Can Kefer Grains die? I left mine for a long time in the same milk.

topic posted Sun, April 6, 2008 - 11:03 PM by  Diana
Hi, I am new to the group and totally lost. A fellow goat breeder gave me some grains and I kept putting them in pasturized milk from the store, Finally I got tired of trying to figure it out and just let them set in a plastic milk jug. It never molded or anything, so I took them out day before yesterday and the grains were all fringy instead of like caluflower grains. I rinsed them off and put them in some fresh goats milk. It hasn't turned bad ?????

I have never had babies yet, I thought it looked like there were, but when I put them in milk by them selves they didn't do anything, but once again I was using pasturized milk from the store. How do you get them?
posted by:
  • Hello,

    I'm kind of new to kefir making but I suspect that the plastic container may have had something to do with the grain die-off. I received mine through the mail and they took about two weeks before they started to prolliferate. Now I can't keep up with them. If you want to start over and cover cost of mailing I will gladly send grains to you.
    • I always use glass. I've had the same thing happen to me making water kefir. They were doing great and bobbing actively and multiplying and then all of a sudden , they went from fluffy to stringy and disintigrating. And I mean this happened suddenly and I had done nothing different. I was also told to rince them before adding more suger water for a new batch of kefir water and that is when I really saw the change for the worse is when they were rinsed. I have my own well water and I also filter it besides, as there is no chemials in my well water at all. I read that they need to stay in the dark - no direct light on them. Room temperature is fine. There was no reason for them to die off so fast. Unless you need to feed them like twice a day, I must have starved them to death because I only added the sugar water every other day. Not daily - I suspect you need to feed them more often then I was told to. But they did so well at first for the first week, that I thought they were getting all they needed. I do notice they hate to be rinsed ! Any suggestions ?
  • Hi diana, kefir grains can die.. but if you take care of them they can last forever.
    your kefir grains might be dead, not all, maybe just most of it.
    Kefir grains are really tough little critters.

    first, they could have died from malnutrition. If you want kefir grains to be alive and kicking and healthy, you have to regularly feed them with fresh milk. If you're not planning on making any kefir you should place them in the ref but still feed them with fresh milk once in a while.

    i'm not sure about the plastic killing the grains, because i've never had problems with plastic. However, if you did rinse the grains with tap water, that could really spell doom for the grains. Tap water contains anti-bacterial chemicals to keep tap water "sterilized." Unfortunately the water companies can't distinguish from good or bad bacteria and they'll simply kill both.

    here's a resource filled site with lots of information on kefir. you can also get brand new grains from her. Giselle's

    happy kefir making!
  • I remember there Sarah Coennen told me that Kefir is a dense probiotic made from kefir grains. The grains have a cauliflowerlike appearance and provide many great health benefits, such as removing waste and other harmful toxins from the body, lowering LDL or bad cholesterol, promoting healing, boosting energy and treating a myriad of medical conditions. Kefir can be made with milk or water. If it is made with water, sugar must be added to give the cultures something on which to feed. Sometimes, if neglected or stored for too long, the grains can die.

    Aaron (Recommended for kefir site)

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