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How To Store Water Kefir Grains in Dormancy

Leeza Zurwick


One of the beautiful things about water kefir culture is that it adapts to your lifestyle. You can stop and restart making water kefir at any time.

If you have to go out of town, have an abundance of grains or just plain want to take a break, it is very easy to put the grains into dormancy and give them a rest. In fact, they actually enjoy having brewing breaks and produce much more prolifically after they have had a chance to reset themselves. You can tell if they could use a break if they aren’t multiplying like they used to or if they are beginning to diminish in size.

How To Put Water Kefir Grains Into Dormancy

  1. Put the grains into your brewing jar.
  2. Boil 3 cups water. (to get the chlorine out)
  3. Cool and pour water into the jar.
  4. Close the lid tightly.
  5. Place into fridge.
  6. Start them up again when you are ready.

Do not add sugar to the grains. For the first while, during dormancy, you’ll notice that they will change colour and become whiter. That is because they are eating up the residual sugar from your last ferment. They need the break from the sugar saturation in order to reset themselves.

How Long Can They Stay In Dormancy?

For best results, they can stay dormant for up to 3 months before they need to be fed again. You may find a film forming on the top of the water. That is yeast that is being given off by the grains. The grains stay healthy because they are submerged under water. Skim the yeast off the top and rinse the grains really well under the tap in your nylon strainer. A tiny bit of chlorine from the tap water won’t hurt them, you just don’t want them sitting in water that contains chlorine for long periods of time.

How To Start Fermenting Again

Wash out your fermenting jar with warm water and a cloth. Avoid using dish soap. Put the hungry grains back into the clean fermenting jar and start your first ferment. Water kefir grains are very hardy and that is why they are one of the easiest fermented products to make.

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