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A jug of kefir against a blue background; in the foreground are some kefir grains on a slate.
4.79 from 19 votes

How to make milk kefir - everything you need to know

Heard about kefir, but unsure about where to start? Here's everything you need to know about this healthy fermented milk drink which is incredibly easy to make at home and is far cheaper than buying ready made.  Simple ferment, strain and serve. Keto and Gluten Free Friendly.
Servings: 10
Prep Time2 mins
Fermentation1 d
Total Time2 mins


  • 50 g kefir grains - (you can use up to 100g)
  • 1 lt milk - (we get best results from full fat milk)


  • Add kefir grains to milk, cover loosely and leave on a kitchen countertop.
  • After about 24 hours (or longer, if weather is cool. say under 20C), sieve out grains from fermented kefir.
  • Add grains to fresh milk to start the next batch of kefir.
  • Drink or use kefir right away; it will keep in the fridge for a few days. Or add flavourings for a secondary fermentation.


  • Makes one litre, but it's easy to make more or less: just adjust the amount of milk you use, and then use kefir grains that weigh a total of 5 and 10% of the weight of milk.
  • Making kefir is easy. Add kefir grains to milk in a covered but not sealed container. Leave at room temperature for about 24 hours, then strain off the grains (which you use to start the next batch) and enjoy the kefir.
  • Once made, kefir will get thicker as it keeps in the fridge.
  • Separation is natural just stir before using. 
  • Timings for the fermentation will vary according to room temperature. It will take about 24 hours at temp of around 20°C/70°F.
  • Nutrition information is per 100ml of kefir made with full-fat dairy milk.
  • If you're not making kefir for a while, store the grains in the fridge covered in milk. The milk will become thick and jelly-like. To make a fresh batch of kefir, rinse the grains under running water and add to fresh milk as normal. This batch may take a little longer than normal, but after a few batches, the grains will be behaving as normal.
  • Kefir and kefir grains have as slightly sour but fresh smell. If either smells funky, discard grains and kefir, and start from scratch with new grains.
  • If you want to make it paleo, you can use coconut milk but see my tips on what may happen when you do so.
  • This recipe is 2 Weight Watchers Smart Points
• Please note that the nutrition information provided below is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
• Unless stated otherwise cup conversions have been made with an online tool. For accuracy please check with your favoured conversion tool. We recommend buying inexpensive digital kitchen scales.
Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 132mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 160IU | Calcium: 113mg