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It’s cold out there! For some reason, this year is colder than last year in my house, even though the outside temperatures do not appear to be much colder than last fall and winter. I thought my precious water kefir grains were dead because I could not get the darlings to produce a water kefir that would do a carbonated second ferment. After the first round of not being able to get fizz, I moved the Grolsch bottles upstairs, to the kids’ bedrooms where it is much warmer than the downstairs. Normally, that does the trick!

It didn’t. After my normal 2 days of a second ferment, I got NOTHING. So I assumed it was a fluke, and tried again. FLAT as a pancake. Tried again. Still nothing.

I was not giving up! Maybe I needed to move the actual first ferment up there too? So up I trudged the stairs with my big jar of water kefir. I put it in the same spot as the Grolsch bottles. Gave it a few batches…still no carbonation!

Fearing the worst, I stared at my closet situation, and felt the wall behind the bottles. Cold, cold, cold! Even though it worked last year in this spot, it wasn’t working this year. So I put a buffer between the wall and bottles using a blanket.

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Two days later, I barely got some pop and fizz, and it was pathetic. I decided 2 days was not long enough for a second ferment in these cold months. I let it go a total of 4 days, and then realized I didn’t have enough bottles to go around the next time my first ferment was ready! Ugh. It was already behind schedule in not having enough water kefir to supply the family! And now no bottles!

Let me interject how things got worse…the drama. So besides being flustered that it was taking weeks to figure this out, one day as I hurried (and what mama doesn’t?), a full bottle of water kefir dropped from the closet shelf. 6 foot tall shelf. On. My. Toe. I will not post a picture, but if you can imagine the most beautiful shade of purple on the entire surface, that was what it looked like. And it was painful, for a very long time.

Had to breathe. My toe was most certainly broken, and it took weeks to heal, but at that moment I only hoped the water kefir was working. Life goes on, right? So, much to my surprise, a 4 day second ferment worked! I figured out the lack-of-bottles situation, and finally I was on a rotation of 3 bottles ready every 2 days. It’s really not enough for us, but it will have to do!

So it takes manipulation of variables and a lot of love to make things work for our little pets! If you’re having issues with warmth, try our ideas for cold weather care. Don’t give up, and those cultures won’t give up on you! Although you might take a beating…my poor toe!