It can be overwhelming to constantly come up with batches of water kefir. For a needed break, follow the directions below for how to store your water kefir grains.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a refreshing, chill drink on a hot summer day. Water kefir is our family’s favorite! It’s so fun to come up with different flavor combinations and use our garden herbs & fruit.
I especially love that it has the health benefits of a probiotic. But keeping up with multiple batches a week can be overwhelming when you may be already tending to a flourishing garden. At least that’s the case for me. I had to make the realization that I had to take some small things off my plate because they add up quick!
My “normal” rhythm in making water kefir is once a week. I’ll make a big batch and we sip on it throughout the week. It’s the perfect compromise.
The problem with taking a few days off between batches can be knowing what to do with the water kefir grains for the time being.
Their Are Multiple Methods To Storing Water Kefir Grains
Storing Water Kefir Grains Through Refrigeration (store for up to 3 months):
Add your water kefir grains to a clean jar. After that, you have a few choices. If you’re in a rush, you can add filtered water over the grains to cover them. Add a lid.
This is only if you plan on having them rest short term. If you’re just adding water then the grains will eat up the residual sugar from the last ferment. This can be great for giving them a break in order to reset themselves.
Otherwise, when you’re ready, place your grains in a clean jar. Make your sugar water (1 Tbsp. for 1 cup of water) as you would making a batch of water kefir. Add your water kefir grains and put a lid on it.
This is a better choice if you plan on keeping your grains in the fridge for several months. If you choose this method, change the water every 2 weeks. Luckily, it’s very forgiving, so if you forget, it should still be okay.
To reactivate: Strain out your grains and use as usual.
Storing Water Kefir Grains Through Freezing (up to 6 months):
This is possible for up to 6 months and should be able to revive. But there is a risk involved. Freeze when they are dry. Strain them, dab them dry with a paper towel before you put into a container to freezer. Water expands when it freezes. and when it’s ice, it forms tiny crystals which will puncture the culture of the grains. Make sure to dry and it’ll give it the best chance for reactivating.
To reactivate: They won’t reactivate right away. Give it a few batches before they’re fully activated again. Allow them to defrost at room temperature.
Storing Water Kefir Grains Through Dehydrating (up to 1 year):
Rinse your grains using non-chlorinated water. (I use my Berkey water) That will remove excess solids from fermentation. Place grains in a single layer in a dehydrator and set the temperature to the lowest setting if it has a temperature gauge. Leave in the grains until they are completely dry. Place in a clean, dry jar, cover the jar tightly and put it in the fridge.
What If You Don’t Have a Dehydrator?
If I dry my water kefir grains, I actually prefer this method, because the grains can be sensitive to heat.
Rinse your grains. Place the grains on a clean glass dish. Cover the grains with a breathable cover. You want the air circulation to dry them, but you also want to cover them to keep pests like fruit flies away.
Let them sit out for 4-5 days, turning the grains halfway through to get the underside of the grains dry as well. To speed up the process, you can also set up a fan.
Place in a clean, dry jar, cover the jar tightly and put it in the fridge.
To reactivate: This will take a little longer to reactivate. It’s the same process as if you were to activate grains you just bought.
You may have to make a few batches of water kefir before they’re ready.
How To Store Your Water Kefir Grains When You’re Not Using Them Video
More Posts on Water Kefir
Pin It For Later
Have you stored your water kefir grains for later? What’s your preferred method?