Q. I just received my water kefir grains and they don’t appear to be working.
A. Water kefir grains require 3-5 days to rehydrate. It is common for the taste of the water kefir and the activity level of the kefir grains to change over the first few weeks after the water kefir grains are rehydrated. If you have questions or concerns about your water kefir, please contact Customer Support.
Q. When I rehydrated my water kefir grains, I didn't see any bubbles. Is that normal?
A. Yes. There may or may not be any bubbling with newly rehydrated grains. Follow the instructions for making the first batch of water kefir, even if there are no visible signs of culturing after 3-5 days of rehydration.
Q. The water kefir grains have been rehydrating for 5 days and they look rehydrated but don't appear to be doing anything. Should I wait longer?
A. Avoid leaving the water kefir grains to rehydrate longer than 5 days. Longer periods without fresh food can starve the water kefir grains. After 3-5 days of rehydration, even if there are no visible signs of culturing, transfer the kefir grains to new sugar water to start the first batch of water kefir.
Q. I'm not sure my water kefir grains are working properly. What should I do?
A. Always test aroma and flavor to make sure the water kefir grains are working properly. The finished water kefir should smell pleasant and maybe a bit sour, and it will be less sweet than the sugar water or juice you started with. The liquid will generally lighten in color and turn cloudy during the fermentation period, as well.
Q. I've made a few batches of water kefir and it tastes okay but it smells yeasty or funny. Is that normal?
A. Maybe. It is normal that the kefir smell a bit yeasty at first. In the beginning, the yeasty smell is a sign that the yeast and bacteria in the kefir grains are still getting into balance. Normally the yeasty aroma will lessen significantly within a few batches.
If the yeasty aroma continues, the water kefir may be over-culturing, which can cause an imbalance. Make sure to reduce the culturing time in warmer temperatures, to keep the grains well-fed and in balance.
With grains that have been in use for a while but have begun to smell yeasty, it can help to add ⅛ of a washed organic lemon to 2-3 batches, to increase acidity and reduce yeast.
Q. I've been working with my water kefir grains for a few weeks and the taste of the kefir seems to be changing. It's more fermented than before, a bit less sweet. Is that normal?
A. Yes, it is normal that the newly rehydrated water kefir grains will mature for the first several weeks, and the flavor of the finished water kefir may change.