Why Kefir is a Healthier Choice than Yogurt

by Sarah Fermented FoodsComments: 46

kefir is healthier than yogurt

I was chatting with a neighbor recently about her first attempt at culturing a quart of yogurt on the counter at room temperature, which unlike kefir, another type of fermented milk product, can sometimes be a little tricky to pull off.

The end result was soupy, and the culture didn’t seem to “take” unlike the heated yogurt she produced with her yogurt maker.

I explained that it usually takes several attempts at culturing yogurt at room temperature to determine the ideal scenario for a given home kitchen environment.  Kefir, on the other hand, works nearly every single time like clockwork with a failure rate of basically zero no matter the temperature of the kitchen or the season of the year.

I encouraged her to give kefir a try instead of yogurt because ultimately, kefir is the healthier fermented milk product anyway (not to mention easier), for a couple of reasons.

Kefir is Easier than Yogurt to Culture Raw

In order to achieve success at culturing either yogurt or kefir, it’s very important to use the right type of starter.

Most people don’t realize that there are actually two types of yogurt starter:

  •  Mesophilic
  •  Thermophilic

Thermophilic is the type of yogurt starter ideal for a yogurt maker.  It is heat-loving and cultures at around 110 F/43 C for 5 to 12 hours.  The yogurt produced from thermophilic cultures is thicker than yogurt from a mesophilic culture.

A mesophilic yogurt starter, on the other hand, can be cultured at room temperature, around 70 – 77F/21 – 25C. When using a mesophilic culture, there is no need to preheat the milk. The culture is added to cold milk right out of the refrigerator and cultured at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The yogurt that results from culturing with a mesophilic starter is more drinkable style than the thicker, spoonable yogurt made from a thermophilic culture.

Unlike yogurt starter, kefir is solely a mesophilic culture, means that it is ideally cultured at room temperature.

Switching up the yogurt starter which has worked flawlessly with the yogurt maker and then using it to attempt raw yogurt cultured on the counter simply does not work in the majority of situations and a big reason why culturing raw yogurt fails so often for newbies to the home fermentation process.

Ensuring that you have the right type of yogurt starter for the purpose you have in mind, either raw or heated yogurt, can make all the difference to success. With the pricey cost of a gallon of raw, pastured milk in many areas of the world, minimizing mistakes is very important to the food budget as well.

If you have little room in the budget for mistakes and want to opt for the easiest raw fermented milk product to make, kefir is the way to go in my experience.

Yogurt Only Contains a Few Transient Based Probiotics

While ease of fermentation is a big plus for kefir, the biggest reason of all to ferment kefir instead of yogurt is due to the differences in the bacterial cultures each contain.

Yogurt, for example, only contains 2-7 strains of beneficial bacteria, called probiotics.  Yogurt also contains no beneficial yeasts.

What? Beneficial yeasts?

Yes, there is such a thing as yeasts that are helpful to health … they help keep pathogenic yeasts in the gut like Candida at bay.

A traditional yogurt starter contains the following strains of probiotics:  Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophilus. 

Greek yogurt, which has taken the healthfood community by storm, is ironically the least beneficial of all, usually containing only Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

There is another shortcoming of the beneficial bacteria in yogurt: they are transitory in nature meaning they don’t colonize the digestive tract.  Don’t get me wrong, yogurt based probiotics are valuable in that they help keep the digestive tract clean and provide food for the beneficial bacteria that are already colonized in the gut.

The probiotic strains in yogurt, however, do not colonize the gut themselves, and just pass through which requires a constant infusion to maintain the same health benefit.

A word of warning concerning yogurt and Greek yogurt containing Streptococcus thermophilus from Jordin Rubin, author of Restoring Your Digestive Health:

Studies have shown that people who suffer from autoimmune diseases run the risk of aggravating the symptoms of their disease if they consume more than two cups of yogurt that contains Streptococcus thermophilus. What’s more, Streptococcus thermophilus can cause a shift in immune function known as a Th2-dominated immune system. People with Th2-mediated immune systems have higher incidences of allergies and other illnesses. People suffering from digestive problems usually have imbalanced or weak immune systems. For this reason, avoiding products that may contribute to immune system dysfunction is wise if you have an intestinal disease.

So if you are seeking the best fermented milk product for gut health, it’s probably not yogurt particularly not in excess of two cups per day if the yogurt starter contains the strain Streptococcus thermophilus.

