Over Fermented Milk Kefir

Over fermented milk kefir happens to the best of us. You come home from a long day at work to find your Milk Kefir has split. You will sometimes hear this referred to as over fermented Milk Kefir or over cultured Milk Kefir. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t look great, and the taste can often be an acquired taste. It can smell a little bit like vomit and taste like a tangy cheese. So does this mean your kefir is ruined? Not necessarily. Is their anything thing you can do to minimise it happening again? Yes!

Can I drink my over fermented Milk Kefir?

Sure, although drinking it neat can be a real challenge (We’ve only met a handful of people who can stomach over fermented Milk Kefir). Firstly, give it a really good stir. This will blend the curds and whey back into the sort of kefir you’re used to seeing. Next, we recommend mixing the kefir with something to make it a little more palatable. The choices here are endless. Some like to use sweet things like honey, others like to blend it up with fruit into a smoothie (check Kitchenistic’s guide on the smoothies ingredients). Whatever you decide to mix it with, just make sure the flavour is over powering enough to mask the over fermented Kefir taste.

Some people prefer to make Kefir cheese with their over fermented Milk Kefir. You can find lots of information on this online. Give it a try!

Will over fermenting harm my Milk Kefir grains?

As long as you don’t leave your Milk Kefir over fermenting for days, starving it of the lactose which it needs to survive. Chances are you won’t really see any negative impact on your grains by over fermenting them. Just try not to do it too often.

How can I minimise the chances of over fermenting my Milk Kefir Grains?

Usually, over fermented Milk Kefir is a result of having too many grains in your milk. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than 1 tablespoon of grains per litre of milk. This should provide you with a perfect batch of Milk Kefir every 12-24 hours.

Temperature is also an important factor in how fast your grains ferment. During warm summer months, over fermentation happens fast. Try and leave you Milk Kefir to ferment in a cool place. A dark storage cupboard can be ideal for this. Often a batch can take less than 12 hours. It is often best to start your fermentation last thing at night and check on them first thing in the morning.

Over fermenting happens to us all on occasion. Finding the perfect balance of grains, temperature and fermentation time is never easy, but with practice and perseverance, is possible.