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Have my kefir grains gone bad?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 24, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I put my kefir grains in the fridge with some milk, (I didn't know what to do with it because it tasted so nasty), but I realize now that they are just so beneficial and that I definitely need it in my diet. They had been sitting in the fridge with some milk for probably a month, I just took it out, and it smells okay, the same yeasty smell, and I just put them out on the counter to culture with new milk (not sure if it will). Do you think it's okay?

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 25, 2013
at 08:52 AM

Bubbly is part of it, kefir can be a little bit fizzy. And if the milk thickens and the taste is normal, then they're fine. Also you can try water kefir (different grains; they eat regular sugar, not lactose) might taste better. Also you could blend your kefir with frozen berries and a bit of honey.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:58 AM

huh okay thank you! I guess if they reculture the milk then they are fine? and I just didn't like the taste, but I'm going to force myself to drink it. Tastes kind of "bubbly" I guess

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1 Answers

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Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 24, 2013
at 06:53 PM

Run them through several cycles of milk for several days to help them recover. A month in the fridge will slow down how fast they eat, but they likely have run out of lactose and either starved or gotten unbalanced (very unbalanced kefir tastes and smells horrible, bitter, "off," and in very severe cases a bit like barf (yuck); mildly unbalanced kefir smells too yeasty or like acetone.)

Keep your nose engaged while waking the grains up, and taste it periodically. Good kefir will start thickening the milk and should have a wholesome smell (like yogurt; can smell slightly cheesy and still be good), and a quite tart, yogurty taste. Discard the first couple of batches of kefir until you get a thick, yogurty product.

It may take longer than three days for them to recover, depending on how well they survived the fridge. If they're not up and running in 6-7 days, I'd get fresh grains. (I have heard of grains being nursed back to life over a period of a month or more, but that's a lot of wasted milk.)

If the milk never starts to thicken and smell yogurty at all, and rather just goes off, the grains are dead.

When you say you refrigerated them originally because the tasted so nasty, what do you mean? Too sour/yogurty (a taste you just don't like?), or did it taste bad as in something gone rotten? Drinking kefir that doesn't taste like kefir means you're culturing something that isn't quite kefir, and could make you ill.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(748)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:58 AM

huh okay thank you! I guess if they reculture the milk then they are fine? and I just didn't like the taste, but I'm going to force myself to drink it. Tastes kind of "bubbly" I guess

Fb67dc30cead043d1d13ea503a3044dc

(3280)

on March 25, 2013
at 08:52 AM

Bubbly is part of it, kefir can be a little bit fizzy. And if the milk thickens and the taste is normal, then they're fine. Also you can try water kefir (different grains; they eat regular sugar, not lactose) might taste better. Also you could blend your kefir with frozen berries and a bit of honey.

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