Tips On Getting Started Making Your Own Kefir From Live Kefir Grains by tgparker .....

Here's a fairly easy step-by-step method to start making your own Kefir drink from live Kefir grains.

Date:   5/5/2005 10:04:00 PM ( 12 y ago)

Tips On Getting Started Making Your Own Kefir From Live Kefir Grains

Here's a fairly easy step-by-step method to start making your own Kefir drink from live Kefir grains.

1.) As soon as you receive your Live Kefir Grains, empty contents into a pint or 1/2 liter GLASS jar. The general consensus is that most Metals and Plastics are not good for Kefir. The acid in the Kefir reacts with some plastic and metal utensils and some nasty toxic substances may be created that might kill the Kefir or harm you. As a general rule, you can use glass, stainless steel, wooden and "food grade" plastic utensils.

2.) You may notice that the Kefir is a little "stinky". Well I'd be a little "stinky" if I traveled across the country in a little cardboard box, and hadn't had a bath or a shower in three-five days. So give your little critters a nice refreshing bath in about 1/2 a cup of some fresh milk, stir (with a "food grade" plastic, stainless steel, or wooden spoon), or gently shake, and then strain the milk out. Save the Kefir Critters, discard the milk and repeat the process. Do not rinse or "clean" your Kefirs with tap water! Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride and can KILL your Kefir critters. Personally, I like to "bathe" my Kefir babies in milk only and just discard the milk bath. If you don't like the idea of waste, cats, dogs, and plants love Kefir!

3.) Your little Kefir critters should now be nice and clean and are now ready to be fed and put to bed for the night. Place your critters back into the glass jar, and pour in 1/2 a cup of fresh milk. As I've said before, Kefir critters will thrive on almost any kind of milk: raw framer's milk, organic healthfood store milk regular supermarket milk, 1% fat free milk, 2% fat free milk, cow's milk, goat's milk, cream, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and even water. Lightly seal the jar. If you have a mason type jar with a screw-top, then don't tighten the top tight, you want to let any gas build-up escape from the jar. If you don't have a jar top, then place a saucer or plate over the top of the jar. Then leave your critters alone for 12-24 hours.

4.) After about 12 hours you will notice a creamy, foamy curd (the cheesy bit) building up and starting to separate from the whey (the watery bit). At that point I'd give your Kefir critters the old "sniff test". The Kefir should have a clean, slightly sour, yeasty, cheesy smell like something between fresh baked bread, home-made beer, or a nice cheese. If for any reason the Kefirs are still smelling "stinky", then drain the Kefirs and give them another "milk bath", and repeat the process. Usually you should be able to start making drinkable Kefir right away, but sometimes it might take a couple of days to give your Kefir babies time to get over their "jet lag" and get used to their new surroundings.

5.) When the curds are about 1/3 to 1/2 formed (anything between 12-24 hours depending on ambient temperature), it will be time to strain the kefirs. First shake the kefirs, curds and whey vigorously, to slightly homogenize the mix. Pour the brew through a "food grade" plastic or stainless steel strainer with approx. 1/8 inch mesh into another glass container. You don't want too fine a mesh because the curds will clog the strainer and nothing will pour through.

6.) Vigorously shake and/or tap the strainer and most if not all the curds and whey should pour/fall through into the glass container. You will see the little Kefir critters (they sort of look like little cauliflower bits) left remaining in the strainer. Return the Kefir critters back in the first jar, pour back 1/4 of the curds and whey, and refill the jar with 1/2 cup of fresh milk. You are now ready to make tomorrow's batch of Kefir.

7.) Lightly seal (to allow gas to escape) the second glass container with the strained curds and whey and place in fridge to "mature". Some people drink their Kefir right away, some people like to wait 24 hours, some people wait one week - two weeks. That is solely a matter of personal taste. The longer you wait allows the Kefir to eat all the lactose in the Kefir drink, but bear in mind the Kefir gets more sour as time passes. You should also bear in mind a by-product of Kefir process is anything between 0.2% and 2% alcohol. The longer you wait the more alcohol is made by the Kefir critters.

8.) When you've finished your Kefir chores for the day, don't forget to thoroughly wash clean your work area and all your utensils to avoid any cross contamination. Some people even use disinfectant and/or scalding hot water, but that's up to you.

9.) Repeat this process for 2 days exactly. On the third day increase the amount of milk to two cups. Repeat for 3 days. On day 7 increase to 3 cups milk. Repeat for 3 days. On day 11 increase milk to 4 cups. Repeat for three days. On day 15 give a tbsp. of you live kefir grains to a friend who wants to make Kefir.

Well I hope these few notes will help you to get started, If you send me a pvt. email I'll be delighted to send you some more detailed information in a private e-mail.

Please let me know how your critters are doing and what kind of recipes you've been experimenting with....

All the best,



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