If you’re wondering how to make kefir at home, this step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to make plain milk kefir with either milk kefir grains or powdered kefir starters.
Tools and ingredients you need to make kefir:
- 1 tablespoon of milk kefir grains or a packet of powdered kefir starter
- Strainer (plastic or stainless steel)
- Glass jars or other non-metal* containers with covers
- A non-metal cup or a bowl if your strainer is too big
- Cow, goat or any other dairy milk. Any type — raw, pasteurised or UHT works
* Metal should not be used when making kefir (or other fermented food) because the acids and salts produced during fermentation may react with the metal. The exception is stainless steel but even then, I wouldn’t store kefir in it.
How to make kefir at home with milk kefir grains:
1. Make sure all equipment is clean, you don’t want anything to contaminate your kefir. I usually wipe everything with hot water and a cloth, but make sure the tools are not still hot when you use them. You don’t want to kill your kefir grains with the heat.
2. Strain the kefir and kefir grain mixture from your container into the cup using the strainer. The kefir will be strained into the cup, leaving the grains behind. If the kefir is too thick and gets stuck, tap the strainer against the cup until only the grains remain.
3. Fill the container with new milk and pour your kefir grains back in. The milk should be at room temperature or cooler and there is no need to heat the milk first. You also don’t have to clean the container every time or the rinse kefir grains unless you made a bad batch of kefir or you’re trying to revive kefir grains that you just got in the mail.
After a few batches, the container may get a little sticky from the caesin so you might want to clean it out once in a while. However, there’s no need to rinse the kefir grains at all unless you dropped it on the floor or counter. In that case, you’ll want to rinse it with a little milk (and not tap water).
4. Cover the container to prevent bugs and dirt from getting in and leave it somewhere at room temperature away from sunlight. I usually put mine in a dark cupboard. For the next 24 hours, the kefir grains will turn your milk into delicious kefir!
5. Serve the strained kefir immediately, put it in the fridge for a cold drink, or do a secondary ferment.
Here’s a short video that shows you how to make kefir with grains:
If you’re using powdered kefir starters:
Your powdered starter should come with instructions but in case it doesn’t, here’s what you can do:
Taken from Yogourmet Kefir Starter on iHerb:
Use 5 g of starter per litre or quart of milk.
- Heat one litre or quart of milk to 180 F° (82 C°) or bring to the boiling point.
Cool to 73-77° F (23-25° C).
- Dissolve 5 g of culture in a small amount of the cooled milk in a cup. Pour back into the litre or quart and mix well.
- Pour the inoculated milk into a clean container, cover and let stand at room temperature until curd forms. (Approximately 24 hours)
- Refrigerate about 8 hours to stop the process
- Stir to liquefy and enjoy. Always store kefir in the refrigerator