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Active Water Kefir

A while ago after I had purchased my water kefir and had it going for a few weeks, I decided to divide my grains and try to get 2 batches going at once.  I still don’t know why that made the grains unhappy but I was pretty sure I had killed them.  There seemed to be little if any change to the sugar water when before the split, I was enjoy the best super fizzy kefir.  I scoured Cultures For Health’s water kefir FAQ http://www.culturesforhealth.com/water-kefir-frequently-asked-questions-faq and implemented a rescue mission they call “Rinse, Rest, Recover”. 

I first gently rinsed the grains with filtered water and then put them in a solution of 1/4 cup sugar plus 1/2 tsp molasses in 1 quart of filtered water (boiled and cooled).  Next I let them rest in the refrigerator for about a week.  I then began brewing like normal (according to Cultures for Health directions).  
I noticed a slight difference but not much.  For about a week, I changed the sugar solution everyday just throwing out the old solution because it tasted like it had a high sugar content.  After a week, I could taste more of a difference but it took almost a month to get them back to good health.

One of the ways you can tell your water kefir is alive and active is by the color of the water.  The lighter cloudy jar on the left is water kefir done fermenting.  The one on the right is one I just started (that’s a muslin bag holding my kefir grains floating around). You’ll notice a color change, taste change and you may or may not have fizziness but you should see some bubbles rising. 

This is what healthy water kefir looks like.  I’m so happy I was able to save them. 


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16 comments to Active Water Kefir

  • I had a really hard time getting the dehydrated grains going. As bad luck would have it, the ants got into the water kefir and that was the end of that. I bought some from a woman online and these were the freshest, healthiest grains ever. I still have them and they multiply so fast I am throwing about a half a cup of them out every other day. My husband and I drink kefir with dinner every night.

  • I had a really hard time getting the dehydrated grains going. As bad luck would have it, the ants got into the water kefir and that was the end of that. I bought some from a woman online and these were the freshest, healthiest grains ever. I still have them and they multiply so fast I am throwing about a half a cup of them out every other day. My husband and I drink kefir with dinner every night.

  • P.S. I love your website. Very cool.

  • P.S. I love your website. Very cool.

  • I thought it was almost impossible to kill! Mine keep growing so fast, I have 2 quarts full and have had to start throwing them out. Were you using city water? That's a no-no (the chlorine and flouride). I use my filtered well water and add 1/4 tsp of calcium powder to 2 quarts of the water (along with the dates and sugar). I also use regular white sugar, since it gets all eaten up anyways.

  • I thought it was almost impossible to kill! Mine keep growing so fast, I have 2 quarts full and have had to start throwing them out. Were you using city water? That's a no-no (the chlorine and flouride). I use my filtered well water and add 1/4 tsp of calcium powder to 2 quarts of the water (along with the dates and sugar). I also use regular white sugar, since it gets all eaten up anyways.

  • Thanks Molly! I think I would cry if ants got into my kefir 🙁 I'm glad you found some fresh ones. That's definitely the way to go if you can get them. You're so lucky yours are multiplying! Mine are just slowly starting to grow and I'm hoping once it warms up here, they'll multiply better. Though the last few times I had water kefir (accidentally cooked them in the oven, twice, you'd think I'd learn) I still never had luck getting them to multiply.

  • Thanks Molly! I think I would cry if ants got into my kefir 🙁 I'm glad you found some fresh ones. That's definitely the way to go if you can get them. You're so lucky yours are multiplying! Mine are just slowly starting to grow and I'm hoping once it warms up here, they'll multiply better. Though the last few times I had water kefir (accidentally cooked them in the oven, twice, you'd think I'd learn) I still never had luck getting them to multiply.

  • I use filtered well water. I'm thinking they may have gotten too hot but I couldn't imagine they got hotter than 90F. I'm really not sure why they got angry at me. My other thought was that I may have put them in the water before it cooled down enough after boiling. I'm much more careful about that now. Anyway they are doing great.Another way to effectively kill water kefir is to accidentally turn the oven on when they are in there. I used to keep them warm with the oven light but after doing that twice, I don't use the oven.

  • I use filtered well water. I'm thinking they may have gotten too hot but I couldn't imagine they got hotter than 90F. I'm really not sure why they got angry at me. My other thought was that I may have put them in the water before it cooled down enough after boiling. I'm much more careful about that now. Anyway they are doing great.Another way to effectively kill water kefir is to accidentally turn the oven on when they are in there. I used to keep them warm with the oven light but after doing that twice, I don't use the oven.

  • g808

    I just received my kefir the other day in the mail. This is my first batch. Used a grey colored glass decanter (waiting for the mason jugs I ordered and the sieve) and poked holes in a plastic cup to strain them out of the water they came in. However I didn’t rinse them since it said to throw out the first 3 batches and I didn’t get my strainer yet. Also I may have put too much sugar in the water. They look like they are breaking up and getting smaller. Also I did not have lemon. Could I substitute a mandarin orange (fresh) or some grapefruit juice? Is the lemon really necessary? Theres so much varied information out there it is hard to tell what tips to use. In the dark, on the counter, shaken every 3-8 hours, left alone 24 hours, breathable cover, air tight cover, honey, no honey, half white sugar, only organic sugar…I guess it is just a trial and error thing huh?

    • Melanie

      You are right, there is so much conflicting advice out there. Who do you listen to? I stick with what Cultures for Health advises on their website (and the flyer that comes with the dried grains). Trial and error can be expensive. One thing I’ve found that is very important is to make sure there is a good mineral source. You can use white sugar as long as you have add egg shell or molasses. I’ve never put lemon in with the first ferment though I might with a second ferment.
      Now, I should add, I totally killed my kefir about 1 week after writing this post. It’s the 3rd batch I’ve killed so I’m taking a break for a while from it until I figure out why. I suspect it’s my water or the fact that my kitchen is too cool.

  • Thanks for all your info about water kefir and the rest. Do you ever have time to answer a question such as : What do you do to water kefir grains when you’ve just rehydrated them and on the first try at a culture – 2 hours later the water is cloudy. Got them from Cultures for Health.

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