Questions on Milk Kefir Grains

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  • From Beth at 12/7/10 11:56 AM
    • Can these be used with raw milk?
    • Yes, the milk kefir grains can be used with raw milk. The grains do best when activated using pasteurized milk, but can then be transitioned to raw milk. You can find instructions here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/introducing-milk-kefir-grains-raw-milk

      Once converted, the process is the same with raw milk as with pasteurized milk.

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  • From Nick at 12/17/10 6:26 PM
    • When using milk kefir grains with coconut milk, can it be unsweetened coconut milk that does not contain any sugar?
    • Ideally you'd want to use unsweetened coconut milk. Any additives have the potential to interact negatively with the kefir grains and potentially damage them. Unsweetened would be safest.
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  • From Adam at 1/10/11 9:44 PM
    • Hi where are your kefir grains originally sourced/grown? Do you post to Australia?
    • We grow our kefir grains ourselves in a licensed food processing facility--this allows us to maintain the highest quality product. We do not ship individual orders to Australia. There is one location in Australia which carries a limited number of our products. You can contact Elaine at Natural Therapy Shop via email elaine@nhk.com.au or via her website www.naturaltherapyshop.com.au to find out what products she stocks. She may be willing to ship to you, if her location is inconvenient. Please contact her for more information.
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  • From Nick at 1/10/11 1:22 PM
    • I rehydrated my kefir grains in cow milk and they came out great. I then switch to unsweetened organic coconut milk for two days and the grains no longer seem to be active, even after switching back to cow milk. Do you know why this could be? If the milk is unaffected after 24-36 hours are the grains no longer active? Thanks.
    • Kefir grains can take a few days to adjust to a new milk medium. For example, if you switch your kefir grains from cow to goat milk, it can take a few batches for them to adjust to the composition of the new milk and start working properly. Same thing happens if you go from pasteurize cow milk to raw cow milk and sometimes even different brands of milk (feed, etc. can vary from farm to farm). Different chemical compositions can mean an adjustment period of up to a few batches. So go ahead and put them back in coconut milk and give them a batch or two to adjust (maybe just the coconut milk that isn't kefiring in the meantime to cook or in a smoothie or something). They should perk up and start doing their thing in a few days. With coconut milk though you'll need to put them back in cow milk for 24 hours to revitalize every few batches.
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  • From Steena at 1/25/11 6:37 AM
    • How many kefir grains are sold in one box? How many are needed for one batch? I'm new to kefir and I'm just wondering if there's enough for a "backup" in this box? Or enough to share with a friend? Thanks!!
    • Kefir grains are one of the hardiest cultures so there's just one portion in the box. Kefir grains are a wonderful culture for a beginner because they are very easy to use and it's very rare to mess them up. Kefir grains do generally start to multiply after 6-8 weeks and usually within 3-5 months will have grown enough to have extras to share with friends. We can't guarantee they will multiply since it's due to a large number of factors but it's rare for them not to multiply.
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  • From Emma at 1/28/11 10:38 AM
    • Hello, what is the quantity (tablespoons?) of the grains once rehydrated? Thank you!
    • The milk kefir grains rehydrate to about 1/2-1 teaspoon of grains which is sufficient to culture up to a quart of milk every 18-48 hours. Once they begin to multiply, of course, you can culture more milk at one time.
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  • From Lynn at 2/6/11 2:31 PM
    • Can kefir be made with powdered milk? If so how does this effect quality?
    • Well, you could try it... There's not much information around on whether this would work, or how well. One concern is that powdered milk is highly processed, and is usually very low in fat, so it might not produce a suitably thick result. On the other hand, it does contain lactose, so it would provide sufficient food for the grains.
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  • From Nick at 2/11/11 9:12 PM
    • Can heavy whipping cream be cultured with kefir grains? If so, would heavy whipping cream be sufficient to revitalize the grains when used with coconut milk?
    • Heavy whipping cream might be a little too much for a decent result with milk kefir grains. The grains require lactose to survive and reproduce, and there is very little lactose in heavy cream. You could try half-and-half, or even just adding some cream to the milk.

