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Kefir green

My Kefir Is Too Sour!!!

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Kefir greenPerhaps you’ve seen this happen, and it even happens to me from time to time: My kefir will get really sour. This can happens for several reasons.

  • During your first ferment you let your kefir ferment too long on your counter, or your house might be warmer than usual.
  • Kefir will also ferment quicker if your grains have grown and multiplied, and you didn’t increase the milk or remove some of the grains.
  • You leave your finished kefir in the fridge for a long time and don’t drink it. Remember that kefir still ferments a little in your fridge. The longer it is in there, the more the bacteria will eat the sugars out of the milk and make it sour.

Here are some of the things you can do to make this better:

  • Second fermenting your kefir will always help with kefir that is sour. It really makes it taste so much better. Whenever you add something to kefir to second ferment, be it fruit or the peel of fruit, you give the good bacteria something else to eat instead. The bacteria turns it into probiotics and they love it. It is essentially like feeding the bacteria again, which in turn makes your kefir less sour.
  • Instead of making your regular recipe with a large amount of kefir, split it up. For instance, instead of using a cup of kefir for a recipe, only use a 1/2 of a cup and then use regular milk, coconut milk, or my favorite -kefir cottage cheese, and blend it together. It’s a lot less sour this way.
  • You can also add some more milk to your super sour kefir and let it ferment again on the counter for 4 to 6 hours. This will help it to lessen the sharp twang. You don’t need to add kefir grains. It will work without them because the kefir is so strong.
  • Make your kefir into a fruit smoothie! (see recipe below) The fruit I add most often to help with the sourness is a banana. I’m not sure why but bananas seem to help a lot in cutting down on the sourness of kefir.
  • One more ingredient that helps significantly is vanilla or lemon extract. It tends to mellow out the flavors. You can also add my own homemade rum vanilla to my smoothies, ice cream, and desserts in general. I usually add a 1/2 tbsp.
Kefir Green Smoothie
CulturedFoodLife.com
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I probably make this smoothie at least once a week for my husband Ron. It's one of his favorite smoothies. I add a scoop of Vitality Supergreen to give him extra goodies and probiotics.~Donna
Ingredients
  • 1/2cup Kefir
  • 1/2cup Coconut Milkor regular milk or kefir cottage cheese. (recipe in my book)
  • handful spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2tablespoon lemon extract
  • 1cup ice
  • 3tsp powder Steviaor honey or sucanat
Servings: serving
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender
    Place all ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend on high speed until smooth.
    Blend on high speed until smooth.
CulturedFoodLife.com

 

58 Responses to "My Kefir Is Too Sour!!!"
  1. Hi Donna,
    I got some new kefir grains last week, the kefir seems/tastes fine but the grains are so slimy. My last lot of grains was never like this. Is this normal, and l is there anything I can do to make them less slimy? Thanks.

  2. Hi, thank u for all this i formation but I need help!!! I bought some kefir grains on ebay. About 2 tablespoons I added 1 1/2 cups of whole milk in a glass jar cover with a paper coffee filter,that I’ve made some holes on. Is the third time I make a batch each time 24 hr fermentation,and all 3 times the milk smells like rotten, I do get a little thick, I guess yogurt but is toooo sour and it looks like the milk is spoiled. Please I hope u can help. By the way I’ve seen the kefir grain grow a little. Is there anyway kefir grain be dead and still grow?

  3. The best way I have found to make kefir smooth, creamy and much less sour is if you have seperation of whey at the bottom of jar, just take a turkey bulb baster and extract the whey from the bottom of jar before you strain out the grains. Also, just after you extract the whey and before you strain the grains, stir up the the mixture really well and then strain off the grains. Another hint is before you insert your turkey baster into the bottom of the jar, depress the bulb first so that you can then insert it and suck out the whey without blowing bubbles into it and mixing it up. This is so easy and you get rich creamy kefir every time. Then go ahead with your second ferment.

  4. Is is just as beneficial for health to second ferment my kefir with dried fruits like dates, raisins or plums as it is when using banana, lemon or orange?

      • Thank you, Donna, for your answear.
        I would also like to ask if second fermenting kefir with dried dates are safe for a candida sufferer to eat, since candida grows better when eating such sugary fruits. And also, after second fermenting, if the kefir is not fizzy when I open the jar it means it hasn”t fermented properly?

        • I is better to use orange or lemon peel if your a candida sufferer. It does not need to be fizzy to be fermented proberly it iw more about the taste. If its tart or sour it is fermented.

