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Milk Kefir versus Water Kefir

There are two different types of kefir. Milk kefir, a probiotic beverage, is fairly well-known, and can be found in many grocery stores. Water kefir is another probiotic-rich beverage; however, water kefir is dairy-free. Water kefir is also a lighter beverage and can be flavored any number of ways.

Each type of kefir has unique characteristics:

How Kefir is Made

Milk Kefir is made with cow milk, goat milk, or coconut milk. It may also be made with other non-dairy milks, though results may be inconsistent.

Water Kefir is made with sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water.


What Kefir Contains

Milk Kefir Grains are a traditional reusable starter culture used to make a probiotic-rich beverage with live active yeast and bacteria. Our Milk Kefir Grains are propagated in organic milk.

Water Kefir Grains are a traditional reusable starter culture used to make a dairy-free cultured beverage with live active yeast and bacteria. Our Water Kefir Grains are grown in organic sugar and filtered water. 


How Kefir Used

Milk Kefir can be consumed plain, flavored, or as a base for salad dressings or smoothies. It’s a great substitute for buttermilk or yogurt and can be used in a variety of recipes.


Water Kefir can be flavored and consumed as a replacement to soda pop and juice. It also makes a great base for dairy-free smoothies, popsicles, fruit gelatin desserts, and more.


How Kefir Tastes

Milk Kefir tastes like a cultured milk. The taste of any particular batch depends on the level of fermentation. Well-fermented kefir can have a strong sour or tart taste and can even be a bit carbonated. Shorter fermentation can yield a more mild flavor.

Water Kefir tends to have a sweet, slightly fermented flavor. Most people prefer flavored water kefir. 


How Kefir is Flavored

Milk Kefir can be flavored by blending in fresh or frozen fruit, flavor extracts such as vanilla, sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, stevia and more. 

Water Kefir can be flavored using fresh or dried fruit, flavor extracts such as vanilla, fruit juice, or even herbs. 


Other Uses for Kefir

Milk Kefir grains can be used to inoculate cream to make cultured butter or kefir cream. Extra milk kefir grains may be used as starter culture for fermenting vegetables. Extra milk kefir can be used for sourdough or to soak flour before baking.


Water Kefir can be added to non-dairy milk to make a non-dairy kefir (use ¼ cup water kefir in 2-3 cups non-dairy milk). Extra water kefir grains may be used as starter culture for fermenting vegetables. Extra water kefir can be used as a booster for making gluten-free sourdough starter.


Water kefir grains in plastic strainer and wooden spoon

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