Video- How Jim Dooley Makes Milk Kefir

Jim Dooley from shows you exactly how he makes kefir at home. While Jim uses raw goat’s milk in his kefir, raw milk is outlawed in Canada. I simply use 2% milk from the dairy cooler and make the most delicious and beneficial kefir.

Jim also speaks a little about why kefir is so good for you, and what it does.

Jim’s technique for making kefir is a little different than mine. This just shows that kefir making does not have to be precise. These grains have survived and been passed around the world for thousands of years. Find a technique for kefir making that works for you in your own home. Here is more information about how I make milk kefir


Jim gives some excellent information about why kefir is so good for you. Unfortunately, at the time I uploaded this excellent video, The New Angela Foundation website was not functioning. Hopefully it will be up soon. 

How To Freeze Kefir Grains For Long Term Storage

How Do You Freeze Kefir Grains?

The question of long term storage comes up quite frequently. First let me say that I do not recommend freezing water kefir grains. I find they store better dehydrated. So these instructions are for freezing milk kefir grains.

  1.  Strain the milk kefir grains from the kefir. 
  2. Gently rinse the grains with fresh clean water.
  3. Blot your milk kefir grains gently with a paper towel to soak up most of the water. 
  4. place the grains in a small mason jar or zip lock bag
  5. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk powder.
  6. Pop into the freezer.

I don't know how long the grains will stay viable like this. I have kept some in the freezer for 2 years and they worked when I took them out.


If you are interested in other ways to safely store milk kefir or water kefir grains, check out the links to the related posts directly below.

Home Made Milk Kefir vs Store Bought

Making Milk KefirKefir Products- Homemade or Store Bought Milk Kefir?

What Is The Difference?

People often ask whether they should buy kefir products in Canada at the local grocery store. My answer is always, "It depends."

The best kefir is the one you have and drink. So the first criteria is often simply to know whether you will take the time to care for the kefir culture, or if ready-made is better. Don't get me wrong, it is not a lot of work to keep a milk kefir starter healthy, but it does require a daily milk change, and some stirring. Not much work, but still more than some people are willing to take on.

If you do have 5 minutes a day to care for a milk kefir culture, then milk kefir grains will be a very worthwhile investment for your health. You may have heard that home made kefir milk is better for you than store bought milk kefir. Or you might just assume it is better without knowing why.

Store bought milk kefir is factory made using a very few specific bacteria strains. In fact it is more similar to yogurt than it is to authentic kefir milk made from heirloom milk kefir grains. Foods sold in the store need to be standardized. It is important for manufacturers to produce a consistent product. They limit the numbers of bacteria, and inhibit their growth. They also completely leave out the beneficial yeasts that are in the products. All of this is to provide consistency, but also to prevent bacterial activity from causing enough gas that the container will explode.

When you start making your own kefir, you will appreciate what that means. As bacteria and yeast devour the milk sugars, they put out gases like CO2 that create an effervescent (fizzy) quality. I always make kefir with a loose fitting lid so the gases do not build up. Manufacturers, however, need to properly seal their product. That could be a recipe for disaster.

So here is the breakdown of bacteria and yeast found in traditional kefir milk made from authentic heirloom milk kefir grains like we sell to Canadians on this site.

Homemade Kefir Bacteria and Yeast Breakdown

Bacteria Isolated in Home Made Milk Kefir

Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus brevis
Lactobacillus casei subsp. casei
Lactobacillus paracasei subsp.paracase the
Lactobacillus fermentum
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
Lactobacillus helveticus
Lactobacillus kefir
kefiranofaciens Lactobacillus subsp.kefiranofaciens
Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens subsp. My kefirgran
Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. lactis,
Lactobacillus parakefir the
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris,
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis,
Streptococcus thermophilus
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp.cremoris,
Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp.mesenteroides
Enterococcus durans
Acetobacter aceti

