A lot of people have been observing their Kefir lose its consistency over time. Sometimes the taste and even the smell of the Kefir changes too. People are almost always freaked out about this and no one’s to blame. In fact, this is one of the most common questions that end up in my inbox and honestly, it happens to everyone.
First, let’s tackle the taste part, no matter what the consistency or smell of the kefir is. This is by far the easiest to remedy as the consistency and smell of the kefir will eventually follow. The general rule of thumb that I follow, is to simply add more milk when the kefir that is strained off from the batch is too sour. Remember to strain the kefir grains every 24 hours and to put into a fresh batch of milk. If the resulting taste is just right, use the same amount of milk the next time. If after you’ve doubled the milk and it’s still too sour, you might be having a little too much grains in your jar, so the next best solution is removing some of the grains.
When doing this trial and error or experimentation phase, be sure to only change one thing at a time. If you’re going to add or lessen the milk OR you’re going to remove some of the grains. Don’t do both as you not know what really effected the change. Learn to be patient, everything comes with practice as they say. : )
Next is the consistency part. After a while of growing your kefir grains, you may just find your kefir turning into a whole different consistency. With the top being curdy and very watery near the bottom, and separates more once strained and left in the refrigerator. Definitely not the smooth and thick kefir you’re familiar with.
So what are we doing wrong now?
The simplest explanation to this is that you’re kefir grain’s growth is outpacing you supplying them with their food. You’ve been giving them the same amount of fresh milk when they have already grown so much. At this point, the kefir is simply separating because it has become too acidic. Like the taste, the remedy is to simply add more milk to the kefir grains or to remove of the grains and use the same amount of fresh milk.