Kefir Soda Starter

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$25.99

This product is formulated to be shipped without refrigeration. Please refrigerate on receipt.

SKU:
CEC-Starter-Culture-Kefir-Soda-1pouch
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Product Overview

Download instructionsIngredients: Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Bifidum longum, Saccharomyces boulardii, non-GMO FOS (fructooligosaccharides)

Contains live cultures. Vegan. Dairy-free. Non-GMO.

Packaged in a facility that also handles products that may contain wheat, soy, eggs, milk, and fish.

Make your own delicious probiotic beverages!

Refreshing, vibrant, and exquisite!

Our Kefir Soda Starter contains beneficial bacteria strains and good yeasts to help you make a fun, bubbly, and healthy replacement for soda!* The strains and yeasts metabolize the natural sugar found in fruit juice or coconut water, resulting in an effervescent drink that is loaded with probiotics.*

Depending on the temperature in your home, it usually takes 3 - 5 days of fermentation for the first batch to reach your desired level of fizz. You can use some of the resulting beverage as a starter for many subsequent batches. These will ferment more quickly, usually in about 1 - 2 days.

Add your choice of flavors and spices to the basic recipe to make a range of fizzy drinks, fit for any occasion!  

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Instructions for making Kefir Soda

Makes: One 32 oz bottle (about a quart)
Time:

  • Preps: 5 minutes
  • Culturing: 2-5 days, depending on the ambient temperature

You’ll need:

Ingredients:

  • 1 sachet of Kefir Soda Starter
  • 2 cups of fruit juice or coconut water (with the least additives possible)
  • Just under 2 cups of water, lightly filtered or spring (not fizzy)

Equipment:

  • One thick 32 oz flip-top bottle, made for brewing (not from a craft store)
  • A measuring cup with a spout for mixing the ingredients
  • A funnel

Important! This product creates strong carbonation!
• Use thick flip-top bottles made for brewing (not from a craft store)
• Remember to carefully burp the bottle several times a day to release pressure. Otherwise, you may end up with kefir soda on your ceiling!

Steps

  1. In a measuring cup with a spout, mix the starter with some of the juice/coconut water until completely dissolved.
  2. Pour into a flip-top brewing bottle. A funnel will help.
  3. Add the rest of the juice and water, leaving 2 inches of headspace. Secure the top.
  4. Let ferment until well carbonated and tangy (about 3 days). In colder homes, fermentation might take 5 days or more. Important! Carefully burp the bottle several times a day to release the pressure, then secure the top again.
  5. When ready, place in the fridge to slow down the carbonation. You can enjoy the drink right away, but keep it stored in the fridge, and keep popping the top gently to release pressure daily, as needed. Consume within 1-2 weeks.

Note: Store the starter culture in the refrigerator or freezer until you're ready to use it.

Reculturing: For best results, reculture within 1 week. To make a new bottle, use ½ cup of kefir soda from your prepared kefir soda as a starter, 2 cups of juice or coconut water, and just under 1½ cups of water. DO NOT ADD NEW STARTER FROM A SACHET. Mix the ingredients and ferment in a sealed brewing bottle on the counter for a day or two, depending on the ambient temperature. Carefully pop the top several times a day to release pressure.

