originally posted on August 1, 2011; Updated on March 23, 2018 by Sarah
//43 Comments »
Soda. Pop. Soda pop. “Coke”. It’s known by many names across the country. In my house we call it crap I no longer buy because my husband has a severe and expensive addiction. It’s disgusting how addicted he is to the bubbly stuff. I rarely bought it because he would guzzle it and just crave it.
That all changed for good when I decided to start making my own. I read a post on some blog (forgive me for not remembering the name) about making water kefir soda. I was intrigued. Then I did a bit of research and found that I liked what I saw.
Water kefir is make with kefir “grains” (it isn’t really a grain and does not contain gluten) which are chock-full of probiotics and good bacteria for a happy and calm tummy. And it can be used to make a soda with the same, if not more benefits than yogurt. I thought to myself, “hmmm…this could fit in to my house”.
I ordered a water kefir starter kit from Cultures for Health. Their customer service rocked, and the low price shipping was super fast. I also ordered 1 of their flip top bottles, but later found bottles twice the size at half the price at a local brewing supply store.
When the grains arrived, I rehydrated them according to instructions. After a few days, I got to work making some soda!
Mix 1/4 cup of organic evaporated cane juice (Costco!) in with a few cups of water. I microwave it for 90 seconds to let the sugar dissolve. You’ll want 1/4 cup of sugar per quart of water. Add the dissolved sugar water to a glass jar – canning jars seems to work great. My cool cousin Kori gave me a few half-quart Mason jars that she found at Goodwill. I like these because I can make enough for 2 big bottles of soda at one time. Once you’ve added the sugar water to the jar, fill the rest of the jar with cold water. Once the water in the jar is room temperature, cover with a towel and rubberband. Let sit on your counter for 24-48 hours.
Grains at the bottom
Once it’s had a chance to “brew”, strain the grains out using a plastic mesh strainer (included in the starter kit).
Pour about 1-1.5 cups of your favorite juice in a flip-top style bottle. Pour in the liquid that the kefir grains have been sitting in.
Leave the flip-top style bottles on the counter top for 24-48 hours. The longer it sits, the fizzier it gets. After 24-48 hours, open and enjoy!
My family thinks that water kefir soda is SUPER good.
A few tips that I’ve gathered over the last 2 months:
1) some people recommend you use sugar alternatives (date palm sugar, Rapadura or Succant) in the first step of the process. Or if you don’t have those sweeteners (or can’t afford them!), they recommend using organic sugar with a splash of molasses. Let me tell you what happens when you do that. You take a big drink of that soda, and think “why did someone put donkey piss in my glass”? Do yourself a favor, and just stick with plain old organic evaporated cane juice. The kefir grains will “eat” most of the sugar during the process, so 1/4 cup isn’t going to kill you.
2) Purple juices seem to work the best for us. We prefer grape or pomegranate/blueberry (Trader Joes) to any other flavor I’ve made. Cherry soda? Barf. Homemade cream soda? Tasted like Sasqwatches nutsack sweat. Anything other than the purple flavoring has led us to just ignore the soda and not drink it. I’m not making this stuff just to waste it.
3) Don’t let your grains sit in the sugar bath for more than 48 hours. Don’t let the soda sit in the bottle for longer than 7 days. A few reasons for that:
a) It can get pretty explosive. Ask my sister-in-law, my back, my hair, and my kitchen ceiling how I know that…(I’ve learned to open the bottles outside).
b) It can get a little boozy. For someone who doesn’t drink, the batch that got forgotten about in the fridge for a week knocked me on my ass. But I may or may not have continued to drink a small glass at bedtime for another few days after getting the best night of sleep in years…but I digress.
4) Get creative and enjoy! Remember, there is just a little bit of sugar in this, and the cultures “eat” most of it. It’s not bad for you, and in-fact can aid your digestive health. I’m a bit of a juice nazi with Jack, but I’ll let him have some of this in a sippy cup.
5) I’m a busy working momma and was hesitant to add ONE MORE thing to my routine. But all in all, this takes about 5-10 minutes every 2 days.
