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Warm weather care for milk kefir

Ideas on how to keep your milk kefir grains cool in warm 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 higher than 29 degrees you will need to take some action to cool them down to prevent them from becoming stressed and weakened or even damaged from the persistent hot weather.

Here are some suggestions to keep your milk kefir cool:

  • Wrap an ice block in a piece of cardboard and place your jar of culturing milk kefir grains on top. 
  • Place your jar of kefir in a cooler box with an ice block next to it but not touching it. Use 2 ice blocks. Keep once ice block frozen in the freezer whilst the other one is cooling down your kefir. When the one ice block has thawed out then alternate with the one in the freezer.
  • Place your jar of kefir in a bowl of cool water.
  • Place in the fridge during the day when the temperature is hottest and transfer to the counter top to ferment at night when the temperature cools down.

Other practices for culturing milk kefir in warmer temperatures:

  • Culturing times will be faster in warm temperatures so you made need to refresh your kefir cultures with fresh milk more often or you can use more milk per batch. The finished milk kefir tends to be thicker and more yoghurt like in summer than in winter when it tends to be thinner and more like a drinking yoghurt.
  • Keep cultures away from any heat generating appliances.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight coming through the windows into the room where you keep your kefir cultures.

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

In warm weather in Summer the milk kefir grains become more mushy and softer and tend to go flatter and more ribbon like as opposed to curling up into a tighter, rounder rubbery ball in winter or cold temperatures.