Freezing Kefir Grains – How to Freeze & Store Milk Kefir
Place the milk kefir grains in new milk and let them ferment for 2 days.
Separate the milk kefir grains from the milk using a plastic strainer. Shake the grains in the strainer in order for some of the attached milk to fall. Shake for at least 20 seconds.
Place the grains in a small plastic bag and add a very tiny little bit of new milk to it. Only use a very tiny little bit of milk such that the kefir grains are still mostly exposed to the air in the bag and not swimming in liquid.
Put them in the freezer.
Here is a picture of grains I have frozen.
With this process you can store your kefir grains for multiple months.
How to defrost milk kefir grains
Take the grains out of the freezer and let them slowly defrost in the fridge. Once they are not hard any more, place them in cool (fridge cool) new milk and place it somewhere warmer 65-75°F (18-25°C). Let it ferment for 2 days. Discard the first 2-3 batches and then try if it tastes again as you know it. If it does not, then continue discarding batches until it is again tasty.
My experience freezing milk kefir grains
I froze the grains as in the description and had them at 0°F (-18°C) for 9 months and they recovered. However, it took me 7-10 batches until the Kefir tasted again as before the freezing. I made the mistake of washing them with water every time, but as soon as I stopped, it started to taste good again. Some people recommend adding milk powder before freezing – I have no experience with that and usually also no milk powder available at home.
Have you frozen your kefir grains? The most interesting will probably be what the maximum possible time duration is. For how long did you freeze them and did they work again afterwards? Or have you got any other tips?
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