I would like to share with you something my daughter e-mailed to me today. She has been brewing water kefir and making kefir soda for quite a while now, and it's been a real blessing to her and her family. Recently, she was having troubles with it... Here, read what she says:
"Remember how I was having trouble with my water kefir grains not growing? Well, I tried tap water, letting the chlorine dissipate first. That didn’t work. I had read that reverse osmosis water is too alkaline for the grains and will eventually kill them. So as a last resort I tried our soft water, and it works! They are growing like crazy again. I had to murder about 2/3 of the grains this morning. Also, because of the temperature drop of around 10 degrees in the house, it takes a lot longer for the entire process. I have to wait until I don’t see any of the Sucanat left in the jar, which takes at least 36 hours, maybe longer. Plus, to make the kefir soda it takes longer, over 12 hours. "
I have realized, over time, that there are so many variables in brewing kefir of both types (milk and water) that it is more of an art than a science. You need to figure out what works for YOU and what pleases you. There are no exact formulas that you have to follow!