About a year ago I started making naturally fermented sodas from a non dairy brew of kefir grains. I purchased the dry kefir grains in a package. I keep them fed in a quart bottle of water sweetened with a quarter cup of sugar. I use a fermentation lid inside the screw band, and fill the bottle to the very top, so that there is no air, but the gas can escape. I make a new batch every couple of days. Or if I can’t keep up with all that, I stash the bottle in the fridge until I get around to making a new batch. The quart of strained sugar water, which I pour from the bottle after 24 or 48 hours with the kefir grains, is what I use to make a variety of sodas.
I have combined the water kefir with sweetened teas, my canned watermelon syrup, and all kinds of fruit juices. My three teenage boys drank whatever I made all summer long. I have also made sodas from whey, and created my own ginger bug for ginger beer and root beer. Any of these forms of naturally fermented soda will be good for your health and digestion (in moderation). The amount of sugar to use is up to you. The only sugar you have to use is the sugar that feeds the kefir in your brew.
I also started growing raspberries about a year ago. I haven’t had a bumper crop yet, but have been collecting handfuls of them all summer long. Now, in late September, it’s more like two handfuls at a time. I see them on sale at the supermarket as well. So, if you’re not growing any raspberries, it might be a good time to find a good deal on some. But a couple of handfuls of raspberries is all I need to make this very refreshing soda that tastes so delicious over ice after coming in from tending the garden on these still very hot and dry days.
Refreshing Raspberry Soda
- Food Mill
- Small Pot
- 1 gallon Pitcher or 2 half gallon Pitchers
- Small Strainer (to fit inside funnel)
- 5 Pop Top Bottles
- 1 cup
- ½ cup raw sugar my preference, any sugar will do
- 6 cup non-chlorinated water i use the filtered water from my fridge. you can also use bottled water, or leave tap water sitting out long enough for the chlorine to evaporate.
- 1 quart kefir culture i have been keeping kefir for a little while now. you can also use whey, or make your own ginger bug. see story above for directions.
Make the raspberry puree
- Place food mill, over bowl and process the raspberries to remove the seeds. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the food mill when you are finished.
- Pour the raspberry purée into a large pitcher or divide between two smaller ones.
Prepare the Soda for Fermentation
- Add the water and sugar (divided if necessary) and stir.
- Add the kefir culture and stir again.
- Place the strainer inside the funnel and pour soda mixture into pop top bottles.
- Leave the bottles out of direct sunlight for 24 hours. Open each bottle slightly to "burp" it. Wait another 24 hours and "burp" again, carefully. They should be fizzy by now and ready to place in the refrigerator and consumed cold. If not, leave for another 24 hours.