How to Make Kefir

Just leave it on the counter….along with your beet kvass and sauerkraut!

I like to tell people that making kefir is easier than NOT making kefir. 

How can that be?

Well, ’cause it’s basically just leaving a jar of milk on the counter instead of putting it away in the fridge (something I procrastinate about all the time). Oh, and you add a little starter. So simple!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 gallon of fresh, raw milk
  • 1 package kefir powder
  • sterilized glass jar with lid

I get my kefir powder from my favorite grocery store, Wegman’s, in the health food section. The brand is yogourmet. I pay about $5 for a package which is not bad when you consider how many batches of kefir I can make with it. Once you have made kefir, you can save 1/2 cup from the first batch to start the next one, like yogurt making, and you only have to use a new package of powder every 5th or 6th time. So, lots of batches in that little box.

There’s also a way to make kefir with grains, and once you get the grains, you can reuse them for, like, forever. But I haven’t gotten my hands on any grains yet, so I just use the powder. Works great for me in this season ’cause it’s so easy. Speaking of which,

Here’s how you do it…

  1. Pour milk into clean jar. 
  2. Stir one package powder into milk (non metallic is recommended)
  3. Screw on cap and leave jar on counter. 

Kefir is done when it’s slightly set – you’ll see it turn from a liquid to more like a yogurt consistency. This usually takes about 24-36 hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. Then you put it in the fridge to store it. How long you keep it is a matter of preference – I like to consume mine within a week or it becomes too tart and yeasty.

I wish someone had told me how easy it was to make kefir – I’d have started making it years ago! I wish they had told me how good it was in smoothies – better than yogurt! Actually, someone probably told me, and I just wasn’t listening. That’s why I decided to blog about kefir today. I kept telling myself “Oh, so many other real food bloggers have already posted about kefir – it’s old hat for most people – I don’t need to post about it!” But maybe this time you’ll say, “You know, I really ought to try that – it does sound easy and yummy!”

‘Cause it is. Easy. And Yummy. Oh, and did I mention good for you?

  • It’s a natural antibiotic
  • Contains completely different microorganisms than yogurt,
  • Doesn’t usually bother people with lactose intolerance because the culturing process consumes most of the lactose.
  • Restores the digestive tract. 

 I have to say that kefir was one of the easiest whole food steps I’ve made – it was super easy to incorporate it into my weekly food prep routine. I encourage you to try it this week!

Don’t have a source for raw milk? You can use pasteurized, but should try to find non-homogenized. Or, even better, check out this directory of raw milk suppliers.

Do you like kefir? Do you make your own? What do you use it for? So far, I only use it in smoothies, but my friend, Claire, drinks it plain! How about you?

This post is part of Pennywise Platter over at Nourishing Gourmet!

13 responses to “How to Make Kefir”

  1. Tammy Avatar

    Thank you so much for all your information. I have a batch just ready now. I was wondering though why it is not recommended to use Homogenized milk? Sincerely Tammy

    1. Trina Avatar

      Homogenized milk is very difficult to digest–if it is all you have, it will still work, but it’s not ideal for your health.

  2. […] How to Make Kefir โ€“ from All that Is Good (powder directions) […]

  3. Trina Avatar

    Janet – I'm about as lost as you are – here are my thoughts, though –

    -smelling like sour milk isn't a bad thing – if you see pink or orange mold/bacteria growth, that is bad. I'd give it another day.

    winter is harder for culturing milk because the bacteria count can be higher in the milk 'cause the cows are confined in the barn. I have had a few batches fail this winter and have had to just try again, with a little more starter to try and keep the good bacteria out-numbering the bad. I'm gonna call my friend and mentor and ask what might have gone wrong.

    yeah, i don't heat my milk, either.

  4. Penn and Janet Avatar

    Ok, so I made it, but it doesn't look like it got thicker. It was out for almost 48 hours and the cream is still rising to the top. It smells like sour milk. Do you think I did something wrong?

    The directions on the kiefer package said to heat the milk, but I didn't do that since you are able to make it by not heating.

    Any thoughts??

  5. Trina Avatar

    Janet – I save 1/2 cup of kefir to start the next batch – sorry I left that info out! I edited the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I haven't done anything with my kefir but smoothies and cooking. I'm reminded coming back here that I wanted to try Farmer's Wyfe's tips for getting her kids to drink it.

    And yes, I would use plain kefir to start the next batch.

  6. Penn and Janet Avatar


    Have you ever sweetened your kefir? I was thinking about blending in some fruit, maybe adding a little florida crystals?

    How much starter do you save for the next batch? And I assume it would have to be saved from the plain kefir, right?

    Thanks for showing me how to make it. My kids love it and it is so expensive to buy.

  7. mira Avatar

    I have kefir grains. Are you going to be in the Hornell area any time soon? Or maybe some of that family is coming your way? Would love to share the bounty.

  8. Trina Avatar

    oh, farmer's wyfe – thanks for the ideas on using kefir! I think I could handle drinking it with a little flavor like you suggested.

    I'm gonna keep my ear to the ground for some grains I could get locally…

  9. Farmer's Wyfe Avatar

    Funny! I was just thinking about doing a post on Kefir. I made a batch today. I have the grains; my sister in law gave them to me as part of my Christmas present. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I think she got them at a health food store). They are nice. Mine have doubled in size since Christmas and I just gave my mother half of my grains today. I like mine 2 or 3 days old and after I strain out the grains, I like to put some in a glass and ad a bit of pure maple syrup and a couple Tbs. of juice. I can't drink it straight: too tart for me! My 4 year old son LOVES it: thinks it's milkshake.
    I have used one batch that I didn't let sit long enough (was too much like milk) in pancakes, and I also substitute it for some of the oil/butter in muffins.

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    Thankyou! ๐Ÿ™‚ I can't wait to make some! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Trina Avatar

    Kefir doesn't really go bad – it just gets a stronger, tarter flavor. I enjoy the mild sweetness of kefir when it is less than a week old, so I usually make a batch every 5 or 7 days.

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    Trina, how long would it be good for?

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