Store Kefir Grains
Inevitably, there will come a time when you need to take a break from making kefir-going on a holiday or alternating with other probiotic source. Yes, it is a good idea to alternate taking kefir with other probiotic source. This can include fermented vegetables, kombucha or even just a good probiotic supplement.
Making kefir well will also result in having excess grains. It is a good idea to keep some grains as a back-up in case something went wrong with your existing batch.
Okay, so how we do go about storage ?
Short term kefir grains storage
If you just need a break from a few days up to a couple of weeks, you can just put the grains in a glass container with enough milk/sugary water to cover them. Cover them loosely and place in the fridge. The cold temperature will keep the grains from being active and they will go on very slow motion, depending on how cold your fridge is.
When you decide to ferment again, take them out, place in the solution you want to ferment. Follow the recipe and leave at room temperature. The grains should revive without any problems.
For a longer term of a few months or more, you can choose to either freeze them or dehydrate them.
Longer term storage
To freeze, simply drain the grains, place them in a container and place in the freezer. To dehydrate, rinse the grains, leave them in room temperature until they are totally dry. Store them in a zip lock bag and leave in a cool dry place.
To revive frozen or dehydrated grains, you will first need to thaw/rehydrate them. Place them in a container with water until they are properly soft and ‘plump’ again. Next, place them in milk/sugary water enough to cover them. Change daily until they start working again. Then, place them into the solution according to the recipe.
More detailed answer to storing grains, together with tips learnt from personal experience and more than 50 other kefir related issues are found in my ebook ‘Make Kefir Successfully’