      For the same reason, you should use regular milk (whole milk is fine) to revive the grains periodically when you are culturing coconut milk.
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  • From Madison at 2/12/11 11:02 PM
    • Will the grains "go bad" if not used frequently enough? Thanks!
    • It's not so much that they would go bad, but they would starve if they don't get fresh milk (for milk grains) or sugar (for water grains). If you want to take a break from making kefir, you can find instructions here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-take-a-break-from-making-kefir
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  • From Terri at 2/21/11 3:48 PM
    • Are milk and water kefir grains the same? Or can they be used interchangeably? Of course the need for several days of adjustment?
    • Milk kefir grains and water kefir grains are actually different organisms. Milk kefir grains eat lactose (present in milk) and water kefir grains eat glucose/sucrose.

      Milk kefir grains can be converted (slowly) to work with water, but they can't be converted back. Water kefir grains can't be converted.
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  • From traci at 2/27/11 3:21 PM
    • Hi. Just wondering, if I were to buy an extra milk kefir and an extra water kefir, how long will they store on the shelf before needing to be opened and rehydrated (I am basically asking what is the shelf life or is there one..can it be stored and/ or stored on a shelf for later use if I buy extra?)

      Thank you, Traci
    • These grains are shelf-stable for at least a year at room temperature; longer in the refrigerator.
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  • From Tammy at 3/2/11 10:38 AM
    • I am new to almost everything that is natural / whole food eating, a baby of about a year if you will. We are trying to eat Gluten, Casein, and Soy free. I have been reading about the milk kefir and would like to try something like this, as almost everything with the probiotic is dairy. Can you tell me if there is any milk ingredients used in the process of the grains before we get them, or is just what we use to feed them? Sorry if the question sounds silly.
    • Our milk kefir grains are grown in organic whole milk and, while you can culture alternative milks with them, they do need to be revitalized regularly in dairy milk as lactose is what they eat. If you are trying to stay away from milk products, you might want to try water kefir, which is completely dairy-free, and also contains a variety of probiotic strains.
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  • From Bobbo at 3/4/11 1:56 PM
    • I have had Kefir for years. I ruined my grains (and my yogurts) and am looking for new.
      Are there different varieties? The two (free) replacements so far clot the fat and separate the whey. The smell is not good, although the grains look OK.
      My old batch (1 Tbs) would firm a quart of milk in 24 hours and smell warm(?) good and tart. Should it all act like this? What does yours do?
    • If you're having the same problem with a couple different batches of grains, I would suspect some other problem. What else has changed? The source of the milk? The temperature of the room? The utensils and containers you are using? Separation of the curds and whey is usually an indication of over-culturing: either too long, or too warm. If you'd like to send an email to us (use the Contact Us form), we can help you troubleshoot more specifically.
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  • From Sarah at 3/10/11 10:21 PM
    • I just got my kefir grains today and am very excited about using them! I have them reconstituting in a cup of milk, and just wanted to clarify the instructions of putting them in a "partially sealed container". Can I do the coffee filter with rubber band??? Or does it actually need to be a 'lid' that is loosely tightened???
    • A coffee filter secured by a rubber band is an excellent solution.
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  • From Sarah at 3/13/11 6:19 PM
    • Can the kefir grains be stored in the fridge for a short period of time if I want to take a break from making kefir??? Or what should I do with them if I want to take a short break?? I thought this info might be in the instructions, but couldn't find it! Thanks!
    • Sure, if you want to take a short break, you can leave the grains in a jar of milk in the refrigerator for at least a week; probably more. If you want a little longer break, just replace the milk in that jar. For an extended break, we have instructions for drying the grains: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-take-a-break-from-making-kefir
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  • From Beth at 4/6/11 7:25 PM
    • I have been using a dried kefir powder and the results have been poor. I am interested in using your product. I am eating raw at this time and would like to know the best product to use for a raw almond or coconut kefir. If I am doing dairy free I am asuming that the Milk kefir would not produce as well in raw almond or raw coconut milk. I hate to make assumptions. Please advise.
    • Milk kefir grains work quite well with coconut milk. The only caveat is that they do need to be allowed to sit in cow or goat milk for 24 hours once every few batches to revitalize (also we ship kefir grains in a dehydrated shelf-stable state and they will need to be rehydrated and run through a few batches with cow or goat milk before they will be ready to work with coconut milk).

