I've not used kefir starter as it only has 7 microbials and REAL kefir grains have 56+ beneficial microbials. Kefir grains are free, or less than $15, all over the internet for a lifetime supply.

Here is more about easy homemade probiotics:... http://heal-thyself.ning.com/profiles/blogs/homemade-probiotics

Actually, kefir grains have many microbials which retard growth of pathogenic microbials. "Bacteriocin ST8KF (bacST8KF), produced by Lactobacillus plantarum ST8KF isolated from kefir, inhibits the growth of Enterococcus
faecalis E88."

Basically, consumption of kefir could inhibit the growth of Enterococcus faecalis. And listeria and salmonella! http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:17719671

And kefir appears to inhibit the growth of E. coli. http://lib.bioinfo.pl/auth:Vinderola,CG

This is a long and fascinating discussion of probiotic organisms: http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.med.nutrition/2008-01/msg00269.html

Everything Probiotics: http://heal-thyself.ning.com/profiles/blogs/everything-probiotics

Dom, the Kefir King's site: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#intro

Furthermore, freshly made kefir can have an average microbial count as high as 10 billion cfu/ml of beneficial probiotics.

Consumption of milk kefir and soymilk kefir suppressed the IgE and IgG1 responses. (decreased allergies)


Kimchi has even more beneficial microbials. I'm making my first batch today. Over 200 microbials!!

Our gut microbial balance includes 500-1000 microbials. Kefir helps bifidum to reproduce, and colonizes the gut, not just transiently passes through.

Homemade REAL kefir is one of my favorite topics. :-D I totally trust kefir. Kefir has been around for over 2000 years.

I believe that real food has more benefits than processed food. And is much less expensive, because kefir reproduces itself and you do not have to keep buying more again and again.

Just found this quote, "The usage of kefir allegedly originated over 2,000 in the Caucasus Mountains (that border modern-day Russia and Europe), where people seem to live easily to 100 and above." The "longevity" benefits of kefir are renowned.

Here are 1680 research studies on REAL kefir grains on PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed (just type in kefir)

Kombucha has different microbials, specifically Saccharomyces Boulardii which displaces and replaces candida albicans in the gut. The issue with this is, as candida is displaced it "dies-off" and releases toxins and mercury (if mercury toxins are bound to it). Skin is a detox pathway, as are lungs and other mucosal surfaces, so the toxins can excrete through the skin and have a "candida flare" effect (with consuming kombucha when you have mercury issues).

Kefir does not have Saccharomyces Boulardii.

The microbials of kefir thrive in a symbiotic balance indefinitely when provided a food source. REAL kefir grains have hundreds of more research studies and history than any processed starter package of microbials or bottle probiotics.

MICROFLORA OF KEFIR GRAINS is well documented: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#composition-of-KG

I will caution that kefir has so many more beneficial microbials that only a teaspoon has more microbial benefit than any probiotic capsule. Start with small amounts of kefir, if your gut is messed up. Microbials are recolonizing and shifting the gut microflora whenever we consume any probiotics. Kefir has 100x more microbial benefits due to the variety and quantity of microbials, just like fermented vegetables do.

Kefir grains reproduce easily. And if you check at your local health food store, oftentimes people post "Free Kefir" on the bulletin board. I have kefir grains from half a dozen sources and they are all combined and thriving fabulously!

Even your teeth feel cleaner and healthier when you drink kefir. The whole body microbials are optimized.


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Comment by Shannelle Renee on December 4, 2010 at 3:26am
Thank you for posting this! I am going to pick up some kefir grains, I am going to buy some local milk and put them in, is there a difference between water kefir or dairy?
Comment by April Hildreth on December 27, 2010 at 1:02am
my family and i dont like the taste of the water kefir...it tastes too much like alcohol...please tell me how i can improve the taste....?
Comment by Lizanne Eastwood on January 16, 2011 at 4:18pm

Pat, are you able to send kefir grains to Canada? If not I could provide a friend's american postal box address. This definitely sounds like something that would help me repopulate my gut flora. The cost of purchasing probiotics is getting unmanageable for me,

Lizanne Eastwood

Comment by Marlene Villanueva on January 18, 2011 at 1:13am
Hi Pat... I was not sure where on this site to post my question... I have a bit of milk kefir over a half gallon  that I left too long in with grains before straining them. It is super duper sour too sour for me to drink even with any sweetner. I have had this happen a few times when life gets busy and I forget to drain off kefir and replace w/ fresh milk....  Since I dont want to waste the kefir, what can i do with it, any suggetions? I know I can bake with it, but can i make anything else that is not heated w/ kefir or a suggestion to cover up the super sour flavor?  I have used Stevia, agave, molasses which i dont like taste of and blended w/ stevia and backing cocoa still to sour. Any suggestions or good websites I can get ideas from ??? Thank you, Marlene
Comment by Pat Robinson on January 18, 2011 at 9:40am

I don't think you can buy kefir grains locally. They can be ordered from Cultures for Health or ask on the Sharing Cultures forum.


You just need a tablespoon of the kefir for HUGE benefits. It can be hidden in juice or smoothies.


I am unable to ship to Canada. Julie at Cultures for Health can.


Marleen, I do the same thing from time to time. I just end up cooking with it. You could make chocolate pudding which might cover the sour. Smoothies are our best bet here.



Comment by Amanda Solorza on January 18, 2011 at 12:59pm
I've currently been looking into the kefir; I'm anxious to get started on some; I saw someone ask if they were water or milk, I didn't see if that was answered? thanks!
Comment by Pam Genant on January 18, 2011 at 1:31pm
April if you add some dried fruit to the sugar water mixture it is fabulous.  My favorites are dried mango, and also dried tart cherries.  Just make sure you are getting organic dried fruit with no preservatives.  Delicious.
Comment by Diane Tantimonaco on January 23, 2011 at 5:28pm
Is this the right place to ask this question? I have been trying to get my water kefir going and am not having too much success so far. I keep ending up with thick syrupy stuff that tastes good, but I'm not sure that I want to drink it. I bought hydrated water kefir grains and have tried letting them ferment from 24-36 hours, with and without fruit, and I get them same thick stuff. We have very hard well water, which I thought might help and I'm using raw cane sugar. Anybody have this going on and what do I do to get it right? Thank you all!
Comment by Pat Robinson on January 23, 2011 at 6:33pm

There are water kefir grains and milk kefir grains. Kefir starter is for milk.


Diane, how much water to grains? How much sugar? It sounds like maybe not enough water and/or too much sugar.





Comment by Diane Tantimonaco on January 23, 2011 at 11:36pm
I'm using roughly 3 cups of water and 1/4 cup sugar. Does that sound off? Also, I've noticed that after straining the grains and putting the "kefir" in the fridge with the top screwed on tight I don't get any carbonation. Thanks, Pat!


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