Traditional Milk KEFIR (MK) Recipe
1 Tablespoon of Milk Kefir Grains (MKG)
2 Cups of dairy milk (Organic if possible). We recommend Dairy Home's Grassfed Milk
An airtight glass jar with a lid, a broad mouth and broad base for 1st Ferment ( preferably a 1L jar)
Plastic/Silicon measuring spoons
Measuring cup or bowl if you want a vessel to sieve your MK into easily
A 1L bottle to store the finished kefir in and for 2nd Fermentation
A 250ml small jar with a lid to store the Milk Kefir Grains
Note: We recommend that no metal should be in contact with the grains (specially reactive metal) both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your Kefir and weaken the grains over time. If you must use metal avoid prolonged contact with the grains..
Primary Fermentation (1F):
The first step is to strain the grains and discard the milk in the jar (if any). While the grains are still in the strainer, lightly pour some fresh milk over them to give them a quick rinse (do this for the first time only when you receive the grains). Put milk in a glass/ceramic vessel, then add the rinsed Milk Kefir Grains.
Close the lid tight.
Leave to ferment in a dark cool place, out of direct sunlight, or wrap a kitchen towel around the vessel, and keep on the counter in cool place. Kefir grains like to be shaken once in a while, so go ahead and shake the vessel every time you pass by it. Kefir grains that are stirred/shaken ferment faster because it redistributes nutrients around the jar.
Fermentation time: 12 to 24 Hours (depending on the temperature in your home). You can tell when it's ready, if when you slightly tilt the jar you see it is more like gel (no longer a watery milk), and also if you see any separation of the whey (pockets of clear liquid on the side or bottom of the jar). The first time it may still be quite milky, but that's ok, they're still adjusting to their new home. It should smell yeasty like bread and a little tart or sour like plain yogurt. It gets more acidic and tart the longer you let it ferment. So it’s best to keep in the range of 12 to 24 Hours, after that it’s time to strain the grains out!
Straining the MK: Place a sieve over the mouth of a large jar (or a measuring cup or bowl -if the mouth of the jar is too narrow). Gently stir the kefir, then pour it through the sieve, if you don’t stir it, it will be more difficult to pass through the sieve. Continue pouring all the kefir into the sieve, using a spoon gently stir until only the grains are left in the sieve. If straining the MK into a measuring cup/bowl, then pour the strained MK into any glass bottle or jar for Ripening or a Secondary Ferment.ation.
Ripening and Secondary Fermentation (2F):
For a simple Milk Kefir, you can close the lid on your 2nd fermentation jar and place it back in the same spot that you chose for your first ferment. Ripening time is about 30 minutes up to 6 hours depending on room temperature. Be aware - Thailand heat is quite intense, you can leave it up to 6 hours but be careful, the MK may separate into curds and whey if left to ripen for too long. Once you are done ripening the kefir, put it into the fridge for a few hours to chill, to round out the flavor and thicken it a bit more. If you want your kefir fizzy and carbonated, put a tight lid on the finished kefir for a day, burping it once a day (by opening and closing the lid - to prevent explosion). Keeping it outside the fridge will help the kefir to get fizzier, but keep in mind, it will get increasingly sour.
Storing the grains:
Place the Milk Kefir Grains in a glass jar with ½ cup of milk, close the lid loosely, and place the jar in your fridge for up to 3 days. If the grains are not in use strain the milk after 3 days or so, and feed the grains with fresh milk and store the jar in the fridge.