Water kefir is an amazing way of adding more probiotics without paying for expensive supplements. I already shared a post on how to make water kefir and where to get the grains from in the United Arab Emirates. In the following post I will talk about the most frequently asked questions on how to keep water kefir grains healthy.
As long as water kefir grains are taken care of properly it is possible to use them indefinitely. The grains multiply with every batch and most people end up with more than they actually need. There are many facebook groups where it’s possible to share the grains, they can also be added to smoothies or fed to pets.
If the kefir grains do not multiply efficiently, there might be an issue with the sugar and mineral ratio. Water kefir thrives on sugar and minerals. It is important not to add too many minerals as the kefir will get very thick and syrup-like. Minerals that can be added to water kefir in small doses are unrefined sea salt, plain baking soda, blackstrap molasses or a liquid mineral supplement. For more information about ordering from iherb click here.
Sugars that can be used for water kefir are refined sugar, raw cane sugar and brown sugar. Coconut palm sugar, maple syrup, molasses and honey have a very high mineral content that is too rich for the grains and may damage them.
It is possible to use very small amounts of coconut palm sugar, maple syrup and molasses in combination with cane sugar. Honey has its own bacteria and is not suitable for kefir. Sweeteners such as agave, stevia or splenda are not suitable for kefir grains at all. I personally like to switch between raw cane sugar and refined sugar, most of the sugar is consumed by the kefir grains at the end of the fermentation.
It is possible to store kefir grains up to 7-21 days in sugar water inside the fridge, as long as the water is changed every week. I use a glass storage box and dissolve around 60 grams of sugar in two cups of water. Another possibility to store them up to a year is to freeze the strained grains in a plastic bag.
If you have any other questions about fermenting water kefir feel free to comment below.