Troubleshooting Water Kefir | The Do's and Don't's of Water Kefir Grains

In today’s episode of the podcast, Wendy is going to be talking about the do’s and don't’s of water kefir grains.

Ready to start making your own water kefir? 

First, for those of you listeners who may not yet know, it’s probably best to start by explaining what water kefir grains actually are.

Water Kefir Grains are live probiotics in the form of soft, jelly-like ‘grains’ from a cactus plant.

When healthy and fed, these grains will continue to grow and multiply.

These are not actual grains like wheat or rye, but rather clusters of bacteria and yeast living in a symbiotic relationship.

These clusters of bacteria and yeast look like little crystals, or “grains” of jelly.

The bacteria and yeasts in the grains utilize sugar to produce lactic acid, ethanol and carbon dioxide.

You can use Water Kefir Grains to make naturally gut-healthy, bubbly drinks at home!

It’s as easy as mixing sugar into water - our Water Kefir Grains will do the rest.

Alright, now that we know what they are, let’s talk about some do’s and don’ts of water kefir grains.

Below is a quick list. Tune in to our podcast to learn more.

Water Kefir Do's

1. Fully activate your grains before use

Our Water Kefir Grains are sold in a dehydrated state, so that they are shelf-stable and safe for shipping. Prior to making water kefir, the grains must be fully activated.

2. Encourage Water Kefir Grains to multiply

Newly rehydrated water kefir grains sometimes need time to adjust and mature before they will begin to multiply.

3. Feed the Water Kefir Grains Regularly

Water kefir grains should be switched to new sugar water every 24 to 48 hours to prevent them from running out of food.

4. Use Proper Ratios of Sugar, Water, and Kefir Grains

While it can be tempting to reduce the amount of sugar used to make water kefir, this can be quite detrimental to the health of the water kefir grains.

5. Choose a Warm Culturing Spot

Within reason, water kefir grains like to be warm, but out of direct sunlight.

6. Keep the Water Kefir Grains Out of the Refrigerator

The ideal environment for water kefir grains is on the counter, at room temperature.

7. Rinse, Rest, and Recover

Learn how to give your grains a “rest and recover” treatment that will get them back on the road to robust productivity.

8. Reuse the Grains

If cared for properly, kefir grains have an unlimited life span and can be used repeatedly to make kefir.

Water Kefir Don’t's

1. Make Water Kefir from scratch

A common question from DIY-ers is “Can I make water kefir grains from scratch?” Unfortunately, the short answer to this is no.

2. Think your grains are not working

It is true that the multiplication of a culture such as water kefir or milk kefir grains is indicative of a robust, thriving culture. However, It is not necessarily true that the multiplication of the mother culture is necessary for culturing to take place. If you are itching for your grains to multiply, there are some things you can do to nurture their growth.

3. Over ferment your grains

Over fermentation basically happens when the grains don’t have enough food, the content of sugar has disappeared.

4. Rinse grains between batches

There is no need to rinse the water kefir grains between batches, and regular rinsing may be detrimental to the health of the water kefir grains.