      Almond milk is a bit more of an issue. To be honest there really isn't a kefir culture that works well with almond milk. We've had some customers use milk kefir and water kefir grains but both ultimately yield inconsistent results.
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  • From Jeani at 4/8/11 12:15 PM
    • What's the minimum amount you could kefir and how much kefir grains would that take? (Can you use just 1/4 teaspoon of grains and thus kefir just one cup at a time?)
    • Many people find that kefering just a cup or a pint at a time is more convenient. There is not an exact proportion of grains to milk that is required.
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  • From gin at 4/20/11 9:02 PM
    • can I make almond yogurt with water kefir grains if I add sucanat for them to feed on?
    • You could try water kefir grains, but I'm afraid the added fat and protein from the nut milk would interfere with the kefiring process.

      To make almond milk yogurt, your best option is our Vegan Yogurt Starter. You can find it here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/vegan-dairy-free-yogurt-starter.html
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  • From carl at 4/24/11 8:55 PM
    • For about 7 months a year, the temperatures in my house exceed 80 F. Would this be a problem ? What is the maximum "operational" temperature ?
    • That's getting into the warmish range for kefir, and might cause too-rapid culturing. Check the kefir after 12 hours to see if it's ready. If you find that the kefir is starting to separate before it finishes culturing, you can try setting the jars in a shallow dish or pan of cool water. This will keep the milk a little cooler as it cultures.
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  • From anna at 4/26/11 5:24 PM
    • I am new to this idea, and would like to work with soy milk or almond milk. Can kefir be made from these? If so which grains (milk, or water) would you recommend?
    • I would recommend using the milk kefir grains for making non-dairy milk kefirs. Soy and coconut milk are the ones we recommend on our website, but you could try almond milk if you wish. When culturing with non-dairy milk, you must revitalize the grains in a dairy milk (goat or cow) every few batches to keep the grains viable.
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  • From Karen at 5/5/11 1:28 AM
    • Do these have some shelf life once shipped from your warehouse? how long? Would they go bad if I don't rehydrate them right away? Since I'm having a friend bring them to me from the U.S. in a month I'm a bit worried... should I order now or when the time is closer? Thanks!
    • Our milk kefir grains are shipped dehydrated, and have a shelf life of several months when kept at reasonable temperatures. They generally hold up quite well in shipping and transport. If you refrigerate them once you receive them, they should stay viable for quite a long time.
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  • From Linda Mrowka at 5/11/11 8:16 AM
    • Hello, I am having a hard time finding out the sugar content of 1 cup of kefir milk
      I find the amount is zero in the grains but what is it in the milk after fermentation.
    • The amount of lactose (milk sugar) remaining in fermented kefir will vary depending on the amount of time the kefir is cultured. Ultimately the grains will consume all the lactose in the milk - after that, they will starve as lactose is their food. If you ferment the kefir to the point just before it begins to separate into curds and whey, virtually all of the lactose will probably be gone.
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  • From Denise at 5/11/11 3:14 PM
    • I forgot about my kefir and left it sitting out for about 2 1/2 weeks. Is it safe to dump out the kefir, rinse the grains, and start again? How can I tell if the kefir grains are still ok to use?
    • Unfortunately after 2-1/2 weeks at room temperature the grains have probably starved. They can sometimes go for two or even three days, and can last in the refrigerator in milk for a couple of weeks, but you are probably going to have to start over with new grains at this point.
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  • From Marissa at 5/14/11 5:27 PM
    • I have left my keifer on top of the fridge in milk about 4 days over. The keifer yogurt is very potent and I am not sure if it is safe to drink or not. The grains look a little fragile will they be ok? Thank you so much whom ever receives this message. Marissa
    • That's a long time to leave kefir grains in milk, but there is still a chance they could be okay. Transfer them to fresh milk right away, and put the jar in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Then let them sit on the counter in a new jar of milk for 12-24 hours, and repeat the resting cycle. After that, if they don't properly culture a new jar of milk, you'll know they have starved... but if they do culture the milk, then they're fine.

