Water kefir eats sugar. Here’s my recommendation on how to prepare it:
So you want to make your own water kefir…
Awesome! You rock! Here is what I have found to be the best “recipe” for plain water kefir. The grains are happy, healthy, and plentiful when this is followed:
1. Get a jar or other suitable container for your kefir (it needs to have a lid that can close) and fill it about 70% of the way with spring or filtered water.
2. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of organic dark brown sugar and 1 tbsp of organic molasses. (Yes, you need both for optimal results! They feed on the sugar, but molasses is like a vitamin boost for them.)
3. Mix the sugar and molasses into the water so it’s all dissolved. The water will be a murky brown color.
4. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of kefir grains. Find someplace warm to put the jar and don’t screw the lid on quite all the way.
5. After two days, it should definitely have a fermented (slightly alcoholic) smell. At this point, it sort of tastes like an alcoholic sarsaparilla. You can drink it like this, or if you want to flavor it further or eliminate more sugar, you can do a secondary ferment.
6. Either way, strain out the grains and repeat from step 1 with them.
7. To do a secondary ferment, you can add in flavors, such as a piece of fruit, extra sugar, or herbs (there are many different recipes that can be found online). If you want to reduce the sugar and not add extra flavorings, just leave it be. Tighten the lid and let it sit for an additional 24-48 hours.
8. At any point, if you don’t want it to ferment further, put your water kefir in the refrigerator. Grains can also be stored in the fridge if you need to take a break for up to several weeks – just be sure to store them in a sugar water solution!
9. Enjoy your water kefir! It should be slightly bubbly, slightly sweet, and slightly alcoholic tasting when it’s done (although it only contains a very, very small percentage of alcohol and will not get you drunk, no worries!)