Please note, it is important that your grains are active and culturing for at least 3 to 4 weeks before refrigerating them. Do not attempt to refrigerate newly hydrated kefir grains.
Short Breaks (Up To 3 Weeks): Refrigerate
- Add milk kefir grains to 2-4 cups fresh milk. [More milk for longer breaks is best, to keep the grains well fed.]
- Put a tight lid on the container and place in the refrigerator. The milk kefir grains should be safe and healthy for up to 3 weeks.
- When ready to make milk kefir again, separate the grains from the storage milk, place in fresh milk, 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): Dry Your 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.
- Place dried milk kefir grains in a ziploc bag with a small amount of powdered milk.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
- When you're ready to make kefir again, you can rehydrate the grains according to the instructions that came with the culture originally, or follow these activation instructions for milk kefir grains.