- June 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm #107014
MMemberTopics: 72Replies: 253
Next Saturday I’m heading off to Europe for just over five weeks for my summer vacation and was wondering what to do with my milk kefir grains. I think I remember reading that I could place them in some milk and then either refrigerate or freeze them until I get back. Would that work? What would you recommend as being the best course of action?
On a slightly separate note, how would I go about drying out a portion of my kefir grains in order to take them with me? Should I just take a few grains, rinse them with bottled water and then leave them out to dry overnight before placing them in a plastic pouch/sack?
Many thanks!June 30, 2013 at 8:16 pm #107025
barnmouseMemberTopics: 3Replies: 53
Yes, you can store them in the fridge, but ideally the milk should be changed every week. Otherwise they may go bad if left uncared for in that time. I haven’t left mine alone that long, so I can’t say. It may be best to dehydrate them if you’re not able to this, and then rehydrate them when you get back.
To dry out your grains, rinse the grains with non-chlorinated water, and lay flat on a clean towel, or unbleached parchment or paper towel. Cover loosely with a towel. Let dry 3-5 days. The grains will shrink and turn hard and yellow.
It can take a week or more to rehydrate your grains, and the milk should be changed every day.
I don’t what the restrictions are regarding carrying liquids on a plane in other countries. Is it possible to bring the kefir with you without having to dehydrate the grains?June 30, 2013 at 8:39 pm #107027
DaughterNatureMemberTopics: 20Replies: 82
Below are two methods I found on a helpful site. This person had experience with leaving the grains dormant for 2 months. Also, my advice: allow a reliable/health-conscious friend to take care of your grains for you while your gone. All the friend would have to do is change the milk once a week or so.
Website link: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/5976/how-to-properly-freeze-kefir-grains
I have used two methods and both worked. I have heard success stories for grains in the freezer for over a year. No milk powder involved.
Wash the grains in both cases.
Put in fresh milk (the same you used before to make the kefir) and then freeze in a plastic container or so (I used a plastic bag)
Let the grains dry. Not just with kitchen tissue, but actually leave it dry for an hour or two. Finally put it into kitchen tissue and wrap that in a plastic bag or so for freezing.
For thawing I left the grains in the fridge for half a day and then gave them directly into milk.
I tested both methods, as stated. Both worked just fine. In my case the max. time was more than 2 months. However, when “reactivating” the grains it took both some time and the results of the first two or three batches were not consumable (well, I guess they were, but just not pleasurable as kefir proper).
I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip!July 2, 2013 at 12:53 am #107079
MMemberTopics: 72Replies: 253
Thanks for your responses. I don’t think I’m allowed to take liquids on the plane, and would rather not take the risk of having my kefir confiscated in the name of security.
I guess I’ll end up freezing them for the few weeks that I’m away and hope that they rehydrate well once I get back. Worst case scenario, I order some new grains from the kefir lady.
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