Milk Kefir

I thought it might be a good idea to pop back and post a little update on our kefir that was gifted to us by a dear friend recently. I admit to being fairly reluctant to trying the strange brew, it was strange and new and smelt a little...unusual. I'm not one for big changes, in case you couldn't already guess. :)

However! I soon got over myself and gulped the first couple of glasses with eyes shut tight and breath held. And you know what? It wasn't so bad, not so bad at all..


To make the kefir, I have been filling a jar or mug each day with cold milk and adding the kefir grains. The previous batch is strained of the grains and placed into a jar in the fridge to ferment a little further and be on hand for when we feel like some.

For those who are not in the know, as I was just a few of short weeks ago, kefir is a beneficial, nutritious drink that comes in either milk or water form. It is loaded with probiotics, much more than yoghurt, and is particularly useful for improving our intestinal  flora.

It is made much the same way as yoghurt, being that the previous grains culture the next batch, although no heating of the milk is involved, which is great for the lazy  busy person like myself. :)

The grains are odd looking things, resembling little cauliflower florets, about 3cm in diameter..

It is also quite interesting, I have noticed, as I can 'see' when the grains are active, they take on a bubbly state around them and appear...gassy:


In the short few weeks we have been culturing the kefir, they have been to Western Australia and back, safely tucked into my luggage. While in the west, I was feeding them with light milk and noticed a warmer ambient temperature made the grains ferment a whole lot faster and curdle the milk in a matter of hours.

Here at home I prefer to feed them with whole milk, straight from the fridge and find that a room temperature of around 15c is conducive to a fermentation that both hubby and I find palatable. I prefer to 'catch' the kefir just before it reaches a curdled state..by this time it is sour and slightly fizzy but not lumpy and requiring vigorous sieving.

To drink, hubby and I both have taken a liking to having it straight..ie: from the shot glass, baby!

Chilled, if possible, please.


 I am actually coming to like, even anticipate the flavour of the slightly sour and fizzed (yes, fizzed!) milk drink. With a general feeling of improved energy, and all round improvement, I will be sticking with this little drink for some time yet.

Since I posted about the arrival of kefir in our house, a generous reader has posted me some of her water kefir grains which I am also enjoying experimenting with. Stay tuned for more on this fascinating drink, also full of probiotics!

Have you had your kefir today? 

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Comments

  1. I love kefir - a perfect drink for a hot day! Try it also with some fruit mixed in.

    Sadly, I have not found in South Africa, neither in France....

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  2. I would love to have my own cultures brewing away, but have been trying to find a local source (I'm in the US) for the starters. Buying something like this on ebay/etsy just doesn't feel "right" to me, but so far that seems to be the only option.

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  3. so freaky sounding, I'm a little frightened, not a big fan of milk but like the sound of the health benefits!

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  4. Hi Christine, we use a kefir plant not grains...wonder if they are the same thing. It takes about 24 hrs to turn just a little under 1 liter with the plant then I scoop it out and place it in the next jar of milk. The ready brew is used daily in smoothies...not sure I would gulp it just as is. We mix some organic peanut butter, 250ml frozen blueberries and 2 bananas with it and blend with a stick blender for our mid morning snack daily.

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    1. Sounds delicious, Wendy, thanks for sharing! :)

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  5. Thanks for the detailed explanation. I've read about them so often but didn't quite 'get it'. It reminds me of my experience with kombucha. I made it, actually kinda enjoyed the taste, but I couldn't get past being grossed out by the grey, floating, mouldy looking blob on the top of the brew. I was a bit scared I was going to poison the family so I gave up!

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  6. Does anyone know where we can get it in Australia? I have got a hold of some from the country brewer but it i is not the real stuff.

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  7. i have bought some grains from the health food shop but I haven't got around to actually using them yet- I am a bit like you- what if we don't like it, I am only just getting used to eating yoghurt!

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  8. Thank so much for that full description and explanation Chris, this is new to me so I appreciate it.

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  9. I love my kefir, have been keeping it going for about 18 months, it keeps multiplying and I keep giving it away. We have it in a fruit smoothie every morning. The best way to get some for yourself if ask around and find someone with excess kefir to give you. If that doesn't work, try this website for cheap/free kefir from people offering to send it out: http://www.rejoiceinlife.com/kefir/kefirlist.php, or this one for reasonably priced kefir from a business: http://www.kefirmagic.com/store. Don't pay more than $20, there are some crazy expensive kits around, you just need grains, a clean jar and some milk.

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    1. Thanks, Liz, info much appreciated. :)

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    2. Thanks for sharing that info - I'll look on the cheap/free list to see if there's anyone nearby :) (The company only ships to Australia.)

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  10. I am also a little nervous about starting on something I don't know what it will be like. I know my mom made ginger beer with a "plant' which I am sure was water kefir when we were kids. It was very tasty, but I am not sure about the sugar part since I am diabetic. I have a lot of home made yoghurt so am not keen on adding another milky product - looking forward to how you like the water kefir.

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  11. I've bought my water kefir grains through Ebay and was very happy with it, came with good instructions how to start. The same lady also sells the milk kefir grains.

    The water kefir is something is a nice fizzy soft drink, a bit like ginger beer but with probiotics.
    I'm curious to try the milk kefir, but somehow fizzy milk, I'm not sure...

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  12. Always good to see a Kefir convert. We've had ours for about 15 years now and take a glass most mornings. CT makes it, as although I like the taste, looking at the grains makes me feel a bit queezy. He makes a litre at a time, which usually lasts us about 6 days and then a day off. Sadly, our water kefir (or tibi) got rather neglected and died off after about 12 years.

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  13. Wondering if you need to use unhomogenised milk to make it? I have bought some kefir culture from internet, but still have not tryed making it as I do not usually buy unhomogenised milk.

    I am originally from Ukraine (now live in Australia) and back home Kefir is a very usual drink that everyone drinks. Some people add some sugar to it. You can also cook some sweat treats using kefir. Here I found that butter milk is a bit like Kefir. But it is still not the same.

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    1. I've been using pasteurised, homogenised milk without any problems, Dash. The kefir milk was fantastic in scones this week..they were really light. :)

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    2. Dash I got mine from Elisabeth from http://www.permacultureproduce.com.au/ she advised that the kefir would put all the good bacteria and more back into the milk. She said that even if you used UHT milk it would work as it is just a growing medium and that's what I use.

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  14. water kefire can be made with maple syrup.. yumm!

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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