Beneficial Microbes in Kefir Blow Yogurt Away by a Country Mile

Milk kefir is quite different from yogurt in that the strains contained colonize the intestinal tract and don’t just pass through with temporary benefit. Some of the strains in kefir are aggressive in nature too, which means they attack and destroy pathogens reasserting dominance and control of the intestinal environment.

This is why eating a ton of kefir when you have gut imbalance issues can sometimes trigger a temporary healing crisis from pathogen die-off in the gut. Eating lot of yogurt rarely causes this type of reaction as the effect on digestive health is much milder.

In addition, kefir contains a lot larger range of bacteria, as well as beneficial yeasts which combat Candida problems.

Here is a list of the typical strains of probiotics and beneficial yeasts in properly fermented kefir, according to the Journal Food Microbiology:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus brevis
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens
  • Lactobacillus kefiri
  • Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus sake
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • Lactococcus lactis
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides
  • Pseudomonas
  • Pseudomonas fluorescens
  • Pseudomonas putida
  • Streptococcus thermophilus 
  • Candida humilis (yeast)
  • Kazachstania unispora (yeast)
  • Kazachstania exigua (yeast)
  • Kluyveromyces siamensis (yeast)
  • Kluyveromyces lactis (yeast)
  • Kluyveromyces marxianus (yeast)
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast)
  • Saccharomyces martiniae (yeast)
  • Saccharomyces unisporus (yeast)

Quite a big difference in the probiotic benefit between kefir and yogurt, isn’t there?  Moreover, due to the higher potency of kefir, it is easy to stay under the 2 cups per day limit recommended by Jordin Rubin (quoted above) for those with a sensitivity to the Streptococcus thermophilus probiotic strain.

Therefore, if you are trying your hand at home fermentation of milk in order to improve your digestive health and rebalance the gut environment with beneficial microbes dominating instead of pathogenic strains, kefir is going to be the more potent choice for you and your family.

And, while kefir definitely has a stronger, more sour taste than the milder tasting yogurt, you are guaranteed to not notice the difference if your primary use is for smoothies!

Looking for either thermophilic or mesophilic starter cultures for yogurt or kefir?  Click here for where I get mine and where I recommend for the best quality and potency.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Sources and More Information

Microbiological study of lactic acid bacteria in kefir grains

Water Kefir versus Milk Kefir: Which is Better?

How to Make Yogurt Cheese (raw or pasteurized)

How to Make Raw Yogurt (Using the Microwave as an Incubator)

How to Make Kefir (recipe plus video how-to)

How to Make Coconut Milk Kefir (recipe plus video how-to)

Raw vs. Pasteurized Yogurt

Why Store Yogurt is a Waste of Money

Lowfat Yogurt Not a Good Idea When Pregnant

Comments (46)

  • Mary

    Thanks for the awesome article, I learned a lot. Had no idea kefir contained yeast too. I strain mine through a plastic mesh strainer which makes it nice and creamy. Just linked to this post in my most recent article “3 Foods You Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t (and what to use instead)”

    March 31st, 2016 11:01 am Reply
  • Myra

    Hi Sarah,

    Is kefir safe for those who are suffering from GERD?

    February 9th, 2016 9:52 am Reply
  • Alayne25

    Can you provide information on how to tell if your milk kefir is alcoholic or getting to the alcoholic stage? Is there ways to test this via alcohol strips, hydrometer etc..? Also, some folks claim that if the milk kefir has a “tingling on the tongue” then it contains alcohol.. is this correct? I am pregnant so I am just trying to be cautious now. My milk kefir almost always has a slight tingling even after just a 24 hour ferment so now I am worried I could harm the unborn baby. Can u provide some accurate info on this?

    Thank you so much.

    February 1st, 2016 11:45 pm Reply
    • Meek Biotics

      Hi. Your kefir will always have an alcohol present. The level will differ with the time your kefir is fermenting. The longer the fermentation process, the higher the alcohol content. The contents of alcohol within your kefir will not be harmful for your unborn baby if it is fermented at room temp for 24 hours.

      March 7th, 2016 5:24 am Reply
  • becky

    HI there,

    Thank you for taking the time to write this article. Very useful info here…I was just reading an article on why milk kefir was a better choice than water kefir because of the many strains of beneficial bacteria in milk kefir vs water kefir. thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/water-kefir-versus-milk-kefir/ It said the only reason water kefir would be preferable to milk kefir is that milk kefir has the bacteria streptococcus thermophilus which can aggravate autoimmune disorders, and referred to Jordin Rubin’s book. So I searched for info on this and found your site also citing Jordan Rubin. I am concerned now as I have suffered from Candida albicanus. Can you tell me anything more?
    Thank you.

