Has anyone tried making raw kefir?

Foodgardenguy Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

Hello everyone. I've been making cow milk kefir for a very long time. We buy the raw milk from the Amish and then boil it to 165 F. and then immediately bring it down to below 75 F in a tub of cold water.

Then I pour the milk into a mason jar with the live kefir grains and let it ferment for 24 hours. It's very delicious and I add it to many things.

My question is: Has anyone tried raw milk?

That is just pour the unheated raw milk (but cooled down after being milked from the cow) right in with the live kefir grains? I'm just concerned that the natural bacteria in the cow's milk might have a war with the bacteria on the kefir grains.

Another related question I have is whether anyone has taken live kefir grains and try them with other types of milk? For example, just taking a tablespoon of the kefir grains from cow's milk and use goat's milk, cashew milk or almond milk instead?


  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    Cultures For Health may have the answers for your questions. Lots of information on their website and have found they are very receptive to questions.

  • Foodgardenguy
    Foodgardenguy Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    @merlin44 , Thank you very much, I check it out.

  • The Kefir grains do not have any problems working in raw milk. Have done this in the past. the milk fresh from the cow has very little bacteria in it. Remember it is food for the calfs originally ;-). And the symbiotic in the kefir is much stronger in numbers than what is in the milk.

    On your second question you sure can take the grains and use them with other milk like goat or sheep. They work with oat or almond milk too but will need a refresher round about every two or three fermenting cycles in real milk.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jens - will Kefir grains work in Coconut milk too? -

    And please explain the last part "will need a refresher round about every two or three fermenting cycles in real milk" - what do you mean? Thanks in advance.

  • Foodgardenguy
    Foodgardenguy Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    @Jens Thanks for the information. That makes sense to me now. I just wanted to see if anyone else has done it first.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    Back when I made kefir, I used exclusively raw milk for years.

  • @rainbow coconut milk should be fine too, but I have never tried it myself. A refresher round would be you put the kefir grains back into the regular cow milk for one or two times as they need some ingredients they only get in real milk.

  • ines871
    ines871 Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you @Jens :) I asked as we only use & drink Coconut milk , & it would be wonderful to get the extra benefit.

  • Foodgardenguy
    Foodgardenguy Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    Hello @merlin44 . Thanks again for referring me to Cultures For Health. They satisfactorily answered my question and I quote it below:

    (Begin Quote)

    Thank you for contacting us. I'm happy to help!

    You can definitely use your milk kefir grains with raw milk in time, but first you'll need to activate your grains on regular pasteurized milk. If raw milk is all you have, you can pasteurize it yourself by heating it to 160 and holding it there for 20 minutes.

    Once your grains are activated and you're making a quart of consistently good kefir for 2-3 weeks, you can gradually transition your grains to raw milk following these instructions: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/milk-kefir/introducing-milk-kefir-grains-raw-milk/

    You can use our milk kefir grains with any type of mammalian milk without any sort of transition step or extra steps, however plant-based milk is a little different. Here's the information we do have on plant-based kefir, although other types of milk you'd need to experiment with:



    Please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards, 


    (End Quote)

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭

    @Foodgardenguy Glad they were able to help. I've found their advice invaluable and the company is very customer focused. Just made use of their current offer of free shipping to order some cultures myself.

  • Kefir with raw goat's milk is divine!

  • Kefir with raw goat's milk is really amazing. I've been making it daily for a couple of years. I believe it has helped my health a lot.

    A few years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Shocking, since I had been eating organic food for almost 40 years! Right away I stopped eating all grains. This helped but I still struggled. Then I got goats again. I say again because we had goats when I raised my children. My son and his kids moved to my land and I knew we had to get goats again. I was doing it for them, but it has really helped me a lot too! Anyway, on my health journey I learned about healing the gut as the foundation of well-being. So I started making kefir with the raw milk. Drink it every day, and so do other family members. After about a year I got tested and no longer showed markers for autoimmune disease! Yippeee.... I really feel the kefir helped. Research shows how amazing it is. I agree. And some people say that bad bacteria cannot grow in kefir. Hmmm.

    A couple of important details. My goats free range daily. They eat whatever they want. We live in a forest so there is a lot to ear. The garden is well fenced so I can do this. To me, this is really important so the goats can be super healthy and have super healthy milk.

    Another detail to know is that the powdered kefir starter that you can buy is not the best idea. It will work for awhile and then you will have to buy more. Get the real kefir grains. They are curds, and they grow in your milk every day. I have used mine for a very long time and they just keep growing. When I have extra I pass them around to others. You never need to buy them again.

    I'm not sure if the powdered kefir starter will give the same benefits. By doing research I learned about the real kefir grains, so that is what I went with.

    Good luck and enjoy!

  • Foodgardenguy
    Foodgardenguy Posts: 106 ✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy and @circleoflifeunlimited7. Thank you very much for your input.

    I will definitely be trying raw milk now, and look forward to trying raw goat milk.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    Thanks for sharing their response -- that's super helpful!