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Cold weather care for milk kefir

Ideas on how to keep your milk kefir grains warm in cold weather.

The ideal temperature for milk kefir is between 22 and 25 degrees celcius. Milk kefir cultures can still happily ferment milk between 20 and 29 degrees celcius.

When your room temperature reaches lower than 19 degrees you will need to take some action to warm them up.

Here are some suggestions to keep your milk kefir warm:

  • Place near heat generating appliances. Monitor the temperature there as you don’t want your kefir to get too hot.
  • Heating pad, seedling or reptile mat on which you can place your jar of fermenting milk kefir. Ensure you obtain one that will give you an option to set the required temperature as you do not want to make your kefir too hot which could damage the grains.
  • Place in a bowl of warm water. Again make sure the water is not too warm.
  • Place your jar of milk kefir near an incandescent lamp. Check it is radiating enough heat and is also not too hot for your cultures.

Other practices for culturing milk kefir in cooler temperatures:

  • Culturing times will be slower in cold temperatures so you made need to lengthen your culturing time or use less milk per batch. The finished milk kefir tends to be thinner more like a drinking yoghurt consistency than it is in summer when it will be more congealed and yoghurt like.

What do milk kefir cultures look and feel like in cool temperatures:

In cool weather in winter the milk kefir grains curl up into a tighter, rounder rubbery ball as opposed to in summer when they become more mushy, softer and tend to go flatter, more ribbon like.