Kumis Colombiano Casero (Homemade Colombian Kumis)

by Erica Dinho on June 17, 2013

Kumis Colombiano Casero (Homemade Colombian Kumis)

Kumis is a sour and creamy, popular Colombian drink. You can find it pre-made in almost every grocery store in Colombia, so making Kumis at home is no longer so common.

The traditional way to make Colombian Kumis is by fermenting raw unpasteurized cow’s milk over the course of several hours or days. My grandmother made Kumis from scratch all the time. She had a large clay pot just to make Colombian Kumis. I actually hated it as a kid. I only started drinking it when I came to the United States and began missing my Colombian food.

Kumis Colombiano Casero (Homemade Colombian Kumis)

Making Kumis at home is very easy and I want to share two different, but both very easy recipes for making Kumis. You don’t need special ingredients or fancy equipment to make these two recipes. Here are my mom’s and my Aunt Luz’s Kumis recipes using pasteurized whole milk. Buen provecho!



  • 1/2 gallon organic whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar


  1. Put whole milk and lime juice in glass jar.
  2. Place the mixture in a glass jar and cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature. Let the mixture sit for 12 to 24, hours stirring periodically with a wooden spoon (not metal).
  3. Place the mixture in a blender with the sugar and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge for 24
  4. hours more and serve.
  5. Kumis Colombiano Casero (Homemade Colombian Kumis)

  6. Ingredients: for my aunt’s Kumis:
  7. 1/2 gallon organic whole milk
  8. 1/4 cup commercial yogurt that contains active cultures
  9. 1/2 cup of sugar
  10. Directions:
  11. Heat the Milk in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Don’t let it boil.
  12. Let the milk cool until hot to the touch. Pour about a cup of the warm milk into a small bowl and whisk it with the yogurt. Pour it back into the pan of milk.
  13. Place the mixture in a glass jar and cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature. Let the mixture sit for 12 to 24 hours.
  14. Place the mixture in a blender with the sugar and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge for 24 hours more and serve.
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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Belinda @zomppa June 17, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Huh…you got me intrigued! Want to try this!


2 Angie@Angie's Recipes June 18, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Sour and creamy…sounds fantastic and lovely for the summer.


3 Brightbiologist June 18, 2013 at 11:47 AM

seems sort of like kefir. My girls LOVE that! I wonder if they’d like kumis. Do you ever flavor with fruit or fruit purees?


4 Erica Dinho June 18, 2013 at 1:13 PM

I don’t! I like to drink it plain!


5 Evelyne@cheapethniceatz June 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I think you know how much I enjoy dairy/cheese products :-) Must give this a try!


6 grace June 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

this is really, really interesting, erica! my first thought is that i wouldn’t like the taste or texture of this, but after mulling it over, i think i simply must give it a try!


7 Adriana June 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Kumis is a must buy every time I go to Colombia. Thanks for sharing the recipes, I’ll try both! Just came back from vacation in Colombia and I’m craving Kumis already ;-)


8 Norma - Platanos, Mangoes and Me! July 1, 2013 at 7:05 PM

When growing up in Venezuela my Dad would make this…Wow it’s been so long since I had this…..


9 Gloria Carvajalino C. November 4, 2013 at 9:49 PM

I love my colombian Kumis and I really miss it. Here, somebody told me to put some sugar in buttermilk to try to recreate the taste, but it is not the same. I will try both. :)


10 zara March 18, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Question: the second recipe wouldn’t make yogurt instead of kumis since you used yogurt to star with?


11 AdrianaG April 3, 2014 at 3:54 AM

A few quetions:

1. Have you tried either of these recipes with raw unpasteurized milk?

2. In your aunt’s recipe “Let the milk cool until hot to the touch. ” don’t you mean ” warm to the touch” ? Typically temperatures over 120°F will kill the starter bacteria.

3. Can reculture a new batch of kumis using some from the previous batch or is it best to start fresh with starer from yogurt !


12 Juan Guerra August 16, 2014 at 8:18 PM

I have made Kumis at home that is very thick and great tasting, using a small 150ml pak of store bought Kumis as a starter, and a 1.1 Liter bag of Whole Pasteurized Milk.

Both are at room temperature when I start. Into a sterile plastic jug of about 1.5 Liters I empty the small Kumis pak. Then I pour about half of the whole milk into a sterile, plastic measuring cup and place it in a small microwave oven. I use full power for 90 seconds and the milk is warm, not hot, about 85-90 degrees F. I pour the warmed milk into the jug with the starter Kumis and stir for a few seconds with a sterile spoon. I then pour the rest of the whole milk into the empty measuring cup and microwave it for 90 seconds.
I then add the rest of the warmed milk to the jug and stir to mix it all up.

I cover the jug and place it in warm cabinet that is about 95-100 degrees F. It is warmed by a 40 watt bulb. After about 3-4 hours it thickens and I place it overnight in the fridge and the next morning I enjoy a cup of fresh Kumis.

As long as I leave about an inch of Kumis at the bottom of the jug, I can repeat making more Kumis from only Whole Milk.

Since I arrived in Colombia 2 years ago and a carpenter made my warmer cabinet, I have bought the small 150 ml starter pak only three times.


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