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Left some kefir grains in the fridge for a few weeks...

 
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Someone on Facebook was nice enough to share their milk kefir grains with me. They sent them via mail in a padded envelope in a little tiny tupperware container in some milk. It's winter here so I'm assuming most of the time it was pretty cold. May have experienced some temp fluctuations in sorting centers and such.

I haven't had time to deal with them so I left them in the same milk and container they came in. They've been in my fridge for almost 3 weeks now. Looking at the container... it's pretty thick stuff now!

Questions:
Did I ruin them?
Is it OK to leave them in the same milk, in the fridge, for this long?
Do I need to 'revitilize' them or anything before I make a batch of kefir?

Please advise; thanks!
 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Should be fine, but refresh them now. Kefir will get thicker and whey will separate out when it's been in the fridge a while.
 
Morgan Mains
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Ok great!

Do I need to rinse them before making a new batch?
How do I properly rinse them?

Thanks!
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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I know some folks advocate rinsing, but I do not. Just strain out the grains and put them back with fresh milk. Clean the container once in a while when refreshing.
 
Morgan Mains
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Sounds good; thanks!
 
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