FAQs

  • Will I need to look after crystals if I use the Kefir Soda Starter? No. Our Kefir Soda Starter is a powder that dissolves in liquid and does not create crystals at any stage. Once you've made a batch of Kefir Soda using our Kefir Soda Starter, you can use some of it to culture your next batch. This is called 'reculturing' and can be repeated several times over.  
  • Which liquid should I use? Use 100% fruit juice (homemade or store-bought with the least additives possible) or coconut water. You will also need water, preferably lightly filtered or spring (not fizzy).
  • Can I use juice made from frozen concentrate? Yes, you can use juice that was originally made from frozen concentrate. Ideally, the juice should be at room temperature when you make the recipe. The bacteria perform best at pleasant ambient temperatures. If your kitchen is on the colder side and you use refrigerated juice, you may want to take it out of the fridge ahead of time, so that the juice is not too cold when you make the recipe. This is less of an issue in the summer because a cold liquid left on the counter will naturally reach room temperature fast. Opt for juice with the least additives possible. If you make the juice yourself, do not over-dilute it. The bacteria need the naturally-occurring sugar in the juice to feed on.
  • Can I use a canning jar to ferment in? No, this doesn’t work and will leak out the carbonation. 
  • What kind of bottles should I use? Use thick 32 oz flip-top bottles made for brewing. Do not use craft-store bottles. These may not handle pressure well, and may explode. You can also use recycled store-bought kombucha bottles.
  • Why do I need to leave some headspace in the bottle? To let the mixture expand. Fermentation creates natural gas which causes the mixture to increase in volume.
  • Why do I need to burp the bottle several times a day? Fermentation produces strong carbonation which creates high pressure in the bottle. Recultured batches carbonate even stronger and faster. Carefully burp them often even when in the refrigerator, as needed. See also "How to pop the top?"
  • How to pop the top? Carefully, gradually, and not directly towards your face. Start by gently pressing the top sideways while the bottle is still secure and the metal clip is on your side of the bottle. This will release the initial pressure. You may want to proceed in the sink. Firmly press down with your palm on the top of the bottle and release the flip gradually. Gently and repeatedly alternate between pressing and releasing slightly, so that pressure can gradually escape without erupting.
  • How long does an unopened sachet of starter culture keep in the refrigerator? The Best By date is printed on the pouch and on each sachet. Keep the starter culture refrigerated/frozen.
  • How long will the bottle of kefir soda keep in the fridge? It will be good for 1-2 weeks. Flavor and fizz may change/weaken over time. Even in the refrigerator, keep popping the top gently to release pressure, as needed.
  • Should I store the Kefir Soda while I'm away? If you're going away even for only several days, we recommend drinking up all your Kefir Soda prior to leaving, to avoid intense pressure build-up in the bottles while you're away. NEVER FREEZE BOTTLES OF KEFIR SODA. The bottles need to be carefully popped even in the refrigerator.
  • Can I use less than ½ cup from my previous kefir soda to ferment a new bottle? You will need to experiment. If the result is weak, you could try extending the fermentation time.
  • Is fermentation affected by the temperature in my house? Yes. Warm room temperature will accelerate fermentation and result in strong carbonation, while cooler temperatures will slow fermentation down and result in less carbonation. The ideal temperature for fermenting is around 70-75°F. See answers to ''I am not getting any fizz. It's been several days already. What should I do?" and "What could affect fermentation (carbonation)?"
  • I am not getting any fizz. It's been several days already. What should I do? It's normal for the first batch to take 3-5 days to ferment (and longer in cooler homes), and result in only a mild fizz. It takes the microorganisms in the starter a little while to fully 'wake up', and it will take a cycle or two for fermentation to kick into full gear. Winter fermentation is often slower and less fizzy, even in subsequent batches. Opt for a warmer spot (it doesn't have to be the kitchen counter), and increase the ratio of juice to water. Make sure you have enough starter in the mixture (either from a previous bottle OR from powder, but not both). Leave your bottle to ferment for a bit longer if needed, and gently pop the top to release pressure often. Generally speaking, the warmer the temperature, the faster and stronger the carbonation, and vice versa. User juice/coconut water with the least additives possible. Subsequent batches will usually ferment much faster (especially if placed in a nicely warm spot). Ultimate test would be to use some of your resulting beverage to culture your next bottle.
  • My bottle smells/tastes 'sulfuric'. What should I do? Gently open the bottle and leave it open for a few seconds to let the smell dissipate. Then assess the smell and taste again. Your Kefir Soda should be fizzy and tangy and may have some background aroma, but it shouldn't be unpleasant. You can also make a new batch with a starter from a sachet, but this time use different juice/coconut water from another brand, with no additives or the least additives possible. Also check if your water smells funny all by itself. Don't use carbonated water when making Kefir Soda.    
  • What's the sediment at the bottom of my bottle? It is normal to have some sediment at the bottom of the bottle after a while. This is usually natural residue from the juice or coconut water (tiny pulp particles from the fruit or coconut). It shouldn't affect the fermentation. Please use juice/coconut water with the least additives possible. Your end-result should be carbonated, tangy, and pleasant to consume.
  • What could affect fermentation (carbonation)?
    • Ambient temperature: the warmer the temperature, the faster and stronger the carbonation.
    • Strength of starter: the stronger the starter, the faster and stronger the carbonation.
    • Amount of natural sugar in the mixture (from the juice or coconut water): the sweeter the mixture, the faster and stronger the carbonation.
    • Ratios of water-starter-sweet liquid: the more starter and sweet liquid there is, the faster and stronger the carbonation.
    • Duration: There’s a sweet spot during fermentation, where your bottle is nicely carbonated, pleasantly tangy, and has lost quite a bit of its initial sweetness. That’s when it needs to go in the fridge. Any longer than that on the counter, and fermentation may weaken or, conversely, overly fizz. Gently open your bottle often, to release pressure.

Because of these many variables, you’ll need to experiment a little to find what works best for you. Use our basic recipe as a general guideline. Sometimes you may need to ferment for a little longer or a little shorter, or use a bit more starter or a bit less, or use more juice or less.