Fungi Isolated in Home Made Milk Kefir

Dekkera anomala / Brettanomyces anomalus
Torulaspora delbrueckii
Candida Friedrich the
Candida humilis
Saccharomyces Exiguus Torulopsis Holm
Candida inconspicu A
Kluyveromyces marxianus / Candida kefir
Pichia fermentans / Candida firmetari Candida lamblia by
Issatchenki orientalis / Candida krusei
Candida maris
Cryptococcus humicolus
Debaromyces hansenii / Candida Famatina A
Debaromyces occidentalis
Galactomyces Geotrichum
Kluyveromyces lactis has . lactis
to loddera Kluyveromyces
Saccharomyces cerevisiae,
Saccharomyces pastorianus
Saccharomyces unisporus
of Yarrowia lypolyti / lypoliti by Candida
Zygosaccharomyces rouxii
Saccharomyces sp nov turicensis

Kefir-specific Yeast Isolated in Home Made Milk Kefir

Kluyveromyces marxianus
Torulaspora delbrueckii
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Saccharomyces Exiguus
Candida kefir,
Saccharomyces unisporus
turicensis Saccharomyces
Pichia fermentans
in Yarrowia lypolyti

Bacteria, Fungi and Yeast Isolated In Store Bought Kefir

Kefir bars Type I (Licaucasicus and

Liberte Kefir ProductsWOW! That is quite a difference right? I don't know which brand was tested. The study I read was in Turkish so I assume it was a Turkish bought kefir product. In Canada, one of the most prominent brands (and my favorite store brand!) is Liberté brand. Their kefir is organic, and quite delicious. You can also choose between effervescent and non-effervescent types. On their site, they state, "Our flat Kefir contains 10 types of bacteria and provides one billion bacteria per serving." (Comparatively, 2 cups of home made kefir can contain as many as 5 TRILLION bacteria!!) source~

That's a great start. If you think you do not have time to care for milk kefir grains starter culture, then Liberté kefir may be for you.


So now, when someone asks you, "What is the difference between homemade milk kefir and store bought milk kefir, you can tell them, "The difference is microscopic!"

Ways To Use Milk Kefir

Kefir Whipped PotatoesSometimes, for any number of reasons you may have an over-abundance of cultured kefir milk. Right now I have 2 liters of it accumulated even though I use it in smoothies every day. So I am constantly on the look out for different ways to use up kefir milk in different ways.

Milk kefir in baking is a really great ingredient. Since it has probiotic yeast in it, it gives a light fluffy lift to cakes and muffins, pancakes and many other dishes. When you cook kefir, you will lose some of the probiotic benefits but it will still help predigest grains, add vitamins and minerals, not to mention a delicious taste! 

Here are some ways you can use your kefir.

  • Baking- First you can pre-digest flours, oatmeal, and other grains by soaking. An hour or 2 before you are going to bake, mix the recipes flour with kefir. Substitute some or all of the liquid portion of your recipe with your cultured kefir milk. If you do not plan ahead to pre-soak your flours, you can still sub kefir for the liquids in a recipe. It is especially good in cakes and muffins, biscuits (instead of milk or buttermilk), bread, rolls, pizza dough.. the list goes on! You could start with this delicious banana kefir cake
  • Breakfast– The night before, mix 1/4 cup of rolled oats with 1/2 cup kefir (for one serving). Let it sit covered on the counter over night. The next morning, cooking time is reduced and you have a delicious hearty and healthy breakfast! Just add fruit and a bit of maple syrup, or your own favorite toppings. 
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes- After your potatoes are cooked, mash them in a bowl with some garlic and kefir, and then whip them with the beaters to have a light fluffy delicious potato dish. 
  • Soups and Sauces– Sub out some or all of the liquid for kefir. 
  • Dessert- Put some kefir milk in a blender with frozen blueberries and some sweetener of choice for a delicious frozen yogurt dessert. 
  • Cream Cheese- Strain off the whey in cheesecloth over night. Mix cheese with salt to taste and spread on crackers or use as a veggie dip ingredient. 
  • Buttermilk substitute- Use kefir in place of buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt in any recipe.
  • As a starter for cultured vegetables–  There are lots of recipes on the internet for using kefir whey (or water kefir grains) as a culture starter for cultured veggies like sauerkraut. 
  • Skin care– Add to the bath water for soft conditioned skin. My sister uses whey as a face wash and swears it clears up her face whenever she is getting a pimple outbreak. 

