Milk Kefir FAQs

If you are just starting to explore the probiotic benefits of Milk kefir, we’ve compiled the questions people most commonly ask us.

Milk Kefir

Milk kefir is a probiotic beverage made with either milk kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter culture. Milk Kefir Grains and Kefir Starter Culture can be used to culture dairy milk or coconut milk.
The taste of finished kefir varies greatly based on the type of milk used and the length of time it is cultured. Milk kefir can have a sour taste and an effervescent texture.
As with all cultured and fermented foods, a small amount of naturally occurring alcohol is typically present in the finished product. Although the amount will vary from batch to batch, for the typical brewing period, the amount should be quite low or negligible.
Water kefir contains fewer strains of bacteria and yeasts than milk kefir, but far more than other cultured products like yogurt or buttermilk.
Kefir grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The term "kefir grains" describes the look of the culture only. Kefir grains contain no actual "grains" such as wheat, rice, etc.
Our milk kefir grains are grown using only fresh organic grass fed cow milk.
Milk kefir grains have a larger number of probiotics than the powdered starter culture. With proper care, kefir grains can be used indefinitely to make kefir. Powdered starter culture can be reused for a number of batches, but will eventually stop culturing. Powdered kefir starter culture has a smaller initial investment cost than do kefir grains; however, you will need to continue to purchase new culture if you wish to make kefir beyond a few batches.
While the probiotics can vary with each batch made with milk kefir grains, it can contain from 30 to 60 strains of bacteria's & yeasts.
Yes, milk kefir grains are reusable. Once a batch of milk kefir has finished culturing, simply remove the milk kefir grains and place them in fresh milk. The powdered kefir starter culture is also reusable but limited to 2-7 times.
If cared for properly, milk kefir grains have an unlimited life span and can be used repeatedly to make kefir. Kefir made with a direct-set style starter culture can often be re-cultured from 2 to 7 times. The exact number of successive batches will depend on the freshness of the kefir and hygienic practices employed.

Making milk kefir at home

In the case of milk kefir grains, homemade kefir will contain a larger number of probiotics than will commercial kefir, made with a powdered starter culture. Making kefir at home costs significantly less than commercial kefir and you have complete control over the milk you use (organic, grass fed, non-homogenized, raw, etc.)
You might try water kefir. Water kefir grains contains no dairy and are grown in filtered mineral water and organic sugar.
No, milk kefir grains are grown in organic milk.
Making milk kefir does not require any specialized equipment. You just need a glass/plastic jar, a plastic/wooden spoon, a cheese/cotton cloth and a rubber band. Detailed instructions are provided in the instructions manual which you get along with the parcel when you order kefir grains from feelgood kefir.
To make milk kefir at home you will need milk and a starter culture (Milk Kefir Grains or a Kefir Starter Culture). Detailed instructions are provided in the instructions manual which you get along with the parcel when you order kefir grains from feelgood kefir.
Since we ship our milk kefir grains in fresh organic milk, the grains have food to survive in its transit period. Once you receive the parcel and start fermenting, it may take 1-2 days depending on how long it stayed in transit, to get back to active state.
The milk used each day to activate the kefir grains (probably first 2 batches) can be consumed or used for cooking provided it looks, smells and tastes okay. Alternatively, you can discard any milk used during activation.
Once the milk starts to thicken (similar to the consistency of cultured buttermilk or heavy cream) and the aroma is pleasant, the kefir grains are making kefir.
Kefir generally takes 12 to 24 hours to form. The exact amount of time will vary depending on environmental factors, the most important of which is temperature. Cold temperatures slow the fermentation process (and it can be all but stopped by placing the grains in milk in the refrigerator). Heat speeds the process so kefir will form more quickly in a warm area and will be more likely to over-culture. Allowing the kefir grains to remain in milk longer than 48 hours risks starving the kefir grains and potentially damaging them. Detailed instructions are provided in the instructions manual which you get along with the parcel when you order kefir grains from feelgood kefir.
You can stir the kefir while it's culturing but it's not necessary. Stirring is good for the growth of the grains and also for the consistency of the fermentation.
The milk will thicken and can have a tangy or sour aroma and flavor. We always recommend that you refrain from consuming anything that looks, smells, or tastes unpleasant.

