The difference between milk and water kefir (and how to make both at home)

Razlika između mliječnog i vodenog kefira

It is known that kefir has a very beneficial effect on our digestion and should be part of everyone's diet. However, did you know that there is also a vegan version of kefir, i.e. water kefir, which is just as effective and to which you can add various fruits and spices? Find out what the differences are and how to make them at home, so enjoy their benefits whenever you want.

The stomach loves fermented

Kefir is an acidic drink that is produced by fermentation from milk, usually cow's milk, and is very similar to yogurt. The history of the use of kefir goes all the way back to BC and it was then mentioned as a drink with a very beneficial effect on stomach ailments. Due to the presence of beneficial microorganisms for the digestive tract, it is more favorable than the consumption of milk. Kefir, in addition to improving digestion, has useful anti-inflammatory properties, reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure, and has antioxidant and anti-allergic effects.


It is created by adding kefir grains to the milk, which ferment the milk. It is best to get them through acquaintances and people from your circle of friends, and if you do not have a person among your acquaintances from whom you could take grains, there are groups on Facebook that you can join in order to reach them. They are often called Tibetan mushrooms or kefir mushrooms.

Make your own homemade kefir

You will need one liter of homemade milk and kefir culture. Pour the kefir culture into a glass bowl and then pour milk over it. Cover the bowl with a cloth and then stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Leave at room temperature and let the milk ferment from 16 to 20 hours. During the summer it will take a shorter time for fermentation, and in the winter a little longer. You will know that the kefir is ready when the kefir grains float to the surface and the liquid takes on a thicker texture. Strain them exclusively through a plastic strainer, stirring it with a wooden spoon. Kefir grains do not tolerate metal containers or colanders, so everything is best done in glass or plastic containers. After the process is finished, you can put the grains in a glass container, cover with clean water from the bottle, and then put in the refrigerator until the next use.

Milk kefir

Japanese crystals are the crown of complete nutrition

Water kefir is defined as a stable community of microorganisms used to obtain a refreshing drink. It is not milk-based, but water-based. It is also known under the names tibicos, sugar kefir, Japanese crystals, and it is also carbonated and has a slightly sour taste and contains probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that have a beneficial effect on the entire organism.

With the recipe for water kefir, you can be more creative because it is possible to add various dried fruits and other spices to it in order to discover which flavor pleases you the most. Again, you will need glass or plastic dishes and wooden utensils as tibicos do not react well with metal. You can also get tibicos through acquaintances or Facebook groups, often people will donate them voluntarily, and in addition to them, you will also need water and sugar for the basic recipe. In the prepared container, mix six soup spoons of sugar with a little warm water to dissolve it. Then add the rest of the water, about 1 liter. The solution should not be too hot, so cool it to room temperature before adding the kefir grains. Mix in three soup spoons of wet grains of water kefir and mix. Cover with cheesecloth, secure with a rubber band and leave at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours.

Depending on whether you want your water kefir to contain less sugar, more bubbles and a stronger flavor, ferment it longer. After fermentation, strain the liquid through a plastic strainer or gauze, and you can add lemon, orange or other citrus fruit juice to the finished kefir. You can play with spices like cinnamon or ginger and add dried berries. If you are going to put slices of fruit in it, make sure that they do not have a peeled skin. Keep it in the refrigerator and enjoy it for the next two to three days.

5 benefits of milk and water kefir

  • they strengthen immunity
  • they purify the body
  • they improve digestion and reduce stomach problems
  • they restore balance and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas
  • they serve revitalization and regeneration
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