I often get asked this question. My kefir has separated is it ruined? It creates quite a panic for people and they fear they have done something wrong. Many many throw it out which gives me complete anxiety. First let me say, it is never ruined it is just really fermented. One of two things has happened. You have too many grains for the amount of milk you are using and need to add more milk, or your house is warmer and it fermenting faster.
So what to do? You can separate the grains from the kefir and then mix up the kefir by stirring or shaking the jar. Then you can drink it or store it. If it is overly sour you can add some fresh or frozen fruit to it and let it sit for 4 hours or 6 hours on your counter and the bacteria will eat some of the sugar in your fruit and make the kefir taste milder and increase the nutrients. For more info you can look at my second fermenting page.
Sometimes it is hard to separate the grains from the kefir when it gets like this. The best way to do this is to put it in a strainer and as the whey goes to the bottom of the bowl, take some of the whey out of the bowl and pour in over the clump of kefir stirring with a spatula until it thins it out. You may have to do this several times.
Please don’t throw it away, or better yet don’t tell me if you do. It’s like throwing away liquid gold to me and I just can’t sleep at night when I know these things. You can always make kefir cheese with it or blend it in a blender and make a smoothie or a million other things.
I am preserving kefir one day at a time, when in turn it will preserve me. We love each other and have each others back. Which is how it was always meant to be.