Milk Kefir FAQ’s
Have questions about Milk Kefir Grains? Find answers to some of the most asked questions about this culture product:
Making milk kefir is not difficult and in simple terms – Add the milk kefir grains to a glass jar, add milk, let it sit, take the grains out and you are done! Then repeat the process..
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Yes, a single purchase of our kefir grains can provide you with a lifetimes supply of milk kefir.
We recommend fresh organic whole milk (cows milk) as being the best source for making kefir as we believe the pesticides and added chemicals found in non-orgainc milk can actually harm the grains long-term BUT that does not necessarily mean you have to use organic milk, that is something for you to decide upon and you are obviously free to use whatever type of milk you choose.
To put it simply, the first fermentation is done when your milk kefir grains are added to milk and cultured for approx 24 hours. Now, once you strain out your kefir grains with a plastic strainer and pour the drained kefir into a jar the milk kefir is then ready to consume OR…
You can store the milk kefir (with the grains removed) in your fridge in a sealed jar, and it will continue to ferment. This is what is known as the second fermentation.
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Once received all live kefir grains require settling as they adjust to their new environment (they are very temperature sensitive) this usually takes between 3-5 brews. See “How to activate your milk kefir grains” and carry on with the process until you notice it has started to separate, thicken or change texture then move on to the next step.
Between 18° – 22°C is good. 22°C is optimal. A warm spot is advisable if room temperature falls below say 18°C.
You could add flavours during the second fermentation stage. You are only limited by your imagination.
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Milk kefir will be thicker than fresh milk, so you’re looking to see that change in texture and consistency. The cultured kefir will have a sour, tangy taste to it which will confirm that your milk kefir is ready to drink. If you like it more sour tasting, simply allow it to ferment for a little longer.
Good grains are simply grains that will produce kefir.
Simply follow the instructions that come with your grains and we guarantee they will produce top quality kefir or we will send you a replacement free of charge.
If you are making kefir every day, your grains should be growing and multiplying. If they aren’t, it is because the temperature in your house is cooler than usual, slowing down the grains. If your milk is turning into kefir by becoming sour and thick, your grains are still working, just at a slower rate.
The first few batches may be off-balance as the live grains are are very temperature sensitive but once settled they will make top quality Milk Kefir daily. This can usually take 3-5 days but it really depends if the grains are stressed or not.
No. It’s not necessary to rinse the grains between batch UNLESS they stop culturing kefir effectively (which can happen sometimes due to a buildup of yeast on the grains). If it does become necessary to rinse the grains, use only filtered water.
Once the first few batches of milk kefir are complete you can always move up to a bigger jar for larger amounts as our milk kefir cultures grow and multiply very quickly.
As your kefir grains grow & multiply you will need to remove some of the grains to keep to the correct ratio: 1 teaspoon of milk kefir grains will culture 250mls of milk. The goal is to keep the ratio of grains to milk the same as you started with.
Room Temperature: 1-2 days.
Refrigerator: We recommend no longer than 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
If you need to take a break for a few weeks for an upcoming holiday etc.. and you’re worried about what to do with your kefir grains, then follow the steps below:
Simply go ahead and place the grains in a fresh jar of milk. Now cover the jar with a tight lid and place them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Cold temperatures greatly slow the culturing process, so the refrigerator is a good place to store your grains when a break is necessary.
If you plan on storing the milk kefir grains long-term, make sure to change the milk at least once every few weeks!
Making Milk Kefir Again
Once removed from the refrigerator the grains will need to be activated again. See here for the activation method.
The first few batches may be off-balance as the live grains are are very temperature sensitive but once settled they will make top quality milk kefir daily. This can usually take 3-5 days but it really depends if the grains are stressed or not due to the shipping process.
There you go!
Remember, like most live cultures, milk kefir grains can be temperamental and will take a while to master. These instructions should only serve as a guide and are a reflection of what works for us. After a while you are likely to find your own way and methods which is the beauty (and fun!) of working with milk kefir.
Our products are living cultures and for best results they should ideally be used within 48hrs of receiving them. The faster the cultures are used the higher the success rate. All live cultures require settling after being shipped. It is normal for cultures to take 3-5 brews to fully settle into their new environment. Please see instructions for more details.