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How to Activate Milk Kefir Grains


Before You Begin

Our Kefir Grains are sold in a dehydrated state, so that they are shelf-stable and safe for shipping.

Use pasteurized cow or goat milk to activate the milk kefir grains. If you would like to make raw milk kefir, make sure the grains are fully rehydrated before slowly transitioning the grains to raw milk.

Avoid ultra-pasteurized or UHT milk for activating kefir grains or for making kefir.





Activating the Kefir Grains

Equipment: Consult our article on choosing the best equipment for making milk keifr, for more information.

  • Glass jar
  • A non-metal stirring utensil
  • A breathable cover for the jar such as a tight-weave towel, paper towel, or paper coffee filter
  • A rubber band to secure the cover to the jar
  • A fine mesh plastic strainer for removing the kefir grains from the finished kefir


Ingredients: Consult our article on choosing milk for making kefir, for more information.



  1. Empty the entire packet of dehydrated milk kefir grains into 1 cup fresh cold pasteurized milk. 
  2. Cover with a coffee filter or cloth, secured by a rubber band.

  3. Place in a warm spot, 68°-85°F, to culture.

  4. Check the milk frequently. If, after 24 hours, the milk has not thickened or separated into curds and whey, separate the grains and put them into 1 cup fresh milk.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you notice the milk has thickened or separated into curds and whey at any point up to 24 hours.

  6. Once the milk has thickened or separated, separate the grains, put them into 1½ cups fresh milk, and place in a warm spot, 68°-85°F, to culture.

  7. Continue changing the milk when thickened, increasing by ½ cup milk per batch, up to 4 cups maximum.

NOTE: If milk continues to separate into curds and whey, continue increasing the volume of milk, reduce the culturing time, and find a cooler spot for culturing.

  1. Once the kefir aroma is sour but pleasant, and the kefir is the consistency of heavy cream or buttermilk, the grains are activated. 

NOTE: At any stage during the activation, if the finished product smells and tastes pleasant, it may be consumed or used in recipes. Finished product with an unpleasant aroma or flavor should be discarded after the grains have been removed. 

Once your Kefir Grains have finished rehydrating, use them to make milk kefir regularly.  


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