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Kefir Chronicles: How Long Does Kefir Last? Shelf Life Guide

The fact is quite surprising that Kafir has a good shelf life, which makes it a reliable option for consumers.

But still, people think about does Kefir go bad; the lasting period of this fermented milk lies between 1 to 4 weeks; it depends on how frequently a person have this drink.

Storing them in good air-tight containers will keep them fresh for an extended period.

After a specific period also, it is not a must option to throw them away; you can use them for the time there is no change in taste and smell.

If you keep them at 4 degrees for more than 24 hours, then an advisable option is to drop its use.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a form of fermented milk that helps to manage blood sugar level, cholesterol and even help in boosting up the overall digestive system.

Word Kefir originates from the Turkish word ‘Keyif,’ which means good feeling.

The drink is made by adding milk, Kafir, and bacteria.

Fermented milk contains probiotic properties that offer good health benefits.

It has consistency similar to drinkable yogurt and has a tart and tangy flavor.

Various types of Kefir are available in the market, including:

  • Juice.
  • Water.
  • Cow, sheep, or goat milk.
  • Coconut or oat milk.

The best thing about consuming Kefir is that they are either fat-free or contains a low amount of fat, which makes it an option with good nutritional value.

You must be careful while storing the food item; keeping them well will increase their shelf life.

How Long Does Kefir Last? Does Kefir Go Bad?

Are you a kefir lover? If yes, you may be willing to know how much time does it last? As we all know, consumers can make this milk by mixing the milk with kefir grains, which creates a tangy taste with lots of nutrients and good bacteria.

Like all other food items, Kefir also gets bad.

If you find a sour smell, taste, and mold presence, then most likely, it has gone bad.

But they last much longer than milk.

Surprisingly, it can last up to 4 weeks if stored properly in a suitable environment.

However, the Kefir’s exact life depends on how you keep them.

Unopened store kefir

The average life span of the unopened store-bought is between one to two weeks.

Usually, store kefirs have fewer chances of spoilage because they are made with non-dairy ingredients and have been pasteurized.

Therefore, if you bring them from the store, you can easily use it for several days.

Homemade Kefir

Most people love making Kefir at home because storing it properly in the refrigerator can last up to four weeks.

Also, you can expand this period by adding preservatives.

But remember, you should not store the homemade option longer because it reduces the probiotics levels.

How to Tell if Kefir Has Gone Bad?

Sour Smell

One crucial sign indicating that Kefir has gone bad is its sour smell.

At any time, if you see that smell turns out to be extra sharp and tangy, then you can avoid its use and throw away.

The bacterial content present in a drink will break, which leads to an unpleasant smell; it indicates them to be no longer a safe option.

Presence Of Molds

Having molds in the drink will indicate that it has gone bad.

Such elements grow in the drinks when their handling and storage are improper.

When microorganisms present in the drink tend to die, they will form a specific layer on top that indicates that no more they are a good option.

Sour Taste

A person who drinks it usually has an idea of their taste; when you will consume them, you know that taste is not actual.

If there is a bitter taste of Kefir, then throw it immediately as no more Kefir is a good option.

Even here can be some change in the color of Kefir, as the growth of bacteria is in the bottle.

Heavily Separated

There is an easy separation seen between water and milk.

You will notice a layer of water on the tip, making the dish no longer a good option.

The texture of Kefir must be the same as buttermilk; if there is a change, throw it away.

How to Store Kefir?

Mainly you can use various places to keep the Kefir; the best thing you need to consider is to keep them in a dry and cool place to have a long shelf life.

The lasting life of them in the freezer will be based on the kind of drink you use.

You can keep them in an ice cube tray or other available options.

  • Unopened Kefir: You can use them for about 2 to 3 months. The probiotics present in milk will make preservation better at low temperatures.
  • Homemade Kefir: Homemade Kefir storage in a freezer will have a general life span of about 3 to 6 months based on the method you use to create it and how you save it. If the milk is non-homogenized, then its life will be about 3 to 4 months.
  • Opened Kefir: In the freezer, Kefir can have a life of about a maximum of 2 months. The probiotic will remain active, but the health benefits will decrease as time decreases. .


Kefir is mainly a living product that will vary in consistency based on whether you made it at home or got it from online stores.

Even a variation is in taste and level of fizz in the body.

If there is a slight change in flavor, a good option is to throw away as they are gone bad.

Kefir’s life will vary based on the storage method you opt for.

In any situation, mold growth or the smell turns stinky; then you can discard the product as no more it is a good option.

How Long Does Kefir Last? Does it Go Bad?

Looking to ensure your kefir stays fresh and delicious? Here's a guide on how long kefir lasts and whether it goes bad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Kefir
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Keyword How Long Does Kefir Last
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