How To Keep Kefir Grain Alive And Productive Is Incredibly Basic and it is incredibly important to learn the basics quickly. It is simple:
- Keep them in a warm dark place ( or Just cover them),
- Feed them regularly,
- Don’t contaminate them with other bacteria like Kambutcha, Cheese or yoghurt.
and they will live forever! Hmm, did I say In theory…
How long can I keep my kefir kernels alive? Take care of them properly and they will live forever.
How Are Kefir Grains Made
Kefir Grains are not manufactured by man. They are a combination of yeast and bacteria living in a symbiotic relationship and are all descendants of the original Kefir Grains from centuries ago. Nobody knows where kefir first came from – it’s a mystery.
The Kefir grains just continuously grow if fed properly.
Nobody really knows where kefir first came from – it’s a mystery. Probably a random event due to some ancient herder storing milk in a bag made out of a goat skin bag.
Commercial Kefir Grains VS Home Grown Kefir Grains.
As with the most popular foods and medicines, Kefir has also become commercialised. Commercial “Kefir Producers have found a way to corrupt the Kefir Grains so that they no longer propagate. They will produce one batch of product and will then cease to produce, thus forcing you to purchase more Grains!
Buying your Kefir Grains from a hobby Kefir producer means that you will get true Kefir Grains that will, in all likelihood, produce Kefir products.
Three States Of Kefir Grains
There are two types of Kefir that are found around the world:
- Milk Kefir
- Water Kefir
These are normally in milk or sugar water when in production but they are difficult to transport over a long distance in this state. They are also not suitable for selling in a supermarket or chemist.
When your order Kefir from a Hobbyist, they are usually available in 3 states:
- Active, these are Kefir grains that were in production and were taken from the vessel, bucket or jar and packaged for immediate, transport.
- Frozen, these are usually excess grains that producers store for later use or sale.
- Dried/dehydrated, these are usually what you purchase at a supermarket. They have been dried for easier storage and transport.
There are pros and cons for buying Kefir in any of its states.
Cross Contamination Is A Problem
One of the biggest causes of failure with Kefir Beginners is cross-contamination. You must remember that Kefir is made up of yeast and bacteria. Specific types of bacteria. If a new type of bacteria is introduced, your Kefir could produce some “different” products.
White, Green, orange, red, or black spots might appear on the surface of the kefir. In Milk Kefir, the milk might have a pink discolouration. If this happens, DO NOT CONSUME ANY OF THE PRODUCT, and throw out your Grains. You will need to start again with fresh Kefir Grains.
Contamination can occur in the following ways:
- Not sterilizing the container and or the implements before using.
- Using non-stainless steel implements and or containers. Normal metals react with the Kefir Grains. Even your stainless steel implements and containers must be Sterilised.
- Using non-food grade plastic dishes and implements. Food grade containers and implements are OK but they must be sterilised.
- Using Wooden or other types of implements.
- Placing Kefir within about 5 meters of other bacteria like Cheese and kombucha.
Buying and Prepping Your Implements
As mentioned above, It is best to use stainless steel implements and glass jars for your Kefir. They do not react with your Kefir and are much easier to sterilise by just boiling in water for 10 minutes. I like to keep my Kefir “tools” aside, just for my Kefir.
A food-grade plastic container is also good to use for Kefir.
Feed And Burp
Kefir is alive and like all living things, it needs sustenance. You need to feed your kefir every day or two to keep it alive and healthy. Now I prefer my Kefir not so sweet so I tend to let mine stand another day or three after removing the grains (which I place into fresh milk or water straight away).
If you do not wish to produce kefir every two days, once it has been fed, place your Kefir in the fridge and it will slow down. you can leave it there for up to 2 weeks before feeding it again. When you want to produce again, you simply take it out of the fridge and continue the normal production routine,
Kefir, especially the water Kefir in the second Ferment, produces a lot of gas. If you use the swing-top bottles, they tend to let the excess gas “Leak” but be careful. Other sealed bottles tend to build up pressure, so to avoid unpleasant accidents, I “burp” my bottles 2 or 3 times a day.
By burping, I mean releasing the pressure slowly…and I mean slowly. Doing this over the washbasin is a good call.
Kefir is an incredibly beneficial product and you will find huge benefit from its use. It is also cheap and easy to produce without too many special needs.
Kefir has been used as a natural probiotic for centuries and it has only become freely available over the last one or two centuries. It has a huge following with many people now keeping Kefir and making Kefir products at home. They are much cheaper and more beneficial than the processed commercial kefir products and are immensely beneficial to your gut health.
By simply ensuring that you get a good quality grain, Sterilising the equipment, feeding them regularly and protecting them from cross-contamination, you will have a healthy refreshing product that will help keep you and your family healthy. Make your own refreshing fruity flavoured drinks that are healthier, and cheaper than commercial sodas.
Try making your own Ginger beer and Pineapple beer. Your family will love you forever.
Please feel free to contact me here if you have any questions and Please👃, Leave a comment below before you go.