Kefir Forum

  • Loir

    I just made my first batch of kefir from grains given to me. They were milk based. Can i switch to addimg coconut milk to the strained grains to avoid dairy?

  • Sue

    I have been on Kefir now for just over a week and have not felt that good. Could it be I have a detox issue going on here? Can anyone tell me what the symptoms are and how long they may last. Thank you

  • Clare Nesdale

    Is it possible to make milk kefir with coconut milk or coconut cream? I may be casein cow milk intolerance but have read that this will be okay with milk kefir so perhaps I would be better to try this?

  • Stumped

    I got a weird thing going on with my kefir relationship I need to share to see if anyone can explain it.

    So I started taking it about 1 year ago, I love it, love having it in my body doing it’s thing but after about 3 or 4 weeks the skin on my eyelids started drying out. It felt weird but I didn’t really pay attention until flakes of skin almost scabby started dropping off so I treated with coconut oil and it was fine after a few days. A week or 2 and it returned so back to the coconut oil treatment and this went on for a few months. I was just hoping it would stop but it didn’t so I started thinking it might be to do with the kefir. I stopped it for about 10 weeks and the eyes were fine so I started it and again a few weeks later the battle began again and I had to give up. I threw the kefir in the garbage and the eyes were perfect once again.

    Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago and I picked up a new bit and started again, I really want to be taking it but here I am with 2 drying up eyelids and the coconut oil back on the go.

    What the heck is going on?????

    • Christina

      I just started drinking it today, and I feel like the skin around my eyes is burning, but also my face. I’d compare it to feeling like I have a sunburn with aloe vera applied to it. I sure hope that I don’t experience the same problem as you.

  • John Spencer

    Hi I have just produced my first batch Kefir from the Kefir company and was wondering if, even though I a following the instructions to the letter I am doing it right?
    My finished product is a it speckly and lumpy like turned milk and has a very tart taste. I have also experienced quite a bad upset stomach sine drinking the first litre.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  • Manop Maseekuk

    Can my wife drink kefir after delivered our son ? Any effect on her Breast milk feeding to my new baby. Thank you.

  • Kasia

    Hey guys, I grew up on store bought kefir and just recently started making my own. My first two batches were great, last two however were strange, they had thick paint-like consistency. No curds, just thick like syrup or glue. Any ideas what might have happen? I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

  • Rose

    When I drink kefir at night I have a very difficult time sleeping. Does anyone know if there is anything about kefir that would cause insomnia if it is consumed late at night?

    • Francine Taylor

      Hmm, I find that it really helps me sleep at night. However, some of my friends have complained of insomnia, usually when they try to drink too much too quickly. (bear in mind that we drink water kefir, but I think the principle applies to milk as well). I tell them just drink three swallows the first night, four the second, and work your way up slowly.

    • Christina

      Kefir is fermented, so it has alcohol in it. Alcohol first acts as a depressant when processed through the body, but it is then converted to a stimulant. It is why you are waking up at night. Don’t drink it before you go to bed.

  • Eva


    I have had an extreme weird reaction to Kefir. I drank it for the first time three times this week, but after drinking it I developed a weird brain fog and whoozy, drunk and dizzy feeling. I also feel extremely depressed and my acne has worsened. Prior to drinking the kefir my skin had a few pimples but not too bad and I felt fine. I thought maybe it was a detox reaction and so I begon drinking lots and lots of water with lemon in it and haven’t taken any kefir for 3 days now. But the brain fog and drunk feeling are not going away. What could this be? An allergy to yeast? Leaky gut that has permitted some of the strains to leak into the blood barrier and cause a toxic reaction? And what can I do about it? I really would like it to go away because I feel sooo bad :(.

    • Bea

      Milk can give people acne if they’re sensitive to it. Doesn’t matter whether it’s kefir milk or not (no matter what anyone tells you trust your instincts bc milk is proven to cause acne in certain people). Maybe try water kefir instead, as it’s non-dairy. As for the “brain fog” i think this is due to spending WAY too much time looking things up on the internet. You have drunk kefir 3x and you’re already diagnosing yourself with all sorts of crap. You got to stop stressing and chill out.

      You can’t let yourself obsess about things like “leaky gut” and yeast overgrowth or yeast allergies because you’ll just end up making yourself sick (not just in the head but bodily, as well). So take a step back and consider it seriously. If you truly think you’re suffering from some sort of condition (other than stress) go to a doctor for a real diagnosis bc contrary to what you may have read on the internet most doctors are well aware of these conditions and they have real tests for them.

  • Robert o donnell

    Hi, I got water keifer grains saturday and i haven’t changed the water or fed them yet. Today is Wednesday. What can I do to make sure there still good?

