|A cluster of kefir grains|
This is the basic process that I follow to create my kefir:
1. Place grains and milk into a container with an airtight lid and place it out of direct sunlight.
2. Let it sit for 2 days. I might let it sit for less time once the weather gets warmer since this will speed up fermentation.
3. Pour thickened kefir through a sieve to catch all grains.
4. Wash out the container, place the grains back in and start all over again.
|Fresh milk kefir, ready to drink!|
Using this method I produce about a liter of kefir every two days. I find that it is the perfect amount for the four of us to put on granola or drink with a bit of honey and cinnamon. The grains will also grow larger and produce more grains over time. I have found that it is kind of like chain letters, the more kefir I make, the more grains I grow and have to give away to new people. One interesting thing about the grains is that they often contain different communities of bacteria and yeasts depending on where the grains came from originally. This can change the flavour and texture of the kefir produced. You can actually use the grains to ferment basically any liquid that contains sugar. I tried honey water and really don't recommend it. One sip and the whole batch ended up down the drain.
Kefir has a fairly bizzare and interesting history stretching back at least a few thousand years that includes princes, magic, beautiful communists, and kidnapping.
If you ever get the opportunity to get some kefir grains, or are anywhere near Fukuyama and would like a few of mine, be sure to take them. There is actually an international exchange where you can obtain starter grains wherever you are in the world. It is an easy, tasty, and healthy experiment and lots of fun to prepare!