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Preventing water kefir funkiness

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Will sugar-water + kefir grains get nasty if I don't regularly strain it and make a new batch? (The instructions recommend doing this almost every other day.)

I'm curious if I can just add a teaspoon of organic sugar (or molasses?) to their jar in the fridge every few days, strain / clean the jar every couple weeks, and call it good enough.

I won't be drinking any for a while, but I want them to keep getting bigger and stronger, and I don't want to lose all of them to fungus or invading bacterium.

What's a good care-free way to keep these guys happy?

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 14, 2013
at 08:54 PM

What are your thoughts on coconut sugar as opposed to raw cane sugar? It seems like these guys would like all that nitrogen.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 14, 2013
at 08:13 PM

On the instructions, it suggested a breathable cover or towel for bugs and air circulation / oxygen, and also so it doesn't explode. Sugar sure looks a lot cleaner. Good to know info, thanks!

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1 Answers

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3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on May 14, 2013
at 03:43 PM

"Will sugar-water + kefir grains get nasty if I don't regularly strain it and make a new batch? (The instructions recommend doing this almost every other day.)"

If you have an airtight seal on your ferments, it shouldn't.

"I'm curious if I can just add a teaspoon of organic sugar (or molasses?) to their jar in the fridge every few days, strain / clean the jar every couple weeks, and call it good enough.

Stick to sugar over the molasses.

"What's a good care-free way to keep these guys happy?"

There is no care-free way to take care of them. Kefir grains are like hungry children, except they're less annoying and you don't get in legal trouble if you consume them.

You may find it worthwhile to "starve" the kefir grains every once in a while. Make sure that the sugar is completely consumed in each batch of kefir before beginning a new one. Leave your ferments in a warmer-than-room-temperature cupboard or cabinet near the stove.

Make sure you're not filling up the liquid all the way to the top of the glass jar (I'm assuming you're using glass jars to ferment, and if you're not, you should be.) Leave about an inch from the lid to the surface of the liquid.

Resist the temptation to add a shitload of sugar at once to keep the kefir grains busy for a long time. Conditions like this encourage mold growth, not bacterial growth.

Kefir grains are resilient. They won't die after 24 or 48 or even a week of neglect. (Another reason why kefir grains are superior ot human children.)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 14, 2013
at 08:13 PM

On the instructions, it suggested a breathable cover or towel for bugs and air circulation / oxygen, and also so it doesn't explode. Sugar sure looks a lot cleaner. Good to know info, thanks!

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on May 14, 2013
at 08:54 PM

What are your thoughts on coconut sugar as opposed to raw cane sugar? It seems like these guys would like all that nitrogen.

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