Kefir Milk Guide - Storing Kefir Grains - Dehydration (Long Term Storage)
Dehydration - Long Term Storage (Air Drying)
Step 1: Rinse your grains with water (no chlorine, no heat) and gently pat them dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Do not completely dry the grains, they should still be a bit damp.
Step 2: Lay the kefir grains out onto a clean surface (eg. wax paper, cloth, paper towel, or any clean non-metal surface).
Step 3: Cover the grains loosely with paper towel to protect them as they dry, this will take about 2-5 days, depending on room temperature and humidity.
Step 4: Check them as they are drying, flipping them around half-way to expose the damp parts near the bottom
Step 5: You can stop drying when they appear almost dry but are still barely squishy if you are storing them for a short period of time (such as a week or two). They are slightly more active and fresh in this state.
Step 6: When the grains are completely dry (hard, small, yellowish) put them into a plastic bag or jar with cotton balls (to absorb excess moisture) and store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator. You can also store them in a paper envelope, inside a jar OR coated in milk powder in a bag or jar. Dehydrated grains can be successfully be reconstituted after a year or more.