Converting Milk Kefir Grains

This post is part of
Wardeh’s Tuesday Twister

Soda Pop That's Good For You

 Nine  months ago, when I decided to give up soda pop for good,  (good health that is),  I didn’t know how I was  ever going to do without  it.  I absolutely  love the feel of carbonation’s fizzy bite as it trickles down my throat quenching my thirst, unlike any other beverage.  However, my committment was made;  there was no turning back; all I could do was press forward,  drinking only water.  I was doing okay with this, but—one fine day I discovered . . . (drumroll,  please) KEFIR SODA POP!

 Nahhhhhhh, I thought,  Noooooo wayyyy!  There couldn’t possibly be, even in my wildest dreams,  a soda  pop that is  actually  healthy and nutritious for you.  But, my dear readers, there is!    And I’m going to show you how to make it.  Are you ready?

Conversion Process:   (Please read through  the following  to gain an over-all  understanding of  the conversion process , and then you’ll find a recipe  at the end you can print.)

We’ll start  by converting 3 tablespoons of good kefir milk grains— that you don’t need for your milk fermentation, because once these grains are converted to soda pop grains, they can no longer be used for milk kefir.   Place them in a glass bowl and gently pour a cup of  spring water over them.  Stir the grains with a plastic slotted spoon to separate the milk.  Now pour off this water, reserving the grains.  Use only plastic spoons and strainer. Once again pour one cup of spring water over the  grains  and stir  gently to clean the grains.  Pour out this water, again reserving the grains and repeat the process until there is no longer any milk residue. 

(Washed kefir grains)

Now that the grains are free of any milk residue, the conversion can begin. ( By the way, they look like a nice clump of cauliflower, don’t they?).

Into a 1-quart mason jar pour 2 cups of spring water—not tap water, not distilled water, not filtered water, not reverse osmosis water, not bath water, but SPRING WATER.  Spring water is necessary because it is chock full of all those wonderful, healthy minerals that our bodies are literally crying out for, and those little kefir babies won’t mind it one bit, either!  To this water add 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice  sugar, like  you buy at Costco, ( or  any sugar that is as unprocessed as possible), and 10 dried cranberries (any dried fruit will work, but I prefer the way cranberries make the pop taste.)  Now stir it all up vigorously, making the sugar crystals swirl round and round in the jar.  Once this mini vortex has settled down, you can introduce the washed kefir grains to their new home.  Put a lid on and set the jar in a dark cupboard for 2 days,  agitating the bottle a couple of times daily.

At the end of the 2 days, drain the liquid off, reserving the grains—PLEASE DON’T DUMP THOSE PRECIOUS GRAINS OUT! You must protect  them at all costs!  You can toss out the cranberries, though, or eat them if you wish.   (Note: this is the FIRST  conversion culturing)

Now, rinse out the mason jar and begin again with another  2 cups SPRING WATER, 1/4 cup cane sugar, 10 dried cranberries and the grains, which at this point are starting to really dig their new habitat.  You know this is true because they just look happy. . . yessssssssss they doooooo, they LOOK happy.  Study them for a bit and you’ll see I’m right. 🙂  Anyway, once again put them away in a dark cupboard for 2 days, swirling twice a day. (Note: this is the SECOND conversion culturing)

Continue with a THIRD and FORTH conversion culturing, using the same regimen.  At the end of this FORTH conversion culturing,  SAVE THIS  CULTURED LIQUID .  It is  now  ready for the “fermentation process.”  Also, keep your “converted” grains handy so you can  start another culture.

Fermentation Process:

Divide the  cultured liquid between two grolsch bottles . (I got mine at my local farmers’ market.  They were filled with  some kind of soda pop, which I poured out, but saved the wonderful bottles.  They even have  cute little labels.  They were less expensive than buying them online )

Now fill the bottles about two-thirds full with  100 % grape juice,  leaving enough room at the top for the carbonation, which results as the kefir grains consume the sugars.  Place in the dark cupboard for 12 hours or until you see a slight ring of tiny bubbles around the top of the liquid.  Then place in the refrigerator to chill and to stop the fermentation process.  

CAUTION!  When you open the bottle the first time after fermentation,  do it in your sink with a cereal bowl turned upside down over the bottle top to catch any pressure  explosion, which can and does occur, depending on how much carbonation there is.  I’ve had this happen to me and trust me, it ain’t purdy!

See all the carbonation? You DO NOT want this on your walls!


I know you’re  thoroughly confused and scratching your heads long about now, but it’s really not that difficult.  Just follow the steps in the recipe below.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions.  I want you to succeed and be as happy with this healthy alternative to soda pop as I am. 

  Here is the recipe you can print

 Converting Kefir Grains:

  1. Wash 3 tablespoons  of milk kefir grains with 1 cup spring water.
  2. Wash grains again with another cup of  spring water.
  3. In 1-quart mason jar add:
    1.  2 cups spring water
    2.  ¼ cup organic evaporated cane juice sugar
    3. 10 dried cranberries
    4. Stir well, add grains and cover with lid
    5. Place in dark cupboard for 2 days, stirring twice each day.
    6. Drain liquid, reserving grains.
    7. Do steps 3-6 three more times.  This takes a total of 8 days for the conversion.

Fermentation Process:

  1. Divide the “cultured liquid” into two grolsch bottles, reserving the grains to culture more water for additional soda pop.
  2. Add  100% grape juce to the bottles until 2/3 full.
  3. Close the spring-top lids and gently rock each bottle  back and forth once to mix the liquids.
  4. Place bottles in dark cupboard for 12 hours or until a tiny ring of bubbles forms around the top of the liquid.
  5.  Refrigerate, cool and enjoy.

To Make More Soda Pop:

Restart the culturing/fermentation process now, so you can have more pop in three days, by filling a 1-quart mason jar with the same solution of: 

  1.  2 cups spring water
  2. ¼ cup organic evaporated cane juice sugar
  3. 10 dried cranberries
  4. Stir well, add grains and cover with lid
  5. Place in dark cupboard for 2 days, stirring twice each day.
  6. Separate the liquid and the  grains, using the liquid to ferment the juice,  and the grains to culture more water for more pop.

NOTE:  I have been using the same “converted” grains since last summer, and they are still going strong.  I almost think they will keep on working as long as they have the proper environment: spring water, sugar, dried fruit, warmth and darkness.  Just follow this formula and I think you’ll have success.  I am always available to answer any questions you have about this process ,and my experience with it, so don’t hesitate to ask.  If , after the initial conversion process of 8 days, your pop lacks sparkle and fizz, don’t think you’ve failed.  Just keep on doing the same process and eventually you’ll notice that the pop has become just as fizzy as you want it. 

This is my process the way I do it to achieve these results.  I’ve read lots of other ways, but this is what has worked the best for me.

  I’ve noticed that if the “culturing” process goes on past two days, ( sometimes I forget), the “fermentation” process takes less time; however, be careful.  Remember this is a “living” food and the fermentation can get out of hand.  Always pay close attention when opening your bottles for the first time.  Always keep your pop in the refrigerator or it will continue to ferment.  Even in the refirgerator it will continue the ferment if it isn’t consumed within a couple of days.  Always use the spring-top grolsch type bottles.

You can use other juices, but always add some grape juice if you want lots of carbonation.  I don’t know why, but the cultured liquid adores grape juice.  I think it has something to do with the type of yeast/bacteria found on grape skins. 