There… that should get you started on using up that left over kefir milk! 

Milk Kefir Grains- Canada

Where Can I Buy Milk Kefir Grains if I Live in Canada?Nice Thick Milk Kefir

Milk kefir starters are a little more prevalent, but the kefir starters can only be used for a short time before they lose their potency, whereas kefir milk grains can be saved and used for many lifetimes, being passed down for generations. Kefir grains are meant to be shared.

Like many cultural dietary inclusions and medicines, kefir is a functional beverage that is only just becoming more widely known in North America. North America is a new 'culture' that seems to have (in many instances) lost touch with ancestral roots. Many things; folk lore, knowledge of natural cures, recipes, and healthy foods to name a few, are no longer shared. Before the internet, the knowledge of such things was lost in the new world.

I find that the farther west you go in North America, the more likely you are to find alternative medicine and food practices. I think there are many reasons for this, but mainly Western Canada and U.S. is both more densely populated and much more culturally diverse. Also the western shore is closer to Asia where alternative health is part of their culture! 

Thanks to the internet, a local economy is becoming more global. Knowledge of different cultures is available in most homes now, and people who wish to learn about the healthy traditions of long lost ancestors can easily find that information.

Once I had the knowledge of the health benefits of milk kefir, and the experience of making milk kefir from grains, I felt it my duty to make available the milk kefir grains. Canada is not so entrenched in their own culture that there is no room for something so delicious and beneficial to health. Milk Kefir IS a part of our everybody's ancestral heritage if we go back far enough.



Kefir Facts FAQ

I Have A Question About Kefir….Kefir Questions and Answers

Whether you are new to kefir, or an old hand, questions are bound to come up from time to time. Here are some frequently asked questions about kefir making. Click the linked question to go directly to that answer, or read through the whole page. If your question is not answered here, please take time to ask in the comment section. This way everyone can learn!

General Kefir Grains Questions:

Water Kefir Questions:

Milk Kefir Questions:

General Kefir Grains Questions:

  • What The Heck Is Kefir?- Kefir is a probiotic rich drink made by introducing a culture of "kefir grains" to milk (usually dairy) or water and sugar. Making kefir is simple and costs literally pennies a glass. The result is quite possibly the most healthy super food I have in my wellness arsenal. Follow these links to read more…

