How to Make Kefir

Yesterday I shared all the benefits of kefir and today I want to show you how easy it is to make. If you’ve ever tried to make yogurt, you know it’s tricky business. And you will be delighted to see that kefir is no where as difficult. Let’s get started.

First you need some of little babies, affectionately called ‘kefir grains’. They really aren’t grains. I guess they’re called this because they kind of look like grains. They look more like big curd cottage cheese to me, but I guess kefir cottage cheese would be confusing.

Anyway, getcha some of those. I’ve often seen them for sale on craigslist and the gal at Cultures for Health sells the freeze dried version. Or if you know someone who already has some to gift to you, all the better. And then someday, when you grow too many (they begin to multiply as you make more kefir), you can pass the gift on. Aw. You’re so nice that way.

Now, go grab yourself some milk. And remember, you can use alomond, coconut or rice milk too. But goat milk is fantastic. You know, gotta put a plug in for my bearded ladies.

Pour 1 cup of your milk into a cute little pint sized glass jar. You could use a short glass as well, just make sure there’s some head room. You know, some room for the milk to breath.

Dump in your kefir grains. I know, not exactly rocket science, huh?

Cover with a coffee filter or breathable dish towel to keep the buggies out. Secure with rubber band. You doing okay here?

By they way, if you would like your kefir to be fizzy, I’ve heard you can actually put a lid on the jar. Just make sure there is plenty of head room. You don’t want an exploding kefir. Scary. Messy. Not fun.

Now place in a warm, dark spot. The top of the refrigerator is good if you cover the jar with a dish towel.

Wait 24-48 hours.

Find another cute little jar and a sieve. This time you kind of need it to be a jar if you are not going to drink your kefir right away. I’ve read you want to keep all metals away from your kefir. Some say a stainless steel sieve is okay and others say plastic will only do. The last time I made a batch, I used my plastic pasta grabber spoon. You decide.

Now pour your lovely kefir through the sieve.

The goal here is to catch your grains so you can use them for the next batch.

Now, clean out the jar your kefir was in and start all over again. Do make sure your clean jar is not hot when placing in your grains. The heat can kill them. Just so you know, you don’t have to rinse your grains between batches as the picture earlier hinted at. As a matter of fact, if you do, don’t rinse with tap water. The chlorine in the water will kill your beauteous grains.

As your grains begin to multiply over the weeks, you’ll be able to make more kefir at a time. Your rule of thumb here is 1 tablespoon grains to 1 cup of milk. If you have 4 tablespoons grains, you can culture a quart of milk at one time.

You can drink your kefir straight (I think it’s delicious by itself) or add a sweetener of some kind. I’ve heard maple syrup is delectable. You can also cook with kefir just as if you were using buttermilk. Or make a smoothie.

Speaking of smoothies, I’ll be posting my Mango/Strawberry one soon. You won’t want to miss it. There’s a surprise ending.

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About kathleen

I'm a stay at home chicken momma with 2 boys and a very understanding husband. In December of '09, we moved to our dream farm. I'm excited to try to become more self-sufficient. So far I have 1 rooster, 9 chickens, 2 goats (some babies on their way this spring), 1 llama, a dog, and a cat. Come along and join us, as we city-slickers figure out how to make our own homestead. You're sure to be entertained.
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4 Responses to How to Make Kefir

  1. Traci says:

    Do yuh have any beauteous kefir grains you could spare?

  2. kathleen says:

    Not yet, but when I do, I’ll let yuh know, for sure. 🙂 I’m not sure how long it takes for them to grow to a sizable amount. It looks like I still only have a Tablespoon.

  3. johanna Naranjo says:

    HI Kathleen,
    I was reading your blog on how to make Kefir ( my fav) … very interesting.
    Could you tell once I purchase Kefir how is it store for future use?

  4. kathleen says:

    If you buy kefir grains, you store the grains in milk. The idea is to keep them fed. You’ll have to keep changing the milk every day though. If you want to store them more long term, you can store them in some milk in the freezer. If you freeze them, just beware when you get ready to use them to make kefir, it may take a few batches to get them working again. It takes awhile to ‘wake’ them up.

    Did that answer your question?

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