If you deal with Kefir grains regularly, at some point in time you may find yourself having to go on a trip out of town where you can’t bring your kefir grains with you. We recently took a trip out of state and had to put our own kefir on hold for a 4-day period until we returned.
Kefir grains can stay at a healthy level when they are cultured daily – but if you have to leave town, you will need to take some steps to keep them healthy.
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. The fridge is also a great place to help you make less kefir (slow your kefir production down).
If you are headed out of town, here are some steps you can take to put your kefir on “hold”.
Putting your Kefir on Hold
Before opting for this method, you will want to culture the kefir you have for at least 3 weeks to make sure it’s fully established before throwing some in the fridge – as kefir stored in the fridge may not grow quite the same.
To refrigerate milk kefir grains – make your kefir (as you normally would.. then strain the milk/kefir and place your strained kefir in the fridge in a jar (up to 5 days). Take the leftover grains and place them in a jar of fresh milk and refrigerate until you are ready to make more kefir.
When it’s time to make more, pull out your grains from the fridge, and let them sit at room temperature as you normally would do, to allow them to culture on your counter. If you are taking a break of a week or longer through refrigeration, you will want to strain the kefir grains in the fridge and replace with fresh milk once a week.