What is Kefir?

Kefir is a cultured, creamy product with amazing health attributes.

Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.

For the lactose intolerant, kefir’s abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process.

How is Kefir Made?

Kefir can be made from any type of milk, cow, goat or sheep, coconut, rice or soy. Although it is slightly mucous forming, the mucous has a “clean” quality to it that creates ideal conditions in the digestive tract for the colonization of friendly bacteria.

Kefir is made from gelatinous white or yellow particles called “grains.” This makes kefir unique, as no other milk culture forms grains. These grains contain the bacteria/yeast mixture clumped together with casein (milk proteins) and complex sugars. They look like pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower and range from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a hazelnut. Some of the grains have been known to grow in large flat sheets that can be big enough to cover your hand!. The grains ferment the milk, incorporating their friendly organisms to create the cultured product. The grains are then removed with a strainer before consumption of the kefir and added to a new batch of milk.

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  • vrajavala

    Started kefir with my 11 yr old granddaughter who is a juvenile diabetic. She was experiencing diabetes. She didnt care for yogurt.

  • Sutton

    I have been told that unless Kefir is made from cows milk it is illegal under American and International agreements. Does anybody know about this? I wanted to start producing but was threatened with legal action by Ametican lawyers because mine wasn’t cows milk.

  • Umisha Bhatia

    we tried to make kefir from grains at home.. but it didnt really work out…epic fail!I found a really good ready to drink kefir on ebay:

    its easier then making your own!

  • I have a friend who is literally living on kefir. She claims that she’s never felt better, and I feel like it’s over the top, excessive, and to be quite honest… kind of insane. I feel like it couldn’t possible be good to drink several of these each day as a sole means of sustenance, but she is doing it and claims that it’s working for her. She is not overweight at all (in fact maybe slightly underweight). Is she completely crazy? Either way, if you guys need a Kefir spokesperson, maybe she’s your girl!

  • I hav

  • Terry Donovan

    Hi…what does the expiration date signify…do the beneficial ingredients ‘die off’ at that date or does the drink go sour after that date…..

  • Jim Bertus

    Our Kefir has gotten a few clumps of what I would say has taken on a hew of the color “Coral” …is this of concern and any idea what’s up? Appreciate it ….Jim

  • Jackie Enfield Dezeeuw

    Does the grocery store have kefir or do you have to purchase else where ?

  • Greglovesinformation

    Do you have to strain out the Water Kefir grains every time, or can you just keep adding more distilled water and cane sugar?

    • MrZ

      Don’t use distilled water. The grains need the minerals that are naturally present in water. It is wise to use filtered water, though, to make sure the chlorine is out. It’s best to strain the grains each time they are used.

      • Greglovesinformation

        I almost forgot I had this question out there. Thank you Mr. Z for your advice regarding not using distilled water due to lack of minerals. I’m only scared about what maybe in the water I could use ( since I don’t have a proper water filter yet and most water filters on the market aren’t exactly trust worthy). So I may need to add a little high mineral sea salt (with the distilled water) to the Water Kefir Grains to add the extra minerals. Once again, thanks for your response.


        • Spike

          I wouldn’t use salt in the mixture. There are reputable brands of filtered spring water that would work just fine. Good luck!

  • Melissa Smith

    Kefir is a fermented milk product that originated centuries ago in the Caucasus mountains, and is now enjoyed by many different cultures worldwide, particularly in Europe and Asia. It can be made from the milk of any ruminant animal, such as a cow, goat, or sheep. It is slightly sour and carbonated due to the fermentation activity of the symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that make up the โ€œgrainsโ€ used to culture the milk (not actual grains, but a grain-like matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars that feed the microbes.with my best wishes,melissa from http://www.cavediet.net

  • Loren

    What is detoxing?

    • Matt Flannery

      Your liver and kidneys working. Any other kind is a scam

  • Sarah

    My Kefir separates at the bottom, is this normal? Also what is the kefir grain to milk ratio should be? thanks in advance

    • BludBaut

      Seems like no one answered you about a tablespoon to a quart of milk.More will just speed up the fermentation just as more heat. I’ve seen different figures on heat with the most conservative “72-78” and the widest “60-90” degrees.

    • TTeddy

      I joined a Facebook group which has been a great help

  • Jules

    I’ve left kefir milk & grains on the bench for 48hrs. Is this too long and will it still be ok to consume?

    • BludBaut

      I just read Neri (above) leaves hers out for a week. Perhaps she has a cool home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • susan awad

    hi all can somebody tell me if kefir is usful for diabets as i drink a cup of milk from kefir every 48 hours like to know if it is ok or not thks a million

    • Matt Flannery

      Its got a gob of sugar in it. Much is eaten by bacteria, but not all. So I would guess no

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  • Molly Rossmiller

    Hi Everyone, I have water kefir and they are VERY healthy, my milk keifer, however, were never very good and eventually after having to leave them in the refidgerator for 6 weeks they died. I experimented with the water kefir which were abundant and put milk over a few of them. I now have kefir every morning from both water and now milk.
    I have wondered if i should have put milk on the wate kefir, would it have the same benefits? will they eventually die?
    would appreciate some advice, thanks, Molly

  • Jacob

    I have live water and milk kefir grains to share. Email [email protected] if interested.

    • Lisa Smyth

      Hi Jacob, can you make dairy free coconut kefir from water grains? Lisa NZ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reyna Dolande

    I don’t have time to do my own Kefir….is the one selling in the supermarket “Lifeway “Kefir .( i buy plain 1% milk fat.. o.k????) and i like to know if have the same friendly bacteria than the “grains”?

    • Jacob

      Supermarket kefir has fewer strains of bacteria and does not contain any yeast. It’s still good for you – just not as much as homemade kefir.

      • I used to buy mine at the store for 6.00 and it was a very small container. Now there are 6 of us in my family so one container was barely enough for all of us so that would be one container a day for only one serving each. Later I found that same container for 3.00 witch was better but still not good enough. Now I got my own grains and I buy a gallon of organic milk witch is 6.00$ but I can make enough kefir for a whole week. It takes about five minutes to do the process of straining maybe less. I am telling you I am super happy doing it this way it is so easy. Plus you actually know exactly what you are adding to it no hidden ingredients. Give it a try it is so easy, low cost and healthier.

    • Graham Ansell

      preparing home made kefir takes less time than it does to post on an internet forum.

  • littlemissgoodhealth

    I have been suffereing from chronic diarrhea and constipation for years and i was wondering if kefir will help me get balanced. The doctors took me several tests and can’t figure out what i have, everything comes back negative. One of my doctors told me i “might” have ibs but i don’t think i do, can anyone help?

    • jana

      You have IBS,trust me, I know!

      • littlemissgoodhealth

        what are you using jana, do you have the same thing too?

    • Pam

      Go wheat and gluten free. Study all about the horrible things that wheat, wheat products, and other whole grains do to us that few know about and others won’t tell us about! There’s a GREAT book called, “Lose the wheat, lose the weight”. The title BARELY scratches the surface and it changed the way I eat!!

      • BludBaut

        Do you know that it’s not “wheat” but the GMO wheat that replaced the wheat some decades ago? The “new improved” is where the problem with gluten first appeared.

        • Matt Flannery

          There is no GMO Wheat on the market. Gluten is only an issue for celiac’s sufferers. For everyone else, it is just a protein