Does Kefir Go Bad?

Does kefir go bad or not? How do you tell if kefir has gone bad? Here's a super simple guide with all the answers you need.

Kefir is a fermented drink made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk. It has so many health benefits, making it quite popular.

If your kefir doesn’t quite taste as it usually does, you may be wondering: Does kefir go bad? How long does it last?

Here is what you need to know about kefir. When unopened, kefir lasts a week past its sell-by date. Once you open your kefir, use it up within 3-5 days or up until the sell-by date.

Related:Can You Freeze Milk Kefir?Does Yogurt Go Bad?

How To Tell If Your Kefir Have Gone Bad

kefir in jug and glass

Look out for these signs of spoilage if you’re concerned about the freshness of your kefir.

Firstly, a look at the appearance of your kefir will give you some sure signs. If you find any mold, fuzzy growth, or a color change, you should discard it as soon as possible. Also if you notice a heavy separation like a layer of liquid on top, it’s time to let go of your kefir.

Secondly, take a whiff of your kefir. If it has an off or very sour smell, get rid of it. 

Next is the texture. If you see that your kefir is chunky and it becomes more difficult to pour.

If there are no other signs of it going bad and it seems okay, give it a taste. Only hold onto your kefir if you’re happy with the taste and it hasn’t been in your storage for too long. A sour taste means it should be tossed out.

How To Store Kefir

When it comes to storing kefir, it is quite simple. Like any dairy products, store kefir in the fridge.

Pro tip: place your kefir in the far corner of the fridge as the temperature doesn’t fluctuate as much.

Once the container is open, make sure it is sealed tightly and put in the fridge when not in use.

Can You Freeze Kefir?

kefir brands

Kefir can be frozen but it is generally not recommended. The reason for this is because the liquids separate from the solids after thawing. This isn’t usually the texture that you’d want from your kefir. However, feel free to use your thawed kefir in cooked dishes as the consistency shouldn’t be a problem.

But how should you freeze your kefir? A good trick is to use an ice cube tray. By using an ice cube tray you can use as much as you need without having to defrost everything. Place the cubes in the fridge the night before you’re ready to use them.  

The Shelf-Life Of Kefir

Kefir comes with a sell-by date that you can use as a guide to tell how long it will keep its freshness.

An unopened package of kefir will usually last a week past the sell-by date in the fridge. Once you open the package to enjoy, the shelf-life decreases. It can either last 3-5 days in the fridge or up until the sell-by date.

Maybe you made a batch of homemade kefir. If this is the case, you can hold onto it for 2-3 weeks if it’s stored in the fridge.

The Health Benefits Of Kefir

milk kefir

Kefir has many nutrients such as protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, B2, magnesium, and some vitamin D. It is a better source of probiotics than yogurt, which means it aids in digestion and weight management.

Another benefit of kefir is the antibacterial properties, keeping certain bacteria at bay. Furthermore, kefir has shown results that can improve bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis.

If you have digestive problems, kefir may be just what you need as it can help restore the balance of the necessary bacteria in your gut.

The Verdict On Kefir

Kefir is so easy to make at home and lasts much longer than regular kefir. Here’s a recipe to get you started on enjoying all the benefits of kefir.

Kefir may not last long; however, there are a few tricks that you can use to lengthen its shelf-life. Always keep it stored in the fridge for short-term storage or place it in the freezer for a longer period.

However, the freezer will affect the quality of your kefir, so it’s best to use it in cooked dishes.

Alternatively, homemade kefir lasts much longer in the fridge.

Overall, keep an eye out for signs of spoilage in the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of your kefir.

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.