If you are buying dried Kefir Grains, then you need to know how to revive dried kefir grains successfully – there is really nothing to it. In fact, dried or frozen Kefir grains are revived in much the same way and I am going to show you how.
Important: Fresh production grains normally take a few days to start producing so you can follow these steps until they start producing. I will mark the steps LM that can be skipped when reviving “fresh” Kefir grains.
Before I get into the tools, let’s deal with the two types of Kefir. There is Milk Kefir and Water Kefir. The process of rehydrating the two types of Kefir is the same. The difference is the liquid that you add to the grains.
To the milk Kefir, you obviously add milk but the water Kefir is a little more work. I will deal with this after step five so now, let’s get the “tools” together. What you will need is:
- a small 200ml glass or plastic jar or jug with a lid
- 250ml milk
- a 500ml glass or plastic jar to ferment your kefir (don’t forget the lid)
- a stainless steel or plastic spatula or spoon
- a small measuring jug
- a suitable place to leave your fermenting Kefir, as far from any other fermenting or fermented products as possible, to avoid cross-contamination.
For Water Kefir – extras
- Measuring cup
- Himalayan Rock salt/ sea salt Non-Iodized (optional)
- Bicarbonate of soda (optional)
- Molasses (optional)The optional items just tend to help the kefir grow better by providing more nourishment. The Molasses has a definite impact on the taste and you must decide if you want to add it or not.
The Simple 5 Steps
Step 1. Prepare The Grains
Unpack your grains and add them to clean, unchlorinated water and LM leave them for about 8 hours. You can just add them directly to the liquid without using this step and it works but you tend to be wasting the milk as they first need to soak up the liquid before they start doing much.
Step 2. Prepare The Tools – This Is The Hardest Part
While waiting for your Kefir grains to “puff up” you should sterilise all the items that you will be using to work your Kefir, including the bottles. You do not want to contaminate your grains before you even get them started.
I used to boil everything but this just takes too much effort. You can of late, been using a baby bottle sterilising agent and I just rinse the items well afterwards. I have had no issues thus far.
Step 3 The Cleaning the Grains
After the grains have puffed up and you are ready to go (8 hours is really long enough for this), you need to strain the water off and rinse the grains again. Once this is done, you can place them in your fermentation container – just a fancy way of saying your glass bottle).
Step 4. Adding The Liquid
At this point, those of you using water Kefir grains should jump down one heading and mix your water and sugar for the Water Kefir.
For the milk Kefir, you simply add your milk to the Kefir grains in the bottle. Make sure your milk is not over 30 deg C as this will kill your grains. Out of the fridge and up to room temp is great.
Step 5. Place in Warm Position
Place the lid on the container after you have stirred it and then place it in the warm spot you have chosen. Every now and then, just tilt the bottle to mix it up a bit.
Repeat steps 3 to 5 every 24 hrs for 2 to 5 days. After day three you can test your Kefir to see if it is “up to scratch”. If it is not just right for you yet, just keep changing the milk every 24hrs until it is right.
Remember:- You will need to add a little more milk every day until you get to about a litre. If the whey separates before 24 hrs, add more milk with the next cleanout.
You will need to do this now and then when you see your Kefir separating before 24hrs, this means that you need to take out some grains and start a second bottle, get a bigger bottle or freeze them so that you have a backup if you ever hit a snag like cross-pollination.
Mixing The Water & Sugar For Water Kefir
Water Kefir is a little more work but the fact that you can make a carbonated drink and flavour it as you like makes it all worth it. I make 30lt every day of which my wife and I drink 3 – 5 Lt each. The rest goes to family and friends.
So let’s start mixing. I am going to measure for a litre of water so you can just modify to the volume of water you are going to use.
you will need:
- 150ml hot water
- 750mls cool water
- 0.3 cups of sugar
- about 1/8 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- about 1/8 tsp of salt (as above)
- about 1/4 tsp of molasses ( or to your taste).
I use 150 ml of very hot water to which I add 1/4 cup of Brown sugar. Any sugar will do, I just prefer the taste of the brown sugar. Then I add the salt, Bicarb and molasses. Stir until everything is dissolved then pour in the cool water. Test to make sure that It is not too hot!
Add the water to the bottle and stir before placing the lid on.
Why A Lid?
Many people advocate letting the Kefir breathe. There is no need for this. I seal the container because I have had the experience of cross-contamination and had to throw out a batch of grains and start again. I close the lid and just burp the bottle ( open and close the lid) after 12 hours.
Since using a lid, I have not experienced cross-pollination.
Rinse And Repeat
This process will have to be repeated every two days until the end product is as you desire it. this can take up to 30 days for frozen or dehydrated grains.
For grains that were in production and not Dehydrated, this could take up to a week, but generally, they produce within a day or three.
Enjoy Your Kefir
All that is now left is to wait until your kefir is ready and then enjoy.
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