How to Make Your Kefir Creamy Again

“Kefir is worth the trouble of making. Like all things virtuous, you have to struggle to gain the reward. Trust me, the rewards are many.” Donna

summer kefir In these summer months, has your kefir been fermenting faster and turning  into curds and whey before you know it? In the summertime, kefir can change and many people think something is wrong with their kefir; then they throw it away which gives me complete anxiety! Don’t throw it away, it’s still good. Let me help you fix it. As your kefir grains grow and multiply and as the days get warmer, kefir starts fermenting really fast and before you know it the kefir has passed the thick and creamy stage and turned into whey and curds. This does not look very appetizing and can often taste really sour. There are a couple of things you can do. Let your kefir ferment for a shorter time and watch it closely to see when it gets thick, then strain it; or you can add more milk or less grains and this will help slow the fermenting down too.

Here’s a time-lapse video showing you how kefir separates over time:

kefir seperating

If it has separated into whey and curds, don’t freak out! I have had people tell me some things they have done to make it creamy again and these ideas work pretty well.

I have a wonderful editor in New York who pulled the best from me while writing my book and became a great friend. I brought her kefir grains smuggled in my luggage when I went to New York, and she has been making kefir ever since. She sent me this message the other day when her kefir had been separating. I tried it and it worked great.

Hi Donna,

 I made the best kefir I’ve ever made this week. After it separated I shook it up and just put it in the fridge with the grains in it overnight. I strained it the next day and it was the most creamy, thick consistency ever.

Mmmm… ~ Laura

A member posted this on my Biotic Pro Membership forum  and this, too, works great.

From Bikerkim,

kefir spoon psI’ve been fermenting and following Donna for about a year now.  It’s so wonderful . . . changed my life. Now, on to a little secret way I found to make kefir super creamy. After separating out grains, just put the entire batch, usually 1/2 gal, into my Vita Mixer and blend on low speed for 20 seconds.  Pour back into 1/2 gal canning jar, put on plastic lid and place in fridge.  Comes out super smooth and creamy.  Seems the blending gets rid of the little lumps and changes the consistency to more like store bought kefir . . . maybe they blend too?  Then, before pouring out of the jar, stir with spatula to get uniformity.  Normally, the kefir will be thicker on top and thinner on bottom.  Don’t bother with second ferment anymore as this new procedure works so well.  One more hint, if you see whey at bottom of jar when removing from fridge, stir it versus shaking jar.  The shaking frees up CO2 in the kefir and it can spit at you when you open it.  Hope this helps.

Prebio PlusHere is another great tip. Give your kefir a prebiotic like Prebio Plus. Pre-biotics are food for bacteria and it will give your kefir something to eat, which will make your kefir creamy again. Give it a scoop of Prebio Plus (you can get it here) and shake it up and place it in the fridge and let it do it’s thing. In the morning it will be creamy again!
Don’t throw it away if it separates! Use it to make a delicious smoothie with lots of fresh or frozen fruit. Summer kefir can be yummy kefir and taste like ice cream with lots of frozen fruit blended in a blender.


If your kefir is too sour, here are some tips in this blog to help lessen that. CLICK HERE: HELP MY KEFIR IS TOO SOUR!

Check out my new slider on how to make kefir!

How to make kefir slider

27 Responses to "How to Make Your Kefir Creamy Again"
  1. I am having problems with my kefir. It is just too milky. It doesn’t get thick at all. If I let it stay on the counter for longer, it separates and I just have to throw it out – yuck. I will only eat it if it is thick. Should I just get a new bunch of grains or buy the finished product in the store. Your answer to someone above didn’t answer the question about watery kefir. Is there an answer?

  2. Hi Donna-
    Is it ok for the kefir grains if I add the Prebio Plus while it is fermenting? Is it good for them? Thanks -Mel

  3. I’ve been culturing Kefir for a few months now and have a theory about trying to make Kefir in temps under 68 F but above fridge temps. For instance if the temp is 60 degrees then I think the milk goes sour faster than the grains convert to Kefir. You then just end up with sour runny milk and not cultured Kefir. That is why it’s important to either culture at 68 and above or put in the fridge and culture over a longer period of time. I haven’t tried culturing in the fridge as suggested by others here but will give that a try for the next batch.

    • That is exactly the problem I am having. I just bought a heat mat and hope that this will resolve the problem. The separated kefir is not useful to me; it is very gritty and grainy.

  4. I always keep my milk kefir in the fridge. It can take up to 3 or 4 days to ferment depending on how much milk or grains I have. It really does taste better and have a better consistency then on the counter, PLUS I can consume it as soon as I strain it since it is already cold. I do not like warm milk kefir. This is also a way to only consume every few days. If you want more, stagger your start time on different batches so one is ready every day.

