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How to Make Kefir

Updated: Mar 19

Kefir is a yogurt-like drink that can easily be made at home and is made with Kefir grains. These are yellow white little rubbery looking masses of live probiotic bacteria. And although they are called grains they do not come from a plant and are not cereal based.

If you buy good quality Kefir grains they could literally last you a lifetime. You can buy Kefir kits that will only make a few batches, so my advice is to find someone selling or giving away good quality grains.

The kefir liquid can be drunk/ eaten plain , or can be flavoured and can be made with pretty much any milk; goats, sheep, cows , even coconut! You can buy ready-made Kefir in most supermarkets, but making your own is so much cheaper and you can keep a constant supply as and when you need it.

So what are the benefits of drinking Kefir? Kefir is just packed with gut-friendly probiotic bacteria. This helps to maintain a good gut microbiome or gut flora, which boosts the immune system and has more health benefits than you could ever imagine.

Let’s make Kefir!

You will need,

A large clean glass jar with muslin and an elastic band.

A fine nylon sieve

A wooden spoon

A large bowl

Milk of your choice, I like using organic full fat cows milk

And last but not least, kefir grains.

It is essential that all your equipment is very clean before you begin.

When you start you may only have a tablespoon of grains ( they are often sold by the tablespoon online) and that’s fine. A tablespoon of grain will make about 330ml to start with . As you make your Kefir over time your grain will multiply. And then when you have approx. 3 tbsp of grain you can make your kefir in litre batches if desired .

Begin by putting your Kefir grains into the clean jar. Slowly pour the milk over the grains and stir gently using a wooden spoon. Cover the jar with something that will allow gasses to escape. I use muslin secured with an electric band.

Now for fermentation!

Leave the jar out of direct sunlight but on the counter top at room temperature for 12 to 48 hours depending on how you like your kefir. So taste test when you first start making it. The less time it will be runnier and sweeter, as time goes on it becomes thicker and more sour. It really is up to you to decide how you like it.

If you see a thick yellowing on the top of your Kefir, this means it’s starting to separate and you should begin the next stage.

Once your Kefir is to your taste you can move onto the next stage which is to strain it . Gently stir and strain into a bowl through the fine sieve. You are separating the liquid from the grains. Put the liquid in a clean jar that has a lid and at this point if you want too, in a separate clean jar you can put your Kefir grains in and start the whole process again preparing your next batch.

If you are not ready to make another batch, pop the grains in a clean container and cover with a little milk and refrigerate. They will be happy there until needed again. If you are not going to use your grain for sometime you can actually freeze them as they are, in a plastic bag. When ready you can thaw at a later date and feed the grains to bring them back to life by adding enough milk to cover them and leave them at room temperature until the milk starts to change and boom they are ready to go. They can sometimes be a little slow to get started again, but be patient after all they have been deep frozen!

Now you have your Kefir liquid in a clean jar, it's ready to eat or drink and can be kept in the fridge. But if you want to take it one step further and add flavour to your Kefir then you can do this by blending fruit into it before you eat it . So get creative!

Once you have established a good Kefir making routine and your grains have multiplied considerably, you can keep some spare in the freezer or give some grains away.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

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Meet Sue & Katie

Two women. Two generations. Both mothers and lovers of the county where they live. Blogging about Dorset here at Dorset Country Life. Find out more...

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