Choosing the Best Sugar for Water Kefir: 4 Best Types of Sugar to Buy

What is the best part about making water kefir? The fact that you only need a few ingredients to make this nutritious beverage! The kefir grains, water, and sugar. That’s it!

But, at the same time, you have to make sure that the quality of every ingredient is impeccable. After all, the taste of the water kefir will fully depend on the water that you have used and, most of all, on the sugar that you have added.

What is the best sugar for making water kefir?

It all depends on your preferences! The chances are high that you didn’t even know that there are so many different types of sugar. Of course, you can end up using the simplest one that everyone has in their kitchen – refined white sugar. And the truth is that your water kefir will still have a great taste and will still have amazing properties.

However, there are ways in which you can enrich the taste of your water kefir. Moreover, different types of sugar can also help with increasing the mineral content of your water kefir, which certainly is great news.

Here is a short list of the best sugar for making water kefir:

1. Tat & Lyle Fairtrade Demerara Sugar

2. Billingtons – Molasses

3. Dark Muscovado Sugar

4. Bulk Raw Cane Sugar

However, if you want to find out what are the properties of every single type of sugar and why one is better than the other, then stay with us till the end.

What Sugar to Choose for Making Water Kefir?

There are so many different options to choose from. However, no matter what type of sugar you decide to pick, make sure to read the label carefully. The sugar should not contain any additives as those might be dangerous for the well being of your kefir grains.

  • White sugar – is the most commonly used type. It can be made of cane or beet. The main difference is that white sugar has usually been refined. This process fully removes the molasses from the product. All-in-all, white sugar doesn’t have an intensive flavor and it lacks a lot of important minerals that are present in molasses.


  • Molasses – can also be called “black treacle”. This is also a component of brown sugar. But molasses can be used on its own as a sweetener. The product is extremely high in mineral content. However, if you add molasses on its own to the kefir, it might damage the grains. Experts recommend adding half of a teaspoon (per batch) as a mineral supplementation.


  • Brown sugar – has a recognizable color. It can be made in two ways. Molasses can be added either to sugar crystals or to the refined white sugar. You can choose either light brown or dark brown sugar. The latter has a higher percentage of molasses. Brown sugar has a high mineral content and can easily add stronger flavor to your water kefir.


  • Rapadura sugar – you probably have never heard about this one. Basically, this is unrefined cane sugar. Rapadura has a characteristic caramel taste. It is not crystallized and has a grainy texture. This type of sugar is less processed and contains a lot of iron, vitamins, and minerals. Your kefir will have a strong flavor, in case you decide to add rapadura sugar.


  • Cane sugar – has a lot of different types. It is produced when sugar cane stalks are crushed. Then the juice is heated and it turns into a syrup. Organic cane juice crystals are low in mineral content. However, they can make your water kefir sweet and tasty.


  • Demerara sugar – This type of sugar is raw and large-grained. When cane juice is turned into the crystals, demerara sugar is formed. It has a pleasant caramel taste.


  • Muscovado sugar – This type might be totally unrefined and with a high molasses concentration. This sugar is used to produce rum. It is considered to be a bit healthier than white sugar.

Why Is Sugar Important for Water Kefir Production?

Of course, the sugar that you decide to use will affect the actual taste of your water kefir. But the truth is that you’re not really adding it to the mixture only for the taste. The kefir grains need sugar during the fermentation process. Without this ingredient, you will simply not be able to produce your water kefir drink.

By the way, if you are on a diet, for example, and you decide to add less sugar into your kefir, then think again. In case you follow the recipe correctly, there will rarely be more than 3 grams of sugar in your water kefir. That’s the same amount of sugar that one green apple has! Nearly the entire amount of sugar is used by the grains to ferment the kefir, so don’t worry about gaining any weight.

Do you feel like your grains have become less active? The easiest way to wake the little guys up is to switch the type of sugar you are using. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this different type of sugar to find the perfect sugar that your kefir grains are going to love.

However, there are some things that should not be used in kefir production. Honey, stevia, agave, for example, are not suitable for the grains. You can try and use small amounts of maple and coconut palm sugar. But that might not be a great idea as well.

How to Figure Out If Your Water Kefir Grains Need Mineral Supplements?

Did you know that your kefir grains need minerals in order to thrive? And the great news is that if you manage to use the right water and the best type of sugar, then the grains might not even need any additional supplements.

The more molasses there is in the sugar, for example, the more minerals your kefir grains will get.

If your grains stopped being active, look strange and fail to produce normal kefir, then they might be lacking minerals. You can try changing the water and the sugar that you will add. If these measures won’t make a difference, then you would have to consider getting an additional mineral supplement. To make sure that the grains are not infected by pathogenic bacteria, you can take them to your public health hospital and ask for a general food safety screening.

Review: 4 Best Types of Sugar to Buy

1. Tat & Lyle Fairtrade Demerara Sugar

Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Demerara Sugar - 1kg (2.2lbs)
  • Suitable for Vegetarians; Suitable for Vegans; Kosher
  • 1kg - (2.2 lbs)
  • Tate & Lyle
  • Please not Best Before/Expiration UK is DD/MM/YYYY

You will be getting 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of high-quality sugar. The amber crystals are large and they beautifully glow in the light. The flavor is fruity and sweet-spiced. In case, you decide to chew the thing, it will make a distinctive crunch. You might want to try and mix this sugar with another option when you decide to add it to the grains for the first time.

This sugar really is delicious. You might end up adding it not only in your kefir but also in your coffee, tea and so on.

Check out the current price for Tat & Lyle Fairtrade Demerara Sugar on Amazon.

2. Billingtons – Molasses

Billingtons - Molasses | 500g
  • Great Savings On Quality Branded Items
  • Billingtons
  • Billingtons - Molasses | 500g

Natural molasses sugar is high in various minerals. The secret is simple. The molasses is ‘locked in’ the sugar thanks to special technologies. That means that natural molasses are not refined out of the sugar cane. The sugar has a beautiful natural color and a deep flavor. You will be getting 0.5 kg in one package.

Remember not to add too much of this sugar to your water kefir. A half of a teaspoon will do the job perfectly well (don’t forget to add a different type of sugar as well).

Check out the current price for Billingtons – Molasses on Amazon.

3. Dark Muscovado Sugar

The package includes 2.8 lbs of high-quality sugar. The product has been imported from the island of Mauritius. It has an extremely dark brown color and appears to be a little stickier than other types of sugar.

The product can be stored for a long time and is resistant to high temperatures. You will be getting unrefined sugar with a complex, rich taste. If you decide to add this type of sugar in your water kefir, make sure to mix it with another one first to explore the taste.

Check out the current price for Dark Muscovado Sugar on Amazon.

4. Bulk Raw Cane Sugar

You are paying for a 5 lb bag. This raw cane sugar is minimally processed, which means that it’s a healthier alternative to the majority of other sugar types. It contains a lot of important minerals. The cane sugar has a complex, rich flavor. As an additional pleasant bonus, you might end up getting a little more of the product. This type of sugar has a natural, sweet taste.

Check out the current price for Bulk Raw Cane Sugar on Amazon.

What is the best sugar for making water kefir? The truth is that you would have to find that out for yourself. Experiment with the type of sugar that you add to your grains to find out which one will become your favorite.

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