In this article, you are going to Learn How To Make The Best Probiotic Drink – Milk Kefir! It is a versatile, ancient probiotic drink that is simple to make and long-lasting. It has such incredible health benefits that in the early 1900s, Doctors resorted to its use to treat a lot of different ailments which made Kefir a sort after product.
What You Need To Make Milk Kefir
In the old days, Kefir was made in goatskin bags and hung in the doorway so that it was bumped by everyone walking in and out of the house. This helped agitate the Kefir Grains and made sure that the milk was mixed with the grains. It is that simple.
Today we use other tools :
- 2 Clean Sterilised (boiled) Lidded 1Lt Glass or Plastic Jar
- a Clean Sterilised (boiled) Stainless steel or plastic spoon
- Plastic or Stainless Steel strainer or colander – Sterilised
- a Plastic or glass Jug – Sterilised
- a plastic spoon or spatula – Sterilised
The ingredients needed are just as simple:
- 1 Lt Milk (cow, goat or coconut)
- 140ml Kefir grains
Method For Making Your First Batch
This is really a very simple process and the chances of you messing it up are minuscule.
- Pour the milk into the glass jar
- Add the Milk Kefir Grains to the milk
- Stir gently for 20 seconds (not a must but I like to ensure that the Kefir is mixed with the milk)
- Close the lid tightly READ NOTE 1. BELOW
- Leave in a warm place for 24hrs READ NOTE 2. BELOW
- Burp the jar at least twice a day but try every 8 hours to release the gas. Very important.
- Many sites will tell you that you should not seal the bottle and that a cloth and a rubber band will keep the bugs out. Bugs are only part of the problem. The air is full of Bacteria, of different strains. If these contaminate your Kefir Grains, it could destroy your kefir.
- You actually need to keep your Kefir 5ft from any other bacteria/fermented foods to avoid contamination. In a kitchen, this is difficult so keep the Kefir container sealed and “burp” it regularly.
- The Cooler the kefir is, the slower it ferments. A nice warm place will help it ferment but it must not get hot or be in the sun. A dark place is better or just wrap a cloth around it.
- If you keep the finished Kefir in the fridge, keep it sealed. Cheese and water Kefir can also infect your Milk Kefir. Remember, Milk and Water Kefir are Different Strains and should not contaminate each other.
- Kefir does not survive past 32deg C so don’t heat it if you want to use it again for producing more Kefir
Removing The Kefir Grains
Before taking this step, please boil your Tools & jars etc. Kefir is Bacteria/yeast culture and introducing any other bacteria cultures can cause a problem. Don’t skip this step. So here we go:
- Place the colander over a suitable bowl (definitely not a wooden bowl),
- Pour the Milk Kefir into the colander and stir slightly to let the Kefir run through. Be careful not to break and crush the Kefir Grains. You need the Grains for your next batch of Milk Kefir.
- Place the Kefir Grains into the Clean sterilised Jar.
- Add the Milk
- Seal the bottle and place it in a warm place for 24- 48 hours, on the countertop.
How Do You Use The Kefir
This is the exciting part. Kefir is so versatile. It can be used:
- just as it is, as a drinking yoghurt. This could be too bitter for some people so you may add Sugar, or fruit, or pour it over your Muesli.
- You can make Cottage Cheese with it. Again, it might need to be sweetened or flavoured for some people. Don’t be scared to experiment with the flavours
- Use it to make a salad dressing
- Make Sourdough with it. It makes awesome bread.
- Freeze it to save it for a later date.
- Place it in your smoothies
- Make Kefir Ice cream
- Add it to your shakes
- Make face masks
- Use it to treat skin problems
and the list goes on.
Why Should You Make Your Own Kefir
Fresh, homemade Kefir ferments and gives off gas. It also has a shelf life. Both these factors make it difficult to market these products in the Stores. To mitigate these factors, the products are treated or pasteurised. This kills the live Kefir Grains in the product so no further fermentation takes place and the causes cease and the shelf life improves but, All the benefits of the live Kefir are Destroyed.
Making your own Kefir ensures that you get the most benefit out of the product notwithstanding the fact that making your own Kefir costs a fraction of the price and is quick and easy.
Why Only Stainless Steel And Plastic Utensils
As I have stated earlier, Contamination can be an issue so wooden spoons tend to harbour bacteria so this rules out wooden spoons etc.
The only metal that does not react with Kefir is Stainless steel. SS is also heat-resistant so can easily be sterilised. This makes it ideal for using with Kefir. All other metals react with and could kill your Kefir Grains.
Plastic does not react with Kefir and it is fairly easy to sterilise. you just have to watch that it is not melted.
Where Do I Get Kefir Grains
Kefir Grains are generally available and if you google you could find someone near you that has Kefir Grains. The one problem with buying Kefir grains online is that you don’t know the quality of the grains if they are contaminated etc. Try to obtain your Kefir Grains from someone you know and trust.
You get two types of Kefir:
- Milk Kefir, which I have dealt with in this article
- Water Kefir
How Is Kefir Dispatched To Me
Kefir Grains come in 3 states:
- Live – they have been in production until you collected them.
- Frozen – They have been frozen to preserve them. This is usually done when the produced has more Kefir Grains than He/she requires.
- Dried – Kefir grains are Dried to store for transport over longer distances. If Kefir has to be couriered or posted to a customer, it is dried first and then sent. It is easily reconstituted as explained here
When I Buy Kefir Which State Is Best
Hands down, Live Kefir grains are always best. There is absolutely no contest because you can start producing Kefir as soon as you get home and that is where the advantage ends really.
Kefir Grains can be revived and will produce a product just as readily as the grains bought “Live”. The only difference is the time delay while reviving the Kefir.
If you live close enough to the supplier, it is definitely better to buy live Kefir Grains. You can start your Kefir Immediately and if you have problems you can get help although getting help will never be a problem with the telephone and the internet.
If I can help you with any Kefir-related problem or any questions, please contact me here
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