Caring for your milk kefir grains

We recommend using a clean container for each batch of water kefir. However if you wash it every day, make sure that you don't use chlorinated water and detergents that contain chemicals. Also make sure you dry the container before starting the next batch.
We do not recommend to rinse your grains between every batch. Washing once in a week or two would be enough if the grains become too sticky. Use only non-chlorinated and chemical free water to avoid any damage to grains.
While plastic is preferred, stainless steel is acceptable. Avoid all other types of metal when working with kefir grains. If you use stainless steel, make sure that it is made up of high quality SS material; otherwise, it may damage grains.
We recommend using 1 table spoons of grains for culturing from 500 ml to 1 liter of milk at 22-25 degree Celsius room temperature for 24 hours. It varies from place to place depending upon the room temperature, whether, quality of milk, quality of grains, fermenting time etc. Adjust the amount of grains to avoid over-culturing and to impart the best flavor. Extra grains can be used to culture another jar of kefir, shared with friends, eaten, blended into smoothies, or dried and stored in some powdered milk in a sealed container in the fridge as backup.
We caution against keeping your kefir grains in the refrigerator on a regular basis. Cold temperatures slow the kefir grains down putting them into a state of hibernation. It can be very hard on kefir grains to regularly be put into and then come out of a state of hibernation. It can disrupt the yeast/bacteria balance and may also make the kefir grains less efficient and reliable. If caring for kefir grains every day or every other day isn't an option, consider using a powdered kefir starter culture rather than kefir grains to make kefir. This product requires significantly less maintenance than kefir grains.
If you are out of station for a week and would not be able to make kefir, add adequate amount of milk (at least to submerge grains) and keep it in refrigerator (not freezer) by covering with the cotton cloth. In refrigerator, the fermentation will be slower as the temperature is low and hence it can stay for a week. Once you are back home, you can strain the grains and start your daily batches (You can consume the strained kefir). Or if you again want to keep it for another week or two, we recommend you to change the milk every week. We do not recommend to continue this process for a long time.
If you don't want to make kefir for a long time, the best option is to dry the kefir grains and store it in refrigerator by adding some organic milk powder.
Rinse the grains well with non-chlorinated and chemical free water. Put the grains in a paper (chemical free) for 3-5 days depending upon the room temperature and humidity. Once dried properly, put the grains in an air tight plastic bag, add some organic milk powder and store it in refrigerator. It can stay in refrigerator from 6 months to 1 year.
Rinse the kefir grains well and put it in fresh organic milk. It may take a week or two for the grains to re-hydrate and get active.
Milk kefir grains are known to multiply, but at times they are reluctant to do so. Even if they do not multiply, with proper care, kefir grains can be used repeatedly to brew milk kefir. Generally kefir grains take 6 to 8 weeks following rehydration to begin multiplying.
Kefir doesn't require light to culture properly, so a dark cupboard is fine, as is a lighted room. Do not expose culturing kefir to direct sunlight.
We suggest a distance of at least 4 feet between cultures. When being stored in the refrigerator with tight-fitting lids, there is no need to keep distance between them.
We do not recommend using RO water and filter because it may still contain chlorine or other chemical content. We have seen many customers getting their grains spoiled when they used RO/filter water. We recommend using well water (chlorine-free) or mineral water.

