How To Make Traditional Kefir

By , May 25, 2010

Kefir is a fermented milk drink from the Caucasus region of Eurasia, similar to yogurt, but with an enhanced probiotic profile. Traditionally, kefir is made by dropping “kefir grains” into milk (raw milk or pasteurized, but not ultra-pasteurized). The kefir grains ferment the milk, causing it to thicken and take on a yogurt-like tartness, although the consistency is thinner than yogurt. Kefir can be purchased in bottles at the store, however commercial kefir is produced using powdered kefir starter rather than the actual “grains,” and therefore doesn’t possess nearly the probiotic diversity of traditional kefir. The only way to obtain traditional kefir is to make it yourself with kefir grains. The good news is, it couldn’t be easier! I used to make yogurt a lot, which required heating milk to the scalding point, then cooling it to 110 degrees, stirring in the “starter” (plain yogurt), wrapping the jar in towels and placing it on a “reptile heat rock” where it would sit for 4-6 hours. While the process itself was very easy, it was labor intensive. Kefir is SO much easier, and again, has more probiotic benefits than yogurt.

For those reasons, I probably won’t go back to regularly making yogurt; I’m definitely a kefir convert! 🙂

Kefir grains

To make kefir, you’ll first need to obtain kefir grains. This was the hardest step for me, for some reason. Silly, I know, since they’re widely available on the internet & through kefir grain exchanges. I think I must have been wary of these mysterious grains — they were a big unknown at first. I didn’t know how to use them, nobody I knew had even heard of them, and I thought surely I would either kill them or accidentally culture some kind of rogue bacteria that would kill me, and the whole thing would be a waste of money. Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re very easy to use, very hard to kill, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll culture something abominable (and if you did, you’d know it).

So now that we’ve gotten the fear out of the way, where do you get these grains? There are many websites out on the ‘net where people with too many grains will give them away for free — usually all you pay is postage. Kefir grains multiply, you see, so the more often you make kefir, the more grains you will have. I chose to buy my grains from an online company (Cultures For Health), wanting to be sure I was getting them from a good, reputable source. Now that I have confidence and experience with making kefir, though, I’d feel just fine getting mine from someone who was giving them away for free.

Some places to get kefir grains (there are many others, too!):

Cultures For Health – online company, for purchasing grains

Kefir Lady – online company, for purchasing grains

Project Kefir – worldwide sources for (sometimes) free kefir grains

Toronto Advisors – worldwide sources for (sometimes) free kefir grains

HOW TO MAKE KEFIR:

Kefir grains in muslin bag

Begin with 1 to 2 teaspoons of kefir grains per quart (4 cups) of milk (not ultra-pasteurized). You can either drop the grains into the milk and then strain them out later, but I find it easier to just put the grains into a clean muslin bag and drop the bag into the milk. I screw a lid onto the jar, because the lid will trap the CO2 that’s released, lending a slight effervescence to the kefir. If you don’t want the effervescence, just cover the kefir jar with a cloth & rubber band to keep out dust and bugs.

Leave the kefir at room temperature until it tastes the way you like it. I like to tilt the jar or stir the kefir now and then, though it’s not necessary. My kefir usually takes about 36 hours to thicken and get tart and effervescent, which is the way I like it. If your kefir separates into curds and whey, it’s definitely done! (More about this in the next section.) Strain out the kefir grains and enjoy! I love drinking kefir plain as well as using it in my smoothies.

To make another batch of kefir, simply transfer the grains into new milk. No need to rinse them first; in fact, rinsing slows their growth (Steinkraus, Keith, ed. Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods. 2nd ed. Pp. 306). Since I use a muslin bag to contain my grains, I just plop the bag into a new jar of milk without rinsing. No muss, no fuss.

I like to put my kefir grains into a muslin bag, which I transfer from one batch to another.

Perfect kefir - thickened, creamy, & effervescent. NOW is the time to take the grains out!

This kefir is "overdone" because it has separated into curds & whey. It's still usable (especially in smoothies!), but won't have the luscious, creamy texture.

Things I’ve learned about making kefir:

Using your new kefir grains – Making kefir is very easy, though there may be an adjustment period while you learn how your grains work & while the grains get acquainted with the kind of milk you use. Your first couple batches of kefir might not come out how you like…the kefir may be too thin, too sour, too yeasty, too whatever. This is normal, so don’t worry; some grains need time to adjust, others don’t.

