How do I know my milk kefir is ready?


September 15, 2013 by transilvanian

Organic Probiotic Kefir

It is a question quite a few new people I introduced to kefir asked me.
And to be honest with you, it is a fair question.
As a “seasoned” kefir lover myself – I have been drinking kefir all my life – I took that knowledge for granted.
I just “know” when my kefir is ready to be drunk.
Asking my new kefir buddies a few questions, I understood where the confusion and reluctance to taste the home made milk kefir came from.
Firstly, it is the fact that the milk kefir grains do their magic at room temperature.
Well, I hear you say, milk at room temperature gets spoiled.
And guess what, you are dead right.
However, it is kefir we are talking about, and let me tell you that when the milk kefir grains take the milk over, no other bacteria stands a chance.
So, how do you know when your health drink is ready:
Smell: milk kefir has a very pleasant, kind of cheesy, yoghurt-like smell
Consistency: when the milk you put the grains into thickens, you got kefir, not milk. The more you leave the grains in it, the more sour it becomes. The upside is, the longer you leave the grains in, the more folic acid is being produced.
Taste: same as the smell, milk kefir has a very pleasant cheese or yoghurt-like taste, but unlike yoghurt, kefir can be quite sweet.
I always advise my kefir buddies to constantly taste their kefir, so they can pick the proper moment to strain and drink it.

5 thoughts on “How do I know my milk kefir is ready?

  1. Kiana says:

    Hi Marius , thanks for the info. I usually like the kafir to become like yogurt and it usually takes 3-4 days to become sour and I really like it that way.

  2. My pleasure Kiana, I am happy that my pet milk kefir grains have found a loving home.
    It certainly is a matter of personal preferrence, the good thing about a more sour kefir is that it is actually healthier for you body.
    One thing to keep in mind is that as your grains grow and multiply, it will take shorter and shorter to get to the same final result.
    All the best and I’ll drink a glass of kefir to your health.

  3. Deanna says:

    I left my grains in the milk a bit too long – I think. They still smell OK, but when I tried to mix it, all the thick stuff was on top, underneath there was only a greenish liquid. I didn’t want to drink it, just wondering if my grains are still OK to use.

    • tom says:

      Thats is just the whey,,I leave mine until I see the clear looking liquid at the bottom,,then I know its finished.Mix the whey with the white stuff and drink it,,if you remove the whey you are removing good stuff from the drink 🙂

  4. indija says:

    Hi there ive just subscribed to your blog. im only on my third ferment of newly acquired milk kefir grains. first batches i made only very small amounts that i gulped in one mouthful while still quite mild. third time the same milk from the original opened bottle from before (they only had 2 litres at organic health food store. (raw unhomog barambah milk) By the time i organised myself id had the milk out and was close to room temperature by the time i put it in with the grains. On drinking it i immediately felt sensation of yeasty mucus in my throat (as if sugar eating had brought on a candida overgrowth) which by nightfall seems to have developed into a bronchial infection. im not sure if it is bacterial or fungal (Or unrelated/coincidental). the kefir was well fizzy compared to first mild batch and separated (but the milk is not homog so expected that) it didnt taste or smell foul and i expected i would get a belly ache if it was bad, not some throat lung colony causing deep coughing and itchy mucusy expectoration.. Im just wondering if you have heard if any such reaction? Could it be that its just too yeasty for me? I ingested quite a bit of sugar taste testing for my first kombucha and water keffir the same day though twas after reacting to the naughty milk Kefir. and ive always avoided yeasty/sugary for this kind of reason. Yet yoghurts normally keep that effect at bay. So im a bit nervous to drink the next batch which is ready now and smells ok, sweet but definitely yeasty cheesy. it has been a bit longer by 12-18 hours but its been colder too. and I did heat n cool milk before adding in case of bad bacteria had already developed in the bottle. Any thoughts experiences like this?

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