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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've run into a weird problem, and I'm hoping someone can offer some guidance. I got water kefir grains a few months ago, and after straining the grains out of the bits of dried fruit & lemon pulp a few times, I decided I should use the little cotton pouch that came with them.

Everything seemed to be going okay, and then I realized a few days ago that I could barely rinse the grains--the rinse water was draining really, really slowly through the cotton fabric (it's not that dense a weave). And _then_ I realized that the bottom of the bag where the grains usually sit felt slimy--and it looked like there were new grains growing on the outside of the bag itself.

Is this normal?! I'm sort of bewildered by it. But does this mean my grains really are growing? It seemed like they weren't--I think I was a bit slow sometimes about re-starting batches, and it's Texas and summer--fermentation seems pretty quick here.

Does anyone have any advice? A different type of pouch? Do people just swap out pouches every few months? I'm
: and


TIA.
 

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This isn't quite an answer to your questiom (don't you just love it when someone says that?
), since I've never tried using a pouch. But I will tell you what I do, which eliminates the need for a pouch. This method was in the instructions given to me with the grains (by Amanda, I think). I brew the grains in just sugar water for a day or two (that's the ideal, anyway - I sometimes go a week), then strain and add fruit, and let that brew another day at room temp. This way, the grains are never mixed with the fruit. It's a pretty handy method, I think.

I do look forward to hearing what others have to say, though. I've thought about trying to kefir coconut milk, and it seems like I would need to use a pouch for that. Not quite knowing what to expect with using a pouch is mostly what has stopped me.
 

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I have my water kefir grains wrapped up in a few layers of cheesecloth with a rubber band around the top. I haven't had your problem yet, but I can certainly see how they might decide to grow through the cloth eventually. Maybe there wasn't enough room for them to keep growing inside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The bag isn't full at all (I really had wondered if they just weren't going to grow--I even tried measuring them and they seemed about the same volume as when I began), but they do tend to all sit at the bottom of the bag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Christie, I've been thinking about your suggestion for a couple days, and I think I'll try it. I went through the usual drawbacks (needs extra frig space, I am already low on half-gallon jars), and then realized they're all solveable, and some are already solved (we just bought a secondhand frig from craigslist because the fermented veggies are taking up so much space, and the more I cook, the more cold space I need for food already cooked or about-to-be-cooked).

Thanks for the suggestion. I think it will work for us.
 

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You're welcome. I hope it works for you. Having never done it a different way, I don't know how it compares in terms of work needed, but I've always assumed that it's less work than trying to separate the grains from the food bits.

Yeah, we like having a second refrigerator, too. It was such a relief when we finally finished our utility room so we could bring an old refrigerator (smaller than we needed, from when we lived in a trailer) back into service. We also brought an old upright freezer back into service, and that's very nice, too (esp. when we buy a 1/4 cow plus some extra ground beef!).

I know traditional societies didn't use so many appliances (more like none
), but they sure make eating TF in this day and age, and in an isolated area, much easier. I'm glad for them.
 
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