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Rejuvenate Your Water Kefir

by Suzanne

Water kefir is my favorite summer ferment. It can be flavored with just about anything; a new batch is ready every day or two; and it's super easy to maintain! But

tired water kefir

Water kefir grains need a bit more attention than I can give them sometimes. During busy summer months, I often neglect the poor little guys. And when I do, I know that eventually, I will have to pay for my neglect with a bit of extra attention.

Recently, we had a lot going on, with camping, beach trips, and other summer fun. I wasn't home to look after all my cultures. And just as I knew would happen, the kombucha was just fine, but my water kefir grains had turned to mush. They looked kind of like applesauce, which I know from experience is not good.

So what did I do to revive the water kefir grains?

I simply gave them a little more attention. I changed the sugar water every 24 hours for a few days. I also changed the sugar I use, to make things a bit easier on the grains. Normally, for a quart batch of water kefir, I use 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) Succanat to feed the grains.

Succanat is a less refined sugar, full of minerals. It gives finished water kefir a stronger flavor, almost like caramel, and for healthy grains, it works just fine. But Succanat can be a little harder on the grains, and for neglected applesauce grains like mine, it can be too much.

water kefir sugarwater kefir sugar 2water kefir grains recover

So during the days of recovery, I switched to organic cane juice crystals, a more refined sugar that is easier on the grains. The taste of water kefir made with organic cane juice crystals is light and sweet. Not my favorite, but I can deal with it for a few days as my little pets recover.

After several days of diligently changing the sugar water every 24 hours, the grains began looking more defined and less like mush.

I knew I was on my way back to the stronger flavored water kefir that I prefer. Every few days, I replaced 1 tablespoon of organic cane juice crystals with Succanat, until I had built back up to using 100% Succanat.

And that's it! My water kefir grains are healthy again and making delicious water kefir. And I promise to pay closer attention to them€until the next time!

water kefir delicious