Homemade Grapefruit Ginger Ale

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Water kefir is a bubbly, refreshing fermented drink that’s perfect for summer. Looking for more water kefir flavor ideas? Try this easy and refreshing grapefruit ginger ale water kefir! You only need a few simple ingredients and active water kefir grains.

How to Make Ginger Ale Water Kefir

Water kefir requires two fermentation processes, called primary and secondary fermentation. In primary fermentation, we add water kefir grains to a sterile sugar-water mixture and left to ferment for 24-48 hours. Then, in secondary fermentation, we take the liquid from primary fermentation and add it to a pressure-safe bottle with fruit juice flavoring, and let it ferment at room temperature for another 24-48 hours.

Here’s all the equipment you need to get started:

Here’s all the ingredients you need to get started:

  • Water kefir grains
  • Sugar
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Water
  • Fruits, herbs, or fruit juice for flavoring/secondary fermentation

Making Ginger Ale with Water Kefir

It’s so easy to make ginger ale with water kefir. Lately, I’ve been loving making flavored ginger ale with water kefir. My latest creation is this grapefruit ginger ale water kefir. I’m a huge fan of grapefruit. It’s my favorite citrus and the flavor is perfect for summer. To flavor the water kefir for secondary fermentation you will need:

  • grapefruit juice
  • lemon juice
  • fresh ginger root

What are Water Kefir Grains?

Water kefir grains, also called Tibicos, are just symbiotic colonies of yeast and bacteria. Water kefir grains mainly consist of lactic acid bacteria, like Leuconostoc spp. and Lactobacillus spp. Originally, water kefir was a fermented drink made in Mexico from the sweetened juice of the prickly pear cactus, since water kefir grains naturally form on the cacti. The grains naturally form on the pads of Opuntia cacti as microbes feed off the sugars and water in the succulent. 

To read more about water kefir grains and how to properly care for them, CLICK HERE.

The Health Benefits of Water Kefir

Water kefir is a healthy and probiotic beverage. Some of the microbes in the grains, the Lactobacillus species specifically, are probiotic bacteria. Even though kefir is a healthy drink, it’s important to consume drinks like water kefir and kombucha in moderation. Drinking 8 oz of water kefir a day is perfectly fine for most people, but it still contains sugars. Too much sugar can disrupt a balanced gut microbiome. We drink a little bit of water kefir maybe once or twice a week.

More Water Kefir Flavor Ideas

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Refreshing Grapefruit Ginger Ale Water Kefir

Water kefir is a bubbly, refreshing fermented drink that’s perfect for summer. Looking for more water kefir flavor ideas? Try this easy and refreshing grapefruit ginger ale water kefir! You only need a few simple ingredients and active water kefir grains.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • fermentation time: 48 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 48 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: drinks
  • Method: fermentation

Ingredients

Scale

Primary Fermentation Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup activated water kefir grains
  • 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups purified water

Secondary Fermentation Ingredients

  • 3 cups water kefir (from first fermentation)
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons grated ginger

Instructions

Primary Fermentation

  1. Prepare sugar-water mixture in a quart-sized mason jar by adding the sugar and maple syrup and dissolving in boiling water. 
  2. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Allow the sugar-water mixture to cool to room temperature. 
  4. Add the sugar-water mixture to the activated water kefir grains. 
  5. Cover jar with a cheesecloth, and secure with twine or a rubber band.
  6. Allow kefir grains to ferment the sugar water mixture for 24-48 hours.
  7. Strain the grains from the cultured water mixture, and pour the water mixture into a 1-liter swing-top bottle. Place bottle aside for flavoring and second fermentation.
  8. Make a new batch of the sugar water mixture, and add it to the water kefir grains to start fermenting your next batch!

Secondary Fermentation

  1. Add 3 cups of cultured water kefir from the first fermentation to a 32-ounce swing-top bottle.
  2. Add the grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and ginger to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat. 
  3. Allow the juice mixture to cool to room temperature. 
  4. Add the cooled juice mixture to the swing-top bottle with the water kefir. 
  5. Secure the lid and allow it to ferment at room temperature for 24-48 hours. (I usually go for 48 hours, but be advised, this results in a lot of carbonation).
  6. After 24-48 hours refrigerate the bottle. 
  7. Open the bottle with caution, pour over ice and enjoy! 

Keywords: kefir, water kefir, ginger, grapefruit

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