 My favorite juice to use , not only  for flavor, but for  a huge punch of antioxidants,  is Kirkland’s Pomegranate Blueberry 100% Juice Blend,  which contains not only these two very healthy juices, but  apple, peach, pear, white and red grape, and kiwi, as well.  This makes a very rich-colored, delicious soda pop.   I LOVE IT! YOU WILL, TOO! And not only that, we’ll be soooo healthy when we drink it!   Now you can’t say that about all that other soda pop out there  that’s killing the population, increasing waistlines, pushing up  health care costs, rotting teeth,  increasing diabetes,  causing earthquakes and tsunamies and . . . and . . . oh sorry, I got a little carried away there.  Anyway drink this stuff instead of  that other inferior stuff.  🙂

Now that I’m off that bandwagon, I’ll begin work immediately on a new post for  another healthy drink you’ll love.  Come back later to see what it is.  Have a fun day making your new and health-giving soda pop.  See ya’ll later.  And . . . May great  sparkle and fizz always be in your lives!

198 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    penny said,

    Hi Marly,

    Thanks for your educational post on converting to soda! I definitely want to try your technique, but have a question I hope you can answer first. We have severe (anaphalaxis) dairy allergies in our household. Once the dairy kefir grains are converted, will it still contain any dairy proteins? It has been challenging to find a way to incorporate kefir into our dairy-free diets, but I am hopeful your soda might be the way! Thank you for any light you can shed on this question.

    • 2

      Christine R. Craver said,

      Amazing! Thanks for all your effort to let us in on this wonderful soda pop. I’m passing this on….Thank you so much!

    • 3

      Armin said,

      you can use milk kefir grains to produce yogurt that is lactose free so it’s safe for you

      • 4

        Cathy Boehme said,

        Lactose (sugar in the milk) intolerance is different than an allergy to the protein in milk. If you are allergic to the protein,the kefir yogurt is NOT safe for you!

  2. 5


    Thanks for writing this up! I’m going to be referring people over here often…. 🙂

  3. 6

    marly67 said,

    Penny, I think the best thing in your situation would be to obtain some “real” water kefir grains. Only with these could you be sure there was no dairy proteins. I don’t know how much dairy would carry over during the “conversion” process. I certainly don’t see any milk residue, or taste any, but I wouldn’t chance it in your case. Do you know where to get these water kefir grains? Let me know; I can help you find some.

    Thanks, Wardeh. This is an easy process, but takes about a week to do it.

    • 7

      villainesse said,

      Big Brother Bezos ( sources a few different companies that sell water kefir grains. So glad for this conversion technique so I don’t have to consider buying from them or looking for an alternative source! Thanks!

  4. 8

    penny said,

    I really appreciate you getting back to me, Marly. Yes, I would love to know where to source water kefir grains. Thank you so much for your quick response and offer to help :o) What a blessing it was to find your site!

  5. 9

    Dani said,

    Wow, I can’t wait to try this–gotta wait for my kefir grains to grow, though. I have a really tough time giving up soda pop, but did find some root-beer “flavored” kombucha at Whole Foods not too long ago (on tap at their special bar… it’s REALLY an upscale store!), but K-T just doesn’t satisfy the soda cravings. I have been trying water kefir, but this sounds much more carbonated than I have been able to do with my water grains.

    Thanks for the post, and thanks to Wardeh for posting on her milk kefir grains so you could put the link out!

  6. 10

    Shelley said,

    So after you take the milk kefir grains through 4 fermentations, what’s next? In other words, how do you keep on making dosa> Does the kefir sugar water mix only need one cycle before being uses as a starter for soda after the grainsa are converted? How oftern do you have to ferment the kefir grains in sugar water defore you can use the fermented sugar water to start soda? Does this make sense?

  7. 11

    marly67 said,

    Here is a site that will be able to ship you the water kefir grains.
    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out. I’ve never had any of these grains. I would be interested how they compare with these converted milk kefir gains.

    You will absolutely love this soda pop. It satisfies exactly as regular soda pop, only more so because you’ll know it isn’t going to harm you. Good luck and keep growing those grains!

    @ Shelley
    Thanks for reminding me. I knew there was a part of this process that I didn’t address. Check out the addition I made to the post. If you have any other questions, just ask. Who knows, maybe I forgot something else. lol

  8. 12

    Connie said,

    GREAT Information. I am so excited. I have more dairy kefir grains than I know what to do with. I am going to start this afternoon!!! Thank You for this great post.


  9. 13

    Marianne said,

    This is a wonderful post (and comment dialog). Water kefir is next on my list, and now I feel well prepared.


  10. 14

    marly67 said,

    I’m so glad you are excited. You are absolutely going to love this drink. We have it every day at mealtime instead of pop—which we used to have.

    Thanks so much and please let us know how you do. And if you have any questions at all, or if I’ve left something out, please, please let me know. I am here to help people come to a healthier way of eating.

    I appreciate all the nice and encouraging comments. Let’s keep this dialog going about Kefir Pop. I have a true story I’ll relate a little later about the healing benefits of KP.

  11. 15

    Cathy said,

    Thanks for the super informative post and the great photos! I can’t wait to try kefir soda! I’ve got a kiddo who thinks soda pop is pretty important stuff and I haven’t been able to convince him otherwise…yet!!

  12. 16

    Anita said,

    You might be able to find someone on this list who has some real Water Kefir grains (Tibicos). They ARE different to milk kefir grains, more like cousins, & they are specific to the medium they are designed for. Water kefir grains are clear & translucent, not white, & they feed on fructose (fruit sugars), not galactose (milk sugars), that’s why they’re pretty hard to convert.
    If you are in Australia, I can get some to you;)

    • 17

      cmo said,

      Anita, I’m in Australia and would love some Water Kefir grains 🙂

    • 19

      Anonymous said,

      How do I get water kefir grains? I have dairy kefir going strong and will try “converting” these kefir grains but would really love to get a hold of some Tibicos grains. Please email me at s.plexy AT Thank you!

  13. 20

    marly67 said,

    Cathy, I hope your sweetie will like this pop. It’s not as sweet as what he’s used to, but maybe little by little you can sway him to it. I have a 5-year-old granddaughter who won’t touch it, but another one who loves it. Every kid is different. I wish you success with this. Let me know if you have any questions during the conversion process. It’s really not hard and works great. (Note: the less time you let the pop culture, the sweeter it is.)

    Anita, thanks for the link. I don’t have any personal experience with tibicos, but I have read about them.

  14. 21

    Gilbert said,

    I am diabetic. Are these kefir soda pops high in sugar content.

  15. 22

    marly67 said,

    Hi Gilbert

    I certainly can appreciate your concern about the sugar content of this soda pop if you are diabetic. I am unable to consume sugars myself, although I’m not diabetic. I could never drink this beverage if there was any degree of sweetness, as I react immediately, and I have not had any reaction to it whatsoever. It is my understanding that the kefir grains consume the sugars during the fermentation period. Just be sure to observe the initial 2-day water-sugar fermentation and then another 12-hour fermentation with the added juice. By then the sugars should have all been consumed.

    My thought would be to taste a little of it first to see if it is “sweet”. If so, let it ferment a little longer on the counter.

    Some people don’t appreciate this pop because it is NOT sweet enough, so I don’t think it would be a concern for someone who needs to watch their sugar intake.

    Good luck and let me know how it turns out. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


  16. 23

    Gilbert said,

    Thanks for the quick response. I have my beet kvass started and I’m looking for some grolsch bottles. is it okay to use organic raisins instead of the cranberries.

