To The People Who Want to Make Kefir But Can’t Get Started
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After I learned how to make yogurt, I also learned about Kefir. It is similar to yogurt, but not as thick. It also has a lot more beneficial bacteria in it as opposed to yogurt. Since I was able to make yogurt, I figured I would be able to figure out how to make Keifer as well. So I followed the same directions and it didn’t quite turn out. Most of the process is the same as yogurt, but there are some differences that make a difference in the outcome.
There are two different ways I have made it. With pasteurized milk and raw cows milk. The difference between the two is the pasteurized milk needs to be heated before adding the starter and the raw milk does not. When heating up the pasteurized milk, put 1 liter (4.2 cups) in a pan on the stove top and start to warm it up. It needs to be heated to just under 180 degrees, then cover the pan and put it in a sink that has cold water in the bottom of it. This will allow the milk to cool to the desired temperature. With Kefir, it needs to be cooled down more than yogurt. That was my mistake the first few times I tried to make it. When the Kefir is fermented at the yogurt temperature, it gets foamy and comes out of the container like a can of pop that was shaken and then opened. It is a big mess to clean up. So, I’ll save you the trouble and let you know to cool it down to 72-78 degrees before adding the starter. Once the milk gets in that range, add the starter to the milk and stir it. Then I put the milk in a pyrex container and cover it. If you don’t have pyrex, make sure to use a glass jar to ferment the Kefir. If you have raw milk, then you do not need heat the milk before adding the starter. Skip that step.
There are two ways to add the starter. If you start with the powdered packet, then mix the packet in some milk (about 1/3 cup) before adding to the rest of the milk. If you have already made Kefir, then use 1/3 cup of that as your starter for the next batch. After adding the starter, stir it in with the milk. I put the milk in a pyrex container with a lid. A 7 cup pyrex container works best for this sized batch. Then I put the container in the bread proofer. You can ferment it from 72 to 78 degrees. I found it works perfectly for me to do it at 76 degrees for 24 hours. And make sure to put the pyrex container anywhere but in the middle of the bread proofer. The next day when I check it, it is done!
- Milk, Bread Proofer, Kefir starter (or 1/3 cup of the previous Kefir), pyrex container
- Kefir starter
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