Kefir Culture vs Kefir Grains

What is Kefir?

Kefir Milk and Milk Grains

Kefir can be made with grains or powdered culture, but the distinction between the two

can be perplexing at times! Both generate delicious kefir but are very different.

Kefir is a fermented dairy product similar to yoghurt, except that Kefir contains both beneficial bacteria and yeast. Yoghurt just offers beneficial bacteria.
As a result, the milk becomes thinner, sourer, and sometimes slightly fizzy or bubbly, as the organisms produce more gas during the fermentation of the milk.
Kefir can be made with either raw or pasteurised milk. It's easier to make than yoghurt. Simply place your culture (grains or powder) into milk, cover the jar, and allow it to ferment for 24 to 48 hours at room temperature (adjusting up or down depending on the season of the year, the temperature of your house, etc.).
Then, if using grains, you extract them and replace them with a fresh batch of milk, covering and refrigerating the finished kefir. Alternatively, if using powder, you can cover and refrigerate your finished kefir, using more powder for subsequent batches. (OR use the previous batch as a starter for the subsequent batch... which is more similar to clabber if made with raw milk and more akin to pure kefir starter if made with pasteurised milk.)
I'm not going to get too complex, as even what I've just mentioned has complexities. We're going to keep it straightforward and discuss the difference between kefir grains and kefir powder.

The Two Types of Kefir?

Kefir comes in two varieties being Milk Kefir and Water Kefir. Milk kefir is a relatively well-known probiotic beverage that can be sold in most grocery stores. 

Another probiotic-rich beverage is water kefir; however, water kefir is dairy-free. Additionally, water kefir is a lighter beverage that can be flavoured in a variety of ways.

Each form of kefir is distinct in its own way and is prepared slightly differently. If you're looking to supplement your daily routine with probiotics, determine which of these fermented beverages is right for you!

What are Kefir Grains?

Water Kefir Grains

If you're looking for a more active kefir-making experience, grains are the way to go. Bacteria and yeast clusters resemble small cauliflower florets and must be kept alive and well. Kefir grains, like kombucha SCOBY, need maintenance and will become stronger the more often they are used.

Several different perspectives on kefir grains:

  • Grains are product-specific; for example, milk grains are used in milk kefir, while water grains are used in water kefir.
  • Grains contain a diverse array of bacteria and yeasts, which vary according to the source.
  • Since your grains are alive, they must be fed/maintained regularly.
  • Kefir grains are reusable to allow for continuous production of Kefir.
  • It can be difficult to determine whether grains are alive or dormant, and determining this will take some trial and error with kefir making. Keep an eye out for rancid milk!

What is Kefir Powder?

Kefir Powdered Culture

If you own a Karl Kefir Kit, you've already used Kefir Culture. This is the tiny packet of culture that you sprinkle into your milk, juice, or coconut water before shaking vigorously (of course with the lid on!). This package contains freeze-dried bacterial strains and yeast that are ready to be reactivated. Once the cultures are given the proper conditions to grow, they will multiply, alter the composition of the liquid via fermentation, and produce kefir.
The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of kefir culture, in no specific order:

  • Can be used to make kefir whenever desired; simply add a portion from the maintenance-free kefir culture sachet.
  • Each sachet of microorganisms from your original batch of kefir can be cultured twice.
  • Can make 100 litres of kefir before needing new a sachet.
    Minimal maintenance is required.
  • Simple to use; it comes in the form of a fine powder that is simply poured into your kefir base.
  • It is compatible with milk, coconut water, fruit juice, and coconut milk.

Can Kefir Powder Make Kefir Grains?

Although the majority of our customers choose to use the maintenance-free kefir culture and use a small amount each time they make a batch, you can grow the grains from the culture if you prefer.
To do this, take 1 litre of non-chlorinated water and add 1 tablespoon of sugar, just as you would when making water kefir. Then set aside for a week to two weeks to ferment. This is a natural process that occurs when the microorganisms in the maintenance-free kefir culture multiply and begin constructing their home, the grains. Click for a step by step instructions on how to do this process.

So Which Is Better? Kefir Grains or Kefir Powder?

Kefir Powder or Kefir Grains?

With the advantages and disadvantages of both culture and grains, the option is yours. If you have the time and inclination, you can certainly experiment with grains for a more conventional kefir fermentation. If you're looking for a more convenient solution that works with all forms of kefir, culture is your best bet. In either case, you'll soon be enjoying your own homemade kefir and all the benefits of fermented foods!


Karl Maintenance-Free Kefir Culture

We refer to this culture as 'maintenance free' because it does not require straining the Kefir to recover the grains! You do not have to make kefir daily to keep the grains alive. When you're finished, use some of the cultures to create another batch of delicious Kefir! Simply add a small amount of culture in milk, coconut water, juice, or water and keep warm for 24 hours before enjoying your delicious Kefir.

Making Kefir with our maintenance-free Kefir Culture is the most convenient and safest process! Each pack contains enough culture to make 100 litres of kefir at a cost of only a few cents per litre. We value your time and have the most convenient and quickest method for making Kefir.

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