Do you want to make your own homemade milk kefir from kefir grains? You will see that it’s very easy, and in a very short time you will master the preparation of this delicious probiotic-rich fermented drink.
Cover the container with a cloth held in place by an elastic band;
Or, for Kefirko users, partially screw on the top cover.
Leave the jar to ferment at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours. The milk will thicken and develop a sour taste.
Filter through the sieve to separate the kefir grains from the liquid.
And there you go! Your kefir is ready to drink, and your grains are in great shape to ferment a new batch of milk.Have you just received your dehydrated grains? Before you start, learn how to reactivate them.
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How to Drink Milk Kefir
Plain milk kefir is delicious as it is! Its tangy taste, creamy texture and slight fizziness make it a thirst-quenching and refreshing drink.
However, you can also personalize it! A touch of honey or mashed fruit turns kefir into a creamy smoothie.
You can also explore more savoury options, turning your kefir into a dip, sauce, or even homemade kefir cheese.
How to Store Kefir Grains
Kefir grains love to be fed regularly. The best way to preserve the grains is to … make kefir again!
To avoid ending up with gallons and gallons of kefir, make smaller amounts, but more often.
However, you can also store your grains to stretch out your kefir production.
Short shelf life (1-4 weeks)
Refrigerate milk kefir grains in about 2 cups of milk. The grains will continue to turn the milk into kefir, but much more slowly.
Change the milk every week. The first fermentations after they have been refrigerated may take a little longer than usual. Don’t worry, they will regain their vigour after a few batches.
Long shelf life (1 month or more)
Freezing (option 1)
Rinse the grains in cold water.
Gently dry on a clean tea towel.
Place the grains in a freezer bag.
Add a little powdered milk.
Put in the freezer.
Dehydration (option 2)
Rinse the grains well in cold water and drain well.
Set the dehydrator to 35°C (95°F) and place the grains in it for 24 hours.
Transfer to a Ziploc-type bag.
Add the same weight as powdered milk, with 10% baking soda.
If the fermentation takes too long, the milk can separate into two layers: the white curd will float to the surface and the yellowish-translucent whey will remain in the bottom of the jar.
If that happens, it’s okay: the taste will be a bit stronger. Once the grains are removed, you can still mix the two layers with a whisk or in a blender.
What Is the Best Milk for Milk Kefir?
Any type of animal milk! Cow’s milk is the most widely used milk for kefir due to its availability and good results.
Goat’s milk gives a tasty kefir, but with a little more liquid than cow’s milk. If you can get your hands on other animal milks (buffalo, camel, mouse?), don’t hesitate to experiment!
Read our full article to discover which type of milk is best for making milk kefir.
Can I Make Kefir With Lactose-Free Milk?
Milk kefir grains feed on the lactose in milk. If we cut off their food source, they will not last long!
Luckily, kefir contains much less lactose than milk. Some lactose-intolerant people can consume milk kefir without problems.
Can I Use Plant-Based Milk to Make Kefir?
Yes and no.
If you put milk kefir grains in soy milk, coconut milk, or almond milk, the bacteria and yeast will ferment the liquid.
However, the results can be inconsistent and unsatisfactory. Additionally, kefir grains are not made to survive for long without animal milk. You can use your extra grains for experimentation, but this is not a long-term solution.
How Do I Get My Kefir Grains Back After Fermentation?
Empty the kefir through a colander or sieve to filter out the kefir grains. If you are really motivated, you can pour your kefir into a shallow bowl and go fishing with a fork.