Lately, I’ve been giving away a lot of my extra kefir grains, so Frank and I decided to make a video to show our friends how to make kefir.
If you have any questions that aren’t answered by the FAQ, please ask them in the comments!
Q. Where can I get kefir grains?
Q. What kinds of milk can I use to make kefir?
A. I suggest using raw milk. You can also use coconut, almond, or pasteurized milk. Although, I would recommend avoiding ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk and soymilk.
Q. How will I know if it’s working?
A. The kefir culture will take a few hours to “look” like it’s working. It will start to get the consistency of buttermilk or thickening yogurt.
Q. Do I cover it with a lid?
A. No. Instead, cover it with a cloth secured by a rubberband, so that oxygen can circulate in the jar. The kefir grains are made up of living organisms that benefit from air circulation.
Q. What type strainer can I use?
A. Use a plastic strainer if possible. You can also use a stainless steel strainer, but all other metals should be avoided.
Q. How long will it take?
A. My grains take around 12 hours to culture. When it was 80˚F in my house this summer, it took only 10 hours. It’s fall now, and my indoor temp stays around 64˚F, so the culture is taking closer to 14-16 hours now.
Q. What if I let my kefir culture too long?
A. If it’s less than a couple days (48 hours), don’t worry about it! Most likely, it will have started to separate, when it’s gone “too long.” Simply stir the whey back into the rest of the liquid. It will be more sour than usual, but it’s still good. If you dislike the sour taste, simply add some fresh milk back to it, when cooking or using in smoothies. || If the milk smells funny, however, your kefir culture may have starved, damaging the kefir grains. Check for mold, just in case. If all is well, “rinse” them in fresh milk, and start them culturing again. (And keep an eye on them this time!)
Q. Can I store my grains?
A. Yes. To store the grains, simply place them in a glass jar, cover with fresh milk, and close jar with a lid. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks before the milk needs replacing. The kefir feed on the lactose in the milk. I think of them like little microscopic pets. When refrigerating them, they become lethargic and sleepy, so they eat less. They can live on that little bit of milk for couple weeks (versus a few hours at room temperature), but they still need fresh food after a while. ***NOTE: The first batch you culture at room temp after removing the grains from the fridge *might* be a little watery and strange. You can use it or dump it and culture a new batch. I try not to store my grains for this reason, and instead just continually culture them on the counter in a small volume. I give away or store my extra grains I’m not using.