How to Make Homemade Milk Kefir. In this video series of "How to Make Milk Kefir," this is the first release including a blog on the history, health benefits, and detailed instructions of making Kefir. Below you will find the recipe:
½ tsp of live Kefir grains
1 pint of any kind of whole or reduced fat milk, raw, or pasteurized (not ultra pasteurized) and preferably organic. It won’t work with nonfat milk. Feel free to use other forms of dairy like goat or sheep milk.
Place a ½ tsp of grains into a pint-sized mason jar of milk.
Cover it with a plastic lid, coffee filter, or a tight (woven) cloth like a tea towel secured with a rubber band around the lip of the jar.
* Set on a counter away from the light. The ideal room temperature is 75 degrees, If it’s colder it will take longer to ferment. It will take 12-36 hours depending on the grains' strength, temperature, and your personal taste. It is usually ready within 24 hours. Keep an eye on it because if you let it go too long it will get very thick and the milk will separate creating a layer of whey at the bottom of the jar. At that point, you will be halfway between milk Kefir and cheese Kefir (making Kefir cheese is covered in Blog 2)
Strain the Kefir through a fine meshed strainer into a mason jar, cover with a lid, and store in the refrigerator. It is ready to use or drink. Reserve the Kefir grains!
You can use the strained grains to start the same process over again to make the next batch of Kefir. If you need to take a break from Kefir making, place the grains in a small mason jar, fully cover grains with milk, and seal it with the mason jar lid. Label your jar and store them in the refrigerator. They will last for about 6-10 days before you’ll have to reactivate them.
For longer term storage, follow the steps through #5 but place in the freezer. It will take longer to activate them but with little effort, your grains will be as good as new.
*If you like a mild Kefir, you will want to pull out the grains when the milk is just beginning to thicken. If you let the milk go to the point where the Kefir is starting to separate into curds and whey, the resulting Kefir will be a bit more sour, grainy, and complex. The right amount of grains is crucial to the development of a tasty Kefir and to feed it so it will grow. Too many grains and the milk will sour and curdle quicker.
The Process of Reactivating Kefir Grains:
Rinse grains with purified or filtered water in a fine mesh strainer to remove the slimy, old (curdled) milk. Then strain grains and cover with fresh milk in a small jar. Follow the instructions in step #2.
Strain grains every 12 hours or so and then adding fresh milk each time for about 3-5 days. You will be able to fully activate your grains to a point where the Kefir tastes good and has a pleasant creamy texture.
If you are reactivating your grains from the freezer, defrost them first in the refrigerator and then proceed to step #2. It may take up to 2 weeks to fully activate.
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