I admit, taking care of your kefir grains can be a lot like having a pet fish. You have to regularly change the water and you have to make sure to feed the little marine life at least once a day. Except with the kefir grains, you have to make sure to strain the grains and move them into a new batch of fresh milk to keep them alive and kicking.
This is all nice and dandy but honestly it can become an obstacle when you want to go out of town for a business trip or for vacation. You can’t just leave your kefir grains now… can you?
If you want to go on a vacation or you just don’t feel like making kefir for a couple of weeks, place the kefir grains in fresh milk and store them in the refrigerator. These little critters can usually last for two weeks with their recovery period not being too long, when you do decide to bring them back out and grow them again.
Since kefir grains are basically little tiny organisms, they can go out of balance at extreme temperatures. The longer they are kept they’re the longer they will stay ‘dormant’, so to speak, resulting in a longer recovery period to get them started again.
If you really do have to keep them in the refrigerator or when you do decide to get them out, repeat what you’ve been doing before and be sure to keep giving them a change of milk every day and to keep them at room temperature so they’ll be happy. When you don’t see results right away, this is the recovery period taking place. Just keep doing what you’re doing and eventually, they should go back to what they were.
Sometimes, the grains can become so outbalanced that it takes so much time and so much milk is wasted, it would be easier to start over with new grains.
If you need to store the grains for longer than 2 weeks, the only way to store them is by freezing them. This is a good idea for the extra grains you don’t need, but is eating up so much of your fresh milk. Again, the longer you freeze them the longer the recovery period will be.
When you get them out, you may think they are inactive and dead, but most likely they’re just ‘asleep’. Leave them in room temperature and keep giving them fresh milk every day. Do this regularly and each day that pass, you’ll taste the kefir getting a little better each day.