Once you have your grains you are on your way to a great daily kefir treat. The Kefir grains consist of
mother grains (larger grains) and baby grains. You will need to feed the grains every day to grow new grains. (it's a pet that will take good care of you).
* 2 mason jars, quarts or half gallons depending on the amount of kefir made daily
* Strainer, plastic is best but metal will work fine.
* Dark closet works fine to grow your kefir.
We find a ratio of 20-1 works best, but you can experiment with your taste buds. The less kefir grains to milk ratio the faster the grain growth and the longer it will take to “kefir”. The longer it takes to “kefir” will also produce a more tart or pungent tasting kefir. To determine your taste and consistency of product, we suggest you start with a ratio of 1 gram kefir grains to about 20 ml of milk. So for example you have 25 grams of kefir grains you will need to add 500 ml or about 2 cups of milk. You can adjust the ratio from 10-1 to as much as 30-1 to suit your taste and time frame.
Once you add milk to your kefir grains you have two options:
1) A Tight fitting lid on the brewing jar, leaving at least 25% of air space at the top. To produce an effervescent kefir (note the grains will grow more slowly but is often a preferred mouth feel).
2) Instead of a lid, put a breathable cloth over the jar secured by a rubber band to produce a non-effervescent kefir which you will get more grain growth.
The above “grain brewing” jar you will place it in a dark place and leave it 10-24 hours. 10-12 hours works best for our tastes, you will see the kefir start to break (curds & whey), it will be thick and the whey will be separating out. At that time we put it in the fridge for 13 hours to several days to “Ripen” its flavor until you strain the grains out.
Our schedule for example
- 6PM Strain kefir grains from kefir. Pour kefir into jar and refrigerate for your consumption the next day. Add fresh milk to another jar and gently stir in the reserved kefir grains. leave in closet over night.
- 6AM Check the kefir “grain brewing” jar it will be ready in the morning to put in the refrigerator to deter the brewing process further. You will strain it at 6PM that evening or leave it several days to “ripen”. We ripen ours 5 days or so.
Note: The kefir grains brew between 61-85 F degrees, at refrigerator temperature the brewing process almost stops completely. The perfect Kefir temperature is 77 F degrees.
People that prefer more tart kefir brew for 24-36 hours and usually never refrigerate their kefir. The grains will grow more prolifically with a tarter taste and are often used to make soft “cheese” (called “Quark”)
Hints that seem to have worked for us
- The larger grains are easier to strain, however, an equal amount of grains by weight of smaller grains will produce a more thoroughly “kefirred” product throughout the “brewing jar”.
-Always put some of the kefir milk in with the fresh milk to help it get going
-The extra baby grains put thru the strainer and consume with your daily kefir milk
-Our kefir was not thick at first it took a couple of weeks to get the hang of it and now it is thick and pretty good.
-Use Dom’s web site it has good information
-Can use as a suitable substitute for buttermilk in waffles, pancakes, bread or in anything buttermilk is used.
-What to do with extra grains, pets love it, eat them, dry them and roll them in sugar as deserts.
-You can make water Kefir from your milk grains read how on Don’s web site.
-Go to U-Tube and watch other make kefir will give you an idea what other folks do