What do I need to make kefir?
You will need:
- glass jar
- nylon (not metal!) mesh strainer
- plastic spoon
- tablespoon measurer
- big bowl
- canning funnel (optional)
- kefir grains
- dry erase marker (optional -- but it's my secret tool!)
|1 TB of Kefir Grains|
Kefir grains are not really grains. There's no gluten, rice, or anything else "grainy" about them. I've heard them described like little bits of gooey cauliflower. You could also say they are little curds (like the curds in cottage cheese) that have magical powers to ferment milk. Mmmm, okay. Let's just say they are squishy. You can either purchase kefir grain packs (like from Cultures for Health) or you can find a friend who already has kefir going. Believe me: they have plenty to spare. Grains multiply like bunnies -- they are the ultimate "friendship bread!"
One more thing...
Kefir grains don't like metal. These are growing and active little guys. You don't want to kill or injure them. So make sure that you aren't using metal spoons, bowls, strainers, etc. Once you've strained the liquid, then you can use metal -- like in a blender. But when you're dealing with the grains, NO METAL. :)
So let's make kefir.
1. In a clean glass jar, measure out your kefir grains. For every 1 cup of milk, use 1 TB of grains.
2. Add the appropriate amount of milk.
3. Put the lid on and set on the counter to ferment at room temp for 24 hours.
4. Done. Seriously, it's that easy.
There's a few more helpful steps, though.
|Getting ready to strain the grains|
5. After 24 hours, place your strainer over a bowl and dump out the grains and milk-turned-kefir. Strain. Use a plastic spoon to stir the grains around to help strain. It might be a little thick.
6. Using your funnel (if you lack perfect aim, like me), dump the milk-turned-kefir WITHOUT THE GRAINS into a new clean jar. Note the date on the lid and store in the fridge. Kefir will keep several weeks.
Now you have a choice ... immediately make more kefir (following steps 1-6) or put your kefir grains in "storage mode."
Storing Kefir Grains
|L-R: Extra kefir grains covered in milk and |
ready for storage; fresh liquid kefir ready for eating;
kefir fermenting for tomorrow
Kefir grains make the perfect gift. They're hard to kill -- and I'm the type of person who can't keep houseplants alive. Even the no-water-only-add-2-ice-cubes-every-few-weeks-hybrid-Irises. Yup. But my kefir grains keep growing! You'll even start to recognize some of your grains.
Look at the size of this one!
|Monster Kefir Grain!|
Happy kefir making!