Using kefir grains in variety of milks

If the powdered milk is organic and of high quality made with no processing, it can be used for culturing milk kefir. If you are not sure about the quality of the milk powder, we don't recommend using it.
Yes, got milk can be used to ferment milk kefir. It has the following benefits as compared to cow milk. Goat milk contains less casein than cow milk, which, for some people, can make the milk easier to digest. When introduced to stomach acid the proteins in goat milk break up into smaller particles than the proteins in cow milk which also may make goat milk easier to digest. Goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning the cream will not separate as much during the culturing process.
Lactose-free milk may not actually be lactose-free as they claim, but has lactase added, which makes the lactose easier to digest. We do not guarantee success with this milk. Avoid ultra-pasteurized milk for making milk kefir.
Yes, milk kefir grains can be used to culture coconut milk kefir, though this method will not be completely dairy-free. To make coconut milk kefir using milk kefir grains, or for a dairy-free option, refer to our blog posts.
Almond milk is a problem. We have not found any of the kefir cultures to work well with almond milk. While many have tried using milk kefir grains or other methods of culturing almond milk, the results are generally undesirable and inconsistent.
Milk that is “too clean,” such as ultra-pasteurized/UHT milk, or milk that has been heated by microwave, may be too sterile for the milk kefir grains to use as nourishment. So we don't recommend using it.
Yes. Non-homogenized milk makes wonderful kefir. The cream will rise to the top of the kefir just as it does with the milk Once cultured, the top layer of the kefir will be more yellow in color and very thick, while the skim milk portion at the bottom will be cultured but thinner than homogenized whole milk kefir.
We always recommend heating the milk and cool it and remove the fat before putting grains in the milk. Pasteurized milk is also fine but make sure that it is NOT ultra-pasteurized/homogenized/toned. Milk kefir grains like less fat milk for culturing.

Finished Milk Kefir

Finished milk kefir can be stored as follows: At room temperature (20° to 25°C): 1 to 2 days In the refrigerator (2° to 8°C): 2 to 4 weeks In the freezer (0° to -4°C): 1 to 2 months or longer (like ice cream) Storage recommendation: Refrigerate
The first fermentation takes place when milk kefir grains are added to milk and cultured for around 24 hours. Once the grains are separated and transferred to fresh milk, the resulting liquid is milk kefir. Since the grains have been removed, the milk kefir can be further cultured and flavored, according to taste preference. This culturing period is the second fermentation.
How long you continue to let your kefir ferment depends on your taste preferences. We recommend tasting your kefir frequently during its second ferment to get a feel for how the flavor changes over time. A second ferment can range from 6 to 12 hours, or more or less, just depending on the culturing conditions of your home (room temperature, first fermentation etc.) and taste preferences.
A second fermentation can be performed for the additional bacterial content, reduced lactose content, or simply for the improvement in flavor. Fermenting the kefir a second time, no matter the additions mellows the kefir and takes away some of the sharp acidic flavor milk kefir is known for. Not only that, but with the addition of other flavorings, it can be a spicy, sweet, or savory fermented drink.
The sky is the limit! Because the kefir grains are removed before the second fermentation there is no risk of contaminating or harming your kefir grains in any way. Some of the Milk Kefir Flavoring Ideas: Any natural fruit juice or mixture of juices to make smoothies Citrus fruit peels Vanilla + cinnamon Cocoa powder Garlic or onion (for use in savory kefir dip) Chopped fruit Ginger + curry leaves + Himalayan salt For more detailed information on flavoring please visit our flavor page or blog posts