    November 20th, 2015 4:02 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Candida is not autoimmune disease .. it is simply an overgrowth of yeast in the gut. Candida can lead to autoimmune disease over time but that condition in and of itself is not going to be indicative of anything specific autoimmunity-wise.

      November 20th, 2015 5:04 pm Reply
  • Benjamin

    Hello Sarah, allow me to ask you a question I don’t think is answered (or perhaps even asked) anywhere on the interwebs!?

    Context is that I’ve been using milk kefir grains to make raw dairy kefir and coconut ‘milk’ kefir and almond ‘milk’ kefir for several months and am very interested in a kefir yogurt without the additional steps involved in converting milk kefir into yogurt.

    So my question is, is yogurt itself, let’s say dairy yogurt, something to which kefir grains can be added and used to *directly* produce kefir yogurt?

    I can think of reasons the answer might be ‘no’, including the bacterial strains already present in a yogurt and the viscosity of yogurt, both of which make yogurt very different to milk but I don’t know if these would actually prevent success. I can experiment . . . . but given my relative inexperience am seeking out expertise! :-)

    August 7th, 2015 7:10 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      No, you can’t turn yogurt into kefir by adding kefir grains to it. This is because the yogurt culture has already used up the milk sugar so there won’t be anything to feed the kefir grains.

      August 8th, 2015 8:55 am Reply
  • helene

    i cant afford smoothies more than once a week. my kids eat plain yogurt but the kefir was yeasty n sour. i tried for a month n gave up. the only way to get it dwn was smoothies. with yogurt, i make a gallon twice a week by heating the milk n adding some yogurt. plop it in the maker for 24 hrs n im done. kefir seemed like alot less work but was way more. AND then it was inedible. :( :( :(

    April 2nd, 2015 7:59 am Reply
    • EuripidesMac

      It’s sad that some people don’t like the slight yeastiness of kefir? I wonder if it’s thinking that it’s yogurt and finding that it has more pizzazz? Anyway, my family is the same. Me I like to just drink it straight…ahh!

      So, because I still want my wife and kids to get the benefits, I’ll make a “Kegirt” out of it using chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon and some good (or not) form of sweetener, they gobble it down. It has to be just sweet enough to cut out whatever is in the kefir that they won’t choose to get over (or just can’t get over).

      I think I’ll go drink some more straight, no chaser. *Burp*

      April 29th, 2015 1:20 pm Reply
  • christie

    does water kefir have same benefits?

    April 2nd, 2015 7:47 am Reply
  • Donna B from MS

    I’ve been making kefir for about 3 years now. It has benefited my digestion immensely. My sister makes it now, but she can only tolerate small amounts. Still it seems to be helping her slowly heal her gut issues. I’ve had the same kefir grains since I first started, and they keep multiplying. I keep a small mason jar with the extra, and I change out the milk by pouring it into the main batch jar every day, thus rotating it so that all the grains have fresh milk every day. I cull back the main batch jar’s kefir grains to keep it from culturing too fast. I can drink it straight as I’ve come to love the taste. Of course, it’s great with fruit as well. I make all my cornbread and pancakes with it as well. Of course, you have to eat it uncooked to get the bacterial benefits, but cooking with it uses up some excess. I do put the fresh batch in the fridge every 2 or 3 days if it’s making too fast to use up. Take it out after about 24 hours and it recovers with no ill effects. I always refrigerate the fresh batch of kefir for at least 24 more hours to continue the culturing process, using 2 large wide mouthed glass jars with plastic lids. There are 2 of us who drink it at my home. I had 1 batch actually go bad once. There is no doubting that it went bad. It smelled really foul. I threw it all out, washed all the jars well, used fresh kefir grains from the small extra grains jar, and cultured new kefir. Never had another problem, If you ever notice a slimy film on your grains, rinse them well with fresh milk, 2 or 3 rinses, and they will likely be fine. You’ll know if the kefir spoils. I can’t imagine being without kefir, now. One more thing… I use regular Vit D milk from the grocery. No raw cow’s milk here. I did use raw goat’s milk at the beginning, but it’s 60 miles and $10 a gal. The cheap, regular milk does quite well. If I had access to raw cow milk though, I would like to do that.