  17. 24

    marly67 said,

    The organic raisins will be fine. I use cranberries because I like the taste they make in the finished product. Any dried fruit will work. Find one that suits your taste. I tried several before deciding on cranberries.

    That’s great you’ve got beet kvass doin’ its thing. You’ll love it!
    Have you converted your dairy kefir grains yet? I wish you the very best. Let us know how it all turns out.

  18. 25

    Helena said,

    I have the same question as Shelley. Do you have to go through 4 more culturing steps before making soda again after the grains are converted?
    Do they grow more of themselves like they do in milk?
    This will be fun to try!

  19. 26

    marly67 said,


    These converted dairy kefir grains do not proliferate once they’re changed to water grains. There are water kefir grains which will do that. Check the website above in comment # 7 for a source.

    Once you’ve done the initial 4 culturing steps, you don’t need to do them again. After draining and reserving the culture to make pop, add more spring water, sugar and dried fruit to the grains to culture for 2 days and then use that to make more pop, etc.

    These grains just keep on giving. Mine are still culturing water after nearly a year of doing so, but they don’t produce more grains.

    Let us know how they turn out and what you think about the “soda pop.”

  20. 27

    Helena said,

    Thanks for the clarification.

  21. 29

    LIQUID MAMA said,

    Can you convert water grains to milk kefir grains?Please say yes.

  22. 30

    marly67 said,

    Hey Liquid Mama,

    I understand that once your milk kefir grains have been converted to water kefir grains they can’t be changed back. However, I have never personally tried doing this. Maybe it would work. Why don’t you try it and then let us know.

    As a note of interest, my converted grains are still going strong after a whole year. I wonder how long they will stay viable? Has anyone had converted grains longer than a year?

  23. 31

    kefir G said,

    Are the dried fruits merely for flavor, or do they supply a food source also?

  24. 32

    marly67 said,

    Hi kefir G,

    No, the dried fruits are not just for flavor, although they do create different flavors. I’m not sure if it’s the fructose that the grains require for culturing, or if there’s something else at work here. I tend to think it’s another nutrient or an acid that is essential to this process. Any”dried” fruit will work, however, I prefer the taste that the dried cranberries create.

  25. 33

    Vanessa said,

    Do you have to make pop out of it. Once it is converted, can you just drink it as it is?
    What do they do with water kefir?

  26. 34

    Marly67 said,

    Hi Vanessa,
    Yes, you can just drink it as is without putting it in any kind of juice. It just isn’t very good, however. Most people add it to something else to give it more flavor.
    Good luck.

  27. 35

    Flavio Martins said,

    Hey Marly,

    First of all thank you for writing this article. It’s exactly what i was looking for 🙂

    I have one question though… why do you recommend throwing away the first batches instead of drinking them?

    Thanks a bunch!

  28. 36

    Marly67 said,

    Hey there Flavio,

    I’m happy you liked my post. As we speak I am enjoying a nice glass of kefir soda made with pomegranate/cranberry juice—yummy stuff!

    Actually, since I initially wrote this, I’ve been using the first batches with great success. So, what I would advise, if it tastes good use it, if not, toss it and use the next culture. Hope that makes sense. Let me know what you think.

  29. 37

    Rose said,

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m going to have to look into this more. 🙂

  30. 38

    Anonymous said,

    Hello Marky, Sooo glad I found your site!
    I have to try your cranberry recipe.
    My question is, how do I convert part of my water kefir to milk kefir? Can it be done?
    Thanks for your help.

  31. 39

    Marly67 said,

    Hi gigsi,
    I’m glad you found this too. Sorry, but I don’t have any experience with water kefir grains. Why don’t you try some of your grains in milk and see what happens. Maybe it will work. Good luck!

  32. 40

    Gina Burson said,

    Just found your site. I have 9 kefir grains now, I would like to convert a few of them. Do you think that would be enough to make the soda? I have made some soda using whey off my kefir. It works, put I need to get better bottles. I’ve been using wine bottles. It sometimes take a long to fizz. I use the kefir cheese for dips and recipes calling for sour cream or cream cheese. I have make cheese spreads with it. I flavored it with a fruit flavored stevia. It was good on thin ginger snaps. Look forward to hearing from you.

  33. 41 said,

    HI … I have a quick question … once converted do they still keep growing or multipling same as water kefir grains?

    • 42

      Marly67 said,

      Thanks for coming by. Unfortunately, they don’t keep growing but they keep on making soda pop–Yeeah!!!!!! I love my healthy soda pop.

  34. 43

    Rusty said,

    Hi and thanks for the detailed and clear instructions. My question is about bubbles. At the end of every two days is the water with the grains in it bubbly? Does the water get more bubbly the longer it ferments or do the bubbles not show up until the second fermentation?
    Do more bubbles mean that the grains are healthy and happy? Thanks again and I am happy to have something to do with my extra milk kefir grains. Now, do you have any useful ideas for milk kefir whey that remains when I make milk kefir cheese. It seems a shame to just pour it out.

    • 44

      Mary Ann Borg said,

      I used the whey to ferment cabbage into sour kraut. You will find instructions on how to make this if you google ‘using milk kefir whey to ferment vegetables. It will keep for months in the fridge.

  35. 45

    marly67 said,

    Hi Rusty,
    I’m happy you stopped by. To answer your question, if you look closely you will see teeny, tiny bubbles in the “grain” water, but mostly the bigger bubbles show up in the second ferment.

    Yes, the whey is useful for lots of things. I use it as the water in my green smoothies. It is full of protein and good probiotics–we just can’t get enough probiotics. Also, I make dill pickles with it and cultured veggies of all sorts. It is good to drink after a meal to help digest the food and calm a nauseous stomach. You can also use it for the water to make bread. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  36. 46

    Marcy said,

    I tried your recipe using regular sugar (1/4 cup) because the evaporated cane juice sugar is not available where I live. I followed the directions exactly otherwise, but the soda was flat. Any suggestions on what to do differently? The cultured water was bubbly, and one of the soda bottles showed a ring of bubbles around the edge, but the finished product wasn’t pop-like.

  37. 47

    Marly67 said,

    Marcy, it sounds to me like the second ferment time needs to be longer. For the past few months I’ve had to leave my bottles for several days longer than in the past. I don’t know why, unless it has to do with the weather–which has been kind of “abnormal” lately. Try leaving the bottles until you DO see the ring of bubbles at the top. Let me know if this helps.

  38. 48

    Marly67 said,

    Also, I meant to say that temperature can affect the ferment. Try putting the bottles where it is a little warmer, but be careful not to get it too hot, as this will kill the grains.

  39. 49

    Marcy said,

    That worked! I did what you said entirely by accident, and by the time the cultured water was ready to go, the original batch was fizzy. At what point would the drink be considered an alcoholic beverage? My kids want to drink it and I worry that if I let it rest too long it won’t be safe for them to drink.

  40. 50

    Marly67 said,

    Marcy, I’m so happy that worked for you. You have to remember that the kefir grains are living things and will respond to their environment, whatever that is, so adjust accordingly.

    As for the alcoholic content, there is a fine line between what would be considered alcoholic and what wouldn’t be. I don’t consume alcoholic drinks personally, but my husband does, so from time to time I ask him if our “soda” could possibly be alcoholic. He always says no. I think before it could become alcoholic it would turn to vinegar when all the sugars are consumed. At that point it would taste terrible, so I don’t think your kids would want it. If you leave unconsumed “soda” in the refrigerator for, say a week, it would probably arrive at “alcohol”, but I don’t know for sure. I hope this helps.

