Milk kefir and water kefir are two completely different cultures. They certainly don't share the name kefir because of their relationship. They have different microorganisms that produce different metabolic products and also need different nutrients to do their best work. While milk kefir is becoming increasingly popular, water kefir is still fairly unknown. Although the milk kefir available in supermarkets is also sold under the name "kefir", it has little to do with the homemade version. It is not made with milk kefir nodules, but similar to yoghurt with 2-3 different types of lactic acid bacteria.
Water kefir is made with sugar water, juice, coconut water and herbs or fruits. It is a super alternative to juices, lemonades, tonics, sparkling wine, champagne, wine and beer. Water kefir is also excellent as a base for water ice or for dairy-free smoothies.
Since water kefir is not made with milk, it contains neither lactose nor casein, making it a great alternative for people with lactose or casein intolerance. Many people with lactose intolerance also report that they tolerate long-ripened yoghurt and milk kefir well, as most of the lactose is broken down, and when they eat real yoghurt and milk kefir they are also consuming enzymes that break down lactose.