If you’re new to making milk kefir, here are step-by-step instructions on how to make kefir, the easy way!
(Note: Yesterday I posted a tip to make your homemade kefir-making much easier. This post gives you step by step instructions from start to finish on how to make kefir the simple way, in case you’re new to the process.)
Kefir is a cultured dairy product made from milk. The end product is similar to yogurt, although the texture is sometimes a bit runnier. The culturing process not only results in a final product loaded with beneficial bacteria and yeasts, but lactose is removed during the fermentation, which means people with lactose issues can typically tolerate homemade kefir. (Store-bought kefir is not the same caliber as homemade. You can read more on that here.)
For a long time I made kefir the normal way (see here). But for the last five or so months, I’ve been using a much simpler method, and it works great!
The easy way to make kefir:
Step 1: Add kefir grains to a glass mason jar and fill the jar with milk (get kefir grains from a local friend who has extra, or order some here). You can use most milks- cow, goat, pasteurized, unpasteurized, full fat, skim. Use about a heaping tablespoon of grains for 1 quart/liter of milk, as per Sandor Katz in his fabulous book The Art of Fermentation.
Step 2: Loosely cover and let sit on counter for two or so days. Shake or stir periodically if you think about it. I use these plastic mason jar lids, but you can use a dish cloth fastened with a rubber band, or anything you want to keep debris from falling into your kefir.
When I notice the milk start to pull away from the sides of the container, with a jello-looking texture, it is finished.
Over time your grains will reproduce and grow, and you can either start making larger and larger batches of kefir, or you can give some away to friends.
If you need a kefir-making break, you can cover your grains with milk and refrigerate for up to a week. If you need to refrigerate them longer than a week, just replace the milk weekly. When you’re ready to use them again, toss the milk they’ve been refrigerated in, add new milk, and set out on the counter.
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