FAQs

Kefir - how much should you drink?

Children

Children over the age of 12 months are usually safe to drink kefir (provided they do not suffer with milk allergy).
Natural kefir is a great drink for children as it provides fats, proteins, carbohydrates vitamins and minerals for healthy body function and growth, plus it is packed with good bacteria for their digestion.
How much to drink depends on the age of the child.  There is no scientifically calculated amount - but a small glassful a day (aprox 80ml) or alternate days is great.  Natural kefir is best as there is no added sugar, but if you children need it flavoured try blending with half a chopped banana - which is really tasty.

Adults

Kefir is suitable for all ages as a wonderful natural and nutritious drink.  How much you should drink is really up to you!  If your digestion is working well and you just want to top up your good bacteria then 1 or 2 bottles of 250ml a week will be a great addition to your diet.  You can drink more if you like it 🙂

If your digestion is not good kefir may be a good food to include into  your diet to get it back on track.
We would love to explain the health benefits as we see them, but are banned by EU law so it is a bit difficult.
However, in Deborah's experience kefir is amazing at helping get diahorrea under control.  For constipation though kefir can be even more binding - so if this is your problem look to include 3 things - water, oil and movement.  Taking kefir with omega 3 such as cod liver oil at the same time is a wonderful way to keep bowel movement flowing!  Omega 3 is great for the bowel and the brain - and we believe taking it with kefir is great!

When should you drink kefir?

Ultimately it is up to you when you drink your kefir.
Here at Nourish Kefir we want you to get optimum experience from our kefir and we suggest the following as a rough guide:
morning - before breakfast
evening - before your evening meal
night - last thing before bed

We feel that this is a good way to get the wonderful good bacteria into your body in 3 bursts over a day.  Scientific studies back in 2014 suggested that about 40% of the good bacteria were adhering to the digestive tract in the simulated gut test.  With that in mind we think a little and often approach is the best way to optimise your good bacteria intake.  
Kefir is better before food - you don't want to be fermenting on the inside!  
Before bed we think kefir may have a nice calming effect to encourage better sleep!

General questions about kefir...

Is kefir GLUTEN FREE?

Yes we make our kefir with organic cow's milk and living kefir cultures that we ferment ourselves. Confusion may arise where we talk about kefir grains - these are living micro-organisms/ bacteria not grains like wheat or oats. It is just that their original name is grain - referring to REAL kefir (not lab produced cultures)

Is Nourish Kefir Organic?

Yes we make our kefir with organic whole cow's milk.
We are organic certified with the Organic Food Federation.
All our kefir cultures are fermented by us using organic cow's milk.

Is Kefir sugar free?

Nourish Kefir is made with organic cow's milk.   This cow's milk naturally contains carbohydrates - also known as sugars.  
There are NO added sugars - no sugar cane, or anything else.
The taste of natural kefir is not sweet - it is slightly tangy, refreshing, creamy and delicious.
Natural kefir is suitable for people with diabetes
However - the fruity kefirs do contain sugar in the form of Agave Nectar

Is kefir safe for pregnant women to drink?

Yes it is, and it's also great to drink breast feeding as it may help pass on good bacteria to the baby.

Is kefir made with homogenised milk?

Yes we make our kefir with milk that is pasteurised, homogenised and organic. Homogenised milk creates a smoother kefir.

Is kefir pasteurised after fermentation?

No!
We take pasteurised organic cow's milk and ferment it with our lovely kefir cultures and the result is a live kefir drink - bursting with billions of wonderful good bacteria.

We do not re-pasteruise the kefir after fermentation - no no - that would defeat the object!  
We do have our drinks analysed to count the bacteria in them - it is many billions per 100ml and we really happy with that result - as we never add sugar to grow the cultures - just milk!