  • Can I Make Kefir Without Grains?– First of all, some people think kefir grains are made from grains like wheat. They are not. The "grains" terminology is simply a name for the firm gelatin-like cultures that make kefir. So the facts are, while kefir is not made with grain, you want to know wether you can make your own kefir grains at home without buying them.Most people say "no", but it has been done.In 1990 researchers made kefir grains for the first time and documented their method in a scientific paper. It was not easy, and it was made using goat hide bad and bacteria from sheep intestines. These are things that are not readily available in Canada. I did a post about the procedure. Read How To Make Kefir Grains
    So for most people, buying the culture, or buying kefir grains are the only ways to make kefir at home. The great news is if you buy kefir grains they will last a lifetime.
  • What's Better… Kefir Grains or Powdered Kefir Starter?– Powdered kefir starters have a limited number of bacteria, as they are developed to be standardized and consistent every time. They also lose their potency with subsequent brews so you need a new packet of starter every 3-6 batches. Kefir grains are inexpensive (usually about $5 a tablespoon) and you only need to buy them once in a lifetime. Once you start brewing your grains they grow and get stronger. Live kefir grains also provide a wide range of bacteria and yeast similar to what would be found in your intestine. Since the idea is to create a healthy microbiota in your body, kefir grains are superior.
  • Can I make my own kefir grains?– Kefir grains can not be made. Real kefir grains are passed from one owner as their supply grows into more than they can use themselves. Kefir grains are a very precise community of bacteria and yeast that exist together without one overpowering the other. I suspect "in nature" that the formation of milk kefir grains is a relationship that develops occasionally in raw milk and prevents it from going bad. In most parts of the developed world, milk is pasteurized (in Canada i is illegal to sell raw milk), so the formation of grains just would not happen. Even when people can get raw milk, I suspect one would spoil an awful lot of milk before the proper mix of bacteria and yeast. I suspect something similar if trying to culture sugar and water. Rather than causing people to get sick trying sour beverages, or trashing a lot of milk and/or sugar, it is best to just spend a little bit of money and get the culture. After all, when buying kefir crystals, it is a one time purchase that lasts a lifetime! also  Read How To Make Kefir Grains
  • Is My Kefir Ready?- This question is not easily answered in a few sentences. Please see How Do I Know If My Kefir Is Ready for answers.
  • How Much Kefir Should I drink?– Kefir is a food with benefits (not a drug), but some people still have an adjustment period. If your digestion tends to be finicky, start with 1/4 cup after a meal once every day, and listen to your body. If you tolerate this fine, then increase the amount, eventually moving it to BEFORE meals, as the good bacteria will aid in digesting your food. I personally drink up to 4 cups a day. There's no real limit. Just drink it when you want.
  • How Long Does Kefir Keep?– The kefir grains will keep indefinitely as long as you follow the instructions for storage. Once kefir is made, it will keep for a very long time. Remember that fermentation was a way of keeping foods safe to consume before refrigeration. I keep mine a month or more. Use your own judgement, and trust your nose and taste buds. Bad kefir smells bad and tastes bad. You will know. 
  • Where can I buy kefir grains?– It is particularly difficult to find them in Canada I have found. I ordered mine from someone in the States when I got them, and worried about extra duties and getting stopped at the border. We now sell kefir grains- we ship anywhere in Canada or US. Our kefir grains are packed to withstand the Canadian winter too! 
  • Does Kefir Cure Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Like Crohn's or IBS?– Kefir does not cure inflammatory bowel disease. It could help though. Read my article – Kefir and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Water Kefir Questions:

