How to Make Kefir?

how to make kefir?

Quick tutorial: How to make Kefir from Kefir Grains

If you have no idea what Kefir is, then check this kefir info page out first. As we’ll jump right in with the 3 steps process to make Kefir yourself.

 

Step One: Get Kefir Grains & Feed them

kefir grains

You can choose between cows milk, goats milk, water kefir grains (and – a candida sufferer’s worst scare factor – sugar kefir grains, eeek).

With water kefir grains you can culture dairy alternatives such as soy milk, nut milk or coconut milk.

Making Kefir from cows milk is very popular, as the lactose in it gets broken down by the Kefir organisms. This makes the resulting Kefir easier to digest, so it often even agrees with people who are lactose intolerant. But since you can’t know for sure when this happens, you might still ingest some. To minimize any possible allergic response I’d suggest you opt for goats milk, like I did.

You can either buy kefir grains online or perhaps a kind soul has given you some grains. Now what do you do?

You will need to feed your kefir grains with goats milk, preferably raw full fat goats milk – or whatever drink your new friends favour ?

The kefir grains are little live organisms and they get hungry. So you have to feed them every day!

How many Kefir Grains do you need to make Kefir?

As a rule of thumb use 20 parts milk to 1 part kefir grains, that’s 1 tbsp of kefir grains in 2 cups of milk.

My grains are currently living in the coconut  butter glass you see below.

I’d say there’s about 3 heaped tbsp of grains in there. Gosh, that makes me sound as if I’m starving the little “kefir lot”.

I’m sure I only put a tbsp in when I started this – they must have multiplied!

Help, I’m gonna have to give Kefir grains to all my friends, lol – Oh, I’m sure they’d appreciate that, haha.

Well, it looks like I’m not feeding my kefir grains properly (she said shamefully). You actually need quite a lot of milk for this endeavor – I had no idea what I’d get myself into here. I am barely keeping my 5 plants alive – how am I going to feed the grainies EVERY day with a liter of milk, huh?!

So you put the kefir grains in a jar or glass bottle and fill it 3/4 full with milk.

Put a nut milk bag or some kind of breathable gauze material over the top and let it sit on the kitchen top out of direct sunlight.

goatsmilk kefir grains

Kefir grains are funny little things – pretty disgusting looking on first inspection – in a verry nobbly jelly springy yeasty horror kinda way.

Strangely enough, once you start feeding them and consume the kefir they produce, they start to grow on you. I’m much friendlier to them now :-)

Step Two: After 24hrs to 48 hrs your first Kefir should be Ready

fermenting kefir

Note: The kefir grains might need a few days to climatize to the new surroundings and recover from the transport trauma.

So you might want to use less milk in the first batch so you don’t have to chuck it all away, in case it tastes a bit funny…

After a few hours you’ll notice the top layer thickening. Giving it a bit of a shake is speeding the culturing process up.

After 24 hours it will start to bubble and smell slightly sour. You can drink it before then. But 24 hours is a good time frame for the lactose to be broken down and more nutrients to have developed.

Mine started to bubble way sooner than that, as I put far too many grains into a jar with too little milk, ooops!

Step Three: Strain through a Plastic Sieve & Refill the used jar with milk and grains

making kefir cream cheese

It’s best to use a plastic sieve and a plastic spoon for this I’ve heard. Not entirely sure why, but I’ll go with that. Bamboo is an alternative if you want to avoid plastic and steel.

Kefir FAQ and where to buy Kefir Grains from

Here’s an excellent Kefir FAQ page with all the answers to any questions you could possibly have about Kefir. And another excellent resource on anything to do with Kefir, right down to it’s molecular structure, dosage, uses, where to buy Kefir grains… (US based).

I bought mine from raw-and-pure.co.uk.

Two important things to bare in mind:

1. Kefir grains are SUPER resilient – don’t worry that you could be killing them – you’re not!

People have reported they had forgotten all about their kefir for months and were still able to re-activate the grains. These had just lay dormant and needed a few feeding cycles until they produced good kefir again and were able to grow.

2. The longer you leave the kefir to culture – the more binding it gets (in other words: the more likely you get constipation from it!)

How to Make Creamy Kefir Yoghurt/ Cream Cheese

kefir cream cheese

Use full fat milk and let your Kefir Grains & Milk Mixture sit at room temperature for at least 48 hours, possibly longer.

Wait until the Kefir forms a solid white layer that separates from the cloudy/ clear liquid. Then strain it through a fine mesh plastic sieve. So you are left with the “cream cheese” textured Kefir. Then either store in the fridge as is. Or add some seasoning and herbs of your choice to make an aromatic dip or spread.

If you want to read more about Health Benefits of Kefir, whether it’s suitable on the Candida Diet and how I got on with the whole Kefir shebang, then click here.

    I shared this post with Gluten free Fridays, Tasty Traditions, Allergy free Wednesdays and Raw Foods Thursdays.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    About The Author

    Sandra

    5 Comments

    • This is so helpful! Thanks for breaking it all down for us!

      • Sandra

        Reply Reply April 27, 2013

        Thanks so much Davida :-)
        Have you tried making Kefir yet?

    • I used to make kefir ALL the time before we went dairy free…sooooo good for you. You walked your readers through the process beautifully! I had no idea you could make it with nut milks! I may need to hit up my local kefir friend for a piece of starter. :)

      And thanks for sharing at Raw Foods Thursdays!!

      Heather

    • Sandra

      Reply Reply May 2, 2013

      Thank you :-) I am keen to try it out with nut milk, too. It only just occurred to me that all of a sudden I am consuming lots of dairy, that I didn’t before… Not good.

      You’ll be pleased to hear that I have a new smoothie up my sleeve ? Right in time for Raw Foods Thursday!

      Sandra

    • Great information! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

      Be sure to stop by to see who the winner of our So Lucky GF Basket is! We are ALSO having a fantastic giveaway this week to kick off Celiac Awareness month! :)

      Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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