      As far as drinking the four-day kefir... trust your eyes, nose, and tongue. Don't consume anything that smells or tastes bad.
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  • From Linok at 5/17/11 11:55 PM
    • What happened if you exedentaly eat the grains?
      How many different types can kefir milk grains be? i got one on Amazon and they seems like good and working, but they are different from what I saw from my friend. Mine now kind of loose and soft and hard to find out in the kefir , while my friend has formed ball shape , very easy to find and pick up. Not sure if I have different type of it or they just too small and will be reshaping?
    • There is no problem if you eat the kefir grains.

      Kefir is a very specific type of bacteria and yeast combination, so it should be the same no matter where you get it. However, different suppliers will treat the grains differently, so you will sometimes find kefir that looks different.

      Your kefir grains should begin to grow in size and quantity as they become more mature. If you have trouble finding them in the milk, you can stir up the kefir before you strain it. Or, you can keep the grains in a muslin bag while they are culturing the kefir. If you do that, make sure the bag stays under the surface of the milk so it doesn't grow mold.
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  • From Jill at 5/17/11 10:11 AM
    • Will kefir grains properly culture in organic SKIM milk or does it need fat? Thank you!
    • You can make kefir in skim milk, although the resulting drink will be much thinner than if you make it with whole milk.
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  • From Oksana at 5/19/11 4:49 PM
    • Hello,
      I've got kefir grains in April, they worked fine for a month and a half and then they stopped producing kefir. Could it be due to the change of temperature in the house? Is there a way to get the grains back to making kefir?
      Thank you.
    • If the grains stopped working, there is a good chance they either became contaminated somehow, or perhaps starved. You can try resting them by putting them in a jar of milk and letting them sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days. If that does not revive them, they are most likely dead.

      You don't say whether you were culturing them in dairy milk or in alternative milk. Kefir cultured in alternative milk must be refreshed with dairy milk occasionally.
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  • From willie mitchell at 5/22/11 2:12 PM
    • Health question: I am having a problem with constant diahrea....do you think Kefir will go toward helping this problem. Just had a colonoscopy so there is no problem there.
    • Unfortunately we cannot comment or advise on medical issues or health benefits of our products. However, there is a considerable amount of information on the Internet for you to research, and you can also check with your doctor.
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  • From Julia at 5/30/11 2:46 AM
    • Are your kefir grains the same thing as kefir buds? And how does one store the grains between batches?
      Thank you!
    • Yes, kefir buds are another term for kefir grains. If you need to take a break from making kefir, you can just put the grains in a jar of milk and put it in the refrigerator (with a lid) for a couple of weeks. If you need a longer break, we have directions on our website for drying them: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/how-to-take-a-break-from-making-kefir
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  • From Jon at 5/30/11 10:03 AM
    • I received fresh grains from another source and they were sitting in my outdoor mailbox and the weather has been very warm. I could not get them to culture the milk properly even after three batches. I think they might have been killed by the heat. Do dried kefir grains hold up better in warm weather?
    • Our dehydrated grains are pretty shelf-stable, and should be good for a couple of months in the package. We do regularly ship them all over the world year-round. Occasionally there is a failure, in which case we replace the product, but it's not that common and doesn't seem to increase in the summer.
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  • From Tami at 6/3/11 9:41 PM
    • I live in a cold area where my counter top at night is in the 30's or 40's. Can I use my yogurt maker for kefirs too?
    • A yogurt maker is too warm for kefir. Over 80 degrees may cook the grains and make them inactive. However, it's possible that you could generate enough heat with the yogurt maker to set the kefir on TOP of the unit. Try putting a bowl of water on top of the yogurt maker with the machine turned on, and let it sit for an hour or so, then take the temperature of the water in the bowl.

