Water vs Milk Kefir: What is the Difference?

Are you wondering what is the difference between water kefir and milk kefir?

Milk kefir and water kefir may have the same name, but they are two completely different fermented beverages.

One is a kind of drinkable yogurt with a tangy taste, and the other is a slightly sweet naturally fizzy drink.

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between the two types of kefir.

In summary:

StarterMilk kefir grainsWater kefir grains
IngredientsMilkWater, sugar & fruits
Fermentation time24 to 48h24 to 48h

What is Milk Kefir?

Milk kefir is a fermented milk that looks a bit like a drinkable yogurt. It is an increasingly popular drink because of its health benefits.

Milk kefir can be found in grocery stores, and is very easy to make at home. Just add milk kefir grains to some milk and leave it on the counter.

After 24 hours, you have kefir! You don’t even need a yogurt make.

The magic of milk kefir is in the kefir grains. They are small, white gelatinous clusters that look like tiny cauliflowers.

They contain a jungle of microorganisms just waiting to jump into fresh milk to ferment it into kefir.

Pouring milk kefir in a glass

Milk kefir has been used for thousands of years. Before the refrigerator was invented, kefir was very handy for preserving the nutrients and properties of milk!

Nowadays, we drink it more for its good taste, its creamy texture and its billions of natural healthy probiotics.

Learn how to make milk kefir!


What is Water Kefir?

Like milk kefir, water kefir is a natural fermented drink that can be prepared in 24 to 48 hours.

It looks like kombucha, but water kefir (also known as fruit kefir or tibicos) is easier and faster to make!

To make water kefir, you need water kefir grains. They are often smaller than milk kefir grains and are translucent.

They, too, harbour many microorganisms. However, these yeast and bacteria eat simple sugar and not milk.

To make water kefir, add water kefir grains to water and sugar. Leave it on the counter for a day or two and voilà! You have a sweet, fizzy and tangy drink to sip when you want to cool off.

Water kefir with fruit

It’s a bit like a soft drink, but natural and healthier! Water kefir is packed with probiotics and is much less sweet than store-bought carbonated drinks.

What we also love about fruit kefir is that it can be customized in endless ways.

Learn how to make water kefir! and discover benefits of kefir water.


What is the Best Kefir for Me?

Both fermented drinks are as easy to make and ferment in just 24 to 48 hours.

If you love dairy products and want to give a boost to your smoothies, give milk kefir a try!

It’s easier to digest than milk, more nutritious, and packed with probiotics.

If, on the contrary, you are looking for a refreshing, fruity drink, then water kefir is for you!

You will produce a sparkling drink that you can easily customize according to your taste.


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