Water kefir soda is a fermented drink, that uses tibicos, or water kefir grains – as they are more commonly known, and is most commonly brewed at home. Water kefir grains, are a culture of bacteria and yeasts encapsulated in a specific polysaccharide biofilm created by the bacteria, hence the name grains. Kefir water soda is very simple to brew, and it is very tasty. With certain recipes it can be brewed into a beer.
What Is Water Kefir Soda
Water kefir, also called sugar kefir, is a sweet acidulated drink, a little fizzy, made by fermenting sugars with kefir grains. The kefir grains are placed in sweetened water and let to ferment for 24 to 48 hours. After this the soda obtained can be drunk. The best kefir soda actually can be obtained from the second fermentation, when it gets more fizz, more sugar is fermented, and it gets a better taste in general. Just strain the kefir water, and add some fruits to it or fruit juice, and let it ferment for another day or two. It is the best soda you will ever drink.
The bacteria and yeast in the kefir grains ferment the sugars, getting the needed energy, and they multiply in the water. So when you start the second fermentation you water is full of probiotics.
There are numerous health benefits from drinking kefir soda. We can trace back all of the benefits of water kefir to improving the intestinal flora. By drinking kefir soda we intake numerous strains of probiotics in very large numbers, as we would with a very good probiotic supplement.
There are no side effects of water kefir, if consumed properly. However, in very few cases people reported side effects from overdosing. Read more about water kefir health benefits.
Water kefir grains love sugar, it’s theyr primary food. People have used the most various sugars for growing sugar kefir, simple refined sugar, molasses, Sucanat, rapadura, agave nectar, etc… The best sugar is organic refined sugar, rapadura, and Sucanat. Rapadura and sucanat will produce a stronger taste, which I prsonally love, but not all in my familly does, so I have to use refined cane sugar.
Organic Sucanat, Unrefined Whole Cane Sugar, Fair Trade
Organic whole cane sugar, unrefined. It was not touched by chemicals, and it contains the molasses in their entirety. It is the perfect sweetener, not as strong tasting as pure molasses, but still retaining the nutrients.
Sucanat is not crystallized, so no molasses is removed from the organic sugar cane juice. The juice is simply cooked and dehydrated into whole cane sugar granules
Simple Water Kefir Soda Recipe
- 1 gallon water (de-chlorinated water, and mineralized if possible)
- 1/2 cup of cane sugar
- 2-3 lemon slices
- 1-2 dried, unsulphured figs
- dash of Concentrace, (or half eggshell), or half of teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 8 tablespoons kefir grains
- 1 gallon mason jar, or smaller ones but you have to scale down the measurements
- 1 cup fruit juice, OR 2 cups fresh fruit slices, OR 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 gallon mason jar with airtight lid, or airtight bottles
Dehydrated Water Kefir Grains (Tibicos)
- Have dechlorinated water prepared. To dechlorinate water, simply let it sit for 24-48 hours, until no gas bubbles are visible.
- Faster dechlorination method: boil the water and cool it down. Some cities have water that can’t be dechlorinated. In this case, add a little bit of sodium ascorbate type of vitamin c in the water, and that will help the dechlorination.
- Mix the sugar and a quart water, and boil it for a minute stirring in, until the sugar dissolves.
- Allow the syrup to cool down to room temperature.
- Put the kefir grains in the mason jar, then add the sugar syrup, the lemon slices and the figs, then fill the jar with water.
- Cover with a cheesecloth folded in four, or anything that provides a good breathing, and prevents particle to get into your brew.
- Let it ferment for 24 to 36 hours. If it’s hot, you probably have to remove the grains after 24 hours. If it’s colder, you can let the brew ferment for 36 hours.
- You can drink this water kefir soda, it’s a great drink as it is.
- Time for the second fermentation where you get more fizz and more flavor.
- Pour the soda resulted from you first fermentation in a mason jar with an airtight lid.
- Add apple slices, or strawberry quarters, or crushed raspberries.
- Alternatively you can pour your first fermentation brew into bottles, and add fruit juice, or even sugar syrup.
- Close the airtight cap/lid, so the bubbles from the fermentation do not escape.
- After 24 hours transfer the brew to the fridge. It might be wiser to use bottles for the second fermentation, as it is easier to range in the fridge.
- After 3 days in the fridge, the fizz has fully developed, and you can open the bottles and serve.
- Open carefully, as there might be some overflow, because of the pressure.
How To Make Water kefir Fizzy?
If you want to make your water kefir extra fizzy, you have to:
- Make sure you use airtight bottles, also look for thicker bottles, to make sure they don’t explode.
- The CO2 bubbles form on the second fermentation, make sure you feed the bacteria enough sugar, (plain sugar, or from fruits.)
- Let the brew ferment for 24-72 hours at the room temperature, the hotter the room the less time it needs. At this point the CO2 bubbles are formed.
- Put it in the fridge and let it sit for a day or two. This would help the bubbles set.
- You can drink it now.
Here is a detailed article on second fermentation water kefir soda.
Cobalt Blue 32 oz. EZ Cap Beer Bottles, CASE OF 12(link is external)
These bottles are gorgeous, the have a beautiful color, cobalt-blue, and they hold 32 oz. I love the fact that they are larger, and they are very thick. You can virtually brew anything in them from beer to water kefir soda, and kombucha.
The flip top stopper ensures an airtight seal every time, so you don’t have to worry about spoilage, or bad batches. Here is another link for brown bottles, if you like those more: 16 oz Amber Glass Beer Bottles for Home Brewing.
How Can I Make Water Kefir Beer?
You can make sugar kefir beer very easy. Just let it ferment longer on the second fermentation, and add more sugar. You need to have very thick bottles, as there will be more CO2 bubbles developed in the process. The longer you let it ferment at room temperature, the more alcohol it will develop.
On the contrary, if you let the fermentation container open, the brew will transform into vinegar.
I found that adding a little blackstrap molasses to the first fermentation works perfectly; it speeds up the fermentation, and it gives the soda a better taste. If you have sucanat, unrefined cane sugar, that works as well. If you have neither