One-Step Beginner Kefir | Healthy Home Economist

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How to make a batch of whole milk dairy kefir using plain full fat store brands as the starter.

Daily consumption of a cup or two of homemade whole milk kefir is an excellent strategy for maintaining gut health.

While the most potent kefir starter is live grains, what if you donโ€™t have the budget to buy some and no one in your community to give you extras?

In that case, I suggest using store kefir as an easy inoculant to make a batch of beginner kefir. This way, you can try it without any additional cost and compare the probiotic benefits of kefir to yogurt.

Kefir made this way will have about the same number of probiotic strains as powdered kefir starter. While less than kefir made with live grains, it will far more potent than commercial brands because you will be fermenting it for 36 hours. Store versions are typically only fermented for a few hours or less, which results in far less potency.

Normally, kefir made with live grains is ready in only 24 hours. Fermenting kefir for 36 hours when commercial kefir is used as the starter compensates for the weakness of the store brands (even if organic) compared to the live grains.

Making kefir is far easier than other types of cultured milk because you simply leave it on the counter. No heating or use of appliances is necessary.

If youโ€™ve never experienced the digestive benefits of kefir before, try this simple method below for yourself!

Once youโ€™ve made your first batch of beginner kefir, save some to use your starter for new batches going forward.

The recipe below features a one-minute video demonstration of the process as well.

Easy Beginner Kefir

How to make a batch of whole milk dairy kefir using plain full fat store brands as the starter.

Fermentation Time 1 day 12 hours


  1. Mix whole milk and commercial kefir in a one-quart mason jar.

  2. Affix the lid and leave on the counter for 36 hours.

  3. Refrigerate. Kefir will remain fresh to consume for several weeks.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Goat or cow milk may be used for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Easy Beginner Kefir

Amount Per Serving (1 cup)

Calories 181
Calories from Fat 81

% Daily Value*

Fat 9g14%

Saturated Fat 6g30%

Cholesterol 35mg12%

Sodium 140mg6%

Potassium 517mg15%

Carbohydrates 13g4%

Protein 12g24%

Calcium 390mg39%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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