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Home > Kefir > Plain Milk Kefir taste not for you? Flavour it!

Plain Milk Kefir taste not for you? Flavour it!

After first 24 hours of fermentation you are presented with fantastic probiotic drink. Kefir is well known and celebrated for its health benefits. However, taste (and smell) of plain milk kefir is not pleasant to all.  

Taste of kefir highly depends on health of your kefir grains, on type of milk you are using and the ratio between grains and milk. There are also other things which effect end result, but overall, kefir tastes a bit sour and has a very distinct smell.

Kefir is fermented milk drink rich with probiotics

What can you do?

There are plenty ways of using kefir. Drinking it plain is just one, which does give you most benefits, since healthy bacteria are introduced straight to your digestive system. You can of course use kefir in smoothies and many other recipes (many on this blog under Recipes).

One option is also flavouring kefir. This can happen in second fermentation, when kefir grains are removed and bacteria in kefir age on their own. At this point of preparation, you can simply add ingredients which will add flavour to it.

It is important not to add flavouring ingredients in the first 24 hours, when you still have kefir grains in the milk. By flavouring kefir in the second fermentation, you avoid contaminating kefir grains. Specially ingredients like ginger can significantly affect your grains.

What flavours can I use?

milk kefir
Adding flavours to milk kefir after first 24 hours can significantly improve its taste

Well there are very little limitations. It’s completely up to you and your tasting buds. Here, we highly recommend experimentation. You and your family might find perfect combination for all of you.

Here are some ideas:

  • Citrus fruit peels
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Fruits (chopped)
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon

When flavouring kefir make sure to use ingredients which can be easily removed after second fermentation. It might help if you use tea bag which can be removed afterwards, however, make sure to mix kefir every once in a while.

Second fermentation

Second fermentation can be up to 24 hours and should be done with airtight lid. You can second ferment on room temperature and then chill before serving.

You can do second fermentation also simply to get even higher bacteria count and remove even more lactose.


Get your second fermentation supplies here.

Get Kefirko kefir fermenter here.


  1. I read that Kefir is good because the bacteria present are more resistant to damage from stomach acid. I know that lemons have disinfectant properties so my question is – Can adding some flavours break down the healthy bacteria?

    • Hi! Thanks for this interesting question.
      Kefir is filled with probiotics that affect our gut in a good way. But as with every fermented beverages it’s best to take them as a meal or before the meal so it can survive the transit “through” our gut as opposed to taking them after the meal. With regards to your question about the lemon. Lemon juice is mostly used for water kefir and it seems it does not leave any negative effects when used after straining the grains. Water kefir is full of microbes after you strain the grains, and if you add juice to it and leave it to second ferment, it will become more bubbly and less sweet, this proves the fermentation is still going on and the lemon juice does not stop the fermentation.
      Hope this helps answering your question.
      Enjoy making kefir!

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