How to prepare milk kefir | FAQ's on Milk Kefir

Posted by Sarah Arif on

1. What is Milk Kefir?

Milk Kefir is a probiotic beverage made with either milk kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter culture.

2. Where did the milk kefir originated?

The drink originated in the North Caucasus, in particular the Elbrus environs along the upper mountainous regions of Karachay and Balkaria from where the drink was fermented naturally in bags made of animal hides.

Then it came to Russia, and from there it spread to Europe and the United States, where it is prepared by inoculating the milk of cows, goats, or sheep with kefir grains.

We tend to forget it, but fresh milk has a very short shelf life. Without a refrigerator, the best way to store it is to ferment it. The nomads of the Caucasus fermented their milk in leather skins with kefir grains. Kefir was part of their daily life: when the shepherds took kefir from the bottles, they added new fresh milk to it, to make kefir continuously. This technique was passed down from generation to generation. Back then, kefir grains were very valuable and part of family heirlooms.

 

3. What does Milk kefir taste like?

The taste of finished kefir varies greatly based on the type of milk used and the length of time it is cultured. A consistency similar to buttermilk is standard, with it getting thicker in the winter, after being refrigerated, or when more cream (or higher fat milk) is added. It is not solid like yogurt.

4. Does milk kefir have the same benefits as water kefir?

Milk kefir is more probiotic than Water kefir, hence it has more benefits. 

5. What is the activation process of Milk Kefir and how to keep on making batches?

The process is very simple, you just have to follow the below mentioned steps;

- Add our dry milk kefir in half liter of milk (Fresh cow/goat) or (any good local brand). Please avoid commercial brands to prepare kefir. This will help your kefir to stay healthy. 

- Keep your milk kefir for 5 to 6 hours in Summer and for 12 to 14 hours in Winter. Milk Kefir takes 3 to 4 days for activation, during this process you will be required to strain the grains and waste the milk.  

-  Once the grains are active, you can start consuming milk kefir. The milk will thicken and can have a tangy or sour aroma and flavor. We always recommend that you refrain from consuming anything that looks, smells, or tastes unpleasant.

- On the 5th day, you will be required to keep the grains in the fridge. Do not forget to add 2 to tablespoon of milk in the Kefir grains. Milk is basically their food. 

- Same process will be repeated every day.

6. How can I keep my grains if I wish to take a break?

- If you wish to take a break for 2 to 3 weeks then add 4 to 5 spoons of milk in your grains. Keep it inside the fridge. 

Follow the same process when you wish to continue. No need to waste the milk present in the grains.

7. What supplies to I need to make Milk Kefir? 

Material Options: What to Use

There are many containers to choose from, but some materials are clearly superior to others:

  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Wood
  • Plastic

Material Options: What to Avoid

  • Crystal 
  • Metal

Supplies You Need

  • A non-metal stirring utensil
  • A glass jar
  • A rubber band
  • A plastic strainer 
  • A breathable cover for the jar 

8. How do I cover my Kefir Milk?

  • The cover should allow the culture to breathe.
  • Effective coverings include tight-weave dish towels or Mulmul cloth etc. Avoid loose-weave fabric and screens.
  • You'll also want to secure the cover to keep out pests such as ants or fruit flies. You can do this with air tight rubber band or even the rings from canning jars.

9. What temperature is required to make Milk Kefir?

In Winter, keep it in the kitchen or room. In Summer, keep your jar in the room in a cool and dry place. Avoid keeping kefir milk in the kitchen during summer time. 

10. Do I need to rinse the grains off between batches?

No. There is no need to rinse the grains unless they stop making kefir effectively (which can sometimes be attributed to a buildup of yeast on the grains). If it becomes necessary to rinse the grains, use filtered water if possible to avoid chemical exposure.

11. Why is my Kefir milk drink like thick yogurt/curd?

If you wait for too long to give kefir grains fresh milk, they will run out of food. That’s when you start seeing milk kefir turn to curd.