Once you have established kefir grains, the occasion will arise where either you do not have the fresh milk, or you want to take a break from drinking the fermented beverage. While you can freeze the grains, dehydrating the culture is a better method of storage. Dehydrated kefir grains are viable for up to 18 months in comparison to frozen grains, which have a shelf life of two months or less.
Cut clean sheets of cotton fabric to fit the trays of your dehydrator.
Place the grains in a strainer and rinse the kefir grains with cooled, boiled water to remove milk residue from the grains. Pat the grains dry using paper towels.
Place the grains on the cotton fabric.
Place the trays of kefir grains in the dehydrator and replace the lid of the machine.
Turn the machine on, dehydrate for 12 to 24 hours or until the grains turn yellow, and become firm to the touch.
Place the dried grains in a glass jar. Add 1 tsp. powdered milk to the jar and secure the lid.
Store in the refrigerator until needed.