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A. Water kefir grains require 3-5 days to rehydrate. It is common for the taste of the water kefir and the activity level of the kefir grains to change over the first few weeks after the water kefir grains are rehydrated. If you have questions or concerns about your water kefir, please contact Customer Support.
A. Yes. There may or may not be any bubbling with newly rehydrated grains. Follow the instructions for making the first batch of water kefir, even if there are no visible signs of culturing after 3-5 days of rehydration.
A. Avoid leaving the water kefir grains to rehydrate longer than 5 days. Longer periods without fresh food can starve the water kefir grains. After 3-5 days of rehydration, even if there are no visible signs of culturing,transfer the kefir grains to new sugar water to start the first batch of water kefir.
A. Always test aroma and flavor to make sure the water kefir grains are working properly. The finished water kefir should smell pleasant and maybe a bit sour, and it will be less sweet than the sugar water or juice you started with. The liquid will generally lighten in color and turn cloudy during the fermentation period, as well.
A. Maybe. It is normal that the kefir smell a bit yeasty at first. In the beginning, the yeasty smell is a sign that the yeast and bacteria in the kefir grains are still getting into balance. Normally the yeasty aroma will lessen significantly within a few batches.
If the yeasty aroma continues, the water kefir may be over-culturing, which can cause an imbalance. Make sure to reduce the culturing time in warmer temperatures, to keep the grains well-fed and in balance.
With grains that have been in use for a while but have begun to smell yeasty, it can help to add ⅛ of a washed organic lemon to 2-3 batches, to increase acidity and reduce yeast.
A. Yes, it is normal that the newly rehydrated water kefir grains will mature for the first several weeks, and the flavor of the finished water kefir may change.
A. It is normal that water kefir not be very bubbly when using a refined sugar. Try a darker sugar or add mineral supplementation. To get a carbonated finished water kefir, bottling the finished kefir in a tightly-sealed bottle is usually necessary.
A. Water kefir grains are known to multiply, but at times they are reluctant to do so. Even if they do not multiply, with proper care, water kefir grains can be used indefinitely to brew water kefir. Learn more about Encouraging Water Kefir Grains to Multiply.
A. Yes, it is normal for the liquid to turn cloudy as it ferments.
A. The grains may have become contaminated or gotten out of balance. Consult our article on Rehabilitating Damaged Water Kefir Grains to give the grains a rest and get them back to work.
A. Grains can break apart, disintegrate, and become mushy for a few reasons:
A. Water kefir can be syrupy for a couple of reasons.
A. The water kefir grains are likely very hungry after more than 48 hours without fresh food. Change the sugar water out every 24 hours for the next few cycles until the water kefir grains start behaving normally again. If it has been longer than 6 days, the odds of saving the water kefir grains are significantly reduced.
A. While it is uncommon to find mold developing on a batch of water kefir, it may occasionally happen. White formations on the surface of the kefir may be mold or may be yeast. Please contact Customer Support before discarding anything.
If mold does develop, immediately toss the entire batch, including the water kefir grains. Do not try to salvage a moldy batch, even if you do not see mold on the water kefir grains themselves. Doing so may be dangerous to your health. Obtain a new set of water kefir grains, clean the jar thoroughly, and try again another day.
A. If mold has been a problem in the past, or if you know there is mold in your environment, dip, drizzle or spray the jar cover (coffee filter, cloth napkin, etc.) with distilled white vinegar. Follow up by spraying the cover every other day to deter mold formation.
A. Water kefir grains can be stored short-term in the refrigerator or long-term by drying them. Follow the procedure for Taking a Break from Making Water Kefir.
A. Water kefir grains make a wonderful gift to friends. Alternately, they can be eaten, blended into smoothies, or shared with chickens or pets.
A. There are a few ways to increase the amount of carbonation in water kefir: