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Is the yeast/bacteria balance in mature sourdough starter (fed on wheat and barley) correct for making kefir? If not, why?

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No, you cannot. Kefir grains are a unique Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY). Kefir grains are a gelatinous mass of microorganisms including Lactobacilli, Leuconostic, Acetobacter, and Saccharomyces. By looks, it is more like Ginger Beer Plant than sourdough starter.

It is not possible to create kefir grains from scratch. You will have to buy a starter, or get a donation from someone you know.

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  • Or from someone you don't know. There are forums online to coordinate getting kefir grains. That's how I got mine. – Sobachatina Aug 23 '17 at 2:59
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    I did some further reading and found that the active part of a sourdough starter is indeed a SCOBY but not of the same microbiology as kefir grains. Nevertheless, I will try adding to milk, or perhaps separate a portion of the starter and retrain it by gradually increasing the ratio of milk. I don't know what will happen – Sentinel Aug 23 '17 at 7:17
  • All the species/genera you’ve mentioned in your answer can be (/frequently are) represented in a sourdough starter. – Konrad Rudolph May 30 '18 at 13:26

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