How to Make Water Kefir

How to make water kefir with molasses

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Water kefir is a pleasantly fizzy and sweet drink, that is more soda-pop-like than kombucha. It is simple to brew at home for a zero-waste and probiotic beverage!


Units Scale
  • 3 1/2 cups of water (chlorine-free)
  • 1/4 cup of raw sugar
  • 1 tsp of molasses or 1 Tbsp raisins
  • 3 Tbsp water kefir grains
  • Flavors for the 2nd ferment


  1. Measure the sugar, water, and molasses or raisins in a quart-sized (1 L) jar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add in the water kefir grains. Cover the jar with a cloth or coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or jar ring.
  3. Allow to ferment on the counter for 24-36 hours. The speed of the ferment will depend on the temperature. The water kefir is ready for bottling when it has started to bubble. However, it won’t be as bubbly as other ferments.
  4. To bottle the water kefir, strain the liquid into a bottle that can handle the buildup of carbonation (see notes for details). I find this is easiest with a funnel that has a strainer built-in. Water kefir can be flavored at the time of bottling. Feel free to mix water kefir with juice, brewed tea, or other flavors. To carbonate properly, it needs a mix of 2/3 water kefir to 1/3 flavor. Here’s a whole post on how to flavor water kefir, and my favorite flavors.
  5. Place the grains in a new batch of sugar water to brew. See the section above for details on how to take a break from water kefir.
  6. The bottled water kefir should become fizzy after 24 to 48 hours at room temperature. If you find it too sweet, allow it to continue to ferment for up to 7 days. Just pop the bottles every 2 days to prevent over-carbonation.
  7. Store finished water kefir in the fridge and consume within 4 weeks.


  • Water kefir will continue to build up carbonation, even in the fridge.  Store it in plastic pop bottles, or swing-top bottles that can handle the buildup of carbonation.