Taking a Break- A Kefir Vacation

Live Water Kefir Grains

A Water Kefir Vacation

Storing Kefir Grains When On VacationSometimes looking after your kefir grains can seem a little like having a pet! They need to be fed and watered, and kept in a warm place. What happens when you want to take a break from making kefir? Do you have to get a babysitter? Thankfully, the answer is no.  There are several ways that you can keep your grains safe and store them for a week, a month, or even up to a year! 

Scenario #1– You are going away for a week or so, and want to make sure your grains stay healthy until you can get back to your routine. It is really easy to store your grains for a short break. Simply mix 3 tablespoons of sugar with a cup of water in a glass jar with your grains. Put the cover on the jar and place it in the refrigerator. That's all there is to it!

Your grains will ferment and grow much more slowly in the refrigerator and they have enough food for a week. In fact, they will likely be fine for a month or two like this.  When you return home, and are ready to start making water kefir again, simply dig out your old recipe and carry on. The first batch may not be up to standard but it will not take long until they are up to speed. 

Scenario #2– You are really excited about being a Canadian snowbird this winter! From the first of January until the end of March you plan to be laying on the white sandy beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. How can you keep your kefir grains healthy if they won't be fed for 3 months? Is storing kefir grains for longer than a week very difficult?

There is an easy solution here too! Freeze them! Your water kefir grains will last for a short time- 3-6 months at a time, in the freezer. Take 3 tablespoons of water kefir grains and put them in a ziplock bag. Then put the closed bag in a container and place in the freezer. When you want to start making kefir water again, simply take them from the freezer and allow them to defrost at room temperature. Then make kefir as usual. As above, it may take a batch or two to get your usual batch of kefir because they have been dormant for a bit.

Scenario #3– You are tired of kefir and don't know when you may want to make it again, but you want to keep some water kefir grains in case you want to start up again at a later date. In situations where you do not know how long it will be until you make kefir again, the best thing to do is to dehydrate some grains. You will need a dehydrator so if you don't have one, perhaps you could borrow one from a friend. Place some grains in a single layer in your dehydrator, set the temperature at the lowest setting (if it has a temperature guage) and leave until the grains are completely dry. Then place in a clean dry jar, cover the jar tightly and put it in the fridge.


The grains can keep up to a year like this.  So there you have it. If you need to take a vacation from water kefir making there are several ways to ensure you have healthy grains to continue getting good quality probiotics.  At this moment I have grains in the refrigerator in sugar water, grains dehydrated in a jar AND grains in the freezer. I want to make sure I have some back up in case anything happens to the batch I am currently brewing with.   

7 thoughts on “Taking a Break- A Kefir Vacation”

  1. I have been making water kefir for a year or more. I am living it. so good for the digestion.
    However a month or so I was hospitalized. I did not prepare my kefir for long storage as it was an emergency. I rehabilitated them after I recovered a bit. Now I have a problem with kefir that tastes like sulfur.
    I have not changed anything in the process. Some grains I have tossed.
    How I get back to healthy ferment?

    1. Hi there I know what you mean about no store bought product being the same! It sounds like your grains need a little TLC. Follow the instructions for resting the kefir- rinshe them gently but thoroughly, put them in a solution of sugar/water and refrigerate for a week or two. Then resume and see how they are doing.
      Kefir Nurse

  2. Hi. I have about a 3/4 L jar full of water kefir grains that I want to store in the fridge. I filled it with water to cover the grains and put a 1/4 C of sugar. Will this keep them alive?

    1. Wonderful Zella! Thank you so much for letting me know! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to come back and visit! 

      Kefir Nurse

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