Milk Kefir Making Tips

Yes, I am not an expert in making Kefir. I have been making Kefir for only about 4 months, but I have learned quite a lot. Mostly from reading from the...

Yes, I am not an expert in making Kefir. I have been making Kefir for only about 4 months, but I have learned quite a lot. Mostly from reading from the Internet and through my own experience with making the Kefir. And hopefully it can be useful for you guys when you are making your own. If you have no idea what Kefir is, let me enlighten you. I am talking about Milk Kefir here, so it is some sort of a cultured or fermented milk product. Something like yogurt or like Yakult where you ferment milk with (good) bacteria. So you get yourself some milk and ferment with some bacteria (in the case of Kefir, you ferment with Kefir grains). The end product of a Kefir ferment is a healthy probiotic drink. To learn more about Kefir and what it can do for you, please take a look at Dom’s Kefir Site. This site has nearly all the information you need to understand Kefir.

Anyway here are some tips which I have picked up:

  1. Good quality and tasty milk will produce a good quality and tasty Kefir. You will need to experiment with different milk to find out which is the best for you.
  2. Temperature do play an important part. The recommended temperature for fermenting Kefir is 20-24°C. Yes, it will ferment at higher temperatures but the resulting Kefir might not be as tasty. It might be difficult for you to maintain that kind of ambient temperature in your kitchen. Try your storeroom or somewhere less expose to sunlight. Temperature also plays a part in how fast the Kefir is done fermenting. The warmer the temperature, the fast the Kefir ferments.
  3. Longer you ferment, the more sour and alcoholic your Kefir will get. This is because the bacteria will ferment more and more of the lactose in your milk to lactic acid, hence making it more sour. The same goes for the yeast (which converts the sugar in your milk to alcohol) in your Kefir grains.
  4. Insects will be attracted to the Milk as well. Ensure that they do not get into your Milk/Kefir Grains or you might have some nasty surprise the next day when you check on your Kefir.
  5. Healthy Kefir grains make good Kefir. Just like us humans. If you are sick or tired, you can’t do your work well and your social life will be affected. Same goes for the Kefir grains. So ensure that the grains are healthy by providing them with plenty of milk, good temperature, away from direct sunlight and do not starve the grains.
  6. Feed the grains regularly. As I mentioned above, you should not starve your grains. These Kefir grains are living organisms and they need food to thrive and produce Kefir for you. Remember, healthy grains make good Kefir!
  7. Cleaniness.Of course you will need to ensure that your container, spoon, strainer/sieve or anything to comes into contact with the Kefir or Kefir grains or the milk should be very clean. I would recommend cleaning your utensils and containers with a little bleach. This kills off harmful bacteria that might be present. However, if you use bleach, make sure that you rinse off the bleach/water mixture properly before using them to make your Kefir. Bleach also kills off good bacteria and might damage the Kefir grains.
  8. Use proper equipment. It isn’t expensive. In fact, all of the equipment used in making Kefir can be easily found in the Kitchen. However, using the proper equipment is important. First of all, you should get the correct strainer/sieve. If your strainer has holes which are too big, smaller Kefir grains might slip through and after a few tries, you might find yourself without any grains left. If your strainer has holes which are too small, you might spend hours trying to strain your Kefir. And do not use any metal equipment or utensils except for stainless steel.

Well, these are the little Kefir making tips I pick up here and there. Hope that they will be useful for you if you are making Kefir. Ciao!