  41. 51

    amy said,

    Hi I just got a batch of milk keifer grains and did the first step to convert them. However, the batch is smallish – and not in big cauliflouwer clumps but more like shredded cheese. Is this okay?

    • 52

      Marly67 said,

      Hello Amy,
      The size of grains doesn’t matter in this instance. Just do the steps as outlined and you should be ok. Keep in mind that if your room is cool, rather than warm, the ferment can take longer. I have to ferment my kefir for several days now that it is winter. In the summer I can ferment in about one day. It varies all the time so don’t get discouraged. Keep trying. Also, bring all your questions. I would love to help you be successful in this. I love my kefir soda so much, I would hate to be without it. As long as I have kefir soda I don’t desire Coke or 7-Up, etc.

      Good luck. Check back to tell us about your successes or even failures–we learn from failures, right?
      Happy New Year,

  42. 53

    Anonymous said,

    Thank you so much for your thoughts. I will let you know how it goes!

  43. 54

    Felina said,

    Just starting this now, I have successful Milk Kefir grains and here’s what I did:
    – washed grains in distilled water until water was no longer milky
    – used filtered water from my fridge
    – used 1/4c demerera sugar
    – 10 cranberries (from trader joes, ingredients say cranberries, oil, sugar)

    I’ll post back the results 🙂

  44. 56

    […] milk kefir are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably. However, some people have reported converting their milk kefir grains to water kefir grains. I will be testing this conversion on my grains sometime in the […]

  45. 57

    Arminda said,

    I just stumbled across this, and am very excited to try this. The only thing I’m unclear of is when I go to add the juice and put it in the little bottle, do I strain all the grains out first or do I wait until it’s completely done fermenting and carbonating before I remove them? Hope that makes sense.

    • 58

      marly67 said,

      Yes, Arminda, take out the converted kefir grains and start another culture with the sugar, water and fruit. Then let the juice with the cultured kefir water ferment until it has the amount of bubbles you want. That will depend on how warm your kitchen is. Also, I’ve found if you shake the bottle once or twice while it is fermenting, it will take less time to become fizzy.

      • 59

        Arminda said,

        Today I have attempted to start the first fermentation for pop. When I was rinsing the grains, I was getting less and less milk residue. The last few times I was rinsing though, the water was coming out sort of gel-like… Is this normal? It was getting thick almost like jello when it first begins to set, but it still in liquid form. A little worried…

    • 60

      Arminda said,

      Today I have attempted to start the first fermentation for pop. When I was rinsing the grains, I was getting less and less milk residue. The last few times I was rinsing though, the water was coming out sort of gel-like… Is this normal? It was getting thick almost like jello when it first begins to set, but it still in liquid form. A little worried…

  46. 61

    marly67 said,

    Don’t be worried. I have noticed that when working with “live” foods like kefir grains, almost anything can be considered “normal.” I haven’t experienced what you are describing, but your particular kitchen is unique in its environment and your kefir grains will respond to it in different ways. I would proceed with the fermentation and “see” what happens. Expirmentation is a great teacher. Let us know what you discover. And if the soda pop tastes bad, just chuck it and start over. You might have to do this several times until you get the right taste. Don’t give up. That is the important thing. Get back to us.

    • 62

      Arminda said,

      Ya know, actually what it reminded me of, is when you pour salt on slugs, and they start like “bleeding” that gooy, clear stuff? That’s what my kefir grains were doing… I SWEAR I didn’t put salt on them! lol

  47. 63

    Arminda said,

    Ok, so today I finished the first batch completely. It came out great! I was worried I was going to have to try a few batched before I was successful, but sure enough, it was VERY carbonated! I didn’t use grolsch bottles though, as I couldn’t find any, and I’m not known for my patience lol. I bought some Goya marinade that had nice glass bottles, probably around 22 oz, and had plastic lids. I realized after doing these back to back, that I was going to need more than two though. Tomorrow my boyfriend and I are going to go to the World Market near us, and I’ve heard they have grolsch bottles. But the thing is that I realized there are two holes in the bottle where the metal inserts to hold the “device” in place. Do you not have a problem creating the carbonation, even though your bottles are not completely air-tight? Tonight I went up to the brewery, and my dad (he works there) gave me a case of 15 empty 22 oz clear beer bottles. The problem is, the only lids he had were metal beer caps, and I was afraid that would compromise the pop. I’ve been trying to find plastic lids that would fit it, but I’ve had no luck. Is there any type of grolsch type lids I could buy, or something that might not have to fit so tightly? Didn’t know if you might have had some ideas. Thanks.

  48. 64

    plexy said,

    I just found this site and it is excellent ~ thank you! I would very much like to get a hold of some Tibicos (sp?) water kefir grains. Please email me if you have some or know of how I can get some! s.plexy AT I will try converting some of my dairy kefir grains this way as well.

  49. 65

    Marly67 said,

    Here is a site where you can purchase tibocos or water kefir grains.

  50. 66

    Stormy said,

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  51. 67

    Kurt said,

    Do I absolutely need to use Grolsch-style bottles for the last fermentation stage, or would another lidded Mason Jar work, as well? My main concerns about Grolsch bottles are that 1). I’m not sure where to find them near me, and 2). I worry about cleaning them adequately between uses. What do you use to clean yours? Is there a particular technique you recommend for keeping them clean?

    • 68

      Marly67 said,

      Kurt, thanks for your good questions. Yes, the Grolsch bottles are very much a necessity if you want lots of “fizz” in your soda pop. As the converted kefir grains munch along on the nice sugars you have provided for them, they like to “belch” a lot. This “belching” is actually carbon dioxide, which builds up under the pressure of your Grolsch bottle cap. Without this pressure, your sugar water would find the path of least resistence– right out the top of your container, and run all over your kitchen.

      If you do use a Mason jar and lid, instead of this pressurized bottle, you can expect a major explosion when you twist off the lid. It won’t be purdy, I promise.

      Look online for a source for these bottles. I got mine at my farmers’ market. They come from France and are lemonade bottles.

      Stay tuned for the second question. I have to run now, but will be back to tell you how to wash these bottles. It’s easy.
      Until later,

      • 69

        Marly67 said,

        When I empty one of my Grolsch bottles I immediately rinse it out, and then add a little squirt of liquid dishwashing soap and some really hot water. I shake it up and leave it until I have more time. Later I shake, rinse the soap out completely, then fill it with HOT water. I leave it until it cools then shake it vigorously as I empty it. This usually cleans out all the purple residue and my bottle is sparkling clean and ready to make my next ferment. Hope this helps. Let me know if it works for you.

      • 70

        Kurt said,

        Hi Marly, thanks very much for your responses to my questions. I will have to try this soon. I started converting some grains a while back, but I wasn’t sure it was working, so I gave up on it. My kefir grains seem very healthy, though, and they reproduce quickly, so I will have to try it again the next time I have excess grains to use up.

  52. 71

    One little thing I need to disagree with, you can actually revert the milk kefir grains from water or soda back to milk, they won’t hate you for that.

    • 72

      Marly67 said,

      Marius, thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right! I did convert my “converted” grains back to milk grains successfully, but the milk didn’t taste as good and I don’t think all the wonderful yeasts and bacteria were present.

  53. 73

    Carissa said,

    The complete proteins included in kefir are digested better compared with yogurt and are used more
    easily in the body. Kefir was a little more unusual, but when
    I discovered the Lifeway brand organic kefir at Kroger,
    that’s when I started drinking it more regularly. [1] Health and Nutritional Properties of Probiotics in Food including Powder Milk with Live Lactic Acid Bacteria, FAO and WHO report, October 1, 2001.

