Introducing Milk Kefir Grains to Raw Milk

While milk kefir grains can thrive in raw milk and produce a delicious probiotic drink, if the grains have been produced in pasteurized milk, it may take some time for them to get used to the change.

Our Milk Kefir Grains have been grown in organic pasteurized whole milk, then dehydrated slowly at low temperatures for safe transport to you. When you rehydrate them, they will reconstitute more easily in pasteurized milk. Once their vigor and health has been established, it is an easy matter to introduce raw milk to the process.

If you would like to transition to raw milk after you have rehydrated your grains in pasteurized milk, you need to introduce them slowly. This gives the grains a chance to establish their own bacteria production before having to compete with the natural bacteria in the raw milk.

Start by rehydrating your grains according to the package instructions, in pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) milk. The milk can be whole or reduced-fat. Once the grains are fully rehydrated and producing good kefir, you can introduce raw milk.

It is a good idea to keep some of your grains in pasteurized milk as backup, in case you have any trouble with the transition process.

To transition to raw milk for your milk kefir grains:

  1. Make a batch of kefir that is only 25% raw milk. For instance, if you are culturing 2 cups of milk, 1-1/2 cup should be the pasteurized milk you have been using, and 1/2 cup can be raw milk. When that makes good-tasting kefir, you can move on to the next step.
  2. Culture the grains in milk that is 50% raw. So if you are making 2 cups at a time, 1 cup can be pasteurized milk, and 1 cup can be raw milk.
  3. Once the 50% mixture is successfully turning to good kefir, you can increase the quantity of raw milk to 75%: 1/2 cup of  pasteurized milk to 1-1/2 cup of raw milk.
  4. Finally, when the grains are established in a 75% mixture, make the next batch of kefir with raw milk only. By this time, the milk kefir grains should be robust and active, and should have no problem making delicious kefir from raw milk!


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