    April 2nd, 2015 12:39 am Reply
  • LEIGH HOOVER

    MY LIBRARIAN WHO WAS AN ARMY NURSE RECOMMENDED THIS TO ME LAST YEAR. I HAVE LOOKED EVERYWHERE AND ASKED ALL OVER. CANNOT FIND IT. HELP. LH

    April 1st, 2015 10:08 pm Reply
  • Trisha Pratt

    I’ve purchased kefir grains from a couple different sources. The ones purchased from Marilyn the kefir lady…rock! It only takes a couple of days to get them going and soon..you are eaten out of house and home. I usually feed excess kefirand kefir grains to my chickens and dogs. Keeps them healthy and I also share with the other human members of my family. :) Kefir is much easier to make than yogurt, for me anyway. I also have a raw milk CSA, so I’m blessed in that regard. But I have also made it with organic valley milk..works good too.

    February 4th, 2015 8:59 am Reply
  • Whitney

    Wow. This all brings our experience into perspective. Our family tolerates kefir by the half-teaspoonful. We are also majorly mold-allergic. Something’s not right! I think we will continue with those half-teaspoons, increasing, until this is no longer a problem. I’d be curious to know if anyone has had similar issues, or has any knowledge that would help! Thanks so much for this article!

    February 3rd, 2015 7:23 pm Reply
    • Kelly

      With all due respect to Sarah, kefir is not always the ‘healthier choice’, in fact, it can be very detrimental for those with histamine intolerance or mast cell disorders, for two reasons:

      It’s fermented, and anything fermented or aged, is high in histamine.

      Many of the strains in kefir, including most lactobacillus strains, but especially l. plantarum, l. brevis, l. casei, s. thermophilus, and then all those yeast strains — murder for those with histamine intolerance.

      Yogurt isn’t much better either, for the same reasons — too much lactobacillus and thermophilus, and typically no bifidus strains. In fact, only 2 or 3 strains are known to lower histamine in the gut: B. longum, b. infantis, and l. plantarum.

      April 6th, 2015 12:14 pm Reply
  • Shelley

    I just got some kefir grains from a friend and have my first pint jar on the counter ready to drink. Since I am just starting out with this to see if I can heal my digestive issues, should I start with a smaller amount and work my way up to the 2 cups?

    February 3rd, 2015 4:29 pm Reply
  • Megan

    Is it possible to “inoculate” raw milk yogurt with milk kefir to get a wide variety of strains? I always use starter from a previous batch to make raw milk yogurt, and I never heat it over 100 degrees. After I couldn’t keep up with kefir and switched back to yogurt, I added some of the kefir to my yogurt starter. My current batch of yogurt has been ‘evolving’ and reproducing for over a year now, much like a kombucha scoby. Am I getting the best of both worlds? TIA

    February 1st, 2015 3:10 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Seems like it would easier to just make kefir.

      February 1st, 2015 3:38 pm Reply
      • Megan

        Thanks Sarah, but you didn’t answer my question. I added a bit of finished kefir to my yogurt starter last year. I have been grandfathering it ever since. Am I “getting the best of both worlds” so to speak? Yogurt is easier for me, because I can make a gallon once a week and be done. Kefir requires too much of my attention since I am a homeschooling mother of five little ones.

        February 3rd, 2015 1:09 pm Reply
  • April

    Sarah..your cmment about S. Thermophilus strain aggravating autoimmune conditions. Can you validate this comment with science? I have two autoimmune diseases and have been consuming kefir for 2 weeks. Initially..I did not die-off symptoms but I’m not sure I’m doing more harm to myself but eating it. Could you confirm this?

    January 29th, 2015 4:32 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Would recommend a read of Jordin Rubin’s book with his sources at the back since that is where the info came from.

      January 29th, 2015 4:35 pm Reply
  • Tina

    My family loves kefir and yogurt…I’m wondering how particular I should be on the 2 cups limit. Is this recommendation for 2 cups total of feremented dairy a day?…For example, if we are eating yogurt and kefir do you recommend staying under 2 cups for adults and children alike?

    January 28th, 2015 11:49 am Reply
  • shane

    Supporting references add so much credibility.

    January 27th, 2015 10:15 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes indeed which is why they are included.

      January 28th, 2015 10:43 am Reply
  • jmr

    I love kefir, but I travel a lot and so I never can keep up with it. Yogurt is just easier to make. To bj above, you can make the same breakfast of rolled oats and fruit with kefir instead of yogurt. And to Jill above, I’ve purchased kefir grains 3 times from the same company. Only one of them ever worked right. I’ve never had success with any of the yogurt, buttermilk, or sourdough starter from the company either. I think some of their packages work well and some don’t. If you try another package or two, you may find one that works.

