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Growth of water kefir grains in different seasons

Water Kefir brewing in different seasons

The growth of water kefir grains depends largely on seasonal variations. As we know, all living organisms get affected by seasonal, climatic and environmental conditions. Kefir grains are no exception. The subtle seasonal variations affect the growth of kefir grains largely. Let us consider the example of a tree. With the changing of seasons, we find the tree to grow, bear fruits and flowers, change colors and then finally discard the old leaves. Similarly, we find kefir to undergo several climatic and seasonal changes.

During the summer season, kefir ferments rapidly. The warm temperature facilitates the rapid growth of kefir. In a striking contrast, during the fall and spring, the growth of kefir grains is very inconsistent. The inconsistency in growth of water kefir grains is also noticed in extremes of temperature, such as a sweltering hot afternoon or a cold night. Although the growth of kefir grains slows down in winter, they are still able to ferment at very cold temperatures.

water kefir grains

Water kefir grains

It is noticed that during the summer season, kefir is sour and zesty. On the other hand, during the winter season, kefir is mild. Due to the various strains of probiotic microorganisms present in water kefir, it can be fermented at different temperatures. The various strains perform differently at different temperatures. This is the reason why kefir has a different taste in different seasons.

Water kefir grains keep changing their shape and taste. Therefore, it is a little difficult to work with water kefir grains. You have to patiently wait for the water kefir to show normal growth. Sometimes, the growth of water kefir grains lag for a few weeks, then the growth becomes normal and after that it suddenly shows 100-400 % growth.

During the winter season, water kefir grains grow better when mixed with easier sugars such as white sugar with molasses. During the summer season, water kefir grains prefer slower digesting sugars for proper growth. You may find some difficulty in handling water kefir grains during the winter season. If you are able to find a warm spot in winter, then keep the kefir grains there. However, you should not expose the kefir grains to sunlight as the UV rays can kill the bacteria.

seasonal-kefir-growth

Under proper and suitable conditions, kefir grains can grow from 5% to 400% within 24 to 48 hours. In the winter, the growth is around 5%, whereas during summer, the growth is around 400%. During moderate temperature, growth is between 5% to 400%. It is also observed that the smaller kefir grains reproduce faster than the large kefir grains.

How to handle kefir grains ?

How to maintain Kefir grains ?

Dairy kefir is a cultured milk beverage that is bragged about, for its plenty of probiotic benefits. It is a fermented milk product that contains plenty of beneficial yeasts and bacteria. Many people prepare kefir at home, after purchasing kefir grains. The kefir grains are usually tiny chunks of bacteria and yeast, mixed with sugars, fats and milk proteins called caseins. Kefir grains can be used for an indefinite amount of time if they are maintained properly. A new batch of kefir can be prepared every day if you maintain the kefir grains properly. In order to do so, you need to follow some dos and don’ts while handling kefir grains.

  1. You should never mix kefir grains with tap water. This is because the chemicals present in tap water such as fluorine and chlorine can cause potential damage to the kefir grains. Therefore, you must use filtered or mineral water which is devoid of these chemicals.
  1. You must not overheat or boil the kefir grains as too much heat can kill the beneficial bacteria present in kefir.
  1. You must use glass, plastic or wooden utensils while preparing kefir. The best choice is obviously glass utensils as they are easy to sterilize. However, you should not use metal utensils at any cost. This is because kefir reacts with metals. Thus, metal can contaminate the kefir you are preparing.
  1. You should not freeze the kefir grains. Freezing totally stops or halts the fermentation process. Many kefir grains cannot be revived after freezing. They immediately go to a deep-sleep-freeze-phase on freezing. The process of reviving frozen kefir grains is difficult. A better option is to dried the kefir grains.
  1. You must store the kefir grains in a clean jar. The jar containing kefir grains must be always covered with a cloth so that you can prevent the grains from any contamination.
  1. The kefir grains should not be starved. You must change the milk after 48 hours. When the kefir grains are fed with fresh milk, they stay alive and active.
  1. Though there are no fixed kefir grains to milk ratio, the general rule is to use 1 part kefir grains and 10 parts milk by volume. The milk is the food for the bacteria and yeasts.
With plenty of health benefits, kefir is a beverage that is widely recommended by doctors and this healthy food can be easily prepared at home if you follow these simple 7 tips listed above. Your kefir grains will always be well maintained.