The homemade Kefir guide

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that promotes a healthy gut microbiome. It contains more beneficial nutrients and bacteria than yoghurt.

Kefir with blueberries and chocolate powder

Milk Kefir is not lactose-free. The fermentation process of milk with Kefir grains reduces the lactose greatly because the Kefir grains feed on the lactose sugar in the milk but the process does not bring the lactose content to zero. People with a mild lactose intolerance can consume Kefir.

Making Kefir, tips

You need about one teaspoon of Kefir grains per one cup (250ml) of milk. This ratio will ferment the milk in about 24h at room temperature (19-25'C). If you take more milk or fewer grains then the process will just take longer. The best is full fat organic milk.

This is what Kefir Grains look like

The grains sit initially at the bottom of your jar and rise to the top during the fermentation as the liquid starts to thicken and gases build up. The shape of the jar that you use matters. A wider jar allows you to distribute the grains more evenly over a bigger area. Each grain will have more space and milk around it. This will allow for a maximum efficiency of the process as grains do not compete with each other for nutrients.

If you use a more narrow jar then gently stir every 6-8 hours to allow the milk to fully come into contact with the grains.

If you want to go on vacation then just put the Kefir grains into a big jar with plenty of milk and store it in the fridge. The colder temperatures in the fridge will slow down the fermentation process.

If the Kefir has the proper growing conditions then you don't have to worry about rinsing the jar and keeping it clean. The Kefir will completely out-compete any fungus or foreign bacteria. There is no need to wash the jar even if there are spots of dried milk or Kefir near the lid. You can wash it once a month when too many stains have built up.

Making Kefir every day

Every 24 hours you, strain the fermented milk and Kefir mixture to get the grains back. Add one cup (250ml) of fresh milk to the strained grains. You can drink/eat the fermented Kefir milk just naturally or add something to it. I like to add a few frozen blueberries and a bit of chocolate powder.

Your Kefir grains will grow over time and you can start to use a more coarse strainer which will not catch all the small baby grains. A more coarse strainer simplifies the straining process.

Here are some video tutorials about making Kefir:

Good to know

Mailed Kefir problems

The best time to send and order Kefir is March to May and September to November. However any other time of the year can also be OK. Kefir is quite hardy and it just takes a bit of patience to get it back.
Things you can do to bring your Kefir back:
Severely stressing Kefir changes it's taste (and composition):

Other documents

Questions? Need Kefir? Contact: Guido Socher,