      Another option is to wrap the jar of kefir (at room temperature) in a towel or some foam, then put it inside the yogurt maker turned off, or in an insulated lunchbox, to maintain the temperature of the kefir.
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  • From Barba at 6/4/11 3:36 AM
    • Does kefir grains take the sugar out of the milk. Does it make it sugarless.??? And what about the carbs.???
    • Kefir grains convert the lactose in milk into glucose and galactose. The glucose is used by the grains for nourishment, growth, and reproduction. The longer the milk cultures, the more lactose is converted. By the end of the culturing process, there should be no lactose left. Galactose and glucose are metabolized differently in the body than lactose is.

      The carbohydrate count would vary depending on the type of milk that is used, and how much of the lactose has been converted. It would not be any greater than the original milk you used to make the kefir with - and maybe 50% or less of that.
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  • From Barba at 6/4/11 3:52 AM
    • How much milk kefir are you supposed to drink in a day to get the best benefit out of it. ???
    • The optimum amount of kefir to drink would be different for each person. It is something you should talk about with your health care professional.
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  • From Marybeth at 6/10/11 7:35 AM
    • I will be putting my kefir grains in the refrigerator with milk as I am going on vacation for a week. I have started using the grains in coconut milk per your instructions. When I return from vacation should I put the grains into regular milk for 24 hours before I start the coconut milk procedure again? Thanks for your help.
    • The "milk rest" you are giving your grains should be sufficient to re-charge them. Making a batch of milk kefir before you go back to coconut milk couldn't hurt, but you will probably be fine if you go straight to the coconut.
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  • From Susan at 6/10/11 2:32 PM
    • 2 days ago I made kefir and let it culture for 24 hours which was a mistake because it caused some serious gastrointestinal problems since it is hot in my kitchen without AC. I dumped the rest out and used the grains again, this time leaving it out yesterday for about 8 hours; it was still really hot yesterday and by the time I came home, it had seperated into what looked like curds and whey.

      Today, I've made kefir and it's already pretty ready after about 6 hours. But, things in my refrigerator are turning sour/into kefir. Yesterday I thought I was crazy when my milk in the fridge went sour and wasn't expired yet. This morning, I threw out curdled half and half. Now, another jug of milk.

      Are my grains ruined? Is all of this just because of the heat? Why is this causing problems in the fridge?
    • If the kefir is covered in the refrigerator, and the other products are covered as well, it is very unlikely that there would be cross-contamination. Is it possible that the thermostat in your refrigerator needs to be re-set?

      It is possible that the kefir is working faster in the heat. One way to slow it down is to put the jar in a shallow dish or pie plate, and fill the dish with water. The evaporational cooling will help bring down the temperature of the kefir jar.
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  • From Zak at 6/12/11 1:37 PM
    • Hi, I just got some kefir grains for free from a person from an internet kefir grain network, they arrived in a plastic sandwich bag and was all mushy and stuff (they said they shipped it in organic liquid raw milk), I plan on potentially using it, but I don't know if it's safe as I have been storing it in a thermos jar until I find it's safe to use. The time the kefir was in transit was about 3 days or so, and I am still storing it in the container. I know you are probably thinking that this has nothing to do with your site, but I am getting instructions from your site, and I will buy your kefir grains unless these current ones seem legit to you.
      Also, would rinsing the milk stuff off of them help?

