How to make milk kefir…
I am so excited to share my little adventure with you. I am sure everyone around me is like, enough already. But I just can’t help it. I am a huge fan of this stuff and let’s be honest, it’s a blast to make. If you are new to the world of gut health and good bacteria, be sure to check out my post here. Check out this post if you want to learn what kefir is all about. And check this post out to get all your questions answered.
Let’s make milk kefir
Making kefir is super easy and takes about 5 minutes to start the ferment and 10 minutes to finish it. Now, if you have had store bought kefir you are going to want your first ferment to come out exactly like that. At least I did, and I was super bummed when it didn’t.
What I realized is that store bought is filled with sugars, preservatives and even pectin to help thicken it up and make it yogurt like. I am not saying that you’ll never reach that level of consistency because my good friend, you most definitely will. You just need patience and practice. From your first ferment to your 100th ferment, you are forever learning and finding new ways to make deliciousness.
As I go through the steps to making kefir, you may have questions and need more details. Please visit the Q & A post it will answer all that you are questioning.
What you will need:
6 cups Whole milk
2-3 ripe bananas
frozen fruit of choice
Half gallon mason jar
- Place your 1-2 tablespoons of grains in a 6 cup mason jar and fill to the 6 cup line with milk.
- Place a coffee filter with rubber band or plastic mason jars lid on your jar. Do not over tighten.
- Place your jar in a cool dark place like a cabinet or pantry.
4. Allow to ferment for 24-36 hours. you will see separation of the curds and whey. Notice the yellowish liquid in the photo above. That is totally normal. There may also be a yeasty smell, guess what I am going to say……….you guessed it, TOTALLY NORMAL.
5. Take a wooden or plastic spoon and stir that bad boy up. Then strain into a glass bowl using a plastic strainer.
6. Pour kefir back into mason jar. And you are done!
Now if you are straight up gangsta, you can drink it straight like that, sourness and all. But most of us need a little help and would appreciate some sweetness and flavor so here is what you do.
Adding flavor to your kefir
7. Blend up 3 bananas, 1-2 cups of fruit of choice. My preferred choice is to use blueberries and strawberries. Fresh or frozen your choice. I use frozen so I heat them up slightly so that I am not making a smoothie consistency. Blend all your goodness up and pour into your kefir. I also add a touch of 100% pure organic maple syrup to round out the flavor, just about a teaspoon. And you are done! Or are you?
Second ferment perhaps?
Now you can get extra crazy and put your kefir back in the pantry for another 10-12 hours. This is called a second ferment. By doing this you develop an effervescent taste to your kefir. Not necessary to do but could be a fun experiment. Once your second ferment is done, put in fridge and enjoy. I did this step for a while but found it was just much easier and still very tasty to just toss it in the fridge after I was done adding the fruit.
What to do with your grains after making kefir
Let’s say you’re done making kefir for the week and you don’t want to make any more. All you are going to do is take a quart size jar, or whatever size you need, put your grains in it and pour enough milk to cover your grains plus an inch or so. Place the jar in the refrigerator.
And BAM, good to go. Putting your grains in the fridge slows down the grains and the fermenting process. They will last for about a week or so. Just make sure after a week you give them fresh milk to fed off of. The milk that you use to store them in is still delicious and can be consumed.
Get crazy here people. Once you got the basis down start trying new things. You want this to be delicious, that way you actually drink it everyday. I make about a two gallons a week and that seems to last us, barely. We drink this everyday, kids and all.
I’d love to hear how your kefir comes out, leave a comment below.
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