Is your milk kefir separating or curdling? Don’t throw it out! Here is everything you need to know about separated milk kefir.
Why milk kefir separates
It is easy to stop milk kefir from separating as long as you maintain the right culturing conditions. Here are some of the main reasons why kefir separates:
- Too many grains: Milk kefir can grow quickly if the conditions are right, so share your extra grains with a friend. Check out this post on milk kefir basics for the proper ratio of grains to milk.
- Left to culture for too long: Milk kefir that cultures for longer than 24 hours will start to separate. If you’re going away on holiday, store milk kefir grains in milk in the fridge or take them with you.
- Too warm: Milk kefir cultures very quickly in warmer temperature (above 22C or 77F). If it’s warm in your home then kefir can start to separate within 12 hours.
How to remove grains from separated milk kefir
My grains usually float after culturing, so it is easy to remove the grains from thick kefir. I just scoop the grains off the top of my milk.
However, not all milk kefir grains are the same. If the milk kefir grains are not floating on top of the over-cultured milk, then shake the kefir to mix the curds and whey. Then press the kefir through a strainer to collect the grains.
How to use Curdled Milk kefir
Separated or Curdled milk kefir is still perfectly fine to drink. It will be effervescent, sour and full of probiotics. Here is how to use separated milk kefir:
- Shake the separated milk kefir to combine the solids and whey and use it in a smoothie or popsicle.
- Drain the whey to make a simple soft kefir cream cheese.
- Make a firm, feta-like cheese by pressing the curd from the whey.
- The probiotic whey can be used as a starter culture for other ferments.
- Over cultured kefir is perfect for baking muffins.
- Use soured kefir to make buttermilk pancakes or soda bread.