What kind of milk to use? – You may use raw milk or pasteurized, but NOT ultra-pasteurized. (Ultra-pasteurized milk doesn’t culture! I learned this the hard way. Scary, yeah…) I try to get high-quality grassfed whole milk if possible because that’s what I like to drink, but any milk will work (again, just not ultra-pasteurized). Also, using cold milk straight out of the fridge is fine.

It’s hard to kill kefir grains! – Kefir grains are resilient. In fact, I’ve left grains in the same milk in the back of the fridge for 7 months, and they survived. Many websites tell you not to let the grains touch metal. However, I’ve observed how resilient these things are, and therefore I highly doubt that touching metal will suddenly kill them. In fact, mine have touched metal and they’re not dead yet.

What’s the secret to making good kefir? – Making good kefir is all about getting the right milk-to-grains ratio relative to the ambient temperature. It’ll require some experimentation, and you may not get consistent results every time unless you get scientific about it and measure out the same amount of kefir grains each time (necessary, since they multiply), put them into the same amount of milk, and culture at the same temperature. Temperature is the tricky part, because kefir will culture more quickly in warmer temperatures. (So, right about the time you’ve nailed down wintertime kefir-making, the season changes and you have to reinvent the wheel! :)) One way to control the temperature is to culture your kefir in a cooler with some ice. The easiest way, though, is just to decrease the amount of kefir grains you use in warmer temperatures (or increase the amount of milk) so that your kefir will culture more slowly.

Help! My kefir is separating too quickly – My biggest frustration was when my kefir would separate too quickly into curds and whey. It would be fine, and then two hours later it would be completely separated. What’s happening in this situation is that there are too many kefir grains for the amount of milk you’re using. Either decrease the amount of grains, or increase the amount of milk.

(The science: The more kefir grains you have in your milk, the faster they’ll use up their food source (lactose, or milk sugar). When they consume lactose, they produce lactic acid, and too much lactic acid will cause the kefir to separate into curds and whey…because that’s just what acids do, so congratulations, you’ve made cheese!)

Is separated kefir still good? – When kefir separates into curds and whey, it’s definitely still usable! It won’t have the creamy texture, so it’s not as lovely to drink. Instead, just use it in your smoothies, or else drain off/reserve the whey and eat the curds like a thick yogurt or let them drain further to make a thick, tangy “kefir cheese” spread. Yum!

Storage of kefir grains – If you’re not ready to make more kefir right away, put your grains in the fridge, either in a bit of fresh milk or in some kefir. Often, I just store my grains in the jar of kefir I’ve just made, in the fridge. Ideally, though, store them in a cup of fresh milk and change it every week or two; this way, you’re giving them plenty of food (lactose) which will keep them happy and multiplying. For long-term storage, I’ve heard that you can also freeze them, or dry them out completely and store them, and then re-hydrate in milk when you’re ready to use them again. I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s on my list!

Getting your grains to multiply – The best way to get your grains to multiply quickly is to make kefir every day, and to not store your grains in the fridge. We don’t go through enough kefir to make it every day, so my grains are often kept in the fridge. If kept in the fridge a lot, they will multiply much more slowly. If you have too many grains, give some away to friends, freeze some for “insurance”, or just eat them for a super probiotic boost!

What ARE kefir grains, really? – Kefir grains are conglomerates of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts held together by a polysaccharide gum called kefiran produced by the predominating bacterial species. (Steinkraus, Keith, ed. Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods. 2nd ed. Pp. 306) The bacteria and yeasts have a symbiotic relationship, as the predominant bacteria is unable to grow in milk without the yeast’s presence. This conglomerate that makes up the kefir grain behaves as a single organism; efforts to produce new grains by growing the component organisms separately and then recombining them have not been successful.

– My kefir looks/smells/tastes bad – Kefir can occasionally taste yeasty, particularly if it’s “overdone” and separated into curds & whey. Yeasty is OK, but just use common sense and don’t drink it if it otherwise looks, smells, and/or tastes bad. However, culturing something rogue is not really a huge concern; both the acidity of the kefir and the culturing organisms do a good job of keeping away any little nasties.

