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Home > How to > How to take a break from making kefir

How to take a break from making kefir

Do you take breaks from preparing and drinking kefir? How do you store kefir grains when this happens?

It’s not necessary to make a break  from kefir at all. Nevertheless, sometimes it comes to that and then you need to put the grains on a break for a little while, too. It can be because you are going on vacation, have to follow special diet or just don’t want to follow a daily routine for a period of time, like during the holiday season.

It happens to all of us. And when it does, it can be a problem with the kefir grains because they are a live culture and need food to stay alive. So, you must take care of them even when you are not using them.

Best ways to store kefir grains

To make as little waste as possible and to keep the grains in a good shape, we recommend to store them carefully. Cold temperatures slow down the grains and storing them in the fridge is a way to pause their activity. Here are some examples:

  1. Store kefir grains in milk in the fridge:

    Put the milk kefir grains in the clean glass jar with a lid and cover with milk. For longer period of storage use more milk to give the grains more food. You should also change the milk every two weeks. Leave the top lid slightly open to enable airflow. You can leave the grains in the fridge for 7-14 days. You can only store milk kefir grains this way.

  2. Store kefir grains in water/sugar solution in the fridge:

    Pour water into the smaller jar and add a spoon or two of sugar, stir until dissolved. Use fresh non-chlorinated and non filtered water to avoid damaging the grains. You can leave them in this sugary solution for up to 2 months in the fridge. Leave the lid slightly open to enable airflow. You can store milk and water kefir grains this way.

  3. Freezing kefir grains:

    Strain the grains from kefir and rinse them under non-chlorinated water. Then, put them on the paper towel and gently tap them to dry them or leave them to dry for a few hours. You can put dry grains into plastic or glass jar or plastic bag to store them for up to 6 months in the freezer. Also, to protect the grains put in a spoon of powdered milk. This way of storage can be done with water or milk kefir grains.

  4. Drying kefir grains:

    First rinse the grains with fresh non-chlorinated water. Then leave them to dry on a parchment paper or paper towel. Leave it for few days until completely dry. You can turn them around a bit to ensure consistent drying. Put dried grains into a plastic zip bag together with powdered milk. Put them into the fridge for up to 6 months.

There are other more complicated procedures to dehydrate the grains which are used by kefir grains producers. Nevertheless, the storing ideas described above are probably the best to use for home kefir fermenters.

Revival period!

After the grains have been stored for some time, they usually need some time to reactivate before you start using them again. Read how to revive milk and water kefir grains. Usually, if you stored them for longer periods, the activation time will take more time too.

With proper care and storage you will be able to wake up the grains successfully right away and continue  making kefir as before. 

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