Making Kefir - Instructions

Tuesday, Mar 12, 2013 at 20:14

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

The following step by step instructions was written by me with photos of my culture. I hope that you'll find this useful. If you wish to find out more about kefir, please jump to the bottom of this blog for comprehensive details.

Before you begin culturing your Kefir, here is a list of things you need:

1. A glass jar with a wide mouth – no lid required
2. A tea-towel
3. A plastic sieve/colander – I got mine from Woolies
4. A wide glass jug that fits inside the sieve (to catch all the drips) – I got mine from Coles. I opted for one with a pouring spout.
5. A wooden spoon – I like mine with the hole in the middle (from Coles)
6. A plastic or glass jar or bottle with a lid to store the strained kefir in the fridge. Look for a narrow neck or pouring spout to assist with mess-free pouring. Initially a 300ml capacity vessel will do, but as your culture grows you will produce a larger volume and need to find a 750-1L jar like mine. Mine is a Décor brand 1L flask from Coles/Big WA/Woolies.
7. A place on the bench to leave your kefir to culture – away from direct sunlight if possible
8. A supply of the highest quality fresh full cream milk you can find – try to source from the most local dairy, and ideally should be organic raw milk (non-pasteurised, non-homogonised). I can’t get this locally yet but have tried the non-homogonised milk – very good but you need to be careful to shake the milk to mix the cream through it before using, else you use all the fatty milk first and then left with a watery milk that doesn’t make good kefir. I am happy with the taste/texture of mine and only use regular full cream milk – local from the Harvey area.

So the first step is to put your kefir grains into the glass jar and top up with milk.

(note - I was "given" my grains freshly strained from a friend. I was told it is totally inappropriate for you to buy kefir. There is a strong gifting culture around the passing on of kefir but if you don't know of a friend that can pass on strained live kefir grains then I would suggest looking up this Australian person who has been running a mail order kefir supply service as a not for profit operation - see Dominic N Anfiteatro. Note - not all kefir grains are the same and it is important to get the live ready to use type.

Fully submerse the grains and then add a bit more milk. There is no right/wrong mix – you will get a feel for how much milk to use over time. Stir with your wooden spoon. Cover the jar with the teatowel over the top, and wrap around the sides so no light gets in but do NOT use a lid – it must breathe.

Leave your jar on the bench out of direct sunlight for 12-30 hours – never more than 36-40 hours. In hotter weather, the kefir will culture quicker than in colder weather. The longer you leave it to culture, the more lactose will be removed – when fully lactose free, the kefir will have a frothy appearance (after straining) and will have it’s best taste (less tangy). 12 hour cultures tend to be very lemony/tangy in flavour.

There is nothing more to do during the culturing period - however if you remember, it is good if you can give it a mix a couple once or twice with a clean wooden spoon.

When you’re ready to strain your kefir, you might notice it has separated leaving a clear liquid at the bottom and looks very thick. That tells you it has cultured and is ready to strain. Give it a good mix with your clean wooden spoon before straining just to mix it all up.

Setup your colander over the glass jug as shown and then pour all your culture into strainer and gently push it around with a clean wooden spoon to help the liquid drain past the grains. Keep mixing and leave to drip for a few minutes.

Lift off the colander & spoon out the kefir grains back into the culturing jar – there is no need to wash/clean this as the kefir is a live culture, it cannot go “off” and any reside will actually help your next batch of kefir culture nicely. Now, repeat the whole process – starting with topping up with fresh cold full cream milk.

Meanwhile, put the colander and wooden spoon aside to wash.

Now it’s time to store the kefir you will actually drink/eat. Pour the kefir liquid from your jug into another jar/bottle – this one needs a lid and it goes into the fridge (but you might want to use it first). I have found that the kefir taste sublime at this point – drunk freshly strained and at room temperature so I tip mine out into a cup first and put the rest into the fridge jar.

Storage Notes for Fresh Kefir

Kefir will last for many weeks in the fridge and you can simply keep topping up your jar/bottle adding the fresh batch on top. Don’t worry about any gumming up residue even if it turns a little yellow on the tops/sides/edges. Whilst you continue to add a regular daily/every other day/batch of fresh culture, it will continue to stay fresh. Just because – I will give mine a good hot wash every 2-3 weeks though if I happen to empty the storage bottle.