Questions about making kefir at home using Freeze dried starter cultures:

What is the difference between Nourish Kefir Starter Cultures and Kefir Grains?
Nourish Kefir starter cultures are prepared from kefir grains - but there are no kefir grains in them - and they do not turn into grains. They are made from a fermentation of grains and milk - that is super concentrated, but then the grains are removed. This concentrated kefir mother culture is freeze dried. Our little sachets are measured to make you 1 litre of delicious kefir (you add the milk!) The sachets can be used when you want them. You can take them on holiday or try different types of milk. Kefir grains are different. They are wonderful live symbiotic bacteria and yeast clusters that you look after a bit like a pet. You feed them milk and in return they give you lovely fresh kefir. You have to keep looking after them, which is great if you can do this. We make all our fresh drinks with kefir grains. We have to look after the grains every day - even at the weekend - it's a labour of love. Our starter cultures are much more low maintenance.
Can I just get the lumps out in a pyrex jug with a small quantity of milk instead of using a separate plastic jug first?

Yes of course that's fine. But it is easier to evenly mix a small quantity of kefir and milk in a small container first, then add it to a larger container when it's nice and smooth.

Is it ok to use glass containers for fermenting kefir as I read some other instructions that said it wasn't recommended due to pressure build up?

I think this refers to glass jars with tight fitting lids where when you take the lid off there is a release of CO2 gas - still wouldn't be a problem. Plastic or glass containers are fine, and cover with clingfilm or lid.

Other instructions mention stirring / storage using metal kills the kefir grains - guessing thats a myth too?

Not a myth - kefir grains do not like metal - but our culture packs are not grains - they are starter cultures previously made with milk and grains - then the grains removed and the kefir freeze dried. So metal would be ok for these.

Can I make more / less than 1 litre using this process?

A sachet is the correct amount for 1 litre. It's up to you if you want to make adjustments but you will get different results. usually less milk will ferment faster -more milk will be a weaker kefir

If I left it 48 hours instead of 24 is there any additional benefit from extra fermentation?

Not with the starter culture - with this you want to stop it (by refrigeration) when it is done. The one I made in the video was actually ready before 24 hours - if you over ferment it - it will separate a bit. (It's a different situation with grains)

You should probably labour on the "don't disturb the kefir/move it/stir it/etc" during it's fermentation otherwise people will get curious - I'd go as far as saying it could cause it to completely fail as this will be the main point people get wrong and contact you

Making kefir is part art, part science. when you bake a cake if you keep opening the oven you are going to spoil it (but will probably still eat it!)

I am lactose intolerant so wanted to make the kefir with soya milk or coconut milk does one work better than the other?

Soya milk ferments well in kefir starter cultures. Just make sure you give the carton a good shake up before you mix with the cultures. Coconut milk is a bit different. It probably has added water as well as coconut water - and it may separate when fermenting - so the end result is not quite the same as with cows/soya milk. When we put kefir grains in coconut milk it separated - it still fermented though. You can ferment our starter cultures in coconut water and it will go a bit fizzy and ferment, (*we hear it is a bit of a health craze in the US ) Regarding the lactose and cows milk, the kefir cultures digest much of the lactose in our Nourish Kefir drink, but we cannot guarantee that it is all gone.

Can I make Kefir yoghurt using rice milk?
I have not used the kefir starter cultures with rice milk yet. But I have tried with almond milk and hemp milk and coconut milk - and all 3 types did ferment, but also separated and were quite runny. All of these types of milk have added water to bulk them up, and I think this is the reason why they are runny and don't ferment as well as cows milk. Soya ferments well with kefir starter cultures - although that has added water too - perhaps the way it is processed is different to almond milk etc. If you are going to give it a try with rice milk I suggest you use have the quantity of milk to a sachet - to achieve a better consistency than for 1 Litre.
Can I use lacto-free milk with the starter cultures?

Yes lacto free milk works well with Nourish Kefir Starter Cultures and some of our customers are using this type of milk where they need to avoid all lactose.

We suggest using the full fat type for more nutrients!