    • 74

      One thing you need to be aware of is that the supermarket kefir is made with a powder starter. It contains about 6 to 8 probiotic bacteria, whereas the kefir produced by the actual grains I believe has about 20.
      The downside is the taste, which is a bit more sour, and it is obviously less convenient to make than purchase it.

  54. 75

    Carla said,

    The first time when kefir is place in sugar water after two days, take that mix and do it all over again?
    Were should I keep the first,second and third mix of sugar water?

    How my kefir should look like when in the water mix?
    My are in top and like 3 grains in the bottom is this normal?


  55. 77

    It’s going to be finish of mine day, but before end I am reading this great piece of writing to increase my know-how.

  56. 78

    Lillie said,

    I’ve done a couple of rounds of this and my keifer grains are no longer white but more of a pale rust. Is this of concern?

    Also does it matter if when using other dry fruits if they are sulfered or not?

  57. 79

    Marly67 said,

    Hi Lillie,
    Your kefir grains will pick up the color of whatever fruit you use. This is of no concern because it doesn’t affect the ferment at all. My grains are purple, but still produce the most wonderful soda pop.

    The sulfer is another matter,however. I’m not positive, but I think the sulfer might have an adverse effect on the grains–maybe killing all those beneficial yeasts and bacteria that make up the grains. You can try some sulphered fruit, and see what happens, but don’t try it on all of your grains. Retain some just in case the sulfer kills them. Let us know what you find.

    Actually, I try to avoid sulfered fruit altogether. I don’t think it’s very good for us.

    • 80

      Lillie said,

      Thanks for getting back to me. Will continue to try and avoid the sulfer. It’s a bit hard to find.

      I’ve been using maple syrup for the sweetener which is working very well. I’m experimenting with decreasing the amount since I find it a bit sweet for my liking.

  58. 81

    Hi there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome. Mission Viejo Roofing Service, 26161 Cordillera Drive, Mission Viejo, CA, 92691, US, 949-238-6004

  59. 82

    Marly67 said,

    I’m sorry Julian that there’s a problem with the pictures loading. I checked it out and they load fine for me. I’m not sure what is going on. Keep trying, maybe something will change. Let me know. Good luck.

  60. 83

    Teena said,

    Thanks very much for this info, Marly! I really appreciate you sharing your expertise and experiences with this. I’m currently on the second conversion culturing. My grains still have a milky smell. Is that normal, and if so, does it disappear after several conversion culturings?

    • 84

      Marly67 said,

      Hi Teena,
      You might want to rinse them again with filtered or spring water. Do it several times if the milk smell is still persistent. Actually, it won’t hurt anything if it remains. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.

      As a note of interest, I have been making lemonade kefir soda with my converted grains. Just use a recipe for lemonade made with sugar and the juice from real lemons as your second ferment. Now that it’s so hot outside my ferments have been wonderful.

      • 85

        Teena said,

        Hi Marly,
        Thanks for the reply!

        A couple of conversion cultures after my question, the milk smell did go away. Two days ago I made my frst batch and it was nice and fizzy! I haven’t found a good grape juice blend yet, but used a tropical juice blend, pear papaya pineapple mango. It is very good! In one bottle a small grain got away and went in the bottle, along with some cranberries. I left them in for the culture, and that bottle was even fizzier. I took out the grain but left the cranberries in. It looks quite festive with the orange colored soda.

        I hope it is okay to store the converted grains in sugar water with dried cranberries in the fridge for a few days between batches. I’m the only one drinking the kefir and since I make kombucha too I can’t consume it all every two days.

        As an aside, wanted to let folks know I found some of those French limonade bottles, and some larger blood orange drink favored bottles, at TJ Maxx and Home Goods stores. At $3.99, it’s cheaper to buy them and pour out the carbonated flavored sugar water than to buy new empty bottles. The labels are cute, and they will slip right off in water.

  61. 86

    Steph Altermatt said,

    I only have a few milk grains. I would like to convert some of them to water grains. If I only have about 1tbps would that be enough?
    Also, I can’t get those bottles like you posted. What else could I use?
    Thank you!

  62. 87

    Thanks to my father who stated to me regarding this website, this blog is in fact awesome.

  63. 88

    Marly67 said,

    @Teena, I’m so happy it worked for you. And thanks for giving us a heads up on where to buy the bottles.

    @Steph Don’t use any bottles but the grolsch. See Teena’s comment #80 for a source. And yes, one tablespoon will work. Maybe use less liquid. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t tried it, but I think there should be no problem. Let us know in case anyone else has this same question. Good luck!

    @air conditioning, I’m glad you like my blog. I have so many other recipes I want to post here, but alas, no time. Maybe in the future.

  64. 89

    Jacob said,

    Just wanted say that this is an excellent article! Very well done. This makes me miss the fermented juices I used to make with water kefir. I’ve only done limited attempts to convert milk grains, but after reading this I may just go do it and ferment some juice! Thanks

  65. 91

    […] to make sure you are buying water keifer grains to use as your starter culture. You can convert milk kefir grains to water kefir. The process for making a simple water kefir is pretty […]

  66. 92

    Anonymous said,

    Is it ok, that my kefir grains a bit pink,because of cranberries?

  67. 94

    Yilmaz said,

    Is apricot okey for fermenting the kefir? And i use a big jar with metal lid but i don’t put lid on alone, i just put kitchen towel on

    • 95

      Marly67 said,

      Yilmaz, I haven’t used apricots so I can’t speak from experience, but I imagine it would work. Try it and let us know. Also, the towel is ok.

    • 96

      Lillie said,

      I’ve been using dried apricots that don’t have sulfer (the brown ones). They seem to work well and have a nice flavor

  68. 97

    Mariah said,

    Thank you for your site! How about using raw honey as a sweetener? Do you think that would work or would the anti bacterial properties kill the grains?

    • 98

      Marly67 said,

      Hi Mariah,
      No, don’t use honey for the sweetner. Honey is antibacterial and will kill your colony of kefir bacteria. Just use plain old sugar. It will all be used up in the process, and won’t be in the end product.

  69. 99

    Edwin Reffell said,

    Hello Marly, I am on the fourth conversion. The other day I bought dried cranberries. They are expensive here although cranberries grow wild in the woods. I could not wait till autumn so I bought a packet. It was extremely difficult to remove the kefir grains from the cranberries. Question 1:Is it okay to leave them there and continue converting and fermenting? Question 2:Instead of grolsch bottles can I use jars with glass lids that I put loosely over the liquid for fermentation without sealing them? The fizziness is not important but the health ingredients are. I do not want an explosion. Question 3: When you say grape juice do you mean the fruit wine is made from or grapefruit? Both kinds of juice are difficult to find here. Question 4:What is second best to grape juice? Question 5:How do you store the converted grains before using them to make more soda? You say your converted grains are still going strong after more than a year. That is great news as I was told they can only be used 3 or 4 times. Since it takes such a long time to convert milk kefir grains to water kefir grains I do hope I shall be able to use the milk kefir grains I am converting now as long as you have your converted grains. I make and drink milk kefir daily as it is so good for you. However the other day I went with a friend to a farm and bought milk. His mother told me to bring some (I used 2 litres) to the boil and place it immediately to cool in the fridge and the day after to remove the cream formed on the top. Then I was to bring to boil again the milk I had taken the cream from and put it directly in the fridge to cool and remove the cream formed on the top the day after. Finally I was to heat the milk I had taken the cream from to body temperature using my finger as a temperature guide. Then I was to stir in one and a half Tablespoons of yoghurt, cover the mixture with a dish towel, put the lid on the saucepan and place it in an unheated oven. The next day I tried it and tasted the most delicious yoghurt you can imagine. It is sweeter than milk kefir and I must admit I find the taste better than kefir though I know kefir is much better for you than any yoghurt. I shall continue making and drinking milk kefir but also make yoghurt from milk whenever i buy it from the farm. Hopefully I shall also be able to make water kefir all the time. As it is now I hardly ever drink pop but instead homemade cordial or bought fruit juice, or water, or milk, as well as coffee or roibois or tea but I lreally ook forward to drinking kefir water regularly.

