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 storing the grains, the sugar water should be changed out each week).
- 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.
- When ready to make water kefir again, rehydrate the grains according to the instructions that came with the culture originally, or follow the activation instructions for water kefir grains on our website.