Cost – the starter kit cost me $25 including shipping. As long as you follow the directions, the grains last indefinitely. At that point, you’re only paying for 1-1.5 cups of juice per batch, and 1/4 or 1/2 cup of organic sugar. I also paied $2.50 each for 5 large flip top style bottles at the local brewing supply store. It makes it a very cost effective alternative to soda pop.
originally posted on August 1, 2011; Updated on March 23, 2018
What do you mean by purple juices working best?
Juices that are purple in color – grape, blueberry, pomegranate, and blackberry crush (our fav flavor), etc.
It seems like every time we try something that isn’t purple, it sucks, explodes, or tastes like booze.
ok cool thanks.
I don’t know how I just stumbled across this since I have been looking all over your blog now for months…
However, I, like Troy, am addicted to coke and cannot get enough. I have found that given the chance, I can go through two cases a week. A WEEK!
I have had to just stop buying it, which feels like a hole in my soul.
I am most definitely going to try this. It sounds weird, but what the hell.
“why did someone put donkey piss in my glass”? ROFLAO, I laughed so hard when I read that, I almost woke up that precious sleeping baby of mine who took HOURS to go to sleep (I still have a few hairs left thank God)and I LOVE this idea of making my own soda.
I’m a member of the SA – ‘Soda-holics Anonymous’ like your husband but we can’t afford to keep buying that crap either, not with a houseful of us.
I’m a member of AA as well, but that’s no laughing matter – Unless your drunk off this soda water. Then everything’s funny 😀 and technically there’s no alcohol right? An AA’s dream come true, you are!
I’m kidding. Or am I?
I make my own ginger ale.. I have a batch in the frig right now that is tooo spicy cause I over did the ginger 🙁 Can’t have too much of a good thing right? Well I found the tipping point. How is this different that just using yeast?
PS. I also have no clue how to get an email back if someone replies to my post 🙁
Of course, love your blog or I wouldn’t be here………..your links open in your blog fine for me – use firefox also
I drink some tart cherry juice for my arthritis and its melatonin everyday – gonna try making water kefir with it – get 2 birds with that 1 stone.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family,
I have never actually sat down and read a blog, thought about it, just didn’t. Lucky for me I stumble upon yours 🙂 Love it! I’ve never even heard of water kefir, but you can bet I’ll be trying to find where to buy it tomorrow. Love your ideas, really love your writing. Starting the OCM also, very interested in that and will be making the vicks shower disc! THank you!….and all this time I didn’t think Sasquatch really exists..he must!! lol
Thank you for this post – awesome!
Little persnickety thing but you should have your links open up in a new tab so traffic isn’t directed away from your blog 😉
It might be your computer, because on blogger I have “open link in new window” selected. Whenever I select a link from my own blog (to test it, etc.) it always opens in a new window. I use Firefox. Maybe that is the difference?
I’m on a Mac 10.6.8
I tried your links in Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. None of them opened in a new tab or window.
I found this tutorial on how to make all blogger links open in new tab:
Or maybe it’s just my computer?
Anyhow – if it’s not just me, better to know sooner rather than later.
Love your blog by the way!
Let me have some other people try it, because I already have the HTML tag embedded in my blog.
You might also like Kombucha. I hear the SCOBY is less fuss than than the kefir grains, but I don’t have any experience with kefir. I do have experience with Kombucha, and it’s just easy.
I’m giving this a go right now. I started with dehydrated grains so my stuff is a bit under-powered so far. I’m not getting much carbonation with letting the bottles sit on the counter for 2 days. I’m letting the grain sit out for two days also. I eventually hope to have multiple batches going at once so every day I get a couple of bottles.
I was able to get the bottles cheaper at my local brew store, but for the size I’m preferring to reuse Grolsh beer bottles. They fit in my refrigerator better. My Fred Meyer has a four-pack on sale for $9. That is cheaper than the $2.50 a bottle AND they come filled with beer! If you don’t want to drink the beer you can always cook with it or use it as a slug trap in your garden.
Once my “soda” is up to snuff I’ll post pictures on my blog.
we as well make water Kefir by the gallon. where did you find the swing top bottles as I have had a hard time finding them at a reasonable price. Going have to try the
juice as we always just drink it plain.