Milk Kefir FAQ’s

Looking to buy real live Organic Milk Kefir Grains? Having problems with your milk kefir grains? Check out our Troubleshooting FAQ’s for advice on how to keep our Milk Kefir Grains happy and healthy!

Milk Kefir is derived from the turkish word keyif -meaning ‘good feeling’. It is a cultured dairy drink, with a similar thick consistency to yoghurt. It has a tart taste, and this unique sour taste brings another level of umami to our tastebuds, along with the health benefits that a balanced ecosystem provides.

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..

Click here for more info on making milk kefir…

Milk kefir grains prefer to feed every 24-48 hours. It may be possible to leave them at room temperature for 3-4 days on occasion. However, it is NOT recommended and if not fed regularly, the grains will disintegrate as the organisms will literally eat the nutrients holding them together.

It’s best to take it slow and give your body time to adjust to the beneficial bacteria. Try just a couple of teaspoons a day for a couple of days to see how you react. If all is well, alternate every other day or more as desired.

  • 5g Milk Kefir Grains will produce 250ml of Milk Kefir
  • 10g Milk Kefir Grains will produce 500ml of Milk Kefir
  • 20g Milk Kefir Grains will produce 1Ltr of Milk Kefir

Yes, a single purchase of our kefir grains can provide you with a lifetimes supply of milk kefir providing they are kept healthy and active.

No! They are always hungry so it is important to keep them well fed and they will yield a lifetime supply!

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 but do note: UHT milk is NOT suitable and Lactose free milk is NOT suitable.

Yes, you can use the milk kefir grains to ferment alternate milks such as coconut milk, almond milk and rice milk.

However, as the kefir grains feed on the lactose and fat in dairy milks you will need to alternate between fermenting dairy milk and the alternate milk. Lactose is a natural sugar, contained in dairy milk, and is required for the milk kefir bacteria to feed off.

For example, ferment in the dairy milk for 5 to 7 days, then ferment in the alternate milk for 5 to 7 days, then back to dairy milk again and so on. If not, the kefir grains may eventually starve and die.

When milk is cultured into milk kefir, the milk kefir grains feed on the lactose and the majority of the sugars in the lactose have being long devoured by the bacteria during the fermentation process.

For people with lactose intolerance, this means that you may well be able to tolerate milk kefir BUT the level of your own intolerance will dictate whether or not you are able to try milk kefir.

Yes! milk kefir is an excellent source of protein. One cup of milk kefir can contain between 4 and 12 grams of protein. Milk kefir cultured with whole milk provides the most protein in milk kefir.

Yes, milk kefir grains are usually grown in cow’s milk and are gluten-free. Some milks, however, may not be safe so you’ll need to check the ingredients to make sure.

Commercial practice not only affects the natural yeasty smell of kefir, but also the taste, consistency and health benefits. Store bought milk kefir is generally made from lab grown, freeze dried, powdered culture which are labelled as containing living organisms. However, in order for them to safely package and standardize their product they remove a variety of bacteria and yeast strains, to limit the build up of carbon, which could lead to their bottles exploding.

By consuming home-made milk kefir, you will be rewarded with more natural bacteria and yeast strains!

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.

Click here for more info on making milk kefir…

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 make milk kefir” 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.

Please note: It can take 1-2 weeks for the grains to settle and it is important you continue to change the milk, even if it looks like not much is happening.

Between 18° – 22°C is good. 22°C is optimal. A warm spot is advisable if room temperature falls below say 18°C.

If your milk kefir separates into curds and whey, this is because you have over-fermented it. This generally occurs for a number of reasons:

  • Warmer temperatures, will speed up fermentation times
  • It was left ferment for too long

Don’t worry if this does occur, you can save your kefir by simply stirring the curds and whey back together, which is still consumable but may be a little tart. You can then get creative and simply flavour it.

You could add flavours during the second fermentation stage. You are only limited by your imagination.

For more info click here

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.

As mentioned above,  it can take 1-2 weeks for the grains to settle and it is important you continue to change the milk, even if it looks like not much is happening.

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 may take some time to ferment the milk again. It usually takes anywhere from 2-5 batches before they are fully active again.

The correct ratio of grains to milk is extremely important.

  • 5g Milk Kefir Grains will produce 250ml of Milk Kefir
  • 10g Milk Kefir Grains will produce 500ml of Milk Kefir
  • 20g Milk Kefir Grains will produce 1Ltr of Milk Kefir

When your grains exceed this ratio / amount it is best to split them to make additional batches of milk kefir. Alternatively you can eat the kefir grains or add them to smoothies.

When your ratios are out of balance your milk kefir will be too sour or will separate far before your usual straining time, simply adjusting to less grains, or more milk will resolve these problems.

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.

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