Michelle's Ideas for using kefir

When first starting kefir, or for people with gut problems it is best to drink kefir plain on an empty stomach until your system gets used to it. Kefir can be taken at any time of day and evening is particularly beneficial.

Kefir can be used as a substitute for milk, yoghurt, cream etc so experiment with using it. Just don’t bother heating kefir for cooking as it needs to be consumed as a live culture to get the benefits – heating it will simply destroy the live enzymes.

Refer to section below for more ideas, but also all the nutritional information information, comparisons to yoghurt, and explanation of what it is, why it’s so good for you etc.

I would be very interested to see if you get a lower cholesterol reading after a few weeks of taking kefir – I certainly did but cannot be 100% sure I can attribute it to this, but I note this is mentioned in many sources as a definite benefit of consuming kefir so it is possible? For me, I immediately found I ceased having sweet cravings and lost all interest in coffee – hence why I have completely kicked my coffee habit within 2 weeks of starting kefir (September 2012).

Michelle's Kefir recipes

Please remember that it is pointless to heat or cook with kefir like you might with yoghurt or cream. It is the living culture that provides the goodness so keep it cool or at room temperature.

Here are a couple of my tested, yummy recipes that everyone (including the kids) like:

1. Kefir salad dressing: kefir, minced garlic, lemon juice, + (optional flaxseed oil) – drizzle over salads for a Caesar-salad style healthy dressing.
2. Kefir fish dressing: as above but add minced herbs (I buy these in the vegie section of the supermarket in squeezable tubes – the Italian herbs one is so handy). Beautiful over atlantic salmon and much better than hollandaise sauce.
3. Kefir Beetroot Dip: blend 1 tin of beetroot (strained) with a quantity of kefir to make a dip. Yummy dip everyone loves!
4. Avocado Smoothie: blend together 1 peeled chopped avocado, 1 frozen banana, bit of fresh ginger, dash of flaxseed oil, dash of flaxseed meal (also known as linseed), kefir plus water to bring to desired consistency. Serves 2-4.
5. Chocolate Smoothie: blend together 1 peeled avocado, handful of fresh or frozen blueberries, half frozen banana, 1 desertspn of raw unsweetened cacao powder (from healthfood store), kefir plus water to bring to desired consistency. Serves 2-4.
6. Berry Smoothie: blend together kefir, frozen banana, frozen rasberries (or mixed berries).

The quality of the kefir protein is ideal for post-exercise recovery so I am no longer using the protein powders. We regularly have a protein smoothie such as the Berry Smoothie after long rides – best consumed within 30mins of exercise for optimum recovery benefits.

But I also find the Kefir very satisfying for a snack – particularly when I’m hungry and have no patience to prepare something, or if I realise I’m hungry but on my way out the door for training (eg. swimming) so I will often just have a swig of it in the mid-afternoon.

The following information was handed down to me when I was given my kefir grains as background information. I have had to copy/paste (and try to fix) the text from a pdf document, which was was originally a fax - the font was too blurry to bother attatching so I have attempted to import it here. Please let me know know if there are errors that need fixing.

What is Kefir

"KEFIR" comes from aTurkish word which means "FEEL GOOD" due to over-all sense of health and well-being when consumed. Kefir colonises and cleans our gastro intestinal track (GIT) where 50% of our nerve cells are located. There are 100 million nerve cells in the Intestines alone, Scientists call this the "second brain" or the "enteric nervous system" that's why feelings and emotional expressions depends primarily on the wellness of our intestines. Therefore, the best time to drink Kefir is the first thing in the morning and the last thing in the evening.
Kefir Is not a new trend, It has been around for thousands of years. People became vain and preferred taste and convenience instead of health. People diverted to chemically-preserved, food, readily available fast food meals which are very unhealthy, artifiCially flavored and mostly are cancer agents. This improper diet is one of the major causes of today's shortened average life-span of 55 years!

Serving Options

Consume a minimum of 110ml (half a cup) up to an unlimited amount everyday depending on the need and purpose. Because Kefir Power Is Pure and natural, it has no adverse effects and is completely absorbed by the body. Drink straight, blend with fresh fruits, organic sugar, honey or shake quickly with any fruit puree (mango, banana, papaya, pineapple, guyabano, etc.)