      Thanks, I look forward to your response!
    • If the kefir grains you received in the mail smell okay, you can go ahead and try them in a jar of milk to see how they do. Kefir grains will either work (produce kefir) or not work (not produce kefir). They won't produce bad kefir. It's possible that if they're not working, the milk you put them in will just go bad from sitting out, but you should be able to tell that from the smell.

      You do need to get those grains into some milk though, or they will starve. They also need some oxygen unless they're refrigerated, so if they're in a closed thermos they could be having problems. You shouldn't need to rinse them, but it won't hurt. Make sure the water you use is free of chlorine and fluoride. (Bottled spring water is fine.)

      If these grains don't work for you, we'll be happy to sell you some of ours! :-)
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  • From Zak at 6/12/11 2:03 PM
    • Hi thanks for the response, that was incredibly quick! Great advice, I will definitely take them out of the thermos, The bag smells like, well..a mix between old milk(?) and a farm. But I'll give it a go and if it does not work I'll be placing my order with you guys when I get the chance ;)

      Thanks again, and your website is like a goldmine of fermented stuff!

      -Zak
    • Good luck! If you run into more difficulty, email us: customersupport@culturesforhealth.com
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  • From Chuck Shelton at 6/13/11 1:40 PM
    • What can excess kefir grains be used for?
    • You can give them to friends, blend them up in a smoothie, feed them to your pets, eat them plain or with a little cinnamon, put them in compost, use them as a salad topper (like feta cheese)... they are completely edible, and you can probably think of even more fun things to do with them.
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  • From Jana at 6/14/11 7:59 PM
    • Can Kefir grains get cross contaminated from yeast?

      If so, how do you know they have and what do you do about it?

      My grains gradually disappeared. Can the strainer not be fine enough and let the grains pass through?

      I find it hard to separate the grains with the milk fat on top. Is there a trick to having lump-free creamy kefir that doesn't get the moldy smell on the cream that is at the top?

      Sorry about all of the questions, but I don't know what I'm doing.
    • What you describe sounds like the grains were somehow weakened, and have disintegrated. As you describe it, they probably are still there and active, but too small for you to sort out from the milk. This can happen from cross-contamination if the kefir is too close to something else that is culturing.

      To keep the cream from rising to the top, you can stir the kefir gently as it is culturing. If the cream rises to the top, it's possible that the surface is reacting with the air and going sour a little before it is kefiring.
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  • From Barba at 6/14/11 2:19 AM
    • When do you get the best benefit when drinking you're kefir. After it's fermented for 12hrs , 24hrs , 36hrs or when the curd and whey are separated.
    • The kefir will have distributed the probiotics into the milk after about 12 hours. The total length of time you let it ferment depends on how thick and how sour you like it. Most people prefer not to let the kefir separate into curds and whey, but some people like it that way. The longer it ferments, the more lactose is used up, and the more acid the milk becomes. If you let it sit for too long, the grains will run out of food, and can become weakened or even die.
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  • From Barba at 6/14/11 4:41 PM
    • What's more beneficial? Fermenting kefir grains with whole milk , 2% milk or , fat free milk ?
    • You can use any of those milks. However, you will get a thicker, richer kefir with the whole milk.
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  • From Marcia at 6/19/11 12:05 PM
    • Can I use kefir grains with almond or soy milk?
    • You can indeed use these grains with almond or soy milk, but they will need to be refreshed in dairy milk every few batches.
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  • From rich at 6/22/11 9:13 AM
    • Will your kefir grains continue to work indefinitely if used properly? I read somewhere that starter grains only work for about 7 batches.
    • The grains can work indefinitely. We also carry kefir starter culture, which can be added to milk and then recultured about half a dozen times, but that starter doesn't contain the whole, live grains.
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  • From Emily at 6/22/11 1:41 PM
    • Hi, I've been making kefir from your Milk Kefir Grains for 5 weeks now. They started to work on the 2nd or 3rd day, which surprised me. My question is, they haven't gained much in size/quantity now it's been 5 weeks. Is that normal? And they don't float to the top. Every day when I drain them out they're always found at the bottom of the jar. Is that normal? Thanks!
    • While kefir grains usually do float to the top of the milk, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they take a while to reproduce. As long as they are making kefir, they're fine. Make sure the milk you're using isn't ultra-pasteurized!
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  • From kelli at 6/24/11 9:00 PM
    • I just finished rehydrating my kefir grains (did it for 7 days) and Yesterday morning (at 8:30am) put them in 27oz of Thai lite coconut milk. I waited 36 hours and strained the kefir at 8/830 this evening. It seemed to be the same consistency as the original form of the coconut milk, but I did see striations in the milk when it was in the jar. Has this milk been "kefired" or is it still more like coconut milk and I should add the kefir back to this batch to let it ferment longer? When I strained it, I placed it in reusable water bottle containers and added two more 13.66fl.oz cans of CM to the kefir grains in my glass jar. Should I also let this batch ferment longer and just keep the first batch in the fridge until this one is properly done? I don't want to just be drinking CM without the kefir benefits.
    • It's quite likely that the coconut milk has taken on the characteristics of the kefir, and is loaded with probiotics. It's also possible that the kefir grains are inactive and the coconut milk is NOT cultured. It's hard to tell from your description alone, since coconut milk is not kefir's natural environment, so it will behave somewhat differently from dairy milk.