    • Francine Taylor

      I try to feed mine every two days. Just dump in some sugar and if bubbles start coming up you know it is still alive. Once a week I completely change the water. I start with a clean jar, and let the water sit for 24 hours to remove chlorine. Then pour in some sugar (I do about 1/4 cup sugar in a medium sized spaghetti jar of water) a dab of dark molasses and put a lid on and shake it up to dissolve. Drop in a clean, dry eggshell (rinse out all the egg right after the egg is cracked and leave to dry). Then add the kefir. I like to keep it covered (loosely, do *not* seal or you may have an explosion, I almost lost an eye once) to keep out insects.

  • oldskool

    Large dumps? I have been drinking about 16 oz of milk kefir every day for about 2 months now…it has gotten me regular but I am concerned about the large amount of turds…the pile is way more food than I eat in a day with some going from the bottom of the drain hole to about 2 inches out of the water laid up on the side. I have even had a few scrape my rear cheek as they fall like trees instead of dropping into the bowl. Is this normal. Little bit worried here

  • Rosmery Pedroso Garcia

    Is my kefir meant to curdle? The milk has completely curdeled and the kefir has separated! I think the room was too hot for it; it’s very sour! Thank you in advance

    • Foxcliffe

      yes as it ferments whey will form and, eventually, the curds will float on top. The way to prevent this is too give it an occasional stir.

      Once the kefir is decanted the same thing will happen again, but just give it a stir or shake and everything will be fine.

    • Stephen Tai

      I live in Sarawak, Malaysia, where the weather is pretty hot every day, I made my kefir at 7pm and by 7am it is ready to drink. It taste not too sour. I put all the 1/2 the kefir grains from the colander back to the bottle jar and pour about 100ml fresh milk close the lid tight, shake it and place it in the lower compartment of the fridge. At 7 pm I will take it out from the fridge pour in about 400ml Fresh milk, shake it, and then place it on the table with the lid open and cover with a clean cloth. I usually drink 150ml Kifer mix with my blanded fruit juice for my breakfast

  • Michal Sestak

    Are my kefir grains spoiled? For some time now, it makes this weird mold on top of the kefir.

    • Foxcliffe

      It just looks like you are leaving to to stand for too long. Try giving it a regular stir.

  • Cindy Wheeler Way

    Hi everyone… I have enjoyed store bought kefir with no side effects but recently started making my own and have immediate slight nausea and bloating –then loose stool…is this normal?? should I stick with it to see if it goes away?? I have not had any gut in the past and have no problem with dairy. Thanks!!

    • Foxcliffe

      Sounds like you started with too large a portion. The gut needs easing in to a kefir diet otherwise the resident bacteria go into revolt. Some recommend that you start with just a spoonful and gradually build up to a glass.

      I would suggest you stop for a few days to allow you system to settle down and then gradually reintroduce kefir into your diet.

  • Chad

    Can I replace milk with milk kefir? I drink quite a bit of milk but it seems that kefir would be a bit more healthy. Thoughts?

    • Foxcliffe

      Yes but don’t start off drinking it by the glass full.

  • Leslie Morantine

    Yes indeed you can freeze them. I’m working with a batch now that
    have been frozen almost a year. I’ve been culturing milk kefir for
    about 4-5 years now. You have to boil a large pot of water and let it
    cool to room temp, use that to rinse your grains very well of all milk.
    I take 2 layers of thick paper towel and place rinsed grains on that,
    then blot with more paper towel (gently) and let them air dry a few
    minutes only. Then take a large zip-loc freezer bag and Carnation
    Instant Nonfat Powdered Milk and pour the powder into the bag and place
    your grains inside let the dry powered milk coat your grains really
    well. Add more dry powdered milk, don’t be stingy with this as it will
    protect your grains. Push all air out of bag and seal it take a marker
    and write date on bag. Put in top shelf of the door of your freezer
    and don’t let anything get laid on top of it. I have successfully
    frozen kefir grains for 6 months they bounce back very quickly. It’s
    great to be able to take a break from culturing, but now I’m craving
    kefir and can’t wait until mine start to form pockets of whey. I have
    another batch in my freezer I’m going to work with this December to see
    if they can revive after being frozen 1-1/2 years. If you want my
    instructions I’ve written on how to bring them back (you have to use
    less milk and very gradually increase ratio of milk to grains) write me
    at and I’ll send you a copy of my booklet I’ve

  • Anthony

    Hello, Not sure if people still use this forum but I have a quick question. I just realized that I have been mistaken curds with kefir grains this whole time. How do I decipher between grains and curds? I strain it all through and I get small white, cloudy puffs and I don’t know if there grains or curds. I fear I may have thrown the grains out when i over fermented and now im just creating curds instead of actual kefir. Is that possible? please help, Thanks!

