Frequently Asked Questions
1. Fermentation Time
In general, the amount of time needed to complete
the fermentation of kefir is determined by how active your grains are,
the grains to milk (or other medium) ratio and temperature.
Kefir made with established kefir grains should
be ready after a 24 hour fermentation. Although kefir can also be fermented
for longer than this, and may also depend on how you like your kefir. The
longer you leave kefir to ferment the more sour it becomes. For eliminating
lactose levels you may need to ferment your kefir for about 36 hours. For
those who have bought "fresh" kefir grains, there may be a
recovery time that may take 2 – 7 days when using these fresh grains, which
have travelled for a length of time. Your first few batches of kefir may
take more than 24 hours to complete the fermentation, which is quite
normal. But with ongoing batches the grains will become more and more active.
Kefir is ready when all the milk has fully coagulated.
2. How do I know when the Kefir
The Kefir is ready when it is
reached a soft set condition. At this point refrigeration or
immediate use will stop further fermentation into a curds and whey
If seperation does occur, drain this product through a sieve and
refrigerate the now soft creamy like cheese. This cheese is Quark and
is delicious with herbs, salt and pepper or with jam on croissants or
Note: The Kefir will vary, experiment until you find the consistency
3. What temperature should the
milk be at the start?
Cold or at room temperature. It
is not necessary to warm the milk, unless you want to speed up the process or
live in a very cold climate. Warming the milk may change the taste.
Do not use a microwave to warm the milk, as this will interfere with the Kefir production.
4. Where do I leave the milk
Generally in the kitchen at room
temperature, although in colder regions the container of milk being
cultured may need to be kept in a warmer place such as by the
fireplace or in a warming cupboard.
Dairy milk cultures in 24 hours at temperatures 65º-75º F
Other milks may do faster or slower depending on what temperature
your milk is to begin with.
5. What Milks can I use?
Answer:6. What kind of container do
you recommend culturing Kefir in?
Kefir grains will work with most milks.
Cow, goat, soy, yak, sheep, low fat, flavoured, just try them out!
(UHT will not work). The fresher the milk the better the taste.
Do not microwave the milk.
Ceramic containers seem to make
the best tasting Kefir.
Glass and plastic can be used also but do not place container in
7. How much milk can one
use with the Kefir Grains supplied by you?
8. Can I take too much Kefir?
We recommend making one litre a
day to consume.
The grains supplied should be started with 300ml to kick start the
The larger amount of milk used with our Kefir grains the longer it may take to set.
If too much milk is used it may go off before it ferments. If this happens wash the grains
well and start again, using less milk.
You can take too much of anything. We are all individuals and have to find out our own requirements. What is a healthy dosage for one person can be harmful for another.
Negative effects of Kefir intake are not known, however, people with an intolerance to lactose should start with very small dosages like a teaspoon at a time. Kefir grows well in soy milk so lactose intolerant people can use lactose free soy milk to make Kefir.
Use common sense and watch your body's reaction is the best advice I can give you.
9. How long does the culture live?
The grains or plant live, with proper care as long as their owners. Kefir cultures reproduce themselves and do not know a physical death.
Normal Care & Operation
1. Place Kefir grains in container and fill with your choice of milk
you wish to make into Kefir.
We recommend making one litre (1½ pints) each time, though
quantities of up to 2 litres is possible.
2. Wait 24 hours or until the milk
is soft set, then refrigerate.
3. Clean the Kefir grains daily by
placing them in a sieve then allow medium flow of water to wash
through the grains.
4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3.