ve lost and kept off 5 pounds just from that one change in a month. The “revolt” is when the good bacteria “attack” the incoming bad (sugar) and win!
Just by making the one change in his diet- adding an excellent source of live, active cultures, he made a slow but steady step to a healthier gut and weight loss. Did I need to add waaaay more juice into his kefir to “motivate” the change in the beginning? Yes, but it was worth it! I think I even saw a smile on his face at the thought of losing weight from the change…
…he even asked for bone broth the next morning…He knows the winning combinations for speedy weight loss!
Fizzy Water Kefir, Fruit Juice Sweetened
- You need to start with fresh grains as it is something you can’t make on your own. Cultures For Health has quality products and we purchased our WK (water kefir) grains over a year ago and they have multiplied quite a bit and are still going strong. They are very resilient to mistakes as well (but they are kind of medium to high maintenance in larger batches). Stick with glass, silicone, wood, or plastic for contact with the WK grains.
- WF “feeds” off sugar. Unrefined sugar works best because of the minerals present in the sugar source. I’ve used refined sugar before and over time, the grains become mushy and not distinct blobs like in the photo above. Occasionally, you can drip some molasses into the jar for different minerals (that is why the picture on the right is darker liquid). For every 1/4 cup of WK grains, use 1/4 cup sugar for a 1:1 ratio. As your WK grains multiply, keep the 1:1 ratio.
- Include a small amount of dried fruit in with the sugar water during the first ferment. A few organic raisins or one organic date provide enough additional sugar. One thin slice of organic lemon also helps balance out minerals and nutrients. I will alternate between the two choices each batch.
- Purified, well, or non-chlorinated water works best because the grains need minerals; chemicals block and kill the grains. Using filtered water or letting water sit out overnight is the free option I use. Add a pinch of baking soda and crushed, dried eggshell to the water to add or replace minerals not in the water. Use 4 cups of water in a half gallon glass jar for 1/4 cup of WK grains. As the grains multiply, you can use a bigger jar or separate out 1/4 cup portions into other glass jars.
- Strain out WK grains using a mesh strainer. I place the strainer onto a large bowl or large measuring cup and pour about half of the liquid out, stopping when the grains flow out with the liquid. Then, I place the strainer onto the top, holding it in place as I pour the rest of the liquid into the larger bowl. Take out any puffy, eaten fruit or the lemon slice and discard. Dates tend to flake and leave tiny peels throughout the liquid. I take out what I can but don’t bother getting it all out after I’ve strained the liquid.
2. At this point, you can bottle the first ferment liquid into sealed bottles or work with the grains first. I usually measure out my sugar, pinch of baking soda, and pinch of cooked eggshell directly onto the grains, letting the slow influx of water gently mix it together; the grains are very fragile and a quick water flow will break them apart.
3. Loosely cover the sugar water liquid and grains with a fresh linen and rubber band to keep out possible fruit flies. Or, loosely put on a lid. Store the jar in a dark place away from light. Each first ferment should take about 2-3 days. It should be slightly vinegary, slightly sweet to taste. You can go a bit longer of a ferment for a more vinegary taste or slightly less if you want a higher sugar content, which is sweeter.
- You can add a measured amount of 100% juice into the bottle first using a funnel and then add the WK first ferment liquid in after.
2. Cap the bottle and put it in a a warm spot for 12-18 hours or let it ferment a second time in the fridge. Either way, be careful when you open it! Oftentimes, we will open it over the sink with the glass under it.