How do I make Milk Kefir

In this article we provide you the complete manual of how to brew your own Milk Kefir. Please read it carefully and/or load it down as PDF from here.

 

How to make Milk Kefir

What do I need to make 500ml of the delicious milk kefir drink?

  • 500 ml milk (ESL milk, fresh organic milk, fresh milk - don‘t forget to boil the milk)
  • 8 g original www.natural-kefir-drinks.de milk kefir grains (aka. milk kefir corm, tibetan mushroom etc.)
  • 1 fermentation vessel made of glass, pottery or plastic with a suitable capacity providing the desired amount of milk kefir drink
  • 1 bottle made of glass, pottery or plastic with a suitable capacity providing the desired amount of milk kefir drink
  • 1 elastic band
  • 1 sheet of wrapping film (not breathable) to cover the fermentation vessel
  • 1 plastic sieve/ strainer
  • 1 funnel
  • spoon made of plastic


How to make Milk Kefir - short and simple

1. Put the milk kefir grains (only the grains, without the milk kefir drink) in your fermentation vessel.
2. Fill the vessel with the milk (room temperature).
3. Now cover the vessel with the wrapping film and the elastic band - the formed carbonic acid must be able to escape(!).
4. Store it at a place (light protected) at room temperature.
5. After 24 - 72 hours the fermentation process has completed and you can separate the grains from the kefir drink. Just pure the content of the vessel through a plastic sieve and fill it into another glass or into bottles.
6. Rinse the milk kefir grains thoroughly with cold to lukewarm water.
7. Clean the fermentation vessel thoroughly with washing up liquid and subsequently rinse it with hot clear water. Now you can start again from step one.

Please note the following:

If you are satisfied by the milk kefir taste and if you would like to enjoy it for a long time there are a few things to care about. Cleanness and hygiene are the basic conditions for a successful milk kefir production. Make sure that the required equip-ment that gets in touch with the milk kefir grains is clean. This can be ensured by thorough cleaning of all items with dishwashing liquid. Subsequently you should rinse everything with hot and clear water. This also applies to the utensils which have been cleaned with the help of dishwasher, because the chemical residues of the rinse aid can harm the milk kefir grains. Please also make sure that the milk kefir culture is not stored near sources of mold. This could be caused by potted plants, in which moist earth could start to mold.

How to make Milk Kefir - detailed guidance

1. Put the milk kefir grains (only the grains, without the milk kefir drink) in your fermentation vessel.
If you have received the original www.natur-kefir-drink.de milk kefir grains with the milk kefir drink, just separate the grains from the drink by puring the content of the delivered bag through a plastic sieve. The drink solely serves as transport liquid.

2. Fill the vessel with the milk (room temperature). Add the milk into the fermentation vessel. You can choose between ESL milk, fresh milk or raw milk. If you use fresh or raw milk you should shortly boil it. Please bear in mind that the grains must never come into contact with hot milk or hot water. This would destroy the culture. Concerning the fat content of the milk it depends on your individual taste. The fat content has no influence on the quality of the kefir drink.

3. Now cover the vessel with the wrapping film and the elastic band - the formed carbonic acid must be able to escape(!). The fermentation vessel should be covered, however, the formed carbonic acid must be able to escape. In the case of glasses with screw cap the cover may only be screwed slightly. If you use a glass without screw cap you can fix a wrapping film with an elastic band. Through this approach you can reduce the risk, that the milk kefir culture is attacked by undesired pathogens.

4. Store it at a place (light protected) at room temperature. After covering the vessel as mentions you should store it at a light protected place at room temperature. Important: protect the vessel from direct sunlight(!). The room temperature has direct influence on the taste of the kefir drink. If you like the smooth aromatic taste of yeast in connection with less carbonic acid the vessel should be stored at temperatures around 10 °C/ 50 °F. In this temperature range the fermentation by yeast is prevails. But if you prefer a slightly acidic taste you should store it at temperatures around 20 °C / 68 °F. In this temperature range the fermentation by lactic is prevails. Please note that the finished drink could include between 0,1% to 2,0% of alcohol. If you like the kefir drink highly viscous you should stir the milk after 1 day of fermentation.

5. After 24 - 72 hours the fermentation process has completed and you can separate the grains from the kefir drink.
Just pure the content of the vessel through a plastic sieve and fill it into another glass or into bottles. After  just 24 - 72 hours of fermentation the milk kefir drink is ready to serve. It is hard to say how long it exactly takes. The duration depends on your individual taste. The longer the process continues, the more lactose (milk sugar) is converted into valuable substances. Stir the content of your fermentation vessel vigorously with a plastic spoon and rinse the kefir with the grains through a plastic sieve. If you store the finished milk kefir drink in cool conditions (refrigerator or cool cellar) it is similar to other dairy products preserved for several days.

It may also occur that the corms are stressed from transport. In this case the culture will need about 2 - 3 cycles
of fermentation to get acclimatised. You should allow this time your new little helper.

6. Rinse the milk kefir grains thoroughly with cold to lukewarm water.
Now you have separated the crystals from the kefir drink. After that you should rinse the grains thoroughly with cold to lukewarm water. We recommend to do this procedure after every fermentation process. You will notice that the quantity of milk kefir grains will rise. We recommend a ratio between grains and milk of 1 to 5. Of course it depends on your individual taste again. Redundant grains can be disposed, composted or given as a present to good friends.

7. Clean the fermentation vessel thoroughly with washing up liquid and subsequently rinse it with hot clear water. Now you can start again from step one.

After the kefir drink is kept under cool conditions and the grains are cleaned thoroughly you can clean the fermentation vessel and the other equipment. Ensure that all utensils which have been cleaned with the help of washing up liquid or the dishwasher, have been rinsed with clear water, because the chemical residues can harm the milk kefir grains.

Important: However, in the context of the process of fermentation a small amount of alcohol developes!

Holiday tip: If you intend to go on holiday you can store the milk kefir with the fermentation vessel in cool conditions in the basement or a refrigerator (at temperatures around 10 °C/ 50 °F). In this manner it can be stored over an extended period without being damaged. On returning home you should dispo¬se the milk kefir drink and start a new fermentation.

Note: This document was compiled with great care and checked for accuracy. Nevertheless we assume no liability for incomplete or incorrect information. The usage of our recommendations is at your own risk.


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