Apple Cider Kefir

Recipe 5 minPreparation Time 0 minCooking Time
Apple Cider Kefir

Apple Cider Kefir

5 minPreparation Time 0 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

You know how jugs of apple cider sometimes ferment in the fridge, getting fizzy and inflating? This is the deliberate version of that, yielding a sophisticated and powerfully probiotic beverage that you can tailor to your preference on the sweet-sour spectrum. 

The Benefits

This fermented beverage is a great way to improve your gut health. The kefir grains contain diverse strains of bacteria and yeasts which have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The probiotics from the fermentation process consume a lot of the sugars from the apple juice making this beverage less likely to spike blood sugars. Newer research is showing that the nutrients in fermented foods can help activate longevity pathways. 

Note: If you already ferment with kefir and have the grains, you will want to use the type that thrive by consuming lactose. These “milk grains” can be used for a few batches. Then you must “refresh” them by letting them process a batch of milk. Rinse the milk off gently when ready to put them back into the apple juice. The grains work fast — the kefir-fermented cider is ready to drink in as little as 2 days — but the grains need to be maintained if you want to reuse them. 


Makes 1 to 2 quarts 2
  • 1 to 2 quarts (945 ml to 1.9 L) pasteurized apple juice
  • 1 tsp (4 g) direct set powdered kefir starter culture


  1. Step 1
    Sanitize a glass bottle. To do this you can use a no-rinse sanitizer, the sanitation setting on your dishwasher, or rinse it with a 70-proof vodka or other neutral spirit and allow it to air-dry.
  2. Step 2
    Add enough juice to the bottle to fill it within about 4 inches from the top. Add the powdered kefir starter, secure the lid, and shake to combine. Open the lid and add enough juice to fill within about 2 inches from the top.
  3. Step 3
    Place the lid on the container but leave it slightly loose so that gases can escape. Leave this bottle on your counter in plain sight, in a cool corner away from the heat of major appliances.
  4. Step 4
    Depending upon the size of your bottle, the activity of yeasts in your juice, and the temperature, you should see activity between a few days to a week or more. If your lid is tight, you’ll need to “burp” the jar by loosening it once or twice a day. Let it sit for a week if you want it on the sweeter side, or longer if you want it drier, then transfer it to the fridge and tighten the lid for a few hours to develop carbonation. Don’t forget about it! Pressure will continue to build.
  5. Step 5
    The idea is to enjoy this cider while it still has some sweetness and a nice amount of carbonation so it’s naturally sparkling. Refrigerate or keep out on the counter at room temperature for a few days. When your cider is about 3/4 gone, you can add more juice and after a day or two, you will have more cider kefir.

About the author

Kirsten Shockey

Kirsten Shockey

Shockey is an award-winning author who hosts experiential workshops in her farm and has been fermenting foods for over twenty years. 

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