  • What are some other names for Water Kefir?- Tibicos, tibi,& water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California bees, and in older literature asbébées, African bees, ale nuts, Australian bees, balm of Gilead, beer seeds, beer plant, bees, ginger bees, Japanese beer seeds and vinegar bees. source: Wikipedia
  • What is Water Kefir?– Water kefir is a probiotic rich beverage made with water, sugar, bacteria and flavoring.
  • What Is The Difference Between milk Kefir and Water Kefir?– Aside from the obvious, they are pretty similar. Even though you need milk kefir grains to culture milk, and water kefir grains to culture sugar water, the resultant beverage has a similar probiotic mix. They both have many strains of bacteria and yeast that exist in a perfect balance.
  • Can I Use Milk Kefir Grains to Make Water Kefir?– No. While you may find on the internet that some people claim to ferment all kinds of things with milk kefir grains or tibicos grains, the bottom line is … these probiotic culture starters have evolved to eat a specific kind of sugar and to survive in a specific kind of medium. Milk kefir grains thrive on lactose and other components of milk. While you may get a probiotic beverage once or twice, eventually it will be evident that the bacteria and yeast are out of balance. The grains will stop growing, perhaps even die, and the beverage will show signs of being off.
  • How Do You Make Water Kefir?– I have easy instructions for making water kefir right on this site. Click the link or use the menu at the top of the page or on the right hand side to find the instructions.
  • What Is Water Kefir Supposed To Taste Like?- Water Kefir taste depends somewhat on the type of sugar used and whether you use molasses or not. It also depends on the amount of time you let it ferment. In my Basic Water Kefir Recipe I do use molasses and I usually let mine ferment for 48 hours and then drink it with no added flavor. Made this way it is sweet. It has a bit of a "fermented" taste to it. It is lightly fizzy but not as carbonated as pop (or soda depending on where you live). It taste to me like a slightly fruity, slightly fermented, slightly fizzy drink. It reminds me of dried fruit like apricots or raisins. It smells slightly sweet, and slightly fermented (like a very light beer smell) If you have ever had REAL apple cider (not the pasteurized stuff from the super market) then you will find it is similar. I think it is absolutely delicious just the way it is but some people like to flavor it. After you strain the grains, you can add a tsp of vanilla or more and it taste like cream soda. Add ginger slices and let it ferment another day and you have ginger beer. Add strawberries or pineapple and some ice and… well you get the picture!
  • What Does Water Kefir Look Like?- It looks like iced tea if you make it with brown sugar and/or molasses which is how I make water kefir. The grains are anywhere between white/clear and brown or yellow/clear depending on what color sugar you use. Browse around this site. There are lots and lots of pictures of kefir in various stages of the fermenting process.
  • What Is The Alcohol Content Of Water Kefir?- This totally depends on how long you let it ferment, what kind of sugar you use etc. Alcoholic fermentation is the conversion of sugar into carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and ethyl alcohol through the work of yeasts found on the food itself and within the culturing agent (kefir grains, kombucha culture, whey, ginger bug, etc.) It is safe to say that the alcohol content of a 24-48 hour ferment is 0.5%- 2.0% according to authority sites. If you add fruit juice for a secondary ferment you can increase the alcohol content to something quite highly alcoholic, especially if done under air lock. Water kefir and milk kefir both often smell a little like beer. It is partly because of the fermentation which adds alcohol content, and it is partly because of the yeast (kefir probiotics are made of yeast and bacteria)
  • Does Water Kefir Have The Same Benefits As Milk Kefir?– Yes… with the exception that milk kefir has some benefits imparted to it by the milk itself… protein, calcium etc. Tibicos bacteria tend to be less in number than in home made milk kefir so it can be tolerated better in people who are sensitive. So as far as probiotics go, water kefir is just as beneficial and may be tolerated better by some people. I have a Kefir Benefits page on this site with references to Studies and Clinical Trials. Click "Benefits" in the menu above for more facts.
  • How much Water Kefir Should I Drink?- This is another "It Depends" kind of question. Some people can drink as much as they want and not have any problems. Some people have side effects or "die off" and need to drink a little bit each day until their body gets used to it. In traditional diets, people used to eat or drink fermented foods and beverages every time they ate. Since we have gotten away from the practice, your internal works may experience some issues. So take it slow in the beginning. Start with a small amount… maybe 1/4 cup the first day and slowly increase as tolerated. Whatever you do, don't stop drinking it once you start. Your body will thank you.
  • What Are The Side Effects of Water Kefir?- Kefir is not a drug, so I really dislike the term "side effects" applied to it. Sometimes when you start adding back the good bacteria you can have a "war" of sorts in your belly. This struggle happens as the good bacteria fight to get the upper hand and the bad bacteria start to die off. The most common complaints are flatulence (gas), and be warned… it can get pretty smelly. Constipation and belly pain or discomfort, and heartburn are common complaints. I can not stress enough that you must persist! What's a little gas in the short term for all of the long term benefits of a healthy gut?
  • How Do I Know The Water Kefir Grains Are Working?- As a new kefir maker, you often are unsure whether your brew is behaving normally or not. Visit the Water Kefir Instructions Page to find out what signs to look for so you know what is normal.
  • Should Water Kefir Grains Float?- In a healthy kefir brew, some of the grains will float to the top, or rise and sink. This is quite normal and in fact it one of the signs of a healthy kefir. You see, the crystals let off gases like CO2 during the fermentation process. Occasionally some of the gas gets trapped in the kefir grain as it is growing, and this causes it to float.
  • Why Do You Add A Lemon To Water Kefir?– Sugar and water is THE perfect environment for bacteria and fungii to grow. A slightly acidic environment suppresses the activity of the 'bad' stuff. Lactic Acid bacteria produce acidity in the beverage, but needs a bit of time to establish itself. The citrus piece is a very important step as it adds a little bit of acidity to keep the bad bugs suppressed until the probiotic bacteria get established. 
  • Can I Eat The Solid Bits?- Yes absolutely. They often multiply fast, and it is not unusual to have lots of extras. Blend them into smoothies or just sprinkle them on your cereal in the morning.
  • Is Water Kefir Good For Diabetics?- You need to use your own judgement on this but I say YES! Here is why… Even though you put 1/4 C of sugar in 3 cups of water, by the time you drink it 48 hours later, the grains have devoured somewhere around 80% of the sugar. Since there is about 55 grams of sugar in 1/4 cup that means that there is only about 3 grams of sugar in a cup left after a 48 hour ferment. There is 10 grams of sugar in a cup of apple juice. Adding to that, probiotic use in diabetics has been shown to improve lipid profile (cholesterol) and help manage blood sugar. Here is just ONE of the many many studies done on this … Antidiabetic effect of probiotic dahi containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei in high fructose fed rats.
  • What To Do With Extra Water Kefir Grains?- Healthy tibicos multiply. In fact, when my grains are really happy they will double or even triple in 24-48 hours! That's a lot of culture! Eat them as mentioned above. Add them to smoothies or shakes. Feed them to your pets. They are also a great soil amendment and are wonderful in the compost pile.
  • Can I Freeze Water Kefir Grains?- Yes absolutely. Freezing cultures for short periods of time usually won't kill the cultures. In fact, sometimes when shipping cultures in Canada they freeze while in transport. If your live water kefir grains arrive frozen, simply allow them to defrost at room temperature, and proceed making your first recipe. For storing purposes, water kefir grains do better if they are dehydrated, but freezing for a couple of months at a time is an option. Remove them from the sugar solution, rinse them gently and pat dry with a paper towel. Then put into a ziplock freezer bag and cover them with sugar to help protect against freezer burn, and pop into the freezer.
  • Can Water Kefir Crystals Go Bad?– There are a number of things that can cause water kefir grains to go bad. Chemicals in the water, not enough sugar, or cross contamination from other bacteria are just a few examples of what could cause bad grains. For information on how to fix bad water kefir grains visit "Good Grains Gone Bad".
  • Can Kefir Grains Die?- Yes they can (after all they are made up of live bacteria and yeast), but sometimes you might think they are dead but they are only sick! They are pretty resilient little guys. If your grains have a white film, a really stinky smell, and are doing nothing in the sugar water, then they may be dead, but they may just need some TLC. Follow the link above and visit the Good Grains Gone Bad post and see if you can revive them by following the instructions found there.

