Learn how to make milk kefir with this simple tutorial. Milk kefir is a thick, and tangy fermented milk that is rich in gut-healthy probiotics. Follow my tips below to make this healthy ferment.
Milk kefir is a fantastic way to begin with fermented foods. The process is so simple to make that you can’t really mess it up. It requires no specific temperature to culture like yogurt does.
It doesn’t grow mold, as sometimes happens with fermented vegetables when not made correctly.
Kefir is just plain simple, easy to make and easy to use.
Benefits Of Fermented Foods:
Everyone knows by now just how important probiotics are to the body. So many things in our modern lifestyles wreak havoc on the living organisms that inhabit a healthy digestive tract, otherwise known as our gut flora.
It is widely known that antibiotics like penicillin and amoxicilln destroy healthy gut flora.
But, our modern diet, full of non-organic meats, plenty of processed sugar and the USDA’s recommended 11 servings of grains per day is also responsible for poor gut health.
Since imbalanced gut flora can contribute to degenerative diseases like cancer and also hamper the effectiveness of our immune system, it is vitally important to rebuild a damaged gut.
Enter….fermented foods and for the purpose of today’s discussion, specifically, kefir.
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Tips For Making Milk Kefir At Home
- When kefir grains are “fed” regularly with fresh milk, they will multiply like crazy. Soon you will have more than you even know what to do with! Pass them along to your naturally-minded family and friends.
- Depending on the temperature of your house may change the time the kefir needs to ferment. In the winter, when the temperature is cooler, it may need to ferment longer than say during the summer.
- It is totally normal for the whey to start separating from the milk. This naturally happens when you ferment something.
- Kefir grains will last years. I’ve been using the same ones for over 6 years now.
- You don’t want to add too many kefir grains to your milk or it will ferment way too fast.
- When you first get kefir grains and start using them, your milk kefir may not turn out really good. This is because they are adjusting to a new environment and after a few times they will start making really good batches.
What you may need:
How To Make Milk Kefir Video Tutorial:
How To Make Milk Kefir:
- Place 2 tablespoons of grains in a clean Mason jar with plastic lids. I like to use these mason jars because we drink a lot of kefir per week.
- Fill with milk to two inches below the rim. (The beverage will expand slightly, so be careful it doesn’t get too full and spill over.)
- Cover with a coffee filter, or small towel, and secure with a rubber band. You could also cover with a loose jar lid.
- Let the milk kefir sit out on the counter until the desired thickness and sourness is reached. This will depend on your personal preferences. I like the probiotic benefits of extra thick and sour kefir, so I leave mine out about 36 hours. Some people leave it out only 12 hours.
- Strain kefir grans using a strainer. Place the milk kefir in the fridge, with a lid, up to two weeks.
- Now you can start another batch of milk kefir or store the grains between batches in the refrigerator in a glass jar covered with milk.
How long does kefir last in the fridge?
Kefir lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
What type of milk should you use?
I use raw milk and I find that makes the highest quality kefir. However, you are still able to make kefir with store-bought milk. The only milk that will not work is ultra-pasteurized milk, (example: Horizon Organic milk is ultra-pasteurized) so make sure to check your label.
Can you make dairy free milk kefir?
You can also make kefir with coconut milk, but you need to alternate back to cow’s milk after a few batches to revive your grains. They will start to lose their effectiveness in milk alternatives, like coconut and almond.
You could also make water kefir.
What does milk kefir tastes like?
It tastes like slightly sour, tangy, and almost fizzy yogurt. Since it is a cultured milk product, it shares some of the same qualities as yogurt.
How to use milk kefir:
Drink it plain or add a bit of sweetener, like honey or maple syrup.
Use as you would yogurt. Add some fruit or homemade granola.
Incorporate them into your daily life with a morning smoothie. We like to add frozen bananas for sweetness and to give a nice thick, creamy consistency and then other fruits for flavor. Strawberries and blueberries are our favorites!
Make homemade ranch dressing.
Use it to make popsicles.
Try more of our favorite fermented foods:
- Fermented Carrots Recipe
- How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot
- Lacto Fermented Salsa Recipe
- How To Make Fermented Jalapeños
- How To Make Sour Cream From Raw Milk
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This post was updated November 2019.