  70. 100

    Edwin Reffell said,

    I need your help so please answer as soon as you have read this. Do I have to repeat the 4 conversion processes every time I make new kefir pop. The grains have already been converted and produced pop. I have now done over a period of 4 days what is called the first conversion. Do I have to do it 3 more times or can I start fermentation? When do I add the grape juice? Please reply quickly as I do not know what to do next.

    • 101

      Marly67 said,

      First of all, let me apologize for not getting back to you and all the others on this blog. I have been away for the last month and a half. Sorry for any inconveniences.
      Now, to answer your questions:

      1) I don’t see a problem leaving the cranberries in, but try to take out as many as you can. You can eat these, by the way, for additional health benefits.
      2) As long as you don’t confine the co2 coming off the fermenting kefir grain-sugar liquid, you’ll be fine. It’s only when the co2 has no place to go, but out the side of the exploding jar (lol).
      3) Grape juice, as in purple grapes, from which wine is made. If you don’t have grape juice just use some other type of juice. I have been making lemonade made with lemon juice, sugar and water, then using this to make lemonade soda pop

      • 102

        Marly67 said,

        5) Store the converted grains in the sugar-water mixture until you need them again. After a week if you haven’t used the fermented water, drink it and place the grains in a new mix of sugar and water. These grains live on sugars, either the milk sugars or the sugar water you make.

      • 103

        Marly67 said,

        My kefir grains are now several years old and still making great soda pop. I don’t know how long they will last. They do slow down when the weather is cold, I do know that. So if you have someplace warm–not above 110 degrees farenheit, it will be more beneficial to your grains when the weather outside is cold.

      • 104

        Marly67 said,

        Once you have converted your milk kefir grains to water-sugar grains you don’t need to do it again. Just keep these grains for your soda pop and use them each time you want pop.
        Edwin, I hope I have answered all your questions satisfactorily, but if not please let me know. I am home now and can answer more quickly. Thanks for your patience. I would like to know about your progress and how the soda pop turned out.

      • 105

        Edwin Reffell said,

        Hello Marly,

        Thank you for replying and helping. Since my grains are converted do I do fermentation now? I am still unsure what to do next. Should I strain off the grains, divide the liquid into 2 jars and fill both 2 thirds with my vitamin juice which has grapes as second ingredient and is delicious? Or should I add the juice without removing the grains? Cranberries grow in the forest here. Do they have to be dried or can they be added fresh? Finally I have not completely understood why cranberries should be used. We have another wild berry called lingon berry. It is not very sweet but not sour or bitter either and is used to make jelly with for meat dishes. I do not eat meat with any jelly so I spread it on bread as jam. However I have bought dried cranberries especially for making kefir pop. Thank you for your patience with all my questions.

        Kind regards,

  71. 106

    Marly67 said,

    Hi again, Edwin,
    My understanding is that the fruit needs to be dried because the sugars are more concentrated. You could try the fresh cranberries and see what they do. Also you could use slices of lemon–which are not dried. I’ve heard that works, also.
    Yes, strain off the grains, divide the liquid into 2 jars and fill both 2 thirds with your vitamin juice which has grapes . Always take the grains out after their ferment with the sugar water and place them in your juice, which contains sugar in some form, like any bottled juice from the grocery store. The lignon berries might not work because they don’t have much sugar, but again you could try them. The main thing is, the kefir grains MUST have a form of sugar for their food, otherwise they die. Hope this helps. Let me know. Good luck. I await your results.

  72. 107

    Lyndy said,

    I am in my third conversion of your process and have followed your instructions carefully but my grains don’t look happy. In fact they seem to be shrinking. Any suggestions? Also, the picture of your grains are white. My grains are red from the cranberries.

    • 108

      Marly67 said,

      The color of the “white grains” will change according to their environment, namely the cranberries. It’s ok and will not affect the taste or fermentation of the juice. As for the shrinkage, I’m not sure. I’ve never had this happen. Keep on with the process and you’ll probably find that it will work fine. Let me know.
      Good luck,

      • 109

        Edwin Reffell said,

        Hello Marly,

        Thank you for letting us know the film is normal. I thought I had killed the converted grains. Mine do not produce much fizz. i have them in a jar with a muslin cover. The longer I keep them the stronger and more acidy the taste. I would prefer making it with a different juice. Is grape juice absolutely necessary? Sorry I have been silent for so long. I have been gardening on my allotment all day for the most part. Now it gets dark at 5 p.m. I can get more done at home.

  73. 110

    Mark said,

    Thanks for this blog, I’ve successfully converted my milk grains to kefir soda grains. I have a film that forms on the bottom of my juice/soda after 12 hours or so. It’s similar to the film I’ve seen on the bottom of commercial kombucha bottles. Is this normal? Is it residue from the juice or remnants of the dried fruit? Just want to ensure I’m not concocting bad bacteria.

    • 111

      Marly67 said,

      Yes, this “film” or “residue” is perfectly normal. Just stir it in and drink it with the rest of the soda. It’s probably cream of tarter that develops from the grapes. Thank you for visiting my blog and I’m glad it has helped you. Cheers, Marly

  74. 112

    Claude Aldridge said,

    Will milk kefir grains that have been converted multiply? I have converted my grains according to your instructions and they are very happy and work faster than some water kefir grains I bought on the net. I just don’t see any growth and will convert more milk grains to water grains if necessary. Too much dairy makes me fat.

    • 113

      Edwin Reffell said,

      Kefir does not make you fat. I read only today that it is used by weight watchers. Unfortunately I cannot remember the page but I believe I found it when I googled for kefir benefits.

    • 114

      Marly67 said,

      I’m glad your “converted” grains are working so well for you. Unfortunately, once converted, they don’t multiply at all, but they do keep culturing the sugar water ad infinitum, at least mine have never given up the ghost–yet. I just love the soda they make for me and my family. I couldn’t do without it. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.

  75. 115

    T Jackson said,

    I wonder if you can make kefir grains out of the powdered milk kefir starter you can buy in the supermarkets just by using sugar water instead of milk? Does any one know or tried it?

  76. 116

    Awesome blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew
    of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked
    about here? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get
    advice from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  77. 117

    Dan said,

    Hello – what size is your grolsch bottle? Ikea sells them for $3.99 for 32 oz. I’m wondering if I need smaller sizes to follow your instructions of filling 2/3 bottle with grape juice. Thank you!

  78. 118

    Anonymous said,

    Hey Dan,
    You can use the 32 oz size as long as it has the grolsch top to trap the carbon dioxide. $3.99 is a good price. Mine are 24oz, but I don’t think it really matters. Let me know how it turns out. I just drank a glass of my soda and it was sooooooo delicious! Yours should be, too.
    Best Regards

  79. 120

    […] i’ve looked in to water kefir and how to change milk based to water, but as a newbie i’m going to stick with milk until i get the ball rolling…then […]

  80. 121

    Anonymous said,

    Please help, step 1, I washed my grains put them up with sugar water, put some raisins in?),( 1…close the lid tight? ), after the first, second and third fermentation… 2. Do I use that liquid or throw it away? From what fermentation step can I start using the liquid
    3. Can I use freshly juiced grape juice..for my second fermentation?
    4. And then I also close the lids tight?
    Thanks for your patience.

