Traditional Foods: Making Milk Kefir with a Video (or two …)

I wanted to explain how easy it is to make Kefir.  I read and read about doing it, but having a friend actually show me in her kitchen made it much less intimidating.

 
Kefir is like a tangy, drinkable yogurt.  It’s a probiotic, naturally cultured, enzyme containing yogurt-like dairy product that is amazing for smoothies, in place of yogurt for snack, can be used for soaking grains, and the list goes on.  You can also use it to get whey.


Did I mention it is delicious?  Especially with a little
ground up Organic Sucanatand fruit on top?  =)

Lexie’s first time trying kefir- she LOVED it!
 

First, what you need to make kefir is some milk kefir grains

Kefir grains look like little cauliflower or tapioca grains, that turn milk into kefir!
 
You can have a wonderful friend give you some (because they multiply ….) or you can buy some dried kefir grains from Cultures for Health, or you can purchase some off etsy, even.  There are also some sold on Amazon
I personally, would try to get some locally from a friend or someone in the community (via freecycle or craigslist?).  If that isn’t an option, I would probably go etsy next, simply because it would be easier than rehydrating them from Cultures for Health.  But that’s just me … I am not afraid of another “traditional foodie”‘s kefir grains.  =)
 
For about 2 teaspoons of grains, I use about 16 oz of milk.  We use raw milk from a local farm (raw milk is healthier and can actually aid in healing the gut because all the beneficial enzymes and bacteria have not been killed off via pasteurization), but any milk will work
 
(Passionate Homemaking has a recipe for COCONUT MILK KEFIR!  I am so excited, because now I can make kefir for my little dairy allergy-havin’ Mister!  Yay)
 
OK, back to milk kefir.  There are two types of kefir grains: dairy and water.  Be sure you get dairy for the yogurt-like kefir.  (I want to try water kefir grains next!  But that comes after I master sourdough bread!)
 

So, you need:

  • milk
  • a jar
  • a coffee filter
  • a rubber band
  • kefir grains
 
1) Put your kefir grains in the jar

2) add the 2 cups or so of milk.

3). Cover with the coffee filter, secured by the rubber band, and let it sit for about 24 hours (24-36 hours is average. (the purpose of the filter is to keep bugs, namely fruit flies, out but still allow the fermentation process the air it needs.)  

Leave the jar sitting on the counter to do its thing- try not to have it near fruit or other foods you have that are fermenting. You can also put it on top of the fridge or something, but I would forget it up there ….

The longer you leave it after 24 hours, the tangier and fizzier it becomes!  FUN!  And, if ever you leave it too long (which I have done) you just sorta scrape off the top layer of really thick stuff, and continue on like normal.

You can sorta see the whey starting to form “pockets” in there … that’s how you know it’s working!  Sometimes it will start at the top, other times at the bottom .. the grains sorta have a mind of their own.  =) 
 
4) After 24 or so hours, simply pour the kefir into a plastic mesh strainer
over a bowl, so you can separate out the grains.

5) When you are done, you will have your little grains in the strainer, and in the bowl you will have kefir!  Put your kefir in a jar and place in the fridge, or go ahead and use it.
 
6) Lastly, I take the grains and put them in a jar, add a little bit of the kefir I just made (this gets the good bacteria back in there and “boosts” the batch), and then pour in about 2 cups of milk, cover and do it all over again!
 
We like our kefir in smoothies, as a drinkable yogurt, and as “frozen treats,” (aka smoothie’s frozen into popsicle forms).  You can also flavor kefir in a second fermentation (like you would kombucha tea).  Learn more about that here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/second-fermentation-milk-kefir

After they get acclimated to your milk (yes, I did just say that) they will do a great job turning the milk into kefir.
 
So, people joke about kefir grains being like pets … and they kinda are.  

You have to keep them alive….  BUT HAVE NO FEAR!  They are so easy to keep alive.  


If ever you want to take a break from making kefir, just put them in a jar or bowl, in the fridge and feed them milk every few days or so.  They need the sugars from the milk to stay alive.
 
They are a live organism, after all …
 
But with that kefir you can also make cream cheese and whey!  That post is coming soon!

Here is a 6 minute video (how embarrassing  …) on how I make kefir!

 

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3 comments

  1. Kim Adams Morgan says:

    Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before. The video was fascinating. Not sure I’d do this, I’m a vegetarian and don’t drink a lot of milk (because of the hormones/chemicals), if I do, it’s either 1% organic or Silk. It is a great process. I’m so glad I clicked on your link, you were my neighbor on the Thursday link up. I’ve just learned something totally new! 🙂

    • Megs501 says:

      Kim, thanks for dropping by!

      Kefir is a really fun traditional food to work with! We buy organic, grassfed raw milk from a local farmer that we trust. It is delicious and makes great kefir.

      Glad you learned something new. =)

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