Oh how glad I am that you have found this page on how to make kefir! When I introduced dairy goats to the farm, kefir was one of the first things I was dying to try. And let me tell you, it has been amazing!!!
Not only are there hundreds of uses for kefir, but if you do it right, it tastes great, nourishes your body, and is something you can feel great about feeding your kids.
What a fantastic substitute to the sugar filled, pasteurized yogurts that you buy from the supermarket!
Before We Begin, What Exactly is Kefir?
By combining kefir grains and milk, and allowing the milk to ferment, the resulting concoction is what we know as kefir!
It is pronounced either kuh-feer or kee-fur, (I pronounce it the latter) and has been around for thousands of years!
Homemade kefir has between 30-56 strains of good bacteria, whereas yogurt has only about 7-10!
It is creamy and delicious, especially if you allow a second fermentation, which I will describe below.
How to Make Kefir
- You will need fresh kefir grains, a glass mason jar with lid, and some fresh (preferably raw) milk!
- You can make as much or as little as you want using a ratio of 1 cup of milk, to 1 tbsp. of kefir grains
- You can also get little freeze-dried culture packets from the health food store, but you will need a new packet each time, so I go with the real deal! You can continue to use them year after year and they divide and conquer!! (The multiply and you can give them away or sell them!)
O.K! Get ready for the super complicated art that is kefir making:
- Put your kefir grains and milk in your jar with the lid on. (Do NOT stir or mix or shake.)
- Leave it for 24 hrs on your counter. Keep it at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
- After 24hrs, strain out your grains. (Some people say not to use a metal strainer, but I have never had any problem with mine. Still, a good thing to keep in mind.)
- You can either store your grains in the fridge with the same ratio of milk, or start a new batch of kefir right away! The 1cup milk to 1 tbsp. of kefir grains ratio will last a week in the fridge for storage. The grains need the milk for food, otherwise they will die.
Well, it appears it isn’t so complicated after all 😉
You now have a few options: You can put the kefir in the fridge in your sealed container for up to a year, while you consume it. (It will get more and more sour tasting over time.) Or, you can second ferment it! This is what I do because my kids love it, it makes a healthier kefir, it barely takes any extra effort, and ..it tastes way better!
How to Second Ferment Your Kefir
Second fermenting kefir is super easy and you wont regret the extra effort it took to do. You can use mostly any fruit you desire. My favorites so far have been blackberry, blueberry and raspberry, although my kids DEVOUR banana because it makes it super sweet.
I usually use about 1/4 cup of berries or fruit to 1 cup of kefir. Simply add your fruit to the kefir, and let it sit for another 12-24 hrs on the counter. I have been known to only wait about 4 hrs, but you are supposed to wait longer.
I hope you enjoyed learning about how to make kefir! Let me know how it goes in the comments section below.