Milk Kefir Questions:

  • Why Does My Kefir Curdle or Clot Before It Thickens?– It is the kefiran that gives your kefir a thicker consistency. You can encourage the production of kefiran and healthy milk kefir grains by keeping your kefir in an area close to 25 degrees celsius, by stirring it often, by using higher fat milk, and by using milks that have lactose as the main sugar. This is such a universal question that I answered it more in depth in a post. Read more about making thicker kefir.
  • My Kefir Is Fizzy (or tingly) On My Tongue. Is It Bad?– Both Milk Kefir and Water Kefir have an effervescent quality. They get fizzy, just like pop (soda). In fact, if you cover it nice and tight for a second ferment, it can get so fizzy that a pressure build up can pop a top! Milk Kefir that you buy in the store is often like drinkable yogurt with no fizz, but that is because they use inhibitors to stop that action. Otherwise they would be blowing tops all over the place! This is another reason why I love home made kefir.
  • Can Kefir Grains or Kefir Milk Be Frozen?– Both kefir grains and traditional milk kefir made from heirloom grains can be frozen, and still maintain biological action with no diminished bacterial count. read more on the post "Can I Freeze Kefir Grains?"

order kefir grains

Kefir and Yogurt- What Is The Difference?

What Is The Difference Between Kefir Milk and Yogurt?

Making Milk KefirAs my daughter would say… "The difference is microscopic!" ba-dump-baaa

The biggest difference between kefir and yogurt is what you can not see. The types of bacteria that culture the milk and the way in which the culture is produced.

Traditional greek yogurt, made using low heat incubation has bacterial strains Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus (often shortened to) L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus. These two bacteria live together in harmony and work synergistically to ferment your milk into yogurt. Different styles of commercial yogurt will also have other lactobacilli and bifidobacteria added. Yogurt typically does not require yeasts as a part of the fermenting process.

