Learn how to dehydrate kefir grains – it is an easy process that anyone can do and one that helps you create a back up of your grains for later use.
If you deal with Kefir grains regularly, at some point in time you may find yourself drowning in kefir.
When the temperatures are warmer (late spring through summer), kefir can multiply rather quickly leaving you with an abundance of grains.
There are many ways to remedy an abundance of grains. If you are going out of town for several days, then pause your kefir-making by placing your grains in the refrigerator. Cold temps slow down the culturing process of Kefir grains – so the refrigerator is always a great place to tuck those grains away when a break is needed.
But if you simply find yourself with too many grains and you are looking for a better long-term option for storage, then look no further than your dehydrator. Dehydrating your grains is a quick and easy process that anyone can do.
Not only does dehydrating your grains create a backup of extra grains for yourself, it also helps you share with others who might want to experience the benefits of kefir. Grains that have been dehydrated can live up to one year.
I love dehydrating extra grains just in case something happens to my main set – then I’ll have an extra. But what makes it so wonderful is that it is so easy to do – even if you don’t have a dehydrator.
Dehydrating your Kefir Grains
Before dehydrating your grains, you’ll want to prepare them so that the process results in a successful outcome. You can dehydrate your grains with or without a dehydrator.
While using a dehydrator is faster, unless you have a dehydrator that you use regularly at home already it’s not necessary to go out and buy one just for kefir grains.
Dehydrating without a Dehydrator
First, rinse your grains to remove excess solids. If you are using water kefir grains, you’ll want to rinse with non-Chlorinated water. Milk kefir grains, on the other hand, need to be rinsed with milk.
Place your grains on wax paper or parchment paper; alternatively, place them in a shallow dish with plenty of space.
Cover the grains with a breathable cover – while air can help them dehydrate faster, too much air can also invite unwanted guests and yuckies to the grains. Allow those grains to dry, at room temperature for 2-3 days. Then, carefully flip them over and allow an additional 1-2 days. The grains should be completely dry after 4-5 days.
After your kefir grains are dry, bag them up and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Milk kefir grains should be placed in powdered milk as that will provide protection in the freezer.
Using a Dehydrator
If using a dehydrator to dehydrate your kefir grains, you’ll want to begin the same way – simply rinse with non-chlorinated water or milk.
Once rinsed, place on a Paraflex sheet in your dehydrator and dehydrate on the lowest setting. If you are using a dehydrate that is not an Excalibur, use the mesh sheet that comes with the dehydrator.
Dehydrate at the lowest setting for 3-4 hours or until dry. If your grains are still somewhat moist, add an additional hour or two as needed.
Once they are dry, bag them up and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Milk kefir grains should be placed in powdered milk as that will provide protection in the freezer.
Looking for more information on kefir? These might be of interest!
How to Slow Down Kefir Production
This is so helpful! What a great way to be prepared!
Thanks for sharing! Do they keep long?
Are the water Kiefer grains still ok if I didn’t rinse them or cover them. I have had them on parchment paper some for over a week. Is that still OK? If I vacuum seal them do they still need to be refrigerated?
I would store them in the refrigerator – covered, in some sugar water (they can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks). For sugar water mix 1/4 C. sugar to 1 quart of water.
Toss them in some sugar water and throw them in the fridge. Hopefully they’re still ok 🙂 Let me know how it works for you!