Although water kefir grains can be used to make back-to-back batches of water kefir, at some point most people will need to take a break.
Cold temperatures greatly slow the culturing process, so the refrigerator is a good place to store grains when a break is necessary.
Short Breaks, up to 3 weeks
- Add water kefir grains to 1 quart fresh sugar water (¼ cup sugar dissolved in 1 quart water).
- Put a tight lid on the container and place in the refrigerator. The water kefir grains should be safe and healthy for up to 3 weeks.
- When ready to make water kefir again, separate the grains from the storage liquid, place in fresh sugar water, and culture as usual. It may take a couple of batches for the grains to wake up and get back to work.
- The storage liquid should be fine to consume, as long as it has a pleasing aroma and flavor.
Long Breaks, up to 6 months
If a longer break is required, we recommend drying the water kefir grains.
- Rinse grains thoroughly with filtered water
- Lay them on a piece of unbleached parchment paper in a safe location.
- Dry at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, depending on humidity and room temperature. Or, use a dehydrator as long as the grains do not get heated above 85°F.
- Once the kefir grains are fully dry, store in a ziploc bag in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.