Kefir Care

Storage and Handling Tips

As warmer months approach, both seasoned and new kefir enthusiasts may notice their Kerry Kefir fermenting faster than usual. Made with live, active kefir grains that continue to ferment even after the bottles leave Kerry Kefir HQ, our kefir is a dynamic and living product. This can be a delightful discovery for some, but it may also pose a challenge in managing the fermentation process to maintain the perfect balance in your kefir. Here are a few expert tips to keep your kefir in top condition even as temperatures rise.

Understanding the Lifecycle of Your Kefir

When you purchase a bottle of Kerry Kefir from your local health food store or independent retailer, it might already be a week old due to distribution times. This means that gas has likely built up in the bottle as it has continued fermenting and hasn’t been opened yet. We recommend having a large jug or saucepan ready to catch any potential overspill when you first open the bottle—open it gently! 

Despite this, our kefir remains safe to consume up to one week after the best before date. Its robust, fermenting nature not only preserves the kefir but can also enhance its beneficial qualities over time, ensuring you enjoy a product that’s as rich in benefits as it is in flavour.

Regulate the Gas Build-Up

Due to the active yeast in our kefir grains, natural carbon dioxide buildup can give Kerry Kefir its signature fizziness. Due to the ongoing fermentation process, this natural carbon dioxide/ gas can build up inside the sealed bottles and cause pressure inside the bottle which could lead to an overflow when you open the bottle. 

A useful strategy to manage the carbon dioxide build up is to periodically open your kefir bottles. This allows the gas to escape, which not only prevents over-pressurization but also slows down the fermentation process a bit. We recommend doing this every other day, especially if you have multiple bottles. This practice will help maintain the quality and consistency of your kefir.

If you notice the level of your kefir starting to rise inside the bottle upon opening, pour the full bottle of kefir into a large jug or saucepan, let the fizz settle (about 10 minutes), pour back into the bottle and use as normal.

Never shake a bottle of kefir when it’s more than 2 weeks old and has not yet been opened or you’ll discover the reason traditional kefir is known as the ‘champagne of dairy’. This doesn’t happen with commercially produced kefir as they don’t contain any beneficial live yeast.

Optimal Storage Conditions

The temperature at which you store your kefir can significantly influence its fermentation speed. To slow down the process, keep your bottles as cool as possible. The coldest part of your refrigerator — typically the bottom back — is the ideal spot for storage. It’s best to avoid storing kefir in the fridge door, as it’s often subject to temperature fluctuations each time the door is opened, particularly during warmer days when external temperatures are high.

What to Do If Your Kefir Separates

If you find that your kefir has separated into curds and whey, don’t worry—this is a natural part of the fermentation process, that can be accelerated by warmer temperatures, and doesn’t mean your kefir has gone bad. Simply pour your kefir into a large jug or saucepan, add some fresh milk, and mix well. The fresh milk will not only be fermented by the existing kefir culture but also help to stabilise the fermentation process. After thoroughly mixing with a fork or whisk, return the mixture to your bottles and refrigerate. Your kefir should return to its usual delicious state.

The curds and whey can be used separately in various recipes, offering a creamy texture and tangy flavour that can enhance many dishes. For instance,  try using kefir curds to make a delightful tzatziki dip

Have more questions?

Check out our FAQs page for more information on Kerry Kefir and why not check out our Kefir Recipes for some inspiration. 

By following these tips, you can enjoy consistently high-quality kefir all year round. Keeping your kefir cool, periodically releasing built-up gases, and integrating fresh milk if separation occurs are key to enjoying high-quality kefir. Enjoy the unique tastes and benefits of Kerry Kefir.

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Mary-Thea Brosnan
Tralee Road,
Castleisland,
Co. Kerry
V92DT21

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