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Dried water kefir guide

Please keep your dehydrated water kefir cultures (grains) refrigerated until you are ready to rehydrate them.

Equipment you will need:

1 litre glass jar
Plastic strainer
Coffee filter
Elastic band

Ingredients you will need:

1/2 tbsp dehydrated water kefir cultures (grains)
1/4 cup sugar (A mix of 1 tbsp brown cane sugar and the rest whitecane sugar. Organic cane sugar is preferable but if you cannot obtain it, not to worry they will do fine on non organic)
950mls of water (Filtered, distilled, spring or mineral water)
A heat proof glass jug
Teaspoon for stirring the sugar

Additional ingredients you may consider:

Organic raisins (oil and sulphur free)

How to rehydrate your water kefir cultures (grains)

Measure out your sugar into your heat proof glass jug.
Boil some water and pour just enough onto the sugar to dissolve it. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Top up with cold water until you have 950mls of sugar water solution.
Allow to cool to room temperature. (Do Not place cultures in warm or hot water it will damage them).

Once cool pour into your 1 litre glass jar.

Empty your dried kefir grains into a small glass container – see image above left. If you have purchased a kit with the Consol Jar in a Jar then use the small inner glass jar in which they are contained.
Add a little water to submerge them (mineral, spring, distilled or filtered water) – see image above right. Do not use water with chlorine!
Let them sit for 15 minutes.
You should see a few small bubbles rising from the rehydrated cultures.

Separate the water kefir grains from the plain water by straining them through a plastic strainer – image above left.
Gently tip the water grains out of the strainer into the sugar water solution in your 1 litre jar – image above right.
Cover the opening of the jar with a coffee filter and secure with an elastic band.
Place on your kitchen counter top in a quiet spot out of direct sunlight and allow to stand for 24-48 hours until the ferment is complete. In Summer it is usually 2 hours and in Winter 36 hours. The preferred air temperature is between 22 and 25 degrees celcius.

The water kefir grain cultures require fresh sugar water solution approximately every 24-48 hours. The culture time will depend on the amount of grains you have in a jar, the air temperature, and of course your preferred taste. The longer the water is cultured, the less sweet and more fermented it becomes.

The water kefir cultures or grains once hydrated should make up a quarter cup.

It may take anywhere from 4 to 5 days  to 2 weeks for the cultures to activate and start making water kefir. During this time you should be refreshing the cultures with new sugar water solutions every 24 to 48 hours (depending on the season). Discard the sugar water solutions until the cultures are activated.

After 24 hours of rehydrating you could see a few tiny bubbles forming (it can take longer) – image above left and the cultures should be a white opaque colour – image above right.

How can you tell your cultures are activated:

The sugar water solution should turn cloudy and have a slightly sweet and slightly fermented taste. You should see some bubbles especially if you move or disturb the jar of kefir. You can encourage the cultures to be more bubbly by giving them organic raisins.

Some dehydrated water kefir batches may be slightly more sluggish in getting going than others. They may require more minerals to get them kick started. You can either add in about 4-6 organic (unsulphured/unoiled) raisins or increase your brown sugar to white sugar ratio. Alternatively you can replace the brown sugar with jaggery sugar and increase the ratio of jaggery to white sugar.

In the image below you can see a half tablespoon of dried water kefir cultures next to the same amount of cultures that have been rehydrated. As you can see they swell up quite a lot!

In the image below on the left is the rehydrated water kefir cultures on the first day of rehydrating. In the image below on the right are the same cultures 12 days later.

For more information about Water Kefir click here

For our FAQ’s on Water Kefir click here