The wonderful thing about milk kefir grains is their endurance. Even after pausing their activity to produce kefir you can revive milk kefir grains. There are many reasons why you would need to revive milk kefir grains. Perhaps they were in the fridge for month or two. Or perhaps they traveled by  mail. The steps to revive milk kefir grains vary depending on the condition of the kefir grains.



Revive milk kefir grains that were in the fridge or sent by mail

This is a step by step instruction how to revive milk kefir grains:


1st Step: Take them out of the liquid and rinse with lukewarm running water, preferably non-chlorinated.

2nd Step: Put them in a glass jar (Kefirko jar) and add just a bit of fresh milk. It is better to use small amount of milk because the grains are not active yet.

5 steps to revive milk kefir grains2

3rd Step: Cover with a clean cap – not to tight to allow gas from the fermentation process to escape and leave the grains in milk on room temperature. You can use Kefirko jar that allows slightly opened top lid. Check regularly if there is a sign of activity.

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4th Step: Shake the jar after 24 hours and see if the milk thickens or it stayed liquid. Stir with swizzle stick or wooden spoon.

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5th Step: Strain the fermented milk – use the plastic sieve or strainer lid on Kefirko jar. Rinse the grains with running water and put them  in fresh milk. If the milk over-fermented use a bit more milk this time.


Repeat steps 1-5 for two to ten days. The clear sign or reactivation of the grains is thickening of the milk. However, pay attention to the smell and looks of it. In case it smells funny after several days or looks strange,  find some fresh grains.

Furthermore if the grains send by mail are fresh you can revive milk kefir grains quite quickly and they can produce drinkable kefir within few days.

Freezed milk kefir grains

It is possible to freeze milk kefir grains. In case to revive milk kefir grains, you need to thaw them in the fridge, strain them and repeat the steps written above. Again, it is important to check if the milk thickens and continue to change milk every 24 hours until grains can produce drinkable kefir.

Dried kefir grains

On the other hand, in case you have dried kefir grains the first thing you need to do is to put them in cold clean water for several hours to re-hydrate. After they’re re-hydrated, put them in the milk. From there the process is the same like with grains in other conditions – allow it to ferment at the room temperature for 24 hours and check if there are signs of kefir production.

Pay attention! If the grains are yellow, brown and crumbly don’t revive them but throw them away.


    • Hi!
      I’m not sure I understand. The grains were frozen or not? If the kefir grains are frozen they can last up to few months. You just take them out, thaw them and revive them (5 steps to revive kefir grains). If they were in the fridge, it’s possible they died. Try to revive them with milk and you will see if the fermentation will happen (the milk will thicken).
      Hope it goes well.

    • Hi,
      yes it can be harmful to put them in the water, especially if it’s not clear. Note, this is a revival of kefir grains. When you have activated grains there is no need to rinse them in water between batches.

  • I received milk kefir grains in the mail 3 days ago.
    I have been soaking them in milk on the counter since.
    The grains are floating on the top. Is that good or bad?

    • Hi Rita!
      It is possible to take more time for grains to activate. Does the milk thicken at all? Try changing the milk a few more days, maybe even stir the milk occasionally and leave it on room temperature. If the grains don’t activate in 7-14 days there is a possibility they are bad.

    • It’s fine. The grains are producing carbon dioxide gas, and that will often cause some grains to float. It’s perfectly natural.

  • Hi I was making Kefir regularly. Over summer I needed to take a break and I put them into milk and left them in the fridge for 2 months. Will they be ok the start up again ?

    • Hi Debbie!
      It’s hard to tell if your grains will still be active. Try to leave them on the room temperature and change the milk every day. The activation can last up to two weeks. If it thickens and the smell is OK, the grains are activated.
      Hope this helps!
      Best regards,

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