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.
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.