      I would suggest letting the grains work in the new batch for the normal amount of time, then make a batch of dairy milk to see how the grains behave, and what happens to the dairy milk. If it sets up properly (like kefir should), you have a good set of grains there. If you continue to have problems, please email customersupport@culturesforhealth.com so we can help you troubleshoot.
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  • From Kelli at 6/24/11 8:52 AM
    • Thank you for your response. Just so that you know, I did rehydrate the kefir grains for 7 days and when I strained it (from cow's milk) it was quite clumpy and thick, so that is why I ask about the coconut milk since it seemed to be/ looked fermented in the jar, but when I poured it out and strained it, it was still sort of the same consistency as the original consistency of the coconut milk. I did order the kefir grains from your website. Also, I thought 24-48 hours was the normal time and I did 36. Should I let this batch go the whole 48, or longer?
    • Kefir is normally finished culturing in 24 to 48 hours. Coconut milk will not necessarily behave like dairy milk when you culture it, although it should be somewhat thicker. It may be that your kefir grains are inactive. You can contact us at customersupport@culturesforhealth.com and we can help you troubleshoot more specifically.
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  • From Shaun at 6/26/11 7:36 PM
    • When re-hydrating the grains, the milk needs to be changed daily, is that correct?
    • Yes, that is correct.
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  • From Marybeth at 6/29/11 1:25 PM
  • From Babs at 6/30/11 1:54 PM
    • My husband is lactose intolerant. And I try to stay away from sugar. Should I purchase the water kefir grain or the milk kefir grains?
    • Depending on your degree of sensitivity, you may be able to use either. Milk kefir grains use up the lactose in the milk as they culture the milk. The longer it cultures, the less lactose remains in the kefir, until eventually (at about the point where the kefir begins to separate) there is no lactose remaining. You can also culture alternative milks such as coconut milk or nut milk using kefir grains, although you will have to refresh them in dairy milk periodically.

      Water kefir grains, although they are put into a sugar-water solution, convert the sucrose in the sugar-water to glucose and fructose, so there is less sugar remaining in the water kefir. The longer it ferments, the less sugar is remaining.
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  • From Paul at 7/1/11 3:04 PM
    • Which bacteria do your grains contain? I am looking for Kefir grains that contain Bifodobacterium. Thanks.
    • All milk kefir grains contain essentially the same bacteria: that is what makes them milk kefir grains. (Not like yogurt, where there are many varieties.)

      For a list of bacteria and yeast generally known to comprise the milk kefir culture in live grains, click here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-grains-composition-bacteria-yeast
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