    January 27th, 2015 5:53 pm Reply
  • Lorie

    Never knew how little I was getting from greek yogurt. I’ve made homemade yogurt using my oven and it was creamy but obviously not as beneficial. I would love to try Kefir. I live in MS where raw milk is illegal to buy. My local Kroger sells Horizon milk that’s non-homogenized but, that’s as close as I can get to the more beneficial milk. If I use Horizon non-homogenized milk will it adversely affect my Kefir? If so, any suggestions?

    January 27th, 2015 4:57 pm Reply
    • SoCal GT

      No it won’t adversely affect your Kefir. Of course raw is always best but if you can’t get it you will still get all of the probiotic benefits from the kefir even if the milk is pasteurized. The non-homogenized milk is a better choice than homogenized.

      January 28th, 2015 3:30 am Reply
  • jamie

    Does water kefir contain a large amount of beneficial bacteria? How does it compare to milk kefir? Thanks!

    January 27th, 2015 1:17 pm Reply
  • bj

    Thank you for this article….it is full of good information. I intend to try making kefir as soon as I can get some grains.
    I do, however, think there is a place for yogurt in the diet. There is nothing like having a bowl of yogurt with organic rolled oats mixed in and topped with fruit for a breakfast option…the quickest breakfast ever and the kids love it. You must admit that it’s hard to keep breakfast interesting and yogurt does help give that change. I have been making my own yogurt for some time, either using it immediately after processing when it is creamy and more runny, but not so tart……or straining it to produce the consistency of greek yogurt and taste more tart. I purchased a large crockpot with a probe specifically to make yogurt…..it brings the milk to a certain temp and then tells you with a “beep”….no more checking temps 20 times an hour!! Making yogurt is effortless now. Just make sure all utensils are sterilized including the towel you use to strain the yogurt (use a flour sack towel and plunge it in a pan of boiling water, then wring out). Paying attention to your temperatures is a big deal also….but the probe brings the milk to the correct temp for me so there is little to do after you figure out about how much time it takes for each of the steps. Google a good recipe & instructions for crockpot yogurt and go from there…. You will net about 3 or more times the amount of yogurt for the money if you make it yourself. After you made a couple of times, you will wonder why you ever bought expensive yogurt from the store!! I am hoping I will have just as much success with making kefir :)

    January 27th, 2015 1:16 pm Reply
  • Peg

    I finally got into a habit of making it consistently and glad to know about storing the grains for awhile when I need to slow down. I, too, am wondering if there can ever be “bad” bacteria or yeasts in the Kefir? Can it be let go for too long? Are there signs of this? This is a GREAT article and I’ve read many!

    January 27th, 2015 10:45 am Reply
  • Charlene

    I had trouble with raw milk kefir giving me upset stomach for 2-3 years. (I stuck with it so long to see if I could train my gut to adapt to the kefir. ) But now I make raw milk yogurt: heat yogurt to 100 degrees F and add a dollop of live culture yogurt. Yes, the yogurt is milder tasting than kefir and runnier than heated yogurt. But my stomach has no trouble with it.

    I wonder if because I use low heat if the beneficial organisms in the raw milk are still active and grow along with the added yogurt cultures.

    This is the only way I can tolerate raw milk. Every other “form” of raw milk bothers my stomach: fresh sweet, kefir, clabbered, …..

    January 27th, 2015 9:39 am Reply
    • Donna

      Could you be lactose intolerant? I have the same problem with raw milk and kefir but not with raw milk yogurt. I realize some lactose-intolerant people are able to consume raw milk without trouble, but not me. I need to take lactase enzyme (Lacataid) when I drink raw milk and kefir, but I am able to consume raw milk yogurt without the Lactaid. I think this is because the yogurt cultures break down the lactose better than the kefir cultures. You may want to give this a try so you can enjoy the health benefits of milk kefir too.

      January 27th, 2015 4:42 pm Reply
    • Kelly

      Kefir is absolutely the worst thing for anyone with histamine intolerance or mast cell issues. Yogurt isn’t so great either, depending on the strains. Most strains, including many of those listed for keifr, increase or release histamine in the body, so that might explain your reaction.

