I get so many emails from people, who in attempt to help their kefir grains, will rinse them in cool water. You should never ever ever do this. It damages them and rinses off the protective bacteria that makes them thrive. So many times they will either die or stop reproducing or not make kefir very well after rinsing. Some kefir grains will survive this and be ok, but it still slows them down and damages them and gives me huge amounts of anxiety.
The coating of milk around the kefir grains protects them and makes them strong. Think of it this way. It is like walking around naked in a snow storm. They need this coating to reproduce themselves, and protect themselves, because of the combination of bacteria and yeast they make up the composition of kefir grains. Rinsing them washes this away.
If you need to change milks then rinse them in the milk you are changing them too. You really don’t need to rinse them at all, but if you want to rinse them. Rinse them in fresh milk.
Please don’t rinse them. I am trying not to shout and put this in all caps, because I understand people just don’t realize that this could hurt them. I am slightly over protective of these micro organisms. I am trying to insure that these little kefir grains stay around and thrive. We need them to help us live and thrive. I’ve been labeled the kefir police, and decided I am ok with this. Somebody has to do it. These little kefir grains changed my life, and I will go to great lengths to protect them. They sit on my counter and work on my behalf day after day and never charge me a dime. They do the work and I receive the benefits. Just doesn’t get any better than that for me. I love them and I just don’t care if people think I’m crazy.
Resist the temptation to rinse them. Tell your friends, Donna said so. I will sleep so much better at night if you do.