Water Kefir Second Fermentation Step-By-Step

Congratulations on starting your water kefir journey. If you are reading this article, then you have possibly made your first fermentation of this delicious and healthy drink. You would have brewed your grains in a solution of sugar and water. 

What is second fermentation? 

Second fermentation is when you add flavours to your kefir drink and bottle it for a few days. It becomes a fizzy, carbonated drink that can be flavoured in a way that suits your taste. 

What flavours can I add to my second fermentation?

It’s time to get creative with your brewing, as you can add a range of fruit, botanical herbs, spices, extracts, juices, berries and more.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Hibiscus.
  • Elderberries.
  • Strawberries, raspberries or blueberries.
  • Apples, grapes or pomegranates.
  • Coconut water.
  • Ginger.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Rosemary, mint or lavender. 
  • Turmeric.

The flavour combinations are entirely up to you. Have fun and enjoy your experimental brewing. 

How to second ferment water kefir

  • 1 litre of liquid from your first fermentation. 
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of flavoured juice, berries or fruit pieces.
  • Herbs, extracts, spices or other botanicals.
Step One

Strain the ‘kefir’ liquid from your grains. Keep your grains in a separate solution so that you can use them for future batches and different flavours.

Step Two

Pour 1 litre of kefir liquid into a glass jar. Add your desired combination of flavours including juice, berries, fruit and botanical extracts. This step is highly personalised as it depends on your own taste preferences. Don’t be scared to get it wrong, as you learn by experimentation. Think of yourself as a small batch brewer who enjoys honing their craft.

Step Three

Pour your brew into second fermentation bottles, leaving approximately 5cm headspace. 


  • It is important that you use good quality flip top, grolsch style bottles or other bottles that are designed to withstand the pressure build-up of second fermentation.
  • It is recommended that you ‘burp’ your bottles daily to reduce the pressure inside the bottle.
  • Be careful when opening your bottle, as excessive carbonation may cause a glass explosion.
Step Four

Leave your bottles at room temperature between 2-7 days. In warm weather, the fermentation process will be quicker, while cool weather will slow down this process. Taste your brew daily, and remember to ‘burp’ your bottles from excess carbonation.

Step Five 

Serve your drink chilled. Enjoy!

You’ve just discovered the fascinating world of kefir brewing. Not only is it a healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks, but it is an affordable and fun way of making your own refreshing, carbonated drinks.  




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