From the Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods:

“Some inhibition of pathogens in fermented milks is due to acid production. Recent work has shown that the effect of acidity is relatively small compared to specific substances of antibiotic nature formed by the fermenting organisms (Lucca, 1975). In addition to lactic acid, metabolites such as lactocidin, nisin, and acidophiline produced by starter organisms during fermentation also exhibit antibacterial properties. Singh and Laxminarayan (1973) reported that many lactobacilli exhibited antibacterial action against pathogenic strains of staphylococci and E. coli. They also observed that antibacterial action was a function of pH; the culture filtrate lost antibacterial activity when pH was raised to 5.0 or above.”

39 Responses to “How To Make Traditional Kefir”

  1. kaisha says:

    been reading your blog for a bit now. i really enjoy it. Thank you for this post. i have tried kefir a few times with not sucess. your instructions as clear and i am ready to try again!

  2. Viki says:

    I am just starting to make kefir again, stopped for awhile. It is hard to kill the grains mine were in the back of the fridge for a few months and are still viable. Off to the store to buy the “good” milk tomorrow morning.
    Do you Really only use 2 teaspoons of grains per quart of milk?
    The guy who gave me the grains used about a 1/4 cup.
    I love the idea of the little bag I will be making me one of those!

  3. Lindsey says:

    Hi Viki,
    The amount of grains you use is really dependent on the temperature in your kitchen. In the summertime, I use only about a half teaspoon per quart, but then again, our apartment is really hot — in the upper 80s during the day. In the winter I use a couple teaspoons per quart since the kitchen is then around 60-65 degrees. I’ve never used 1/4 cup per quart…I’m sure it would turn your milk into kefir very quickly!

  4. Susan says:

    Do you EVER have to rinse or clean the muslin bag? How long will the bag last? Do you have to replace it at some point? Thank you.

  5. Lindsey says:

    Hi Susan,
    Yes I do clean the bag now and then. Definitely not every time…there’s really no need…but when I decide it needs it, I clean it — usually when it begins smelling pretty yeasty. I only make kefir every week or two, so perhaps I clean the bag every few months. I just put the grains in a dish and wash the bag by hand under the sink with regular hand soap or dish soap. Of course, rinse well so there’s no soap residue left. The bags last quite a while, and they’re also very cheap if you can get them individually at your local health food store. I think I paid 15 to 30 cents for my bag.
    With a brand new bag, I’d definitely wash it with soap and water before the first use so you don’t accidentally inoculate your kefir with some rogue bacteria picked up from the store.
    I’ve also noticed that the unwashed bag acts as a “starter” for the kefir and gives it a boost. However if I notice that my kefir is getting overdone too quickly time and again, I will wash the bag to get rid of the starter because it’s doing its job a little too well!

  6. Susan says:

    Thank you, Lindsey. That’s exactly what I needed to know. I’m very excited to get started!

  7. Gail says:

    My husband brought grains that he calls “Tibetan milk mushroom”, somebody gave him at work. The information that he got with this mushroom says that it’s different from kefir and has to be rinsed every time.
    I found a lot of information on web and for me it looks like this Tibetan mushroom is the same thing as kefir grains.
    Can you confirm this?
    Thanks for great job of putting your well done information on the web.
    Gail

  8. Lindsey says:

    Gail,
    Though I don’t know for sure, I would suspect that what’s called “Tibetan Milk Mushroom” or another related name, is probably kefir grains. I would guess that the “milk mushroom” name came from the related “tea mushroom” name, which is what you use to make kombucha. The process for kombucha and kefir is pretty much the same, and although the kombucha “mushroom” grows flat on the surface of the sweet tea, it has the same rubbery consistency as the kefir grains, and they’re both made up of symbiotic colonies of yeast and bacteria. Perhaps there are slight regional variations in kefir grains, similar to the way there are regional variations in sourdough starters or yogurt cultures, but it sounds like kefir grains nonetheless.

    As for rinsing: my personal philosophy is that if the grains have survived this long and been passed from one person to another and another and another, they’ve probably survived their fair share of abuse and neglect…and so if it were me, I wouldn’t worry too much about rinsing versus not rinsing. If I were to choose one or the other, I wouldn’t rinse the grains every time. In addition, as stated in Keith Steinkraus’s “Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods” on page 306, rinsing seems to slow the growth of the grains.

