How to make milk kefir
Now that your milk kefir order has arrived Yeah, ENJOY!
In the unlikely event that you have an issue with any of your order, please contact us before disposing of any products. All problems can and will be rectified however we will not refund or replace goods that have been thrown away. If you have any problems contact us: email firstname.lastname@example.org
For your very first brew
- Empty the entire sachet into approximately 250ml of fresh whole milk (do not use UHT milk, nut milks or skimmed milks, semi skimmed milks or goats milk can be used but are not recommended for the first few brews as they and can make the grains take longer to settle. We always recommend organic milk as non organic milk contains trace amounts of antibiotics which can damage and kill the grains. It does not matter if you use raw or pasteurized milk however if you use raw milk you will need to regularly stir your kefir. You can use scissors to cut open the sachet
- Leave the Kefir in the milk somewhere warm (20-23C) for 24-48 hours. Try to place your brew somewhere out of direct sunlight and away from a direct heat source but where the ambient room temperature is warm. The colder the grains are the slower the kefir will brew. The first few brews generally take longer so aim for 48 hours in the first couple of brews but be ready as they may be faster.
- After the 24-48 hours give the kefir mixture a good stir with a plastic/wooden utensil (you cannot harm the grains doing this) and then pour the contents through a fine meshed plastic seive (NO METALS). The grains will be caught in the seive (you may need to stir the contents in the sieve) and the kefir drink will go through the sieve. Please do not worry if for the first couple of brews nothing much happens this is likely just the grains settling. For the first few brews the taste and texture will gradually improve so don't be too concerned if the flavour is too sour, not sour enough or if the kefir is not very thick. THIS IS ALL NORMAL IN THE EARLY STAGES (some people discard the first couple of brews for this reason).
- Once your kefir is thick (pourable yogurt thick) and sour after every brew (takes approx 3-5 brews) use the brewing instructions below.
A few points to remember, kefir grains are a living organism and as such they all react differently so it is impossible to say exactly how long the settling stage or brewing will take. Even if the kefir seems unchanged, NEVER leave your grains in the same milk for more than 48 hours as the grains are live and feed from the milk. By not changing the milk regularly you risk starving the grains and they may be damaged or die. If your grains take longer to settle do not panic, it is very unlikely that your grains died in transit. Try moving the grains to somewhere a little warmer, the brew not being warm enough is the most common reason for this. If you have any problems check out our kefir questions section here before contacting us. We cannot advise, refund or replace grains if they are already in the bin. There is no exact way to brew kefir and a lot of the brewing is personal preference (brew time etc). Goats milk, sheep's milk and nut milks can be used to brew with once the grains are settled however we recommend using whole cows milk until then.
- Don’t use metal with kefir. To strain the grains you can use a nylon strainer, a slotted spoon or colander are not recommended as the small baby grains can escape through the holes.
- Don’t keep the brewing kefir in the direct sun and never leave the brew for more than 48 hours without changing the milk.
- Don’t expose the grains to metal or high temperature
If you would like to use non dairy milks to brew your kefir with then, please read the instructions for this at the bottom of this page or in our Kefir Questions section.
Once your grains are settled
once your grains are settled it really is easy,
- Strain the kefir grains out from the kefir
- Put the grains back in the jar (please see the online info in regards to rinsing grains, washing jars etc)
- Add Milk*
- Cover and leave for the desired length of time.**
*The exact amount of milk to use is up to you, as a general rule the more milk you use the longer the kefir will take to brew. Most people like to use about ¾ of a Lt of milk and start off by leaving the brew for 48 hours so that they do not end up with far more kefir than they can drink (see our doseage recommendations online). You will quickly notice that the grains start to grow and multiply and before long they will be brewing this amount in 24 hours. If this is too quick for you to drink the kefir you may want to remove some grains at this stage (see online for instructions).
** The exact length of time you ferment is up to you and comes down to personal preferance. As a general rule the longer you leave the ferment the more sour the kefir will be. However the amount of grains and volume of the brew also contributes to this. You will need to experiment to find out what works for you.
Adjusting to a new home.
Your first batch or two of kefir may seem extra yeasty. If that’s the case, the kefir is still fine to drink, but your kefir will mellow after the grains have been a week or so in their new home.
Tune-up: Kefir grains take on other strains of bacteria. It is possible for your kefir to seem “off.” You may even think you killed your grains. You probably didn’t. Rinse them with filtered water (non-chlorinated), put them in a glass container, cover with filtered water, store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Strain them and make a new batch of kefir.
If you want to take a break from your kefir making for a while, put the grains in a jar with milk (as you would to make kefir), cover with a tight fitting lid, and store in the refrigerator. The low temperature will slow down the fermentation process of the grains; they will go into a semi-dormant state. Every 5-7 days, change the milk and drink the kefir that you made in your refrigerator. Your grains may last longer than this, so if you do neglect them for a time, try to rejuvenate them before deciding you have killed them. Make a batch or two of kefir and see how they do.
Do not be concerned if at first your grains do not appear to be doing anything. It is normal for it to take a couple of brews for the grains to get over the postage to you, especially in the winter when it is cold. Simply keep changing the milk every 24-36 hours and after a few brews you should notice that they have started making kefir.
USING NUT MILKS WITH MILK KEFIR GRAINS
When making kefir with nut milks or coconut milk it is absolutely vital to understand that the grains do not get any nutrients from these milks and will perish If this is the only milk type you sit them in. when you first receive your grains you must sit them in full fat cows/goats milk for twenty four hours, sieve through, and then give them more full fat cows/goats milk. It is extremely advisable to do this at least three times. This not only helps the grains settle but also feeds them up. The milk grains eat the lactose in cows/goats milk to survive and thrive. This isn’t there for them in nut milks.
In order to keep your grains happy and healthy you must operate a rotation system once you have done your three full fat milk changes. Sit your grains in the nut milk for twenty four hours and sieve them through as the standard instructions advise. Then sit your grains back in full fat cows/goats milk for twenty four hours so they can feed. As long as you continue on with this rotation your grains will happily make your probiotic for you while staying happy and healthy too!
If you kefir does not taste quite right during the settling stage, this is normal and the taste and texture will improve and settle once the grains have fully settled. There is nothing wrong with the grains, this is normal.
If you have any queries do get in touch, we are always happy to help, If you are having any problems at all with your grains contact us as we are always happy to help. It is easier to help if you can take a picture of the problem (its always better if we can see what you can see) and email it to us.
If for whatever reason you are having problems DO NOT throw your grains away without contacting us first as once the grains are in the bin we cannot help you and we cannot replace/refund grains that have been thrown away before we have looked at them.