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VeganMoFoV [7]: Orange-Coconut Water Kefir – swell

VeganMoFoV [7]: Orange-Coconut Water Kefir

Orange Coconut Kefir Bottle
Bottling kefir for second fermentation
Mug of Orange Coconut Kefir

Along with my jam-making and things, I’ve been experimenting with some fermentation at home.  One of my favorite (and usually pretty easy and tasty) things to make is water kefir!  You may be familiar with dairy kefir and its non-dairy counterparts (I’ve only seen coconut kefir in the store), and while the slightly sour flavor can be similar, water kefir is made from a completely different kefir grain.  The result is a fizzy, mildly sweet drink that can be customized with all kinds of flavors.  Much milder than kombucha, and like a soda, but SO much better.  There are a couple of commercial varieties, but I haven’t had one that I like as much as homemade.

Kefir grains look a bit like misshapen tapioca pearls, you can reuse them over and over again, and they’ll last indefinitely in your fridge so long as you remember to culture them from time to time.  As you continue to make kefir, the grains will actually grow, and you can start sharing them with friends!

The basic process for making water kefir involves dissolving sugar or sweetener in water in a glass container, adding the grains (and perhaps some ginger, lemon, and a piece of dried fruit), then covering the jar with a piece of cloth.  You wait 1-3 days until small bubbles begin to appear in the liquid, then strain out the grains and fruit.  While you can drink it at this point, I like to do a second fermentation by adding some juice and/or coconut water, which has become extra fun and easy since I got myself a dozen swing-top bottles!  This time around I made some orange-coconut water kefir and it’s probably the best batch I’ve made yet!  (The last time I made apple-ginger water kefir which, while delicious, I let ferment too long and it exploded out of the bottles when I opened them.  The remaining kefir also made me feel a little tipsy.  Oops!)  The color is rather dark here because I used coconut sugar; next time I will probably use some evaporated cane juice to lighten it up a bit.

I got my current (second) batch of kefir grains from an etsy shop called Grow Indie…they have been really resilient to my periods of neglect, unlike the first batch of grains I ordered from a different seller.  Although, unfortunately, it appears they are no longer selling anything through their page (sadface!).

Have you ever made or tried water kefir?

13 Responses to “VeganMoFoV [7]: Orange-Coconut Water Kefir”

  1. wow! you’ve totally inspired me to make my own fermented drink….what to do what to do…

  2. Sarah says:

    Cool! I’ve never heard of water kefir before. I’m just getting into fermenting/homebrew and having a ton of fun. I’ll add this to my growing list!

  3. Jes says:

    Hooray for kefir! I’ve never tried my hand on it, but I can only imagine how good the homemade stuff must be.

  4. Courtney says:

    I am so jealous–that looks amazing! I guess I just need to suck it up and buy water kefir! I really want to try it…thank you for the link :-)


  5. Courtney says:

    Wait! I just followed your link and there are no products…you bought it from Grow Indie?

  6. andrea devon says:

    i totally want in on this. I could use a fizzy, fun, tipsy experiment. I just ordered some on this site: http://www.waterkefirgrains.com/water-kefir-grains.asp

    Stoked to try your recipe; I will let you know how it progresses as soon as my little grains arrive!

    • A-K says:

      I’m super excited to see what you come up with, Andrea! Water kefir is the best.

      • andrea devon says:

        Hi A-K- so i just came back to re-read, and I am glad i did to get some pointers. stoked to try using coconut sugar and coconut water… and good to know about the cloth- will take off my bottle caps asap!

        Do you use molasses in your kefir? the directions i got from the above link said to use up to a Tbsp, but the result was really dark and, well, too molasses-y. Can I just use coconut sugar? What you think???

        BTW, the link above sent me a 1/4 cup grains + necessary sugar for a first batch for only $20; first fermentation was not right (too sweet and not enough tart fizz) but the second was much fizzier, and less sweet, which tells me it’s working! It’s been a week and they are already growing and looking good! Just wanted to share! aloha, a

        • A-K says:

          How exciting! I have since read that using capped containers for the first fermentation is okay, too, but I still like doing it “open” and then sealing it for fizziness when I add the juice/coconut water.

          I have never used molasses in my kefir…it does seem like it would be really strong tasting. I have always just used coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice. I might try interspersing it with agave some time, but I think it’s important to use sugar every few batches to keep the culture going strong, as it’s meant to behave a bit differently with different sweeteners.

          Water kefir is so great! I just made one with grapefruit peel and a little juice. It was tasty!

  7. [...] a long walk. And sometimes you get a little buzz too! Many thanks to Swell Vegan, who posted about orange-coconut kefir and kicked my butt into kitchen culture action! vanilla & apple kefir, with culture residue at [...]

  8. [...] need cane sugar to do their thing. I tried a few different types of sugar and had bad results. But Swell Vegan had good results with coconut sugar, so it’s definitely worth a try; though she does recommend [...]

  9. [...] a long walk. And sometimes you get a little buzz too! Many thanks to Swell Vegan, who posted about orange-coconut kefir and kicked my butt into kitchen culture action! vanilla & apple kefir, with culture residue at [...]

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