My Kefir Is Too Sour - The Fermented Foody

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My Kefir Is Too Sour

Picture The Scene:

You know.  When you set everything up the right way?

A delicious dinner is cooking on a shiny clean hob.  You’re gliding seamlessly around the kitchen, not a spot of dust to be seen.  Even the dog is smiling knowingly.

Your partner/housemate arrives home to a perfect companion.

  • The house is tidy
  • Your work is done
  • You are stress free
  • The dinner is ready

Ok.  Let’s rain check this one.

(Loud screechy/halty sound.)

The Truth:

You know when you set everything up the right way, but nothing goes to plan?

This has happened to my kefir milk.

Should I confess HOW many times it’s happened?

I could protest too much that I’m a big fat 10 out 10 on domestic issues, but this would overlook the fact that only yesterday morning, I prepared a scrumptious casserole for dinner, popped my beautiful NEW crockpot on the hob (easiest place for it to sit) switched on the gas below it and watched the flames rapidly burn off a foot and the side of the digital display before I realised it wasn’t smoking because it’s fairly new (3rd time being used).

It was because I was cooking an electric piece of equipment.

If our our insurance company is reading this, I would like to make clear that I have not claimed.  Our house is still in one piece.  The crockpot ( is still working (I guess this is a fairly good free advertisement for the company). 😉

The sad thing is that I’m unable to replace the outer casing, so I either need to replace it or just use a very ugly one … and I was aiming to photograph pretty, shiny, all-things-nice ‘stuff’ for my blog. (Sniff, whimper.)

Anyway.  You’re getting the picture here.  Honestly? I’m just not used to electrical cooking implements.

Holds down and mutters quietly, so hardly anyone notices:

I wasn’t once named ‘Aunty Fire’ by one of my nephews for nothing.  (This, because of one minor, isolated, nothing-really-happened moment, when I burned their sausages to the point where it was just baked beans and mash for tea.)

Teas are made by request.

BIG fail.

So I bought this for their next visit.  Just in case they’d forgotten the fun they have when they visit Mad Aunty Sarah (I didn’t create that name):

sour milk

But I digress. (This seems to be a strong point. 😉

So this is what happens to my kefir.  Almost immediately.  Every time.  And I’m showing you for a reason.  (The reason is after the photo.)

It isn’t sour.

sour milk

I have read that if your kefir milk separates, that it’s over fermented. i.e. too sour.

I just want to share with you that with fermentation techniques, it’s not one for all.

You see, my kefir often separates like this within a few minutes of nestling down in our utility room as fresh milk.

The grains aren’t old, or worn out, or crusty, or yellow, or pleading for a break.  They get regular breaks and they’re making lovely kefir.

The coconut kefir is either a new powder or thriving milk from the previous batch. (This photo is coconut kefir.)

I just wanted to share this with you so you’re not alarmed if it happens to you when you first close the lid and check half an hour later to find your milk in two halves!

Okay. Moving on.

My Kefir Went Too Sour

This next photo is a cow’s kefir milk.  With grains.  I left it too long (probably a day or so, I can’t recall now as these photos were taken back in June) but it was over-fermented.  Notice that the colour is a little richer.

sour milk

Now check how the top of the ferment looked. Oops! You can see clearly that it’s nicely curdled.  (Nice being the wrong word.  It really isn’t very nice at all!)

sour milk

Here’s  a closer look at the milk.

sour milk

It won’t smell very good at this stage either. Unless you like a very sour aroma it can be rather off-putting. However, it won’t taste quite as sour as it smells.

Remember you can add honey and the longer something ferments the more bacteria are likely to inhabit the food/drink, so if you can handle the flavour, it’s worth rescuing.

So, I set about restoring the milk to it’s former glory. (I know.  I’m a saint.)

Stirring won’t do the trick once it’s gone this far, but pop it in a powerful blender for just a few seconds and check this out:

sour milk

And the spoon-view.

sour milk
Then simply pour your lovely silky, creamy new kefir milk into a clean jar (or jug) for the fridge.

sour milk

It really is that straight forward!

Tomorrow I have a sorry tale to tell of a ferment that went even further down the line than this one.

Have you made your first kefir yet? Please share your story if you do! Would love to see your photos.  One with you and your kefir milk. Let’s share them on the blog! 🙂

Catch you sooooon ..



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.

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Leave a Comment:

Damion says

Kefir sounds nice and some of these photos look like something I would do time and time again (never getting it right!) The end photo looks nice, do you add any flavour to it, what does it taste of?

    Sarah Jackson says

    Ha ha. You and me both then Damion!

    It’s really just a more sour version of whichever milk you start with. Coconut still retains it’s sweetness, underneath the tangy edge.

    I like to catch mine on time if I can, but the longer you leave it, the less sugar will be left in the ferment.

    You can second ferment, which I’ve been meaning to do this week.

    You could add some fresh fruit and leave it to sit and flavour the milk in warm place.

    I haven’t done it before because my husband didn’t fancy it and I didn’t feel the need for myself either. But I’m going to do some for the blog and will let you know what transpires.

    I don’t think fruity milk will be my thing. But who knows? I may be a convert after the experiment!

    You can also flavour milks with cinnamon, spices. It’s just a case of throwing something in that appeals to your tastebuds.

    One thing to keep in mind is that if you do add additional flavours, it’s wise not to over-do it.

    Fermenting intensifies the flavour of food so you could find the taste overpowering if you go crazy with your flavours. Less is more.

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