Milk kefir grains are live active cultures consisting of yeast and bacteria existing in a symbiotic relationship. Adding the kefir grains to fresh milk yields a probiotic drink within 24 to 48 hours. This dairy kefir culture is reusable, and with care will allow you to make kefir over and over again.
Traditional heirloom-style kefir culture (a.k.a. “grains” due to appearance); not a powdered starter culture
Reusable culture; makes a new batch of kefir every 18 to 48 hours
With proper care, the culture can be used indefinitely to create delicious probiotic-rich kefir
Cultures on the counter at 67° to 80°F, no heating appliance required
Can be used with cow milk, goat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk
1. Place the kefir grains in 1 to 2 cups of milk. (Future batches can be made with up to a quart of milk but we recommend increasing the amount slowly over several batches.) Stir the milk and kefir grains briefly. Be sure to use a wooden or plastic utensil—never metal!
2. Cover the jar with a towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
3. Leave the jar in a warm place (68° to 85°F) in your home. Stir a few times a day if desired.
4. Check the kefir every 6 to 12 hours or so. Unless it is particularly warm in your home, kefir normally takes at least 24 hours to form. Kefir that cultures at room temperature for longer than 48 hours can have a laxative effect and the grains may begin to starve.
5. Once the milk has thickened, the kefir has formed. Remove the kefir grains, cover the jar of finished kefir with a lid, and store in the refrigerator.
6. The kefir grains can then be placed in new milk and the process repeated.
7. Once the milk begins to thicken and have a good aroma, you can increase the amount of milk you use for each batch. 1 to 2 teaspoons of grains is adequate to culture up to 1 quart of milk. Too many grains in the milk can result in separation, and/or a yeasty smell.
8. In general, give the milk no more than 48 hours to kefir. A longer period of time may be needed only if your home has a low ambient temperature. If kefir does not form, discard the milk, place the grains in a cup of new milk and repeat the process.
9. If you are culturing multiple products (different varieties of yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, kombucha, etc.) keep at least several feet between cultures so they don’t cross-contaminate each other. Over time, cross-contamination may weaken the cultures.