Kefir grains that are stressed, what can I do?
Below I will explain how to start best, in the case of Water kefir
First, what is the optimal kefir grains to water ratio?
Kefir will usually start to yeast between a ratio from 1:10 to 1:18. This means that 1 tablespoon of kefir grains will ferment at about 1 cup of sugar water and may increase over time to a ratio of 01:24 (= 1 tablespoon kefir grains in 1,5 cups of water). For starters, try using a ratio of water to kefir grains of about 1:16 to 1:18. We note that the kefir grains grow less rapidly in the winter than in the summer. In summer, kefir grains can grow about 300% grow within 48 hours, while in winter, an increase of 5% may be expected. It is also appropriate for starters NOT to begin immediately with dried fruit. Water kefir grains need time to adapt to their unfamiliar environment and food changes. Therefore, we start with a sugar solution without adding dried fruit.
What is the optimal water to sugar ratio for water kefir?
The optimal ratio is about 5 to 10% sugar in water, approximately one tablespoon of sugar per cup of water. Make sure the sugar is well dissolved. Please use unrefined sugar, which is often dark in color and may have a slightly salty taste because of the minerals present. These minerals are essential to obtain a good kefir culture. Provide an ideal temperature of 18º to 28ºC, even when creating a new batch. This is important. Customize tempered sugar water to its environment (room temperature) before mixing with the kefir grains. The above tips may be helpful as a starter, but nothing stands in your way to start finding the ideal proportions.