You want to make your own homemade water kefir, but don’t know what equipment to use? Don’t worry, we can help you!
Water kefir, also known as fruit kefir or tibicos, is a fermented beverage that is very easy to make at home.
Once you have obtained water kefir grains, you just need to choose a fermentation container and something to filter it through once it is ready.
This article will help you identify the basic equipment needed to prepare your kefir, as well as optional, but practical, accessories.
We recommend using a 1 to 1.5 litre wide mouth glass jar, as well as a cotton filter, a fine sieve, and pressure-resistant bottles. For ease of use, we recommend the Kefirko kit, an all-in-one container that includes a sieve.
In a hurry? Go directly to the section that interests you:
Which Jar for Making Water Kefir?
The most commonly used containers for making water kefir at home are wide-mouthed glass jars of 1 to 1.5 litres.
Glass is resistant to acidity and easy to clean. The wide opening allows you to aerate the kefir.
And since kefir only takes 24 to 48 hours to ferment, there’s no need to make large quantities at a time!
Kefirko jars are complete and designed to make it very easy to do homemade kefir.
You can also opt for a 3.8L (1 gallon) jar, but only fill it halfway to avoid ending up with too much kefir… unless, of course, you want to drink 3L of kefir a day! 😉
Containers to avoid:
Avoid using containers with narrow openings, such as carboys. Fermentation needs oxygen to run smoothly, and too small openings don’t allow for good aeration.
Also avoid using ceramic jars, which may contain harmful substances such as lead. You don’t want to contaminate your grains!
Which Cloth to Cover My Water Kefir?
The cloth has two functions: it will let air through and prevent insects and dust from contaminating the kefir.
Choose a fine, tightly woven cloth: a napkin, a dishcloth, a fine cotton cloth, etc. Make sure it is securely fastened to the container with a rubber band.
Note: the Kefirko kit has a lid system that can be slightly unscrewed, allowing aeration of the kefir. So no cloth is needed.
Fabrics to avoid:
Cheesecloth: The mesh is too large, allowing fruit flies to sneak into your jar.
Coffee filters or paper towels: They do not provide good aeration.
Which Sieve to Filter my Water Kefir?
When the water kefir is ready to be bottled, the kefir (beverage) must be separated from the kefir grains and the fruit used during fermentation. Several tools that can be used to do this.
Sieve: Contrary to popular myth, it can be made of metal. Water kefir grains can come in contact with stainless steel without any risk.
Nylon filter: Before starting fermentation, the kefir grains can be placed in a strainer bag. Once fermentation is complete, the kefir grains can easily be separated from the fermented beverage.
Strainer: The holes in the strainer should be very narrow to prevent smaller grains from passing through. The Kefirko kit comes with two different built-in filters in the lid. Use the finer one if your grains are small.
Funnel: Some funnels have a built-in filter, which is very useful for separating the grains from the kefir when bottling.
Which Bottles for Bottling Kefir?
The bottles used to bottle kefir must be airtight and pressure-resistant.
This way, they will capture the gas created during the second fermentation to make fizzier kefir, and will not crack from the pressure that builds up in the liquid.
The best bottles:
Bottles to avoid:
- Decorative bottles (fragile, risk of explosion)
- Mason jar (not pressure resistant)
- Wine bottles
The funnel allows you to pour the kefir into the bottles without spilling it everywhere. Choose a metal or plastic one.
There are also funnels with built-in filters, which are extremely practical.
Wooden Spoon or Ladle
Useful for diluting the sugar in the water before adding the kefir grains. Any kitchen utensil can be used for this purpose (even metal, as it is most likely made of stainless steel)!
You can use a refractometer to calculate the amount of sugar in the water kefir. This is not essential for making kefir at home, but it can be a useful tool for people monitoring the amount of sugar they consume.
The bottles used to bottle water kefir have narrow necks and can be difficult to clean without the proper tools.
Fortunately, powdered brewery wash can easily remove thick, encrusted organic dirt. This soap works by simply soaking and rinsing.
You can also use conventional soap, a flexible bottle brush, and some elbow grease!