Product Longevity

Traditional, Home-cultured Kefir has no expiration. Kefir in its current form must be kept at 16F degrees to maintain its frothiness and flavor. However, you may leave it at room temperature to allow the Keflr grains to continue to ferment and ripen. This makes Kefir more potent, more flavorful, and increases Its healing effects. It may also be frozen or refrigerated for a long time.
Note however that the longer it is kept, the flavor likewise becomes stronger. For best flavor, consume within two months from harvest date.

How do I drink KEFIR?

The following are the recommended dosages, applicable to any age:
· For optimum health maintenance - Half glass in the morning and before bedtime.
· For healing - minimum of 4 glasses everyday or more (during duration of illness)
· For Losing weight - 1 glass as meal replacement (Keflr is a complete food).
· For Gaining weight healthily - take Kefir as a dessert after meal.
· For active/sporty people - for great endurance, take a glass of kefir before any strenuous activity and drink Kefir water (mixture of purified water and 30% Kefir) . Avoid drinking commercial energy drinks because these are mostly high in caffeine, sugar and artifiCial flavorings. Avoid "DIET" beverages because these are rich in chemically-processed artlflcial .sweeteners.
· For infants - use Keftr as replacement for fonnulated synthetic baby formulas; these formulated milk products are usua\iy high in sugar content which can lead to obesity and/or indigestion .
· for nursing mothers - take a minimum of 3 glasses In a day.
· For the elderly - take a minimum of 3 glasses In a day.
· For children's optimum health - take a minimum of 2 glasses In a day.

What are the different applications of KEFIR?

Use pure Kefir to replace chemically formulated products:
· Keflr Is best considered as a primarily food in our family's diet. May be used as vegetable and fruit salad dresSing, or Keflr egg
· As toothpaste and mouthwash - proven zero bad breath upon waking up.
· As feminine wash - proven zero foul odor.
· As facial wash. (skin care) - proven to prevent and cure acne.
· As body wash - replacement for hand or body soap.
· As deodorant - proven to eliminate body odor.
· As topical anti-microbial agent - for skin allergies, rashes and skin diseases.
· As anti-Inflammatory agent - for cuts and wounds.

What are the KEFIR'S Health Benefits?

