Water kefir grains are like babies and they like it warm. In order to get any growth or movement out of them, they need a consistent temperature of 18 degrees or more. They tend to struggle during the cool nights and growth slows down if the temperature drops. Here are some tips to keep them thriving in the winter.
5 ways to get your water kefir grains thriving this winter.
1. Once you purchase the water kefir grains, give them at least 3-4 rounds of fermenting to get used to your specific water. They need to acclimatize to the minerals in your water. If you bang the jar and bubbles come up then they are working. Make sure you do the second ferment every time. The second ferment makes the fizz and eats up more of the sugar.
2. Keep them on your counter during the day but stick them into the oven with the light on during the night to keep them consistently warm. Other’s have had success with putting them by their wood stove or putting them on top of their fridge. Even the cupboard above your fridge may work because those cupboards are often quite warm from the fridge running. One lady keeps them next to her salt lamp on her counter and the heat from the light is just enough to keep them at a consistent temperature.
3. Leave the first ferment for 48 hours instead of 24. This will give the water kefir grains more time to build stronger probiotics. Don’t leave it for more than 4 days or your grains will suffocate and begin to disintegrate. The only time your water kefir grains are no good is if they disintegrate. Otherwise they just need to be fed with sugar and kept warm.
4. In order for the water kefir grains to multiply, they need time. It may take quite a few rounds before they begin plumping up and multiplying. They have to work extra hard in the winter due to the temperature fluctuations, so they may not multiply as quickly as they will in the summer.
5. To get the strongest fizz on the second ferment, use pineapple juice and candied ginger. Water kefir loves the acidity and sugar of the pineapple and it works really well for building fizz.