How To Make Kefir

How To Make Kefir

Kefir, how do you make it?

It is quite simple and a lot of fun. You can make dairy with a variety of milks, dairy and non dairy. There are two ways to make kefir. One with grains that reproduce and will last a life time (if you don’t kill them with heat or starve them by not feeding them.) Or you can purchase kefir culture packages. You get 6 packages that makes 42 gallons of kefir. Instructions for this kind of kefir is inside the packages. This explanation is for kefir using kefir grains.

You will need to find or purchase kefir grains. Here are some resources.

Donna’s Kefir Grains

  More Kefir Starters

Shared Kefir Grains

For dairy free kefir options click here.

How to Make Kefir

For culturing 1 to 2 cups of kefir

1-2 tablespoons  of  Kefir grains.

(3 to 4-cup) glass jar with lid or cover with plastic wrap I use a quart measuring jar.

Preferably a non-metal strainer and spoon

A non-metal  container with wide mouth for straining and storing the kefir I like glass.

1 to 2 cups of fresh milk (Most milk-types are acceptable, including whole milk, fat-reduced, non-fat, pasteurized and homogenized. Although I mostly enjoy fresh raw whole cow’s milk to culture kefir)

Kefir Grains


Place  fresh kefir grains in a  glass jar and fill the jar with fresh milk (best not to fill jar more than 2/3 – 3/4 full)

Place a lid on the jar or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for approx. 24 hours, or until the milk has thickened or has become sour to your liking (designate a spot for kefir fermentation  in a cupboard or away from direct sunlight)


Strain through a fine mesh strainer




Pour the contents into a non-metal strainer or strain with slotted spoon.( I use a plastic slotted spoon) and strain the kefir into a container to separate the grains from the liquid kefir. What you’ve strained is kefir ready for consumption or you can put it into the fridge for later.



Kefir grains strained



Wash the jar then place the kefir grains from the strainer back into the washed jar. [Do not add kefir grains to a jar which is hot from washing!] Then  add fresh milk.


Make kefir in a canning jar.






The whole process is simply repeated for the next batch.




Storing Your Kefir on Vacation

If you don’t want to make new, kefir and want to store it, place it in at least 2 cups of milk remembering that if you have 1 Tbsp of grains to 1 cup of milk rule and adding a little more. I like to store mine in at least 3 cups of milk making sure that they have plenty of food to eat. Then you place this in the refrigerator. This will last for one week and then if you want to do it longer drain the milk and add new milk after 1 week. If you are going  to be gone longer than a week double the milk you would add. It eats the lactose (milk sugar ) out of the milk and you want to be sure it has plenty to eat and won’t die. It is a living colony  and needs food just as you do.

Second Ferment Your Kefir

This is what I do on a regular basis. It taste better, less sour and the B vitamins sky-rocket. Once you try this you won’t go back to making it without second fermenting. So Good!! For more ideas to second ferment your kefir, check out this post. Second ferment your kefir.

Second Ferment Your Kefir
The only way I make my kefir now!
  • 2 cups Basic Kefir
  • 1 organic orange or lemon (see note)
  • Things I have second fermented my kefir with are; lemon or orange peel, whole strawberries, chia tea bag, cinnamon stick, and vanilla extract. I take the item out after the second ferment or leave them in and store the flavored kefir in the fridge.
  1. Place the kefir in a glass jar that can be securely sealed.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel one strip of zest from the orange or lemon—the equivalent of one time around the fruit—avoiding the white pith, which is bitter.
  3. Place the zest in the jar with the kefir and close securely.
  4. Leave the jar on your kitchen counter, out of direct sunlight, for 24 hours to ferment a second time.
  5. After 24 hours, transfer the jar to the refrigerator, leaving in the zest. This kefir can be stored in the fridge in its jar for one year.
If you don’t have an organic lemon or orange, you can dip your orange or lemon in boiling water for 30 seconds, then rinse in cold water. This removes any chemicals.

Blueberry Banana Kefir Smoothie
This will create a two-sided drink. Kids love this!
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup of kefir
  • 2 pcks stevia or your choice of sweetener
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup kefir
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 pcks stevia or your choice of sweetener
  1. Blend each smoothie separately in a blender until smooth, then pour into two separate pitchers.Then take a tall glass and pour at the same time from both pitchers into the glass.



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