My water kefir grains are not growing – why?

There could be a few reasons why your water kefir grains are not growing. Here are some possible explanations:

Lack of proper temperature

Water kefir needs to be kept at a consistent temperature of around 68-78°F (20-25°C) to grow properly. If the temperature is too low, the kefir grains may become sluggish and fail to ferment the sugar in the water. On the other hand, if the temperature is too high, the grains may become stressed and die.

Lack of nutrients

Water kefir grains need a source of nutrients to grow and thrive. This typically comes from the sugar and minerals in the water. If the water you are using does not have enough minerals, or if you are not adding enough sugar, the kefir grains may not have the nutrients they need to grow.


If your water kefir is not covered properly or if you are not using clean utensils, the kefir grains may become contaminated with other bacteria or fungi. This can interfere with their growth and fermentation.

Old or damaged kefir grains

Over time, water kefir grains may become old or damaged, which can cause them to lose their ability to ferment the sugar in the water. If you have been using the same kefir grains for a long time, it may be time to replace them.

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pH imbalance

Water kefir grains prefer a slightly acidic environment to grow in. If the pH of the water is too high or too low, the kefir grains may struggle to grow and ferment the sugar.

Final thoughts

If your water kefir is not growing, you may want to try adjusting the temperature, adding more sugar or minerals to the water, checking for contamination, or replacing your kefir grains. If none of these solutions work, it may be helpful to consult with an experienced kefir maker or microbiologist for further advice.

Uta Heidelauf
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