  5. hi donna i just bought grains few days ago,they sold me 1 tablespoon now in 3 days i got even 4 spoons they multiply so quickly maybe cause i use milk from the farm but my question is when i drink it got strong smell of yeast is that normal or im doing something wrong?

  6. Hi if I have keifer already in my fridge made do I add fruit then put back in fridge or leave out? Thanks

  7. I bought live kefir grains last summer and I have not been able to figure it out. I have tried culturing for 8 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours and even longer both on the counter an in the fridge. What I end up with is watery and sour. It seems like I’ve just left milk out and it’s gone bad. It’s never creamy (I use 2%), and it tastes rancid to me. If I leave it longer then it curdles and separates and the ‘cheese’ is still a bit rancid. I’ve tried rinsing the grains and starting again, but it’s always sour and rancid both in taste and smell. Are they dead? The only thing I have to compare with is Lifeway kefir which is like drinkable yogurt (creamy and sweet). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Lindsay,
      I had the hardest time getting my kefir to ferment to a creamy consistency at first also. I purchase dehydrated grains first ansd they never worked. I then purchased live grains and they did exactly as you described. I read somewhere that chopping the grains up helps to have more surface exposure between the milk and grains. So i ran them in my food processor! I then had it culturing within 6 to 8 hours and it was so sour i could not stand it! I played around with the ratios of milk to grains and finally slowed things down to culture within 24 hours. I use organic whole milk and never change brands and my kefir is so wonderful and creamy now! My grains are multiplying like crazy! I really beleive that the grains needs to adjust and stabelize for a time. If they are separating and smell like yeast, they are working. I did an experiment and left a cup of milk out to spoil because I was worried, like you, that I was drinking rotten milk! It reassured me that it was working as it was supposed to be. I also switched from Lifeway, and it is confusing when we expect it to be like that! Play with the ratios, but instead of just adding more milk, divide your grains into 2 quart sized jars instead of one and see what happens.
      Don’t give up! It is so very wonderful when it starts working correctly! Lifeway doesn’t come close anymore!
      Laurie

    • Hello! Most people when they get their Kefir grains for the first time make the mistake of making a large batch of kefir and then they wonder why it’s not thick or creamy like yoghurt. Start out with a 1/4 or 1/2 cup of milk. I use powdered milk and make it a strong solution for them. I place mine in a cool dark place for a day. I shake it every once in awhile. In-fact during cool weather I place it in my bicycle bottle holder and it loves the constant vibrations. If you watch the kefir in the jar you will see it floats to the top, so the kefir is thick up there and watery to the bottom of the jar, you need to stir it or shake it up. Then prior to separating it from the grains I shake the jar vigorously so I don’t have to smash the grains. To grow a cup of kefir grains its going to take a few months. I have left mine in a jar for about a month with just a little bit of milk and they have survived, so they are pretty hardy organisms I doubt you have killed them. Also, if you buy kefir from different suppliers then you can mixed the strains and make a harder strain.

  8. We just got our grains on Friday, started fermenting right away; it doesn’t seem like anything is working. First fermentation . . . at 17 hours (today) still very liquidy, doesn’t seem to thicken at all. The others we’ve done even at 24 hours, no thickening . . . my husband thinks our grains are no good – we did purchase from you. We are doing second fermentation as well, but being we haven’t had Kefir, unsure of the whole process. Can only say our Kefir after second fermentation is as liquidy as it was when it started!

  9. until I am in a position to make my own can I ‘second ferment’ store bought kefir? … such as Lifeways product?… would want to do this not for more sweetness .. it is plenty so … but rather to increase the healthful bacteria you speak of … thank you for any thoughts

  10. Hi Donna,
    I have your book but haven’t read it all yet. I’m in Australia and have only been able to buy powder not grains. I followed the packet instructions but found after 24hrs it still was very liquid. The company advised me to leave it out overnight again and check in the morning. In the morning it had totally separated and there was a big chunk on the top like ricotta cheese and whey underneath. It didn’t smell foul but the company said throw it out and they have sent me a new packet to try. Just want to know what you think as you seem so knowledgeable on Keffir. I can’t wait to actually start using this stuff.
    Thanks

  11. My first couple batches of (raw) milk Kefir did turn out a bit sour, but I tried your smoothy recipe and it is awesome! Sweet and delicious! I’m also going to do a secondary ferment to experiment!
    Thanks – great site!

