CFU/ml of Kefir

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    While waiting for my kefir grains to arrive, I am digging information about kefir.

    The first question I want to find is how many colony-forming unit (CFU) in kefir?

    Googling for a while, I found a wide range of answers, ranging from 10 Billion to 1 Billion of CFU/ml, but I am not sure how creditable these info are.

    A glass of 250ml kefir will have 2.5 trillion to 250 billion of probiotics?? I am not too convinced.

    I then finally found a research paper, which I think is more creditable and quite interesting.

    The result shows after 24 hours of fermentation, the number of lactobacilli and lactococc are in the order of 1E8 respectively. The author claims these findings agree with 5 other sources.

    If I am only looking at lactobacilli, it means a 250ml glass of kefir still contains 25 billions, which is not too bad.

    The author further investigate the effect of storage. They store the kefir at 5 degree for up to 28 days. And the finding shows the CFU starts dropping off from 7 to 14 days, from 1E8 to ~1E6.

    If you make your kefir fresh, each glass contains roughly 25 billion of good bacteria. If you want to put them in the fridge, you should consume them within 7 days, or the number of probiotics will decrease by 100 times.


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    Thanks for the great info!!

    I too just started making kefir with grains. Many of the websites I visited said that you could store your “grown” kefir for weeks in the fidge before it would go bad. I doubt I will ever be storing it that long. Any extra help we can get I am all for trying. 🙂


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