  81. 122

    marly67 said,

    First, when you close the lid, just barely tighten it–only slightly. Next, you can use the “liquid” from each of those fermentations to make your soda pop. However, usually the first once or twice you make it, it doesn’t taste as good as it does for the later ferments.

    Your grains will absolutely adore fresh grape juice for the second fermentation.

    Be sure to use the “grolsch” bottles for your last ferment with the grape juice, and make sure that it is tightly closed. When you open it after the ferment time, make sure you open it with a bowl over the top to catch any possible explosions.

    Please let us know how the fresh juice turns out. Good luck!

  82. 124

    Anonymous said,

    Please tell me the second fermentation, you put the grain with the liquid with the grape juice? I thought you only use the liquid with the juice and start a new batch with your grains, thanks again for your patience

  83. 125

    marly67 said,

    Separate the grains from the fermented liquid. Use the fermented liquid with the grape juice to make the soda pop. Next, add the sugar and water to your grains to ferment more water to make more soda pop. I hope this helps. I’m happy to answer all your questions. I want you to be successful in this and enjoy it as much as I do.

  84. 126

    Anonymous said,

    Thanks again…. It is working well xx

  85. 127

    Pam said,

    Hi Marly,
    Great instructions Thankyou for simply setting out the process. Just a note on the spring top bottles in your photo- I always avoid using these bottles for any fermentation because I had the entire metal clasp fly off under pressure and hit me, barely missing my eye. Please consider using different bottles for fermenting, as a rule I only use bottles that are specific for fermenting or are reused from a commercial carbonated drink (like Voss bottles)

  86. 128

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  87. 129

    marly67 said,

  88. 130

    Anonymous said,

    In your Note above you said you had been “using the same converted grains since last summer”, so from the summer of 2009 to the time of this article March 5, 2010. Did these milk kefir grains continue to grow and multiply after they were converted or did they stop growing? Are you still using these same grains today? Why didn’t you just use water kefir grains?

    • 131

      marly67 said,

      Yes, it’s April, 2014 and I’ve been using the same converted grains for several years now. The key thing is to give them the sugar and warmth they need to produce carbon dioxide. As long as they have those two elements, they should go on forever. However, I haven’t been around “forever” yet, so I really can’t vouch for that. Lol.. . .just sayin’.

  89. 132

    marly67 said,

    Oh, I forgot to mention, they do stop growing and multiplying after having been converted, but I did find out that they can ferment milk again, after being converted to water kefir grains.

  90. 133

    Felina said,

    My suggestion is to buy/acquire water kefir grains…

    I’ve been following this post for over a year now as I was successfully making milk kefir and *really* wanted soda pop! I tried converting, but for some reason didn’t have much success. My husband bought me water kefir grains for Christmas, and after a few months of trial and error, I’ve had FABULOUS soda every day!

    I never would have tried/known about this without this post, so a big thank you to Marly :D.

    My reason for suggesting water kefir grains is that they are incredibly easy to obtain, cheap, and PROLIFIC. I double my grains every 2 days (my mom fears it’s the blob and going to take over the house LOL.)

    I’ve also had a successful soda batch using R.O. water (although our filters might need replacing, the ice cubes aren’t quite as clear as when we first got it.) I replace the lost minerals that kefir requires by using 1tsp Blackstrap Molasses… it gives the soda a subtle depth that I enjoy as well :). (I’ve been running identical batches of R.O. with molasses and Spring Water without molasses side by side for 10 days now… so I can’t speak for longer term, but the grains still double every 48 hours.)

    Whichever way you do this, do it! It’s completely worth it :).

  91. 134

    Anonymous said,

    Thanks for your response, Marly. I’m #125 above. I just wanted to know because I had been making milk kefir for over 2 years now and in everything I had read it was mentioned that if you converted milk kefir grains to make water kefir they would stop growing and eventually die and also that they could not be used to ferment milk again….and that milk kefir grains only feed on the lactose in milk. I suppose it would depend on what the milk kefir grains were composed of since you had success converting yours and Felina didn’t. Maybe it depends on what is in the water as well…….hmm…….very interesting though to hear someone tried it successfully with water and that you could ferment milk with it again. I think I’ll stick with milk kefir though because I’m also making cultured vegetables, kombucha and sourdough bread and I just don’t have the room to add another culture in my tiny kitchen. 🙂

  92. 135

    Oxana said,

    1 Question: in first step of Fermentation Process:
    1. Divide the “cultured liquid” into two grolsch bottles, reserving the grains to culture more water for additional soda pop – do you put Kefir grains in the bottles or is it just the liquid that they have produced over the 8 days conversion process?

    2 Question: is it only the conversion process that takes 8 days? after the conversion have been made is it just 12 hours for the grains to produce “cultured liquid”.

    Thank you.

    • 136

      marly67 said,

      I leave the “converted kefir grains” in the sugar water for two days, and then put that water in the grolsch bottles with grape juice or lemonade to culture for another 24 hours to make soda pop. I add sugar water to the grains to begin the process again. Do not put the kefir grains in the grolsch bottles, only the kefired water with the grape juice.

      Actually, since writing this article, I have found that if you wash off your milk kefir grains with spring water until the milk residue is gone, then add the sugar water, letting it culture two days, you can use that water to make soda pop.

  93. 137

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  94. 138

    crimsonpetal said,

    Interesting, but far too much effort for such a small amount of product. And wasteful too,

  95. 140

    Mari Ann said,

    I’m converting some of my many milk grains to water grains now. So you are saying that you only have to put the grains in cranberry sugar water once and then use that kefir water to make the soda as long as you rinse them of the milk well. I found your recepie from 2010 and you did the cranberry water thing 4 times. Mine is on the second one. Can I make my soda next? I bought the bluberry pomegranate juice today. Also will there be any sugar left other the the natural juice since I don’t eat sugar other then from fruit? Does the kefir eat all the sugar up while it’s fermenting the water? I have ms and cut out dairy, wheat, sugar, and other grains. Feel great now but need to eat and drink more exciting stuff! Thanks! N

  96. 141

    Thank you! I have milk Kefir grains aplenty, I figured there had to be a way to convert them!

  97. 142

    Julie Ann said,

    What do I do with the grains if I want to stop making pop for awhile and take a break? How do I store the grains so they stay healthy?

  98. 143

    marly67 said,

    I’m not really sure because I’ve never quit. However, I think if you need to stop for a period of time, just make sure your grains have new sugar water every 7-10 days. Good luck!

    • 144

      Anonymous said,

      you never stop?!?! I am the only one in my house who will drink it. And it takes me 4-5 days to drink all that it makes

  99. 145

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  100. 146

    Teri said,

    I make milk kefir as well and made ginger ale once with my extra kefir grains. I have a couple of scobys and make homemade kombucha tea, which I bottle and do a second ferment with fruit or fruit juice. Then I bottle it into the swing-top bottles I picked up at a local bottle redemption center. My kefir has the same fiz as your converted kefir grains. I make about 2 gallons per week. A scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) ferments in much the same way except tea and sugar is the base.

  101. 147

    Diana said,

    How do you get the kefir grains? Is it in store bought kefir (just strain)?

