Question: Is it permissible to drink kefir? Kefir contains 0,6 - 0,8% alcohol. However it has been told that it is beneficial for health. So what is the ruling about drinking kefir in Islam?
Kefir (kephir) is a fermented dairy product. Like all fermented products, alcohol emerges during fermentation in kefir, too.
Kefir is named as sweet, medium , strong and very strong depending on the length of fermentation. The fermentation may last for 12, 24, 48, 60-72 hours. The amount of emerging alcohol increases by time. Especially in hard and very hard kefir, the amount of alcohol doubles or triples. For a kefir that has been fermented for a year, alcohol rate goes up 4%. In Turkey, sweet kefir is produced.
Alcohol emerges in vinegar, grape juice, pickle, boza, bread and other fermented bakery products naturally due to fermentation. In bread, alcohol on the crust evaporates by heat. However, significant amount of alcohol still remains in bread. In these products alcohol rate is usually 2-3%. At the same time, natural products such as orange, lemon, mint contains 2-3% alcohol. However, none of them intoxicates.
Accordingly, the alcohol that naturally emerges in kefir won’t intoxicate the drinker. It is not objectionable to produce, sell or drink it.