How to store kefir grains

Written by yvette sajem
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How to store kefir grains

Kefir culture (grains) are, according to Kefir: Yoghurt for Life, is a fermented milk starter "composed of a mixture of friendly bacteria and yeasts that harmoniously coexist". Kefir grains react with fresh milk to create Kefir, which can be consumed as a smoothie-like beverage or made into a thick, tangy cheese. When you are not actively cultivating your kefir grains, they can be successfully stored with careful preparation.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Clean glass jar
  • Whole milk
  • Strainer
  • 2 cups boiled water
  • Clean, white towels
  • Dry milk powder
  • Plastic bag
  • Empty wooden picture frame
  • 2 pieces nylon cloth
  • Drawing pins

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Instructions

    Active Storage

  1. 1

    Place your kefir grains in a clean, dry glass jar.

  2. 2

    Pour whole milk on top of the grains until the jar is 3/4 full.

    How to store kefir grains
  3. 3

    Seal the jar well and store in the refrigerator. You can store the kefir grains without straining them for up to one week. For longer storage (up to one month), strain the grains and add fresh milk once per week.

    Short-Term Storage

  1. 1

    Boil 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Remove it from heat and allow it to completely cool.

  2. 2

    Wash the kefir grains gently in the cool water. Place them on a clean, ironed white towel and pat them dry with another.

    How to store kefir grains
  3. 3

    Place the kefir grains in a new, clean plastic bag. If you are storing milk kefir grains, sprinkle them with dry milk powder until they are completely covered. Seal the bag well and store it in the freezer for up to two months.

    Long-Term Storage

  1. 1

    Select an empty wooden picture frame. Cut two pieces of clean, stretchy nylon cloth slightly larger than the wooden frame. Stretch one piece of the cloth tightly over the frame and pin it down with drawing pins. Set the frame and the other piece of cloth aside for later.

    How to store kefir grains
  2. 2

    Boil 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Remove it from heat and allow it to completely cool.

  3. 3

    Wash the kefir grains gently in the cool water. Place them on a clean, ironed white towel and let them air dry for 30 minutes. Pat the grains with another clean, white towel to remove any excess moisture.

  4. 4

    Place the kefir grains on the nylon cloth that already is pinned to the wooden frame. Stretch the other piece of cloth tightly over the frame, covering the grains, and pin it to the frame with drawing pins.

    How to store kefir grains
  5. 5

    Place the frame with the kefir grains in a dry, well-ventilated area until they become dehydrated and brittle. Water kefir grains can take up to two days to dehydrate, and milk kefir grains can take up to four days.

  6. 6

    Place the dehydrated kefir grains in a clean, dry glass jar. If you are storing milk kefir grains, sprinkle dry milk powder over the grains so that they are completely covered. Seal the jar tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 18 months.

    How to store kefir grains

Tips and warnings

  • When dehydrated, water kefir grains will become clear or light brown. Milk kefir grains will become yellow.
  • Ironing your white towels will kill bacteria, thus protecting your kefir grains from contamination.

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