The Kefir Volcano: Happy Little Accidents

My pal, Jesscy, turned me on to making kefir in March.  It is pretty dang amazing, I gotta say.  I'm an on-again, off-again soda junkie.  Kefir is a bubbly, refreshing, and satisfying probiotic beverage.  Even better:  I can make it at home with simple ingredients (sugar, water, fruit juice) and reusable bottles.  Like I said, it is pretty dang amazing.  It has been a brilliant tool to keep me off of the Diet Pepsi.
Water kefir flavored with unfiltered, local grapes.
While I'm certainly still learning (and have made a few not-quite-right batches) I've found that brewing kefir is a snap.  It requires just a tiny bit of daily attention, rather reminiscent of our forays into sourdough cultures.

Every couple days I take the finished kefir water and drain it into a pitcher--catching the kefir grains in my mesh strainer.  The kefir grains are fed on a mixture of water and sugar.  For my brewing vessel I use 48 ounces of water to 1/4 cup of raw cane sugar.  Once I get the grains fed and going for the new batch I switch back to working on the pitcher of finished kefir water.  I add some fruit juice to it and fill my swing-top glass bottles.  The amount of fruit juice varies depending on whether it is lime juice, say, or grape juice.  Grape and tart cherry are my two favorites.  I "burp" these bottles of flavored kefir daily for a couple days (depending on the ambient temperature of my house) allowing them to get nice and naturally carbonated.  Then I pop them in the fridge and drink them over the course of a couple days until the cycle repeats all over again.
Water kefir flavored with unfiltered, local grapes.
Except that one day (over the Easter weekend) when I forgot to burp the bottles.  And I made a kefir volcano in the kitchen.

When I popped the lid off the bottle a jet of purple kefir rocketed up to the ceiling.  It got everywhere!  The lights, the curtains, the windows, the overhead rack of kitchen doodads.  And of course, I was using homemade, unfiltered grape juice so....yeah...what a dark purple mess.

But it proved to be a happy little accident, a minor blessing in disguise.  We took down the curtains and tossed them in the wash.  The ceiling, cupboards, walls, and windows got scrubbed--and were well overdue for it, really.  And we realized it looked much more bright and open without that rack of kitchen tools hanging there.  So, we decided not to use it anymore.  We went through the measuring spoons, potato masher, peelers, bottle openers, and other kitchen bric-a-brac and decided to donate several and relocate the rest.
We really enjoy having quick and ready access to the measuring cups and spoons, but realized the rest were used much more sporadically.  We found homes for the latter in our various kitchen drawers.  To maintain the quick-draw use of the measuring tools we pounded some nails into the side of the cupboard and hung them up there.  We're quite pleased with it.
I hung a couple plants over the sink instead.  It feels so much more spacious and uncluttered.  What a happy little accident indeed!
I'm currently in the process of waking up my kefir mother for the first time.  In all the craze of June from Ryan to Grandma to Silvercloud to LA to family reunion I just didn't have the time to tend to it daily.  Like a sourdough mother kefir can be made to go into a sort of hibernation state in the fridge.  We'll see how happy this mother is when I wake her up again!


  1. I've never tried to make kefir...but we've been making sourdough for a while now...and keeping it 'alive'...

    ~Have a lovely day!

    1. Good for you. We killed our sourdough and then someone never picked it up and started over. We should do that. I just baked some refrigerator rolls yesterday and remembered just how divine fresh bread is. Also, how dangerous to my waistline it can be to have around the house!! :)


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