    Hope this helps a little…

  9. Gail says:

    I was doing fermented milk from “Tibetan milk mushroom” for couple days and it was ready in 24 hours. Yesterday i put grains in bag that i made from linen. I can see that grains are working inside bag but they don’t ferment milk.
    Wondering if my bad is a problem or it will take more time when grains are in a bag or possible these kind of grains is not right for a bag fermenting (person who gave grains to my husband told him that this kind of grains will not work in bag).

    Have you seen the case when using bag slows fermenting process?

    thank you

  10. Lindsey says:

    Hi Gail,
    Try stirring the milk 3 or 4 times a day (more frequently is great too), or shaking the jar gently with the lid on. The yeasts don’t migrate much on their own, so they benefit from being stirred up which distributes them more evenly throughout the milk. I find that when using a bag to contain my kefir grains, stirring/shaking is especially helpful, otherwise they tend to culture only the milk immediately around them. Or try culturing without the bag..leave them loose in the milk, shake the jar now and then, and then strain the grains out when the kefir is done.
    Good luck with your kefir!!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    What a GREAT information you have here!!! Love Love Love your blog!!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    What GREAT information you have here!! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!

  13. jane says:

    I’m trying to rehydrate grains from cultures for health. Im only on day 2 (gave fresh milk after 24 hours) and already have thick milk in the jar. my problem is that when it gets thick like this i have a lot of trouble finding the grains. when i strain im left with a big pile of white gooeyness. its hard to even guess whats grain and what isnt. even if i rinse its just a pile of white mush. does this sound ok? i just want the nice looking cauliflower-like grains in pictures :p

  14. Lindsey says:

    Hi Jane,
    My thought would be to try a strainer with bigger holes. Also, you can really mash the white goop against the side of a strainer while you’re rinsing; the grains are pretty resilient. Apart from that, though, I’d contact Cultures for Health directly with your question.
    Cheers,
    Lindsey

  15. David says:

    Hi I have a question… I have about 1 tablespoon of milk kefir grains, and I put them in 2 cups milk, and 6 hours later it has already separated, this means its done right? Why so fast? Should I increase the milk? Take out some grains? Im confused as before I would literally leave it this way for 2 days, though I would go back and mix it, but once I researched more after my grains started to shrink, now down to 1 tablespoon, from way more, I realized I was doing something wrong, and now after watching 6 hours and then its separated… So any words? thanks

  16. Lindsey says:

    Hi David,
    From your description it sounds like you’re using too many grains. Try reducing to 1/2 to 1 TEASPOON of grains for 2 cups milk. Also if you’re using the muslin bag method, and you haven’t rinsed the grains, or the bag, in a while, try rinsing everything and starting fresh. Because after a while the bag will build up sort of a gunky “starter” that will serve to innoculate the new batch and sometimes make the fermentation happen too quickly.

    In my post about kefir, I wrote this under the “Things I’ve learned about making kefir” section:

    – Help! My kefir is separating too quickly – My biggest frustration was when my kefir would separate too quickly into curds and whey. It would be fine, and then two hours later it would be completely separated. What’s happening in this situation is that there are too many kefir grains for the amount of milk you’re using. Either decrease the amount of grains, or increase the amount of milk.

    (The science: The more kefir grains you have in your milk, the faster they’ll use up their food source (lactose, or milk sugar). When they consume lactose, they produce lactic acid, and too much lactic acid will cause the kefir to separate into curds and whey…because that’s just what acids do, so congratulations, you’ve made cheese!)

  17. Terri says:

    Hi, great site! My problem is that my kefir is grainy not smooth. My starter grains look great, just like your picture and it takes about 48 hours before I harvest. The kefir has just started to seperate and thicken. If I harvest before that it is not thick and still grainy. I use 2% milk. What are your thoughts?

  18. Lindsey says:

    Hi Terri,
    My first thought is to reduce the amount of grains by, say, half, or a third, next time. I think the kefir is kefir-ing too quickly right now, since there’s very little window between not-done and too-done (separated & grainy). I’ve had this happen too. Sometimes it’s hard to find the happy medium. But I’d definitely start with fewer grains. Let me know how ya go.
    Blessings,
    Lindsey

  19. mary says:

    Hi
    Just made goats ‘yoghurt’ with a reputable kefir starter pack and organic (but pasturised) goats milk (can’t get raw) for the first time, for the GAPs diet where I have to start having only the kefir whey.
    Followed the instructions for separating whey out but mine is just like a very thin (white) milk and left a small amount of thicker ‘yoghurt’ in the muslin, NOT a yellowish liquid as advised!. Have I done something wrong? The instructions said to bring the milk to just before boiling and then cool, so just warm when poured on inside of wrist to check. Then add kefir grains to small amount, stir and add to rest of milk. Put into a clean dry thermos and leave 24 hours plus – I left it around 30. Help please as the started (and goats milk which I have to have) is very expensive!! Thanks.