    • Blue

      The curds will break up when squeezed or crushed, while the grains will be more like a sponge (jelly-like almost) and retain their shape somewhat. It may be hard to tell with the smaller grains though. I personally don´t bother with the small grains since I have enough large ones for my own fermentation. Unlike the norm, I also do not use a sieve to strain my kefir, I ferment the kefir in a mason jar overnight and just dump it all into a bowl and scoop out all the grains with a spoon. It may be possible that even if you have thrown out all the grains that the curds you have been saving will still have the kefir bacteria in them. Does it still taste like kefir? But you would have to see if the kefir ferments or not in your next batch, you may need new grains.

      • Anthony

        Thanks a lot for the response! I really appreciate it. The next batch did taste like kefir. I think I’m down to very small grains or possible just the bacteria on the curds(seems hard to tell, as you said) I going to keep trying and see if they grow, if not, Ill have to order some new grains. Thanks again.

        • Foxcliffe

          You must still have some grains in there because otherwise your ferment would become so weakened that you’d end up getting something more and more like plain milk each time you made a new brew.

          My grains can get quite small but I’ve never had them small enough to pass through a sieve. Try changing the conditions a bit and see if they will grow; where you leave you kefir to brew, cooler/warmer, lighter/darker, try a different milk – goats milk is good, or sheep, or my preferred is jersey.

    • gentlehands

      I have the same issue. When I strain it, I never have cauliflower-gummy grains grow, just soft lumps (curds?) and whey. They both taste good, continue making more and are useful but wonder If I’m getting the full benefits of kefir. I am doing all the proper things. Will they ever grow. ccurred to me that I may have mesophyllic yogurt not kefir. Thoughts?

      • Foxcliffe

        See what I have just written above, in reply to Anthony, but don’t worry about your grains being small. Small grains are better as they have a greater surface area. If your grains ever start to grow large then you are better to break them up for this reason.

    • Foxcliffe

      If you had thrown out all your grains all you would be making would be sour milk. If you are getting kefir then you still have grains left.

      If you are using a plastic sieve to decant, as you should be, you can gently rub the curds against it with the back of a spoon. Curds will pass through grains won’t. The grains are quite resilient to gentle treatment so don’t be too worried about damaging them.

      Alternatively you can put them in a jar, cover with fresh milk, screw the lid on tightly and give the whole thing a jolly good shake. This will disperse the curds and any solids left should be grains. I do this with every fresh brew.

      You should not allow curds to remain on the grains otherwise you weaken their ability to perform. Curds stop access to fresh milk and the grains will eventually starve to death.

      • Anthony

        Thanks! I can’t seem to isolate the grains in my strainer. But I think I’m making kefir cause within 12 hours, it’s starts to curd up and milk does not do the same. It also has the tart taste and I’m not sure if sour milk would have that.

  • Stefan

    Can anyone tell me if they’ve had this happen to their kefir whey?
    If so, is the whey still safe to use?

    • Blue

      In my experiences of kefir making, I have never seen this before. Even when I over-ferment. I would not try to use this.

    • Foxcliffe

      This looks like the whey hasn’t been adequately strained. It looks as if some of your kefir has made it through the cloth then separated. Curds will always float. In future use linen or a jelly bag rather than cheesecloth or whatever you have used.

      To be honest though, to be on the safe side without a closer inspection, I would pour this on the garden or compost heap rather than drink it.

  • Naomi

    So have have been making & drinking water Kefir for about 3 weeks. I love it! The first week I felt sick but I figured it was because my gut has been so screwed up from taking antibiotics all the time for sinus infections. The 2nd week was a lot better. I started loosing weight & have way more energy. So now I’m at week 3 & have lost 10lbs. But my face feels flushed & sometimes inflamed in the sinuses. I was told by my doctor I have airborne allergies to 2 grasses, 2 types of dust, American Cockroaches & cat hair. Now I constantly keep my house clean & have my cats groomed regularly. Besides, the allergist said after awhile you get immune to your cats. They are 9 & 4. Also take Nasocort & Zyrtec daily.

    Now have read that Kefir helps with allergies & I am wondering if the sinus issues are actually a die-off process in my face & not really an allergy issue. Another reason I think it might be die-off is I haven’t had any vertigo issues like I normally do since I have the inner ear disease Meniere’s.

    Anyone else have or had the same issue?

    • Foxcliffe

      It is certainly possible for symptoms to get worse in the initial stages of kefir consumption. Other users have reported this happening. I would be worried about a 10lb weight loss over 3 weeks unless you have been taking other measures though.