The answer is yes...and no.

If you want to make milk kefir from pre-made kefir, either store-bought or from a friend, then you may have success one, two, three, or even four times.

It is also possible that you may not end up with a successful batch of cultured kefir at all.

The success depends on the culturing conditions and the health of the pre-made kefir. Making milk kefir from pre-made kefir is a gamble. It may or may not be successful.

Tips for Success

Since store-bought kefir is slightly pasteurized, using it as a starter culture for making kefir can yield inconsistent results. The pasteurization process can harm bacteria and microbes and may affect the balance of re-cultured kefir.

For your best chance at successfully making kefir from the store-bought version we recommend:

  1. Using the freshest commercial kefir available. Hunt back through the stock on the shelf to get the best buy date the farthest out.
  2. Use it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less success you'll have.
  3. Culture in regular or low-temp pasteurized milk, or fresh (same day) raw milk.
  4. Keep the culturing temperature as stable as possible and between 70-77°F.
  5. Use 2-4 Tbsp. kefir in a quart of fresh milk. For larger batches, use up to 6 Tbsp in a half-gallon.

How to Make Kefir from Store-Bought Kefir

  1. Use 1 tablespoon kefir per cup of fresh milk.
  2. Mix together well and culture at room temperature for 12-24 hours, or until thickened.

Other Ways to Make Homemade Kefir

The most traditional and economical way to make kefir at home is using Milk Kefir Grains (or a Milk Kefir Starter Kit). While kefir grains do require a bit more maintenance, it is possible to slow down kefir production and make less kefir to better fit your lifestyle.

If you're looking to make kefir at home but don't want to maintain milk kefir grains, choosing a Kefir Starter Culture is the best option for producing reliable homemade kefir.

LEARN MORE: Choosing a Kefir Culture: Kefir Grans vs. Powdered Starter Culture

What's Next?

Try some delicious recipes using homemade milk kefir.