Kefir is an amazing drink. It’s very tasty and supremely healthy. The name itself means ‘joy’ which pretty much sums up what drinking kefir is like. The main problem though is that it’s very expensive and difficult to find in many grocery stores in the US. The solution to both these problems is to make your own.
Making kefir is very easy. All you need is a kefir culture and milk and a little bit of patience. Kefir cultures can be bought online from many different sources. I got my starter culture for around $8. Since then I have saved many times that amount in home made kefir.
Making kefir from grains is very easy. Simply out the grains in a clean glass jar fill it with your choice of milk and leave it on a shelf or the kitchen counter for about 24 hours. Make sure the glass is covered, if you keep a lid on the jar you might want to open it slightly a couple of times a day. With practice you will be able to tell when the kefir is ready.
The first few batches of kefir might not seem too successful. New grains will take some time to adjust to their new environment. If the kefir comes out very think and unpleasant smelling, drain out the grains and discard the ‘kefir’. Clean your jar and start a new batch. In a couple of days your grains will produce creamy delicious and healthy kefir.
When a batch of kefir is ready, simply pour it through a non metallic strainer to separate the kefir grains from your kefir. You can rinse the grains in the strainer, or just return them to the glass jar if you are making another batch right away. Refrigerate your kefir and it is ready to drink. In my experience, the kefir will continue to develop even in the fridge, and leaving it in the fridge overnight will produce a very nice texture and flavor.
Different types of milk will produce different textures of kefir. The more cream-like the milk is, the thicker the kefir will be. I like to use 1 3rd half and half and 2 3rds regular milk. If you use heavy whipping cream the result is very much like sour cream.
If you want to take a break from making kefir, you can store your cleaned grains in a jar of water in the fridge for a few weeks.
That is all that is too it! Making kefir yourself is both easy and inexpensive and offers great health benefits.