  • How many times can I reculture? For as long as your bottle comes out pleasantly fizzy and tangy.
  • Can I make larger quantities? Absolutely! You can do this starting at the 2nd batch, with all the ingredients in proportion. For example, to make 2 bottles, just double the quantities: use 1 cup of your kefir soda from the first bottle as a starter, 4 cups of juice or coconut water, and just under 3 cups of water. Mix well and pour evenly into your brewing bottles.
  • Is there sugar in the kefir soda beverage? Much of the original natural sugar from the juice/coconut water is consumed by the starter bacteria and yeasts during fermentation, and is used to produce carbonation. Our research shows a decrease of up to 82% in sugar content. Sugar content will also depend on the juice you use and on fermentation length. As fermentation progresses, more sugar is metabolized by the microorganisms, and less of it is left in the liquid. The starter itself contains no sugar, nor is sugar added to the recipe. The natural sugar in the juice/coconut water is food for the bacteria and yeasts, and is needed in order for fermentation and carbonation to occur. See research
  • Is the starter gluten-free/soy-free/dairy-free/lactose-free/vegan? Although the starter contains no gluten, no soy, no animal products, and no dairy (and hence no lactose), it is packaged in a shared facility that also handles products that may contain wheat, soy, eggs, milk, and fish.
  • Is the starter certified Kosher? No. Our starters are not certified Kosher.
  • Where is the starter made? In the USA.
  • Why is the starter shipped without ice? See answer to "I live in a hot place. Is the starter still active after being shipped unrefrigerated in hot weather?"
  • Do you ship to Hawaii / Alaska / Puerto Rico? Yes. Shipping fees to Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico are the same as to any address within the contiguous USA. We use ambient shipping (non-refrigerated, and without ice). Our starters are designed to remain active for several weeks in transit in hot weather, without refrigeration and without ice. The formula and the packaging provide excellent protection for the live strains. See "I live in a hot place. Is the starter still active after being shipped unrefrigerated in hot weather?"
  • I live in a hot place. Is the starter still active after being shipped unrefrigerated in hot weather? Yes. Our starters are designed to remain active for several weeks in transit in hot weather, without refrigeration and without ice. The formula and the packaging provide excellent protection for the live strains. We have thoroughly tested our starters to ensure their viability in long transit during heatwaves, without ice and without refrigeration. For this reason, we use ambient shipping, which is significantly less costly for the customer. We keep the starters in a cold warehouse until orders are shipped. When your order is shipped we send you a tracking number so that you can see when it is due to arrive. Once received, the starter should be refrigerated or frozen, and you can use it as normal. Your bottle should come out well-carbonated and tangy. See also "I forgot to refrigerate the starter. Is it still active?"
  • I forgot to refrigerate the starter. Is it still active? This depends on how long the starter has been left at ambient temperature and if the Best By date is still valid. The starter is designed to remain active for several weeks (and depending on ambient temperatures, even longer) at room/warm temperatures (usually for transit purposes). The formula and the packaging provide excellent protection for the live strains. If the delay is much longer and the temperatures are very high, the viability may be affected. That said, reduction in viability is a slow process that does not happen immediately, even past Best By date. You could try compensating for the possible decrease in viability by fermenting for a little longer, to let the bacteria 'catch up' by proliferation over time. Remember to pop the top often to release pressure. See instructions. Your bottle should come out well-carbonated and tangy. There's no harm in consuming inactive bacteria; this is equivalent to consuming no bacteria at all. If all goes well, you could later use some of your ready batch to make future batches. Remember to ​​​​​​keep the starter refrigerated (or frozen) until you're ready to use it. See also "I live in a hot place. Is the starter still active after being shipped unrefrigerated in hot weather?"

Need more info?
Go to Kefir Soda Research

Thirsty?
Go to Kefir Soda Fun & Fizzy Recipes

Reviews

(3 reviews) Write a Review

3 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Bubblicious!

    Posted by Roy on 2023 Oct 17th

    It feels almost sinful - tastes great and its good for me and not full of sugar. If you were that way inclined you could even use it for cocktails!

  • 5
    Kefir Soda Starter

    Posted by Sonya on 2023 Aug 17th

    I absolutely LOVE this product. I'm using it for the first time and it is so easy. I've just made my 4th batch, 3 of which were started from the previous batches. I've made mango, guava, and passionfruit so far. And they are fantastic. The first batch took 3 days. At first there wasn't much action, but I think it's because our house is on the cool side. So I heated up some water to about 80F and put the bottle in to warm up. That did the trick. The successive batches are done in 1 -2 days and are very active, right from the start. Just remember to burp the bottles several times a day. I forgot one day and when I opened the bottle, it overflowed. I am loving experimenting with different flavours of pure (no sugar added) juices. Great taste and so refreshing!

  • 5
    Now I have a delicious, fizzy homemade, healthy alternative to sugary soda (maybe even booze!)

    Posted by Roy B on 2023 Mar 11th

    We have now made 4 batches of really nice, fizzy apple and then orange-based kefir soda with this starter. I had no idea it would be so easy and the results satisfy my occasional craving for a bubbly drink. Also... have replaced some of my evening whiskeys.