Part 1 – Acclimatization & First Ferment
The first step in the water kefir process is to get your water kefir grains acclimatized to your specific brewing environment. This step only has to be done once, upon receiving your water kefir grains.
Step One: Prepare the water
The first round is to get your water kefir grains acclimatized to your specific brewing environment.
Bring 4 cups of unfiltered tap water to a boil. Add to a non-reactive brewing jar and stir in 1/4 cup of sugar with a wooden spoon. As per the Happy Gut Method, we suggest using a combination of coconut palm sugar and organic cane sugar for best results. For 1 standard batch, put 1 tbsp of coconut palm sugar into a 1/4 cup & fill the remainder with cane sugar. To make it even more simple, you can purchase our Organic Sugar Brewing Blend from our website. If you have purchased a Homebrew Kit you will find the sugar blend in the glass brewing jar (measure out 1/4 cup.) Finally, stir the water so the sugar has dissolved, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Step Two: Add the grains (cultures)
Open the bag labelled “Grains” and dump the contents into the brewing jar with the sugar/water mixture and stir lightly. Clasp lid so that air can get in but bugs can’t. Leave in a consistently warm spot, 20-30°C (70-80°F) for 24 hours for the “first ferment”.
After 24 hours, strain the grains and dispose of the liquid. Your grains should be acclimatized and are now ready to brew with. Repeat steps 1 and 2, leaving the brew jar in the warm place for 48 hours. Strain the grains out using a nylon strainer. You can either consume the water kefir as is or move on to the second ferment, where it is flavoured and carbonated. *Even if you are unsure if you achieved fermentation continue with the next step as that will be the indicator if the ferment was successful.*
Part 2 – Second Ferment
Step Three: Strain the water kefir
After the first ferment, strain the water kefir into a swivel top bottle using a nylon strainer and funnel. Save the grains, and return them to the brewing jar. Cover with clear water, seal and leave in the fridge until the next brew. The grains are now in dormancy and can be left for up to 3 months.
Seal the bottle and place on the counter for 24 hours in a consistently warm spot to build fizz. “Burp” the bottle every 8 hours to avoid an overflow. Sometimes it may take more than 24 hours to build fizz, which is normal. After 24 hours, check your second ferment. If you are happy with the carbonation and flavour place in the fridge to chill. Do not leave the bottle on the counter once it begins to become fizzy. It will continue to build carbonation and runs the risk of exploding.
Step Five: Serve your water kefir
Once chilled, gently rock the bottle and open swivel-top. Pour and enjoy.
Step Six: Rinse and Repeat
Rinse your equipment, and repeat the process. It’s fun to experiment with different recipes! Click here to discover more ways to flavour your drink.
Instructional videos: Step-by-step instructions for how to ferment your own water kefir.