Yogurt is typically made using some yogurt from a previously made batch. By saving a little yogurt from each batch, and using it to culture the next batch, in theory you will always have a healthy yogurt culture. This is often only true if you are using an heirloom culture.

Traditionally yogurt is thick enough to eat with a spoon.

Kefir, on the other hand, could have 50 or more different strains of bacteria AND yeast living together in the same culture. Kefir does not require heat (or incubation) to culture milk, and it is made using kefir "grains" which are firm jelly-like clumps of bacteria and yeast that feed on milk sugars and produce a fermented product.

Because yeast is part of the kefir fermentation process, the end product is often slightly carbonated, and is slightly alcoholic. (0.5% to 2% alcohol)

For home culture makers, kefir is by far the easiest to make. You just need to drop the grains in a jar of milk, and set it on the cupboard. 24 hours (or so) later you have a delicious probiotic drink. Yogurt, while still very easy, is a little fussier. You need to heat the milk, then cool it, add your culture, and then incubate (keep it warm) for 6-24 hours. Then it needs to be refrigerated before it will "set".

Both kefir and yogurt are easy, inexpensive and delicious super foods.

What Are Kefir Grains?

Kefir Grains- What Are They? (and what I love about them!)

Kefir grains are officially a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast)… fancy words huh? Basically that just means that it is a group of bacteria and yeast that live happily ever after, in harmony and balance, and they make my favorite healthy drink!

Kefir grains

Milk Kefir Grains- No one has ever been able to make kefir grains in modern times at home. In ancient times there are stories of sheep stomach sacs filled with milk hanging next to a door, and everyone who came through the door would give it a knock thereby stirring the contents. From this sac would come a fermented beverage known by many names (including kefir of course) and along the lining of the sac would form harder clumps which could then be used to make kefir. 

Some scientist in Iran made kefir grains and in documented history, this is the first time we know of that someone set out to make kefir grains and succeeded. I wrote about that here… How To Make Kefir Grains At Home

Water Kefir Grains- According to a Wikipedia article water kefir grains are found in many different cultures around the world, with no 2 being exactly the same. As with milk kefir grains, the exact origin is not known, although current theory points to Mexico as being the country of origin. A scientific paper written in 1889 talks about "Tibi", which is another word for water kefir grains, growing as hard grains on the leaves of a certain cactus plant and being able to ferment sugar water. Like the milk kefir grains, no scientist has ever been able to make the water kefir grains without first having the grains themselves.

I do love kefir grains. They are living things. In my home they have become as important as my pets in my life. I feed them, and keep them clean and warm, provide an environment in which they can thrive, and in return they provide me with a drink that has so many health benefits that I feel as if my very life depends on them. 



How Can I Make Kefir Grains At Home?

Is It Possible To Make Kefir Grains Without Buying Them?

Can I Make Kefir Grains At Home?I get this question a lot and it was a question I had as well. There are not too many things I won't try if it is not too complicated, so I went about researching how to make my own kefir grains. I found most sites said that it was not possible. That in order to make kefir at home you had to purchase kefir grains from someone who had an overabundance. 

I did find one site where a gentleman claimed to do something with an ant hill. (see here… it is funny but be warned he uses the 'f' word a couple of times.) Now I know there are people who will believe anything if it is written on the internet, but I KNOW you won't be making kefir grains this way so please do not try it, or if you do try it, please do not drink it. OK you have been warned! 

Now, on to the real way to make kefir grains. No one had ever successfully made kefir grains that they could then take and use to culture milk. That is, no one until Motaghi, et al. These Iranian scientists took goat hide and formed a sac. Then they added milk, and bacteria from sheep feces. They shook the bag several times a day, kept it at a consistent temperature of 24-26 Degrees celcius for 48 hours and then changed the milk. 12 weeks later they were able to scrape some coagulated residue stuck to the inside of the bag and put it in milk in a glass jar and make kefir. 

So the answer to "can I make kefir grains" is YES. Yes you can. But hey, if that's too much trouble,

we sell kefir grains. :- D