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How to Take a Break from Making Milk Kefir

How to Take a Break from Making Milk Kefir | Milk Kefir Expert Advice | Cultures for Health

Cold temperatures greatly slow the culturing process, so the refrigerator is a good place to store grains when a break is necessary.

Click here to learn about Taking a Break from Making Water Kefir


Short Breaks, up to 3 weeks

  • Add milk kefir grains to 2-4 cups fresh milk. More milk for longer breaks is best, to keep the grains well fed.
  • Put a tight lid on the container and place in the refrigerator. The milk kefir grains should be safe and healthy for up to 3 weeks.
  • When ready to make milk kefir again, separate the grains from the storage milk, place in fresh milk, and culture as usual. It may take a couple of batches for the grains to wake up and get back to work. 
  • The storage liquid should be fine to consume, as long as it has a pleasing aroma and flavor.


Long Breaks, up to 6 months

If a longer break is required, we recommend drying the kefir grains.

  • Rinse grains thoroughly with filtered water
  • Lay them on a piece of unbleached parchment paper in a safe location. 
  • Dry at room temperature for 3 to 5 days, depending on humidity and room temperature. Or, use a dehydrator as long as the grains do not get heated above 85°F.*
  • Place dried milk kefir grains in a ziploc bag; add a small amount of powdered milk.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
  • When ready to make kefir again, rehydrate the grains according to the instructions that came with the culture originally, or follow the activation instructions for milk kefir grains on our website.


*Note: The aroma of drying milk kefir grains is often unpleasant.


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