  102. 151

    Anonymous said,

    You can buy them at or get them from someone who has them. Hope this helps.

  103. 152

    Anonymous said,

    Hi…I am wondering how to make the sugar water. Do I use hot water to make the sugar water and dissolve the sugar. Then wait for it to cool. Do you just use cold water and sugar and then add the grains?


  104. 153

    Anonymous said,

    Hi I just use room temp water from my Berkey. I don’t heat it or anything. I stir it with the sugar for a few minutes with 5 raisins, then I add the converted grains.
    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

  105. 154

    Sunni Goona said,

    Hi, i am just about to started the process, can you tell me if the converted grains will still grow, as my batch is small at present, or shall I grow them in milk kefir first and convert at a later date, thx

  106. 155

    marly67 said,

    Thanks for stopping by, Sunni. The converted grains will no longer continue to grow once you convert them. However, you only need about one tablespoon of them to make your pop.

  107. 156

    Kitty said,

    What is kefir grain? Kefir made from what? I’m here in Singapore, I’ve been looking and asking into the supper market but they doesn’t have it.

  108. 158

    !! Wow !!…. I just opened one of my homemade Black Grape & Ginger Sodas
    …. thankfully done it in the sink, more pop than champaign, very happy, taste is delicious and fizzy. Success 😋 😋 😋 😋🎉……. I made it from some of my MK grains. trying to post a pict on her but can’t do it.

  109. 159

    marly67 said,

    So happy you succeeded! Next time, place a bowl over the bottle as you open it. That way it won’t redecorate your ceiling. 🙂 Ask me how I know that. LOL!

  110. 160

    wendyshreffler said,

    Can u make this in a gallon jar,if you double this recipe?

  111. 161

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  112. 162

    Anonymous said,

    Awesome thank you for this .This was so helpful in my journey to have my family an myself eat clean ….

  113. 163

    Sirisha said,


    I am fairly new to making water kefir, I just made my first batch and added grape juice for the 2nd ferment and the bottle exploded and broke into fine pieces before the 2 days, there’s glass every where. I filled the bottle with fermented kefir water and grape juice and it was only 1/3rd of the bottle not even half full; there’s lot of room , I saw there were bubbles but the explosion was too big as a bomb. My husband said don’t do it any more as we have little kids, luckily no one is there when the explosion happened. I am wondering what happened, is there a safe way to do it instead of the bottle as I am scared. I bought this bottle from Marshalls, it is a Bormioli swing bottle.

    I really want to try doing it but can I do it in the mason jar with the cloth tied as I am doing the 1st ferment, will that explode as well or is there a specific brand bottle I need to buy where it doesn’t explode. Please let me know.

  114. 164

    marly67 said,

    Hi Sirisha,

    So sorry for the big explosion. I’m just thankful no one was around when it happened. First of all, this will never happen if the liquid is NOT under pressure, as in the first ferment, so the mason jar is fine. I think for your second ferment with the grape juice, the problem was probably your bottle. Did it look like mine in the pictures above?. They are “grolsch” bottles with very secure tops, when the metal clamp is completely locked into place. Maybe yours were weak and couldn’t hold the pressure. Was it these bottles:

    Some of the comments on this Amazon site said the seal was weak.

    Another problem may have been that the temperature of the place where it was fermenting was too warm. If you can see a lot of bubbles, then the ferment time is most likely complete, even before 2 days. BUT always, always, always open your bottle with something over the top, because it can explode like champaigne when it is uncorked.

    I hope this helped. If not, write me again. I want you to succeed. Also, I have never had a bottle explode when fermenting, so I really feel your clamp was either weak or not completely engaged. Try it again, but put it some place safe where it won’t make a mess or hurt anyone if it explodes again.
    Good Luck,

  115. 165

    Sirisha said,

    Thanks for the reply; yes it was similar kind as in Amazon and I bought it from Marshalls, it said it could hold beverages upto 4 atm I didn’t know what that meant. It was similar looking as your bottle clear one with no design on them. The bubbles were half of yours, I thought of removing but happened before I did. The top was very secure with rubber and the clamp was very tight, but the pressure from inside made it explode I think and maybe the bottles are not meant for soda beverages and weak as you said. My husband was vaccum cleaning and heard a sudden sound of bomb explosion, may be it became too hot as we were vaccuming, don’t why but it left a lot of mess and still cleaning all that.

    If I want to buy locally where would I need to buy bottles so that this doesn’t happen again, I looked in Marshalls and Ross, most of them said for decor purpose and this one said different so bought it.

    Also after the second ferment, how do I store in the refrigerator?


    • 166

      Andrea Findlay said,

      It sounds like you left your second fermentation with the juice in the grosch bottle that exploded for 2 days rather than just 12 hours!! That is probably why it exploded as soooo much pressure had built up and the bottle couldn’t contain it!!
      You must have mis-read the instructions!

  116. 167

    Andrea Findlay said,

    How big are the bottles you use? Just trying to figure out how much juice to add as it would vary depending on the bottle size. The bottles I bought from IKEA are quite large and I don’t know if this is standard or not.


  117. 168

    Wendy Irvine said,

    Why cant i use tap water? I do so for Kombucha Tea? All the other waters not easily accesible and costly where i live? Would tap water damage Kefir grains? Have been making dairy cultures successfully. However just love carbonated water and would love to make my own. Thank you.

    • 169

      marly67 said,

      Wendy, the chlorine in tap water kills bacteria. Thus, the keifir being a colony of bacteria (good bacteria) cannot live in tap water. However, if you can’t find spring water, you could try leaving your tap water in a container for 24 hours. Possibly the evaporation of the chlorine would be enough to not hurt your grains.

  118. 170

    You may have addressed this since it’s 7 years later! But can I drink the first conversion liquid? It tastes good but is a tiny bit viscous. If I let it fit longer will it ferment? I don’t want to just toss it. Thanks

  119. 173

    Cheryl rhodes said,

    For the sugar can you use organic stevia blend and if not plain sugar.

  120. 174

    Anonymous said,

    Stevia probably won’t work, but I’ve never tried it. Just use plain sugar.

  121. 177

    Ian Barclay said,

    Milk Kefir is said to have more strains of bacteria and yeast than water Kefir, My question is when you convert milk gains to water grains, do you loose bacteria strains and are they better than natural water kefir?

    • 178

      marly67 said,

      Ian, thank you for your question. I honestly don’t know the answer to that for absolute certain, but I think the strains wouldn’t change, remaining with the same bacteria.. You might want to contact Cultures for Health for a better, more complete answer. They are always very helpful to me with my questions. Good luck.


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  125. 182

    Tina said,

    Hi Marly,

    I just saw your blog. Thank you for sharing the conversion from milk to water kefir grains. I was wondering if you know why after a few fermentations, the sugar water with the grains turns slimy/syrupy – is there something wrong with it?

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  127. 184

    Julie said,

    Can I use Monkfruit sweetener and fresh strawberries instead of dried cranberries?

  128. 186

    Lisa said,

    how are those converted kefir grains doing now?

  129. 187

    lisa said,

    Your post really made me happy I have so many milk kefir grains yeah I don’t know what to do with them I’ve got them on the Internet to sell them but no one wants them seeing your post just gave me a whole new Avenue of how to use them. thank you

  130. 188

    marly67 said,

    HI Lisa,
    My “converted” milk kefir grains are STILL going strong, making great kefir soda pop!

  131. 191

    marly67 said,

    I did that also. Can’t really see any difference. Do you?

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