Kefir dates back many centuries to the shepherds of the Northern Caucasus Mountains region between the Black and Caspian Sea in former Russia. They discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches for sometime would eventually ferment into a mild yoghurt like self carbonated beverage. It was kept secret for many years and passed down generation to generations (from the same culture too) and was known to have ‘magical properties’ due to the strength and longevity of the tribal families.
- Contains high levels of Calcium and Magnesium
- Vitamin K2 (The Missing Nutrient)
- Biotin and Folate
- Amino Acids, Enzymes and a Raw Probiotics
- Boosting Immunity
- Healing Inflammatory Disorders of the Digestive System
- Building Bone Density
- Elimination of Candida
- Reduction in Depression and Anxiety Article for link between Gut Health and Mental Health
For Your Very First Brew
Empty the sachet into approximately 250mls of fresh whole milk (do not use UHT, nut or skimmed milks) semi skimmed can be used but after your first batch. I would recommend organic milk as non organic milk contains traces of antibiotics that could damage your grains. If you use raw milk you will need to regularly stir your kefir to prevent them from getting too ‘clumpy’.
Leave the Kefir in the milk somewhere warm for 24-48 hours (48 recommended). Try to place your brew somewhere out of direct sunlight and away from a direct heat source but where the room is airy and at room temperature as the colder the grains the slower the kefir will brew.
After 24-48 hours give the Kefir mixture a good stir (you cannot harm the grains doing this) and then pour the contents through a fine mesh plastic sieve (NO METALS). The grains will be caught in the sieve (you may need to stir the grains in the sieve) and the Kefir drink will go through the sieve into your container (jug). Don’t worry if for the first couple of brews nothing much happens this is likely due to the grains settling, also for the first couple of brews the taste and texture will gradually improve so don’t be too concerned if the flavour is too sour or not sour enough or maybe not thick enough again this is due to the settling of the grains and normal in the early stages, remember this is suppose to last generations!
A Few Pointers
Remember your grains are a living organism and as such they all react different so it impossible to say exactly how long the settling stage or brewing will take, personally it took mine about 3 brews to get it just how I liked it. NEVER leave your grains in for more than 48 hours as the grains live and feed from the milk (unless you want to make Kefir Cheese – another blog coming!)
If they are taking longer than anticipated to populate then put them somewhere warmer this will speed up the fermentation eg, an airing cupboard.
There is no exact way to brew Kefir and a lot of brewing is personal preference (brew time etc..) but once you know the grains are settling and multiplying after 2 or more brews you can exchange the milk for goats, sheep and nut milks, I’m going to try oat milk I will let you know on that one!
Once your Grains are Settled
Once your grains have settled it really is quite easy and if you look after them you have them for a long time, no more buying from the Supermarket.
On each brew leave some remaining grains and transfer to your next brew, with the remaining you can add to your smoothies or even give them to the dog or cat! Though not too much just a little sprinkling on top of their biscuits.
Again it is personal preference on how much milk you want to re-add, you may have a bigger family so would require a wee bit more. Consumption wise I would say one to two glasses a day and if it is your first time and I am coming from experience here only drink a small glass to start of with to see how your tummy reacts, I went straight in and went for the half pint glass and it did give me a bit of a gas which was uncomfortable but then again my partner was fine and so were the kids, maybe I was a little sensitive that day!
- Smoothies (Mango, Strawberries, Blueberries or Springs such as Kale and Spinach)
- As a Meat Tenderizer
- Poured over Cereal
- Use instead of Yoghurt
- In an Ice cream Recipe
- Makes a Herby Cream Cheese (Coming soon)
- Over Fruit
- Add to a Curry
- A Healthy Milkshake
- In place of Buttermilk
I would love to hear if you have any suggestions or recipes too!
I made my Kefir from London Fresh Nourish Kefir Starter Grains from Planet Organic