Kevin Loses His Whey .... - The Fermented Foody

Fresh off the Fermented Food Press!

Never miss another update, recipe or special offer from the Fermented Foody again!

Kevin Loses His Whey ….

The Sad Story of Kev, the Neglected Milk Kefir Grain

Hi there,

I’m a milk kefir grain. My name’s Kevin. But since you’re a new mate, you can call me Kev.

I was born on a farm, but was soon sent away to live with a different family.

No really. Don’t feel sad for me. Most grains are adopted. It’s the way it is for us cultured kids. (Pun intended.)

I waved good-bye to my birth home with a sunny smile. Don’t you just love an optimist.


But we kefir grains don’t have it easy like you humans babies do. All that sleeping and gurgling. The fluffy clothes. People coo’ing at you. Endless cuddles.

You bagged the trophy on that one. (Gnashes ‘milk’ teeth.

As soon as we’re big enough (and trust me, that’s not long after we’re born) we’re working full-time. With zero pay!


We’re fed milk, like you guys. Sure. We need that milk to survive. And multiply. Same as you. The diff is, we don’t get to cosy up to bosom of our mothers. We’re thrown into a jar and lie there waiting to be half drowned in milk. Brutal.


There’s always pay back time though. If we’re left unattended for too long, we make really sour milk for our parents. (Nothing like a grain with a grudge.)


I’d like to say I’m in a good home, but I heard (through the grain grape-vine) that, after forgetting them for several days, my mum threw her first batch of milk kefir grains in the bin. Can you BELIEVE that?!

She didn’t even bother to try to revive them. Just chucked them in with a bunch of used up tinfoil and teabags. NOT I.M.P.R.E.S.S.E.D!


So here I am. Hoping for a better fate.

To be fair, it all started pretty well. She’s a bit dramatic, so we got the ‘go do your work my beautiful little ones’ as she shut the lid on the jar first time round.

You know the drill. The kisses. The ‘thank you babies,’ when we produced a decent milk for her. (All a bit much for me, thank you for asking.)


The welcome – by most standards though – was almost too good to be true.

But as you know, too good means you’re heading for a ditch. And mothers? Well, they’re a tad hormonal, if you get my drift.

And so. It happened.

As suddenly as the kisses stopped, the milk-neglect began.

She was just toooooo busy to check the jar we were living in. You know how it is. Hair to style. Lip gloss to fix. Girlfriends to meet.

Oh, hellooooooo-oooooo!

We, my friend, suffer from over exposure to heat and lack of the right volume of milk. We’re kefir grains. We need watching. We need feeding.

You hearing my message, mummikins?

After several days of multiplying like crazy (yup, we do our duty, even in the face of tea-time trauma) rising to the top of the jar in a desperate, but vain bid, for fresh milky-milky time and/or a fraction of her attention … she finally noticed we’d been neglected.

Oh, cheers dude. (Delivered in deadpan voice.)

I know. I’m bitter.

Honestly? We’d formed a thick, hard crust at the top of the jar. I mean, we were ONE, man. It was tough up there. All the cloudy whey down the bottom of the jar and a heaving mass of struggling, milky grains congealed together at the top.

So this was it. The end of a short life.

To be tossed in the bin, along with her other scraps.


But then, the weirdest thing happened. She looked at us. Moved closer. I heard her muttering something like: “I’m gonna see what I can do with this!”

(Excuse me? “THIS?!” Soooooo removed from empathy to living things, don’t you think?)

And with that, she poured us into a sieve, along with the whey.

Boy, was that painful.

Landed with a heck of a thud we did. Heads, limbs … all glued together.


And then the healing began. (See what I mean. Hormones. One minute doesn’t care, the next she’s the Queen of Love.)

The whey dripped over our aching backs, through the sieve, as she tried to gently soften us with the liquid and a spatula. (I do find those things tickle a bit, but hey, I wasn’t about to complain while she was giving it her best shot.)

She reached for a second jug and poured the whey from the first jug over us and into jug number two.

Again, she pushed the whey into our hardened mass with that wretched spatula, slowly softening us up, separating the lads and well, making things a little more breathable in there, if you don’t mind me saying.

And so this procedure was repeated. A good few times I can report.

It took time man! I mean, we were being pulled about.

But in fairness, most mums would have given up. New respect developed while she coaxed us back into a happier place.

And sure enough, within a few minutes we were giving it ‘As you were, team.’ (Some of that squishing had been faaar too close for comfort, to be frank. I’m a grain that likes my space.) And off we went to a new jar, to be doused in fresh milk.

Never have I been sooooo grateful to be splashed with the cold stuff.

She poured away the sour milk (trust me, we’d made it reeeeaaaal bad for her) (low key snigger) and waited for us to do our duty again.

It took us a couple of batches to recover from that little incident my friend. But we’re back on form now. I’m happy to report that the boys’n’girls are doing just great.

Don’t want to get all boasty here, but I did attach myself to a few pretty cool looking chicks during ‘Kefir-Gate’ and now have a pretty awesome ‘mini community’ going on.

Check these little honeys out …


Only thing is, larger grains don’t always get the best results and it only takes a bit of sieving with milk to break me right down to a solo boy again.

But that’s ok. I’ll have some fun while the going’s good.

Which reminds me ….

Marissa, sweedie. Where are we going dancing tonight?

Let me know if you any questions when you make your own kefir!

See you tomorrow.  I’ve got a GREAT video for you to watch!

Toodle-oo for now ..




About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write poetry, read, walk in nature, take iphone photographs, sing, cycle, watch good movies, documentaries, dramas and comedy.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

lottiewishnetwork says

Brilliant! Is Kevin inspired by Kevin?? lol On a serious point I need to take longer to have a look through your site, I try to use probiotics before we travel – I think there is some great content here!

    Sarah Jackson says

    Thanks Lottie! Yup. I named my little grain Kevin after the big man. Got to have a bit of fun. 😉

    I can’t speak for all probiotics, but pills tend to have 1 or maybe 2 strains in general I think. Even if they had 10, kefir has over 35 (no-one knows the true number) and is far more powerful. I took a probiotic pill every day for 9 months and still got colds, viruses. The home made milk and veg stopped that. It will prob take a little time to build up your supplies. But they’re just great! The proof is in the taking. Each person individual. It’s how we ate before we had fridges. It was the only way to store food back then and got people through winter months!

Sally-Anne says

Love this post, Sarah – really made me smile! 😉

    Sarah Jackson says

    Cheers Sal! It was fun putting it together. Took about 3 times as long as every other post though!

rosanne says

Great great funny post with loads of information, absolutely loved it and your pictures of Kevin the grain were great.

    Sarah Jackson says

    Thanks Rosanne, Glad you found it helpful .. and that Kevin made the grain grade, 😉

    Have never dared to draw and publish anything before!

Add Your Reply