Blog post 16: Free “cider”?

Home made “cider-taste drink (left) and “ginger ale” (right) from water kefir.

Are you dreaming of free, tasty, slightly sparkling, alcohol free “cider”? It would be nice if this would also be excellent for your intestinal flora, he?

Here is one solution:  WATER KEFIR

I received it from a friend of mine who is expert in alimentation (orthomolecular medicine). She is explained me that if your intestines are always “irritated” (inflamed by light intolerance or imbalanced bacterial flora), you can feel continuously tired. And she was convinced that by modifying a little bit the way of eating, it could be better! I must admit that I didn’t believe her at the beginning… but we tried… and know she is our hero! (there are some interesting recipes on her website)

What is Kefir? Kefir is a mixture of yeast and (probiotic) bacteria who work together (symbiose). They “eat” the sugar and produce lactic acid, ethanol (0,1% => considered alcohol-free), and carbon dioxide (making it sparkling). This process is called fermentation (as in beer).

You’ll find online many sites selling water kefir, but don’t buy it, just ask around, use social media to ask friends who can give you some! (If you live in Antwerp, contact me).

You’ll also find a lot of recipes; where you have to weight all ingredients. But we want quick and easy recipes, right? So, let’s not be exact (no problem for this recipe) and let’s take it easy. Your final product will always differ anyway, even if you add exactly the same amount of ingredients.

What do you need?

  • A glass container (that you can close, but not obligatory sealed)
  • Sugar: I use cane sugar, but you can experiment with all kind of sugar, except honey as honey will kill your kefir (antibacterial).
  • Sweet dried fruits NOT TREATED (or biological). I use figs, but you can try with apricots, raisins, dates,…
  • A PLASTIC sieve (NL: zeef; FR: passoire). Do not use metal as the kefir gets bad from it (I use my old plastic juicer).
  • A NON METALIC spoon

Recipe (3 min + 2-4 days waiting):

  • In the glass container, add 2 spoons of kefir with one spoon of sugar. Add water (about 10x more than the kefir). Add dried fruits (for this quantity of kefir I would add 1 fig). If you close the lid hermetically, DON’T FILL COMPLETELY the glass container (or take a bigger one).
  • Put the lid on it (can be loose; be careful if you close it that you don’t forget it…it produces gas and could explode…)
  • Let it sit for 2-4 days (I do open it once in a while as I’m scared of the gas production 😉). Room temperature, no direct sun (can be in the dark too). From day 2: the dried fruits will be “swimming” and some “foam” will be at the top. If you stop after 2 days, it will be sweeter and less sparkling.
  • Filter
    • keep the liquid to drink (you can keep it for some time in the fridge)
    • rinse the kefir grains with cold water
    • keep some kefir to make new one or keep it in the fridge (See scheme below).


  • Water kefir and milk kefir are 2 different kefirs grains. You cannot keep a culture of water kefir using milk, neither the other way around.
  • Some people add lemon (together with the dried fruits). I didn’t try it yet.
  • If you want ginger ale, add candied ginger (NL: gekonfijt gember, FR: gingembre confit) to the filtrated kefir (the liquid) and let it sit for one more day.
  • If you leave it too long, it will get more bitter.

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