How To Make Kefir
The Basic Kefir Recipe
Learning how to make kefir is really super easy!
Basic steps to making any type of kefir:
1. Place kefir grains together with medium (milk/sugary water/etc) in glass container
2. Cover jar and leave it for 24 hours
3. Remove grains and enjoy or keep in fridge for later
Grains + solution → 24 hours → remove grains = DONE
That, in a nutshell, is how kefir is made.
Right, now for details. The recipes below are basic milk kefir and water kefir recipes respectively. When you are new to kefir making, it is best to start with the basic first.
Basic Milk Kefir Recipe
You will need :
• 1 tablespoon natural Kefir grains
• 300-500g (1.5 - 2 cup whole cow or goats milk (preferably raw milk or pasteurized whole milk)
• glass jar
• lid for jar or clean cloth
• strainer (non-metallic)
1. Place kefir grains in glass jar. Add the fresh milk.
Although any type of milk will do, it is best to use raw un-pasteurized milk.
Other suitable milks are pasteurized whole milk and non-fat milk.
You can also use milk from a wide range of animals, like cows, goats, sheep, even camel and buffalo milks.
2. Cover the jar.
You can use the lid of the jar (do not cover air tight) or a clean cloth.
Leave some space or some breathing room.
3. Place jar in a room temperature away from direct sunlight.
4. Leave for 24 hours (less if the climate is hot)
5. Separate the kefir from the kefir grains.
Using a plastic strainer, pour out the mixture onto the cup.
The remaining solids caught by the strainer can and should be used for your next batch of kefir making.
6. Drink your milk kefir
The liquid you strained onto the cup is now your Kefir.
You can drink this right away, refrigerate it for later or use it for some other kefir recipes.
You may stir the glass jar occasionally after 8 hours with a non-metallic spoon (though not essential).
The fermentation time really depends on factors such as temperature, amount of grains and amount of milk. If your kefir is fermenting too fast (especially in hot climates, you may put the glass in the fridge in the day and out at room temperature the night.
The kefir is ready when you see the whole batch has co-agulated (thickened).
Sometimes, you may encounter some problems for example your kefir has some other coloured spots on it. Any other colour other that the natural milk kefir colour MUST NOT be consumed because they are likey to be contaminated. If this occurs, it is best to discard the whole batch even though the grains can be salvaged.
If you are seriously considering to make kefir for health purposes such as to heal your gut or to strengthen your immune system, I would recommend that you obtain a copy of the ebook 'Make Kefir Successfully' where I have provided more than 50 FAQs on both water and milk kefir issues as well as a more detailed explanation on the various ways to solve some kefir making problems we may encounter and how to overcome them.
Basic Water Kefir Recipe
This is a basic water kefir recipe. You will need :
• 1-2 tablespoons of water kefir grains
• 1/3 cup cane sugar (can also be refined white sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar or palm sugar)
• Optional: Few pieces dried fruit eg fig
• 700-800 ml mineral water
• 1 liter glass container
• cloth or lid for container
• strainer (non-metallic)
1. Dissolve sugar in mineral water. Add kefir grains and dried raisins.
2. Cover the container with a cloth or lid. Make sure it is not air-tight.
3. Place away from sunlight and leave at room temperature.
4. Let it ferment for 24 hours.
The longer you allow it to ferment the stronger the taste and more carbonated it becomes. It will also have a very slight alcohol content.
5. Strain and separate kefir grains.
Place kefir grains into a clean jar and make the next batch or store it away until you want to make another batch.
6. Drink your water kefir.
(At this point, you may want to add some squeezed lemon/orange juice for additional vitamins and flavor.
Or if you wish, you can further enhance your strained kefir drink with fresh slices of fruit such as apples, lemon etc for a secondary fermentation for a further 24 hours in an airtight glass container.
Then remove fruit slices, chill and consume. Secondary fermentation will give you a fizzier kefir drink).
• You can also add herbs in your fermenting, eg cinnamon, a few slices of ginger etc. Adding different fruit or herbs will add to the properties in your kefir drink and will enhance the health benefits.
• If you make kefir a lot and like to ferment using different fruits or herbs, you may want to place the kefir grains in a muslin cloth pouch. This will spare your grains from being mixed up with the remnants of whatever fruits you ferment them with. Otherwise, you will just need to spend a little more time to remove all these particles and they can be quite a chore!
Both the above are the basic recipes. After you have mastered the basics, it's time to experiment! You can also opt to do a secondary fermentation.