  20. Lindsey says:

    Hi Mary,
    My first thought is that it didn’t ferment long enough. The kind of kefir you made sounds like perfect, lovely kefir! It’s what people aim to make, in fact. But since you’re wanting the curds to separate more easily from the whey, I think you need to allow it to ferment for a longer period of time. So, I’d recombine what you strained, and add the culture back in, and let it sit in a warm spot for longer. That way, the lactobacillus bacteria will have more of a chance to eat up the lactose in the goat milk, and produce lactic acid. It’s this lactic acid that causes the curds to separate from the whey, leaving you with curds (kefir-cheese, or ‘lebneh’) and the clear yellowish whey. It’s the same process as adding a bit of vinegar to warm milk to get it to separate when you want to make fresh cheese (like the Indian cheese, Paneer). Which leads me to the next idea. If you don’t want to add the culture back to the kefir you’ve already made, you could try adding a bit of vinegar to what you’ve already got, to help the curds separate from the whey. Just an idea… never done it before… but good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    With blessings on your health journey,
    Lindsey

  21. Clairence says:

    Great site! I have a problem I do not see covered here exactly. I was given some thriving grains, and I immediately began producing excellent kefir even though I was a beginner. I wanted to get my grains to multiply to share, so after making several quarts, I gently pulled the two large clusters apart, making four smaller ones. Alas, the grains stopped working. The milk (raw) seems to be turning sour before it thickens. I wait until I feel I can’t wait any longer and then change the milk. The grain clusters do seem to be fermenting a little; they are coated with thicker milk, but they are not converting all the milk. I have tried decreasing and increasing the milk supply, and I tried rinsing the grains in milk, all to no avail. Any thoughts? Thanks. Clairence

  22. Kara says:

    Clairence,
    I was wondering if you got your answer from somewhere else. I’ve having the same problem. (except I didn’t separate my grains, they just started doing that)

  23. Yossif says:

    Great article, Lindsey! I’ve been growing kefir for years, I love it! I just got some muslin bags in the mail, going to give them a try. Dom mentioned using them before and it’ll make the process 10x easier that way.

    By the way, I’ve used metal on grains many times and it doesn’t do anything to them. The reason you want to avoid metal is simply due to the acidity of the mixture. It won’t kill the grains, instead it eats away at the metal! I’ve got many rusty mason jar lids, and I only just discovered plastic versions. Never using metal again.

    I’ll be referencing your post in a future article, thanks for the good info about the antibiotic properties. I’ve written one about the use of kefir to lose weight if anyone is interested: http://angrynutrition.com/secret-to-easy-weight-loss-with-yogurt-and-kefir/
    Thanks!
    -Yossif

  24. Greg Tippitt says:

    I was wondering if my kefir would culture okay if I put my grains in a bag, so I searched and found your web page. Thanks for the info. For anyone that is interested, this month’s Scientific American has a special section about the microbiome of our gut and its influence on our body. Researchers are even finding that the “growies” in our gut influence brain function and mental health.

    What is the deal with kefir folks and ultra-pasteurized milk? Most organic milk is ultra-pasteurized, which means that it was heated it a bit more so that it has a longer shelf life and can be shipped further. The Ultra High Temperature (UHT) process now used for non-refrigerated milk (aka aseptic boxes) means that even most of those producers no longer add preservatives, which would impair the cultures if you tried those products in the past. Some refrigerated cream and half-and-half products also contain preservatives, so you should check the product’s label if you are using them for making kefir cheeses.

    The reason that many people recommend scalding milk before making yogurt, is because most yogurt cultures are not as “robust” as kefir grains in their ability to eradicate pathogens in the milk. Scalding the milk is a DIY ultra-pasteurization or UHT treatment. Saying the ultra-pasteurized milk shouldn’t be used for making kefir, is a bit like not using a microwave oven, for fear it will make food radioactive.

