I just ordered water kefir grains and followed the directions for reviving them from dehydration. Now I'm 1 day past the recommended 48 hours for brewing kefir water in rapadura, and I don't seen any bubbles, bouncing and still taste a lot of sugar. How do I know if they're dead? Any suggestions???
It can take a few batches before the grains function at 100%. Don't worry too much about the bubbles. Often they are very few and far between so you'd have to sit and watch very carefully for a significant amount of time. I'd recommend going ahead and brewing your first official batch. It's not unusual for the mixture to still be sweet but particularly when you are rehydrating because the grains spent their time being rehydrated rather than actually eating sugar.
The best way to tell if the grains are working (with your official batch--not the rehydrating batch) is if the water tastes less sweet than when it did before the batch brewed. It will still be sweet but shouldn't be anywhere near as sweet.
Cool, I was thinking of posting something similar. I ended up leaving mine in for 5 days waiting for bubbles then another day or two because I was busy. Trying to brew our first "official" batch now and hoping I didn't hurt them leaving them in to rehydrate for too long!