The Kefir Starter

The Lifeway Kefir Starter product image.
Each kit includes THREE 5g packets.

It's easier than ever to enjoy the delicious taste and incredible health benefits of fresh kefir at home with our Kefir Starter! Simply add our custom kefir cultures to your favorite milk or non-dairy milk such as almond or cashew milk to make a powerful probiotic drink the whole family can enjoy.

  • Easy to use
  • Can use milk or non-dairy milk
  • 7 Probiotic Cultures
  • Gluten-Free
  • GMO-Free
Total Fat
Total Carb

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Lactose (milk) bacterial cultures: L. Lactis, L. cremoris, L. diacetylactis, L. rhamnosus, K. maxianus Probiotic bacterial cultures: Bifido lactis, L. rhamnosus




1. HEAT one quart of liquid to 175°-180°F. Allow to cool to 68°-78°F.
2. POUR the liquid into a sterilized glass or plastic container and stir in one packet of starter culture.
3. COVER the container with cheese cloth or a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band or string. Allow to culture at room temperature (72°-74°F) for 16-18 hours.

Drink immediately or cover with a tight lid and refrigerate until cold. Consume within one to two weeks.

Best Practices

1. Keep your kefir away from other types of food while culturing.
2. Keep your kefir at a consistent temperature while culturing (72-74F).
3. While culturing, keep your kefir out of direct sunlight.
4. Be sure to thoroughly wash and sanitize your jars before you start a batch of kefir.


  • Do I need to wash the jar in between each time?

    Yes, we recommend that you wash the jar used after each batch.

  • How long can I keep my kefir starter refrigerated?

    The cultures can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three years.

  • How do I flavor my homemade kefir?

    To add your favorite flavors to your homemade kefir, all you needed to do is add your desired amount of the sweetener of your choice, such as maple syrup, jam or honey, to your prepared kefir, or you can add fresh fruits and vegetables and blend in a custom smoothie. Adding these toppings/ingredients at serving time is best. For more inspiration visit our recipe page

  • Can I keep my Kefir Starter frozen?

    Yes, you can keep the starter frozen for up to three years to maintain the optimal bacterial concentration. However, keeping them refrigerated is sufficient.

  • Does the Kefir Starter contain growth hormones?

    No, the Lifeway Kefir Starter does not contain any growth hormones..

  • Does the Kefir Starter contain antibiotics?

    No, the kefir starter does not contain any antibiotics.

  • Are Lifeway Kefir products kosher?

    Yes, the Lifeway Kefir Starter is Kosher certified!

  • Is the Kefir Starter gluten free?

    Yes, the Lifeway Kefir Starter is gluten free!

  • Do you have to stir the kefir while it is culturing?

    No, you do not need to stir the kefir.

  • Once my kefir is made, how long can I keep it?

    We recommend consuming homemade kefir within one to two weeks for best flavor and results.

  • How long does it normally take to make homemade kefir?

    It normally takes between 16 to 18 hours to get the results desired. The exact amount will vary depending on many factors such as: the temperature, the type of milk used. Non-dairy milks typically require a longer culturing time to achieve the desired taste.

  • Is the Lifeway Kefir Starter reusable?

    Yes, the Lifeway kefir starter is reusable, however, the number of times that it can be reused will vary and can impact the taste and activity of the kefir. For best results, we recommend re-culturing within 7 days. In order to re-culture, simply follow the steps in making kefir, but instead of adding the powdered starter, add ¼ of a cup of prepared kefir.

  • Why should I make my own kefir?

    There are many benefits to making your own kefir. Making homemade kefir can have a higher level of probiotic activity (because you control the culturing time), and you can be as creative as you want to be with the flavors!

  • Is it possible to make kefir with almond, coconut, soy milk?

    Soy milk can be used as long as one table spoon of sugar is added per each quart of milk before adding the cultures. However, almond and coconut milk do not always produce satisfactory results. If making kefir with a non-dairy nut milk, we recommend using homemade nut milk.

  • What types of liquids can I use?

    For best results, we recommend using organic whole dairy milk. Fruit juice, almond, coconut, and cashew milk can work as well, though results vary.

  • How do I know when my kefir is done?

    You'll know your kefir is ready when the consistency of the liquid changes. Dairy kefir will thicken and may form a layer of cream. Non-dairy kefir can become slightly fizzy and bubbly.

  • Can I flavor my kefir?

    You sure can, but only after it finishes fermenting. Some of our favorite ways to flavor kefir include adding maple syrup, honey, or vanilla before serving or storing.

  • How should I store my kefir?

    Fresh kefir should be stored in a closed (not air-tight) container in your refrigerator. For best flavor, consume within 7-14 days.