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Water Kefir Needs Reinvigoration

 
pollinator
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Hi everybody,
Does anyone have recommendations on how to reinvigorate my suddenly weak water kefir? Here is some background. I have had a batch of water kefir going for the past 6 months. It had been pretty vigorous until the past week or so. I've fed it molasses a few times a week and given it a pinch of baking soda monthly when it got too bubbly. It has been living in pure/organic low-fat coconut milk in a sealed quart mason jar. The only thing that has changed in the environment where the water kefir is stored is that our house has gotten much warmer due to the sudden arrival of spring. The house temperature used to be 60 degrees F and is now 70 degrees or higher. Recommendations?
 
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Did you put them in coconut milk? or Coconut water?  I usually use coconut water to revitalize mine, but it has to be organic.  Mine do not like coconut milk.  Also the warmer weather should get them moving.
 
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Location: Hillsdale County, Michigan, zone 5B
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Marilyn Kefirlady here. If water kefir grains aren't fed properly or neglected for any length of time, they can lose their growth factor. If they are growing even just a little they will be fine.
Put your water kefir grains back into sugar water, their preferred food. A constant diet of coconut water will eventually turn them to mush.
Always keep a portion of your water grains in sugar water which will be your backup jar. When they double establish a second jar for all your experiments. That includes coconut water. It won't matter when they turn to mush because you have your backup jar making extra water grains by the cupful every week.
Water grains love figs. Be sure to add a dried fig in every batch to keep them growing strong. When the fig floats the water kefir is done. This could be one or two days. I wouldn't wait four days like some people have suggested. You don't go by the calendar you go by the taste. It should be pleasantly tart. When it gets too sour too soon double the recipe or remove half the water grains from the culture jar. The recipe should look something like this:
4 tablespoons organic cane juice crystals
1 teaspoon sucanat
Dissolved in 4 cups well water
1 or 2 dried figs
1/2 cup water grains.
Depending on how active they are and if your kitchen is about 70°F it should be pleasantly tart in two days. Strain using a fine mesh strainer and start the process over. Always use a new clean jar. A cloth lid with a rubber band will keep out dust and bugs.
Really healthy water grains increase by 50℅ or more every cycle.
What do you do with them all?
Eat them of course. In fact I don't drink the water. That gets dumped on the compost pile. There are more probiotic benefits eating the grains. And they are pleasant to chew. They resemble perfectly cooked rice.
Here is a breakfast idea and what I have daily switching out the dried fruit for variety. The night before stir together
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup water grains.
Sometimes I add 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder for more interest.

Same if you put them in plant milk.
Especially soy milk. It sets up like yogurt and it is not worth it to try to strain them out. Eat the whole deal.
You'll be getting that much more water kefir grains again from your culture jar in another day. This is the best way I've found to keep their population under control.  Eat them.
 
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