      April 6th, 2015 11:57 am Reply
  • Jill

    I’d love some tips on getting kefir grains activated well. I spent weeks recently trying to get some newly purchased grains (from cultures for health) going, and while it reached place where the milk would thicken, it smelled icky–not a pleasant sour smell and no one in the house would touch it. I finally rinsed the grains (they never seemed to multiply either) and put them in an open jar to dry out. Sigh… I started with gently pasteurized whole milk and when the milk was consistently thickening switched to raw but maybe that messed it up.

    January 27th, 2015 9:08 am Reply
    • SoCalGT

      When you switch grains from pasteurized to raw milk or vice versa they will have an adjustment period to the new milk. Usually 3 to 5 days. I’ve found my gains perform better in raw milk than pasteurized. The raw gets thicker and the grains reproduce faster. I’ve never rehydrated grains so am not sure how long they would take to activate. It’s possible, if you are not used to it that the sour smell of kefir would smell icky to you and your family if you are not used to it. I’ve been drinking it for several years and still can’t do it straight up. I put a little honey in it or make a smoothie with a banana and berries. My daughter, though, will drink it straight and enjoys it that way. If the icky smell was a yeasty smell it just means that your culture needs to balance out. Refrigerating cultures usually encourages the yeast growth. While this yeast is a beneficial yeast and the kefir will be fine to drink, I just don’t find it as pleasant to drink or smell.

      January 28th, 2015 3:55 am Reply
  • lesleyfromkent

    Really interesting article – I’ve done great with Kefir but my whole life I’ve never really succeeded with yoghurt and had no idea why until now (my last attempt at an explanation was “modern milk is so pure it won’t culture”).
    Thanks a lot for the explanation.
    Another question – my goat kefir grains proliferate much quicker and I get bigger grains when I culture them in cows milk, that is, they seem to prefer cow milk to goat milk, despite having come (very healthy and big) from a goat milk only source. Interested in anybody’s take on this – when I want some to share, I have to go back to cow’s milk (I have a ready source of raw goats milk, for raw cows milk its a 80 mile round trip).

    January 27th, 2015 5:41 am Reply
    • SoCalGT

      The grains really like a high butterfat/cream milk. Goats milk is naturally homogenized which may affect it’s ability to utilize the butterfat. I’ve not cultured goats milk but I know my grains reproduce a lot faster when I use a Jersey milk which is high in butterfat than when I use a Holstein milk.

      January 28th, 2015 3:39 am Reply
  • sara

    I have been drinking Kefir for 2 years now but lately it has been making me feel quite ill. Is it possible that I have a ‘bad bug’ in with my kefir grains? why would something that has been so great be so very bad now?

    January 27th, 2015 2:59 am Reply
    • Tami

      I do think it is possible to get some mold in your kefir. I have had difficulty with my kefir in the winter months when the ambient temperature in the house is below 70 degrees. I definitely got some mold on the top of my kefir. I would rinse the grains and start with a small fresh batch. I recently did this and found a warm area in my kitchen and my grains worked much better.

      January 27th, 2015 10:54 am Reply
  • Donna

    This has inspired me to get my milk kefir grains going again! I have been making milk kefir on and off for a couple of years, and when I am not actively making kefir every day, I store the wet grains in a small mason jar of milk in the back of the refrigerator, sometimes for months. When I am ready to make kefir again, I rinse the grains with fresh milk in a plastic fine mesh strainer and then culture them on the counter in fresh raw milk. The grains have never failed to make kefir, even after a long break. I hope this helps those that want to make milk kefir but are concerned about the commitment.

    January 26th, 2015 11:49 pm Reply
  • Alexis

    I have tried milk Kefir in the past and my main issues were:
    1. The turnover is really fast. I have to make a batch every 1-3 days but we weren’t consuming it fast enough. Any tips for slowing down the cycle? I read it isn’t good to throw them in the fridge very often.
    2. I had a really hard time finding my grains, especially in the beginning when they were small. Could I use a bag for this? The kefir was too thick to strain and it was too much work to try and dig them out (even though they are supposed to come to the surface). I just gave up in favor of making yogurt.

    We have had tons of luck with water kefir but those grains are easy to strain and I could slow down the cycle with secondary fermentation. Plus it is so yummy!

    Thanks,
    Alexis

    January 26th, 2015 7:36 pm Reply
    • Donna

      My milk kefir is also very thick, but I still strain it with a fine mesh plastic strainer. I stir it with a plastic spoon in the strainer which helps the kefir drain out. Then only the grains are left in the strainer.

      I have not been able to slow down the cycle. I just take out some grains and refrigerate the excess I can’t use or give them away. They multiply like crazy!

      January 27th, 2015 4:46 pm Reply

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