Making a nutritious and healthy probiotic kefir drink is easy when you know how. To begin with, make sure you have the right equipment.
What you need
- 5g Fresh organic milk kefir grains.
- Nylon sieve (or any non-metallic material). This one is ideal.
- Milk (raw, whole, skimmed or goats milk – it all works)
- Wooden/ plastic spoon
- Fermenting jar/ jug such as this.
- Container/ jug (for the kefir) (ideally one that fits in the fridge door).
How to make kefir from grains
You should have received your grains double bagged in food grade bags This helps to prevent leaking of the contents. Kefir grains need to be shipped in a bit of milk to keep them alive, fed and moist, so don’t be concerned if it looks like you have been sent a pouch of milk/ whey! It should look something like the image below.
- Pour the contents of the pouch containing the kefir grains into the sieve over a sink. The sieve should retain the grains, and look something like the image below.
- Pour some of the milk over them to rinse them, and give then a gentle shake in the sieve.
- Add the grains into the fermentation jar.
- Pour 250ml of milk into the jar, and stir with the wooden/ plastic spoon. (Some jars like the Kilner jars has handy measurements on the side, so you don’t need a measuring jug!)
- Loosely put a lid on top of the jar, but make sure air can escape.
- Leave in a dark place, at room temperature for 24 hours.
- If this is your first batch following delivery of your kefir grains, repeat steps 1-5. (During transport the bacteria can become imbalanced, and so poor quality kefir is produced).
- If this isn’t your 1st batch, give it a good stir to mix in the whey (which should have formed in small pockets). Then, place the sieve over the container you wish to keep the kefir drink in, and pour the contents slowly into the sieve. Be careful! The kefir is thick, and will drain quite slowly. You may need a wooden spoon to stir the kefir gently.
- The liquid you poured into the container or jug is ready to drink straight away, or to be stored in the fridge.
- The grains you retained are ready to ferment again, if you so wish, or be stored in the fridge with some milk.
- Generally, you will use 5g (1 teaspoon) of kefir grains for every 250ml of milk. However, depending on your personal preference in taste, or how warm they are kept, you may need less grains/ more milk. For example, if the kefir is left at in a warm airing cupboard, then you may only need 5g of grains for 500ml of milk. It may take some time for you to find the fight amount of grains to milk to suit your taste and storage environment – but that is part of the fun!
- After 24 hours of fermenting, you should start to see small whey pockets appear in the fermenting jar – this is a good sign the kefir is ready to drink.
- Kefir drink is thicker than milk, something like single cream, and tastes fizzy. However, if you make a smoothie with it, the fizzyness is lost.
- Using whole milk instead of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk produces a thicker drink.
- Kefir grains can be stored in milk in the fridge for up to 5 days, after which, you should do a full 24 hour fermentation cycle before they go back in the fridge. This keeps them nice and healthy.
- After some time the milk kefir grains will start to multiply! Make sure you keep your keifr grains to milk ratio to the 5g:250ml. Too many grains will cause over fermentation, and all the milk turns to whey! Excess grains can be stored in the fridge (as a back up), eaten, given to animals or cooked with.