  25. Lindsey says:

    Greg,
    The opposition to using ultra-pasteurized milk for cultured items is not based on fear — it’s based on the reality that this type of milk doesn’t culture. Try culturing it and see for yourself.

    Second, scalding your milk is absolutely NOT a DIY method of ultra-pasteurization. Normal pasteurization of milk usually involves heating it to 161F for 15 seconds. Ultra-pasteurized milk is heated to 284F for 4 seconds, a temperature that cannot be achieved unless the liquid is under artificial pressure, as in a pressure cooker. Scalded milk measures about 180F.

  26. Katie says:

    I just started making kefir from grains that I got from a friend. I was surprised that a whole quart of milk got thick within 12 to 24 hours. It is thick and creamy, but the consistency is like Elmers glue. It’s kind of stringy, not creamy like the kefir I’m used to from natural food stores. Is that normal for homemade kefir?

  27. Lindsey says:

    Katie,
    It can be. Stringy can happen, I’ve noticed, with things fermented at room temperature. I’ve not researched why, however. It is an odd texture! Kind of like the texture of filmjolk. Sorry I don’t have an actual answer for you! It’s still perfectly fine to eat though, as you’ve no doubt discovered. 🙂

  28. Katie says:

    Thanks for this post!! I’ve been making kefir for our children for a year now and they LOVE it. It’s the first thing they drink every morning (unless we run out of milk, ha).
    This evening when I was straining the kefir to prep for tomorrow morning it was thick like snot and super gooey. What’s this??? This has never happened in our whole year of culturing! Help!

  29. Lindsey says:

    Katie, This happened to me once when making buttermilk on the counter overnight. It had been going along great until one batch was like snot. It tasted fine, nothing strange, but the consistency was too much to bear! I threw it out and started over. Try a new batch of kefir (new milk) after thoroughly washing your grains. See what happens. And if that one batch smells or tastes off, don’t drink it.
    Good luck – and if you think of it, report back here your results.
    Cheers,
    Lindsey

  30. Katie says:

    I ended up tossing everything after several days of just getting goop. I tried finding grains daily, opened a new jug of milk, etc. nothing helped.
    Could it have gotten contaminated? That’s my only guess. We had windows and doors open the day before it started to go goopey. ???
    Anyway, ordered up some new ones! Thanks for the help!

  31. Katie says:

    *rinsing grains daily, not finding

  32. Lindsey says:

    Darn, huh! Yeah perhaps something got in there that overthrew the balance of yeast and bacteria that make up the kefir grains. It’s really hard to say what happened. Regarding rogue stuff – it can definitely happen w/ windows and doors open, we’ve had this experience before with a small cup of freshly homebrewed beer that hadn’t had the yeast added to it yet, but was left out on the counter w/ windows wide open — and the next day, it was bubbling away, culturing something that had probably blown in the window.

  33. Sveta says:

    Thank you for advise regarding storage of grains in fridge.

  34. Sandi says:

    Dear Lindsey,

    This is all very new to me but must say all is well. I am going away for a week and wondered what the procedure will be for the kerif to survive? Reading your blog will it be ok to leave them in milk for this duration…. or more in the future when I need to go away. Your reply would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  35. Lindsey says:

    Hi Sandi,
    Glad all is going well. Yes I would leave the kefir grains in milk in the refrigerator while you’re away, even if it’s longer than a week. They’ll do just fine.

  36. Evie says:

    Hello!

    I was wondering if there is a kefir that can be made for someone who is lactose intolerant?

    Thank you!

  37. Lindsey says:

    Evie,
    I haven’t explored the lactose content of yogurt and kefir but it’s possible lactose-intolerant folks could tolerate some well-done kefir (in other words, Sour!), where the lactobacillus bacteria has eaten all the lactose (sugar in the milk), making it basically “lactose tree.”

  38. Mike says:

    I got some grains from someone and the first batch smelled very yeasty..? so I changed the milk only using about a cup and a half of milk to see what would happen and it turned out the same..Im now on my 5th cycle and still getting a very yeasty smell..no Tart sour smell at all..Are these grains ok..?..not digging the yeast smell.. I want the yogurt smell..lol

  39. Lindsey says:

    Mike,
    Yeah, sounds like you might want to try fresh grains. Maybe the kefir grain colony microbe balance has been altered over time to really favor the yeasts…. if it were me I wouldn’t go for that yeastiness either, and would get hold of some new grains. Good luck.

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