The following are just some highlights of the researchers and studies worldwide that have been conducted over the years. You may also search the Internet for a wider reference of facts and testimonies from medical professionals and private Individual alike.
· Loaded with enzymes and beneficial micro-organism which hastens metabolism and greatly aids digestion, leads to elimination of harmful bacteria and cleansing of the Intestines. Kefir colonizes the digestive tract and thus strengthens its walls .
· Studies show that on the first day of Keflr Intake, some people may experience controllable loose bowel movement due to the Initial cleansing effect and elimination of toxins in the Intestines (detoxification process).
· Complete source of pre-digested protein, essential minerals and natural vitamins easily absorbed by the body.
· It thins the blood and lowers the bad cholesterol dramatically because of Its cleanSing effect to the whole body protecting individuals from cardiovascular damage. Keflr prevents arteriosclerosis (hardened fat deposits) that can block the passage of blood in the arteries, eventually causing stroke or heart attacks.
· Perfect for diabetic individual because Kefir dramatically reduces blood sugar, normalizes blood flow, thus normalizes and
increase libido.
· Restores inner eco-system for optimum health and longevity, a must after anti-biotic treatment and intake of chlorinated water
· Kefir is rich in biotin that nourishes (he scalp, thickens hair and prevents hair loss. Its excellent nutritional content offers health balance.
.kefir is lactose-free. Lactose Is the sugar in milk. Keflr Is ripened 5 days from date of harvest, then it becomes absolutely lactose-free because the lactose present In Kefir pro-biotics ate up the lactose, digest and convert it into easily digestible food.
- any people whom have lactose Intolerance problem can consume Kefir. The individual with lactose deficiency has symptoms such as nausea, cramps, bloating and diarrhea but Kefir's abundance of beneficial yeast and bacteria provides lactose and enzymes which consume most of the lactose left the culturing process (Alkalln & Otless 2002).
· Tryptophan and magnesium are abundant in Kefir. Known for its profound relaxing and calming effect on the nerves. It benefited many who suffer from stress-related illnesses like Bell's Palsy, steep disorders, chronic fatigue, depression and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
· Rich in natural calcium for teeth and bone strengthening. It prevents and cures osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
· Boost immune system. It has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, cancer, metabolic disorders, tuberculosis, atherosclerosis and allergic diseases. There is evidence to support the anti-tumor activity of Kefir. Kefiran, is the matrix of the unique soluble polysaccharide abundant in Kefir. Kefiran exhibited proven anti-tumor properties. It is Scientifically found to reduce the size of tumors, thus inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.
· Best natural female douche because it maintains the normal flora. The pH of Kefir is 4.2-4.6 . It is natural. Avoid the use of chemically formulated wash because it irritates and imbalances the natural flora.
· It contains billions of live active cultures of normal flora which Is made of very strong strains of micro organism that help to over take pathogenic organisms and repopulates the digestive track.
· Vitamin K Is normally manufactured by bacteria present in the intestines. These matrix of friendly and beneficial bacteria are abundant in Kefir. Vito K produced prevents bleeding and activates the thrombotic time (the blood clotting time in order to prevent blood loss which leads to shock, collapse and death In severe cases). Vitamin K is anti-coagulant. It prevents the
formation of blood clot in blood vessels known as thrombosis and embolism. Thus regular intake of Kefir prevents heart attacks.
· Regulates kidney, liver and nervous system because It is an excellent source of Biotin, a vitamin B that helps the assimilation of other vitamins such as folic acid, pathogenic acid and 612. . Pathogenic acid and 612 are the vitamins that relieves stress. Folic acid in Kefir is at its peak when kefir has ripened. Folic acid maximizes brain development of fetus, infants & children. It also enhances memory alertness . Keflr prevents anorexia, anemia, nausea, hepatic steatosis, hyperchlolestolemia.
· Rich In Phosphorous, the second most abundant mineral in our body which helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, protein for cell growth, maintenance and energy.
· It relieves, cures and prevents skin disorders or allergies. It makes you look radiant and rejuvenated because it detoxifies the entire body. Kefir is rich In biotin (B Vitamin) that prevents skin diseases like seborrhea dermatitis, skin asthma, eczema, psoriasis
· It is best for infants, babies, kids, pregnant, nursing women and the elderly because it is a balanced and complete nutritious food . It Is the best substitute for synthetic and formulated milk products which contain high sugar and preservatives.
· It Is excellent food for those with compromised immunity like tuberculosis, cancer patients, diabetic, and H.I.V, or Aids patients.
· Best as food replacement to lose weight because it Is low-calorie complete with essential nutrients. Keflr can also help eliminate junk and unhealthy food cravings because It Is a balanced food that completely meets the nutritional needs of the body and will not starve our body cells. It is also the best supplement to gain weight. Take Kefir as a dessert every meal if you want to gain weight healthily, so that you can gain from the polymatrix health and therapeutic benefits of Keflr. Take a glass of Kefir to maintain weight and optimum vigor and vitality.

Kefir vs Yogurt

The comparison of yogurt to kefir. Analogous to grapes and wine, yogurt is wine and kefir is champagne. The health benefits are all in flavor of Kefir. While yogurt, is simply a more digestible form of milk. Kaufman's reasoning for this is the mirrored molecular composition of Kefir and yogurt. The yogurt good ship "Enterprise" rotates left or counter-clockwise, while Kefir goes right in a clockwise direction. They are both lactic acids cultures comprised of the same number of carbon, oxygen ND hydrogen elements only mirror opposites. Kefir acts like door latch, locking into the cells to deliver oxygen for curative benefits as well as nutritional ones. The Russians use Kefir for cancer treatment because the runaway cancer cells are starving the body of oxygen.

Final words from Michelle

Everyone in our family thought I was on another weirdo health fad when I came home with the kefir grains but two of my nurse friends backed me up which gave me some credibility but as soon as David and the kids saw me genuinely enjoying both the daily making process and the taste in the various things I made with it they were quite happy to try drinking it straight too. David now probably consumes more of it then me and our 8 year old fussy daughter likes a cup a day. Leah enjoys hers in a berry smoothie.

My parents came to visit over Xmas and stayed for 2 weeks. My mum surprised me by screwing up her face and looking at the daily making process with utter disdain but my father got right into and enjoyed it right away. On the day I took them back to the airport he took a little zip lock bag of fresh kefir grains with him and my instruction sheet above. The week later I got an email from mum to say she was making it and they were both loving it. Then last week in the mail I received this special package gift from her. I think she likes it - don't you?

Hope you enjoy making it! Let me know how you go.


David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
BlogID: 4705
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