Milk Kefir

There is nothing quite like milk kefir – it really is a delicious drink. It closely resembles a yoghurt drink but is packed full of extra probiotics.

Milk kefir is a fermented beverage and is made by leaving special reusable living cultures, called kefir milk grains, in milk to ferment for 24 hours.
The result is a slightly tart tasting like fizzy feta, creamy drink that is both great to drink and healthy too. The grains eat the sugar from the milk – the lactose, to turn that into probiotics. So kefir is a dairy product that lactose intolerant people may be able drink without symptoms.

Kefir milk grains are yeast and bacteria in a symbiotic relationship. Milk kefir grains are actually alive and when cared for and cultured they will reproduce. When you produce kefir milk from your grains, it can provide you with probiotic bacteria that could benefit the digestive tract. Kefir is rich in antioxidants, antibodies and metabolites and essential vitamins and minerals.

Can I use a milk alternative for my milk kefir?  Yes, you can prepare non-dairy kefir too. Non-dairy milk kefir can be made using both coconut or nut milk. Remember, your milk kefir grains will need time to adjust – you may even find that the initial batches may not be as good as you would like. You will need to be patient, as an adjustment period will be necessary to get your milk grains back to their old selves!

To revitalise your milk grains, you can use regular milk for fermentation before switching back - this will ensure that your milk grains are getting enough food.

Kefir jar Materials Needed:

• Kefir grains (milk kefir grains for dairy, water kefir grains for non- dairy)

• Milk (or another liquid if using water kefir grains),
 Whole and organic milk, raw milk even better.

• A glass jar or the Kefir jars we sell which are designed to ferment Kefir • A plastic or wooden spoon (metal can react with
 the grains)

• A plastic or nylon strainer (avoid metal strainers) • A breathable cover (like a coffee filter or cheesecloth) and a rubber band. Not needed if purchasing the Kefir Fermenter jar but you will need a container to pour the finished milk into.

 


Activating Milk Kefir Grains:


1. Dehydrated milk kefir grains. Fresh milk (preferably whole milk)

2. Place the dehydrated kefir grains in a small glass jar. Add about 1 cup (250 ml) of fresh milk to the jar.

3. Cover the jar with a breathable cover (e.g., coffee filter or cheesecloth) and secure it with a rubber band.

4. Let the jar sit at room temperature (18-29°C) away from direct sunlight for 24-48 hours. Check the grains periodically. The milk may not thicken much during the initial rehydration period.

5. After 24-48 hours, strain the grains using a plastic or nylon strainer, discarding the milk. Place the strained grains back into the jar and add fresh milk (1 cup).

6. Repeat this process every 24-48 hours, using fresh milk each time, for about 3-7 days. The grains are fully activated when they start to thicken the milk and produce a tangy smell and taste.

Steps for Making Milk Kefir:

1. Measure the kefir grains: typically, 1 tablespoon of grains per 1-2 cups of milk.

2. Combine Kefir Grains and Milk: Place the kefir grains in a clean glass jar. Add milk to the jar (leave some space at the top for expansion).

3. Cover the jar with a breathable cover and secure it with a rubber band.

4. Fermentation: Let the jar sit at room temperature (18-29°C) away from direct sunlight. Ferment for 12-48 hours. The duration depends on the temperature and your taste preference. Shorter fermentation results in a milder taste, while longer fermentation results in a tangier kefir.

 5. After 12 hours, start checking the kefir. The milk should thicken slightly and have a tangy smell.

6. Once fermented to your liking, strain the kefir to separate the grains from the liquid. Use a plastic or nylon strainer to catch the grains and pour the liquid kefir into another container.

7. Store the Kefir: Store the strained kefir in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It can be consumed immediately or kept for several days, during which it will continue to ferment slowly and may become more effervescent.

8. Reuse the Grains: Place the kefir grains into a new batch of milk to start the process again. • If not using the grains immediately, store them in a small amount of milk in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, consider freezing them or drying them for extended preservation.

Tips for Success:
 • Quality of Milk: Use fresh, whole milk for best results. Non-dairy alternatives can be used, but the grains may need to be refreshed in dairy milk periodically. • Temperature: Warmer temperatures speed up fermentation, while cooler temperatures slow it down. • Hygiene: Maintain cleanliness to avoid contamination. • Troubleshooting: If your kefir has an off-smell, unusual texture, or you notice mould, discard the batch and start fresh with cleaned equipment. There are many recipes that the milk Kefir can be used in. Adding fruit like bananas and blend to make a kefir smoothie for example. More information - https://kefirko.com/learn/

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