You can buy the starter grains online or in certain health food shops.
Easier to make than yogurt. No heating involved.
Lower in sugar than milk.
This is a method for milk kefir. Water kefir will have a slightly different process.
Use full fat cows, sheep or goats milk.
Non-dairy milk such as coconut or nut milk can also be made into kefir, however, the grains will need to sit and revitalize in cows milk in between sessions otherwise they will die.
The starter grains are reusable and will grow and multiply over time. They look like small clouds or cauliflower heads. Having the right amount of grains is important. We recommend 1 tbsp of grains per 1 cup of milk.
The grains are a culture of milk proteins, yeasts and bacteria which ferment milk, that is, turn the lactose sugar into lactic acid.
After the initial fermentation when you have made kefir and removed the grains, you may choose to do a secondary fermentation. This means leaving the kefir out of the fridge for 24-48 hours or in the fridge for 4-7 days with a tightly secured lid.
This often gives the kefir a milder taste and more carbonation so it will be fizzy without being overly sour. A secondary fermentation will also result in kefir with less of the natural milk sugar called lactose. This is also the stage where you can flavor the kefir with fruits or berries.
Makes 2-5 servings
1 Drain your kefir grains if they are in a small amount of milk using a metal sieve.
1 Place the grains into a clean jar.
2 Cover the grains with milk and give it a quick stir. Make sure to leave 1-2 inches at the top for the milk to expand. Cover with a cheesecloth or a paper towel and a rubber band.
3 Allow to stand at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
4 You might notice the milk starting to separate which is normal and an indication that fermentation is taking place. If you leave the jar out for too long you'll start to get a lot of separation in the milk. The kefir may be overly sour at this point and next time leave it out for less time.
5 After 12-24 hours separate the grains from the kefir with the use of a sieve.
6 Place the kefir back into a jar and secure tightly with a lid.
7 The kefir is ready now although we recommend doing a further fermentation with the lid tightly secured on to make it taste smooth and bubbly. Either leave the jar at room temperature for 1-2 days or 4-7 days in the fridge. It should be pleasant to drink. Don’t force yourself to drink kefir that is overly sour. Simply make a new batch and ferment for a shorter amount of time.
8 You can use the grains to make another batch of kefir or storing them for later use by covering them with milk and keeping them in the fridge. Ideally, you would add fresh milk weekly to keep them happy. Alternatively, add a lot of milk and keep them for up to 3 weeks without refeeding. When you wish to use them again, allow them 12 hours at room temperature with a splash of milk to revitalize before making kefir. Do not freeze the grains