  12. Dear Donna,
    Thanks for all your hard work as I have been telling everyone about your sight and about cultured foods.
    I wanted to know what I can do with my kefir cheese that as been in refrigerator for over a week, maybe longer, (just do not want to get rid of it, breaks my heart) in a tight container but is real fermented. Do you have any recipes for the kefir cheese at this stage as I have been making a lot of whey for sodas and so I have lots of cheese. I have also look at a lot of recipes as well.
    Thanks!!!!

  13. Can I sweeten the Kefir that has already second fermented and been put in the fridge? Instead of adding things to it while it’s fermenting? Idk when it’s done fermenting and I always seem to over ferment.. It’s getting kind of frustrating trying to make it to my husbands taste he hates it. He was expecting it to be sweeter like Vanilla Yogart. Idk what to tell him cause I haven’t figured it out yet.. I wanted to try your vanilla but we don’t use alcohol. Is there a recipe without it?

  14. Hi Donna,
    I second fermented with banana and the kefir is like curdles and separating. How can I save the raw milk kefir.
    Thanks so much!

  15. How do you second ferment? Do you just add fruit and let it sit longer to make it sweeter? Will that work with the powered culture kefir or just the grains?

    Thank you!

  16. Hello! I’ve been second fermenting my kefir for the last week with organic strawberries. I’m out now of fresh organic fruit except for apples. Can I use those? Or can I use organic frozen fruit?
    Thanks!!!!
    I’ve ordered your book and it’s supposed to come in Saturday! Can’t wait!
    Thanks!
    Kellye

  17. When my kefir first started thickening, it looked curdled and it smelled bad, so I added a tbs of homemade yogurt to it, and now it smells better but it is still curdling. The moment it thickens, it curdles. I read that curdling is what makes yogurt, etc. thicken so why is mine not creamy but has a grainy curdled texture? (It reminds me of the time I added eggs to my hot broth) When I used raw milk my kefir was perfect and tasty. This has a more of a soured taste. I also read that raw milk will never go bad if left out on the counter but pasteurized milk will go bad. I’m wondering if I’m never going to get it thick and creamy because it’s pasteurized, although Lifeway has wonderful kefir. This is the 3rd time I’ve tried pasteurized milk.

    • You can get great kefir with pasteurized milk the more fat in the milk the more creamy it will be. If it is curdling you are not ading enough milk try adding more and them it won’t curdle.

      • So what I did was, I added 2 tbs cream to it then put a lid on the jar instead of a coffee filter and now it is thick and creamy and a bit bubbly. It’s still more sour than my raw milk kefir but I can live with it now, although my teenager won’t drink it. Thanks for responding! I finally feel like I’m moving forward.

  18. My milk is thin after fermenting 24 hours, and it smells sour, plus my kefir isnt growing much. I got them off ebay a week ago…they seemed well the first couple times… I noticed a little slime the last time around…are they ok?? Am I missing something? Thanks…

    • They may not have all the right strains of bacteria. If its not thickening and souring then they aren’t strong enough kefir grains. But let them ferment longer than 24 hours and see how they do.

  19. Please help! My friend gave me a quart jar with Kefir and grains saying, “These are my babies…” I am afraid that I wasn’t a very good friend…my new kefir sat in its jar in the fridge for the summer and this week I tried to bring it back to life. I have done at least three batches…each time the kefir grains and milk sit in my cupboard for 24 hours and the result looks, tastes and smells like sour milk. As I’ve never drank kefir before, I have no idea what it is supposed to taste like. I enjoy yogurt and this is nothing like it. I really don’t like wasting milk. If you could offer me any suggestions, that would be so appreciated.
    With sincere thanks,
    Cynthia

  20. Inspiring story.. Thank you… I make my own kefir. I drink it every day.. It is very sour smelling but drink it anyway.. It has grown so I put a cup full in the fridge.. Today I only had whole milk instead of organic. Is that ok? My kefir looks more like cottage cheese than cauliflower. Is that ok? My daughter says my kitchen smells like vomit. Is that ok? Help!!

  21. Will Kefir help my daughters excema on her hand which appears to be spreading, and very ichy?

    • All of these foods help but you have to heal the underlying problems that are causing the skin to act in this way. Cultured foods will help with any underlying condition such as this.

      • wow, that was a quick reply all the way to New Zealand! thankyou. Wish I could figure out the underlying problem but will definitely try the Kefir. Blessings.

  22. Okay so I know sprouted flour is more shelf stable, but why when made into something it has to be In the fridge or it will spoil quickly.

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