What type of milk should be used?
We prefer to culture the grains with organic whole milk. Whole milk works best. When whole milk is used, the cultured milk kefir will be thick and creamy which you can enjoy at home.
Culturing the grans with raw milk is usually best attempted when you have gained some experience with live cultures. We strongly recommend you do some research on raw milk before attempting to culture your grains with it as raw milk in itself can carry a whole hosts of issues that you need to be aware of before proceeding.
Yes, you can use skimmed milk to make milk kefir but the kefir that is produced is very thin and watery and it may harm the grains long term. You could try using skimmed milk, but it’s important to revitalize the grains in dairy milk for 24 hours once every few batches.
Yes, it is possible to culture the grains using goats milk which would produce a thinner consistency milk kefir than cows milk.
Soya milk tends to yield more inconsistent results but you could give it a go and see how you get on, again it’s important to revitalize the grains in whole fat milk for 24hrs if they stop fermenting the kefir properly whilst using soya milk.
Yes, you can culture the grains using coconut milk and again this would produce a thinner consistency milk kefir than cows milk.
also, it’s important to only use the best quality coconut milk available as most store bought milks are simply not suitable. It’s always advisable to read the label. The list of ingredients will be listed on the label. If it includes preservatives don’t purchase it… ever! Remember, coconut milk doesn’t require preservatives. Most of the top brands don’t use them, so really it’s not difficult to find a good quality coconut milk. Your local health store is always a good place to start. Look for 100% pure coconut milk with a high fat content.
We strongly recommend you use whole milk for the first couple of batches to allow the grains to settle after their journey. It’s always a good idea to have some spare grains available before experimenting with different milk types. At least this way you can always start over if it goes wrong.
Do I have to use Organic Milk?
We pride ourselves on culturing milk kefir grains that have been grown with love, care and attention by professionals with all safety standards in place. Therefore we choose to use only certified organic whole milk as we believe the pesticides and added chemicals found in non-orgainc milk can actually harm the grains long-term BUT that does not necessarily mean you have to use organic milk, that is something for you to decide upon and you are obviously free to use whatever type of milk you choose.
You will need:
- Fresh milk kefir grains
- Organic milk
- Non-metallic sieve
- Glass jar with coffee filter or muslin cloth to use as a cover for the jar
- Rubber band
- Plastic/wooden spoon (preferably plastic)
Instructions for Making Milk Kefir
- Place your kefir grains into milk (the correct ratio is 250ml of fresh whole milk per 5g of milk kefir grains).
- Cover the jar with a muslin cloth/kitchen paper or coffee filter paper and secure with a rubber band.
- Store your grains somewhere out of direct sunlight and away from a direct heat source but where the room temperature is between 20° – 22°C for approx 24-48hrs. 22°C is optimal.
- Shake or stir occasionally. During this me, the healthy cultures will ferment the milk, preventing it from spoiling while transforming it into kefir. Note: The colder the kefir grains are the longer the kefir will take to brew.
Check after 24hrs, has it started to separate, thicken or change texture?
Yes: As soon as you notice the change in texture, stir the mixture and strain the grains from the milk using a plastic sieve and the put the grains into fresh milk noting the correct ratio above. Cover and repeat as before. At this point, you can drink the milk kefir as is OR do a second ferment (see below for more info on the second fermentation) for improved flavour and extra bacterial content.
No: After 24-48 hours stir the mixture and then strain the grains from the milk using a plastic sieve then put the grains into the same amount of fresh milk (250ml) cover and repeat as before. Carry on with this process until you notice it has started to separate, thicken or change texture.
- The kefir grains can’t live long without food so you need to repeat the process for your next batch of milk kefir.
Once received all live kefir grains require settling as they adjust to their new environment (they are very temperature sensitive) this usually takes between 3-5 brews but can take longer depending on the temperature.
How to produce larger volumes of Milk Kefir?
Once the first few batches of milk kefir are complete you can always move up to a bigger jar for larger amounts as our milk kefir cultures grow and multiply very
Keep to the correct ratio: 250ml of fresh whole milk per 5g of milk kefir grains. The goal is to keep the ratio of grains to milk the same as you started with.
How long can I store my cultured Milk Kefir?
Room Temperature: 1-2 days.
Refrigerator: We recommend no longer than 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
How to take a break from Milk Kefir?
Simply go ahead and place the grains in a fresh jar of milk. Now cover the jar with a tight lid and place them in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Cold temperatures greatly slow the culturing process, so the refrigerator is a good place to store your grains when a break is necessary.
Once removed from the refrigerator the grains will need to be activated again. See above for the activation method.