Please be ready to use your milk kefir grains once they have arrived. These are active milk kefir grains and have been stressed during shipping. So they need to be “fed” milk or used as soon as possible.
If you will not use the milk kefir grains immediately, please place them in a glass or plastic food-grade tight lidded container along with fresh milk, and store inside the refrigerator until ready to use. You may change the milk every other day or so, and continue this storage method until ready to use the milk kefir grains.
Basics To Know:
Kefir starting out (after being stressed during mailing or from being dried) will usually ferment at room temperature as follows:
Add 1 teaspoon of milk kefir grains to 1/2 cup of milk.
Add 1 tablespoon of milk kefir grains to 1 cup of milk.
To get lots of kefir quickly get the right proportion of milk to ferment in 24 hours. Continuously keep making batches is the key to get the milk kefir grains to adjust.
Avoid placing your fermenting milk kefir in direct sunlight. This will damage the milk kefir grains.
If the milk kefir grains are sluggish to start the fermentation process:
- lessen the amount of milk and have a slightly longer amount of time for fermentation
- increase the time of fermentation
- decrease the time of fermentation
Post shipping, the taste will adjust after a few batches.
Use whole fat milk for best results and once the kefir grains have adjusted to making steady batches of milk kefir; feel free to use low-fat skim milk, raw, or 2% milk.
Avoid using ultra high temperature (UHT) pasteurized milk. And avoid using milk that has been microwaved because it will be to sterile for any nourishment for the kefir grains.
- Kefir Couture’s Organic Milk Kefir Grains
- Whole Milk (best if organic or raw, avoid ultra-high temperature pasteurized milk)
- Wooden (best if silicon or plastic) spoon/spatula
- Plastic Mesh Strainer (to strain out the kefir grains)
- Glass Jar
Brewing Milk Kefir:
Place the kefir grains (about 1 tablespoon of kefir grains) in about 1 cup of cold milk in a clean wide, mouth glass jar or container. The amount of milk depends on the amount of kefir; start small. As the kefir becomes abundant, you can use more milk.
Seal tight (I use a wide-mouth glass jar, big pickle jars work really well).
You need to store it at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
Wait for at least 24 hours.
The right proportion of kefir and milk should ferment within 24 hours.
If you have additional milk or not enough kefir you may have to wait longer for it to ferment.
You will be able to observe the fermentation; it will start top to bottom. When complete, more than 60% of the mixture should have changed in texture.
You can also give the container a gentle shake every now and then to even the mixture while it is brewing.
Milk kefir grains are very resilient, so don’t worry and just be patient as your grains adjust. After the first few batches, you should be able to start increasing the milk and brew more than a cup at a time with the same grains. A tablespoon of grains can brew close to a quart of kefir once they have adjusted to their environment.
Straining Kefir Grains:
Once ready, use a cheese cloth or a plastic strainer to filter the liquid from the kefir grains. Use a non-metal strainer that’s not too finely meshed.
Metal wire filters break the grains.
Sometimes when the kefir is very well done, it will be curdy. If this happens, give the kefir a good stir or shake the jar really well before straining. If the kefir is especially thick, you may need to gently shake the strainer a few times over the bowl you are straining the liquid into, or run a silicon spatula back and forth over the grains. The kefir curds should fall into the bowl, and the grains, which are rubbery, should remain in the strainer.
Storing the Grains:
Strain the kefir grains and place them into a glass container with a bit of milk to completely cover them. This makes sure the grains are well-fed in between the culturing process.
Also wash the glass container the mixture fermented in. Always use cold water.
If you’re not making kefir, the grains can endure for a week in the fridge in a container filled with milk.
Milk Kefir Grains almost never die and can be kept infinitely. If you have forgotten/neglected them, they are very forgiving. They will smell like pickles or have a strong acidic odor. All is fine. Please rinse the milk kefir grains in non-chlorinated water through a strainer and place them in fresh milk. Repeat the steps for activating them again.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have 🙂