In this article, you’ll find out how to activate your dried, or dehydrated, milk kefir grains.
What do you need?
- 500ml glass jar.
- Non-metal stirring spoon.
- Breathable cover such as unbleached muslin or cheesecloth.
- Rubber band or canning jar ring.
- Non-metal sieve or sprouting lid (which can be used for straining).
- Packet of dried milk kefir grains.
- Fresh milk (Whole or fat reduced).
- Filtered water.
1. Empty the packet of grains into a clean 500ml glass jar.
2. Add 1 cup of filtered water and stir.
3. Cover the jar with the fabric and secure with a rubber band. This will protect your kefir from dust and insects. Leave to stand at room temperature for approximately two hours.
4. Strain the contents through a sieve or sprouting lid. Keep the grains and discard the remaining liquid.
5. Rinse grains with warm water. Please note: Do not use hot water with your grains as the kefir will die.
6. Add your grains to a clean jar with 1/2 cup of milk. Stir and cover with fabric. Leave for 24 hours at room temperature. Keep out of direct sunlight. Stir occasionally.
7. Stir content and rinse grains. Repeat this process between 3-5 times.
8. When the grains start to form a thick white curd (with a mix of yellow liquid whey), you can add one cup of milk to each batch.
When is my kefir ready to be consumed?
After 3-5 batches, your kefir should be ready to be consumed. Your kefir should have a slightly sour taste and smell but not overpowering or bitter.
When can I add more milk?
As your grains grow, you can increase the milk quantity by 1/2 cup every few batches. If your kefir becomes too sour, you need to reduce the amount of grains that are used.
Avoid overcrowding by starting new batches with a small amount of excess grains.
Tips for making milk kefir
- In cooler temperatures, a ratio of 1:10 is suitable. For example, 1/4 milk kefir grains to 2.5 cups of milk.
- In warm temperatures, over 28 degrees Celsius, a ratio of 1: 20 is suitable. For example, 1/4 milk kefir grains to 5 cups of milk.
- During the summer months, you may need to store your kefir in the fridge. Store on the bench during the cooler parts of the day. Excess heat can kill your grains, while excess storage in the fridge can make your grains dormant and inactive.