  5. I don’t worry at all if my kefir separates. I take out the grains, add some heavy cream and a big spoonful of jam and whirl it in the blender. I do a second ferment and then put it in the fridge. When I go to drink it I stir it up. It’s always thick and creamy. Yum! I’m assuming the second ferment takes out the added sugar.

  6. I live in south Texas and my kitchen is warm for most of the year. I was having lots of problems with the kefir culturing too fast until I read a hint somewhere that I have been following. I got a small ice chest/cooler (I don’t use the lid). I put my half gallon jar of kefir (grains and milk) in it and then place ice packs around it. I replace them 1-2 times during the 24 hours that it takes because they thaw. That keeps the temperature around my jar cooler and enables me to stay on a 24 hour schedule. Prior to that I was having to take the jar in and out of the refrigerator so it wouldn’t get too cultured during the night. I can easily fit two jars in the cooler for when I’m also second fermenting with lemon rind. I love that lemony flavor!

  7. Hi Donna. I want to make some milk kefir using the grains but I can only find Ultra Pasteurized milk. I’ve read the Ultra Pasteurized won’t work using the grains, at least not on a long term basis. I have some of the powder starter but I think I read the the grains have more strains of bacteria. What are your thoughts on this ?



  8. Hi,

    I’m actually on the end that likes me kefir “over ripened” and like when the whey separates. I usually strain it and set it aside and run the curds through a strainer and make some yogurt consistency kefir and love it! I do still like the less fermented one and have found that in this warmer weather if I ferment over night and then stash it in the fridge for another full day and do another overnight fermentation, I get that thick rich and slightly tangy kefir my wife likes more.

    Enjoy and good health!

  9. Hi Donna

    I was using a product from body ecology called eco bloom.this is pre biotics for your probiotics. It is a little expensive, but when I ran out of it my kefir separates terribly, no matter how well I watch it.

    I was ready to order more for 24.95, and was reading reviews and found out you can buy it much cheaper from now brand. It is called inulin and is available from amazon for under 7 dollars, and you get. Twice as much. Makes a big difference and you can use it in water or milk kefir, or any liquid really.
    Now I can afford to add it to my smoothie also. I was really rationing it when it cost 25.00, but now I use it in everything, I even give my grains a little when I put them in the fridge to rest.

  10. I’m having the opposite problem. My kefir is creamy and barely separates even after 48 hours. For the past several months and through the winter when my kitchen went down to 60 degrees, my kefir would separate into firm little grains and whey after 24 hours. For the past 2 weeks, there are only random soft little bits and a lot of kefir milk. I have let it sit for 12 hours, 24 hours, and 48 hours. I am using the same milk. It does not taste as sour as it did this winter and I do like it better. My kitchen now gets up to 74 degrees and does not get light. I have followed your directions to the letter. Is my kefir not working anymore? Thanks

      • I switched milk and the grains perked up in less than 24 hours. The milk I have used since I got your Kefir grains in the mail was labeled pasteurized and came in glass bottles. Until a few weeks ago the kefir was fine, but then it the grains started to wilt and die off. When I switched to a different brand there was a big difference and now the kefir is fine. So the milk is either mislabeled or there is something wrong with the processing of the milk, the cows, or the feed. Do you know if GMO feed, or pesticides on the grass, or antibiotics given to the cow affects the milk? Thanks

          • I have been told not to use UHT milk to make kefir. Maybe even a few degrees higher than is normally used for pasteurized milk will kill off the kefir. I will experiment with different brands of milk. It is getting harder to find pasteurized milk. Most of the milk is now UHT, especially organic milk.

            • If “Ultra Heat Treated” is the same as “Ultra Pasteurized,” this doesn’t work well at all. The only goat milk my local store has is ultrapasteurized, and it was a total dud. I finally found a source for raw goat milk and it ferments beautifully.

  11. Hi, Donna. I just purchased your kombucha scoby and have that fermenting now. Also, your kefir grains. A question regarding those. I’ve made two batches now but it never seems to thicken. I get a thick layer on top about an inch deep but everything else is still liquid. What am I doing wrong?

  12. I always make more kefir than I can drink in a day and it ALWAYS separates before I get around to straining it. So what I do is put the fermenting jar in the fridge once it curdles. I’ve left it in there for 2 or 3 days many times. When I get ready to strain it, I mix it well in the far first. Then I pour it into the strainer and use a wooden spoon to mix it in the strainer until the grains are fairly clean and don’t have much of the thick stuff left on them. Then I stir my kefir before drinking or putting in the fridge. I have been doing this for years and my grains are very healthy and multiply quickly. My kefir, when done this way, always turns out nice and thick and creamy.