How to Activate Water Kefir Grains

 We ship water kefir grains in a dehydrated state for your safety (reduces the likely hood of spoilage in transit). Prior to making your first batch of water kefir, the kefir grains will need to be rehydrated.  This process generally takes 3 to 5 days.

Supplies for Activating Water Kefir Grains

  • Dehydrated water kefir grains
  • Sugar: 1/4 cup per quart of water
    • White sugar (preferably organic) or unprocessed sugars such as rapadura or Sucanat work best.
    • Honey can be used but does not have the proper balance of sugars and will not nourish the grains properly.
  • Water (non-chlorinated, non-fluoridated)
    • Well water or spring water is best due to higher mineral content.
    • We do not recommend using water filtered through a carbon activated filter (e.g., Brita or Pur) or reverse osmosis water due to the depleted mineral levels. If you must use distilled, reverse osmosis, or filtered water, we recommend adding some mineral drops to the water to improve the quality. 
    • If using tap water, remove the chlorine prior to making water kefir either by boiling the water for 20 minutes and allowing it to cool, or by aerating the water for 20 minutes using a blender. If your water contains chloramines rather than chlorine, the chloramines must be removed by filtering.
    • Fluoride must be removed by filtering through reverse osmosis or another method specifically designed for fluoride removal.
  • One glass jar: quart to half-gallon size
  • One plastic or wood stirring utensil (We recommend avoiding metal when working with kefir grains; stainless steel is acceptable.)
  • One towel or paper coffee filter to use as a covering for the jar
  • Optional: A fine mesh strainer (plastic or stainless steel) for removing the kefir grains from the finished kefir

Activating Dehydrated Water Kefir Grains

  • Dissolve 4 to 6 tablespoons of sugar in 4 cups water (you will
    likely need to heat the water so the sugar will dissolve). Be sure to allow the water to cool to room temperature before proceeding to the next step.
  • Place the dehydrated kefir grains in the water and cover with a
    towel or coffee filter secured with a rubber band. Allow the
    mixture to sit for 3 to 5 days until the grains are plump. Do not
    allow the mixture to sit for longer than 5 days.
  • Once the grains are rehydrated, click here to learn how to use the kefir grains to make water kefir.
  • We do not generally recommend drinking the sugar water used to rehydrate the kefir grains. Since the kefir grains spent their time rehydrating rather than consuming the sugar, the resulting solution will likely contain a large amount of sugar. Also, the sugar water may taste unpleasant as part of the rehydration process is the yeast and bacteria which comprise the kefir grains rebalancing.

Once your water kefir grains are rehydrated, click here to learn how to make water kefir.


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