Milk kefir grains troubleshooting FAQs

Milk kefir grains generally take 1-3 days to activate from the transit conditions and properly culture milk kefir. Culture according to the instructions. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to contact/WhatsApp us at 9846956368.
There are few factors that determine how quickly kefir forms: room temperature, ratio of kefir grains to milk, type and quality of milk etc. To slow down kefir production, either lower the temperature at which the kefir is culturing, use a smaller amount of kefir grains, or increase the amount of milk. The ideal way is - Use 1 table spoons of milk kefir grains for 500ml-1 liter of milk and ferment at 22-25 degree Celsius for 24 hours. Keep in Mind: It is important for the health of the kefir grains for kefir to form within 48 hours of culturing. Avoid trying to slow down the process past the 48 hour point.
There are two factors that determine how quickly kefir forms: room temperature and the ratio of kefir grains to milk. To speed up kefir production, either raise the temperature at which the kefir is culturing or use a smaller amount of milk for the portion of kefir grains you are using. Keep in Mind: It is important for the health of the kefir grains that kefir does not form in less than 12 hours (the preferable culturing time frame is 16 to 24 hours). While an abundance of fresh kefir is certainly tempting, please avoid trying to speed up the culturing process to this extent.
Kefir will separate if it over-cultures. This usually occurs when the ratio of milk to grains is not in balance. To prevent this from happening, you can: Increase the amount of milk Reduce the amount of grains Reduce the amount of time you culture the milk kefir Reduce the temperature at which it is culturing.
The taste and texture of kefir depends on several factors. The culture time, the temperature of your home, and the ratio of kefir grains to milk. If the temperature of your home has changed, you may need to adjust the culturing time. If your kefir grains have multiplied, you may choose to either remove a portion of the kefir grains or increase the amount of milk. Extra grains can be used to start a second batch of kefir, given to a friend, or dried and stored as backup or blend it in smoothies or mix with salads and eat etc.
Changes in culturing conditions (different milk, new spot for culturing, season, temperature, etc.) can change the result of your kefir. The reality is, that it may be difficult to determine the exact reason for the change. If the problem persists, reduce the amount of fresh milk by about 1/8, replacing that amount with finished milk kefir from the previous batch. Repeat 1-3 times, or until milk kefir begins to thicken. For Example: If culturing 2 cups of milk, in your next batch use only 1 3/4 cups fresh milk (reduce by 1/8), and replace the 1/4 cup you reduced by 1/4 cup finished kefir from your previous batch.
Kefir will often smell like fresh yeast. If your kefir smells like spoiled yeast (rotten), that can be a sign of either contamination or that the yeast and bacteria which comprise the kefir grains are out of balance. Please contact us for assistance if you have concerns.
The grains are most likely fine if this has happened one time. The biggest danger with leaving the kefir grains in the same milk for more than 48 hours is that they may begin to starve, which can damage the kefir grains. Separate the grains and put them into fresh milk right away. As long as the finished, separated, kefir smells and tastes okay, it can be consumed.
While it is uncommon to find mold developing on a batch of kefir, it may occasionally happen. Mold may appear as white, green, orange, red, or black spots on the surface of the kefir, or a pink discoloration of the milk. Kefir grains that turn pink, orange, red, green, or black may be contaminated. Yellow or yellowish-white kefir grains are not a bad sign but rather a normal variation. New grains that are light orange/caramelized-colored are also normal. Orangey grains AFTER using for awhile may not be normal, and we should be contacted. White formations on the surface of the kefir may be mold or may be yeast. Please contact Customer Support before discarding anything. If mold does develop, immediately toss the entire batch, including the kefir grains. Do not try to salvage a moldy batch, even if you do not see mold on the kefir grains themselves. Doing so may be dangerous to your health. Obtain a new set of kefir grains, clean the jar thoroughly, and try again another day.
f mold has been a problem in the past, or if you know there is mold in your environment, dip, drizzle or spray the jar cover (coffee filter, cloth napkin, etc.) with distilled white vinegar. Follow up by spraying the cover every other day to deter mold formation.
It is normal for kefir to cling to the grains and it does not present a problem. Strain the grains as best as you can and don't worry about smaller layers that remain on the kefir grains.
Stir, swirl, or shake the kefir periodically, 3-4 times in a 24-hour culturing period to lessen the extent of the cream separation and prevent the grains from getting lodged in the thick cream at the top. Once the culturing period is up, stir or shake to incorporate separated cream, then strain out the grains as usual.
Milk kefir grains are known to multiply, but at times they are reluctant to do so. Even if they do not multiply, with proper care, kefir grains can be used indefinitely to brew milk kefir. Generally kefir grains take 1-2 weeks following transit time to begin multiplying.
While kefir grains are very resilient, excessive heat is one thing that can kill them. Exposure to oven temperatures is too warm. The milk kefir grains will no longer culture and need to be replaced.
Kefir grains make a wonderful gift to friends. Alternately, they can be eaten with salads, blended into smoothies, or shared with chickens or pets etc.
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